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Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open

Likely To Sell Out
From US$524.49
  • Waking up the Vatican tour only offered on TripAdvisor 
  • Enter the Vatican an hour before anyone else, including standard early access groups
  • Clavigero opens the doors of the Vatican and its galleries to you from a set of 3,000 keys
Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open
From US$524.49
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open
This first-of-its-kind experience gets you inside the Vatican Museums a full hour before all other early access and VIP tours. A guide and your small group are the only ones there to follow the clavigero (key keeper) as he unlocks doors and flips on lights to the galleries that attract some 25,000 people a day. Walk the empty halls, passing staff members as they prepare for the day, and be the first to see Raphael’s Rooms and the Gallery of Maps, among other rooms. Another distinct difference from other Vatican tours: Your guide provides commentary inside the Sistine Chapel—a rare perk as talking is usually prohibited. End with breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard as other visitors are just starting to arrive.
What to Expect
This tour takes you to one of the busiest tour locations in the world, and it allows you to follow a Vatican clavigero (key keeper) inside the iconic landmark an hour or more before other early access tours.

Along with 20 people (or fewer), your guide leads you through the main areas of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, and the Gallery of Maps. Be one of the first that day to enter each room right as the clavigero finds the right key and switches on the lights.

Because of the size of your group and the early start time, you can enjoy a quiet walk through religious areas for more spiritual experience. Plus, this is the only Vatican Museums tour where a guide goes inside the Sistine Chapel to provide commentary up close to Michelangelo’s artwork to your group. It's an experience that has never before been offered to the public, and you will only find it through TripAdvisor.

Afterward, head to the Pinecone Courtyard for breakfast, where you will see all the early access groups starting their tours for the day. Once you wrap up your meal, you’ll be able to stay in the museums as long as you like.
Reviews (83)
1 - 5 of 65 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
Amazing experience.

This was such an amazing experience. Our guide, Tiffany, was excellent and the very idea of being one of only 25 people in the Sistine chapel is mindboggling. My husband thought the price of this tour was too high UNTIL he completed it. We actually...More

Thank claib0rnem
Reviewed 2 days ago
Early Morning Visit.

Make the effort to take this 7.00am tour, It is a small group, which takes you through the Museums to the Sistine Chapel, you then have the option to go on to St. Peters Bascilica or return through all the Museums. It was lovely to...More

Thank 247Janet
Reviewed 5 days ago
Hands Down The Best Way To Experience The Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum

As a grand finale to a trip to Italy, I booked the Waking Up the Vatican Tour for my family of four (two senior parents and my brother and I who are in our 30s/40s). While there was initially a lot of grumbling as we...More

1  Thank Lara M
Reviewed 1 week ago
This is the way to do the Vatican

You have to get up early and it is expensive BUT you are in Rome and you must visit the Vatican. You start with a buffet breakfast and then are grouped with a guide and about 20 other guests. The tour takes about 2-3 hours...More

4  Thank Robert A
Reviewed 1 week ago
Amazing Vatican City Key Keeper Tour

This was by far the best part of our trip to Rome. Walking through the Vatican Museums with only 18 other people and your guide is the only way my wife and I would suggest anyone tour the Vatican. The tour started promptly at 6...More

3  Thank Sarah R
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Questions & Answers
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Spencer V
October 14, 2018|
Response from Robert A | Reviewed this property |
I booked mine 4 months in advance but don’t delay. Very popular
Spencer V
October 14, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from 855ednaa | Reviewed this property |
We booked about 4 months in advance - I think the earlier you book the better. I believe it was non- refundable. So hopefully your trip insurance covers that. It was a little scary to put up that kind of money so early, but... More
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