Private Tour

Private Vatican Early Morning Tour of the Sistine Chapel & Museums

Art & History
Duration: 3 Hours
Languages: EN, ES, ZH, RU

Start your intimate experience at the Vatican 1-hour before the public by heading directly to the Sistine Chapel as it opens for the day. Get instant skip the line to access to the best of its priceless artifacts with a carefully designed itinerary so you get the most out of your 3 hours inside with your private guide. This exclusive Vatican early morning tour allows you to be one the first to enter the still quiet and empty space to marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpieces while your art historian expert brings the art to life with stories and details of its creation.

Perfect for:
  • First Timers
  • Families with Kids
Covid-19 Health & Safety Measures

What to Expect

The Vatican Museums in Rome are Italy's most popular attraction with almost 6.5 million visitors annually so queues are predictably long. Make the most of your time with this Vatican early morning tour with priority access before the crowds have poured in. Savor the rich artistic heritage of the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums with the personalized attention from your guide and a carefully unique itinerary that let you discover as it was meant to be seen, in peace and quiet.

Vatican Early Morning Tour Itinerary

Experience one of the most exclusive and intimate tours of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel with this private Vatican early morning tour entering 1 hour before the public. This Vatican early morning tour starts with a brief introduction to the Vatican Museums, after which you will briskly proceed through the corridors to be one of the first inside the Sistine Chapel. Not to be missed are the Raphael Rooms, regarded by critics as one of the greatest Renaissance painting cycles ever done.


Inside Michelangelo's magnificent chapel, in the serene atmosphere created by the absence of crowds, time seems to magically slow down. Spot the incredible details and hidden symbols that Michelangelo painted into the world’s most iconic artwork, getting the most from your time here. Gazing up at Michelangelo's masterpiece, The Creation of Adam, is an experience you will never forget!


After your once-in-a-lifetime Sistine Chapel experience, continue your private tour through the Vatican Museums where your guide will introduce you to its impressive art collections. Admire the spectacular Gallery of the Candelabra, the dazzling optical illusions inside the Gallery of the Tapestries and the detailed maps of Italy frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of Maps. As you wander these monumental attractions with your guide, you will feel the great weight of history accumulated in these halls, as well as the deep sense of the sacred characterizing these works of art.


Once you’ve had your fill of the quiet galleries full of ancient sculptures, intricate tapestries, medieval maps, and precious relics, Michelangelo Sistine Chapel will be visited again. Once your memorable Vatican early morning tour finishes you can linger inside the Museums leisurely wandering its magnificent galleries at your own pace.


For those who do not want to wake up early in the morning, we offer a Private Vatican Night Tour when the crowds are lighter than during the day.


  • Sistine Chapel (before the crowds)
  • Borgia Apartments (before the crowds)
  • Raphael Rooms (before the crowds)
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Octagonal Courtyard

What Is Included

  • Private licensed professional local guide
  • Early Access to the Sistine Chapel, entering 1 hour before the general public
  • Tickets & reservation fees for skip the line access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with priority early morning entry (ahead of regular visitors and tour groups)

What Is Not Included

  • Transportation
  • Optional activity costs
  • Food & drinks
  • Tips (optional)
  • Anything not expressly mentioned as included

Meeting Point

The Private Vatican Early Morning Tour meets at 7.45 AM at an easy to find location near the entrance to the Museums. Full details provided upon booking. Transportation to/from the meeting point is NOT included in the tour. Upon request, we can arrange a private luxury vehicle for commuting to the Vatican.

Important Information

  • This Vatican early morning tour is available on request from Monday to Saturday.
  • Vatican Museums Closing Days in 2023: 29 June, 15 August, 1 November, 8 and 26 December.
  • St. Peter’s Basilica is an active church and can be subject to unscheduled last minute closures due to liturgical celebrations or unforeseen circumstances. If this occurs during your visit, you will be offered an extended itinerary within the Museums.
  • For safety reasons, all visitors must pass through metal detectors and there is sometimes a line for this.
  • On Wednesday mornings, except late July and August, the Pope holds an audience during which access to St. Peter Basilica could be closed. To avoid problems in entering the Basilica on that day please do not choose Wednesday as your travel date.

Good to Know

  • All members of your party must present at the Vatican Museums a valid proof of identification prior to entrance (copies of passports or ID on your phone will be fine).
  • The Vatican has a strict dress code. Men and women must have their shoulders and knees covered at all times. Access to the Museums will be granted only to appropriately dressed visitors (sleeveless and low-cut garments, shorts, mini-skirts and hats are not permitted).
  • You may only carry small handbags inside the Vatican (smaller than 40cm length x 35cm width x 15cm depth). Anything bigger than this, or any umbrellas or camera tripods, must be checked into the Vatican Museums cloakroom at the beginning of the tour. The cloakroom storage is free of charge, but please be aware that it is located approximately 20 minutes walking distance from the conclusion point of the tour. Thus, we recommend traveling light and leave any unnecessary belongings at the hotel.
  • The Vatican Museums reserve the right to deny entrance to any individual not adhering to their entrance rules and restrictions including, but not limited to, providing proper identification and conformance to its dress code.

How to Book Your Private Tour

  • Send Us Your Inquiry
    Fill out the tour inquiry form and we will respond with availability and price quote.
  • Payment Policy
    Full payment by credit card is required to make a reservation. We use industry leader Stripe for all card transactions.
  • Tour Voucher
    Within two business days of payment, we will email you a voucher with all the booking details. Such email constitutes your proof of purchase.

Tour FAQs

What is the advantage of your Private Vatican Early Morning Tour?

Our Vatican early morning tour is every bit as action packed and exclusive as our other private tours but with the added bonus of entering the Vatican Museums one hour before the public opening. This head start allows you to marvel at the splendor of the Sistine Chapel in full tranquility and explore the rest of the Museums before the galleries become crowded with thousands of visitors, estimated at 25,000 every day!

Vatican Early Access and Vatican After Hours Tours – Which one is the best?

Just as it evening equivalent, this private Vatican early morning tour with skip the line entry and a planned route offers you the benefit of see the best of the Museums extensive art collection your way and at your own pace without the usual hordes of tourists.

Can I remain in the Museums on my own once my Vatican tour is over?

Yes, you can but you would have to refrain from entering St. Peter’s Basilica with your guide and thus miss out on that part of the tour. Our private Vatican early morning tour begins in the Museums, which culminates with entrance into the Sistine Chapel. We then leave the Vatican Museums through a one-way passage from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica. Once you have exited the Museums, you cannot re-enter with the same ticket as the Vatican tickets are single entry only. So, unless you skip the Basilica visit you cannot re-enter the Museums or Sistine Chapel without waiting in the line and purchasing a new ticket. Undoubtedly, once the guided tour is over you can linger inside the Basilica wandering its magnificent treasures on your own.

Would you like to personalize this tour?

If you would like us to put together a bespoke tour tailored to your needs, our dedicated trip planning specialists are on hand to help you develop an experience that will be just right for you and yours.

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Private Vatican Early Morning Tour of the Sistine Chapel & Museums

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