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Gallery of Maps

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Gallery of Maps: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

1. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to the Pinecone Courtyard for large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms of the museums.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

2. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

Discover the wonders of the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide and skip-the-line entry tickets. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel, including The Last Judgement. Start your visit by meeting your guide and enjoying a streamlined entry inside the museums. Listen to the explanations of your art historian guide as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with the marvels of the Sistine Chapel and the frescoes by Michelangelo. Inside, you’ll get to see Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement.

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

3. Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

Have the Vatican to yourself on this exclusive early morning tour that whisks you through closed doors for a buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard, before anyone else enters the museums. While the general public waits in line outside, feast on an Italian-American breakfast buffet of cooked-to-order eggs, meats, cheeses, muffins, croissants, fresh fruits, cereals, and even pancakes, flipped by the Vatican's pancake chef. Dining in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard, alongside one of the Vatican Museums' most beautiful works of modern art, experience a level of tranquility rarely seen by Vatican visitors. Then follow your guide to explore the Vatican Museums. Still closed to the general public, the Museums are quieter now than throughout the rest of the day. With only 10 people per group, have time and space to really appreciate the art. See rooms such as the Hall of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Candelabra and incredible Raphael Rooms. Your guide will bring works of art to life, pointing out things you would have missed on your own. Continue to the legendary Sistine Chapel. Then, skip the ticket lines to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. See the altar and marvel at Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture.

Rome: 2.5-Hour Family Vatican Highlight Scavenger Hunt

4. Rome: 2.5-Hour Family Vatican Highlight Scavenger Hunt

This family orientated tour of the marvels of Vatican City will have your kids engaged throughout the whole 2.5-hour experience. Today you and your children will learn with entertaining anecdotes full of details the stories that bring the art works to life. All guides have been carefully chosen as the perfect travel companions for you and your family. The tour starts in front of the Vatican Museums, where you will meet your guide and go through the priority entrance with them to buy your tickets. See and feel the history while your kids are engaged with scavenger hunts, stories and games throughout the Vatican Gardens, the Gallery of the Carriages, and the Gallery of Maps. You will have priority exit from the Museums and conclude the trip at St. Peters Square.

Vatican Museums: Exclusive Opening the Sistine Chapel Tour

5. Vatican Museums: Exclusive Opening the Sistine Chapel Tour

Tour Vatican City's Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel before dawn with the Vatican’s Museum Key Master. Enjoy two hours of exploration time in the Museums without anyone else but your small group around, an experience usually reserved for the Key Master and the Pope. Follow behind as the Key Master unlocks the doors and lights up the long, empty galleries for you to explore. The highlight of your tour will be opening the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll enter completely alone and watch Michelangelo’s frescoes flicker to life. Accompanied by an official Vatican tour guide, get up close with some of the finest artworks in the world appreciating every detail. See the Raphael Rooms, home to a collection of frescoes revered by art historians. Enjoy the ample space free of crowds as you walk along historic galleries like the Gallery of the Maps and the Gallery of the Tapestries. At the end of the tour, choose to stay inside the museums to explore more on your own or head out, passing the crowds who are only now getting inside the doors.

Vatican & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour for Kids

6. Vatican & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Tour for Kids

Prepare to be amazed on this private, child-centered two-and-a-half-hour tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Imagine your children immersed in rich tradition and ancient wonders with a local English-speaking guide who makes learning fun. Give your family the experience of a lifetime on this tour that’s designed and priced for up to 15 participants. Sightseeing can be overwhelming for children when it involves waiting in boring lines to see places and artifacts they don’t understand. On this tour, your children are the center of activity. With reserved admission to historic sites, there is no boredom or fidgeting in the long ticket lines. Interactive visual learning tools, pop-up books, iPad games, and trivia are all incorporated into the experience to provide a realistic glimpse into life in ancient times. You’ll be escorted through the Vatican Museums for the thrill of a lifetime. Following a treasure hunt theme, children will engage in conversations about the fascinating history of Roman civilization. Through the works of Michelangelo, Raphael, da Vinci, Caravaggio, and a host of other artists, your family will become acquainted with what it was like to live in ancient times, as an artist, a parent, a child, or even an emperor or soldier.

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

7. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

Enjoy a journey through art and history with skip-the-ticket-line entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Discover some of the greatest treasures and most magnificent works of art in the company of an expert guide. You will begin the tour on the verdant lawn, known as the Pine Cone Courtyard. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the Pigna Fountain on the lawn of the Vatican City.  After entering the Vatican Museum, you will visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms in the museums. Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, and the hanging renaissance artworks at the Gallery of the Tapestries. At the end of your tour, you will visit the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, and marvel at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Raphael.

Vatican: Gardens, Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

8. Vatican: Gardens, Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

Enjoy an exclusive visit to Vatican City on a guided tour with a professional guide. Discover the beautiful Vatican Gardens, the collections of the Vatican Museums, and the enchanting Sistine Chapel. Start your journey with a minibus tour into the Vatican Gardens: look at the Pope Emerito House, the Vatican Radio Station, the Academy of Science, the Pope’s former Summer Residence, a piece of the original Berlin Wall and the “Fontana dell’Aquilone.” Look at St. Peter’s Basilica from behind and admire the Cupola from a unique perspective. Visit the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries and Candelabras, and the Chapel of Pio V. Next, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoes that changed the course of art forever. Then, you can explore at St. Peter’s Basilica at your own pace. Stroll through the striking aisles of the world’s largest church. Admire Michelangelo's "Pieta" and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit.

Vatican City: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Night Ticket

9. Vatican City: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Night Ticket

Explore the Vatican Museums at night. Admire the Sistine Chapel and also check out other parts of the collection including the Hall of Maps, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the incredible Raphael Rooms. Take some time to admire the details of the Sistine Chapel that you may have heard about, including Michelangelo’s boneless self-portrait, in which he expresses to the world that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again. Take the time to check out some of the lesser-known gems of the Vatican Museums like the Hall of Maps, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the incredible Raphael Rooms.

Vatican City: VIP Vatican Experience

10. Vatican City: VIP Vatican Experience

Enrich your Vatican experience by joining this personal, semi-private tour where you can delve into the fabulous art and history that surrounds the Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel. Begin at the Vatican Museum, a labyrinthine complex featuring over 1,000 rooms that cover four millennia. Enjoy a curated route to help you navigate through the dazzling displays. Next, stop at the world-famous Sistine Chapel, best-known for its sprawling ceiling art painted by Michelangelo. The rules dictate silence upon entry to the chapel, which isn’t usually a problem – its sheer beauty leaves most speechless.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gallery of Maps

Want to discover all there is to do in Gallery of Maps? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gallery of Maps

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8,708 reviews

Having breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard was spectacular, especially seeing the area with few ppl. The entire experience was fantastic! Our tour guide Sylvia told us fascinating stories and moments of history I had never know! We also didn’t wait in a line during our tour, everything was at our disposal! I would 100% recommend this way to see Vatican City!!

My husband and I did a tour with ivana our guide. She was thoughtful, organized and knowledgeable. We were worried 3 hours would be too much talking for us as we are not generally “tour” people. Ivana was extremely engaging and went above and beyond for the group. I would say it’s the best tour I have ever been on

We had a wonderful who was super knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor Flauvia was her name I learned so much we moved at a perfect pace and covered a lot of the museum After we went in to the Sistine Chapel and then to St. Peter’s square and the Basilica

This tour was great! We learned so much and the Sistine Chapel was breathtaking!

Incredibly beautiful. Go, even if the crowd is against you.