Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

35 Best Things to Do in Milan

city-guides

35 Best Things to Do in Milan

08 April 2024

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by aparto student

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aparto student

Milan, Italy's vibrant and stylish metropolis, is a city that effortlessly blends rich history with modern innovation. From iconic landmarks to world-class museums, local restaurants to charming cafes, Milan offers a wealth of experiences that cater to every taste and interest. If you're a fashion enthusiast, an art lover, a foodie, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the city's unique culture, Milan has something for everyone. Join us as we explore the 35 best things to do in Milan, showcasing the city's diverse attractions and highlighting why it's a must-visit destination for travellers from around the globe.

1. Visit the Duomo di Milano

Visiting the Duomo di Milano is a journey into the heart of Milan's rich history and architectural grandeur. This iconic cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, captivates with its intricate facade adorned with thousands of statues and spires. 

As you step inside, you're greeted by a vast interior filled with stunning stained glass windows, intricate marble floors, and towering columns. Climb to the rooftop for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city, where you can admire the intricate details of the spires and statues up close, as well as enjoy a stunning vista of Milan's skyline.

Address: P.za del Duomo, 20122 Milano

Duomo di Milano

2. Explore the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This historic shopping arcade, built in the 19th century, is a masterpiece of architecture and a symbol of Milanese style. As you stroll through its elegant corridors, you'll be surrounded by high-end boutiques, luxury brands, and charming cafes. 

Admire the stunning glass dome that crowns the arcade, allowing natural light to illuminate the intricate mosaics and architectural details. Stop for a coffee or aperitivo at one of the iconic cafes, where you can soak in the atmosphere and watch the world go by.

Address: P.za del Duomo, 20123 Milano

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

3. See Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper"

Seeing Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" is a profound and unforgettable experience. Housed in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, this iconic mural painting is a masterpiece of Renaissance art. As you enter the room, you're immediately struck by the painting's scale and detail. 

The scene depicts the moment Jesus reveals that one of his disciples will betray him, capturing the emotions of the figures in a remarkably lifelike manner. Despite its age, the painting's colours and details are incredibly well-preserved, allowing you to appreciate da Vinci's genius up close.

Address: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano

The Last Supper

4. Visit the Castello Sforzesco

Visiting the Castello Sforzesco is a journey back in time to the heyday of the Renaissance in Milan. This imposing fortress, originally built in the 15th century by the Duke of Milan, is a testament to the city's rich history and cultural heritage. As you explore its massive walls and towers, you'll discover a treasure trove of art, history, and architecture. 

Inside, the castle houses several museums and art collections, including works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Don't miss the chance to stroll through the castle's beautiful courtyards and gardens, which offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

Castello Sforzesco in Milan

5. Walk around the Brera District

This historic neighbourhood is known for its picturesque streets lined with colourful buildings, boutiques, art galleries, and cosy cafes. As you wander through the cobblestone streets, you'll pass by art schools, studios, and galleries, giving the area a vibrant and artistic atmosphere. 

Stop by the Pinacoteca di Brera, one of Italy's most important art collections, housed in a former Jesuit college. Don't miss the chance to explore the Orto Botanico di Brera, a beautiful botanical garden that offers a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle. If you're an art lover, a foodie, or simply looking to soak up the local atmosphere, a walk around the Brera District is sure to be a memorable experience.

Address: Brera District

Palazzo Brera

6. Sip coffee at a historic café

Savouring coffee at a historic café in Milan offers a taste of the city's rich cultural heritage. Cafés like Caffè Sforzesco or Caffè Cova have served generations, providing an elegant and charming atmosphere. Their marble counters, antique furniture, and ornate decorations create a sense of old-world charm. As you sip your coffee, surrounded by locals and tourists alike, you'll enjoy the rich aroma and unique ambiance.

Address: various coffee places in the city

Italian coffee

7. Explore the Navigli District

Exploring Milan's Navigli District offers a glimpse into the city's vibrant and artistic side. The picturesque canals are lined with colourful buildings, trendy boutiques, and charming cafes. Wander along the cobblestone streets, where you'll find artists' studios and galleries showcasing local talent. 

Stop for a drink at one of the many bars or enjoy a meal at a waterfront restaurant. The district comes alive in the evenings, with live music and a lively atmosphere. If you're shopping for unique souvenirs or simply soaking up the local culture, a visit to the Navigli District is sure to be a memorable experience.

Address: Navigli District

Navigli

8. Visit the Pinacoteca di Brera

Visiting the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan is a journey through centuries of Italian art and culture. Housed in a magnificent palace, this gallery boasts an impressive collection of masterpieces by renowned artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mantegna. The gallery's highlight is Raphael's "The Marriage of the Virgin," a stunning example of High Renaissance art. 

As you wander through the gallery's halls, you'll also discover works from the Middle Ages to the modern era, including sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts. The Pinacoteca di Brera offers a rich and immersive art experience, making it a must-visit for art lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

Address: Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano

9. See a show at Teatro alla Scala

Seeing a show at Teatro alla Scala is a pinnacle of cultural experiences in Milan. This iconic opera house, known for its superb acoustics and opulent interiors, has hosted some of the world's most famous operas and ballets. 

Attending a performance here is a journey into the world of classical music and theatre, with top-tier productions that showcase the talents of renowned artists. The theatre's history and prestige add to the allure, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of Milan's rich cultural heritage.

Address: Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano

Teatro alla Scala in Milan

10. Stroll through Parco Sempione

Strolling through Parco Sempione is a serene escape in the heart of Milan. This expansive park offers lush greenery, picturesque lakes, and charming pathways that invite you to wander and unwind. The park is dotted with sculptures and monuments, adding to its beauty and charm. 

As you explore, you'll encounter locals jogging, families picnicking, and couples enjoying a romantic stroll. Parco Sempione also offers stunning views of the Castello Sforzesco, adding to its allure.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano

Parco Sempione in Milan

11. Visit the Museo del Novecento

Visiting the Museo del Novecento is a fascinating journey through 20th-century art. Located in the heart of Milan, this museum houses a remarkable collection of Italian and international artworks from the 1900s. As you wander through its galleries, you'll encounter masterpieces by renowned artists such as Picasso, Mondrian, and Kandinsky, as well as Italian artists like Fontana and Burri. 

The museum's collection includes paintings, sculptures, and installations that reflect the diverse artistic movements of the 20th century. With its thought-provoking exhibits and stunning displays, the Museo del Novecento offers a captivating insight into the evolution of modern art, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Address: P.za del Duomo, 8, 20123 Milano

Museo del Novecento in Milan

12. See the Biblioteca Ambrosiana

Seeing the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan is a journey into the world of ancient manuscripts and rare books. Founded in 1607 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, this historic library houses a vast collection of texts and artefacts, including Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus. 

As you explore its halls, you'll discover a treasure trove of knowledge and history, with works spanning from ancient Greek and Roman texts to medieval manuscripts and Renaissance artworks. The library's stunning reading room, adorned with frescoes and intricate woodwork, offers a glimpse into the intellectual and artistic legacy of Milan.

Address: Piazza Pio XI, 2, 20123 Milano

13. Shop at the Quadrilatero della Moda

This prestigious area is home to some of the world's most renowned fashion houses and designer boutiques, including Prada, Gucci, and Versace. As you stroll along its elegant streets, you'll be surrounded by the latest trends and high-end fashion, with each storefront offering a glimpse into the world of haute couture. 

If you're looking for the perfect designer handbag, a tailored suit, or a statement piece of jewellery, the Quadrilatero della Moda offers a shopping experience like no other, making it a must-visit destination for fashion enthusiasts.

Address: Quadrilatero della Moda

14. Visit the San Siro Stadium

Visiting the San Siro Stadium is a pilgrimage for football fans and sports enthusiasts alike. Home to two of Italy's most iconic football clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan, this legendary stadium has witnessed countless historic moments in football history. 

As you step inside, you'll feel the energy and passion that reverberate through the stands, where thousands of fans cheer on their teams. Take a guided tour to explore the stadium's locker rooms, VIP areas, and pitchside, gaining insight into the stadium's rich heritage.

Address: Piazzale Angelo Moratti, 20151 Milano

San Siro Stadium in Milan

15. Explore the Monumental Cemetery

Exploring Milan's Monumental Cemetery is a unique and fascinating experience. This historic cemetery, established in the 19th century, is a veritable outdoor museum of art and architecture. 

As you wander through its labyrinthine pathways, you'll encounter elaborate tombs, mausoleums, and sculptures created by some of Italy's most renowned artists. Each monument tells a story, reflecting the cultural, artistic, and social history of Milan.

Address: Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, 20154 Milano

 

16. Explore the NOLO District

Exploring Milan's NOLO (North of Loreto) district offers a glimpse into the city's evolving urban landscape and burgeoning cultural scene. This vibrant neighborhood, once overlooked, has transformed into a hub of creativity and innovation.

As you navigate the streets of NOLO, you'll encounter a melting pot of cultures, reflected in its eclectic mix of shops, cafes, and street art. From traditional Italian trattorias to trendy boutiques and lively markets, there's something to appeal to every taste and preference.

Immerse yourself in the local atmosphere by joining a guided walking tour or simply strolling through the neighborhood at your own pace. Engage with friendly locals, sample authentic cuisine, and soak up the energy of this dynamic district.

Whether you're seeking artistic inspiration, culinary delights, or simply a glimpse into everyday Milanese life, NOLO promises an unforgettable experience.

Address: NoLo District, Milan, Italy

17. Visit the Museum of Science and Technology

Visiting the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan is an immersive journey through the history of science, technology, and innovation. Housed in a former 16th-century monastery, the museum showcases Italy's rich scientific heritage through a vast collection of artefacts, interactive exhibits, and hands-on displays.

From early inventions to modern technological advancements, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of human ingenuity. Highlights include Leonardo da Vinci's machines, vintage aircraft, and a full-scale submarine.

Address: Via San Vittore, 21, 20123 Milano

18. Walk along Corso Como

Corso Como is a vibrant nightlife destination, bustling with restaurants, pizzerias, pubs, and bars. During events like fashion week, it's a celebrity hotspot, drawing showbiz names. The street is home to renowned discos like Hollywood Milano and Loolapaloosa.

10 Corso Como is a standout spot, blending art, fashion, music, design, and cuisine. Its shop offers limited edition items, and the Galleria Carla Sozzani upstairs features temporary exhibitions. With a restaurant, café, and outdoor seating, 10 Corso Como is a good spot for relaxing and socialising in a vibrant setting.

Address: Corso Como

19. Visit the Royal Palace of Milan

Visiting the Royal Palace of Milan is a step back in time to the grandeur of Italy's royal past. This magnificent palace, originally built in the 14th century, served as the residence of the ruling families of Milan, including the Viscontis and the Sforzas.

Today, the palace houses several museums and art collections, including the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Musical Instruments, and the Archaeological Museum. As you explore its opulent halls and lavish courtyards, you'll be transported to a bygone era of royalty and aristocracy.

Address: P.za del Duomo, 12, 20122 Milano

20. Visit the Piazza Mercanti

Visiting Piazza Mercanti in Milan is like stepping back in time to the city's medieval past. This historic square, once the heart of Milan's commercial and civic life, is surrounded by beautiful buildings that showcase the city's architectural heritage. 

As you wander through the square, you'll encounter landmarks such as the Palazzo della Ragione, the Loggia degli Osii, and the Casa dei Panigarola, each with its own story to tell. The square's charming atmosphere and rich history make it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.

Address: Piazza dei Mercanti, 20123 Milano

21. Explore the Porta Nuova District

Exploring the Porta Nuova District in Milan offers a glimpse into the city's modern and innovative side. This dynamic neighbourhood is known for its contemporary architecture, upscale shopping, and vibrant cultural scene. 

As you wander through its streets, you'll encounter sleek skyscrapers, trendy boutiques, and chic cafes. The district is also home to impressive public spaces, such as the Piazza Gae Aulenti, which features a striking fountain and panoramic views of the city skyline.

Address: Porta Nuova District

Porta Nuova in Milan

22. Visit the Triennale di Milano

Visiting the Triennale di Milano is a dive into the world of design, art, and architecture. Located in the Palazzo dell'Arte, this cultural institution is renowned for its exhibitions and events showcasing cutting-edge contemporary design. 

As you explore its galleries, you'll encounter a diverse range of works from both Italian and international artists and designers, offering a glimpse into the latest trends and innovations in the world of design. The Triennale di Milano also hosts lectures, workshops, and screenings, making it a hub of creativity and inspiration.

Address: Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

23. Take a tour of Casa Milan

Taking a tour of Casa Milan is a journey into the history and culture of one of Italy's most iconic football clubs. Located near the San Siro Stadium, Casa Milan is the headquarters of AC Milan and offers fans a unique opportunity to delve into the club's rich heritage. The tour takes you through the club's museum, where you can explore memorabilia, trophies, and exhibits highlighting key moments in AC Milan's history.

Address: Via Aldo Rossi, 8, 20149 Milano

24. See the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio

Visiting the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio in Milan is a journey through centuries of history and spirituality. This ancient church, built in the 4th century, is one of the oldest in the city and is dedicated to Saint Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan. 

As you step inside, you'll be struck by the church's Romanesque architecture, with its soaring arches, intricate mosaics, and ancient relics. The basilica is also home to stunning frescoes and artwork, including the famous Golden Altar.

Address: Piazza Sant'Ambrogio, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

25. Visit the Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

Visiting the Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan is like stepping into a hidden gem of Renaissance art and history. This church, dating back to the 16th century, is renowned for its stunning frescoes and ornate decorations. 

As you enter, you'll be greeted by a breathtaking display of artwork covering nearly every inch of the interior, including the choir, chapels, and even the ceilings. The frescoes depict biblical scenes, saints, and angels in vibrant colours and intricate detail, offering a glimpse into the artistic genius of the Renaissance era.

Address: Corso Magenta, 15, 20123 Milano

26. Take a cooking class

Taking a cooking class in Milan is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich culinary traditions. You'll have the opportunity to learn from expert chefs who will guide you through the preparation of authentic Italian dishes using fresh, local ingredients. 

Whether you're interested in mastering the art of making pasta from scratch, learning the secrets of risotto, or perfecting the techniques for making the perfect tiramisu, there's a cooking class in Milan to suit your tastes. Not only will you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour at the end of the class, but you'll also take home valuable skills and recipes that you can recreate in your own kitchen.

Address: Several locations including Florencetown Cooking Schools at Mercato Centrale Via Giovanni Battista Sammartini corner Piazza Quattro Novembre 20125 Milano

Making pasta

27. Visit the Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Visiting the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan is a journey through one of the city's most exquisite private art collections. Housed in a historic palace, the museum showcases a diverse array of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, collected by the Poldi Pezzoli family over generations. 

As you explore its galleries, you'll encounter masterpieces by Italian and European artists, as well as a stunning collection of armour and weaponry. The museum's intimate atmosphere and richly decorated rooms offer a glimpse into the life of Milanese aristocracy and make it a must-visit for art lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

Address: Via Alessandro Manzoni, 12, 20121 Milano

28. Explore the Ticinese District

This vibrant neighbourhood is known for its eclectic mix of boutiques, vintage shops, and artisanal studios. As you wander through its streets, you'll encounter colourful street art, bustling markets, and charming cafes. 

The district is also home to the beautiful Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Naviglio Grande canal, offering picturesque views and a lively atmosphere. If you're shopping for unique souvenirs, exploring local art, or simply soaking up the vibrant ambiance, a visit to the Ticinese District is sure to be a memorable experience.

Address: Ticinese District

Porta Ticinese in Milan

29. See the Arco della Pace

This majestic arch, located at the entrance to Parco Sempione, was built in the 19th century as a symbol of peace following the Napoleonic Wars. As you approach the arch, you'll be struck by its grandeur and beauty, with intricate carvings and statues adorning its façade. 

The Arco della Pace is also surrounded by charming cafes and restaurants, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax and enjoy the view. If you're interested in history, architecture, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, a visit to the Arco della Pace is a must-do experience in Milan.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano

Arco della Pace in Milan

30. Visit the Museo Diocesano

Visiting the Museo Diocesano in Milan is a journey through the art and history of the Catholic Church in Lombardy. Housed in the former Palazzo del Senato, the museum's collection includes religious artworks, sculptures, and artefacts dating from the early Christian period to the present day. 

As you explore its galleries, you'll encounter masterpieces by renowned artists such as Bramantino, Bergognone, and Luini, as well as a stunning collection of liturgical objects and vestments. The museum's displays offer a fascinating insight into the religious and cultural heritage of the region, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Address: Piazza Sant'Eustorgio, 3, 20122 Milano

31. Take a walk in the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens

This historic park, named after the renowned journalist and writer, is a green oasis that offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. As you wander along its tree-lined pathways, you'll encounter lush gardens, tranquil ponds, and charming statues. 

The park is also home to the Civic Museum of Natural History, making it a great destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. If you're looking for a scenic spot to relax or a place to explore Milan's natural beauty, the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens is a must-visit destination.

Address: Via Palestro, 20121 Milano

32. Discover Milan’s nightlife

Milan's nightlife is renowned for its energy and diversity, offering a range of clubs to suit every taste. One of the most iconic venues is Alcatraz, known for its live music events and energetic atmosphere. Gattopardo is a popular choice for those seeking a sophisticated night out, with its elegant decor and upscale crowd.

Fabrique is a favourite among electronic music enthusiasts, hosting top DJs and cutting-edge light shows. For a more underground vibe, Magazzini Generali is the place to be, with its industrial-chic setting and eclectic mix of music. Whether you're into rock, techno, or hip-hop, Milan's club scene has something for everyone, promising unforgettable nights out in this stylish city.

Address: various locations in the city

Clubbing in Milan

33. Try local food

Milan cuisine blends traditional Italian flavours with local specialties, and Trattoria da Pino, La Madonnina Trattoria, and Da Abele are standout venues offering a taste of the city's culinary heritage. 

Try hearty Milanese dishes like risotto alla Milanese, cotoletta alla Milanese, ossobuco and panettone in one of Milan’s most popular Italian restaurants. Dining at these trattorias promises a memorable experience, showcasing the delicious and diverse flavours of Milanese cuisine.

Address: various locations in the city

Panettone

34. Discover the Monza Circuit's Racing Legacy

The Monza Circuit, also known as the "Temple of Speed," is one of the most iconic and historic racing circuits in the world, located approximately 15 kilometres (9 miles) northeast of Milan. This legendary track has been a fixture in motorsport since its opening in 1922. The circuit is famous for its high-speed straights and challenging curves, making it a favourite among drivers and fans alike. 

Over the years, the Monza Circuit has hosted numerous prestigious races, including the Formula One Italian Grand Prix, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious races on the F1 calendar. The circuit's rich history and thrilling races have made it a mecca for motorsport enthusiasts from around the globe, cementing its status as one of the most iconic tracks in motorsport history.

Address: Viale di Vedano, 5, 20900 Monza

Monza Circuit

35. Cycle through Milan’s Highlights

Embark on a bike tour of Milan to explore the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. Pedal through the bustling streets, passing by iconic landmarks such as the magnificent Duomo di Milano, the historic Sforza Castle, and the picturesque Navigli District. 

Stop at quaint cafes and bustling piazzas along the way to soak up the local atmosphere and sample authentic Italian cuisine. If you're a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a fun and active way to explore Milan, a bike tour is the perfect way to discover all that this vibrant city has to offer.

To Sum up

Milan is a city that captivates and inspires, offering a blend of old-world charm and contemporary allure. If you're exploring its historic streets, indulging in its culinary delights, or admiring its world-renowned art and architecture, Milan is a city that never fails to enchant. With its vibrant culture, rich history, and endless array of attractions, Milan truly is a destination like no other. Milan's timeless beauty and modern elegance are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Milan is also known for its prestigious universities, attracting students from around the world. With institutions like the University of Milan and Bocconi University offering top-notch education, Milan is a hub for academic excellence. For students looking for accommodation in Milan, our residences Giovenale and Ripamonti provide modern and comfortable living spaces, perfect for focusing on studies and enjoying all that Milan has to offer. Did you know aparto Milan Giovenale and aparto Milan Ripamonti offer short stays in the summer months for students and non-students. 

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