Best 30 Things to Do in Milan explained by a local

Are you wondering what to see in Milan, one of the most vibrant cities in Italy? Look no further than this guide, written by a Milanese resident, to discover the iconic landmarks, rich culture, and delicious cuisine that the city has to offer.
I have compiled a comprehensive list of the 30 best things to do in Milan, ranging from must-see landmarks to hidden gems.
In addition to the 30 best things to see in Milan, I’ve also included insider tips on what to eat, where to eat, and how to optimize your travel time. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveller, I’ve got you covered. With my recommended travel itinerary, you’ll be able to explore Milan like a local and create unforgettable memories.

Duomo of Milan. Italy

How to Make the Most of Your Visit

If you’re planning a trip to Milan, here are some pro tips to make the most out of your visit:

  1. Buy tickets in advance: Many of Milan’s top attractions like the Last Supper and the Duomo Cathedral require advance booking. Save yourself time and hassle by purchasing tickets online before your trip.
  2. Dress appropriately: Milan is a fashion capital, so dressing well is important. However, if you’re visiting churches or religious sites, make sure to dress conservatively and cover your shoulders and knees.
  3. Take advantage of public transportation: Milan has an efficient public transportation system, including a metro, buses, and trams. Consider purchasing a 24-hour or 48-hour pass to save money on transportation costs.
  4. Explore the city on foot: Milan is a walkable city, and many of its attractions are located close to each other. Walking around allows you to discover hidden gems and experience the local culture.
  5. Visit during shoulder season: Milan can get crowded during peak tourist season, which is from June to August. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall to avoid the crowds and enjoy mild weather.
  6. Try the local cuisine: Milan is known for its delicious food, including Risotto alla Milanese, Osso Buco, and Panettone. Don’t miss out on trying these traditional dishes during your visit.
  7. Take a break with an aperitivo: Milanese love to enjoy an aperitivo, a pre-dinner drink accompanied by small bites. Join the locals and take a break from sightseeing with a relaxing aperitivo in one of Milan’s many bars or cafes.

By following these pro tips, you can have a fantastic time exploring all that Milan has to offer.

Explore Milan: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Things to See and Do

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed when trying to plan a trip to a new destination? With so many things to see and do, it can be challenging to decide where to start. That’s why I’ve divided the list of activities in Milan by categories, making it easier for you to find the activities that interest you the most based on your preferences and interests.

Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, art and culture, food and drink, or something else entirely, you’ll find relevant activities that match your interests.

This organization will help you plan your itinerary and make the most of your time in Milan. Additionally, categorizing the activities provides a more organized and streamlined reading experience, allowing you to easily digest the information and retain it for future reference.

Discover Milan’s Beauty and Culture with the Best Sightseeing Activities: From Gothic Cathedrals to Iconic Opera Houses

Milan, the fashion and design capital of Italy, is a city of unparalleled beauty and rich cultural heritage. From stunning Gothic cathedrals to iconic opera houses, Milan offers a wealth of sightseeing opportunities that are sure to impress even the most discerning traveller.

Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, history, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of this vibrant city, Milan has something for everyone. In this category, we have curated a list of the best sightseeing activities in Milan, ranging from exploring iconic landmarks like the Duomo di Milano and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to discovering hidden gems like the Navigli district and Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro.

Explore the Iconic Duomo di Milano and Its Ticket Options

The crown jewel of Milan is undoubtedly its Duomo, a towering Gothic cathedral that is both the city’s icon and Italy’s largest cathedral. It never fails to leave visitors in awe with its stunning architecture and intricate details.

While most tourists come to explore the interior, only a few know that the cathedral also offers an opportunity to climb up to its terrace and admire the panoramic views it has to offer.

The Duomo di Milano is a must-visit landmark in Milan that boasts several attractions to explore, including the archaeological area underneath the cathedral that features the Baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti and the ruins of the ancient cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Don’t forget to take some time to admire the cathedral’s stunning facade, featuring a total of 3,400 statues and 135 spires, before heading up to the terrace for a breathtaking view of the city.

There are various ticket options available for visitors to choose from:

Ticket OptionsPrice (in €)Access
Basic ticket5Interior of the Cathedral building only
Cathedral Museum ticket5Cathedral Museum only
Cultural Pass10Interior of the Cathedral, the Cathedral Museum, and the archaeological area
Duomo Pass Stairs15Inside the Cathedral, the Cathedral Museum, the archaeological area and the opportunity to climb to the Duomo Terrace via the stairs
Duomo Pass Lift20Interior of the Cathedral, the Duomo Museum, the archaeological area and a lift to the Duomo Terrace
Walking Roof ticket10Duomo Terrace only
Rooftop by Elevator14Duomo Terrace via lift only
Rooftop Evening14Duomo Terrace by lift only after 7pm

Splendor of Milan’s Piazza del Duomo and Its Surroundings

Milan’s Piazza del Duomo is a grand square located at the heart of the city and is the perfect place to start your exploration of Milan. The piazza is dominated by the grandeur of the Duomo di Milano, one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Visitors can climb to the top of the cathedral and enjoy panoramic views of the city. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegant shopping arcade, also leads from the piazza and is home to high-end boutiques and cafes. The Piazza del Duomo is also surrounded by other historical landmarks, including the Palazzo Reale and the Museo del Novecento, which houses an impressive collection of modern art. The square is a bustling hub of activity with street performers, vendors, and tourists milling about. Take a stroll, people-watch, or enjoy a gelato while admiring the stunning architecture of the buildings surrounding the piazza.

Take a walk through the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of Milan’s most elegant and historic shopping centres, built in the late 19th century. This stunning piece of Milanese history is a Milan must see and features a lattice structure of iron and meshed glass, making it a covered pedestrian street used as a shopping centre with 96 shops, bookshops, and bars.

The arcade’s highlight is undoubtedly the breathtaking glass and iron dome, intricate mosaics, and high-end boutiques. Take a leisurely walk through the Galleria and admire the stunning architecture above you.

Don’t forget to look down and spin on the famous Bull’s Testicles mosaic, located on the floor of the gallery, which is said to bring good luck if spun on three times with your right heel.

While shopping in the Galleria can be expensive, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to grab a coffee or an aperitivo and soak up the atmosphere. The best part? Visiting the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is free, so don’t miss the chance to explore this must-visit landmark in Milan.

Visit Chiesa di Santa Maria Presso San Satiro and Experience Its Optical Illusion

Santa Maria Church, San Satiro, Milan

The Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Milan. This church, located near the Duomo, is a small architectural masterpiece that has a unique feature – an optical illusion.

Designed by famous architect Bramante in the late 15th century, the church’s nave is shorter than it appears due to an illusionistic painting that gives the impression of a much longer space.

The painting, by artist Donato Bramante, uses a technique called “trompe-l’oeil” to trick the eye into thinking there is more space than there actually is.

The church is also home to stunning frescoes and artwork, including the beautiful apse fresco by artist Andrea Solari.

Be sure to take a moment to appreciate the exquisite detailing of the church’s interior, including the beautiful coffered ceiling and intricate stone carvings.

Discover the Masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan 

The last supper, painting, leonardo da vinci

The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie houses one of the world’s most famous masterpieces – Leonardo da Vinci’s “L’ultima cena” (The Last Supper). Painted in the late 15th century, the mural depicts Jesus Christ’s last meal with his disciples before his crucifixion, with expressive figures and unique composition. Access to The Last Supper is strictly limited due to its fragile state, so it’s crucial to book tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Tickets can be purchased online from the official website.
  • The cost of a ticket is €10 per person plus a €2 advance booking fee.
  • If you are an EU or EES citizen aged between 18 and 25, the ticket price is €5 plus a €2 advance booking fee.
  • Tickets can only be booked three months in advance, and they sell out quickly.
  • New tickets are released on the 10th of each month, but dates may vary, so it’s essential to check online.
  • If you can’t find tickets on the official website, there are other websites that sell last-minute tickets.

When you visit Santa Maria delle Grazie, take some time to appreciate the stunning Renaissance architecture of the church.

The Beauty of Sforza Castle: A Must-Visit Destination in Milan with Museums and Art Collections Galore. 

Sforza Castle is a must-visit destination located in the heart of Milan. Originally built in the 15th century, this historic fortress has undergone several renovations over the centuries and is now home to a variety of museums and art collections, making it a great place for history and art lovers alike.

Visitors can explore the many museums in the castle, which cover a wide range of topics from ancient art to modern design. Some of the most popular museums include the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, which houses an impressive collection of Renaissance art, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio. The Egyptian Museum is also worth a visit, featuring an extensive collection of ancient artefacts, as is the Museum of Musical Instruments, which showcases a variety of instruments from around the world.

In addition to its museums, the castle also boasts several beautiful courtyards and gardens that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Admission to the castle is free, but some museums may have an entrance fee.

The Castello Sforzesco is open to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. and is easily accessible by public transport, including underground line M1 Cadorna FN stop Cairoli, underground line M3 Cadorna FN stop and Lanza, and Cadorna FN railway station stop.

Relax and Enjoy Views of Arco della Pace at Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione is a beautiful park located in the heart of Milan, and it’s the perfect place to relax and take in the views of the iconic Arco della Pace.
This large park spans over 95 acres and features lush greenery, lakes, fountains, and various monuments.
You can stroll along the paths, have a picnic on the grass, or sit by the lake and watch the swans.

In this park, you’ll find the Sforza Castle, which houses many museums and art collections.

The park is also home to the Torre Branca, a tall tower that provides stunning panoramic views of the city.

However, the main attraction of the Parco Sempione is undoubtedly the Arco della Pace, a grand arch built in the early 19th century as a symbol of peace. It’s the perfect spot to take photos and admire the surrounding scenery. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to Parco Sempione is a must do in Milan.

Admire Stunning Views of Milan from Atop the Torre Branca

The Torre Branca is a 108-meter-high tower located in Parco Sempione, one of Milan’s largest parks. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the tower and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

From the observation deck, you can see the famous Piazza del Duomo, the Milan Cathedral, and many other iconic landmarks.

On a clear day, you can even see the Alps in the distance.

The tower was built in 1933 and was recently renovated, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot to watch the sunset or just want to see the city from a different perspective, the Torre Branca is definitely worth a visit.

Discover Italian Masterpieces at the Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca of Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera is a must-visit destination for art lovers in Milan. This art museum is home to a vast collection of Italian masterpieces from the 13th to the 20th century, with works by renowned artists such as Caravaggio, Raffaello, and Tiziano.

The museum is located in the historic Brera district and features 38 rooms filled with stunning artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and drawings.

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The Pinacoteca di Brera is open every day except Mondays, and tickets can be purchased online or at the museum entrance. It’s recommended to plan for several hours to fully appreciate the museum’s collection and take in the beauty of Italian art.

Milan’s Fascinating History and Culture at the Museo Archeologico

Milan’s rich history and culture can be discovered at the Museo Archeologico, which is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the city’s archaeological heritage.

The museum features a wide range of artefacts from various periods, including ancient Roman statues, medieval frescoes, and Etruscan pottery.

The highlight of the museum is the section on the ancient city of Mediolanum, which was the Roman name for Milan. Visitors can see fascinating displays that illustrate the daily life, religion, and politics of the city’s inhabitants during this period.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that focus on different aspects of Milan’s culture, from its fashion and design to its art and architecture. A visit to the Museo Archeologico is a must for anyone interested in Milan’s rich cultural heritage.

Unveiling Milan’s Hidden Gem: Explore the Charming Canals and Colorful Navigli District

Navigli, Milan, Italy

The Navigli neighborhood in Milan is a charming and picturesque area known for its canals and vibrant nightlife. It was once a hub of commerce and transportation, with a network of canals that connected the city to the surrounding countryside.

Today, the canals have been restored and offer a unique glimpse into Milan’s history and culture.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the canal banks, stopping at one of the many bars and restaurants that line the waterways or take a boat tour for a different perspective of the city.

The neighborhood is also home to a variety of shops, boutiques, art galleries, and museums, making it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Milan.

During the day, families can enjoy relaxing walks and sightseeing trips, while at night, the area comes alive with young people enjoying the vibrant nightlife scene. Don’t miss out on exploring this magnificent area beyond its nightlife reputation.

Indulge in Retail Therapy: Discover the Best Shopping and Fashion Activities in Milan, the Fashion Capital of Italy

Milan is renowned as the fashion and design capital of Italy, making it a top destination for fashionistas and shopping enthusiasts.

With its prestigious fashion district and a wide range of boutiques and designer shops, Milan is the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy.

Shop ’til you drop in Milan’s Fashion District on Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga

Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga are two of the most famous streets in this district, attracting shoppers from around the globe. Here, visitors can browse through designer shops featuring the latest styles and trends from famous Italian and international brands.

In addition to clothing, shoppers can also find high-end jewelry, shoes, and accessories. Even those not interested in shopping can appreciate the beautiful window displays and stunning architecture of the buildings in this area. Whether you’re looking to splurge on designer clothing or just want to window shop, a visit to the fashion district is a must-do when in Milan.

Discover the Best of Milan’s Fashionable Corso Como District

Corso Como is one of Milan’s trendiest neighbourhoods, located in the city centre and known for its fashionable shops, stylish cafes, and vibrant nightlife. The area is home to many high-end fashion boutiques, designer stores, and concept stores, making it a must-visit destination for fashion lovers.

In addition to shopping, visitors can take a stroll through the charming streets and admire the unique architecture, including modern buildings and historic landmarks. The district also features several art galleries, showcasing both local and international contemporary art. At night, the area comes alive with a bustling nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants offering a variety of entertainment options. Don’t miss out on experiencing the vibrant and trendy atmosphere of Corso Como during your visit to Milan.

Art, culture and fun things to do in Milan Italy

Milan is a city that truly embodies the essence of art and culture. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-renowned museums and galleries, Milan offers a plethora of activities that cater to every taste and interest. Whether you’re a lover of Renaissance art, modern sculpture, or contemporary installations, Milan has something for everyone.

Explore the Magic of La Scala Opera House and Museum

La Scala Opera House, also known as Teatro la Scala, is a world-renowned institution and a must-see for any art and music lover. Built in 1778, the theatre hosted some of the most famous performances and opera stars in history.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the theatre and its museum, which houses a collection of costumes, instruments, and other memorabilia from past performances.

The tour takes visitors behind the scenes, into the dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces, providing an intimate look at the inner workings of one of the world’s most prestigious theatres. The museum also features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history of opera and the art of performance. A visit to La Scala Opera House is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of music and the performing arts.

The Contemporary Art Collection at the Museo del Novecento

The Museo del Novecento is a Milan must see destination for anyone interested in modern art. Located in the heart of Milan, the museum boasts an extensive collection of works from the 20th century, with a particular focus on Italian art from the 1900s to the 1950s.

Visitors can admire works by some of the most important Italian artists of the 20th century, including Giorgio de Chirico, Umberto Boccioni, and Lucio Fontana.

The museum is divided into several galleries, each dedicated to a different artistic movement or theme, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of modern art.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of contemporary artists. With its impressive collection and beautiful setting in the Palazzo dell’Arengario, the Museo del Novecento is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in contemporary art.

Rare Treasures at Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan

The Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a historic library in Milan that houses priceless manuscripts, artwork, and artefacts dating back to ancient times. Founded in the late 16th century by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, the library is renowned for its collection of illuminated manuscripts, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Atlantic Codex,” one of the most significant works of the Italian Renaissance.

Visitors can also admire original drawings and paintings by artists such as Caravaggio and Botticelli in the library’s art gallery. In addition to its impressive collection, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana also boasts stunning architecture, including a beautiful reading room with frescoes by Tiepolo. A visit to this cultural gem is a must for any history or art enthusiast visiting Milan.

Experience the Best of Milan’s Nightlife in the Trendy Brera District

Milan’s Brera district is one of the trendiest areas in the city, known for its vibrant nightlife and artsy atmosphere. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

The area is also home to several art galleries and boutiques, showcasing the best of Milan’s artistic and cultural scene. Whether you’re looking for a casual night out or a more upscale experience, there’s something for everyone in the Brera district. Don’t miss the chance to experience Milan’s buzzing nightlife in this trendy and exciting neighbourhood.

Contemporary Art at the Hangar Bicocca in Milan

The Hangar Bicocca is a contemporary art museum located in the northern part of Milan. It was opened in 2004 and has since become a renowned destination for art lovers. The museum is housed in a former industrial building and offers a vast exhibition space for contemporary artists.

The Hangar Bicocca showcases a wide range of exhibitions, installations, and events throughout the year, with a focus on promoting experimental and avant-garde art.

The museum is known for its large-scale installations and immersive artworks that engage visitors on both a visual and sensory level. Some notable exhibitions include Anselm Kiefer’s “The Seven Heavenly Palaces” and Carsten Höller’s “Doubt.”

With its dedication to showcasing cutting-edge contemporary art, the Hangar Bicocca is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the art scene in Milan. Admission to the museum is free, and it is easily accessible by public transportation.

The Beauty of the Villa Necchi Campiglio’s Gardens and Architecture in Milan

The Villa Necchi Campiglio is a stunning example of Italian architecture and design, situated in the heart of Milan. This elegant villa was designed by the renowned architect Piero Portaluppi in the 1930s, and it is now open to the public as a museum.

Visitors can explore the beautifully curated interiors, featuring art and furnishings from the early 20th century, and admire the villa’s lush gardens.

The garden is composed of several distinct areas, including a romantic English garden and a formal Italian garden, with fountains and statues that add to the villa’s charm.

It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon, away from the bustle of the city. The Villa Necchi Campiglio is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture, design, or just looking to experience the tranquillity of one of Milan’s most stunning locations.

Bosco Verticale – A Vertical Forest in Milan

The Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, is a unique residential complex located in the Porta Nuova district of Milan. The complex consists of two towers, measuring 111 meters and 76 meters in height, respectively, and is known for its innovative and sustainable design.

The towers are covered in over 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 perennials, creating a stunning green façade and a natural habitat for birds and insects.

In addition to its ecological benefits, the Bosco Verticale is also a beautiful sight to behold, with its unique architecture and greenery creating a striking contrast against the city skyline.

Visitors can take a stroll around the base of the towers or visit one of the cafes or shops located within the complex to admire this masterpiece of modern architecture.

Escape to Paradise: A Day Trip to Stunning Lake Como from Milan

Lake Como view, Italy

Milan may be a bustling city, but just a short train ride away lies the picturesque Lake of Como. Known for its stunning natural beauty and charming lakeside towns, Lake of Como is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride around the lake, stopping at the various towns along the way to explore their unique characters and charm.

For those seeking adventure, there are also plenty of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking in the surrounding hills. With its stunning views, delicious food, and relaxed atmosphere, the Lake of Como is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the city for a day.

Visit the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense for its stunning architecture

Discover the Neoclassical Architecture of Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense in Milan. The Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, located in the historic Palazzo di Brera complex, is a must-visit destination for architecture lovers in Milan.

The library features stunning Neoclassical architecture and is home to an impressive collection of books, manuscripts, and artwork.

The library’s beautiful reading rooms are adorned with ornate frescoes and intricate carvings, making it a true feast for the eyes.

Visitors can browse through the library’s extensive collection of rare books, including incunabula and manuscripts from the Middle Ages. The Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year, making it an engaging destination for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a history buff or an architecture enthusiast, a visit to the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense is sure to impress.

Discover Milan’s Waterways with a Boat Tour of the Navigli Canals

Milan’s Navigli district is famous for its charming canals, and one of the best ways to explore them is by boat. A boat tour along the Navigli canals offers a unique and relaxing way to discover the beauty of Milan’s waterways.

Visitors can admire the picturesque scenery while learning about the history and culture of the area.

The boat tour takes you through the heart of Milan’s historic district, passing under ancient bridges and past charming buildings. Along the way, you’ll see stunning architecture and hear fascinating stories about the area’s past. Whether you’re looking for a romantic excursion or a fun family activity, a boat tour of the Navigli canals is an unforgettable experience in Milan.

Artistic Charm of Porta Venezia Neighborhood in Milan

Milan’s Porta Venezia neighbourhood is a vibrant and artistic area filled with museums, galleries, and stunning architecture. Located just east of the historic city centre, this trendy district offers a unique blend of history, culture, and contemporary style.

Visitors can explore the many museums and galleries in the area, including the Museo del Design Italiano, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, and the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale.

The neighbourhood is also home to several beautiful parks, including the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, perfect for a leisurely stroll.

One of the most notable features of Porta Venezia is the stunning architecture, from the iconic Porta Venezia gate to the ornate buildings lining the streets. Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a charming and eclectic neighbourhood to explore, Porta Venezia is a must-visit destination in Milan.

Palazzo Reale: A Masterpiece of Milanese Architecture

The Palazzo Reale, or Royal Palace of Milan, is a stunning example of neoclassical architecture and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

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Built-in the 18th century, the palace was once the residence of the ruling families of Milan and is now open to the public as a museum and exhibition space.

Visitors can explore the palace’s many rooms, which are decorated with beautiful frescoes, intricate stucco work, and other impressive features. The palace’s grand ballroom, known as the Sala delle Cariatidi, is particularly impressive, with its stunning ceiling frescoes and ornate decoration.

The palace also hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing everything from contemporary art to historic artefacts. Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, or history, a visit to the Palazzo Reale is a must when in Milan.

Splendour of Decorative Arts and Paintings at Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan

Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan

The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is a hidden gem in Milan, located just a few steps away from the bustling shopping district of Via Montenapoleone.

The museum, housed in a stunning 19th-century mansion, boasts a vast collection of decorative arts and paintings, including works by Italian Renaissance masters such as Botticelli, Mantegna, and Bellini.

Visitors can explore the opulent rooms of the museum, adorned with exquisite furnishings, tapestries, and ceramics, and marvel at the intricate details of the collection.

The museum also features a collection of arms and armour, highlighting the military history of the city. The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is a must-visit destination for art and history lovers, offering a unique glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Milan.

Experience the Best of Milan’s Festivals: From Fashion to Film

Milan is known for hosting some of the most exciting and influential festivals in the world. One of the most popular events is Milan Fashion Week, which attracts fashionistas, designers, and celebrities from around the globe.

This week-long event showcases the latest trends in haute couture, ready-to-wear fashion, and accessories.

Another highly anticipated festival is the Milano Film Festival, which features a diverse range of independent films, shorts, and documentaries from both established and emerging filmmakers.

Other notable festivals in Milan include the Salone del Mobile, an annual furniture and design fair, and the Milan Food Week, a celebration of the city’s culinary culture. Whether you’re interested in fashion, film, design, or food, attending a local festival in Milan is an unforgettable experience.

Food and Drink Activities in Milan

Aperitivo, Milan

Food and drink are an integral part of the Italian way of life, and Milan is no exception. From classic Italian dishes to innovative cuisine, Milan has something to offer to every palate.

In this category, I have curated a list of the best food and drink activities in Milan, ranging from traditional Milanese restaurants serving up mouth-watering risotto alla milanese and osso buco to trendy bars offering aperitivo with a view.

Whether you’re a foodie looking to indulge in some Italian culinary delights or a wine connoisseur seeking out the best regional wines, Milan has got you covered. So get ready to savour the flavours of Milan and explore the city’s vibrant food and drink scene. 

Indulge in Authentic Milanese Cuisine at Traditional Restaurants

Milan is known not only for its fashion and culture but also for its delicious cuisine. For a true taste of the city’s traditional dishes, head to one of the many Milanese restaurants that can be found throughout the city. These eateries offer a range of authentic dishes, from risotto alla Milanese to osso buco, and are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Many of these restaurants have been around for decades, and they pride themselves on their use of high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. You can also try some of Milan’s famous cheeses, like gorgonzola or taleggio, and pair them with a glass of Italian wine. Whether you are looking for a cozy trattoria or a more upscale dining experience, Milan has plenty of options for you to enjoy the best of Italian cuisine.

Top 10 Must-Try Restaurants in Milan for Authentic Italian Cuisine:

Restaurant NameAddressCuisinePrice Range
Trattoria Milanese dal 1933Via Santa Marta 11Milanese cuisine$$
Trattoria AuroraVia Savona 23Italian cuisine$$$
Trattoria ArlatiVia Nota 47Milanese cuisine$$$
Trattoria Masuelli San MarcoViale Umbria 80Lombard cuisine$$$
Antica Trattoria della PesaViale Pasubio 10Milanese cuisine$$$$
Trattoria CasottelVia Fabio Massimo 25Italian cuisine$$
Trattoria del Nuovo MacelloVia Lombroso 20Lombard cuisine$$$
Osteria alla GrandeVia Forze Armate 405Milanese cuisine$$
Antica Osteria del RonchettinoVia Basso 9Lombard cuisine$$
Osteria dell’AcquabellaVia San Rocco 11Milanese cuisine$$

Learn to Cook Like a Local: Take a Traditional Milanese Cooking Class

Milan is known for its rich culinary heritage, and what better way to experience it than by taking a cooking class?
There are plenty of options for cooking classes in Milan, where you can learn how to make traditional Milanese dishes like risotto alla milanese, osso buco, and panettone. One popular option is to take a class at a local cooking school, where you can learn from experienced chefs and get hands-on experience in the kitchen.

Another option is to take a class with a local home cook, who can share family recipes and techniques passed down through generations. Whichever option you choose, a Milanese cooking class is a fun and delicious way to immerse yourself in the city’s food culture.

Football lovers and sports enthusiasts

Football is a passion for many people around the world, and Milan is no exception. The city has two major football teams, AC Milan and Inter Milan, who have a strong rivalry and a rich history of success. In addition to football, Milan offers a variety of sports and activities for enthusiasts to enjoy, such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, and cycling. Whether you prefer to watch a game or get active yourself, Milan has something for everyone in the world of sports.

Explore the Iconic San Siro Stadium, Home to AC Milan and Inter Milan

San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy

San Siro Stadium, officially known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, is a must-visit destination for sports fans in Milan. Located in the San Siro district, the stadium is the largest in Italy and the home ground of two of the country’s most successful football clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

The stadium has a rich history, having hosted several international matches, European cup finals, and concerts by renowned artists such as Madonna and U2.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the stadium, including the changing rooms, VIP areas, and the pitch itself, and learn about the history of these iconic football clubs. The stadium also features a museum, the Inter and Milan Museum, which showcases memorabilia and artefacts from the clubs’ past. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or simply interested in sports history, a visit to San Siro Stadium is a must-do in Milan.

Common questions from Milan Travellers

What are some free things to do in Milan?

Milan has plenty of free things to offer to its visitors. Here are some free things to do in Milan:

  1. Visit the Duomo di Milano: The Duomo di Milano is a magnificent Gothic cathedral located in the heart of Milan, and it’s free to enter.
  2. Walk through Parco Sempione: Parco Sempione is a beautiful park located in the city centre, and it’s free to enter. You can enjoy a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply sit and relax.
  3. Explore the Brera district: Brera is a picturesque and historic district of Milan, and it’s free to explore. You can wander through the narrow streets, admire the beautiful architecture, and visit art galleries.
  4. Visit the Piazza del Duomo: The Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Milan, and it’s free to visit. You can take in the beautiful views of the cathedral and the surrounding buildings.
  5. Check out the street art: Milan has a vibrant street art scene, and you can see some amazing works of art for free by simply walking around the city.
  6. Visit the Castello Sforzesco: The Castello Sforzesco is a beautiful castle located in the city center, and it’s free to enter. You can explore the courtyards, gardens, and museums inside.

These are just a few of the free things you can do in Milan. There are plenty of other free activities to explore, so make sure to do your research and plan ahead.

Where can I find the best shopping in Milan?

Milan is renowned as the fashion and design capital of Italy, so there are plenty of options for shopping enthusiasts. The prestigious fashion district, known as the Quadrilatero della Moda, is a must-visit destination for high-end fashion boutiques on Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, and Via Manzoni. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, is also a popular spot for luxury brands and fine dining.

For more affordable options, Corso Buenos Aires is the longest shopping street in Milan and offers a wide range of stores for all budgets. Brera, the artistic district of Milan, is also worth a visit, with its unique boutiques, artisan shops, and vintage stores. Finally, open-air markets such as Mercato Metropolitano and Mercato di Porta Genova are great places to find local produce, unique gifts, and souvenirs.

What are the best neighbourhoods to explore in Milan?

Milan is a city with many diverse and interesting neighbourhoods to explore. Here are some of the best neighbourhoods to check out:

  1. Brera: This charming neighbourhood is known for its artistic flair and narrow, winding streets. It’s a great place to explore art galleries, antique shops, and boutique stores.
  2. Navigli: Located in the southwest part of the city, Navigli is known for its picturesque canals, vibrant nightlife, and trendy restaurants and bars.
  3. Porta Venezia: This neighbourhood is home to many beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and has a vibrant multi-cultural atmosphere. It’s also known for its fashion boutiques and design shops.
  4. Corso Como: This upscale neighbourhood is known for its high-end fashion boutiques, trendy restaurants, and stylish nightlife.
  5. Isola: This up-and-coming neighbourhood is located just north of the city centre and has a hip, creative vibe. It’s a great place to find unique art galleries, vintage shops, and quirky cafes.

These are just a few of the many neighbourhoods worth exploring in Milan. Each one offers a unique and interesting perspective on the city, so be sure to explore as many as possible during your visit.

What is the best time of year to visit Milan?

The best time to visit Milan depends on personal preferences and what you plan to do during your trip. Generally, the best time to visit Milan is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild, and there are fewer tourists. The summer months (June to August) can be hot and crowded, but there are plenty of outdoor events and festivals. Winter (December to February) can be cold and foggy, but it is a great time to experience Milan’s festive holiday season and see the city’s Christmas markets. Ultimately, the best time to visit Milan will depend on your interests, budget, and availability.

Are there any insider tips for exploring Milan?

There are several insider tips for exploring Milan:

  1. Avoid peak tourist season: To avoid crowds and high prices, consider visiting Milan during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October).
  2. Use public transportation: Milan has an extensive public transportation system that is efficient and affordable. Consider using the metro, trams, or buses to explore the city.
  3. Visit lesser-known attractions: While popular attractions such as the Duomo and the Last Supper are must-sees, Milan also has many lesser-known attractions that are equally interesting. Consider visiting places such as the Navigli district, the Brera neighbourhood, or the Villa Necchi Campiglio.
  4. Try the local cuisine: Milanese cuisine is unique and delicious, so be sure to try some of the local specialities such as risotto alla milanese, cotoletta alla milanese, and panettone.
  5. Dress appropriately: Milan is known as a fashion capital, so it’s important to dress well when exploring the city. Avoid wearing athletic clothes or sneakers, and opt for stylish, comfortable outfits.
  6. Take a guided tour: Taking a guided tour of Milan can be a great way to learn about the city’s history and culture. Consider booking a walking tour or a food tour to get a more in-depth experience.

 What are the top museums and galleries to visit in Milan?

  1. Pinacoteca di Brera – an art gallery featuring works by Italian masters such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Bellini.
  2. Museo del Novecento – a museum dedicated to 20th-century Italian art.
  3. Castello Sforzesco – a historic castle that houses several museums, including the Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum of Musical Instruments.
  4. Triennale di Milano – a design museum with exhibitions on architecture, art, and industrial design.
  5. Fondazione Prada – a contemporary art museum and cultural centre with exhibitions by international artists.
  6. Galleria d’Arte Moderna – a museum featuring works of modern and contemporary art by Italian artists.
  7. Museo Archeologico – a museum showcasing artefacts from ancient civilizations, including Greek, Roman, and Egyptian.
  8. Museo Poldi Pezzoli – a museum housed in a historic mansion, featuring a collection of art and decorative objects from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
  9. Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia – a science and technology museum with interactive exhibits on topics such as space exploration and renewable energy.
  10. Museo Bagatti Valsecchi – a museum showcasing a collection of Renaissance art and decorative objects in a historic mansion.

 What are some unique experiences to have in Milan?

Here are some unique experiences to have in Milan:

  1. Visit the historic Navigli canal district and enjoy an aperitivo by the water.
  2. Explore the city’s street art scene with a guided tour or on your own.
  3. Attend a performance at La Scala, one of the world’s most famous opera houses.
  4. Take a day trip to the stunning Lake Como or Lake Garda.
  5. Visit the quirky and fascinating Museum of Ancient Art, located in the Sforza Castle.
  6. Discover Milan’s culinary scene with a food tour, sampling local specialities like risotto alla Milanese and panettone.
  7. Climb to the rooftop of the stunning Duomo cathedral for breathtaking views of the city.
  8. Experience the unique atmosphere of the Navigli Antique Market held on the last Sunday of every month.
  9. Wander through the lush and peaceful grounds of the Brera Botanical Garden.
  10. Shop for one-of-a-kind fashion pieces in the trendy Navigli and Brera neighbourhoods.


Thank you for exploring Milan with me! I hope this guide has given you a taste of what this vibrant city has to offer. From the stunning architecture and world-renowned museums to the delectable food and exciting nightlife, Milan truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a fashionista looking to shop till you drop or a history buff eager to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, Milan is sure to delight and inspire you. So, pack your bags, book your ticket, and get ready to experience the magic of Milan for yourself.


James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers