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Alert! St Peter's Basilica Direct Access

Private Early Morning Vatican Tour

3 hrs 30 mins
Refundable booking
morning vatican tour

LivTours Private Morning Vatican Tour will allow you to experience real luxury while seeing one of the most exquisite collections of art and antiquities that exist. Enter the breathtaking Vatican Museums in the early morning before the general public and visit the renowned Sistine Chapel without the surge of crowds. It is estimated that up to 30,000 people a day may visit the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

This private tour allows you to beat the crowds, skip the line, and stay a step ahead while making the most of your time. You and your tour guide will get privileged entry into the museums, one hour before the museums open for the day. Your private tour will ensure a stress-free and informative experience.

LivTours is a proud Vatican Silver Level Collaborator, giving us access to restricted areas such as the Cabinet of the Masks Secret Room. This is generally closed off to the public, making it an exclusive add-on ideal for curious tourists.


  • Skip-the-lines & crowds with direct access into the Vatican Museums
  • Enter the majestic Sistine Chapel one hour before the general public
  • Enjoy Vatican highlights with an expert LivTours private tour guide
  • Witness the great masterpieces of artists like Michelangelo and Raphael
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica with VIP entrance and without waiting in line

Exclusive private Tours and Experiences. Also offered in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish and Russian

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

They say the early bird catches the worm and you will see why on this Early Morning Vatican Tour with entry into the museum an hour before the general public. This tour allows you to see the Sistine Chapel first, so you really beat the crowds and then work your way through the rest of the museum’s highlights.

Look up and see one of the most replicated depictions in modern history – the divine hand of God reaching for that of Adam’s, in the ever famous depiction of the Creation of Adam. Look straight ahead and you will see Michelangelo’s famous fresco of the Last Judgment, as Christ decides the fate of both the damned and blessed. Let yourself be transported back in time or stay ever-present in the splendor that is within these silent walls.

This Private Morning Vatican Tour also features exclusive access to the Raphael Rooms before they open to the general public. The Raphael Rooms, which make up 4 rooms, are some of the most precious treasures of the Vatican Palaces. They contain a stunning collection of frescoes painted by the famous painter and his students between 1508 and 1524 for Pope Julius II. Visit the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, two of the most important Vatican highlights, before the museum even opens!

Continue on to discover the incredible collection of Roman & Greek Statues that are housed within the museum. Walk through to the heavily decorated Gallery of the Candelabra, enjoy the trompe l’oeil in the Gallery of the Tapestries and learn about the impressive Gallery of the Maps. With your private LivTours guide, you can tailor your visit to include the highlights that interest you the most. You will not only learn the vibrant history of Christianity’s most powerful Popes but will also hear a bit of gossip about the daily lives and lesser-known stories of the men and women behind the Vatican history.

Your Early Morning Vatican Tour concludes with VIP entrance directly into St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world. As you walk around the Basilica, you will learn the secrets of the magnificent and ornate decorations from your private guide. Visit Michelangelo’s “La Pieta” and admire the magnificence of the building. Since your tour ends here, please feel free to stay inside and continue to explore on your own. LivTours recommends exploring the Papal tombs and climbing up to Michelangelo’s dome.

LivTours is a Vatican Silver Level Collaborator, which allows us access to hidden rooms of the Vatican which very few visitors get to see.

Guests of the Early Morning Vatican Tour can upgrade to add on a visit to the Cabinet of the Masks, a secret room that contains ancient Roman art with stunning statues of Nymph and Aphrodite, inspired by Ancient Greek masterworks. The Cabinet of the Masks is named after the stunning series of beautiful 2nd century BC mosaics which were carefully removed from Emperor Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, which will all be revealed in this upgraded portion of your tour. You will also be able to visit the Hall of Animals, also known as the “Stone Zoo” and the Hall of Busts, containing masterpieces from the Pio Clementino Museum.


  • Early Morning Entry into the Vatican Museums
  • Raphael Rooms (before the crowds)
  • Sistine Chapel (before the crowds)
  • Pinecone courtyard
  • Octagonal Courtyard
  • Muses Room
  • Round Room
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Saint Peter's Basilica & Square

  • 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.
  • 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 in the Sistine Chapel, but allowed without flash in other areas of the museum.
  • St. Peter’s Basilica is an active church and can be closed unexpectedly for liturgical ceremonies. If closed, the time inside the Vatican Museums will be extended.
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica is closed on most Wednesdays mornings due to the weekly Papal Audience. If you book this tour for a Wednesday the time inside the Vatican Museums will be extended.
  • St. Peter’s Basilica is an active church and can be closed unexpectedly for liturgical ceremonies. If closed, the time inside the Vatican Museums will be extended. On Wednesday mornings the Holy Father is having his weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square and due to security, Saint Peter’s Basilica is closed. If you book an early morning tour on a Wednesday, we can therefore not guarantee access to the Basilica.
  • Please be aware that the Sistine Chapel is a Holy Place and talking during your visit inside is strictly forbidden. This tour will begin with the first 30 minutes of the tour held outside of the Vatican Museums in order to give you a comprehensive explanation before entering the chapel.
  • Backpacks are not permitted in the Museum.
  • Guests with wheelchair accessibility needs will find difficulty with this small group tour. In order to ensure a barrier-free tour with alternative routes, please book the private version of this tour.
  • Due to these unprecedented times and ongoing safety and regulation changes, some sites may have limited accessibility if the venue can not guarantee social distancing which may lead to unforeseen tour modifications. Thank you for your understanding.
  • LivTours’ is and always has been based on sustainable travel and especially in these new times, we are proud to be at the forefront of innovation, change, and challenges that are presented to us during this post-pandemic time. At the moment, due to Covid-19 safety regulations, museums and sites visited on this tour require wearing a mask while on site. Please bring one for every participant over 6 years of age.

When you book a LivTours Private Tour or Experience, you are guaranteed a dedicated, expert guide that allows you the flexibility to start your tour at a time which is convenient for you, making planning easy. Our private tours ensure that you will get a tailored experience to meet all your needs so we go at your pace, perfect for families with younger children, elderly, or individuals with accessibility needs. Please be advised that all private tours begin at a base price starting at two people*. Prices are inclusive of entry tickets where applicable.

*Our Tuscan motorcycle tour and some Ferrari private experiences are inclusive of one person only.


Make your day even more unique and comfortable by upgrading your tour with a customizable LivTours optional add on!

Add VIP visit to Cabinet of the Masks
Visit the Cabinet of the Masks, a Vatican secret room which is open only to Silver Level Collaborators. See exclusive ancient Roman statues of Aphrodite & Nymph, inspired by Ancient Greek masterworks and a series of intricate mosaics lifted from Emperor Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli.
100 €
Pick-up service
With the one way pick up service, your driver will pick you up directly from your accommodation and drive you to the meeting point where you will be greeted by your tour guide. Guarantee stress-free. One way only.
starting from 50 €

Must show Vaccination or Negative test for Italy & France Tours

For all France and Italy tours that include an indoor activity, a museum or an archeological park visit, it is now National Law in both countries, to present a covid-19 vaccination card OR negative covid-19 test result from the past 48 hrs accompanied by your personal ID to the local authorities for all adults over the age of 12. Lack of ability to present such documentation may result in loss of tour and funds lifting LivTours from all responsibilities.

St Peter's Basilica Direct Access

The passage between the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica is currently closed due to covid-19 physical distancing measures. This means that in order to enter the Church your tour will need to go around the Vatican State walls. Our top-rated guides will do their best to include a tour of the Basilica, but this may not always be possible due to the distance between the sites. In the eventuality this would not be possible, our guides will ensure a complete orientation of the Basilica so that you will collect the information prior to your visit. Please be aware that this alert may have expired by the date of your tour.

Wonderful Vatican tour

"We were really satisfied with this tour and our guide Massimo was really great! I would do this tour anytime again and we will also recommend it to all our friends and family. Thank you LivItaly!"

Nicole - USA

Perfect Vatican tour

"An excellent tour. Davide was just great, super knowledgeable, warm, and ran the tour at a great pace. Definitely 5+ stars!"

Degan - UK

Excellent private tour

"We booked a private Vatican tour with Franco. We began quite early and Franco took us quickly through several exhibits so that we arrived in the Sistine Chapel ahead of the mobs! In fact, we could even SIT DOWN on the side benches and marvel at the artwork without hassle. By mid-morning, the crowds were so thick you could barely move, but we had already seen most of what needs to be seen, and arrived at St. Peter's by late morning, before the heavy crowding caught up! Franco's knowledge was phenomenal, and he guided us expertly throughout. The tour was a little over 3 hours, and he made sure that our physical limitations were considered to maximize our visit. He dealt with the challenge of the crowds marvelously! This tour couldn't have been better - we recommend LivItaly without reservation."

Kelly A. - USA


By selecting BUY AS A GIFT, you can purchase this tour as a gift for someone you care for. You will receive a gift card voucher that then can be redeemed by the person/people who will enjoy the tour.Date and Time are values that cannot be selected at the moment. You will in fact receive a gift card voucher with instructions on how to redeem the tour and then select date and time.You can create a shopping cart with multiple tours as gift cards. You may not compose a shopping cart of gift cards and actual tours with date and time.This option can also be used as an opportunity to book a tour open-dated for yourself, in case you are still in the pre-planning phase of your trip.For more information please read here.