There are many things to do in Milan, and this guide will help you explore them all.
Milan is a city that offers its visitors many different attractions to enjoy. There is something for everyone in this vibrant city, from beautiful buildings and historical landmarks to designer shops and delicious Italian cuisine.
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This guide provides some helpful tips for first-time travelers to make the most out of their visit to Milan. It is essential to know where you are going and what you would like to do when exploring any new city, and this guide will help you do just that.
So whether you are looking to experience the best of Milan’s culture or take in the unique architecture, this guide has got you covered! Enjoy your time in Milan.
Here are 15 of the best things to do in Milan, Italy.
Things to Do in Milan Italy
The following list of places to visit in Milan has no particular order and is a general overview.
1. Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral is without a doubt the top attraction in Milan, Italy. This monumental cathedral is the largest in Italy and the fifth-largest globally. It took more than six centuries to build and is home to some of the city’s most beautiful art and architecture.
The Milan Cathedral is located at the heart of Milan’s beautiful Piazza del Duomo. This famous square is home to several historic buildings, including the Royal Palace, Fontana del Nettuno, and Santa Maria Nascente.
During one’s time in Milan, Italy, visitors should prioritize the Milan Cathedral. The cathedral’s main entrance is understated and unassuming, but stepping inside will reveal an ornate gold interior that will take your breath away. Many visitors come to Milan, Italy, specifically for this building alone.
2. The Last Supper
Next on our list of things to do in Milan is visiting The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci which is an absolute must-see. The world-famous piece has been damaged and restored several times over its lifetime due to environmental factors and damage from botched restorations. There is no other painting like it in the world, and, sadly, there may never be another one like it ever again.
Leonardo da Vinci died at Clos Lucé, his home in France while working on Milan’s Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church. The Last Supper is housed in the Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church, and it spans an incredible 460 square feet. There are six other works by Da Vinci in this church, including a wooden crucifix that was finished just days before he died.
People visiting Milan often make a stop at The Last Supper. There is rarely a time when there isn’t a line to get in and see this masterpiece first hand. This painting has been on more than one list of the most important pieces of art ever created and is considered one of the best paintings ever done by Leonardo da Vinci, if not his most significant.
Visitors to Milan should also see The Last Supper and other works by Da Vinci at Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church. This historic church is one of the most beautiful in Europe, and it has been standing for more than 500 years.
3. Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is home to the world’s oldest shopping mall. The building was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1864 and opened for business in 1877, making it about 50 years older than the typical American mall.
The historical building is near Milan Cathedral and between Piazza della Scala and Piazza del Duomo. The structure is an ornate one, with marble columns, sculptures, paintings, mosaics, golden chandeliers, and more.
The Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is home to several shops, both high-end and popular brands alike. Many people come to Milan to visit this building and its retailers. This is why this is a popular entry on our list of things to do in Milan for travelers that are into shopping.
4. Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology
Leonardo da Vinci was an inventor, scientist, painter, and more. He was also very knowledgeable about many topics, including engineering, architecture, mathematics, anatomy, geology, and paleontology.
Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology is the only museum in the world that is specifically dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s work. This impressive museum has the world’s most extensive collection of da Vinci’s work, and it is one of the most visited museums in Milan, Italy.
The museum is located just a few blocks from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and near Teatro Alla Scala. It is within walking distance of other important attractions, so visitors to Milan will likely want to see this as well as everything else near it.
5. Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
There are many things to do in Milan, but you shouldn’t miss this one. Another stop for visitors to Milan, Italy, is the Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. This historic place of worship has an incredible art piece that attracts people worldwide.
Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper on a wall in this church, and it still hangs there today. The painting has been damaged several times over the centuries and restored more than once. Several copies of this famous painting have been made, including one at a museum in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie is one of the oldest churches in Milan, and it has stood for more than 500 years.
6. Castello Sforzesco (Sforzesco Castle)
Another excellent entry on the list of things to do in Milan is the Sforzesco Castle. Constructed in the 15th century, Sforzesco Castle is one of the largest castles in all of Europe. This massive structure uses more than 21,000 square feet, and it spans roughly 1.1 million total square feet.
It was initially designed to be a fortress, but it has undergone many changes over the years. It currently houses several museums inside its walls, including the Museum of Ancient Art, Natural History Museum, and The Pinacoteca di Brera.
Castello Sforzesco is located near the Piazza del Duomo, and visitors can reach it by using public transportation or even on foot. It is considered one of the best castles in Europe for tourists to visit because it has so much to offer.
7. Pinacoteca di Brera
Pinacoteca di Brera is the most important public gallery in Milan, Italy, and it has one of the best Italian art collections in all of Europe. More than 2,000 pieces are housed here by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Bellini, more.
Pinacoteca di Brera is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm, with late nights on Wednesdays until 10 pm. It is closed on Mondays. Pinacoteca di Brera can be found near Castello Sforzesco at Via Brera 28.
8. Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is the main square in Milan, and it has a monumental character. This square is very popular with locals and tourists alike because of its rich history, design, and attractions. This large area holds several buildings, including the world-famous cathedral built during the 13th century. The piazza also has an abundance of shopping and restaurant options and museums and other places to visit, such as Castello Sforzesco.
Piazza Duomo should be visitors’ first thing in Milan because it is the most crucial square in this city. It has hundreds of shops, several restaurants, and food stands, and it also holds many attractions that are worth seeing.
9. Milan Archaeology Museum
If you like archaeology, this is one of the best things to do in Milan. Milan Archaeology Museum is one of the most visited museums in Milan, Italy, and it has several different exhibits that focus on the history of this city.
The main museum has Greek, Etruscan, Egyptian, and Roman artifacts, while the Casa Cini branch holds art from these eras. There are also temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Visitors coming to Milan may want to see this museum because it is the only one in the world that focuses on these four ancient civilizations, and it holds many relics and art pieces from all of them.
10. La Scala Opera House
One of the most famous things to do in Milan is visiting La Scala. Considered one of the best opera houses in Europe, La Scala Opera House is a historic landmark standing for more than 200 years. Giuseppe Piermarini designed this beautiful structure, and it opened during the winter season of 1778-1779.
La Scala Opera House seats over 2,000 people, and it has seen many famous artists such as Maria Callas, Pavarotti, and Joan Sutherland grace its stage. Visitors can tour the theater, but they may cancel some tours on certain days of the week or during particular events.
La Scala Opera House is probably one of the most popular attractions in Milan for those that love art and music. It has a rich history, and it continues to host various operas, musicals, ballets, and more today.
11. AC Milan San Siro Stadium
AC Milan San Siro Stadium is the home to two different teams in Milan: AC Milan and Inter Milan. Both teams play here during the high-caliber Serie A Soccer league throughout Italy. This stadium has seen many great games over the years, some being played on international television.
One can find this 80,000+ seat stadium near the Piazza Duomo, and it is one of the largest stadiums in all of Europe. Initially built during the 1920s and 1990s saw a major renovation that increased its size by adding an upper-tier to four different sides.
AC Milan San Siro Stadium may be a top thing in Milan because some of the best soccer players and teams play.
A walk along the Navigli canals is one of the best things to do in Milan, and it should be visited by everyone at least once. These artificial canals were constructed during the 12th century, and they connect not only Milan but also Lake Maggiore with other areas outside of this city.
This area has become a popular tourist attraction in Milan because of its scenic beauty. It has various bars, restaurants, shops, cafes, theaters, art galleries, museums, etc. These canals are also home to several parks with different types of statues and monuments throughout.
The Naviglio Grande canal is probably one of the most stunning attractions in Milan because it is full of life and beauty. It is also hushed during the day, but it comes to life with different people, music, art, etc., at night.
13. The Royal Palace of Milan
Our next entry of things to do in Milan is a beautiful palace. One of the top attractions in Milan, Italy, is the Royal Palace of Milan, used by many kings and queens throughout its history dating back to the 12th century. It has three wings made up of various rooms, halls, terraces, etc., and it also holds different Milan museums inside, including The Museum of Ancient Art and The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is known for its vast art collection that focuses on Leonardo Da Vinci. Visitors coming to Milan may want to see the Royal Palace of Milan because it was once home to many historical figures in Italian history. It is also home to many art pieces that are worth seeing.
14. Shopping in Milan
Apart from the historical buildings, landmarks, etc., one may find Milan best known for its shopping because it offers a wide variety of stores to choose from. Different structures in the city center are dedicated entirely to selling clothes, shoes, perfumes, accessories, handbags, wallets, electronics, etc.
There are various shopping centers located throughout the city. They include The Vittorio Emanuele Shopping Center near Cadorna Station, The Rho-Pero Shopping Center on the north side of the town, The Garibaldi Mall near La Scala Opera House, and The Loreto Shopping Center near Hotel Principe di Savoia. There are also designer outlets that sell limited edition stuff at discounted prices, and there are dozens of luxury shops in Milan.
Milan is an exciting city to visit because it offers its visitors plenty of ways to spend their money! Many great stores offer luxury products and cheap deals on popular brands. Many people like visiting designer outlets where they can buy discounted products.
The last entry on our list of things to do in Milan is Chinatown. Milan has a small Chinatown located not too far from the famous Duomo Cathedral, and it is here where one can find restaurants that serve great Chinese dishes. There are also various pharmacies, grocery stores, gift shops, etc., in this part of Milan full of people who speak Mandarin and Cantonese at times.
A trip to Milan would not be complete without visiting Chinatown because many Chinese-owned shops, restaurants, and stores offer dishes and goods from Asia. The city has a small Chinese community, but their businesses bring tourism and revenue.
Chinatown is one of Milan’s most exciting attractions because it offers its visitors lots of authentic Chinese restaurants, gift shops, and stores. A significant Chinese community in Milan has built Chinatown as their home base.
Summary of Places to Visit in Milan
In summary, the following is a list of things to do in Milan on your next visit:
- Milan Cathedral
- The Last Supper
- Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
- Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology
- Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
- Castello Sforzesco
- Pinacoteca di Brera
- Piazza del Duomo
- Milan Archaeology Museum
- La Scala Opera House
- AC Milan San Siro Stadium
- Naviglio Grande
- The Royal Palace of Milan
- Shopping in Milan
Where to Stay in Milan
People visiting Milan for the first time may wonder where they should stay when in the city. Here are some of the top choices for hotels in Milan:
The Ostello Bello Grande Milan is a hostel in the heart of Milan that offers dormitory and private rooms for its guests. It has a Wi-Fi connection available throughout the premises, and it also features complimentary breakfast every morning and common areas where guests can socialize. The location of this hostel is excellent because it puts its guests close to a metro station and many bus lines.
If looking for a hotel with easy walking distance to the city center, the Hotel Star in Milan may be the best choice. It has an ideal location for travelers, and it is close to several restaurants, bars, cafes, traditional Italian cafes, shops, etc. The hotel also provides free Wi-Fi access to its guests throughout the entire building to stay connected even while exploring Milan.
Rooms Milano Duomo
One of the newest hotels in Milan is the Rooms Milano Duomo which has over 100 guest rooms and suites. The building itself is a historic landmark that dates back to the 1800s and is once used as an ancient hospital. This luxury hotel’s location puts its guests next to one of Milan’s famous landmarks, and it also gives them easy walking access to many of Milan’s favorite shops and restaurants.
Tips for Visiting Milan
The following are some great tips for visiting Milan to help any first-time traveler.
1. Make sure to arrive in Milan with a plan because it is essential to know where you are going and what you would like to do when in the city.
2. The city is very safe, but tourists should still be careful about pickpocketing or theft in crowded areas.
3. Milan is an expensive city with very pricey hotels, food, and accommodations, so it is best to prepare financially before visiting the city.
4. During fall, winter, and spring, the weather can be unpredictable because it may rain or experience snowfall, so dressing warmly is recommended when exploring Milan.
5. Buying public transportation tickets for the bus or subway is the best option because it allows tourists to explore Milan at their own pace.
I hope this guide was helpful, and thank you for taking the time to read it!
This is a great city that offers anyone visiting it many things to do Milan. Many beautiful buildings, historic landmarks, designer shops, restaurants serving delicious Italian cuisine, and much more make Milan worthwhile to explore. I hope my guide has helped you plan your trip and that you enjoy Milan.
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