When visiting the city of Milan and its museums, the exploration of its imposing Gothic cathedral is a must, which we highly recommend.
The Milan Cathedral site, also known asthe “Duomo” in Italian or “le Dôme” in French, is divided into 4 areas: theinterior of the cathedral, the panoramic terrace, a museum and an archaeological zone. We detail the different spaces below and indicate if we think it is worthwhile to visit them.
It is also the most visited monument in Milan. In order to avoid the crowds, we advise you to book your tickets, with a ticket cutter, online, to save precious time on the day of your visit.
We also give you below all the practical information (prices, which spaces to choose, the best times to avoid the crowd…). A hint, you’ll have to get up early, really you won’t regret it!
- History of the cathedral of Milan
- Practical information to visit the cathedral
- The must-sees during your visit
- Our tips for sleeping in Milan
History of the cathedral of Milan
The Duomo of Milan literally means “church of the Duomo”. It is in fact a Gothic cathedral that has no rival in Italy! Built in the 10th century and completely destroyed by fire in 1095, it was rebuilt during the Renaissance and renovated between the 20th and 21st centuries.
It is a majestic building, all in marble of Candoglia, which is really worth the visit, anyway considering its impressive size and its location in the heart of the city, you can not miss it.
Why is Milan’s cathedral called the Duomo?
The name of Milan’s cathedral is the Duomo (French for “dome”), because the cathedral was once an impressive building in the heart of the medieval city, a dome in the midst of small dwellings.
Practical information to visit the cathedral
Milan Cathedral is a must-see, located on Piazza del Duomo in the heart of Milan, close to the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery and Milan’s Royal Palace.
Timetable: when to visit Milan’s Duomo?
- Cathedral and terraces: 9am-7am
- Museum: 10am-7am and closed on Monday
We advise you to get there early, as soon as it opens at 9 a.m. with your tickets (check the timetable again during your stay), to avoid the crowds of tourists. Attention, some days there is more than 2 hours of waiting just to buy the tickets and/or to access the different areas.
There are different tickets available to visit Milan Cathedral, depending on the areas you wish to visit. We’ll help you to see more clearly, and detail the different areas below.
Combined ticket for the cathedral, the museum and the terraces
➡️Ourrecommendation: we advise you to buy your entrance ticket, combined , cut-file, for the interior of the cathedral, its museum and its panoramic terraces (access stairs or elevator ) and audio guide in option.
Price (staircase access): 16,50€ full price – 9,5€ reduced price from 6 to 17 years old – 1,50€ under 6 years old (count about 4€ extra for the elevator access)
One-way ticket to visit the cathedral
If you want to focus on one space, we recommend :
➡️Soit to buy your ticket for the interior of Milan Cathedral and the museum, with a special ticket only.
Price: 7,5€ full price – 4€ reduced price from 6 to 17 years old – 1,50€ less than 6 years old
One-way ticket for the panoramic terraces
➡️ Either buy your entrance ticket, only, for the panoramic terraces (stairway or elevator access), if you want to fully enjoy this incredible place.
Staircase rate: 13€ full rate – 7,50€ reduced rate from 6 to 17 years old – free under 6 years old – (count about 4€ extra for the elevator access)
Guided tour of the cathedral and its terraces in French
If you want to take full advantage of this visit to learn more about the history of the cathedral, understand its architecture and know all the anecdotes about its construction, we recommend you :
➡️ Book your guided tour of the Milan Cathedral, it’s a guided tour in French, 1h30 with access to the interior of the cathedral and the panoramic terraces, for a very attractive price knowing that the entrance tickets, cut line, are included
Rates (lowest: Sundays): 29€ full rate – 19€ reduced rate from 12 to 18 years old – 17€ reduced rate from 6 to 11 years old free under 6 years old – (count about 4€ extra for the elevator access)
How to dress for a visit to the cathedral?
To visit Milan’s cathedral, the Duomo, we recommend that both men and women cover their knees and shoulders before entering.
We recommend that you pack a scarf or light jacket and leggings to cover up during your visit.
The must-sees during your visit
The incredible terraces
An unforgettable and rarely offered experience, you have access to the terraces located on the roof. Either by a staircase, about 250 steps to climb, or with the help of an elevator.
If you need to focus on one area, we recommend that you reserve your ticket for the visit to the terraces. It’s absolutely beautiful, you can admire the cathedral up close as well as enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the mountains in the distance.
The best time to climb the terraces is at sunset, but you won’t be alone!
The interior of the cathedral
As you enter Milan Cathedral, expect to be impressed by its sheer size – a “whoa” should come naturally.
And rightly so, since it’s the second-largest Christian church in Europe, second only to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome’s Vatican City, with a capacity of 30,000.
You can admire a sumptuous facade where pink dominates and absolutely sublime stained glass windows and many statues, 3 400 in total inside and outside.
In short, we also recommend you to visit the interior of the cathedral.
The cathedral museum
It is located under the church of the Duomo, open since 2003, it houses many original objects of the cathedral (replaced for conservation reasons), as well as works of contemporary artists.
Stained glass windows, objects of worship, tapestries but especially statues and gargoyles recovered in situ and more or less restored. An interesting museum to do during your stay in Milan.
If you want to save time, you can skip the archaeological area with the ruins of the first churches, the Basilica of San Giovanni and the Basilica of St. Thecla (4th century)
As you can see, this cathedral is really a must-see when visiting Milan.
Our tips for sleeping in Milan
Don’t hesitate accommodation in Milan Choose accommodation close to the historic center, near the Duomo! This allows you to visit a large part of the city on foot. The city is full of sublime hotels.
1. INTOMILAN Aparthotel Galleria Duomo, situé à quelques minutes à pied du Duomo. La situation géographique de l’hôtel est parfaite pour visite Milan. Notre chambre était spacieuse, propre et avec une décoration soignée. Nous y avions passé un excellent séjour.
2. Brera apartments Alla Scala nous avions longuement hésité avec cet hébergement également très bien placé. C’est un appartement donc cela permet de se faire à manger plus facilement qu’à l’hôtel.
We wish you an excellent trip! Don’t hesitate to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.