Things to Do in Milan

Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral is one of the most important structures of cultural and religious significance in Milan. It is hailed as the second-largest cathedral in Italy and 3rd biggest catholic church in the entire world. It is dedicated to the Nativity of St. Mary and is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. 

Constructed over the course of around seven centuries, this place has been a site of intense artistic debates, important religious declarations and movements, and political assertion. Today it stands proudly as a grand structure with varying artistic influences reflected in its construction and design. Thousands of visitors flock to this site every day to admire its imposing structure. 

Its architecture has elements of both the classical Gothic and Renaissance styles. The Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo is the organization that was instituted by the lord of Milan in 1386 to oversee the construction of this monument. This organization meticulously conserves this cathedral that is the ultimate example of cultural wholesomeness. 

You can have a mesmerizing view of the sunrise from the top of the cathedral. You can even roam around its various intricately designed corridors and marvel at the naturally lit hallways and the altar. It is a supremely surreal experience to see the imposing structure that has stood for centuries, and you must visit this cathedral if you’re visiting the beautiful city of Milan.
Santa Maria Delle Grazie

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Santa Maria Delle Grazie is a church located in the northern city of Milan. Popularly also known as Holy Mary of Grace, this church also works as a Dominican convent in the city. Built by famous architects Guiniforte Solari and Donato Bramante, Santa Maria Delle Grazie was built between 1463 to 1467 during the reign of Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza. The architectural style of this church is regarded as Gothic and Renaissance and is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy.

Other than a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this church is a very popular tourist destination. It is also one of the highly visited historic churches in Milan and Italy. During World War II, due to the involvement of Italy in the war, the church was attacked by a couple of aerial attacks. A major portion of the refectory was demolished and a few walls of the outer side of the church were also destroyed.

Many tourists visit Santa Maria Delle Grazie to see the painting of Last Supper. It is located in a small room inside the church and only a limited number of visitors are allowed to enter the room at a time. Due to the immense popularity of the church and its historic value, the tickets for the church are sold-out in advance.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Ii

The sophisticated nineteenth-century shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is situated in the heart of Milan, the global hub of fashion. The building is named after the first King on the Kingdom of Italy, King Vittorio Emanuele II, who is believed to have laid the foundation stone of the building. The massive Galleria makes for a stunning sight, and its enormous dimensions have made it an overnight sensation ever since it was opened to the people of Milan.

Affectionately nicknamed as the “il salotto di Milano” – the drawing room of Milan, it is an enchanting edifice constructed in the 1860s. The elite in Milan has been frequenting this precinct since its inauguration, not just for shopping but for socializing as well.

This prestigious luxury-shopping destination hosts emporiums of premium brands, multinational labels, and chic eateries for the gastronomes. This is surely the place to visit if you want to witness high-street fashion and enjoy a coffee or an aperitif at the gourmet restaurants. 
The Galleria is housed inside a neoclassical precinct that is four-story-high.

Replete with polished marble floors, a gleaming glass-domed ceiling, and brilliant mosaics, its many facets capture the essence of Milan perfectly. The iron and glass construction here presents an extraordinary ambiance to the onlooker and strolling down the portico is like going back in time. So when in Milan, this place is a must-visit, if not for the luxury-shopping, then to appreciate its belle époque splendor.

Sforzesco Castle
The Sforzesco Castle was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, over a 14th-century remnant fortress and was further renovated in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, The castle complex is populated with several museums, such as the Museums of Ancient Art, Egyptian Museum within the Castle's former ducal apartments, Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory are amongst the most popular.

Apart from the museums, the Castle also holds an elaborate art collection, among which is the last masterpiece of Michelangelo- the Pieta Rondanini (unfinished) at Museo d'Arte Antica and the Frescoes by Bramante and Leonardo Da Vinci elevating the Castle.

There is also an arresting structure of Torre del Filarete, named after the Florentine architect and sculptor Antonio Avelino. The Castle is also a favourite wedding venue and one of the top Milan Tourist Places.

Location- In Sempione Park, Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Entry Fee- Free entry: every first and third Tuesday of the month from 2:00 pm, Tuesday-Sunday 9:00am - 4:30pm
- Full ticket- € 10,00
- Reduced- € 8,00
- Reduced first Sunday of the month- € 5,00
- Castle: Monday-Sunday 7:00am - 7:30pm
- Museums: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00am - 5:30pm, *Last admission 5:00pm (only for ticket holders)
Teatro Alla Scala
Teatro alla Scala, inaugurated on 3rd August 1778, is a stunning theatre in the romantic city of Milan, Italy. It has an excellent holding capacity of 2030 people in it. La Scala theatre orchestra and La Scala theatre ballet are two schools associated with the theatre. La Scala academy's primary objective is to teach and train the young blood to excel in music, dance, and technical programs. The La Scala shows begin on feast day that is celebrated in Milan with great enthusiasm. Evenings are the time when the performances starts, and one gets to enjoy the opera till midnight.Another epic place in the opera house is the Museo Teatrale alLa Scala. One can get to see a tremendous set of drafts, paintings, costumes, statues at Museo Teatrale alLa Scala (Musume of the La Scala theatre), which is an open museum. The history of the theatre is also depicted here and one can learn a lot of fascinating facts by just visiting this marvellous piece of art. The interesting part about the theatre is that famous Italian singers, as well as artists, have made an appearance at this beautiful opera. It is amongst the most famous ballet and opera theatres in the world. One should definitely visit this theatre because of the artists, as well as the artwork that it features. This place’s history and its impressive performances attract the tourist to visit this place and everyone who visits the theatre is sure to have an amazing time.
Piazza Dei Mercanti
Piazza dei Mercanti is best visited at night and will transport you to the Middle Ages of Milan. Once the square was an administrative centre of the medieval city, for trade and merchant activities, it is now among the top tourist attractions in Milan. The Piazza dei Mercanti is located in between the Piazza Cordusio and the Piazza del Duomo; it is also within range with other sights in Milan.

There are several beautiful buildings in the square, like the 13th century Broletto Nuovo (Palazzo della Ragione), the Pallanza della Scuole Palatine and the Loggia degli Osii (once used by authorities to address the people), which leaves the visitors stunned. Besides, being an architectural attraction, the square is turned into a bustling Christmas market during the holidays.

Location- Piazza dei Mercanti, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Entry Fee- Free
Timings- Open for 24 Hours
Pinacoteca Di Brera
The majestic grandeur and simplicity of Pinacoteca Di Brera welcome you with extravagant Italian paintings that are rich in nuances of the religion and culture. Its baroque architecture lures you in to witness exquisite interiors.

It is one of the finest museums that exist in the present era and yet preserves the fragrance of history. Also known as the ‘Brera Art Gallery,’ it presents to you more than 400 works of art varying from the 14th to 20th centuries. It also offers an interesting description of each painting, making it easier for you to understand them. 

Located in the stunning and happening neighbourhood of Palazzo Brera, this gallery is a centre of interest to many art connoisseurs. Some of the worth seeing pieces of art here include ‘The Marriage of the Virgin’ by Rapfillerhael, ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Caravaggio, ‘Finding of the body of St Mark’ by Tintoretto.

The gallery also provides audio guides at €5 in several languages like French, English, Italian, German, Spanish and Russian. If that is not enough, you can let your hearts sing to the tunes of a musical evening here that happens every Thursday.

Pinacoteca di Brera also has a photographic library which was founded by Corrado Ricci, Giuseppe Fumagalli and Gaetano Moretti in 1899. Photographs with a variety of techniques like aristotypes, salted pepper, carbon prints, albumen prints, and cyanotypes can be spotted here.

Not only this, but Brera Art Gallery is also a house to Photoradiographic Laboratory which is bent on inspecting and examining the history and technique of works of art. The professional expertise of its staff has led to a significant increase in the knowledge of the nature and conservation of the works of art in the gallery. So explore this lesser-known museum and behold art in its true essence.
Sempione Park
Parco Sempione, built in 1888, is a blissful city attraction for a day away from the metropolis life. A beautifully manicured park with tall trees, colourful flower beds and paved paths, makes it perfect for a stroll or a picnic, making it one of the top Milan tourist places.

However, the park is more than the lush greens as it has a full range of attractions like the Castello Sforzesco, Arco della Pace or Napoleonic arch, and Acquario Civico ( an aquarium) with a statue of the god of the sea, Neptune. 

Among other attractions are, Arena Civica (a sports stadium), Torre Branca; a steel tower, offering the views of Milan and Palazzo dell'Arte ("Palace of the Arts"). The Palace of Arts houses the renowned Triennale Design Museum which features contemporary art, design and architecture exhibitions.

Location- Near Sforzesco Castle, Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Entry Fee- Free (Activities have fees)
Timings- 6:30am – 9pm
Cimitero Monumentale
Cimitero Monumentale, also known as the Monumental Cemetery is currently one of the largest cemeteries in Milan, Italy. It was designed by renowned architect Carlo Maciachini. The main idea behind the establishment of this wonderful monument was to unify all the small cemeteries which were scattered at different parts of Milan during that period.

It helped all the cemeteries to come together and form into a single one. Once you enter the Cimitero Monumentale, you will be astounded to see the use of Greek Revival architecture in a brilliant way. With several mausoleums, monuments, and artistic tombs scattered all over the place, you will have a great time checking out each of them throughout the day.

Apart from that, there are several tombs of noted personalities like Adolfo Wildt, Giò Ponti, Lucio Fontana, Agenor Fabbri, Giacomo Manzù, Floriano Bodini, and Giò Pomodoro. The main entrance to it is through the large Famedio which is a huge Hall of Fame-like Neo-Medieval building that is constructed out of marble and precious stones.

This is the area where the tombs of some of Milan's most honoured citizens' rest. Inside this monument, you will come across the "Milanesi", or citizens of Milan Memorial that is dedicated to 800 citizens of Milan who were killed in the Nazi concentration camps in Milan.

The 62 acres of land, is covered with verdant greenery, beautiful sculptures, buildings, museums and much more. There are two prominent sections in the Cimitero Monumentale - a special section established for those who are not from the Catholic background and a Jewish section. You will need a whole day to explore all of that.
San Maurizio Al Monastero Maggiore

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a treasured gem of Italy and is known for its breathtaking and well-preserved artwork, awe-inspiring frescos, and luxurious gold embellished interior. It is placed in Milan city center and is in close vicinity of some of the ancient historical places in Milan.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is one of the most lovely churches in Milano and has significant heritage value attached to it. It was built during Renaissance times and its building presents a perfect example of 16th-century paintings, expertise, and architects.

The church is also known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of Milan’ as it possesses stunning frescoes designed by the artists of the Leonardo era. It served as an ex-convent and was the most important Benedictine convent in Milan. 

This preserved treasure of Milan attracts history enthusiasts and art lovers from all over the world for its well-conserved beauty and best kept secrets. The church is actually a complex with two different parts separated by a decorated central wall.

The front part is small but serves as the place for worship for the public. Masses and other religious practices are held here regularly. The bigger part was earlier a monastery and was known as the Hall of the Nuns. This monastery of the church has developed into Milan's Civic Archaeological Museum. The museum has in store a huge collection of marvelous artifacts from ancient Etruscan and Mediolanum times.  Now the place is also used for hosting ceremonies and concerts as well.

Basilica Di Sant'ambrogio
The Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio was consecrated in 386 by Bishop Ambrose, who was believed to be one of the charismatic patron saints of Milan. In the 11th century, the basilica was subjected to certain restoration and was converted into the Romanesque style. The exterior of the basilica features an exceptionally large atrium, the bell towers that were built in the 10th century, and an 1181 beautiful cannon tower. The interior is fashioned with various biblical scenes and reliefs of the adoration of magi and the labour of Adam and Eve.

The Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio is widely held for its amazing medieval style of architecture and it moved ahead to a model for all the Lombard Romanesque Churches. The basilica was constructed on a grand scale over an existing cemetery and the two local martyrs provided the necessary relics.

The original church was excavated beneath the existing building. It still has its foundations intact, a marble floor, four columned Baldacchino, and a semicircular apse. It is believed that the complex was about 300 Roman feet long and 100 feet wide. At that point in time, it was built larger than any other contemporary churches in the city of Rome.

With vast historical and divine significance, it has become one of the most loved tourist places in Milan, Italy. If you are planning a trip to Italy, then make sure you visit this architectural marvel of the bygone times.
Milano Centrale Railway Station
Milan Central Railway Station is one of the largest in Europe; its design was inspired by early 20th- century Modernism style and dominantly features Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The station was first inaugurated in the year 1931 while replacing the old central station.

The idea behind the design of the Railway station was simple; however, during Mussolini's reign, the building was made to represent the influence of the Fascist regime. The large glass and steel domed station has lovely blue tiles in the interior to denote the 24 tracks that take all the travellers to some of the leading European capitals, as well as other Italian cities.

Today, the Milano Train station has more than 300,000 passengers arriving and departing from the complex every day, which includes tourists exploring the city.

Location- Piazza Duca d'Aosta, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Entry Fee- Free
Timings- Open for 24 hours
Teatro Dal Verme
Teatro Dal Verme is a Milanese theatre, located on the Via San Giovanni Sul Muro. Designed by the famous Giuseppe Pestagalli, the theatre stands on the site of the previous private theatre the Politeama Ciniselli. First opened in the year 1872, Teatro Dal Verme has an unpleasant history attached to it. During the Second World War, the theatre was severely bombed by Allied soldiers and also looted by attacking German troops.

Initially, through the 19th and early 20th centuries, the theatre was primarily used for plays and opera performances. Today it is not used for opera, but musical plays, concerts and dance performances, along with conferences and exhibitions are still arranged at the venue.

Today it is not used for opera, but concerts, plays and dance performances, as well as exhibitions and conferences, are still regularly arranged at the venue. Home to numerous artefacts, this fantastic auditorium's interior endured reformation and revamp multiple times over the years. 

Teatro Dal Verme currently has four modern auditoriums, including a large size theatre named the Sala Grande, with almost 1420 seats. Also, a minor performance space identified as the Sala Piccola, with just 200 seats, and a better space for displays and conferences named the Sala Terrazzo are a part of the theatre. 

Teatro Dal Verme is considered a hidden gem of contemporary Milan; it is one of the top places to visit to see a running production and is especially admired by art connoisseurs all over the world. Some popular performances to see, include Pomeriggi Musicali - featuring the resident orchestra conducted by the in-house conductor Antonello Manacorda, it is a Saturday matinee concert. Or the nightly shows, Mahler, Rachmaninov and Mendelssohn.

Moreover, the place has other concerts and performances organized, the details of which can be checked on the official website.
Monumental Cemetery
The Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale), known for its artistic tombs and monuments is one of the largest cemeteries and places to see in Milan. The cemetery was designed between 1818-1899 by the architect Carlo Maciachini, as a place to merge all smaller cemeteries spread around the city; it formally opened in 1866.

As mentioned, the cemetery is home to a wide range of Italian sculptures, both classical and contemporary along with Greek temples, obelisks (pillars) and the Trajan's Column. Furthermore, the main entrance has a 'Famedio' a hall of fame made out of marble. It is a neoclassical style building that accommodates the tombs of well-known citizens, including- Alessandro Manzoni (novelist).

The tombs here, of famous industrialists and dynasties of the city and country, were designed by famous artists such as Adolfo Wildt, Giò Ponti, Arturo Martini among others. Besides that, The cemetery has a specific Jewish section and an open-air- museum that has a permanent exhibition of maps describing the cemetery's historical expansion, prints, photographs, and two battery-operated electric machines built in the 1920s.

Location- Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Entry Fee- Free
Timings- 8am – 6pm
Brera District
The Brera district, located to the north of Duomo, has a mix of old-school charm and Bohemian atmosphere with its old colourful houses and tapered streets, perfect for a walk. The district is also considered as an artistic locality with the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, and the Brera Art Gallery housed here.

Brera is also great for a night out with energetic bars and restaurants serving excellent Milanese grubs and quaffs or some retail therapy at high-end stores, making it one of the best places to visit in Milan.

Location- Near Pinacoteca di Brera, 20121 Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Entry Fee- Free (Unless you shop)
Timings- Open for 24 hours (check the schedules for the place you wish to visit)
Poldi Pezzoli Museum
Poldi Pezzoli is one of the most famous house-museums opened in the year 1881 after the art collections gathered by Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli from 1822-1879. Located close to the Scala, the Museum is admired by Milanese and tourists alike and is one of the places to see in Milan.

With the charming rooms echoing the past from medieval to the 18th-century decorations, and an armoury having the works of the contemporary artist, Arnaldo Pomodoro. The house-museum has over 5000 exceptional pieces of sculptures, jewels, lace and embroidery, armours, furniture, porcelain and glass, sundial and clocks, and some old masterpieces, including antiquities till the 19th-century at the display.

Location- Near Teatro Alla Scala, Via Alessandro Manzoni, 12, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

Entry Fee-
- Adults: €10 
- Children (aged 11 to 18) and Seniors (over 65): €7, *Children (less than 10): free entry

Timings- 10am – 6pm
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum
A History buffs dream, Bagatti Valsecchi is another historic house-museum built by the Bagatti Valsecchi brothers from the years 1878 to 1887. It is located in the Montenapoleone district of downtown Milan, northern Italy and is one of the Milan tourist places. The museum is decorated in the ducal palace style with exhibits from the Quattrocento up to the 16th century.

The museum's permanent collection contains Italian Renaissance art and decorations like furniture, tapestry, leather, metalwork, glassware, ceiling friezes and table-tops made of ivory and pastiglia. Other exhibits include, sculptures, paintings, European Renaissance weapons, armours, clocks, musical and scientific instruments and textiles conclude the museum's collections displayed as per the brothers' wishes. 

Location- Via Gesù, 5, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

Entry Fee-
- Regular: 10 €
- Reduced and special agreements: Wednesday, University students with a university ID card, Adults Over 65 years of age: 7 €
- Children between 6 and 18 years of age: 2 €
- Free: Children up to and including five (5) years of age, Disabled people’s caretakers, Friends of the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum

Timings-1pm - 5:45pm
Navigli is a beautiful citadel located in the South Western part of Milan in Lombardy, Italy. The place is a charming tourist centre because of its channel of canals and also happens to be the primary hub of nightlife in Milan. The Navigli (literally means "canals") consists of five interconnected systems of waterways which are: Naviglio Grande, Naviglio Pavese, Naviglio Martesana or Piccolo, Naviglio di Paderno and Naviglio di Bereguardo.

The construction of the first of these canals had begun in the early twelfth century for the purpose of irrigation and navigation, and it took more than seven centuries to construct the entire network. Today the quartiere of Navigli, encompassed by these canals, is a popular tourist spot due to the presence of amazing cafes, restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops which make, 'a walk through this district' one to remember forever.

Of these five canals, the first two are more popular with tourists. There are options to cruise along the Naviglio Grande and Pavese. Also, some of the best restaurants in Milan are along these two canals. Cycle rides on the tracks that run along them is as pleasant as walking through the promenade around.

Navigli is known not only for its beautiful scenery but also for its food and culture. Tourists from all over the world who visit Milan, make it a point to see Navigli, just for this reason. The place is a colourful burst of energy in the fresh flowing tranquility of the canals.

Whether one wants to taste the best wines, or dance to Italian music, bite into the creamiest cheese for aperitivo or take a romantic stroll along the canals, Navigli has a plethora of attractions for the tourists who drop by.
Ac Milan San Siro
The San Siro stadium has stood in Milan since 1926; it is one of the leading sporting arenas in Italy and one of the top tourist attractions in Milan. The stadium can house over 80,000 people, which makes it one of the largest stadiums in Europe. It was also a significant ground during the 34 and 90 World Cups; San Siro is the main playing ground for the AC Milan and Inter Milan football teams.

The stadium also has a remarkable architecture with iconic circular towers holding the large tiers and a partially covered roof. This site is a treat for all football fans, and if you are a fan of AC Milan, you have to visit the museum within the stadium which is dedicated to the two Italian teams.
Location- San Siro district, Milano MI, Italy
Entry Fee- Free (Unless you attend a match)
Timings- 09:30 am - 05:00 pm

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