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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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Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
$47.23 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great tour
I liked the small group. It was very informative and our guide, Val, was very knowledgeable and entertaining. It was fun and we learned so much! Great tour!
Diane_D, May 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
A visit to St Peter’s worth the view from the Dome
Julia_B, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
An excellent guide who kept us interested all throughout the wait to get in. We did not have long as visit was at 8.45 - well worth getting up early for. St Peter’s and the dome were fascinating but the grotto is not really interesting unless you enjoy seeing the very boring coffins of past popes. All very clean and not what you’d expect for a grotto. Otherwise a worthwhile visit.
star-5
Great tour
Emelyn_M, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Everything was great. The guide met the group on time, he was organized and he was very knowledgeable and easy to understand. Definitely recommend the tour. FYI, there is a security checkpoint line; there’s no getting around it but it moved rather quickly.
star-5
Worth it!
Brenley_B, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Our guide was great—very personable, interesting, and knowledgeable. The climb up is worth the view. So glad we did this tour!
star-5
Awesome!
Lorelei_S, May 2022
Early Morning St Peter’s Basilica Tour with Dome Climb
What a great experience with Alicia. Highly recommend! We learned so much about st peters square from the guide and the climb was the icing on the cake!
star-5
Seriously Impressive
daniel_t, May 2022
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
We have been to many European cities and seen many wonderful buildings but the Basilica is the by far the most impressive building we have ever seen! A guided tour is a "must do" as our guide Volodomyr done a great job of educating us on all the amazing history linked to the building. Daniel and Sarah
star-5
The Basilica is worth the line!
Lindsay_C, May 2022
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
The Basilica is unbelievably beautiful. It’s so ornate, and there is a ton of history inside. I would recommend it to anyone visiting Vatican City. Yes, the security line can be a little tedious. I waited about 35 min, but I’ve seen reviews where some waited for an hour to go in. I thought it was worth it, personally.
star-5
Outstanding Value- Highly Recommend
David_G, May 2022
Private tour of St. Peter's Basilica and Dome
This was an exceptional value! Our guide was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and very attentive to our questions and needs. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in appreciating St. Peter’s Basilica.
star-5
One of our best experiences in Rome
Cheryl_H, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Guide was great . She was very knowledgeable. Made our visit to the Basilica our favorite. Learned a lot about the actual building of the Basilica.
star-5
St Peter's Basilica and Dome Climb
Carolina_G, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Amazing tour guide, extremely knowledgeable. Gave us clear instructions and tips on how to make the best out of our Vatican visit!
star-5
Mind-blowing experience !
Yordanka_D, May 2022
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Mind-blowing experience ! Tour guide was very knowledgably and fun to listen to ! Very humbling experience to see this kind of beauty. Only thing I would say is that instructions are not quite clear to warn there are massive queues to get into the Basilica so although it asks of you to be there 15mins earlier, half hour would be more adequate.
star-5
Worth it!!!
Cheryl_S, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Our tour guide was wonderful!!! Very knowledgeable and helpful. Tour to top of dome is worth the climb if you’re able to do it.
star-5
Unforgettable views and experience
Sophia_S, Mar 2022
Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb and Tour with Papal Crypts
It is 100% worth the climb! A must do in Rome and specifically at the Vatican. The views are amazing both inside the Cathedral and of the city of Rome Our tour guide Monica was lovely and very resourceful answering all our questions. The first piece of the climb is by elevator. You may stay on the first stop, view the Basilica from the base of the dome and visit the outside rooftop. Moving up to the top of the dome , you will need to climb 350 steps through narrow corridors and a final spiral staircase. Excellent adventure with families, couples, or a group.

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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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Rome?
A:
As well as visiting the St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: