GetYourGuide offers travelers the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to unlock the doors to the Vatican Museums, explore secret rooms with the Head Key Keeper

  • GetYourGuide introduces new exclusive highlight tour, “Turning the lights on at the Vatican Museums,” to unlock the doors of the Vatican Museums before the daily arrival of 25,000 tourists and experience the unforgettable moment when the lights are turned on in the Sistine Chapel
  • Head Key Keeper, Gianni Crea, who has held the keys of the Vatican Museums for the past 25 years, to lead small group tours through the Vatican’s historic rooms, and entertain travelers with insights and anecdotes from his years of working in the Vatican not found in any guidebook
  • Travelers to gain access to areas of the Vatican Museums that are not typically open to visitors, including the original Bramante Staircase, among many others
  • Starting May 30, 2022, a limited number of tickets will be available through GetYourGuide's website free of cost


GetYourGuide, the online booking platform for unforgettable travel experiences, announced today the launch of an exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums, titled “Turning the lights on at the Vatican Museums,” available for a limited time only. In partnership with the Vatican Museums, GetYourGuide will offer visitors the extraordinary opportunity to open the doors to the Vatican Museums before dawn with the Head Key Keeper who has held all the keys to the Vatican Museums for the past 25 years. Among the most memorable moments travelers can expect is the chance to turn on the lights of the Sistine Chapel, and enjoy one of history’s most important rooms all to themselves before the crowds arrive.


The limited tour features the following:

  • Exclusive access in a small group to the Vatican Museum’s most famous rooms, as well as those otherwise closed to the public including the original Bramante spiral staircase built in the early 16th century, the terrace of the Pine Cone courtyard, and areas surrounding the Laocoön sculpture
  • The chance to listen to the Head Key Keeper’s rare anecdotes since working at the museums during the guided tour of the historic space, which can’t be found in any guidebook. Additionally, travelers can expect untold stories about the Laocoön sculpture, the moonstone fragments preserved in the museum and the ancient rituals of the papal conclave
  • The experience also provides access to many world-famous works of art and exciting information about the history of the buildings within the Vatican Museums


The Vatican experience stands out from the extensive portfolio of experience provider GetYourGuide with over 64,000 tours in approximately 170 countries worldwide and offers travelers an in-depth and extraordinary insight into the smallest state in the world. Starting on Monday, May 30, 2022, eight to ten tickets will become available to book the experience for free through GetYourGuide's website. Additional tickets will become available once every month starting in June through October 2022, and travelers will be able to select among the available tour dates, which include June 14, July 12, September 14, and October 19. Tickets will be given on a first come, first serve basis.

For those who are not among the eight to ten people each month who obtain tickets to the exclusive tour, GetYourGuide offers many other activities around the Vatican and Rome that invite you to immerse yourself in the culture of the two destinations. GetYourGuide’s ‘Skip the Line’ tickets allow travelers to avoid long lines at popular sites and book many other unique experiences hosted by local experts. These include both private and small group tours such as the following:

  • Aperitivo with a local in Rome, 3-hour experience from approx. 187 USD p.p.
  • Streetfood tour with local guide through Rome from approx. 44 USD p.p.
  • Vatican and lunch at the Pope's summer residence from approx. 89 USD p.p.
  • Guided tour of the Borghese Gallery and its gardens from approx. 41 USD p.p.
  • Pizza workshop: baking real Italian pizza from approx. 58 USD p.p.
  • St. Peter's Basilica tour with dome climb from approx. 20 USD p.p.

Downloading the GetYourGuide app is an easy way to book experiences on the spot, such as ‘Skip the Line’ tickets while in long queues. If plans change at short notice, booking through the GetYourGuide app allows tickets to be canceled free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of the activity.


About GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is the booking platform for unforgettable travel experiences. Travelers use GetYourGuide to discover the best things to do in a destination — including walking tours by top local experts, local culinary tours, cooking and craft classes, skip-the-line tickets to the world’s most iconic attractions, bucket-list experiences and niche offerings you won’t find anywhere else. Since its founding in 2009, travelers from over 190 countries have booked more than 58 million tours, activities and attraction tickets through GetYourGuide. Powered by a global team of over 550 travel experts and technologists, the company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and has offices in 15 countries around the world.

Press Contact

"Among the tours we offer through the Vatican, this experience guided by the Head Key Keeper is one of the most exceptional experiences we have offered, where travelers will get a rare glimpse into the culture and historic areas of the Vatican, promoting the joy of discovery.

In Rome, tens of thousands of tourists visit the Vatican Museums every day. With our exclusive and free tour with the Head Key Keeper, we enable a small private group of travelers to have an unforgettable visit to the Vatican, and gain an experience that is not frequently available to the public. With GetYourGuide's support, the Vatican Museums will also make a major investment in heritage conservation and restoration, protecting this remarkable landmark."

Kayla Medina
Jean-Gabriel Duveau
Vice President Brand & Partnerships of GetYourGuide
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