The Gothic-style Milan Cathedral is known worldwide for being one of the largest and most beautiful Catholic basilicas in the world, 515 feet long and with a capacity for more than 40,000 people inside.
1. The best way to visit the Duomo of Milan
Millions of tourists visit the Duomo of Milan every year, I tell you the best way to do it:
- Quick entrance to the Duomo of Milan - From $ 25
- Guided tour of the interior of the Duomo of Milan - From $ 33
- Guided tour of the rooftop of the Duomo of Milan - From $ 42
- Guided tour of the interior of the Duomo and its rooftop - From $ 62
- Private tour of the Duomo, La Scala and Sforzesco Castle - From $ 223
2. Fast-track entrance to the Duomo of Milan
With this fast-track entrance to the Duomo of Milan from $ 25 you will access without waiting in line the whole complex of the Milan Cathedral. You will visit on your own its main points: the Church of San Gottardo in Corte, the museum, its main hall or nave, and its archaeological area, as well as enjoy the best views of the center of Milan from the roof of the Duomo which, of course, you will have to reach on foot and climbing the 463 steps that separate it from the base.
The Fast Track Ticket to the Duomo of Milan includes skip-the-line entry to the entire Duomo complex with walk access to the rooftop.
3. Guided Tour inside the Duomo of Milan
With this tour, you will enjoy skip-the-line access to the Duomo of Milan along with a guide who will explain all the history, secrets, and features of the interior and the crypt of this imposing cathedral, although, please note that it does not include the visit to the rooftop.
You can book online the guided tour of the interior of the Duomo of Milan at $ 33 and make sure you don't run out of places to enjoy this experience.
What this tour includes
- Fast-track entrance without queues to the interior of the Duomo. Rooftop visit not included
- Professional guide in English and Spanish with 1-hour tour
- Headphones, if there are more than 6 people on the tour
- Possibility to take place on weekdays or weekends
- Groups of 25 people maximum
- Possibility of free cancellation if cancellation is made 24 hours in advance of the tour
4. Guided tour at sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo of Milan
If what you're most interested in learning about Milan's Duomo is its stunning rooftop, here's your perfect guided tour. This guided tour of the Milan Duomo rooftop, by $ 42 will give you skip-the-line access to the elevator that runs most of the way up to the cathedral's rooftop, with 50 steps to climb on foot.
Once there, your guide will explain the history of the Duomo and all the details of the architecture, statues, spires, and buttresses of the belvedere. In addition, this tour takes place at sunset, so you will enjoy the most spectacular views of Milan and the ideal time to take your best souvenir photos.
This guided sunset tour of the rooftop of the Duomo of Milan includes no queue access to the elevator that goes up to the rooftop of the Duomo. The elevator has a capacity of 7 people, so there may be a short wait for large groups. Please note that in this experience you will have to walk up a flight of stairs, so it is not suitable for people with mobility problems or heart conditions.
In addition to having a professional guide at your disposal who will narrate in English during the 1-hour rooftop tour, headphones will be provided for groups of more than 6 people (there is a maximum of 25 on this experience).
Vicky's Traveller Tip
Remember that the Duomo is a Catholic temple and to gain access, both men and women must go with legs and shoulders covered.
5. Guided tour of the Duomo of Milan and its rooftop
This guided tour of the interior of the Duomo and its rooftop, by $ 62, gathers all the services of the previous ones and for an unbeatable price. With this tour you will get the most out of your visit to the Duomo of Milan as you will access in the fastest and most comfortable way to the entire complex, you will go up to the roof to see the city at sunset and you will be accompanied by a guide who will explain the history, architecture, secrets, and legends of the beautiful cathedral.
What this tour includes
- Express entrance to the Duomo of Milan and its rooftop. (Not adapted for wheelchair users)
- Professional guide in English and Spanish through the interior of the Duomo and its roof for 2.5 hours
- Headphones, if there are more than 6 people on the tour.
- Groups of 25 people maximum
- Payment flexibility and refundable cancellation provided it is made at least 24 hours before the tour
6. Private tour of the Duomo, La Scala, and the Sforzesco Castle
A good option if you don't have much time, but you don't want to miss the Duomo or the rest of the most emblematic buildings of Milan, is to hire this complete private tour of the Duomo, La Scala and the Sforzesco Castle. In 3 hours, this guided tour will show you and point out the key points of Milan's must-sees, such as the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Teatro alla Scala, and the Sforzesco Castle. All for $ 223.
What this tour includes
- Fast-track entrance without queues to all buildings
- Professional art historian guide in English and 4 other languages during the 3 hours tour
- Private group
- Possibility to adapt the tour to your tastes and interests
- Payment flexibility and refundable cancellation if made 24 hours in advance of the tour
About the Duomo of Milan
Milan's Gothic Cathedral and the largest in all of Italy.
About the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
One of the first shopping centers in the world, this beautiful 19th-century gallery is still in use today as a shopping area and comprises two spectacular passages and a glass-vaulted dome.
About the Alla Scala Theater
The Milan Opera House has been world-famous since it opened its doors in 1778 serving as a stage for historical performances.
This medieval castle built in the 15th century by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, houses many interesting museums inside, with pieces by authors such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Bramante.
7. How to get to the Duomo of Milan
The Milan Cathedral is located in Piazza del Duomo, in the center of Milan. You can reach it on foot, by metro (on lines 1 and 3, getting off at the Duomo stop) or by tram (on lines 2, 3, and 4 getting off at the Torino or Dogana stops.
8. Opening hours of the Duomo of Milan
- Cathedral: Every day from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- Museum: Thursday to Tuesday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Baptistery: Every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Archaeological area: Every day from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- Terrace: Every day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
9. Why visit the Duomo of Milan?
Visiting Milan without knowing its Duomo is like not visiting the city. When we think of Milan, we think of fashion, industry, and the Duomo. This overwhelming cathedral, the fifth largest in the world, is the monument par excellence of this cosmopolitan city that is Milan.
An importance that comes preceded by its arduous construction. It took almost six centuries to build the Duomo, begun in 1386 as a symbol of the political power of the Visconti family. The result of this titanic work located in the heart of Milan is a beautiful cathedral that fuses the Lombard Gothic style with the international one.
A spectacular building with a beautiful pink white marble facade, a rooftop that is the best balcony from which to look out over Milan, an interior of remarkable elements, and an upper area dotted with a multitude of pinnacles and towers crowned by statues that guard the city.
At the highest point of the Duomo stands the Madonnina, the statue sculpted in gilded copper by Giuseppe Perego in 1774 and is already a symbol of Milan.
From the interior, large and delicate, stands out a Clavetto della Croce of Christ, which is taken out every Saturday around September 14 to admire.
The terrace of the Duomo occupies almost the entire roof of the Cathedral and its accessibility allows you to enjoy unparalleled views of Milan and to admire closely its magnificent pinnacles and sculptures. Access to the terrace is free if done on foot, climbing the 463 steps that separate it from the base, or for a fee if you use its convenient elevator.
In the basement of the Duomo is a whole archaeological area that shows the traces of the two temples that were located there before it and that were razed by fire: the Basilica of Santa Tecla, from 836, and the remains of a large baptismal font of the Basilica of St. Ambrose, from the fifth century, and in which this saint is said to have baptized St. Augustine in 387.
Where the Chapel of St. Charles Borromeo and his remains are located.
10. Other interesting activities in Milan
If you found this article about the best ways to visit the Duomo of Milan useful, don't miss this one about Da Vinci’s The Last Supper Tickets and Tours to discover one of the historical and artistic jewels of Milan.
If you prefer to have an overview of the city during your trip, the most comfortable option is to tour it by tourist bus. I tell you all about it in my article on Hop on Hop off Bus Tours. There are also guided tours and excursions that will show you interesting places, anecdotes, and unknown stories of the city. The best options I have summarized in this guide about Milan Tours.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Duomo famous for?
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, popularly known as il Duomo, is the symbol of Florence and the most touristic attraction of the city. You can climb the Dome, the best way to appreciate Brunelleschi's work and a way of experiencing the best views of the city, visit the crypt of Santa Reparata and the Baptistery of Saint John, climb the Campanille, or bell tower, and explore the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.
What is the best way to beat the crowds at the Duomo?
Visiting early in the morning and during lunchtime (14:30 - 15:00), and of course prebooking your tickets will save you queue times and make your visit more enjoyable as you will be beating the average tourist.
What should I wear when visiting the Duomo?
You should wear trousers long enough to cover your knees, cover your shoulders, and take off any caps, hats or sunglasses.