If you read up on Milan before a trip to the city, you will mainly find pictures of the Milan Cathedral. This imposing building is the landmark and the main attraction for all tourists. I think that’s right – a visit to the cathedral is simply part of a visit to Milan.
If you don’t want to buy a ticket online in advance, you need to be patient at the ticket counters. However, not at all ticket offices, as we quickly noticed. Behind the cathedral there are also 2 ticket offices that are hardly ever visited. Directly opposite is the lift that takes you up to the roof of the Duomo in Milan.
A walk on the roof of Milan Cathedral
Honestly, that was the highlight of the cathedral visit for me.
We had to queue for about 15 minutes, then after a bag check and the security gate (like at the airport) we went into a small lift that holds about 8 people. This was operated by a young man and took us up to the roof of the cathedral in a few seconds. Up there is a small circular walk, which ends either by taking another lift or 200 steps. There is only the visiting time that restricts you in how long you can stay, otherwise you can stay here forever and enjoy the view over Milan.
The cathedral roof was built of marble from Lake Maggiore. It is about 8000 m2 in size and features 135 spires. 3400 statues can be found on the tops of the cathedral, with the Madonnina at the highest point. This gilded figure is just over 4 metres tall and weighs a good 900 kg. At 108.5 metres, it is the highest point of the cathedral. Unfortunately, it was not possible to go directly to the top, because at the time of our visit there was construction work going on.
I was not only impressed by the really beautiful architecture of the roof. The view from up there is also excellent in good weather.
In the Cathedral of Milan
The full name of Milan Cathedral is Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente. It is the third largest cathedral in the world in terms of area. 157 metres long and 109 metres wide, with five naves, stained glass windows and over 4000 statues make this cathedral something special.
After visiting the roof, we went to the entrance for the interior.
After a quick bag check and long trousers for me, we were allowed to enter this huge cathedral building.
It is difficult to describe a church from the inside. Many elements can be found in churches in other cities and often you think you’ve seen it all before. But there are definite highlights in Milan Cathedral that I have not seen before in other churches.
I was impressed by the huge and colourful stained glass windows in the choir of the church. They are among the largest in the world and the incidence of light is magnificent.
I also find the large folding altarpieces, which hang high above the heads of the visitors, particularly beautiful.
The entrance to the crypt and the excavation sites are also located in the cathedral.
The excavation site shows walls that were found directly below the cathedral.
Milan Cathedral is a religious place where religious services are held regularly. This can lead to complete closures, which are not announced in advance.
Admission is only permitted after a bag check and in appropriate clothing. Carrier shirts, shorts or skirts are not allowed.
Mobile phones must be switched off.
Photography without flash for private use is permitted.
For us, one of the highlights of our stay in Milan!
Duomo di Milano
20122 Milan, Italy
daily 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (last admission 6. 30 p.m.)
Crypt in the Cathedral:
Monday – Friday 9.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Saturday 9.30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 13.30 – 15.30
Daily 9am – 7pm (last admission 6:10pm).
Daily 8am – 7pm (last admission 6.10pm).
St Gottardo Museum and Church:
Thursday – Tuesday 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.10pm).
In summer, the opening hours are partially extended.
All tickets are for a single visit to the offerings and are not limited in time. It is also possible to purchase individual tickets.
Cathedral Pass A
(access to the roof by lift, cathedral, museum, crypt, excavation site, St Gottardo)
Cathedral Pass B
(access to the roof via the stairs, cathedral, museum, crypt, excavation site, St Gottardo)
The official app gives the user the opportunity to get a lot of interesting information in and on the cathedral. The full version replaces the audio guide.