Filled with a series of picturesque views, rich history, and scrumptious meals, Milan is a travel destination that should be on your bucket list. Don’t miss out on any Instagrammable moments with this guide to things to do in Milan.
Milan, known for being the capital of fashion and design, is one of the most celebrated travel destinations in Italy. If you’re looking for a trip to take you through Italy’s art and history, then you’ll have an exciting time exploring Milan.
Since Milan is such a large city with so many attractions, it can be overwhelming to try and plan what you want to see and do. That’s why it’s so important that you learn about Milan before you’re in the bustling, historic city!
Make your trip less stressful by using this comprehensive guide to learn about all of the best fun and unique things to do in Milan. You won’t regret being prepared once you step off your flight.
What is Milan best known for?
Milan’s cultural, architectural, and historical landmarks make it one of the most popular cities in Italy. As a traveler, you will be astounded by the intricate designs of the city’s monuments and Milan’s way of life.
If you've been to other Italian cities like Rome and Florence, you'll know you won't run out of things to do and discover in this gorgeous country. Here are some of the most famous landmarks and attractions you need to visit if you’re exploring Milan, Italy.
Getting to Milan
If you've been exploring the variety of wonders that European cities has to offer, it will be easy to get to Milan. If you're further away jump on a flight. You can find the best flight price through Skyscanner. Alternatively, if you're already close-by book tickets for a bus or train.
I would recommend taking the train when you can since the service on European train systems is exceptional and you'll find it quite a comfortable way to travel!
What to Do in Milan: Top 10 Attractions
10. Stop by Santa Maria Delle Grazie
Santa Maria delle Grazie is one of the many churches located in Milan, Italy. This particular church was built in the 15th century and is notable for its high-quality Renaissance architecture.
What makes Santa Maria delle Grazie a place to see? Well, it’s home to one of the most famous paintings in the world, Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper.” The painting is located on the wall of the church's refectory, and visitors can see it by making a reservation in advance.
In addition to its architectural and artistic significance, Santa Maria delle Grazie also has historical importance. The church was the location of the Council of Trent, which was a key event in the Catholic Reformation.
Santa Maria delle Grazie is a must-see for anyone interested in both art and history, as it intersects at this beautiful Italian landmark!
9. Visit the Monumental Cemetery
Monumental Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in Milan, and it is also one of the oldest. The cemetery was established in 1876 and is still an active burial ground today.
The cemetery is home to over 60,000 graves and covers nearly 200 acres of land. Monumental Cemetery also has a number of historical landmarks, including the grave of President James A. Garfield and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
8. Explore the Navigli District
The Navigli District is one of the most popular areas in Milan. The canals and bridges create a unique and picturesque setting that captures the Milan aesthetic.
The district is also home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. Travelers can explore the narrow streets and stroll along the canals, stopping to enjoy a coffee or do some shopping.
The Navigli District is also a great place to do people-watching, as it is always buzzing with activity. On warm evenings, the area is especially lively as people flock to the outdoor cafes and bars.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic setting for a date night or a place to enjoy a night out with friends, Navigli District won’t disappoint.
7. Enjoy the view from Duomo Rooftops
The Duomo Rooftops in Milan offer visitors a breathtaking view of the city. From the top of the cathedral, you can see all the major landmarks, including the Gothic spires of Santa Maria Novella and the Renaissance dome of Santa Maria del Fiore.
In addition, the rooftops provide an excellent vantage point for watching the hustle and bustle of daily life in Milan. On a clear day, you can even see the Alps in the distance.
Best of all, the Duomo Rooftops are easily accessible by elevator, making them a great option for those who want to avoid stairs. To make sure you get the chance to see all the beautiful views, you can buy tickets to skip the line!
Whether you're interested in architecture or just looking for a unique way to experience Milan, a visit to the Duomo Rooftops is sure to be fun.
6. Join a tour of La Scala Theatre and Museum
La Scala opera house is one of the most famous in the world, and a guided tour of the theater and museum is a must-do for any music lover visiting Milan.
The tour begins in the museum, where you can see precious memorabilia such as original costume designs and instruments used by legendary musicians. You will then visit the stunning theater, where you’ll learn about its fascinating history while admiring its architecture. The tour ends in the rehearsal room, where you can watch a video of preparations for a recent production.
The La Scala guided experience is an unforgettable way to get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s most revered institutions.
5. View a masterpiece at Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Founded in 1618, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is one of Italy's oldest and most important art galleries. Housed in a former Dominican convent, the gallery contains a wealth of masterpieces from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, including works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Titian.
However, the gallery is perhaps best known for its association with Leonardo da Vinci.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana has some of da Vinci's drawings and the Codex Atlanticus, which is one of the most important collections of his manuscripts. Spanning 12 volumes and over 1,000 pages, the Codex Atlanticus is a fascinating insight into da Vinci's mind and provides an invaluable glimpse into his creative process.
For anyone with an interest in art or history, a visit to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is essential!
Admission to the gallery also includes access to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, one of Italy's oldest libraries. The library houses a copy of Dante's Divine Comedy and numerous other rare books and manuscripts.
4. Stroll through the Golden Triangle
Many of Milan's most iconic attractions can be found in the Golden Triangle. For example, the Duomo, one of the world's largest and most beautiful Gothic cathedrals, is located here, as is the famous La Scala opera house.
The Golden Triangle is also home to several upscale shopping districts, including Via Montenapoleone, where you can find some of the world's most exclusive fashion brands. This area of Milan is within walking distance of many of Milan's tourist spots, such as the Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery and the Castello Sforzesco.
With so much to see and do in the Golden Triangle, it's easy to see why it's such a popular Milan destination.
3. Catch a game at San Siro Stadium
The San Siro Stadium in Milan is one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world. Home to both AC Milan and Inter Milan, the stadium has a rich history dating back over a century. Today, it remains one of the most popular destinations for football fans from all over the globe.
What makes San Siro so special? For starters, the stadium boasts an impressive capacity of over 80,000 spectators. It also features two massive pitch-side LED screens, which provide an incredible view of the action for all fans in attendance.
Of course, no visit to San Siro would be complete without taking in its incredible atmosphere. From the pre-game build-up to the post-match celebrations, passionate fans create an electric atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just looking to experience something unique, a visit to San Siro Stadium is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
2. Take a relaxing day trip to Lake Como
The picturesque Lake Como is located in the Lombardy region of Italy. While not exactly located in Milan, you can take a guided day trip to this scenic lake and explore its surrounding villages, Bellagio and Varenna.
Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in all of Europe. The town of Bellagio is located on a peninsula at the center of Lake Como and is known for its quaint streets and beautiful flowers.
Varenna, on the other hand, is a small town located on the eastern shore of Lake Como with medieval buildings and a charming atmosphere. You can enjoy many activities when visiting Lake Como, such as swimming, hiking, and boat tours.
1. Window shop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a stunning shopping mall in Milan, Italy. It is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni and opened in 1877.
The Galleria is a glass and steel structure that covers an area of over 40,000 square meters. It has a central octagonal atrium which is topped by a glass dome. The Galleria is home to a number of high-end shops, restaurants, and cafes. It is also a popular tourist destination, receiving over 24 million visitors per year.
Stop here to make all of your shopping dreams come true!
Plan Your Trip to Milan
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