Florence is a mainstay on itineraries for Italy, and it’s easy to see why travelers looking to see gorgeous historic sites and explore Italy’s iconic Renaissance period flock there. Its signature landmark is the Florence Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Firenze) and not just because its enormous shape dominates the skyline. No matter how long you’re spending in the city, visiting the cathedral has to be on your Florence to-do list.
What some visitors don’t realize about the Florence Cathedral before they arrive is that there’s more than just one part you can visit: Giotto’s Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni are all part of the cathedral complex and equally worth checking out.
To do so, you’ll need to organize your tickets to the Florence Cathedral. We’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets for the Florence Cathedral so that you make the most of this special place.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Florence Cathedral: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Florence Cathedral tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of the Florence Cathedral. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to learn about the history of this beautiful cathedral from an expert guide.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Florence Cathedral
Due to the popularity of the Florence Cathedral with tourists, it follows that there are a variety of ways to get tickets. Deciding where to buy tickets for the Florence Cathedral comes down to how much time you have, what you hope to see, and how much you’re willing to spend. To help you out, we’ve detailed all the options for Florence Cathedral tickets and why we highly recommend booking in advance.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
When visiting the Florence Cathedral, it’s important to know what parts of the complex you need to line up for to visit. Because the interior of the Florence Cathedral has free public entry, you have no choice but to line up to get inside.
Tickets are required for Giotto’s Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, and they can be purchased at the ticket office in Piazza del Duomo. However, we don’t recommend that you buy tickets to the Florence Cathedral complex this way as you run the risk of them being sold out. Even if that isn’t the case, you’ll still be wasting your precious time in Florence sorting out tickets rather than sightseeing.
2. Book Online
The best way to go about booking tickets to the Florence Cathedral attractions is to get them online well before you plan to visit. Booking online ensures you won’t miss out on tickets to the Florence Cathedral and allows you to schedule your visit to Giotto’s Bell Tower and Brunelleschi’s Dome to admire their views.
Tickets to these attractions can be purchased through the official website of the Florence Cathedral. However, these tickets can’t be changed after purchase and are nonrefundable, which could be a problem if you have a change of plans. Fortunately, it is possible to get tickets to some parts of the complex that allow you to cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund, like this ticket to Brunelleschi’s Dome.
3. Book a Guided Tour (Recommended)
Tourists hoping to get as much as possible out of their time in Florence may want to consider a guided tour of the Florence Cathedral. By taking a tour, you get the benefit of having a professional tour guide show you through each attraction and you can ask questions to satisfy your curiosity.
It’s possible to book guided tours for each individual attraction of the cathedral complex, including the cathedral interior, through the official website. But these tours are only available on Fridays and Saturdays, and these tour tickets are nonrefundable. Instead, we recommend booking through this link for a comprehensive guided tour that covers all of the attractions in the complex.
Useful Information for Visiting the Florence Cathedral
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Florence Cathedral?
Florence is an incredibly popular place for tourists to visit and the cathedral is one of the city’s best known landmarks. As such, it can get extremely busy at certain times of the year. Visit the cathedral when it’s at its busiest and you can expect long lines to see its interior and limited availability for tickets to the dome, tower, and baptistery.
There’s not really a time of year when Florence is without plenty of tourists, but the crowds are definitely the worst during summer from June to August. Instead, consider visiting in the spring months of April and May as the weather is still quite nice but the tourist numbers aren’t quite at their peak. Winter is the quietest time of year to visit Florence, but you may find the views from the dome and tower aren’t as impressive with the limited daylight and reduced visibility.
As for when during the day to go, it’s recommended to aim for either first thing in the morning or just before last admission in the afternoon/evening. If you choose to see the cathedral interior in the morning, consider arriving a bit before the official opening time to get a good spot in the line.
Florence Cathedral Hours of Operation
Opening hours at the Florence Cathedral vary depending on which part of the cathedral you’re visiting. The cathedral is open from 10:45 to 17:00 up until February 28 and from 10:15 to 16:30 after March 1. It is closed on Sundays.
Until February 28, Brunelleschi’s Dome is open from 8:15 to 19:45 on weekdays, 8:15 to 17:30 on Saturdays, and 12:45 to 17:30 on Sundays. After March 1, the Dome is open from 8:15 to 19:30 on weekdays, 8:15 to 17:15 on Saturdays, and 12:45 to 16:30 on Sundays.
The Baptistery is open daily from 11:15 to 17:45 up until February 28 and from 9:00 to 19:45 after March 1. Giotto’s Bell Tower is open daily from 8:15 to 19:45.
How to Get to the Florence Cathedral
Getting to the Florence Cathedral while in Florence isn’t that difficult thanks to its central location. If you’re already sightseeing in the city’s famous historical center, you should be able to walk there within ten minutes.
However, if you want to save your feet or are traveling from further away, then it’s best to consider taking the bus. The closest bus stop to the cathedral and Piazza del Duomo is the Santa Maria Maggiore bus stop, which sits on the C4 bus route from the city’s main train station, Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
How Do Florence Cathedral Tickets Work?
To get the most out of your visit to the Florence Cathedral, it helps to know exactly how the Florence Cathedral tickets work. The most important thing to know is that there’s no ticket required for the cathedral itself, meaning you can visit for free anytime you like. Obviously, the downside to this is that you will have to line up to get in.
But there are tickets for other parts of the cathedral complex, such as the Giotto’s Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni. To be clear, though, these tickets aren’t skip-the-line tickets for the Florence Cathedral interior; they are only for the specific area on the ticket.
You will have to select a time when booking tickets for Giotto’s Bell Tower and Brunelleschi’s Dome, which marks the start time of your visit. Make sure to be punctual as you’re allowed to visit up to five minutes in advance but won’t be permitted entry any later than five minutes after the start time.
It’s also possible to purchase several passes that include access to a combination of attractions in a single pass. The Giotto Pass comes with access to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Opera del Duomo Museum, and the ancient basilica of Santa Reparata, while the Brunelleschi Pass also includes access to Brunelleschi’s Dome. These passes are valid for three days and help you save money if you want to experience all that the Florence Cathedral has to offer.
After purchasing tickets to the Florence Cathedral online, you will receive them by email. Tickets contain a barcode that can be shown either printed out or on your smartphone.
How Much Do Tickets for the Florence Cathedral Cost?
Although there is free access to the interior of the Florence Cathedral, you will have to buy tickets for access to other parts of the cathedral complex. Ticket prices according to the official website are divided into adult tickets and reduced price tickets for children aged 7 to 14. Persons with disabilities and their carer, as well as children aged 6 and under, enter all attractions for free.
Ticket prices are:
- Brunelleschi’s Dome: €20 for adults and €10 reduced price
- Giotto’s Bell Tower: €15 for adults and €7 reduced price
- Baptistery of San Giovanni: €10 for adults and €5 reduced price (except on the first Tuesday of the month when tickets costs €5 for adults and €3 reduced price)
As for passes made available on the official website, their costs are:
- Brunelleschi Pass: €30 for adults and €12 reduced price
- Giotto Pass: €20 for adults and €7 reduced price
Guided tours of the cathedral when booked through the official website cost €13 for adults and €7 reduced price.
Best Hotels for the Florence Cathedral
There are a lot of benefits to staying close to the Florence Cathedral during your time in the city. Not only does it make touring the Florence Cathedral easier, you’ll also be conveniently close to the city’s many other exciting attractions. The one catch with this idea is that the historical center can be an expensive part of Florence to stay in, but it is possible to find some reasonably affordable places if you know where to look.
The Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy is the clear choice if you’re seeking luxury accommodation close to the Duomo. It will take just three minutes to walk to the cathedral from this glamorous five-star hotel, which features beautifully-styled rooms, a bistro serving regional cuisine, and a fitness center.
For a mid-range hotel with rooms that look directly across the street at the cathedral, you can’t pass up a stay at Hotel Duomo Firenze. At this three-star hotel right on Piazza del Duomo, you’ll find uncomplicated rooms with all the essential amenities.
Budget accommodation in Florence is usually found a considerable distance from the historical center, with the My Friends hostel the nearest good option. Situated close to Santa Maria Novella train station less than a ten-minute walk from the cathedral, this affordable hostel is great value thanks to its welcoming staff. For other hostel recommendations, be sure to check out our detailed Florence hostel guide.
Security Process at the Florence Cathedral
To ensure you don’t encounter any problems when you arrive for your visit, there are a few things worth knowing about the rules for the Florence Cathedral.
One of the most important rules is to dress respectfully and ensure shoulders and knees are covered, as the Florence Cathedral is a place of worship. Another useful piece of advice is to not bring large bags with you, as you won’t be able to bring them in or store them anywhere.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visitors are required to present proof of vaccination with an EMA-approved vaccine or recovery from COVID-19 infection through the presentation of a Reinforced Green Pass or Covid Pass.
Visiting the Florence Cathedral With a Disability
Because it is a historic site, accessibility is not always guaranteed at the Florence Cathedral. However, there are some measures that have been put in place to assist visitors with various disabilities.
The Florence Cathedral has a dedicated entrance on the right side of the cathedral for visitors with impaired mobility. Unfortunately, access to Giotto’s Bell Tower and Brunelleschi’s Dome can only be provided on a contingent basis for visitors with mobility issues, as assistance from a special guide is required but not always available. You must request this assistance via email in advance of your visit.
Visitors with visual impairments are able to make use of the TouchAble tactile path and dedicated guided tours through the site upon request. Tours incorporating LIS (Italian Sign Language) are also available for visitors with hearing impairments.
FAQ – Facts About the Florence Cathedral
What Is the Florence Cathedral?
The Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo di Firenze, is the seat of the Archbishop of Florence and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence.
When Was the Florence Cathedral Built?
Construction on the Florence Cathedral started September 9, 1296.
How Old Is the Florence Cathedral?
The Florence Cathedral was completed in 1436, making it almost 800 years old.
Who Built the Florence Cathedral?
The Florence City Council was responsible for the construction of the cathedral, while the building was designed by architects Arnolfo di Cambio, Filippo Brunelleschi, and Emilio De Fabris.
Why Was the Florence Cathedral Built?
The Florence Cathedral was built to replace a previous cathedral that was falling into disrepair and wasn’t large enough to cater to the city’s growing population.
Where Is the Florence Cathedral Located?
The Florence Cathedral is situated on Piazza del Duomo in the northern part of the city’s historical center.
With all this information at your disposal, you shouldn’t have any trouble planning a visit to the Florence Cathedral. Most importantly, it should now be obvious why it’s so important to organize Florence Cathedral tickets before you arrive.