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Milan is a city in northern Italy and the capital of Lombary. Milan is the second most populous city in Italy and is best known for fashion and football. Travelling to Milan is a popular trip for any traveller and Milan is usually on most Italy bucket lists. This city guide comprises together a list of what to do in Milan Italy so you can make the most of your time visiting Milan.

what to do in milan


Accommodation in Milan Italy

Hostels in Italy are a bit pricier than the rest of Europe, but New Generation Hostel, Urban Chic, Navigli came in at £18 per night (August 2018 prices). Check out some other budget accommodation options here.

Getting Around Milan Italy

The metro and tram is an easy way to get around Milan. You can get tickets at metro stations or get e tickets by downloading the ATM transport app on your phone. Single tickets cost 1,50€.

How Long Should I Spend in Milan?

There’s lots of attractions in Milan and also lots of destinations you can reach for a day trip from Milan. For this reason I would suggest spending around 3 days in Milan and give yourself at least one day to explore Milan city itself.

what to do in milan

What to do in Milan

Piazza del Duomo

The city’s main square is definitely a must see in Milan. Here you can find the cathedral and the galleria. There’s a great atmosphere and it’s a great place for people watching!

Duomo di Milano

When looking at what to do in Milan, look no further than the cathedral. This should be on the top of your list of things to do in Milan! The architecture is stunning and it took a mind blowing 6 centuries to complete, with construction spanning from 1386 to 1965. It is the largest church in Italy, second largest in Europe and fourth largest in the world (correct in Dec. 2020).

Usually you are able to explore the inside of the cathedral as well as heading up onto the rooftopCheck their website for the latest information on opening times and admission prices.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This is Italy’s oldest active shopping mall and is named after the first King of the Kingdom of Italy. It was competed in 1867 after 2 years of construction. All the shops here are high class designers selling Haute Couture. You can find the Amorino shop here and get some floral gelato.

what to do in Milan

Naviglio Grande

Navigli is an up and coming neighbourhood bursting with small independant and authentic shops. The Naviglio Grande canal is a 31 mile canal which was completed in 1272. It stretches from Porta Ticinese to Tinico. Walking along the section of the canal in the city centre, admiring the buildings and enjoying the atmosphere is a great thing to do in Milan.

Brera District

If you want to add some nature to your list of what to do in Milan, head over to the artistic heart of the city – the Brera District. Full of academia, gallaries and posh restaurants there’s a strong bohemian atmosphere circulating this area of Milan.

There’s free entry to the Brera Botanical Gardens. At just 5000 sqm they only take up a small area but it’s full of so many different plants and flowers – definitely one to add  to the list of attractions in Milan.

what to do in milan

Piazza Gae Aulenti

This modern area of Milan is known as a ‘symbol of the Milan of the future’. The tallest building in Italy – the Unicredit Tower – can be found here. It was completed in 2011 and is 231m tall with 31 floors. The Bosco Verticale (vertical forest) is located next to Piazza Gae Aulenti. This pair of residential towers were completed in 2014 after 5 years of construction. To the untrained eye they just look like flats with lots of flowers on them, but this unique project is certain one of Milan’s points of interest.

Each tower contains over 900 trees, 5000 shrubs and 11000 floral plants. The idea behind this man made forest is that 20,000 trees and plants will convert approximately 44,000 pounds of carbon each year, as well as attracting new birds and insect species and moderating temperatures by shielding flats from the wind in winter and blocking the sun in the summer. The building is totally self sufficient as it uses energy from solar panels and uses filtered waste water to sustain plant life.

Take a Day Trip from Milan

So you’ve explored most of the city and now you’re wondering what else to do in Milan? Look no further than a day trip to the beautiful Lake Como, just a short train journey out of Milan. Or maybe even slightly further afield to Venice for a day, which is a couple of hours on the train.

what to do in Milan

Hopefully this post has offered you some inspiration of what to do in Milan. I’d love to hear about what you get up to when you visit and what your favourite things to do in Milan are.

Enjoyed reading about what to do in Milan? Check out some of my other Italy content:

  • Milan to Lecco by Train: Lake Como Day Trip
    A Lake Como day trip is a popular excusrion from Milan. Lecco is town on Lake Como, slightly off the tourist trail reached easily by train.
  • One Day in Venice
    Venice’s expensive accomodation can mean that budget backpackers are only able to spend One Day in Venice, here’s how to make the most of it.
  • What to do in Milan: A City Guide
    Milan in northern Italy has a lot to offer any tourist, so here is the perfect, concise guide of what to do in Milan.

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