Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals
Media Center


Travel like a VIP: Seven unbelievable experiences with behind-the-scenes access

Craving for more than the average sightseeing experience? Look no further. You can now book experiences at some of the world’s most famous attractions on TripAdvisor, that will take you exclusively behind the scenes.

Be first to open the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Museums or enjoy a private dinner with a ballerina from St. Petersburg’s iconc Mariinsky Theatre. Soar past the Las Vegas strip in a fighter jet or explore Louis XIV’s private quarters in the Palace of Versailles that’s usually off-limits to the public. The key takeaway: anyone can enjoy the VIP lifestyle and ensure an unforgettable trip.

With over 121,000 bookable tours and activities around the world, TripAdvisor Experiences is a one-stop destination for planning all of your travel activities—from traditional sightseeing to food tours, day trips and unique, local experiences.

Seven Unbelievable Experiences at World-Famous Attractions with Behind-the-Scenes Access

Quotes below are excerpts from TripAdvisor reviewers

Palace of Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters, Versailles, France

This small-group tour of the Palace of Versailles gives travellers an exclusive peek into the ways the French royals once lived, with a private visit to the Royal Quarters. These rooms are typically off-limits to the public, but with this exclusive VIP tour travellers will see Louis XVI's private library and enter the palace through a reserved door and bypass the queue. Additionally, travellers on this tour will get to explore the famous Hall of Mirrors and two of the State Apartments when Versailles first opens, before the crowds set in.

Traveller review: “If you want to see the best of Versailles, then this is the way to go!” a TripAdvisor reviewer raves. “We got to access rooms and halls that are not open to other visitors and we had the Hall of Mirrors to ourselves.”

Details on the experience:

  • Small-group tour (maximum 16 people)
  • Breakfast at restaurant ORE by Alain Ducasse
  • Priority entrance ticket to the Palace of Versailles
  • Access to the private Royal Quarters
  • Professional guide
  • Cost: from £226, per person

Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open, Rome, Italy

Experience the Vatican in quiet solitude, before sunrise, and before it opens to the public with this VIP small-group tour. The tour allows a small number of travellers to join the ‘Clavigero’, the Vatican key holder, as he unlocks the doors to the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s rooms, the Galleries, and more, hours before these iconic sites open to the public. Your guide will also provide commentary inside the Sistine Chapel—a rare perk as talking is usually prohibited.

Traveller review: “Being in such a sacred and well known place early in the morning was so cool,” raved a TripAdvisor reviewer. “We opened door after door, taking turns to use one of the 3,000 keys. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I can’t say enough how worth it was.”

Details on the experience:

  • Tour is led by an English-speaking guide
  • Guided visit in the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public
  • Entrance ticket to the Vatican Museums before it opens to the public
  • Small groups of 20 people or less
  • Buffet breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard
  • Cost: from £284, per person

Eiffel Tower 4-Course Dinner with Champagne, Trocadero View Seating, Paris, France

Travellers are in for an unforgettable night out with this VIP experience in Paris and a guaranteed seat at one of the best tables in the city! Skip the long queues at the Eiffel Tower, and zip right up to the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant on the newly renovated first floor. Travellers can then settle in at a highly coveted table next to expansive bay windows for unbeatable views of the City of Lights across the Trocadero and other world-famous Parisian landmarks. To top it all off, travellers will savour a sumptuous 4-course meal of fine French cuisine from a customised menu, paired with a half bottle of Champagne or wine – a truly VIP experience!

Traveller review: “The food and wine were absolutely delicious!” a TripAdvisor reviewer exclaimed. “Our seat and view were fantastic. This is certainly a once in a lifetime experience!”

Details on the experience:

  • Skip-the-line Eiffel Tower ticket (first floor observation deck)
  • 4-course dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant
  • 1/2 bottle of pink Champagne Demoiselle (possibility to be substituted by wine or Brut Champagne)
  • 1 photo of the party and a customised menu with the name of the guest
  • Cost: from £207, per person

 Fighter Pilot Experience in Las Vegas, Las Vegas, USA

This adrenaline-rushing thrill ride over Las Vegas and the surrounding area lets travellers play the role of a fighter pilot. Following a personal meet and greet with a professional fighter pilot, experience-goers will climb into an Extra 330LC aircraft with the pilot and soar low over the mountains and valleys of the Mojave Desert, with great views of the surrounding landscape, including the Las Vegas strip. This VIP experience is not for the faint hearted!  Travellers can expect to fly at thrilling speeds of up to 250 miles per hour, then experience some aerobatic manoeuvres followed by a military-style landing to end this exciting aerial adventure.

Traveller review: “This was a once in a lifetime amazing experience, “said a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Details on experience:

  • 15-minute flight in an Extra 330LC (if option has been selected)
  • Professional instructor/pilot to accompany you on the flight
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Cost: from £173, per person

Inner Circle Access of Stonehenge including Bath and Lacock Day Tour from London, London, United Kingdom

Only a few lucky travellers will have exclusive access to the Inner Circle at Stonehenge on this small-group day trip from London. With options for an early morning visit or a late evening tour, experiences-goers will have Stonehenge and its Inner Circle—usually roped-off to the public—all to themselves to explore. Travellers can explore the UNESCO-listed site while a guide share facts and mysteries about it. This day trip also includes visits to the medieval village of Lacock and Bath, including the Bath Abbey and Roman Baths. There’s also another option for travellers that want to pair the experience with visits to Windsor and Oxford.  Travellers should book early to avoid disappointment since these experiences are regular sell-outs!

Traveller review: “The star of this tour is the private viewing of Stonehenge with the amazing opportunity to stroll through the inner circle of stones at sunset,” commented one TripAdvisor reviewer. “It was awe inspiring and well worth it for this once in a lifetime experience.”

Details on experience:

  • Transport by air-conditioned coach
  • Professional guide to take you round the inner circle
  • Entrance fee
  • Bath walking tour (if morning option selected)
  • Cost: from £139, per person

Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise with Private Boat and Engine Room Tour, New Orleans, USA

Travellers can step up the luxury of this Steamboat Natchez excursion with this VIP dinner cruise. The experience begins with a complimentary Champagne cocktail before your host – or even the Captain!—takes travellers on an insider tour of the vessel to see all the workings of the ship, including the engine room and enormous paddlewheel. Following a tour of the ship, travellers can settle in at their reserved table and indulge in a delicious buffet, while enjoying a live jazz performance from Grammy-nominated, Dukes of Dixieland. For travellers that want to go all out, an open-bar option is available.

Traveller review: “Don't miss this one!” a TripAdvisor reviewer advises. “We paid the extra for the VIP trip - it was so worth it and made it even more special.”

Details on experience:

  • 2-hour paddle-wheel boat cruise
  • Dinner
  • Live jazz entertainment from Grammy nominated Dukes of Dixieland
  • Cost: from £117, per person

Mariinsky Theatre Ballet and Russian Dinner with a Ballet Dancer, St. Petersburg, Russia

For travellers bursting with questions for a professional ballet dancer – this Viator Exclusive experience is your chance! On this experience, travellers will take in a spectacular performance of Russian ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg’s preeminent performance venue. Following the performance, experience-goers will settle in for a gourmet two-course Russian dinner, with wine, and have the chance to speak with a Mariinsky Ballet Dancer, via a private translator, for 30 minutes.


Details on the experience:

  • Mariinsky Ballet tickets with best strict view to the stage
  • 25-30 minutes talk with the Mariinsky ballet dancer
  • 2-course dinner with wine
  • English-Russian translation is provided during the meeting; other languages are available on request
  • Round-trip private transfer (hotel pick-up and drop-off)
  • Cost: from £326, per person in groups of 4

Prices may vary due to seasonality and availability.