Milan Duomo Cathedral

Ultimate guide to Milan Cathedral Duomo, Facts & Architects

Milan is a true metropolis; strong and fearless but welcoming too. Little by little, I came to realize that I could become someone here. - Giorgio Armani
Round about, wherever I looked, from every corner, upon every little tower with which the building was, as it were, overlaid, projected marble figures, its interior dazzled me more than St. Peter’s Church.-Hans Christian Andersen

One of the most impressive structures in Milan, the Duomo Cathedral stands proud in Piazza del Duomo. The massive cathedral has been standing for more than 600 years. Its long and interesting history is just as equally intriguing as the church’s architecture. There is so much behind the Duomo’s elaborate façade which will entertain any visitor to no end.

 Milan Cathedral Duomo Tickets

Quick Jump links to Milan Cathedral

The Best Milan Cathedral Duomo Skip the Line Tours & Combo Tickets

Please note that children six years old and under get free admissions, as well as people with disabilities and their helpers, and military personnel in uniform.

Cathedral Duomo Pass A:

Includes San Gottardo Church, Archaelogical Area, Duomo Museum, Cathedral Terraces by Lift

  • Adults tickets- €16.50
  • Children 6-12 - €8.50

Cathedral Duomo Pass B:

Includes Cathedral Terraces by Lift, Duomo Museum, Archaeological Area, San Gottardo Church

  • Adults tickets- €12.50
  • Children 6-12 - €6.50

Terraces by Stairs Ticket

  • Adults tickets- €9.50
  • Children 6-12 - €5

Terraces by Lift Ticket

  • Terraces by Lift
    • Adults tickets- €13.50
    • Children 6-12 - €7.50

    Cathedral + Museum Ticket

    • Adults tickets- €3.50
    • Children 6-12 - €2.50

    Cathedral + Museum + Baptistryt

    • Adults tickets- €7.50
    • Children 6-12 - €3.50

    The below table includes a brief description of various handpicked Milan Cathedral tickets & skip the line guided tours of the Milan Cathedral. They're based on users reviews, cost, customer experience as well as all the best ways to see the famous Milan Cathedral sight.

    We've compared prices from a variety of skip the line Milan Cathedral guided tours & tickets, websites and have handpicked the most affordable Milan Cathedral combination tickets, but utterly enjoyable Milan Cathedral tours & tickets below:

    Milan Pass Including Duomo Terraces and La Scala

    1. Milan Pass Including Duomo Terraces and La Scala

    clock Duration: 2 days
    • This is a 48-hour pass tour to Milan's finest attractions such as the famous Duomo where you can get inside or stand on its grand Terraces.
    • If you upgrade, you will have the chance to avail the hop on, hop off tour through free public transport.
    • Availing this pass will also entitle you to have a private guided tour within
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    1-Hour Rooftop Guided Tour of Milan's Duomo

    2. 1-Hour Rooftop Guided Tour of Milan's Duomo

    clock Duration: 1 hour
    • A chance to save time and skip the line to Milan's Duomo.
    • A comprehensive up not time-consuming tour of the Cathedral.
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    Best of Milan Experience Including Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Milan Duomo

    3. Best of Milan Experience Including Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Milan Duomo

    clock Duration: 6 hours
    • A jam-packed city tour which visits all of Milan's highlights in just 6-hours.
    • A chance to entre Milan's Duomo, see The Last Supper, and tour the city with an expert guide.
    read more
    Best of Milan audio tour: From the gorgeous Duomo to Castello Sforzesco

    4. Best of Milan audio tour: From the gorgeous Duomo to Castello Sforzesco

    clock Duration: 60 to 75 m
    • If you’d like to discover the secrets of Milan and delve into the city’s stories and curiosities, this is the self guided audio tour tour for you! We’ll explore all the main attractions starting from the heart of Milan at Piazza della Scala, then heading towards the Duomo, before exploring the majestic Sforza Castle and ending off in the hip...
    • read more
    Milan: Duomo Cathedral and Rooftop Guided Tour

    5. Milan: Duomo Cathedral and Rooftop Guided Tour

    clock Duration: 2 hours
    • No visit to Milan is complete without a visit to the Duomo. Learn the stories and history of this sacred place as you visit the fifth largest church in Europe. You will be escorted by a knowledgeable tour guide, who will tell you everything there is to know about this gothic work of art.

      You will meet your tour guide in Duomo square and...
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    Milan: La Scala Theatre, Museum & Duomo Guided Tour

    6. Milan: La Scala Theatre, Museum & Duomo Guided Tour

    clock Duration: 2 hours
    • Discover the most significant landmarks in Milan on this 2-hour guided walking tour. Witness the beauty of the city as your guide leads you through the history, the culture and the traditions of the city.

      Start with a visit to the greatest opera house in Milan. La Scala is known as one of the most extraordinary opera and ballet theaters and...
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    Private Milan Segway Tour: Sforza Castle, La Scala, the Duomo & more

    7. Private Milan Segway Tour: Sforza Castle, La Scala, the Duomo & more

    clock Duration: 3 hours
    • Get a truly unique experience and explore every hidden corner of Milan on a 3-hour Segway tour. Follow your guide through the picturesque streets and admire the astonishing view of such iconic sites as Sforza Castle, Arco Della Pace, La Scala, Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, and the remarkable Duomo Cathedral. Stop to take memorable photos and enjoy...
    • read more
    Best Milan walking Tour with Last Supper, Sforza Castle & Duomo

    8. Best Milan walking Tour with Last Supper, Sforza Castle & Duomo

    clock Duration: 3 hours
    • Visit Milan has never been easier. See all the landmarks of the city in a 3-hours walking tour.

      Walk with your tour guide and make the most of your time in Milan.

      Visit the Duomo (from outside), one of the largest cathedral in Europe. Pass though the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery to reach Piazza della Scala. Pass by the courtyards of...
    • read more

    Why is the Duomo Milan Cathedral so Important/Famous?

    The Duomo Cathedral for a variety of reasons. It is one of the most important buildings in Christendom and also one of the most recognizable because of its distinct architecture.

    • The fifth largest church in the world, it also has a staggering number of sculptures.
    • Amazing architecture, not seen anywhere else.
    • It is probably the largest and most complex Gothic building in the world.
    • It houses what is said to be one of the three nails used in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
    • The La Madonnina

    What is the name of the Duomo in Milan?

    The full name of the Duomo in Milan is the Basilica CattedraleMetropolitana di Santa Maria Nascente.

    The History of the Milan Cathedral

    The Duomo is the fifth largest Catholic church in the world, covering an area of 109,641 square feet, which is almost an entire city block. It has 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles, and 700 figures. To fully appreciate the architecture, you have to climb the stairs or take the elevator to the rooftop. The cathedral is 158 meters long, 92 meters wide, and 108.5 meters tall. It can accommodate about 35,000 people.

    The Duomo’s construction officially started in 1386 under the instructions of Bishop Antonio di Saluzzo. It was also supported by the ruler of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti who envisioned a grand cathedral. Although construction originally started with using terracotta stone, Condoglian marble from Maggiore was eventually used once they realized the grandeur of the project.

    The cathedral was consecrated in 1418, however the Milan Cathedral wasn’t completed for centuries. The façade was finished during Napoleon’s reign and he also jumpstarted the final stages of construction in the 19th century.

    Why Was the Milan Cathedral Built?

    The cathedral was built because the Archbishop and the new Lord of Milan wanted to build a structure that would make people marvel at the glory of the God. It was also built to showcase the power of the city of Milan.

    What is the Milan Duomo Rooftop?


    Milan Duomo Rooftop

    Visitors can enjoy unrivaled amazing views of the city of Milan for a nominal fee by going to the rooftop using the stairs or the lift. There are two lifts going to the rooftop and 6 stone stairways. There are 33 stone bridges that crisscross two side of the roof, connecting the different sections.

    Walking on the rooftop of the cathedral lets you see the city from different perspectives. You will have a close encounter with awe-inspiring carvings and pinnacles that the experience can be likened to walking through a forest of delicate marble. There is one statue that towers above all else on the rooftop and it is said that it must always be the highest in Milan, the golden Madonna, which is the symbol of the city.

    From above, you will be able to see the Piazza del Duomo with its stunning be beautiful geometric decorations. The square’s design, as well as the magnificent buildings surrounding it date back to the second half of the 19th century. On a clear day, you will also be able to see the Stazione Centrale train station and even get a glimpse of the Alps.

    What to Expect at the Duomo Milan?

    When in Milan, it is a sin not to enter the cathedral because it is the beginning of any visitor’s journey to the city. An even more popular attraction than the inside of the famous Duomo is the cathedral’s spire-laden roof.

    Visitors can expect admiring the intricate details of the cathedral’s architecture, as well as the spectacular vistas of Milan when they step on the rooftop and take witness the city of Milan. However, because the Duomo is one of Milan’s top sights, visitors can also expect a throng of people jostling for space and wanting to experience every little detail of the world-famous church. However, the experience is all worth it.

    15 Duomo Milan Facts

    1. The Duomo is the fifth largest Catholic church in the world, only outdone by the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, the Cathedral of St. John in New York, and Seville’s Cathedral.
    2. The Duomo boasts of the most statues than any other building in the world.
    3. The Duomo has the best views of the city of Milan.
    4. The Duomo took more than six centuries to construct.
    5. The church has five naves, a central nave, and two lateral naves on both sides, resting on 40 columns, with each column measuring 24.50 meters.
    6. The roof of the Milan cathedral is open to tourists for a nominal fee. The roof can be accessed through 6 stone stairways and two elevators.
    7. The interior of the church features a substantial collection of artworks, the most famous being the statue of St. Bartholomew, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles.
    8. The church has several large windows with stained glass, three of which that are located in the apse of the cathedral are the highest in the world.
    9. The cathedral stores a nail from the Crucifixion of Jesus. It is placed at a spot in the dome above the apse, marked by a small red light.
    10. Various events of importance have taken place in the cathedral, including the famous Edict of Milan in 313, and the coronation of Napoleon in 1805.
    11. The entrance of the cathedral is on the front side, facing the cathedral square.
    12. The building has a total of 6000 sculptures.
    13. The Duomo is not only a church but also a cathedral because it is the residence of Archbishop of Milan.
    14. The cathedral lacks a visible bell tower. Although they are not visible, they exist.
    15. The construction of the Duomo is responsible for the Navigli, the city’s canal system.

    Map of Duomo Milan

    Duomo Milan Opening Times

    • Cathedral - open every day from 8 am to 7 pm
    • Museum - open Thursday to Tuesday from 10 am to 6 pm
    • Archaeological area - open every day from 9 am to 7 pm
    • Rooftop terrace - daily from 9 am to 7 pm

    Getting to The Duomo Milan

    There are several ways to get to the Duomo.

    • Metro - Duomo, lines 1 and 3
    • Tram - Torino (Duomo), lines 2,3 and 14

    Dogana (Dumo), line 24

    Architectural Details of the Duomo Milan

    Designed in the Gothic style, which was at the peak of its glory, the Duomo Milan has the same style as the Notre Dame in Paris. Milan has always been considered an international city because it is the crossroad between Southern, Northern and Western Europe and the church’s international Gothic style seemed apropos.

    Milan Cathedral Outside
    Milan Cathedral Outside

    Although the church took centuries to build, the builders maintained their devotion to the international gothic exterior. The style is characterized by height and dramatic ornamentation. There are more than 3000 statues in the church and thousands of individual spires. The tallest of the spires is 354 feet tall and it supports a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary, called la Madonnina which was built in 1774.

    Tradition dictates that la Madonnina must always be the highest human-made object in Milan. As a matter of fact, when a new building surpassed the height of the Duomo, a replica of the la Madonnina was made and placed atop. The gothic roofline is popular for its dense grid of pinnacles and spires that are supported by flying buttresses. The cathedral also has 90 gargoyles.

    Milan Duomo Rooftop
    Milan Cathedral Inside

    The plan for the interiors of the Milan Cathedral is in the shape of the cross and is modular and its dimensions are based on a repeating unit. There are two side aisles along each side which is a departure from the usual single aisle. This gave the cathedral more space and afforded it a row of clerestory windows.

    Plan Your Visit to the Duomo Milan

    If you are going to Milan, it is important that you plan your visit well, so you do not waste time and money.

    When to visit. The best time to visit Milan are April to May or September to October. The spring and fall months are the peak season for tourism, however, you will be able to avoid the sweltering heat of the summer months. Be prepared for the throng of tourists though.

    Know the opening hours. Aside from the Duomo, there are various other places in Milan to see. You can also take a Milan to Venice day trip or a trip to other places, if you have the time. Check a map of Milan attractions to see what other places and attractions you can go to and check out.

    Tips for Visiting the Duomo Milan

    When visiting Milan, you will also want to explore the Duomo. The cathedral in the center of Milan deserves more than a glance from the outside. Here are a few tips to make your experience an unforgettable one.

    Plan. Aside from the Duomo, there are plenty of other free things to do in Milan, so plan well to avoid wasting your time, money and energy.

    Purchase tickets in advance. Do not waste time in line. Get instant access and start exploring as soon as you get there. This is especially helpful if you have limited time and want to see as much as you can when in Milan.

    Buy the right ticket. Unlike other cathedrals, the Duomo does not have a standard ticket. This being one of the largest cathedrals in the world, guests need different tickets to access various areas of the building, as well as nearby attractions. Do a little research so you do not end up buying the wrong ticket and wasting your money in the process.

    Read up. It pays to at least read a brief history of the city and its many attractions before going there. For example, if you plan to see the painting of the last supper. It is helpful to read Milan Last Supper painting facts to at least have an insight of this wonderful work of art. Although you may have a guide during your tour, you may be too busy being amazed by the exquisite pieces that you are no longer paying attention to your guide.

    You’ve Visited the Duomo Milan, What Now?

    The capital of Lombardy, Milan is one of the world’s leading sites when it comes to fashion, commerce, arts, education and of course, tourism. If you have time to spare, it is a good idea to not only enjoy the sights in Milan, but also neighboring places. Here are a few day trips which are worth taking.

    Lake Como has gained popularity in the last few years due to the number of Hollywood stars acquiring property there. One of the deepest lakes in Europe and one of the most attractive in Italy, Lake Como is surrounded by natural beauty which will take your breath away.

    Cinque Terre is another region in Italy which has made it on countless top places to visit in Italy list. Cinque Terre means five lands and it includes five villages, namely; Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, and Corniglia.

    A city that has been celebrated in Shakespeare’s Romer and Juliet, Verona is a place that celebrates love. One of the seven provincial capitals of the region, it is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy and has also been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

    St. Moritz is one of the world’s most beautiful resorts and it is situated in Switzerland’s Engadin Valley. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and again in 1948. It is an area well known for polo tournaments which are placed on the frozen lake. During summer, it is a training base for runners, cyclists, and race walkers.

    Venice is renowned for its canals and its gondolas. It has no roads, but it has 150 canals, which makes it truly unique. The main attraction of the city is the Grand Canal, lined with 170 Renaissance and Gothic buildings, St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark Basilica, and the Venice Opera House.

    Italy does not have a shortage of spectacular sights and beautiful cities to visit and Milan is one of the country’s most renowned cities, which must be experienced at least once. One of the city’s highlights is the Milan Duomo and there are many ways to experience it. Visitors can go on the Milan hop on hop off bus, or get the Milan Pass which is a ticket to some of the most popular sites.