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

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From US$519.45
  • 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$519.45
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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
From US$519.45
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 (108)
1 - 5 of 88 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

This is without a doubt the best tour we have ever done, anywhere. There is nothing to compare to this once-in-a-lifetime experience; thinking about it still gives me goosebumps. It is worth every penny of the admittedly steep price. Becky, our super knowledgeable guide, met...More

Thank kara s
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
Worth the expense and waking up

Awesome tour. Moves a little slow in order to open all the doors, but you basically get to tour the entire Vatican museums with less than 20 people. Turning on some of the lights adds drama to some beautiful rooms and halls. Great tour overall.

Thank timhohl
Reviewed 3 days ago

This once-in-a-lifetime experience is completely amazing, overwhelming and worth every penny. Brilliant guide and what an amazing treat.

Thank Dfi
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile
Amazing experience

I can’t say enough about this tour. If you have the money, spend it on this tour. You will not be disappointed. It is truly once in a lifetime. The guides and the clavigeros are amazing!!!!

Thank MatthewH791
Reviewed 1 week ago

This was my first trip to the Vatican and one that will never be able to be outdone. This tour is one of the best Trip Advisor tours in any location in all of the world. Tiffany was our tour guide and she was originally...More

2  Thank gunther311
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Questions & Answers
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6 November 2018|
Response from Hootiepaul |
I called the customer service number listed on the tour information about two months ago to ask when 2019 dates would be published. I was told the early part of November. Nothing updated yet but I will call again soon and... More
6 November 2018|
Response from 543barbaras |
I can't answer this question as I have the same question. I hope someone can help us.
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