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St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)
St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)

St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)

Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Italy

The Basics

St. Peter’s Dome is one of the most popular sights in Rome, so booking a skip-the-line St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) tour is essential to avoid waiting in long lines, especially in the busy summer months. Tours of the dome and basilica are also included in most Vatican tours, which typically include access to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican gardens. The entrance to the dome is at the portico of the basilica, and views are both internal over the basilica’s main altar and external over the city of Rome.

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St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
star-4.5
$31.13 per adult
Traveler Favorite
It is absolutely...
It is absolutely necessary to visit the basilica with a guide, we spent an unforgettable hour with our excellent guide Carmella and the small group of 10 people. I’ll certainly will recommend this visit, good value for money.
Elena_V, Nov 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Vatican St petter Basilia
Gioconda_G, Oct 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Amazing experience and espectacular place to visit. I will highly recommend this tour!! Beautiful country
star-5
Fabulous, helpful guide!
Angela_A, Oct 2021
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Sarah was knowledgeable, anxious to answer all questions, so pleasant and thoughtful! I have been in St. Peter's Basilica before- with a great guide it was so much more enjoyable. The dome ascent was doable (I'm 70) and the view worth it. The afternoon ran a little later so stayed for Mass at 17:00. So gratifying and special!
star-5
St. Peters Basillica
Julie_P, Oct 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Amazing tour! The history behind all the art, the structures, the altar. Viator is has the best service and tours!
star-5
Tom was a great tour...
Deirdre_O, Sep 2021
Skip-the-Line Vatican Sistine Chapel St Peter Basilica & Dome climb Private Tour
Tom was a great tour guide. Perhaps mention in directions that your guide will be holding up your surname at the meeting point. That would be helpful.
star-5
Unforgetable view from high above
Yvonne_R, Aug 2021
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
St. Peters Basilika, the view from high above, interesting explanation from our guide; very kind guide Fabio
star-5
St Peter’s Basilica
Anne_M, Oct 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Dora our English speaking guide led us around the Basilica. She was extremely knowledgeable and very informative. Very worthwhile tour.
star-5
Spend the day
Susan_K, Oct 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Just plan on a whole day… Get the earliest Tori you can and stay until lunch. Go out for lunch and then go to the museums. Or, start at the museums and come back to the Basilica in the afternoon.
star-5
Vatican, Sistine Chapel and dome climb
Global530005, Jul 2019
Skip-the-Line Vatican Sistine Chapel St Peter Basilica & Dome climb Private Tour
This was a fantastic private tour. Francesco was a brilliant guide. He was engaging, interesting and entertaining. Keeping 3 teenagers captivated was a great skill!! We will not forget talking football on the dome climb which meant we hardly noticed the 300 or so steps to the top. He helped make it a truly unforgettable experience and can’t recommend it highly enough. Thank you Francesco.
star-5
Franco and tour are amazing
Sarah_M, Sep 2020
Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb and Tour with Papal Crypts
I booked this tour for myself and my other half. The tour says for up to 16 guests but I think due to the end of the pandemic it ended up being just the two of us and our guide Franco. We can not rate Franco high enough, he was friendly, knowledgable and very charismatic. You could tell he knows his stuff and was constantly giving great English references to help us understand the history of the Basillica. We both agree that he made the tour super fun and interesting too. The dome climb is SO worth the amount of steps, the views are great and Franco explained to us clearly what was to be expected from every different set of stairs along the way. We would 100% recommend this tour and want to give special thanks to Franco for being so amazing and making our trip to Rome unforgettable! Don’t hesitate to book this for friends and loved ones.
star-4
Good tour.
Diane_G, Sep 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
We have used Viator many times and have memorable experiences. For this tour The group size was larger than advertised which really didn’t make a difference. Unfortunately the directions for meeting the guide were not corrected. After waiting at the meeting point for awhile, I called the contact number and was directed to the correct location. The tour itself was very good.
star-5
Excellent tour, wrong meeting point information
Patrick, Jul 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Excellent tour. Very friendly and knowledgeable guide with superb language skills. Only downside: The information about the meeting point was incorrect. This is unnecessary aand should be improved. All in all an excellent cultural experience well worth the money.
star-5
It was family-friendly
Jill_G, Jun 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
The tour inside the Basilica was very code-specific and tricky as the Basilica is a very sacred place. Kids have to be tamed so as not to disturb others doing a very spiritual visit. Our Vatican-based tour guide was very considerate of us tagging our 7 and 10 year old kids with us. The tour highlighted information that was never available if you do the tour on your own.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • You must pass through a security check to access the dome—banned items include pocketknives, corkscrews, and umbrellas.

  • The dress code in the basilica and dome requires that shoulders and knees are covered.

  • The dome is partially accessible to wheelchair users. There is an elevator to the roof level (or you can climb the 320 steps), but only a spiral staircase provides access to the cupola at the highest point of the dome (another 200 steps).

  • Views are dizzying from the top of St. Peter’s Dome, so visiting the top is not recommended for anyone afraid of heights.

  • Kids especially enjoy the invigorating climb and views, so consider joining a small-group tour tailored to families if traveling with children.

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How to Get There

St. Peter’s Basilica is located on St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) in Vatican City. The closest metro station is Ottaviano.

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Trip ideas

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When to Get There

The dome is open to the public daily. Early morning is the best time to visit, both to beat the crowds and to catch the optimal light for photographing the view.

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St. Peter’s Dome History

Like Rome, St. Peter’s Dome wasn’t built in a day. Work began on the basilica in 1506, initially overseen by Roman architect Donato Bramante and later passed on to successors such as Raphael and Bernini. Yet it was Michelangelo who took on the task of completing the dome, proposing a design based on those of previous architects. After his death, his assistants continued the work and, in the end, it was Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana, under the appointment of Pope Sixtus V, who saw the completion of the dome in 1590.

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