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Things to do in Milan

Things to do in  Milan

Welcome to Milan

Fashion-forward Milan dazzles with glamour, but Italy’s style capital has more to it than first meets the eye. From the Gothic gargoyles and spires of Milan Duomo to Leonardo da Vinci’s much-loved masterpiece “The Last Supper,” the city boasts plenty of history, art, and culture. Treat yourself to a night of opera at historic La Scala, hit the “aperitivo” hangouts of Navigli for a bright orange spritz, and embrace the Milanese love of shopping with a spree at the flagship stores of Via Montenapoleone.

Top 15 attractions in Milan

Milan Duomo

The most exuberant example of Northern Gothic architecture in Italy, the spiky spires and towers of Milan's Duomo (Duomo di Milano) dominate Piazza del Duomo, the city's beating heart. One of the highlights of a visit to the cathedral is the view from the roof, where you can scope out Milan from the highest terrace surrounded by statues. On a clear day, it’s possible to see the Italian Alps.More

Da Vinci's Last Supper (Il Cenacolo)

Each day, Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper (Il Cenacolo) draws hundreds of art-loving visitors to the unassuming refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie for just 15 minutes with the painting. Arguably Milan's most famous 15th-century wall mural, you must book entrance tickets in advance or sign up for a guided Milan city tour to see it up close.More

La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala)

La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala), one of the world’s greatest opera houses, has hosted some of Italy’s most famous opera and other performances. Located in downtown Milan, this 18th-century theater and cultural landmark—magnificently restored in 2004—seats many of its 2,000 spectators in elegant boxes adorned with gold leaf and red velvet.More

Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)

Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco) is a medieval fortress built by the Visconti dynasty that became home to Milan’s ruling Sforza family in 1450. Stark and domineering, the historic brick castle has massive round battlements, an imposing tower overlooking the central courtyard and surrounding Parco Sempione gardens, and defensive walls designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Today the castle houses a number of world-class museums and galleries.More

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

In the fashion capital of Italy, the glass-domed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade—one of the oldest in Europe—never goes out of style. Sandwiched by the Milan Duomo on one side and the Piazza di Marino on the other, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a bright and airy 4-story center full of restaurants and shops. Come for the neoclassical architecture; stay for the brands and fresh baked panzerotti.More

Como-Brunate Funicular Railway (Funicolare Como–Brunate)

This historic single-track funicular railway has been carrying passengers up and down the steep mountain slope between the lakeside city of Como and the village of Brunate since 1894. The 7-minute ride passes through a scenic stretch of countryside with sweeping views over Italy’s Lake Como as far as the Swiss Alps.More

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie)

Built by Duke Francesco I Sforza and later reworked by Bramante, the modest 15th-century Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie) is known for housing one of Italy’s most celebrated works of Renaissance art—Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, which decorates the refectory wall of the adjoining Dominican convent.More


Milan boasts a number of trendy neighborhoods thick with hip bars, restaurants, and clubs. Of these, the Brera district—a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with boutiques and cafés near the Duomo in the city center—is perhaps the most beautiful thanks to its laid-back pace and old-world charm.More

Piazza Mercanti

Centuries before Piazza del Duomo became Milan’s main square, medieval Piazza Mercanti was the heart of the city. Marking the center of Milan’s historic center, this charming space is lined by porticoed palaces dating from the Middle Ages and offers a picturesque counterpoint to the rest of the city’s stately majesty.More

Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore)

Milan’s best-preserved 16th-century church, the Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore) features frescoes by Bernardino Luini as well as the oldest pipe organ in the city. It is also home to the Archaeological Museum of Milan (Museo Archeologico di Milano), which displays artifacts from the Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans.More


Hop on the historic funicular from the city of Como and climb 2,362 feet (720 meters to the hilltop town of Brunate to take in the spectacular panorama over Lake Como as far as the Swiss Alps. If that isn’t enough of a bird’s-eye view, you can continue up the trail to the 1920s lighthouse for an even higher scenic perch.More

Sempione Park (Parco Sempione)

Chic Milan is known for its contemporary elegance and relentless pace, so it may come as a surprise to learn that one of Italy’s loveliest city parks sits at its heart. Sempione Park (Parco Sempione) covers 116 acres (47 hectares) of central Milan, offering a welcome respite from the surrounding urban hustle and bustle.More

Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace)

The Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace), located at the entrance to Parco Sempione in Milan, is a neoclassical arch begun by Napoleon during the early 19th century to honor his military victories. Made of marble from the Swiss Alps, the triumphal arch marks the beginning of the road that connects Milan and Paris.More

Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera)

The Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera), one of Italy’s most important museums, is a highlight of Milan’s fashionable Brera neighborhood. This impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Piero della Francesca, and Andrea Mantegna.More

QC Termemilano

Milan is known for its sophisticated style and unforgiving pace, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow down and unwind in Italy’s fashion capital. If you need a break, QC Termemilano is an indulgent spa in the heart of the city with thermal baths, steam baths, relaxation rooms, massages, treatments, and more.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Milan

How to Spend 2 Days in Milan

Top activities in Milan

Historic Milan Tour with Skip-the-Line Last Supper Ticket
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Best of Milan Experience Including Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Milan Duomo
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Best of Milan Experience Including Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Milan Duomo

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Venice - Day Trip from Milan

Venice - Day Trip from Milan

Private Best of Milan Guided Tour with Duomo, La Scala Theatre and Sforza Castle
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Lake Como Beautiful Landscapes

Lake Como Beautiful Landscapes

Milan Duomo & The Last Supper Skip the Line Guided Tour
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Bernina Scenic Train & Lake Como

Bernina Scenic Train & Lake Como

The secrets to learn fresh pasta and tiramisù
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La Scala Theatre and Museum guided experience
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Recent reviews from experiences in Milan

Was a Nice Way to See Milan
JohnM_E, Mar. 2023
City Sightseeing Milan Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
It was nice to see the city in a short time period.
Julie_P, Mar. 2023
Vintage Fiat 500 Tour in Milan
What a fun way to see Milan!
Pleasant Milan
PHILLIP_S, Mar. 2023
Milan Duomo & The Last Supper Skip the Line Guided Tour
You have 15 mins to see the painting and other interesting items.
Good fun!
Theresa_D, Mar. 2023
Lake Como, Bellagio with private boat cruise included
This tour should be on your list when in Milan specially if it’s your first time to visit the city.
Incredible way to see Milan
Hailey_C, Mar. 2023
Vintage Fiat 500 Tour in Milan
Would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see the highlights of Milan.
Milan up close and personal
Lynne_A, Mar. 2023
Milan Half-Day Tour Including da Vinci's 'Last Supper', Duomo & La Scala Theatre
We had the chance to see the entire beautiful city of Milan and learn so much about it.
Great day in Milan!!
JEAN_H, Feb. 2023
Best of Milan Experience Including Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Milan Duomo
Great way to see the city of Milan.
A Learning Experience
Vincent_A, Jan. 2023
Best of Milan Experience Including Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Milan Duomo
Our English speaking tour guide Nina was very well versed and knowledgeable about the history and culture of Milan.
Fun tour
Ben_G, Jan. 2023
Milan Hidden Treasures Bike Tour
We saw some interesting parts of the city, learned a lot, and she even gave us some great recommendations for things to do in/around Milan!
Excellent walking tour of Milan and Last Supper.
Sharon_M, Jan. 2023
Skip the Line: Essential Milan Tour Including Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'
I was thrilled to see the Last Supper, very emotional to see it in person.
Great day trip from the hustle & bustle of Milan
Diane_C, Jan. 2023
Italy and Switzerland Day Trip: Lake Como, Bellagio & Lugano from Milan
Sonja was a great English speaking guide.
Excellent presentation of...
Speranta_I, Jan. 2023
Sforza Castle and Michelangelo's Pietà Rondanini guided experience
Totally worth to visit this castle and especially Pieta!
The "best of" Milan with the best guide of Milan!
Sheila_S, Dec. 2022
Historic Milan Tour with Skip-the-Line Last Supper Ticket
One of the best tours to see the "best of" a city and to learn about Milan and Leonardo!
Rochelle_G, Dec. 2022
Historic Milan Tour with Skip-the-Line Last Supper Ticket
Speak pretty english and was able to share many informations about Milan and Da Vinci.
Must do!
Sohely_V, Dec. 2022
Half-Day Lake Como Discovery Tour from Milan - small group tour
He recommended amazing places and activities to do after the tour.
Amazing experience, would...
Georgia_G, Nov. 2022
Luxury Spa Evening with Aperitivo in Ancient Roman Bath in Milan City Center
Amazing experience, would travel back to Milan just to visit again!
Lake Como experience
PAUL_M, Nov. 2022
Lake Como, Bellagio with private boat cruise included
So much to see and do in about 10 hours
It’s so worth it!!
Miranda_W, Oct. 2022
Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour from Milan
We were able to see sights via coach, train and foot.
Fun and informative!
Cynthia_C, Feb. 2023
Vintage Fiat 500 Tour in Milan
He recommended other things to do and even made us a restaurant reservation after the tour.
Good eats in Brera
Stephen_S, Oct. 2022
Milan Food Walking Tour of Brera
It was a nice way to see a vibrant part of Milano.
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All about Milan

When to visit

The semi-annual Milan Fashion Week, held at the tail end of both summer and winter, is the most popular time to visit Milan. During the sweltering month of August, Milanese flock to the Italian lakes and the city all but shuts down. Fall and winter are great for sporting and cultural events—soccer, the Grand Prix, and opera kick off in December.

A local’s pocket guide to Milan

Alessia Sinesi

Alessia was born in Milan's historic Navigli district. She’s a food lover and has sampled most of the city's best restaurants over the years.

The first thing you should do in Milan is...

take the tram to Navigli, which sits alongside the Milanese canals. Once there, take a walk, order a Spritz, and enjoy the Italian happy hour.

A perfect Saturday in Milan...

involves exploring the historic center. Stop by the Duomo, Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, Quadrilatero della Moda, Brera District, and Sforzesco Castle, then relax in Sempione Park. Don't forget to try the panzerotti at Luini’s either.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

visiting the National Science and Technology Museum, where you can discover the magnificent permanent exhibition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci.

To discover the "real" Milan...

tour the skyscrapers in the Porta Garibaldi area, walk through Piazza Gae Aulenti at the foot of the Garibaldi Towers, or visit the Library of Trees.

For the best view of the city...

head to the Duomo rooftop terrace and enjoy the atmosphere among the spires and gold Madonnina statue. On a clear day, you can see the Alps on the horizon.

One thing people get wrong...

There's more to Milan's shopping than fashion. Fiera di Sinigaglia is the city’s oldest flea market—find everything from second-hand clothing and records to vintage books and coin collections.

People Also Ask

What is Milan best known for?

Italy’s capital of contemporary fashion and design is most famous for a masterpiece dating from more than 500 years ago: Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, housed in Milan’s Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The city’s majestic gothic cathedral (Duomo) is also a star attraction.

How long do you need in Milan?

You’ll need at least a full day to visit The Last Supper and stroll from the Duomo through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to visit La Scala opera house. Stay overnight to dip into the city’s evening aperitivo scene and spend the following day browsing fashion boutiques and Brera Art Gallery.

What are three must-see sites in Milan?

Two of Milan’s top three sites are less than a five-minute walk apart: the Cathedral (Duomo) and La Scala opera house, separated by the ornate Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The city’s third headliner, Leonardo’s The Last Supper, is in Santa Maria delle Grazie about a 20-minute walk from the Duomo.

How do I spend a day in Milan?

Book your afternoon tickets (or tour) to The Last Supper in advance and plan your itinerary around the entrance time. Begin in Milan’s center with a visit to the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and La Scala before heading to Santa Maria delle Grazie to admire Leonardo’s famous painting.

What should you not miss in Milan?

This cosmopolitan city is famous for its buzzy aperitvo cocktail hour in the trendy Navigli and Brera neighborhoods come evening. Joining the chic locals as they sip their iced spritzes and negronis is a great way to get a true feel for the city.

What can you do for free in Milan?

A number of Milan’s architectural treasures are most impressive from the outside, including the soaring Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and Sforza Castle located in the grand (and public) Sempione Park. You can also stroll through the picturesque Brera Botanical Garden and along the Navigli canal without spending a penny.


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