If there is one thing not to be missed on a trip to Florence, it is a visit to the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. Known locally as the Duomo, it is one of the largest Christian temples in the world. There are different options to visit the Florence Cathedral, so I will summarize the best ones for you to choose the one that suits your trip and your budget:
Take a guided tour of the Duomo of Florence and climb the Dome at the best price
The best option para conocer a fondo la Catedral de Florencia, recorrerla por dentro y comprender sus obras de arte y además subir a la Cúpula. Te saltarás las largas filas de acceso con estas entradas.
When you approach the imposing cathedral and see the queues that form at the door, you will be infinitely glad you took this guided tour in English with entrance to the dome in advance. With this option, you will skip the long lines to climb the dome of the Florence Cathedral and to enter it.
In addition, entrance to the Baptistery and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is also included, making it a great option for the most complete visit to all the interesting elements of the square.
What is included in this tour
- English-speaking guide to tour the dome for 1 hour and the Cathedral for the remaining time
- Skip-the-line entrance to the Cathedral and the dome
- Access (not skip-the-line) to the Baptistery and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
Take a guided tour of the Duomo, its dome and the monuments of Piazza del Duomo.
Florence's Duomo is spectacular, but so are the Battisterio, the Campanile and Brunelleschi's Dome, as well as the Opera Museum. Visit it all on a guided tour.
For an even more complete and personalized experience, (albeit at a higher price), you can take a guided tour with skip-the-line access to the Cathedral and its dome, the Baptistery and the Museo dell'Opera. In addition, this tour will be conducted in groups of maximum 20 people.
What is included in this tour
- Professional Art History expert guide
- Fast track entrance and guided tour of the Florence Duomo
- Fast track entrance and guided tour of the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
- Fast track entrance and guided tour of the Battistero di San Giovanni
- Fast track entrance to the Brunelleschi Dome
- Fast track entrance to the Campanile di Giotto, which you can climb on your own within 72 hours of your tour
The Duomo of Florence is open every day of the week, but with different opening hours:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
- Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:45 pm.
- Sunday and holidays from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm.
How to get to the Florence Cathedral
Located in the historic center of Florence, in Piazza del Duomo, you can reach the Florence Cathedral on foot if your hotel is in the center. Otherwise, you can always reach it by bus (Lines 6, 11, 14, 23, C1 and C2) and streetcar (Alamanni, T1).
Vicky's Traveller Tip
Please note that you are not allowed to enter the Florence Cathedral with shorts or bare shoulders.
What to do and what to see in Piazza del Duomo
Walk around the Piazza del Duomo
The focal point of any trip to Florence, the Piazza del Duomo is a feast for the eyes, collecting in one place some of the city's most outstanding historic buildings.
Climb the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence
This marvel of architecture, 114 meters high and 45 meters in diameter, was the greatest work by the great architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who built it for 14 years and almost a century after the completion of the Florence Cathedral.
Its construction was first skepticism and for centuries a mystery for architecture given the great weight and size of its structure. If you want to appreciate its height and the breathtaking frescoes that decorate it, such as Vasari's 'The Last Judgment', you will have to overcome a steep climb of 463 steps. However, if only for the panoramic views of the city of Florence that its top offers, the effort is worth it.
Discover the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist
The Battistero di San Giovanni, in commemoration of the Saint, is the second element that makes up the architectural complex of the Duomo and is located next to it. It is the oldest building in the Piazza del Duomo, begun in the 11th century, as can be seen in the spectacular golden Byzantine mosaics on its dome.
Its facade stands out for its three access doors, among which stands out "The Gate of Paradise" by Ghiberti and composed of 10 bronze panels, replica of the originals exhibited in the Museum of the Duomo, with reliefs depicting parts of the Old Testament. Inside you can also see the tomb of John XXIII, whose tomb was designed by Donatello.
Climb the Giotto's Bell Tower
Considered the most beautiful bell tower in Italy for its delicate decorations in colorful marble and the harmony of its proportions, the Campanile of the Cathedral of Florence completes the Duomo. The bell tower serves as a spectacular viewpoint, with views similar to those offered by the dome of the Duomo, and climbing the 414 steps leading to its terrace 84 meters high.
It was built by the master Giotto and completed after his death by Andrea Pisano in 1359. To see its original statues visit the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.
Enter the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
If you have more time, a visit to the Museo del Duomo is worthwhile to see the original sculptures that decorated the Piazza del Duomo, with the reliefs of Ghiberti's "The Gate of Paradise" and the authentic statues of the Campanile, as well as objects, such as original tools and sketches, used for the construction of the Florence Cathedral.
Other interesting visits in Florence
If you liked this article on how to visit the Duomo of Florence, don't miss my other tips for traveling to Florence in the following guides: Florence Hop on Hop off Bus Tours, Uffizi Gallery Tickets and Tours in Florence: how to buy, prices and schedules y Accademia Gallery Tickets and Tours in Florence: how to buy, prices and discounts.
If you are interested in touring the city in depth or even going on an excursion around Florence, here are the guides I have prepared for you: Tours and Daytrips from Florence, Cinque Terre Day Trips from Florence, Siena Day Trips from Florence y Pisa Day Trips from Florence.
Frequently asked questions
Why should I go up to the Duomo Complex?
From inside the Duomo you can admire Vasari's impressive frescoes and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Florence. But you'd better be prepared: to get there you will have to climb more than four hundred steps and, of course, there is no elevator.
How long does it take to visit the Cathedral complex?
Visiting all the relevant sites of the cathedral can take up to two days. However, most tours last about an hour, and will show you the highlights of the complex such as the baptistery, Giotto's bell tower, Santa Maria del Fiore, the Opera del Duomo and you will even have the opportunity to go up to the panoramic terrace of the Museum.
What else can I see in the Duomo complex?
If you feel like seeing more of the Duomo's wonders, you can visit Brunelleschi's Dome, the crypt of Santa Reparata or Piazza San Giovanni. In addition, you can tour the rooftops and secret terraces of the Duomo, which are not open to the general public.