Even with so much competition, the city of Milan is rightly one of the most popular places for travelers in Italy. The city is an excellent inclusion on any noteworthy Italy itinerary thanks to its culture and shopping but also to its amazing attractions. If you do go to Milan, there’s no way you can let yourself leave without visiting the Milan Cathedral, a gorgeous Gothic landmark that’s the largest church in Italy.
Because visiting the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano, in Italian) is one of the best things to do in the city, planning your visit before you arrive couldn’t be more important, and a big part of that is knowing your options for Milan Cathedral tickets. By that we mean not only what kinds of tickets are available but also how to buy tickets to the Milan Cathedral, which is exactly why we’ve created this guide for you.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Milan Cathedral: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Milan Cathedral tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of the Milan Cathedral. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to learn more about this stunning example of Gothic architecture and the artworks that decorate its interior from an expert guide
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Milan Cathedral
Because it is such an iconic attraction, there are a number of different options for getting tickets to the Milan Cathedral. The right approach for you will highly depend on how you want to visit and how organized you are, so below we’ll detail where to buy tickets for the Milan Cathedral, the kinds of tickets available to you, and why booking in advance is highly recommended.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
One rule that seems to apply to almost any internationally known tourist attraction is that lining up outside the attraction is usually the worst way to get tickets. And it holds true when buying tickets to the Milan Cathedral as you can find yourself standing in line outside the ticket office for over an hour in some situations, which is a terrible use of your time in the city. The bad news is that once you do get your tickets, you’ll then need to line up again for the security check at the entrance, as all visitors do.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
If you don’t feel like lining up, then booking tickets to the Milan Cathedral online is the way to go. By organizing your tickets in advance, you save yourself a lot of hassle and get to decide the time of day you’d like to visit. Skip-the-line tickets for the Milan Cathedral allow you to just turn up and take the fast-track line straight to the security check.
Tickets to the various parts of the cathedral complex can be booked online up to four months in advance. While they can be organized through the official website of the Milan Cathedral, tickets purchased there are non-refundable, which can be a hassle if your plans change.
But there are ways to purchase tickets that you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance and still receive a full refund. That’s why we recommend purchasing skip-the-line tickets through GetYourGuide instead.
Here are the different types of tickets available:
- Milan Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket < Recommended!
- Rooftop Terrace Ticket (No Cathedral Access)
- Milan Cathedral Only Ticket (No Terrace Access)
3. Book a Guided Tour
One of the best ways to get the most out of your visit is with a guided tour of Milan Cathedral. With a tour, you can learn all about the history of this magnificent building and have a professional tour guide highlight details you might have otherwise missed. Again, tours can be booked through the official website, but we suggest buying tickets for touring the Milan Cathedral through this link for its 24-hour free cancellation window.
4. Purchase a Milan Pass or Combined Ticket
Tourists hoping to fill their Milan itinerary with lots of different sights and attractions may want to consider getting something that covers more than just the cathedral. In Milan there are a few options, including the Milan Pass or a combined ticket.
The Milan Pass covers a range of attractions including La Scala Theater, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, and a host of other museums but most importantly all of the attractions of the cathedral complex covered by a Duomo Pass.
A combined ticket is another great option if you only have certain attractions you really want to see. One of the most common combines a Milan Cathedral ticket and a ticket to The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie and can be found through this link, allowing you to save money in the process. The only downside to this combined ticket is that it only features access to inside the cathedral and not the rooftop terrace, so you’ll have to purchase that separately if you want to go there.
Useful Information for Visiting the Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral Hours of Operation
The interior of the Milan Cathedral, its rooftop, and its archeological area are open every day of the week, from 9:00 to 19:00. Tickets are not sold after 18:00, and the last entry is at 18:10. The Duomo Museum has different opening hours: from 10:00 to 19:00 and closed on Mondays. Opening hours for the cathedral may vary or be reduced due to religious celebrations or events.
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Milan Cathedral?
Given that the Milan Cathedral is one of the city’s main attractions and Milan is one of Italy’s most exciting cities, you better believe it can get quite busy at certain times of year. But crowds aren’t the only thing to be mindful of when planning a visit, as you also want good weather if you plan on going onto the cathedral’s rooftop terrace.
Like so much of Italy, Milan is at its busiest during the summer months of July and August. At this time of year, you can expect lines to be at their longest and tickets for certain times of the day booked out. The shoulder season is bound to be quieter but also still comfortable to be sightseeing outdoors, so consider the months of May, June, September, and October.
As for the best time of the day to visit the cathedral, you can’t go wrong with first thing in the morning. This is especially true if you haven’t managed to arrange tickets in advance, in which case we highly recommend that you begin lining up before the cathedral and rooftop open. You might also want to consider visiting inside the cathedral in the early evening but not the rooftop, as sunset is understandably a popular time to go up there.
How to Get to the Milan Cathedral
Visitors to Milan should have no trouble getting to the city’s cathedral thanks to its central location and Milan’s extensive public transport network. The best way to get there depends on where in the city you’re coming from.
Perhaps the metro is the most useful option. The Duomo metro station on the M1 and M3 lines sits right on Piazza Duomo in front of the cathedral. With the M3 metro, you can easily get there from Milan Central Station, while the M1 connects the cathedral with Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to the iconic The Last Supper.
Around Milan Cathedral, you’ll find multiple tram stops along many different tram lines, including the 2, 14, and 15, as well as just as many bus stops on the NM1 and NM3 bus lines. Tickets cover travel on all urban public transport, with a single ticket valid for 90 minutes and costing €2.
However, if you’re already in the center of Milan, you may be just as well off walking, as attractions like the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro alla Scala, and even Sforzesco Castle are within walking distance.
How Do Milan Cathedral Tickets Work?
It’s important that you understand how tickets to the Milan Duomo work to ensure you have the best time there. Visitors have several different types of tickets available to them that include access to different parts of the cathedral complex, allowing you to tailor your visit touring the Milan Cathedral to what best suits your interests and itinerary.
Within the cathedral complex, there are several different places you can visit, including the cathedral interior, the cathedral rooftop, the archeological area, and the Duomo Museum. Tickets to the Milan Cathedral range from providing access only to the cathedral, rooftop, and museum to bundling all of the attractions in one pass.
One thing to understand is that there are two ways you can visit the rooftop of the cathedral, each with their own corresponding Milan Cathedral ticket. Visitors can access the rooftop on foot by taking the stairs or pay a little more to take the lift up.
No matter which parts of the cathedral complex you plan on visiting, you’ll need to choose a half-hour window when booking online. Then you can just arrive and present your booking confirmation with its QR code and skip the line to the ticket office.
How Much Do Tickets for the Milan Cathedral Cost?
Prices for Milan Duomo tickets depend on a few things, namely what kind of ticket you get, who you buy it from, and whether it’s with a tour or not.
The most common type of Milan Cathedral ticket, the general admission to the cathedral interior, costs €5 for adults and €2 for those with a concession, such as children aged 6 to 18 years old. Tickets to the museum also cost €5 for adults/€2 reduced. Access to the cathedral rooftop by the stairs costs €10 for adults/€5 reduced, and access by lift costs €14 for adults/€7 reduced.
If you’re traveling as a family, you can save money and buy family tickets for two adults and one or two children through the official website. All tickets bought online through the official website come with an extra €0.50 presale booking fee.
Children aged up to five years old, as well as people with disabilities and their carers, can organize free tickets through the official website. Free tickets will need to be validated on entry.
Hotels Near the Milan Cathedral
Because of its central location in the city close to other major attractions, the Milan Cathedral is surrounded by great accommodation options. This means that if you want to stay in the area, you won’t have any trouble finding places to stay, as long as you have the budget to afford this more expensive part of Milan. To give you an idea of what’s available, allow us to suggest a few places close to the cathedral.
For a special experience during your stay in Milan, book yourself in at the chic Galleria Vik Milano. This five-star hotel is set inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade just steps from the cathedral. Every room of this hotel is a work of art, with many enjoying views into the arcade itself.
If a balance of comfort and affordability is what you’re after, B&B Hotel Milano City Center Duomo is a great option for your visit. A sleek and modern three-star hotel, it offers every essential you could need in a location that is basically walking distance from everywhere, including the cathedral, which is just five minutes away on foot.
While there are budget options in Milan, there aren’t many in the heart of the city close to the Duomo. One exception is Ostello Bello, a hostel 10 minutes by foot from the cathedral that offers dorms and private rooms, three furnished terraces with hammocks, and its own bar. For more hostel ideas, check out our guide to Milan’s best hostels.
Security Process at the Milan Cathedral
Even with skip-the-line Milan Cathedral tickets, visitors will still need to contend with the security line before they can enter. To ensure everything goes without a hitch, it’s useful to know what you can and cannot bring inside.
Visitors will be asked to go through a metal detector on entry and open their bags for inspection by security staff. Helmets and luggage are not permitted inside the cathedral, and large, bulky bags may not be allowed in either. As this is a place of worship, be sure to show respect by dressing appropriately.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visitors aged over 12 must provide 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 Milan Cathedral With a Disability
Measures have been put in place at the Milan Cathedral to assist visitors with disabilities experience the site.
These include two ramps leading up to the cathedral with a handrail and eight percent maximum incline, while there are also ramps for worshipers with a short ramp with a 21 percent incline. Similar ramps and wide paths ensure accessibility at the Duomo Museum as well. Access to the rooftop terraces is possible through two elevators.
Visitors with visual impairments have the option of a guided tactile tour provided by specialized operators. This tour explores the cathedral, the archeological area, and rooftop terrace through 20 works intended for exploration by touch.
FAQ – Facts About the Milan Cathedral
What Is the Milan Cathedral?
The Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan and seat of the Archbishop of Milan.
How Old Is the Milan Cathedral?
Construction on the Milan Duomo began in 1386, and the cathedral was consecrated in 1418, despite being incomplete.
When Was the Milan Cathedral Built?
The Milan Cathedral was completed in 1965, 579 years after construction began.
Who Built the Milan Cathedral?
Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo ordered the construction of the cathedral in 1386, with Simone da Orsenigo the initial architect and engineer behind its design.
Why Was the Milan Cathedral Built?
The Milan Duomo was built to replace a previous cathedral and basilica that was badly damaged by a fire in 1075.
Where Is the Milan Cathedral Located?
The Milan Cathedral is located in Central Zone 1 of Milan, aka the historical center, close to the geographical center point of the city.
Now that you have all this information on how to visit, you shouldn’t have any trouble arranging your tickets to the Milan Cathedral. Hopefully you now understand why planning your trip to Milan is so important and take the time to get things organized beforehand so that you can just enjoy the experience when you’re there.