Viator Tours vs. Vatican Tour?

Hi, Just wondering how the tours compare when purchased through viator vs. direct from the Vatican. I'm interested in getting the three hour tour that includes St. Peter's, Vatican Museums, Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. They are comparable in price just wondering if one is better than the other.
Thanks.

Posted by Nadine
Austin, TX, USA
492 posts

Viator is more of a tour seller rather than an actual tour company. The company that they use for your specific tour is the one you would really want to compare to the Vatican tours, that may be hard to find out. Even then, it really comes down to the guide themselves. We've had some great guides and some so-so guides and one really awful guide once and the quality of the guide can affect your overall experience. Having said that, either one would probably be fine.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10881 posts

It is always difficult to say if one tour is better than others because few travelers will have taken both. Second, the tour is very dependent on the tour guide and that is a random choice. Hiring a private guide is your best assurance of getting what you want. Using any tour group has a certain amount of pot luck. However, we used Angel Tours and were very please with our young guide. And we would be willing to use them again in the future for other tours. As someone else posted Viator is more of a tour broker. So to ask your question directly, I would go with the tour directly from the Vatican.

Posted by Sara
Marquette
11 posts

Thanks. I will take everyone's input into consideration. I appreciate your help.

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2400 posts

The vatican tour that includes the basilica is only given on certain days and tends to sell out very quickly.

Viator is a re-seller of tours. they work with many different tour companies so you may get a great one or you may get a sub-standard one. It's the luck of the draw.

I personally would try to book directly with the vatican. I think you'll not find many people who have done both the vatican sponsored tour and a private company tour. I have done the tours offered by the vatican several times with different family and friends. All my experiences with them have been wonderful. The only tour I have yet to take is the garden tour, but it doesn't really interest me and I've heard mixed reviews on it. My advice would be to check this and other websites like TA or Virtualtourist for reviews on Viator. This will give you a better idea of what you're looking at.

Donna

Posted by Peggy
Baltimore, Md., USA
33 posts

Hi, again. I did alot of research on this and have decided to not book a tour. But I will share what I found out. The Vatican Tours last for only 2 hours, I think, and they tend to be larger groups- at least, this is what I surmised from reading other posts, etc. The advantage is that they end inside the Chapel which means that you do not have to exit to end the tour- you can wander around some more inside the museum. The other tours end outside so if you want to wander, you have to skip the end of the tour. The Viator or Dark Rome tour is 3 hours and you can book a semi-P for 8:00 AM. That is the one I was going to do but it does not go to the Pinocoteca, which I would like to see. Viator is a seller and uses other tour companies. For that semi-P at 8, they use Dark Rome, I am sure, because the description is identical. Also, on Trip Advisor they recommend to not book a tour that includes transportation because you lose time. Can get your own taxi and meet the tour at the site. All this from me- who has never been there! I will try to post a comment for you after I return. If you send me a private message, I can send you my email address so that you can remind me to write to you. We are with a group of friends and will just decide to wing it with the Steve's guide or perhaps grab a private guide when we arrive and tell him'her where we wish to go. I tried to get the lady that everyone raves about (Francesca?) but she was booked. Good luck to you!

Posted by Peggy
Baltimore, Md., USA
33 posts

It's me, again. Dark Rome is also the same as myvaticantour.com

Posted by Karen
Miami Shores, FL, USA
48 posts

We just got back and I had booked a tour of the Vatican with Federica d'Oreo (don't have her name exactly correct or contact info, but I can post it later if you're interested) She was not cheap 45 euros/hour, for 3 hours. It was just my husband and I but she does groups of all sizes so the cost could be shared if you have more people. However, we felt she was totally worth it! She tailors it to your style and you aren't herded along with "the herds" which we encountered the whole time we were there. (no offense to the larger group tours, that just wouldn't have been as enjoyable, for us)Shes knowledgeable and personable and you feel like you've had a personal tour, and 3 hours was just right for us.

Posted by Sara
Marquette
11 posts

Thanks everyone. We ended up going with the myvaticantour/dark rome semi private tour. Hope it's worth it. We think it was the right fit for us.