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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 10 attractions in Milan

#1
Da Vinci's Last Supper (Il Cenacolo)

Da Vinci's Last Supper (Il Cenacolo)

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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 (Yes, it's that good). Milan's famous 15th-century wall mural may be one of the most famous (and regulated) artworks in Italy—to see it, you must book entrance tickets in advance or sign up for a guided Milan city tour.More
#2
Milan Duomo

Milan Duomo

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Milan’s Duomo (duomo di Milano) is a much-loved symbol of the city. The most exuberant example of Northern Gothic architecture in Italy, the cathedral and its spiky spires and towers 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
#3
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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In the fashion capital of Italy, the soaring, glass-domed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade never goes out of style. Started in 1877, Europe’s oldest shopping mall connects the Milan Duomo to Piazza di Marino and the La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala) by way of a bright and airy, four-story center lined with busy restaurants and shops. Come for the Neoclassical architecture, stay for the brands and fresh baked panzerotti.More
#4
Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)

Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)

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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
#5
La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala)

La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala)

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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
#6
Brera

Brera

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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
#7
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie)

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

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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
#8
San Siro Stadium (Stadio San Siro)

San Siro Stadium (Stadio San Siro)

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Milan hosts two top-division soccer (football) teams at San Siro Stadium, the largest in Italy. Also known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, the stadium was built in 1925 for the AC Milan team, and in 1947, the rival FC Internazionale team, known as Inter, also moved in. Today, up to 80,000 fans fill the stadium to watch live games.More
#9
QC Termemilano

QC Termemilano

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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
#10
Milan Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale di Milano)

Milan Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale di Milano)

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Built in 1866, Milan’s Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale) is the 2nd-largest cemetery in the city and the final resting place of wealthy folks and families including the Brunis, Bernocchis, and Camparis. The vast cemetery is an open-air museum featuring Italian sculptures, elaborate obelisks, and massive tombs commemorating the dead.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Milan

How to Spend 2 Days in Milan

Shopping in Milan

Shopping in Milan

How to Experience Aperitivo in Milan

How to Experience Aperitivo in Milan

Top activities in Milan

Cinque Terre Day Trip from Milan

Cinque Terre Day Trip from Milan

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Milan City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Milan City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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US$26.69
Last Supper Tickets and Guide

Last Supper Tickets and Guide

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Bernina Scenic Train & Lake Como

Bernina Scenic Train & Lake Como

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Venice Day Trip from Milan

Venice Day Trip from Milan

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US$159.07

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.

Frequently Asked Questions