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This tour is guaranteed at max 6 people per group

Alone in the Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums | Exclusive Semi-Private Tour

Max 6 people
2 hrs 45 mins
Refundable booking
early morning exclusive tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel

Be the first people to enter an empty Vatican Museums, over an hour before the doors open to the public, on this exclusive VIP semi-private tour.

Once the private palace of the popes, the Vatican Museums welcomes 25,000 people every day. On this very special early morning tour, you will be able to enjoy the marbled halls, frescoed galleries, world-famous antiquities, and Renaissance masterpieces in almost total privacy.

Experience the vibrant color and artistic genius of the Raphael Rooms alone. Bask in the awe-inspiring magnificence of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the empty Sistine Chapel. Then, enjoy a delicious breakfast in the grandeur of the Pinecone courtyard.

Note: this tour has extremely limited availability. Specifically, we are offering this tour on the following days: July 10, 18, 23, and 30; September 3, 16, and 30; October 24 and 29; December 30. Please book early to ensure you are able to join us.

Please note: due to the exceptional circumstances of this tour your group size will have a max of 10 people


  • Enjoy a small group tour of the Vatican Museums 90 minutes before opening
  • Explore the deserted halls including the Apollo and Laocoön marble statues
  • Admire the School of Athens in the vibrant Raphael Rooms in peace
  • Enter an empty Sistine Chapel for an incredible viewing of Michelangelo's masterpiece
  • Enjoy a delicious VIP breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard

Semi-Private tours and experiences are guaranteed six participants max.

Our prices always include tickets and reservations fees (no waiting in lines!)

Our tour guides and staff are selected experts and speak perfect English

Easy to book and prepay your tours with our secure payment system

Eco-sustainable tourism, designed to respect and support local culture, art and traditions

As the sun rises over the Eternal City, you will meet your expert LivTours guide outside the Vatican Museums. Normally locked shut for another hour and a half, you will quietly enter the empty foyer to begin your truly exclusive VIP tour through the Vatican before the crowds arrive. 

Thanks to LivTours special relationship with the Vatican Museums, we can offer this unique semi-private early morning tour in a group of no more than 10 people, and no more than two groups. That’s a maximum of just 20 people plus two top-rated guides inside the Vatican Museums before opening. The groups will maintain distance so that you can enjoy the  intricate passages, tranquil courtyards, opulent galleries, and grand marbled halls of the Vatican in peace and privacy. 

Historically, the popes were from aristocratic families. Their role was both political and spiritual, and as God’s representative on earth, they outranked all the monarchs of Europe. The Apostolic Palaces – now the Vatican Museums – were the exclusive domain of the popes, their families, friends, and diplomatic guests. As such, they were designed to be both a lavish private residence and a prestigious royal palace. 

Your guide will lead you through the highlights of the private papal collection. Marvel at world-famous antiquities including the Apollo Belvedere and Laocoon. Admire Nero’s monumental marble bathtub. Wander through the serene Gallery of the Candelabra and see the iconic Diana of Ephesus statue.  

Admire the intricate, hand-stitched Flemish tapestries, created according to Raphael school designs, originally meant to insulate the Sistine Chapel. Enter the dazzling golden Gallery of the Maps, showcasing accurate 16th-century frescoed maps of Italy.   

The Vatican’s treasure trove of art was curated by successive popes over many hundreds of years but owes much to the patronage of Pope Julius II. Known as the Warrior Pope, it was Julius II who commissioned Raphael to paint his private rooms, now known as the Stanza Rafaello, and Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling, at the same time during the years 1508-1512. This created the most famous artistic rivalry of all time. 

Appreciate the vibrant colors and unique skill of Raphael, the painter of sweetness and light, as you look at the School of Athens. Stand in awe and wonder beneath the vast frescoes of Michelangelo, from the Creation of Man to the Last Judgment. 

Normally bustling with hundreds of people jostling for position, you’ll have this rare opportunity to enjoy both the Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel completely devoid of crowds. 

To stand inside a virtually empty Sistine Chapel, as Michelangelo did for a total of ten years, is a rare privilege. After your sacred time beneath those frescoes, your guide will lead you to the open-air Pinecone Courtyard to enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet and some well earned espresso!

Please note: due to the exceptional circumstances of this tour your group size will have a max of 10 people


  • Extra early VIP access to the Vatican Museums
  • Semi-Private tour
  • Expert guide
  • First look at the Sistine Chapel & Raphael Rooms
  • Museum Highlights
  • Pinecone Courtyard for a full breakfast
  • A group of no more than 10 people

  • Due to the exceptional circumstances of this tour your group size will have a max of 10 people
  • Places of worship have strict dress code requirements for entry. All participants are required to have shoulders and knees covered (no tank tops or short dresses) to enter
  • There is no photography allowed inside the Sistine Chapel.
  • Backpacks are not permitted in the Museum.
  • Offered in: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Please specify under “Additional notes” if you wish to book the tour in a language other than English.
  •  Everyone in your group, regardless of age, needs a government issued ID to enter the Vatican Museums.

LivTours’ group size of max 6 participants is and always has been based on sustainable travel, and we are proud to be at the forefront of change and innovation in the industry.  LivTours is committed to providing travelers with truly sustainable tours with the lowest possible environmental impact, all while supporting the local industries and people of each unique destination. To learn more about how you can actively support sustainable tourism  and how LivTours is contributing, click here.


All LivTours Semi-Private Group Tours are limited to 6 guests per tour guide. Our commitment to maintaining our uniquely tiny group sizes can sometimes be a little tricky, mathematically speaking. For example, we want to ensure that traveling families and friends can tour together so on rare occasions we may add one or two guests in order to not split groups. On that same note, you may also find yourself on tour with less than six people! We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.




Make your experience even more unique by upgrading your LivTours experience. Please note: add-ons are non refundable.

Add St. Peter's Basilica Tour with Express Access
Skip-the-line, direct access to St. Peter's Basilica — 1.5hr guided tour! Once you have finished eating your breakfast and had some Italian espresso, head into St. Peter's Basilica with your guide with express access and finish your tour in Christianity's largest church. By adding this add-on to your tour, you can expect to finish around 10:45am This add-on is not available on Wednesdays due to the papal audience in St. Peter's held every Wednesday morning.
450 €

By selecting Choose Dates Later / Buy as Gift at booking, any tour can be purchased without fixed dates. This is the perfect option if you want to purchase your tour as a gift for a loved one, or if you are in the pre-planning phase of your vacation. After booking, you will receive a Travel Voucher Code and full instructions on how to schedule your tours when ready. Once your travel plans are confirmed, you can easily use the Travel Voucher Code on the LivTours website to formally schedule your tours. You can find out more here.