St. Peter's Basilica

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St. Peter's Basilica: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

    1. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

    Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s Dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony.

    From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend directly into the Basilica and avoid the long entry queue. Inside, admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build.

    Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb (if option selected). Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Fini...

    Our tour guide was most welcoming, warm, and so cordial. She was also quite knowledgeable so it was all in all worthwhile time spent in Rome. I would certainly recommend!

  • Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

    2. Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

    Join a private or shared guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica and experience this iconic attraction. Start your tour by climbing the stairs to the top of the dome. Contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome up close while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Continue your climb to the very top of the dome and reach the viewing deck. Marvel at the striking views of St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Gardens from above. Admire Rome from a height of 136 meters, and spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, and other historic sites. From here, descend directly into the Basilica, skipping the long lines outside. Marvel at the magnificent interior and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà.

    Stefano, our guide was amazing! He was smart, funny and really enthusiastic! St. Peter’s was also amazing! Definitely climb the comb if you can!!

  • St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

    3. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

    Meet your art historian guide in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into Vatican City. In the Basilica, take the elevator part of the way up and then climb the remaining 171 steps. You can climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey up with frequent stops. At the summit, witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Vatican City as it extends out into Rome and its seven hills. Take as many photographs as you can because you are very high and will be able to see for a long distance. After heading back down to ground level, take a brief break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. This famous monument is a triumph of art and architecture, unmatched anywhere else in the world. This is where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter himself. 

  • Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

    4. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

    Explore St. Peter's Basilica, one of Rome's most famed and magnificent sites. Known as the Queen of all the Basilicas, this Renaissance-style church and its dome dominate the skyline of Rome. Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as "an ornament of the earth...the sublime of the beautiful".

    Marvel at the interior, lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gilding. At the heart of the basilica, beneath the high altar, discover the Chapel of the Confession, named after the confession of faith by St. Peter. Marvel at the curving marble staircases that lead to this underground chapel.

    Also, listen to the Vox City Guide, a self-guided audio tour with stories from local experts. It works online and is included in the experience. Learn about point...

    ST. Peter’s Basilica was beautiful and our tour guide had so much knowledge. I highly recommend it.

  • Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

    5. Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

    Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. See the dome's interior on your own or select a guided tour of the basilica and crypts.

    Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics depicting the saints, the magnificent Latin scripts which circle the dome, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below.

    Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and everything you need to know about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then head above the double structure of the dome and pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops bel...

    If you only selected the dome climb, be aware that the tour isn’t only 45 minutes as listed on the site. It turned out to be about 1.5 hours and your ending point is on the outside platform to start the dome climb.

  • Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

    6. Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

    Explore one of Rome's most famous and magnificent sites! Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described this site as "an ornament of the earth … the sublime of the beautiful". St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican is the primary temple of Christianity, and is built in the Renaissance style, with a central dome dominating the skyline of Rome. As you enter the church, you will see that its interior is much bigger than those of any other cathedral. Using an official audio-guide of the Basilica, you can start your visit at any point of the church, without having to follow the order dictated by the presence of a guide. You can decide, for example, to begin with the heart of the Basilica, beneath the high altar and the Bernini's Baldachin, where you will discover the “Confession” or “Chapel of the Confession”, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led...

    Only a small group but guide was very friendly and interesting. My wife and I recommend this tour

  • Rome: Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

    7. Rome: Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

    The open-top, double-decker bus provides fantastic views and a great atmosphere to enjoy Rome's charm. From the iconic Colloseum and the famous Spanish Steps to the stunning Vatican, the city's history and magestic architecture will take your breath away. A fully narrated audio tour allows you to discover over 10 locations throughout the city with daily departures from the starting point at Termini Railway Station. You have the option to join the tour from any of the stops on the route. You may also experience the “eternal city” by foot with fantastic digital, self-guided walking tours. Location highlights include: Colosseum Roman Forum Trevi Fountain Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna Vatican St. Peter's Square Piazza Navona Pantheon Castel Sant'Angelo Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Circus Maximus Piazza Venezia Altare della Patria Piazza Barberini Termini Railway Station

    Rome is so big and the best way to save time and see all the attractions is to take the Big Bus.

  • St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

    8. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

    Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics, the magnificent Latin scripts, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below. Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and learn all about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops below. After 320 steps find yourself on the viewing platform 448 feet above the basilica floor. From the highest point within the Vatican, admire breathtaking and panoramic views over the city, including the Vatican Gardens below. Looking into the distance, you can also marvel at the monuments of ancient Rome, including the Colo...

  • Rome: Best of Rome All-Access Pass

    9. Rome: Best of Rome All-Access Pass

    Discover the "Eternal City" at your own pace with an all-access pass to the main monuments of Rome. Redeem your voucher at the office at your selected booking time and the staff will help you reserve all of your attractions. Visit St Peter’s Basilica at your own pace. Stroll through the striking aisles of the largest church in the world, admire Michelangelo's "Pieta", and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit. Take the stress out of your visit with accompanied entrance to each attraction. Encounter masterpieces of art in the corridors, courtyards, and galleries of the Vatican Museums. See Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and pay your respects to former popes at the site of their tombs. Journey back to the days of the Roman Empire with a ticket to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Follow in the footsteps of Roman citizens at the Via Sacra and discover where the city was found...

    Our guide Elena was amazing, she was very flexible and helpful, she found solutions for every request/issue we had!

  • Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

    10. Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

    Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square - a quick ascension by elevator later will carry you up to the top of the dome from where you can see all of Rome and far beyond Rome too. The views are absolutely spectacular. Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this in itself is rare as most other Rome tour operators do not include it in their Vatican tours. Take a break before making the short walk to the comfortable customer center ahead of your second tour to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Genuine skip-the-line access means that you will be fast tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-sees when in Rome.

    This was an amazing tour. Our guide Ciara is really what made it fantastic. Her knowledge and witty comments kept us learning and laughing.

Planning Your Visit

  • Mind the Dress Code

    As a Catholic building, appropriate clothing is required to enter St. Peter's Basilica. Regardless of the high temperatures in Rome during the summer, shorts, bare shoulders and miniskirts are not allowed – the dress code is strictly enforced.

  • Arrive Early to Avoid the Lines

    The queues to enter St. Peter's Basilica can get extremely long. It's therefore a good idea to arrive early, especially at the height of summer when temperatures can be sweltering. From April to September, the basilica's opening hours are from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, while from October to March, the basilica is open from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Note that most mornings, the queues are already snaking around the square by 11:00 AM.

  • See the Pope

    Every Wednesday, the Pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square, and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to score a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open daily, 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Wednesdays (Papal audience), 12:00 PM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Ticket prices vary depending on group size.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Recommended!
  • How to get there
    Buses 64, 60, and 40 will get you to the Vatican City. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Bring a covering for your shoulders, and do not wear shorts or short skirts.

    • Use sunscreen and bring water for when you are waiting in line outside.

Other Sightseeing Options in St. Peter's Basilica

Want to discover all there is to do in St. Peter's Basilica? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 17,482 reviews

The tour with Chiara absolutely amazing. We had a small group. No lines at the Basilica or Museum with the 8am tour. Definitely wear good walking shoes. Our guide Chiara (when in Rome Tours) was such a great guide. Very interacting and so very knowledgeable, funny and great energy. Personalized our tour so we could get to the most important stops in an efficient manner. Made sure everyone’s needs were met along the way. She offered to take photos of each person/couple at the best spots! She was interested in each person/couple. Asked where we were going next so she could recommend activities/restaurants. Guiseppi and Maria from Florida

Our tour guide was most welcoming, warm, and so cordial. She was also quite knowledgeable so it was all in all worthwhile time spent in Rome. I would certainly recommend!

Guide was very good, Staff at reception desk were exceptionally helpful

Super guide ! Très intéressante et qui va à l’essentielle

The tour we took was excellent. The guide was fantastic.