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Milan Cathedral picture in Milan
Duomo details picture in Milan
Stained-Glass Windows picture in Milan
Center of the city picture in Milan
Milan Cathedral picture in Milan
Duomo details picture in Milan
Stained-Glass Windows picture in Milan
Center of the city picture in Milan

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Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.4
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    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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If you only have time to see one sight in Milan, the Duomo should be it. Milan's Duomo is considered the largest and most unique Gothic complex in all of Italy, having taken about a half a millennium to build. And once you've spent some time at the Duomo, it's easy to see why it's considered a masterpiece. The Duomo displays an inordinate amount of impressive architectural details both in and outside of its walls. The exterior is dotted with thousands of intricately-carved statues (2,300 to be exact) depicting both religious figures and stories from the Bible, including Jesus' crucifixion. And its interiors are even more intricate. Inside you'll find a thousand more statues, sky-high marble columns, gilded ceilings, striking stained glass windows and loads of paintings scattered throughout. The detail even goes all the way down to the floors, where you'll find geometric-patterned marble lined throughout.

But let's not forget the top. Another thing that makes the Duomo so unique is its accessible roof. From here, travelers can admire the Duomo's elaborate buttresses, pinnacles and spires up close, all the while enjoying views of the piazza below. And make sure to get an eyeful of the Madonna, found on the highest spire. During World War II, to distract from bombers, the church had the gold statue covered so it wouldn't be easily spotted in the air. 

Travelers say the crowds and the lines that this church attracts are worth it to behold its beauty. Visitors say to fully grasp its grandeur, you need to visit every part of the cathedral, both inside and out as well as the top. Doing anything less would cheapen your experience. Some suggested going the extra mile and picking up an audio guide on-site to better understand the history of the Duomo's many details. To avoid sharing the space with loads of tourists (and you will), it's best to plan an early morning visit. 

You will find the Duomo in the city center, right off the Duomo metro stop. The church is free to visit but has smallish fees. Admission to the St. Charles Crypt is 3 euros (about $3.60) and to access the roof it's an extra 9 euros (about $10.75). If you don't want to climb the stairs to the roof, you can pay 13 euros (or $15.60) to access the elevator. The Duomo is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (last admission is at 6 p.m.). The crypt, roof, on-site museum and other interest areas within the church have their own hours. For more information, you can visit this website

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Hotels Nearby

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Grand Hotel Duomo

Grand Hotel Duomo ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
The Gray - A SINA Hotel

The Gray - A SINA Hotel ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
Hotel Straf

Hotel Straf ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
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#1 Castello Sforzesco The former fortress and residence of Milan's most powerful rulers is now a campus for some of the city's best cultural institutions. Castello Sforzesco, found less than a ... Read more » orpheus26 / Getty Images

#2 Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale di Milano) It might seem strange to visit a cemetery during your vacation, but once you get a peek at the architecture that makes up Monumental Cemetery, you'll see why it ... Read more » tupungato / Getty Images

#3 Milan Cathedral (Duomo) If you only have time to see one sight in Milan, the Duomo should be it. Milan's Duomo is considered the largest and most unique Gothic complex in all ... Read more » kasto80 / Getty Images

#4 Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Even if you can't afford to buy anything in this elegant complex, it's still worth a peek for its stunning makeup. This galleria – built at the height of ... Read more » Mlenny / Getty Images

#5 The Last Supper Leonardo da Vinci's famous work, "The Last Supper," lies inside Milan's Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Depicting the moment that Christ tells his apostles that one of them ... Read more » Mark Harris / Getty Images

#6 Ambrosiana Library & Picture Gallery (Biblioteca Ambrosiana) The Biblioteca and Pinacoteca Ambrosiana holds a vast collection of artwork, most of which were donated by a single person. In the early 17th century, Italian cardinal and former archbishop ... Read more » David Bramhall / Flickr

Castello Sforzesco at night picture in Milan
Monumental Cemetery picture in Milan
Milan Cathedral picture in Milan
Shop Until You Drop  picture in Milan
Santa Maria delle Grazie picture in Milan
Ambrosiana Library & Picture Gallery picture in Milan
Castello Sforzesco at night picture in Milan
Monumental Cemetery picture in Milan
Milan Cathedral picture in Milan
Shop Until You Drop  picture in Milan
Santa Maria delle Grazie picture in Milan
Ambrosiana Library & Picture Gallery picture in Milan

Recent travelers say a beautiful time to visit the Castello Sforzesco is at night when every part of the attraction is lit up.  orpheus26 / Getty Images

It may seem strange to visit a cemetary during vacation, but travelers say Monumental Cemetery's many moving burial sites are certainly worth the detour.  tupungato / Getty Images

This stunning cathedral, also called the Duomo, took about 500 years to build.  kasto80 / Getty Images

If you're in need of some retail therapy, head to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Mlenny / Getty Images

Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting "The Last Supper" sits in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church.  Mark Harris / Getty Images

This library and museum holds treasures like Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and writings.  David Bramhall / Flickr

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