Milan: What to do & See

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It might be surprising to some that Milan is the second busiest airport within Italy, despite its rarity. You might not realize that it is the country’s banking and business center. While leisure travelers might not flock to Milan, business travelers do.

Milan is worth a visit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. It’s actually my favorite city so it’s biased. However, I believe there is enough to see and do in Milan to make it worth a visit for at least one day, especially if you fly into or out of Milan. It’s easy enough to see the top sights in one day. There are plenty of day trips that can help you make the most of your time.

Although the list of things to do and places to visit in Milan is not exhaustive, it should help you get started with your planning. A few “weird attractions” have been added to the list, as I enjoy seeing new sights when I travel. You can mix and match to create your Milan itinerary.

For more help in planning your trip, don’t miss my Milan travel guide.

Milan’s Top Attractions

  • Duomo The Milan Cathedral (also known as the Duomo) is the heart of the historic centre and the city. It is free to visit and completely covered in spires.
  • Duomo Roof It’s not often that a historic cathedral invites visitors to climb on its roof. You have two options: walk up the stairs, or use the elevator. From there you can see the city’s emblem, the Madonnina golden Madonnina.
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” This is one of the most well-known frescoes, and it’s located on one wall in an old church dining room. You should book your tickets in advance as they can sell out months before.
  • La Scala Opera house & Museum– La Scala is the most well-known opera house in the world. It has a museum that allows you to often see inside the theatre, which is all red velvet and golden.
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele 2 – This glittering shopping center is right next to the Duomo. Don’t miss the chance to spin the bull’s balls (see below).
  • Pinacoteca di Brera This exceptional collection of Italian paintings can be found in the same historical palazzo that houses the Brera Academy Arts school which opened the gallery.
  • Biblioteca Ambrosiana – This library was founded in 1609 and contains a large collection of manuscripts, paintings, and a lock Lucrezia Borgia hair.
  • Triennale Museum This museum focuses on the history and design of contemporary Italian design. It includes furniture, architecture, and the arts.
  • Quadrilatero de’Oro Shopping District Milan is a global capital of fashion and this area is where all the major fashion houses are located. Even if you don’t actually buy anything, window-shopping and people watching are amazing.
  • Brera Neighborhood – This area is near the Quadrilatero d’Oro, Duomo, and is well-known for its sweet cafes, boutiques, and beautiful streets.
  • Castello Sforzesco This 15th-century castle was once the stronghold for the Dukes of Milan (the Sforza families). It is now home to several small museums, including a museum museum of furniture and a museum museum of musical instruments.
  • Parco Sempione The large Parco Sempione is located in the city’s center and extends behind the Castello Sforzesco. It is a popular spot for locals who want to enjoy being outside on a nice day.
  • San Siro Stadium & Museum – Sports enthusiasts won’t want a miss a visit this great museum, which is home to the largest Italian soccer stadium (Italy).
  • Museum of the Risorgimento– This museum is a great place to start your research on the struggle for Italian unification (Risorgimento), in the late 18th and mid-19th centuries.
  • Aperitivo Milan is a great place to have aperitivo, so make sure you get at least one instead of dinner.

Guided Tours of Milan