Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral?

Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral?
Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral?

We arrived in Milan at 7am in the morning after our Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Milan. We were heading to Venice that very evening, and left our suitcases at the Milano Centrale railway station before heading to see the Duomo di Milano, also know as Milan Cathedral, a key attraction of Milan. As we walked through the streets to get there, we were greeted by a construction facade which said that part of the Duomo was under restoration works. We then wondered if it is worth entering the Milan Cathedral, and if it would look like the churches we had seen in Jerusalem.

worth entering the Milan Cathedral?
The facade of the cathedral. Work was ongoing to clean up the facade. I observed one man doing so and it took him about an hour to clean the head of a statue. 
duomo di milano town square
The town square – full of people feeling pigeons. (noooo)

Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral?

Ticket prices

We later realised that the ticket prices were relatively cheaper than other attractions, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was €18. It cost €13 to take the stairs up the rooftop, which was about 10 floors in height. It’s very doable if you’re in need of exercise (that’s me), or decide to take it slow. If you wish to take a lift to the rooftop, it will cost you €17. Click here for more on the ticketing pricing. The ticket comes with access to the Cathedral, Duomo Museum as well as the archaeological site on the ground floor.


duomo di milano milan cathedral
Apparently the Duomo is still a working church.

In all honesty, we spent a really short time in the Cathedral. It’s a structure which would make you go ‘wow’, but it is not unlike other churches we have seen in Europe and Israel.

duomo di milano milan cathedral
The worship area.
Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral
Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral?


milan cathedral rooftops
The rooftops overlook the square outside.

The rooftops were my favourite part of the Milan Cathedral. Not only did they give you a bird’s eye view of the square below and of Milan, the intricate sculptures were quite charming in a way that it made you feel that they were watching the city. It exuded feelings of power and might. Do take the stairs if you can. It feels rewarding and you get to save €4.

duomo di milano rooftop
Why the rooftop of the Milan Cathedral is worth a visit
milan cathedral rooftops
Intricate carvings.
milan cathedral stairs
As mentioned earlier, taking the stairs up can be quite rewarding.
milan cathedral rooftops
Feels like a scene from Viva la Vida.
milan cathedral rooftops
Gives one feelings of might and power.
milan cathedral rooftops
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning, I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
duomo di milan rooftop square
A view of the square below.

Archaeological Site

Archaeological Site milan cathedral
Archaeological Site of the Milan Cathedral

Unlike other churches we have visited, the Milan Cathedral had an archaeological site which showcased old artifacts found at the bottom of the cathedral. You could see some frescoes left behind, when they were first found. In fact, the plumbing and drainage of the place seems to be quite well done.

Duomo Museum

duomo museum
Some gold goblets, for wine?

The museum’s collection was comprehensive with plenty of sculptures of different types. The design is particularly interesting because they make visitors walk the full route before arriving at the exit. So even if the sculptures doesn’t quite interest you, you have to follow the path, past dozen sculptures of Mary, some saints, some strongmen with bulging muscles before arriving at the exit.

duomo di milano wooden model museum
Wood model of the Duomo.

I must not forget to mention that the wood model was quite well done, and the lighting was angled such that you could see the silhouette of the building on the wall. Excellent curation I must say.

duomo di milano wooden model museum
The lighting surrounding the wooden model is pretty cool – check out the silhouette it has cast on the wall.

The Travelling Squid’s Take

Is it worth entering the Milan Cathedral? I would say yes and make sure you get the pass to the rooftops. I have not seen a cathedral rooftop which evokes so much feeling. I’m guessing it’s mainly due to the sculptures perched high, over-looking the city. It’s quite beautiful. The museum is interesting but if you’re rushing for time, you might find yourself trap in the midst of multiple sculptures while trying to find your way out. I leave you with a music video of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida – thought it would be an apt soundtrack to play while on the rooftop.

Have fun!