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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.
Locations visited
Vatican Museums
Sistine Chapel
Stanze di Raffaello
See all 6 locations
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.
  • 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
  • Guide permitted to speak inside the Sistine Chapel, which is usually forbidden
  • Unlimited time in the Vatican after breakfast
  • One-of-a-kind experience limited to 20 participants
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All reviewsonce in a lifetimean unforgettable experiencekey holderopened the doorbreakfast buffetsistine chapeltake picturescity wondersdoorsgalleriesfrancescamichelangeloartlines
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1 - 5 of 38 reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago
Extraordinary tour

Expensive but worth every penny. An amazing tour of an amazing place. Our tour guide Tiffany was passionate, extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Don’t miss this one!

1  Thank Donald P
Reviewed 6 days ago
Early morning visit to the vatican

This is an expensive option to visit the vatican but very much worth it. You enter the museum's at 6am with a maximum of 20 in your group. Only one group goes in a this time. We helped open up the various rooms with the...More

2  Thank maffewandmaru2017
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
Simply Stunning

Expensive but well worth it. You go in with the keeper of the keys and he invites the group to open the various doors as you go round. This tour means that there is no one else there but you. Turning on the lights to...More

4  Thank Relax801651
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Brilliant if Expensive

This is very expensive, but for those who can afford it, there is no better way to see the Sistine and the Museum. We were the first into the Museum and the Sistine with the Clavigero, Gianni Crea and his assistant. This meant we were...More

3  Thank Eric M
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Best tour of the Vatican Galleries and Museums ever!!

From the start with Becky (our guide from City Wonders) meeting us and speaking with each of us personally at the gate at 6 AM and answering any questions throughout the tour we were impressed! Opening the doors and watching the lights come on in...More

2  Thank Dalvisitor
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21 September 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Donald P | Reviewed this property |
Yes you can. There is an exit in the Sistine chapel that takes you directly theee. No line.
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