This selection of Vatican and Colosseum tours help you skip the line and save time when in Rome. Here's the best Vatican tours and Colosseum tours in Rome.
Colosseum and Vatican tours
Rome, the capital of Italy, needs no special introduction. Often described as an open museum, this amazing city has tons to offer.
Two of the main attractions in Rome that you'll want to visit are the Vatican City and Colosseum. You'll soon discover though, that tens of thousands of other visitors also have the same idea!
The Vatican and the Colosseum are two of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome and, as such, can get very crowded.
This results in monumental queues to buy Vatican and Colosseum tickets. If you don't want to spend half of your precious time in Rome standing in line, I suggest taking Vatican and Colosseum tours.
Why taking Vatican City and Colosseum tours is a good idea
If you have limited time in Rome, you'll want to make the most of every second you can. Taking a guided tour removes the hassle of queuing for Vatican and Colosseum tickets. You'll also get the benefits of an expert guide who'll explain what it is you are actually seeing!
Additionally, you should note that as of 1st July 2019, independent visitors who want to visit the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica might have to queue twice. This is because the passage leading from the Sistine Chapel to the Basilica is only accessible to people who are taking a tour.
For time-conscious visitors, a skip the line Rome tour is by far the best option.
Why taking Colosseum and Vatican tours might not be so good
The main downside to taking a guided tour of the Vatican City and Colosseum, is that you may feel rushed. You'll be on the set schedule for the tour, and due to the very nature of a 3 or 4 hour tour, you can't possibly see everything.
If you have plenty of time, and want to see things at your own pace, it might not be your cup of tea.
Choosing which tour in Rome to take
This is actually a bigger problem than you might think! There are literally hundreds of tours in Rome, and sorting through all of them can literally cause you a headache.
Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you. Our selection of the best Vatican and Colosseum tours in Rome has been carefully curated based on variety, ratings, and the number of reviews. These are all available through our trusted partner Get Your Guide, who we use ourselves when booking tours when we travel.
Vatican and Colosseum Tours
These Vatican and Colosseum tours in Rome will help you skip the line, save time, and enjoy the highlights of Rome with a guide.
If you want to see Rome’s highlights with a tour guide, this is one of the best options.
The total duration of the tour is 6.5 hours, and it includes guided tours to the Vatican Museums and St’ Peter’s Basilica as well as the Colosseum. There will also be time to visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
Transportation is not included, so make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking.
This full-day minivan tour will cover all the highlights of Rome in one day. It is ideal if you have limited time and you need a knowledgeable guide to drive you to all the best places in Rome.
You will visit some of the most photographed spots in the city, such as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and Piazza Navona. You will also be taken to the Capitoline Hill, one of the hills surrounding Rome, offering great views of the city.
The highlights of this Rome itinerary have to be the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums, where you will have priority access.
Note that this tour doesn’t include a guided tour of the museums, so you can explore at your own pace
This guided tour is great if you want to learn more about the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica.
Available in six languages and at many different times throughout the day, it will definitely suit your itinerary in Rome. You will visit several of the most important galleries in the Vatican Museums, including the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, and your guide will explain more about the artworks.
You will also visit St Peter’s Basilica, and learn more about its architecture and the role of Vatican City in today’s world.
If you only want fast-track ticket options without a personalized guided tour, this is an option worth considering.
You can take this option either with or without an audio guide, and visit at your own pace. There are several available time slots daily, and on some Fridays it is possible to visit in the evening.
Note that this tour doesn’t include a ticket to St Peter's Basilica or access to St. Peter's Basilica's dome – while entrance to the Basilica is free of charge, whether you can enter or not will depend on the number of visitors at the time.
No, this is not a spelling mistake! During this three-hour tour, you can check out the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica as well as the Vatican Catacombs with the Papal Tombs.
Apart from the Sistine Chapel, you will visit some of the most important galleries in the Vatican Museums, such as the Rooms of Raphael and the Belvedere Courtyard. You will also visit both the main level and the catacombs at St Peter's Basilica.
Your tour guide will also offer information on the Vatican State, and the history of the magnificent buildings.
This early morning Vatican tour starts at 7.30 am, promising to help you enjoy Vatican City without the crowds.
As it is designed for small groups of max 12 people, you will have a personalized experience of the popular spots inside the Vatican City and St Peter’s Basilica. Complimentary breakfast of coffee and croissants is included
This small group tour led by a professional art historian guide helps you discover the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel after hours.
Including skip-the-line access, this tour will focus on some of the most famous artworks in the Vatican City.
These tours are only available on Fridays from April to October, when the Museums are open late (19.00 – 23.00). Note that St Peter’s Basilica is not included in this tour, as it closes at 18.30-19.00, but you can visit on your own before the tour.
If you want to explore the largest church in the world, this small group tour is a great opportunity.
You will visit St Peter’s Square at 8.15, before the crowds arrive, and you will then head to the dome, which is not included in most other tours. You will have the chance to admire the artwork in the majestic temple, and see the amazing views of Rome from the dome.
The tour includes a complete guided tour of the basilica, along with information on its most famous mosaics and sculptures. You will also have time to visit the crypts, where 91 popes have been buried.
If you are fascinated by historic cemeteries and tombs, this tour is ideal for you.
Your official Vatican guide will explain more about the Vatican City, the history of the Basilica and its artworks, and will offer a guided tour of the Vatican Necropolis, which is located right under the massive basilica. You will visit tombs and graves from the 1st century AD. According to some sources, St Peter himself is said to have been buried here.
This is a pretty unique and very popular tour, so advance booking is definitely recommended.
If you are in Rome on a Wednesday (outside July), attending a Papal Audience would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Even if you are not religious, you can learn a lot about the Vatican traditions and the Papacy. Your tour guide will explain several facts about the Papacy and the Vatican, and will help you pick the best spot, in order to see Pope Francis up close.
All in all, you will be able to appreciate the ceremony due to the new information you will have gathered. This fascinating event is likely to be one of your highlights in Rome.
This is one of the best options if you want a guided tour of the Colosseum, as it includes a visit to the Arena of this massive amphitheatre, as well as its network of restricted underground tunnels, not included in most other tours.
Your guide will bring this huge monument to life, offering information on activities held there in ancient times and explaining more about the gladiator fights and other events.
You will then proceed to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, where you will be offered additional information on life in ancient Rome.
While a guided tour of the Colosseum is definitely worth it, this option is ideal if you want to explore those three popular sites at your own pace.
The priority tickets are valid for two days, so you don’t need to rush around to see everything in one day. As this option is quite popular, and depending on the time of year you visit, there might still be a short wait to enter.
For something slightly different, that is also likely to appeal to difficult teenagers, you can opt for a Colosseum Virtual Reality tour.
With the help of 3D equipment and audio commentary, ancient Rome will come alive, complete with gladiators, lions, legionaries and slaves. You will then visit Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in your own time, benefiting from fast-track entrance.
This evening tour allows you to see ancient Rome under a different light.
You will first walk around the Campidoglio piazza, offering great views of the Roman Forum. You will then proceed to visit the Colosseum. After most of the crowds have left the ancient amphitheatre, you can enjoy the monument in peace, while listening to your guide’s description. #
You can also visit Colosseum’s massive Arena as well as its underground corridors and tunnels, which are inaccessible during most other tours.
While this tour doesn’t include a visit to the Vatican Museums or the Colosseum, it will present another side of Rome.
Based on Dan Brown’s book “The Illuminati”, this Rome tour will explain some of the riddles and puzzles contained in the popular book. You will walk around some of the most picturesque squares and hidden backstreets in Rome, and you will discover hidden paths known to few people.
This is also a great family activity, especially for teenagers who will be intrigued by the mystery.
Vatican and Colosseum tours in Rome
So there you have it! This list of popular tours in Rome is by no means complete, as there are literally hundreds of tours in Rome, but it will help you decide what you want to do in the Eternal City.
If you take one of these Vatican and Colosseum tours in Rome, or any other tour in Rome for that matter, let me know what you thought!
Readers planning to spend time in Rome often ask questions similar to:
Can you do the Colosseum and Vatican in one day?
You can just about see the Vatican and Colosseum in one day if you have skip-the-line tickets, but it will feel very rushed. It would be much better to allow a full day for the Vatican in order to better appreciate it.
How do I skip the line at the Vatican?
Experience the awe-inspiring Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel without waiting in long lines by buying skip-the-lines tickets with an audio guide. Book a group guided tour, or buy your ticket online from their official website to save time. Use any discount card you have obtained through travel deals as well!
Can you buy skip the line tickets at the Vatican?
If you're looking for a guided tour of the Vatican but don't want to fit it into your budget, consider purchasing an affordable skip-the-line ticket. This will allow you access without having to navigate through crowds and also get priority entry at museums!
Is Skip the Line Vatican worth it?
The Vatican is a popular tourist honeypot, with long lines that can seem like they're never-ending. Skip the hassle of waiting in line for hours on end by simply purchasing your tickets online.
Can you see the Vatican without a tour?
You can go sightseeing in the Vatican without a tour, ut you may spend a considerable amount of time waiting in queues to enter museums and rooms. This can be avoided with a skip the line ticket.
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Interesting Facts About The Vatican
If you're thinking to take a Vatican tour, you might be interested in some of these facts so you know before you go:
The Vatican is the official residence and principal headquarters of the pope, located in Vatican City on the west bank of the Tiber River within the Greater Rome metropolitan area
The Vatican is actually a relatively small country, measuring just 0.44 square kilometers (109 acres), making it the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world
The Vatican is home to some of the world's most famous artworks and museums, including the Sistine Chapel, which is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance art
Vatican City has its own radio station, television station, newspaper, and postal service
The Vatican's Swiss Guard is one of the oldest military units in continuous operation, having been founded in 1506
Vatican's library is one of the oldest and largest in the world, with over 82,000 codices (handwritten books) and 1.6 million printed books
The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research institutes in the world, and operates two telescopes, one in Arizona and one in Italy
Vatican City is the only country in Vatican City is the only country in the world with its own pharmacy, which sells medicines not available anywhere else
Vatican City is home to over 9,000 works of art, making it one of the largest private art collections in the world
The Vatican Museums receive over 6 million visitors each year, making it the 6th most visited tourist attraction in Vatican Museums receive over 6 million visitors each year, making it the 6th most visited tourist attraction in the world
Vatican City has its own railway station, but no trains actually enter or leave the country!
Vatican City has a heliport, which is used by the Pope when he needs to travel by helicopter
Interesting Facts About The Colosseum
Before you take the Colosseum tour, you might be interested to know a few facts about the famous amphitheatre:
The Colosseum is a massive stone amphitheatre built in Rome, Italy between 70 and 80 AD
The Colosseum could seat up to 80,000 people, and was used for public events such as gladiator fights, executions, re-enactments of
The Colosseum was built on the site of a former lake, which was filled in and leveled to make way for the massive structure
The Colosseum is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions, and receives over 6 million visitors each year
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Dave is a travel writer who's been blogging here are Dave's Travel Pages since 2005. In addition to writing this guide about the best Vatican tours, he's created hundreds of travel itineraries and blog posts about amazing destinations all over Europe.
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