Florence Tip: Free Duomo tours


The intricate facade of Florence's Duomo is worth a visit. Photo by Catching Flies
The intricate facade of Florence's Duomo is worth a visit. Photo by Catching Flies

One of our favorite must-sees in Florence is the Duomo, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (sometimes known as Florence Cathedral). And, lucky for us Cheapos, it’s free to enter the main sanctuary daily.

Duomo do!

But, get this. Did you know that every 40 minutes Florence’s Center for Art and Culture also offers FREE guided tours of the church? Highlights of the jaunt include a look into the care and craft of that gorgeous facade, why the church was originally built, and more.  Tours are available in English and Italian.

Before you go…

If you plan to take a tour, enter the sanctuary via the left-side doors. The church is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and on Fridays from 10 AM to 5 PM; Thursday it’s open from 10 AM to 3:30 PM; Saturday it opens at 10 AM and closes at 4:45 PM. On Sunday, the sanctuary is only open from 1:30 PM to 4:45 PM.  And, the first Saturday of each month the church is only open from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. For information on special holiday hours and more, visit the Duomo’s official tourism site.

Note: If you want to see more of the basilica and travel up the stairs to the top of the dome, you’ll need to shell out €8. (Hint: We think it’s worth it.)

For more information and lots of budget tips for Florence, go here.

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers

About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.

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3 thoughts on “Florence Tip: Free Duomo tours”

  1. Yes, I agree. The hike up can be a tad daunting, but so worth it. I saw a group of older women turn back. A woman in front of me had a bit of a panic about the close quarters too. You just have to keep reminding yourself that it will soon be over and you’ll have the most incredible view (as you say Ray) ever.

    Thanks for the comment.


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