best Florence Duomo tours

Are you looking for things to do in Florence? How about visiting the city’s number 1 attraction, the Florence Duomo?

Look no further than this article, in which we will cover some of the best ways to explore the historic Duomo, and break down the different types of tours and ticket passes available that will help you see the most while working with your travel plans.

Everything from group tours, private tours, skip-the-line options, early access tours, and tours that require all the climbing and some tours that don’t require much strenuous effort – all explained in this post.

Ready to see which tour options match your interests? Let’s dive right in.

Don’t feel like reading ahead? Check our full catalog of Florence Duomo tours.

Florence Duomo tours – Are they worth it?

are Florence Duomo tours worth it

Florence is filled with endless beauty and charm, and sometimes, it can be easy to look past a special building, or in this case, the Florence Duomo, and not truly appreciate it the way it deserves simply because you may lack some knowledge of its history.

Though it happens to everyone at one point, it doesn’t have to happen to you. You can learn so much more, and appreciate beyond the average traveler if you take a tour of the Florence Duomo.

A local guide will offer everything from insight into its exterior Renaissance architecture to the crypts that are hidden from typical self-guided visits.

Aside from learning about the impressive mosaics in its interior, the thousand years old clock inside, and stunning frescoes and their meanings, you’ll be able to ask all the questions you have.

What are the best Florence Duomo guided tours?

best Florence Duomo guided tours

The best Florence Duomo guided tours are going to be the ones that best cater to what you want to get out of touring the Florence Duomo.

Though each tour will offer a great explanation of the vast history and fascinating stories and legends that surround this monumental Florence cathedral, with a professional guide, the best Florence Duomo tours will depend on what you’d like to get out of it, and what piques your interest the most.

Let’s explore a few options that can help start to inspire you to get clear on how you want to experience the grand Florence Duomo.

1 – Early Access Duomo tours

Early access Duomo tours are incredible opportunities for those travelers who want to not only get the tour experience with a guide but those who want to experience what it would be like to “open up” the church along with the key-bearer of the Duomo.

Requiring a bit of an early wake-up call, an early-access Duomo tour will reward you with something that few get to see, like being inside the cathedral when the Duomo light up inside and climbing up to the Cupola del Brunelleschi to see the morning light start to wake up the city, before the crowds of people flood the iconic square.

Part of the experience includes enjoying a local breakfast, further enriching the experience uniquely.

2 – Duomo Complex tours

Exploring the Duomo Complex on a tour simply means that as part of the tour, you would experience visiting the cathedral, dome, and other attractions within the Duomo Complex.

Tour times can vary from 1.5 hours in duration to up to 3 hours, and the difference lies in the few extra places that are included in the tours.

For instance, the 3-hour long tour may include a stop inside the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, brimming with famous pieces of artwork, and the Baptistery.

Not to mention, the depth at which the local historians share is worth the time and cost of the tours. The longer the tour, the more the guides are able to share and answer more questions.

3 – Cathedral tours

If you’re just looking to explore the Cathedral itself, a Cathedral tour is just what you may want to consider, as it is a tour that usually lasts up to 1 hour, and offers a local historian sharing eye-opening stories, historical facts about the construction of the cathedral, and the magnificent frescoes inside.

There are options that include skip-the-line, which is a great thing to consider especially when visiting the cathedral, as it’s usually the number 1 attraction to have the longest line in Florence.

Something to keep in mind is that the cathedral tours only include a tour and entry into the cathedral, and not into any other parts of the complex, including the tower and dome.

4 – Duomo’s Dome tours

Want to explore only the cathedral’s dome?

Consider booking the Duomo’s dome tour, which only focuses on the dome, from its history, architectural details, and inspiration, as well as climbing up to it to be greeted with the best view of Florence from above.

Climb up the 463 steps, until reaching the top of the dome, taking in the spectacular views of the city, as well as the detailed Renaissance etchings and engravings on the famed cathedral, up close while you’re up there.

From there, you’ll also be able to see wide enough into the famous Tuscan countryside and learn about the inspiration from the same sights you’re viewing for many of Florence’s painters throughout time.

5 – Duomo’s Terraces tours

In addition to the stunning views from the Duomo itself, you can also get a tour of the Duomo’s Terraces, which offer a close-up look at the cupola, as well as pass by secret chambers, and rooms that not many other visitors get to experience.

Many of the Terrace tours offer skip-the-line, as well as access to other parts of the cathedral, from the cathedral itself to the museum inside, a few crypts, and Giotto’s Bell Tower.

The terrace tours usually last around 1.5-2 hours long.

6 – Florence Duomo private tours

If you’re traveling with a small group of friends or family, and prefer to have a guide all to yourself, as well as a bit more customization, then consider booking a Florence Duomo private tour.

A private tour will take you and your group through the cathedral, offering insight, historical findings, stories, and local legends that you may not get anywhere else.

In addition, some private tours offer a private walk through the cathedral, museum, and Baptistery, without climbing up to the bell tower or the Duomo.

Other private tours offer priority entrance and skip-the-line options, with access to all the important areas of the cathedral including the Duomo, with all expenses included in the ticket price.

7 – Express Duomo tours

If you’re short on time, or simply would like a short and sweet tour of the Duomo, then consider an express Duomo tour, which usually takes around 45 minutes at most, in comparison to a normal tour which lasts between 2-3 hours.

A local guide will take you through the most important parts of the cathedral, and share only important facts to give you a deeper knowledge of the cathedral’s significance, without going too much into detail.

Most of the time, the express tours will include skip-the-line, no-fuss entry into the cathedral and the Museo della Misericordia, and more.

Are there any Florence Duomo combined tour tickets?

Florence Duomo combined tour tickets

Yes! Florence Duomo combined tour tickets are available and perfect for those travelers who may want to see more than what a standard tour will grant them.

If you’re looking for a ticket that can grant you access to more than one attraction in the Duomo, with a guide, then let’s see below the different types of combined tour tickets that you can pick from based on what you’d like to see in Florence.

If you’re looking for a ticket that can grant you access to more than one attraction in the Duomo, with a guide, then let’s see below the different types of combined tour tickets that you can pick from based on what you’d like to see in Florence.

8 – Florence Duomo + Baptistery of San Giovanni

If you’d like to see the intricacy of the Florence Duomo complex and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, consider booking the Florence Duomo + Baptistery of San Giovanni combined tour.

With this experience, you’ll also enjoy skip-the-line and get priority entrance into the cathedral, the Baptistery, the Gate of Paradise at the Baptistery, and the museum of the Opera del Duomo where you’ll have access to artwork from Florentine artists like Michaelangelo, and more.

9 – Florence Duomo + Uffizi Gallery

Combine the Florence Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery into one tour, with a combination tour experience that will take you through the cathedral, climbing up to the Brunelleschi’s dome, as well as stopping for a while at the Uffizi Gallery, housing some of the most beautiful sculptures and paintings, alongside with a professional art historian.

You can save around 5% when you book a combination tour, saving you money and time in the long run.

10 – Florence Duomo + Accademia Gallery

Visit Michaelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery as well as get an all-inclusive tour of the Florence Duomo with one ticket.

Skip the line, and gain access to the cathedral, with access to the Duomo terraces, museum, and of course, the dome itself boasts incredible sights of the city and countryside from one of the most iconic Florentine landmarks.

Some tours may take place in the morning, offering an extra special moment of quiet and peace while most tourists are not out yet.

Which Florence Duomo tour is best for me?

how to choose the best Florence Duomo tour

It wholly depends on your travel style, availability, budget, and season in which you travel which could influence which Florence Duomo tour you decide to select for your trip.

Many tours offer the same basic essentials like a professional tour guide, and entrance into the cathedral, while other more inclusive tours may offer skip-the-line options, and entrance into special parts of the cathedral-like the Baptistery, the Giotto Belltower, and the Opera del Duomo Museum.

If you’re traveling solo, you may want to go all out and selfishly spend as much time as you can exploring and learning the true meaning and hidden mysteries of the Duomo on a small group tour or a skip-the-line Duomo climb.

If you’re traveling with your family, a skip-the-line guided express access to the Duomo may be your choice, if you’re looking to get close to the historical emblem of Florence, without boring your kids too much.

Those who are traveling on a budget may want to consider a simple yet concise 1-hour guided tour to get the basics, plus more and the opportunity to ask any and all questions that pop up throughout the tour.

Make sure to assess your interests, and pick a tour option according to what they are.

What will I see on a Florence Duomo tour?

what to see on a Florence Duomo tour

When you book a Florence Duomo tour, you are unlocking thousands of years’ worth of Florentine history, which will come across as more interesting and will come alive to you as you take a tour versus learning about it anywhere else.

See with your eyes the sights inside, and learn straight from professional art historians, and guides as you experience with your own senses the 3rd largest cathedral in the world.

Let’s break down some of the highlights awaiting you at the Duomo Complex.

Cathedral

Cathedral of Florence

Discover the Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, a church that dates back to 1296 and was built to honor, Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower), paying homage to the flower of Florence, a lily.

Walk inside its 2 doors to discover the gray-blue marble coating the interiors of the holy space, as your eyes scan the art inside from the Ascension of the Virgin, to the relief work on the doors, the religious sculptures towering columns, and more.

A tour guide will share interesting facts from the architects who built the cathedral, the struggles that went into the creation of the cathedral, and the role of the cathedral today.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

Brunelleschi’s Dome, Florence

Adorning the Florentine cityscape is the undeniable Brunelleschi’s Dome, built between 1420 and 1436 by the architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, hence the name of the Dome.

Look up the magnificent frescoes painted on the inside of the dome featuring imagery of the Last Judgment, as you notice the oculus situated in the middle of the dome.

Step up an estimated 463 steps to reach the opulent views, feeling like an old-world King or Queen, taking impressive sights of the city, usually taking around 30 minutes- 1 hour to reach the privileged views.

Listen as the guide shares important facts about the construction of the dome, known as the largest masonry vault in the world, as well as learn about the recent renovations done to maintain the grandeur of the dome.

Duomo Terraces

Duomo Terraces, Florence

Don’t just reach the dome, but also walk the Duomo Terraces, taking you up 32 meters high, and walking a path of 70 feet on either the north or south side of the cathedral.

The Duomo Terraces offer not only stunning sights of the city and countryside, but also an up-close look at the construction of the cathedral, the marble coating, and the rose window- the main window sitting above the entrance of the cathedral.

Walk with a tour guide to share with you the history and alternative uses of the terrace when it comes to rain, as well as safety precautions when walking through yourself.

Giotto’s Bell Tower

Giotto’s Bell Tower, Florence

Built in 1334 by sculptor and architect Giotto, Giotto’s Bell Tower is said to be possibly the most beautiful bell tower in Italy.

Decorated with colors of white, green, and red, the square and rectangular shapes that embellish the bell tower tell a story of humanity, the universe, and religion, worth a moment of contemplation.

Take the advice and insight from the guides, offering a deeper appreciation for Giotto and other artists’ input, and work on the beautiful bell tower, which is detailed with intentional pieces and design.

Climb up the 398 steps bell tower to get astonishing views of the city from above.

Baptistery of San Giovanni

Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence

Appearing in a form of a hexagon is the Baptistry of San Giovanni, which dates back to the 4th or 5th century.

Historically, there were many believed uses of the Baptistery, many of which you will learn on a guided tour, but one of those uses was to store art sculptures and paintings.

Inside, marvel at the intricate details of the mosaic imagery, featuring scenes of the Last Judgment and St. John, the patron saint of Florence.

Take a look at the north and south doors inside, engraved with other religious carvings, and Renaissance Gates of Paradise.

Ancient Basilica of Santa Reparata

Ancient Basilica of Santa Reparata, Florence
credit to L’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore / Duomo Firenze

Step inside to view the remnants of early Christianity in Florence at the Ancient Basilica of Santa Reparata, which was excavated between 1965 to 1973, and sits across from the Baptistery.

Scan the floor of the Santa Reparata, donning a magnificent mosaic of various geometric shapes, with imagery of a peacock, said to be a symbol in Christianity of immortality.

Be guided by an art historian, as they share more details and insight into the interior’s decoration, colors, and engravings, all symbolic of the early foundations of Florence.

Also learn about the souls that rest within the Santa Reparata, and why it is so important to Florentines.

Opera del Duomo Museum

Opera del Duomo Museum, Florence

Walk into one of the most important museums in Florence and in the whole world, housing masterpieces dating back to the Renaissance, that were part of some of Florence’s most important and historical points of interest.

Inside, you can expect to find masterpieces including David’s Michaelangelo, as well as other pieces created by the same architects and sculptors that designed the Duomo.

A guide will surely help you understand at a larger scale every piece inside the museum, to help you truly understand the grandeur of these pieces not only in Florence but the world.

How much does it cost to visit the Duomo in Florence?

Florence Duomo tour prices

There are various different passes and Florence Duomo tickets that you can purchase in order to see the monuments within the Piazza del Duomo and the complex of Santa Maria del Fiore.

There are 3 passes that you can consider, each combining several different monuments to see while visiting the complex. They are the Brunelleschi Pass, Giotto Pass, Ghiberti Passes.

  • The Brunelleschi Pass includes an entrance into all the monuments in the Piazza del Duomo, including the dome, bell tower, Baptistery, the museum, and Santa Reparata. The price for adult tickets is 30 euros, for children 7-14 years old it is 12 euros, and free for children 6 and under.
  • The Giotto Pass allows access to Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery, Opera del Duomo museum, and the Santa Reparata. The price for adult tickets is 20 euros, for children 7-14 it is 7 euros, and free for children 6 and under.
  • The Ghiberti Passes allows access to the Baptistery, Opera del Duomo museum, and the Santa Reparata. The price for adult tickets is 15 euros, for children 7-14 years old it is 5 euros, and free for children 6 and under.

The benefit of these passes is that with a single ticket, you can enter various monuments, and your passes have a validity period of 3 days to see all the monuments that your pass has access to.

Keep in mind these passes are entrance only, they are not tours nor are tour guides part of the passes.

Are there any Florence Duomo discounted tickets?

If your goal is to visit multiple other monuments in the city of Florence during your visit, consider booking the Florence Pass.

The Florence Pass allows you to access a couple of the best museums in the city including the Uffizi Museum and the Accademia Gallery, priority entrance into the Brunelleschi’s dome, as well as with bonuses like skip-the-line options at the Duomo, and an audio guide, for the price of $99 USD.

Another great discounted ticket option at an even lower price is the Uffizi + Accademia Pass. This pass includes access to priority entrance into both the Uffizi Museum and the Accademia Museum, as well as gaining access to using the Vox audio guide app on your phone for a self-guided walking tour, for the price of $50.96 USD.

How to book a Florence Duomo tour?

how to book a Florence Duomo tour

The Florence Duomo is by far the most popular attraction in Florence, and as a result, has some of the longest lines to get into which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to view as much as you can, in the days that you’re in Florence.

No matter where you buy your pass, buying your tickets ahead of time will ensure that you will get to the sites you want to see both easily and effortlessly and oftentimes saves you money and time.

When choosing which pass suits your interests, make sure to compare prices with TourScanner, as we bring you all the best tour options that best suit your interests, budget, and time availability, all in one place.

Let us do the searching for you, all you have to do is select the best one for you.

Florence Duomo Information

Florence Duomo information

Opening hours

The opening hours for the Florence Duomo are as follows:

  • The Cathedral: 10:15 – 16:45
  • The Dome: 8:15 – 19:30
  • The Baptistery: 9:00 – 19:45
  • Giotto’s Bell Tower: 8:15 – 19:45
  • Opera del Duomo Museum: 9:00 – 19:45
  • The Church of Santa Reparata: 10:15 – 16:45

A quick tip is to always check the opening and closing times on the days that you will visit, as times and opening days are subject to change without much notice.

Also make sure to keep in mind that on days on which there is a mass held inside the cathedral, it will not be open to visitors.

How to get there?

The Florence Duomo is located in the Piazza del Duomo, within the Historical Center of District 1 known as the heart of Florence.

The Duomo is fairly easy to get to by walking, or taking public transportation, either the bus or tram.

The address of the Duomo is: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI

Useful tips

  • If you want to climb up the Brunelleschi Dome, make sure to purchase your ticket ahead of time, as this is a highlight for many other travelers to see as well, and the number of tickets for the day may sell out if you try to buy in person, on the day of.
  • For women, make sure to cover up the shoulder, legs, and chest if you’re wearing something a bit too revealing. Be sure to pack a light scarf to wear while inside.
  • If you want to avoid large crowds try to plan your visit to the Duomo either very early or later in the day.
  • Make sure to bring a small bag that doesn’t weigh too much, as you will be asked to open it during security check, and then carry it around the cathedral, and possibly in a few tight spaces.

For thousands of years, The Florence Duomo has adorned the city’s skyline, and the iconic sights and symbolism of the Duomo Complex have been immortalized in the minds of multiple generations.  Now, it’s your turn to experience it yourself.

We hope that you have a better understanding of the various types of ways to explore the Florence Duomo for yourself and that you have been able to get an idea of the type of tickets and access that will best suit your travel plans with our list of the 10 best Florence Duomo tours.

Happy travels!