Guided tour

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

4.8 / 5

42 reviews

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

From US$ 114.95 per person

Get the day started early at the Vatican Museums, with an exclusive 4-hour banquet breakfast and tour of the Vatican City. Enter before opening time and enjoy skip-the-ticket-line access to explore the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica at leisure.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 225 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Small group
Limited to 10 participants


  • Get early bird access to the Vatican Museums for an exclusive buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard
  • Explore the Vatican Museums in small groups for a more immersive experience
  • See masterpieces of art from the papal collections
  • Wander the Hall of Maps and Gallery of Tapestries
  • Skip the long ticket lines to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica
  • Discover hidden sights that only an expert guide can reveal
Full description
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, 1.5 hours before anyone else enters the museums! While the general public waits in line outside, you’ll 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, you’ll 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.
  • Skip-the-ticket-line early access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • Buffet breakfast inside the Vatican Museums
  • 2.5-hour guided tour of the Vatican Museums
  • English-speaking guide
  • Small groups of 10 people or less
  • Headsets when appropriate (so you can always hear your guide)
  • Tips
  • Hotel pick-up or drop off
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • All participants who are over 12 years old must present one of the following: proof of full vaccination, proof of first vaccination administered at least 15 days ago, proof of a Covid-19 infection in the past 6 months, or a negative test taken no more than 48 hours before the activity starts
  • All participants must also bring a valid government-issued photo ID (e.g. passport, driver's license, etc)

Select participants and date



Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet at the bottom of the wide steps across from the entrance to the Vatican Museums. The steps are located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano, on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi. The City Wonders Co-ordinators will be wearing blue polo shirts or jackets for easy recognition. The closest metro stop is Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani (Line A/Red Line). From Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani, exit the turnstiles, walk straight to the back of the station and go to the left-side exit. Once you've reached the left-side exit, go out on the side marked "Viale Giulio Cesare." Walk straight (west) down Viale Giulio Cesare (which turns into Via Candia) for 3.5 blocks, crossing three junctions (Via Vespiano, Via Leona IV, and Via Santamaura). At the 4th junction (Via Tunisi), turn left and walk straight down Via Tunisi for a block.

Open in Google Maps ⟶
Important information

Not allowed

  • Luggage or large bags
  • Sleeveless shirts

Know before you go

  • This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • Entrance into the Vatican Museums requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both men and women.
  • All visitors must pass through airport-style security. During high season the wait at security may be up to 30 minutes.
  • Please note that large bags, tripods, umbrellas, and backpacks are not permitted in the Vatican and must be checked into the free luggage storage area. Please do not bring these items as you may need to leave the tour early to retrieve them at the entrance. Only very small bags are allowed.
  • Sadly the tour is unable to accommodate guests in wheelchairs, or those with any impairments requiring special assistance.
  • Baby strollers and carriages cannot be accommodated on this tour.
  • In the event of bad weather, the breakfast portion of the tour will be indoors and not in the Pinecone Courtyard.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 42 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

Sort by:

Traveler type:

Star rating:

Excellent! The only way to see the Vatican & avoid crowds

Monica, was our guide. Monica was excellent, knowledgeable and entertaining. It is the only way to see the Vatican, we were able to see the Vatican without the crowds. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to visit the Vatican. We were thrilled with this tour and our guide!

October 10, 2019

Our tour guide, very knowledgeable and artistic ‘sessil’’ was amazing

Apologies, don’t know how to spell the first name. But she was a petit lady with dark hair and blue eyes ( matching her blue shirt) with a wealth of knowledge, and an amazing way to engage with us, to keep our attention and interest for all 3 hours of the tour. I have learn so much during this excursion. I would appreciate it if you pass her message to her. Thank you so much for a wonderful day!

Read more

June 28, 2018

Beat the crowds

We've been to the Vatican before but this early entry was amazing. In the galleries and in the corridors we were the only group so were able to appreciate the marvellous tapestries and ancient maps with room to move and view the whole thing. We remembered that last time we were here on a normal tour we were almost unable to see these wonderful treasures for people, let alone get a photo without six heads in the way. A real treat to go into the Borgia rooms, normally off the beaten track for normal tours. And then the Sistine Chapel – the guide, Gio, was absolutely marvellous. In the courtyard she gave us a 20 minute detailed explanation of the paintings, including Michelangelo’s ceiling, showing us pictures explaining their meanings, telling us where to look and what to look for. She was just brilliant and it help make sense of the real thing. When in the Chapel there was only about 300 people, rather than the thousand or so we experienced last time.

Read more

June 21, 2016

Organized by

Product ID: 34187