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Milan Cathedral

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The Duomo di Milano is the 4th largest church in the world and has the most statues - more than 3150 in total! With construction taking almost 600 years, managed by over 75 architects in that time, the cathedral’s architecture comprises of many different styles - though mostly Gothic - and this inconsistency has meant its beauty hasn’t always been appreciated. Today the cathedral is the most visited site in Milan, both by those who want to enjoy the Duomo’s unique architecture and by those who want to get a great view of Milan from its roof! Lines can be incredibly long (over an hour to buy tickets alone!) so book ahead or take a guided tour to get skip-the-line entry.
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The Duomo di Milano, Rooftop & Museum + Audio Guide

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Get on the roof!

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Milan Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket

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Milan Cathedral: Rooftop Terraces Ticket (No Church Access)

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The Duomo di Milano, Rooftop & Museum

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Milan: Skip-the-Line Tour of the Duomo and Terraces

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Milan Cathedral & Terraces by Elevator Fast-Track Options

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Milan: Fast-Track Milan Cathedral and Terraces Guided Tour

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Milan: Walking Tour of the City Center & Last Supper

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Da Vinci's Last Supper & Milan Sightseeing Tour

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6 Tips for Visiting the Milan Cathedral

Lines in front of Duomo Milan | Photo: Flickr, kevin_lavorgna - CC BY 2.0
1
The Duomo is the most popular attraction for tourists visiting Milan, so lines (especially in the peak holiday period) can be extremely long. Try to be there at opening time, especially in spring and summer, to avoid the worst of the queues.
Duomo Milan | Photo: Flickr, Amanda Slater - CC BY-SA 2.0
2
It’s definitely recommended to climb to the roof if you have the time, as the views over the city are second to none. You’ll get to see the parts of the cathedral which aren’t visible to those on the ground - they were built for God and the angels to see, and now you can see them too!
3
If you want to learn even more about the Duomo and its history, take a guided tour! Guides will take you through the Cathedral, the archaeological area, and the rooftop, and if you’re with an official guide you’ll get to skip the lines!
4
If you don’t buy your ticket in advance, watch out for the queuing system - you’ll need to take a number to enter the queue, then you’ll be called to the counter. There are a tonne of different ticket combinations available, so make sure you know exactly what you want to see! All of the areas also have their own tickets which can be bought separately from the main ticket desk.
5
Watch out for the dress code - in many large churches in Italy, you won’t be allowed to enter if your shoulders or knees are showing. Wear slightly longer skirts or trousers, and bring a scarf or jumper to cover up while you’re inside.
6
If you’re planning on going to multiple museums in Milan, consider getting the Milan Pass. In addition to free tickets for the Duomo (and access to the roof) and many other attractions, it includes 48 hours of hop-on hop-off bus travel which will take you to all the major sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s so special about Milan Cathedral?

The Duomo of Milan is the largest church in Italy (because St Peter’s Basilica is in Vatican City, not Italy), and the 4th largest church in the world! It can accommodate 40,000 people at once, has over 3000 statues inside and on its facades and spires, and took over 600 years to complete. The majority of the Duomo was completed in time for Napoleon’s coronation as King of Italy (after he promised that France would pay for the work), but the final gate was inaugurated in 1965, nearly 600 years after construction began in 1386!

What should I look out for?

There’s plenty to feast your eyes on, both inside and outside of the Duomo. Inside, look out for the statue of St Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles, who is depicted wearing his own skin after being martyred. The Duomo also contains a working sundial, decorated with the 12 signs of the zodiac. It also contains a hidden relic, one of the nails from Christ’s cross, which is suspended in its own tabernacle and brought out for veneration annually at the Rite of the Nivola. If you’re visiting Milan at the time then you need to reserve tickets if you want to attend. On the outside of the cathedral, you should look out for a statue of Napoleon, added in gratitude for his help finishing the cathedral. And you might also be able to spot the alleged inspiration for the Statue of Liberty on the balcony above the entrance - she’s wearing the familiar crown and brandishing a torch, but while the Statue of Liberty carries a book, the statue on the Duomo is carrying a cross.

How many stairs are there to the roof?

There are 919 stairs to the roof of the Duomo, some of which are quite a tight spiral with lower roofs. People who suffer from claustrophobia may prefer to use the elevator as it’s much faster!

How long should I spend at the Duomo?

A guided tour of the Duomo takes about 90 minutes, but you can explore as long as you like afterward. If churches aren’t your particular passion, 2 hours to explore the main building and wait in the lines for the roof should be plenty. If you’re into religious history and architecture then you can easily spend upwards of 4 hours exploring the entire complex, including the crypt and archaeological areas.

Can I take photographs?

Photography for personal use is allowed throughout the Duomo and the archaeological sites. Please note that photography is not permitted during religious services or concerts. Permits for commercial photography or filming must be obtained from the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo (the institution responsible for the cathedral’s buildings) before your visit.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The cathedral is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. The last ticket is sold at 6 pm and the last entry is at 6.10 pm. The Baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti and rooftops are open from 9 am and close at the same time as the cathedral. The Crypt of St Charles, the Baptistery of St Stephen, and the Duomo Museum all close earlier than the cathedral, please check their opening times when you arrive for details. There are at least 4 services per day, those wishing to attend can do so free of charge via a dedicated entrance.

Tickets:

The Culture Pass includes entry to the cathedral, the Crypt of St Charles, the archaeological area, the Duomo museum and the Church of San Gottardo and costs €8 for adults and €4 for children aged 6 to 12 and for visitors aged under 26. Tickets including the lift to the rooftops cost €17 for adults, those permitting access to the rooftop via the stairs cost €13 for adults and a fast track pass for the lift costs €25 for adults. Free tickets are available for children aged 5 and under, disabled visitors and their companions, and military personnel in uniform.

Address:

Duomo di Milano
Piazza Duomo 14/a
20122 Milan

Security:

Security measures are in place and all bags will be searched before visitors are allowed to enter the cathedral.

How to get there:

Milan Cathedral can be reached via metro services to the station called Duomo (lines 1 and 3), via tram to either the stop called Torino/Duomo (lines 2, 3, and 14) or Dogana/Duomo (line 24). Bus numbers 54, 60, 65, 73, and Z602 also stop near the Duomo.

Dresscode:

The cathedral is a working religious building, and visitors are required to cover their shoulders and to avoid wearing shorts or dresses which reach above the knee.

Accessibility:

The cathedral is accessible via two side ramps with handrails, although the Ferial Chapel, the Baptistery of St Stephen and the Crypt of St Charles require visitors to use stairs to enter them. The Baptistery of San Giovanni is accessible to wheelchair users, there is a lift available, though visitors will need to ring the doorbell so that staff know to assist in the operation of the lift. The rooftop is temporarily unavailable to users with limited mobility due to construction works. Manual wheelchairs can be borrowed free of charge from the Duomo Infopoint. Guided tactile tours are available for blind and partially-sighted visitors, and guided tours in International Sign Language are also available for Deaf visitors. For more information please email didattica@duomomilano.it.
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