St Peter's Basilica Tour at Sunrise

St Peter’s Basilica Tour at Sunrise – Best Observation Deck in Vatican

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During this magical morning tour you will have a unique opportunity to see the Eternal City from its two best observation decks – the Castle of St. Angel and the dome of St. Peter in Vatican.

The Vatican is one of the smallest and most closed governments in the world and its secrets we will explore together. As well as during Rome sightseeing tour at sunrise, our meeting will take place in the early morning at 6:30 am, which is the opening time for visits of square of St. Peter’s Cathedral.

You will not have to wait in queue for 1-3 hours during the heat as other tourists do. We will go inside the cathedral after no more than 5-10 minutes

As best time to visit St Peter’s Basilica is 7 a.m, the first hour will be dedicated to the review of the square –  the colonnade of Bernini, the facade of the cathedral, stroll through the largest Christian temple in the world, in which are located:

  1. Pieta – sculpture, created by the great Michelangelo when he was only 24 years old, one of his most famous works;
  2. Impressive tombs of Roman popes;
  3. The incredibly beautiful Altar and sculptures of Bernini’s work

Also you will learn:

  1. Who lives in the Vatican now and how to get the passport
  2. Interesting facts about the Vatican Museums
  3. Who are Swiss Guards, their daily routine, feats and wages
  4. The most interesting facts collected by our team from dozens of sources
  5. Where does the Pope live and eat?
  6. Why the Vatican is the outskirts of the city and what was there 2000 years ago

In the second half of the private tour we will get to the highest point of Rome – the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral. You will have to overcome only 320 steps to reach the height of 136 meters with the most classic and best view of Rome. You will see the shortest railway in the world, the papal residence, and the main sights from a bird’s-eye view.

Attention: The tour is contraindicated for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases

After going down from the dome you will have a unique opportunity to send a postcard from the Vatican post to friends, parents or yourself. In the 21st century, we have an era of social networks and information technology, so traditional signs of attention are gaining increasing value. Imagine that in your mailbox will come “greetings from the Vatican” with the stamp of the smallest and most influential state in the world. My friends and relatives always appreciate more letters that are not texted on the phone screen but written by hand.

Tip: Think in advance to whom you want to send such an unusual surprise and find out their postal addresses

1st option: we are going to visit the biggest and the most ancient castle of Rome – the Castle of St. Angel (Castel Sant’Angelo).

We will find out how the prison was organized in the Middle Ages and how prisoners got there. For example, even some popes were famous prisoners of the Castle of St. Angel. Moreover, from the observation deck of the castle you will enjoy a unique and very beautiful view of the Vatican.

In this case, the tour will end at the noon on the Rome’s bridge of Angels.

2nd option: since it’s almost lunch time, we can go to the author’s tour DIVING INTO TRASTEVERE. We will go up to the observation deck on the Janiculum hill and see the fountain of Acqua Paola, hidden from most tourists, great-grandfather of the famous Trevi fountain. Later, by 1 pm, we’ll go down together to my favorite area of Rome for lunch in the best Roman pizzeria. At about 2 pm, you can safely return to the hotel for a midday dream.


Useful information

  • When we can have this tour: any date when the tour guide is available, except Wednesday and Sunday, when the Vatican is closed during the morning time for papal audiences. This is one of the most popular tour options that we have, better book a date in 2-3 weeks in advance
  • Beginning time: 06.30 am – best time to visit basilica.
  • Meeting point: ancient Egyptian obelisk in the middle of St. Peter’s square
  • Duration o the tour: 3.5-4 hours or around 5 hours with  the visit to the Castle of Saint Angel
  • Price for a group of up to 3 participants: 250 euro. You will have to buy separately tickets to the dome – 10 euro per person. You don`t need tickets to visit St Peter’s Basilica – it is free.
  • 1st option (Castle of St. Angel): +75 euro and the ticket to the castle which costs 14 euro per person
  • 2nd option (Trastevere tour): +175 euro, any pizza you choose and 0.5l of house wine are included in the price as a present from
  • Maximum number of participants: 6 people, for 4th, 5th, and 6th participant an additional payment is 25 euro per person regardless the duration of the tour. This is an individual tour to the Vatican, so there will be only your group without other tourists
  • Dress code: to visit the Cathedral of St. Peter, you need to cover your shoulders and legs up to the knee
  • Attention: visit to the museums of the Vatican is not included in this tour, but you can order a special tour to the Vatican museums after 1 pm with the licensed guide/art historian, preferably on a different day

Another option is to book a tour WHOLE VATICAN IN 6 HOURS, which we recommend if you are interested to see everything in a time-savvy way.

  • Photo: it is allowed to take photos inside the cathedral without the sound and flash
  • Advise: do not drink too much alcohol in the evening before the tour
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Author: Kate Zusmann

For the last 6 years I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is to share my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)

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