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Friday Night Vatican Small Group Tour

Have you ever wondered what the Vatican looks like at night? Well, wonder no more. This tour allows you to explore the best of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in the evening, all while avoiding the crowds and mid-day sun.

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guided tour
skip the line
2 hours
This tour route is NOT barrier-free


Adult: 60€
Student: 50€
Under the age of 26, in possession of a valid Student ID
Child: 40€
From the age of 6 - 17, with a valid ID that demonstrates their age
Children under the age of 6 are FREE

Tour Description

Friday Night Vatican Group Tour

Have you ever wondered what the Vatican looks like at night? Well, wonder no more. This tour allows you to explore the best of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in the evening, all while avoiding the crowds and mid-day sun. 

The Vatican Museums

In recent years the Vatican has begun opening its doors on Friday evenings, allowing the opportunity to the explore the Pope’s museums after sun down. Even for those who have visited the Vatican before, there is something special about exploring its courtyards and collection under a starlit sky. In order to preserve the artworks, the Vatican normally keeps the gallery lighting quite dim, but on these rare nights you get to see these pieces illuminated as never before. Secondly, the museums tend to be less crowded after dark and, finally, temperatures are much more comfortable after hours. Explore the multitude of works, appreciate the details and revel in the history of this fascinating destination.

Raphael Rooms

If you’ve studied art or philosophy, you are probably familiar with Raphael’s “School of Athens”, but did you know that it resides within the Vatican Museums? This groundbreaking work is but one wall in a series of 4 rooms that were painted by Raphael and his school, around the same time Michelangelo was working on the Sistine Chapel. Venture inside this intriguing part of the Vatican that was once the reception area of Julius II, learn about the specific use of each room and find out how they became stables during the sack of Rome in 1527. 

Sistine Chapel 

Housing not one but two massive works by Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel is certainly a must see for anyone visiting the Vatican. Your guide will cover every detail of this exquisitely decorated bethel. Learn how Pope Sixtus IV had the chapel redesigned, renovated and turned into his own private sanctuary. Hear how he sought out the best artists of the time to decorate it, only to be outdone by his nephew Pope Julius II a few years later. Find out about Michelangelo’s strained relationship with the latter, why he fled to Florence halfway through painting the ceiling, and how he got his own revenge on the Pope. 

(Please note: admission to the Basilica is not allowed in the evening)

Availability:  Every Friday at 7pm (from April to October)

Duration: 2 hours

Meeting point: Via Germanico n.16 (closest metro stop “Ottaviano”, Line A)


  • Octagonal Courtyard
  • Gallery of the Muses
  • Round Room
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Sobieski Room
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Collection of Modern Religious Art
  • The Sistine Chapel
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What's Included

  • Guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
  • Late Access, Skip-the-line admission and entrance to the Vatican Museums
  • Live tour commentary via audio headset
  • Expert tour guide
  • Headsets (from 6 people)


  • Special access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, out of standard opening hours
  • Skip-the-line access and admission ticket
  • Chance to witness Michelangelo’s fresco masterpiece inside the Sistine Chapel
  • First hand accounts at world-renowned artwork from Raphael
  • Insider knowledge from your expert guide, as you walk through the Vatican
  • Remarkable views of the Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica lit up at night

Available Languages

  • English
  • Italian
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Private tour option available in English, Spanish, German, French and Russian. For more Information or/ and inquiries please contact us at 


"Vatican Museum Tour"

We made our way towards the Vatican museum ticket office and luckily bumped into a very nice Spanish guy who suggested this company. Maya tours were absolutely brilliant. Our tour guide was Lebanese and was very knowledgable and funny. He made sure all the 20 people in our tour got the best out of the visit and his explanation of the history behind how the Vatican came to be and Michael Angelo’s Sistine chapel made us appreciate what we were looking at so much more than if we had just bought a ticket. The tour lasted about two and a half hours. Definately recommend this company.

gbugs67, Gen 2017

"Worth every cent for Vatican Tour"

Our family of eight visited the Vatican during late December. The lines were hours long and we decided to join a Maya Tour. It was worth the cost in every way: we skipped the horrific lines and learned a great deal from our guide Deborah. The headsets allowed us to hear Deborah while looking somewhat independently during the tour. The tour group was huge — at least fifty, but Deborah was knowledgable and kept the tour interesting and snappy to young and old alike for several hours. Comments directed at a family accused of being gypsy pickpockets were a shock and the accuracy of the accusations is unknown. You might say this set the tone for theft and taking whatever one pleased as we learned about the history of the Vatican. Watch your pockets, indeed!

smbAlbany_NY, Dec 2017

"Excellent tour of the Collosseum, Palatino and Roman Forum "

We started under a “meteorological bomb” aka lots of rain, but our guide Diego, had so much information and was so full of energy that we stick to it and did not regret it. Booking a tour is 100% worth it as you skipped all the lines, you are given a headphones and can hear the guide perfectly , even if you fall a bit behind or look at other things while listening.
I am 100% convinced that we got much more with being with a guide _ as an historian I usually do the reading myself and/or take the audio guide, but this skipping the line make the extra $ worth.

lefaucheu, May 2017

"Best guided tour that i ever had!"

In a few words, we had the luck to find a guide very passionate about his job. A person with tons of information about cultures, religion, history and arts. His name is Ribal Abighanem. He explained, in detail, every single piece of art or history that we’ve meet along the Vatican tour. It was really a celebration of culture!

Daniel C, May 2017

"Best idea!!"

Thanks to Gabriel our tour guide we had an amazing experience at the Vatican! Was so helpful, kind with a very good English. Thank you Mayan Tours for this opportunity!!

anahí C, Dec 2017