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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)

star-5
1,208 Reviews
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
$32.22 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent tour, wrong meeting point information
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.
Patrick, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

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
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.
star-5
Amazing, engaging
Jacky_S, Aug 2021
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
This experience was amazing from start to finish. My boyfriend and I purchased tickets for a certain time (4:30 pm) not realizing that there would quite a process before getting into the basilica to meet our tour guide. We ended arriving at the stand at 5 pm and the staff was extremely patient and understanding. I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to do the tour, but they accommodated us and we’re very kind. Our tour guide, Carmela, was a talented storyteller. You could really tell she loves sharing about the history of the basilica with guests, and her passion made the experience all the more engaging. We were so engaged that we wished we had booked a longer tour by the end of it! 10/10 recommend
star-5
Very good
Kay, Aug 2020
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
It is recommende. Very informative and interesting. Everything did well, on time and tourleader was very friendly
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-5
Realising that the beautiful alter paintings were in fact mosaics and the sheer scale and beauty of St Peters
Jackie_B, Jul 2020
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
We were met at the entrance by a charming representative. All arrival instructions were clear and easy to follow. We were taken to our guide Paola who was charming, enthusiastic and passionate about her subject. I would highly recommend this tour
star-5
Awesome!
Meghan_B, Mar 2020
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Sylvia was our tour guide and she was just amazing! She knew everything and answered all my questions. Very pleased with our experience. She made us very happy we got a guide to walk through the basilica— we thought it might be an unnecessary extravagance. Totally worth it.
star-5
Excellent
monishabhikhi, Feb 2020
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Forgot the guide name, she was very good and explained everthing in detailed. Happy to choose your service
star-5
Amazing
jessicapatt1985, Oct 2019
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Jed was great. Super informative and funny! Highly recommend the early tour. Rooms were open and didn’t feel like packed sardines
star-4
Organised Chaos
Graeme F, Oct 2019
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Disorganised check-in,but otherwise worthwhile to have been able to skip the line and get in to St Peters. Guiding good in the midst of the crush
star-4
Amazing St Peter's
christinelorkin, Sep 2019
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
This was one of the highlights of our holiday. The only negative was trying to find the guide at the start of the tour. With thousands of people around this was not easy. We were late when we eventually found someone. From there the tour ran smoothly. Our tour guide in the Basilica was bery informative.
star-5
St.Peter’s with a senior citizen
N2327TKangelam, Sep 2019
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
We toured the Basilica with my 82 year old aunt, which we anticipated to be a challenge. Julia was a wonderful guide... easy to follow, relaxed and very knowledgeable. At times, she hesitated translating her presentation to English, but she was very conscientious. The tour brought the Basilica to life for our first-time visitors.

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


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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