Things to Do in Milan - A Complete Guide

Daryan Shamkhali, Unsplash
December 7
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best things to do in Milan and explore the top attractions and activities in this vibrant Italian city. Plan your trip with our comprehensive Milan guide.

Whether you're a seasoned globe-trotter or just dreaming up your first adventure, Milan, often compared to a glittering metropolis of culture and sophistication, certainly has a lot to offer. This city is an energetic blend of history, fashion, food, and sports. In fact, did you know that Milan is considered the fashion capital of the world? Once you start exploring, you'll find an abundance of things to do in Milan.

Perhaps you're wondering what to see in Milan? Well, this charismatic city is an architectural marvel, its streets are a testimony to different periods of Italian history. Additionally, those with a penchant for fashion and football will find themselves right at home in this spirited Italian city. And, of course, let's not forget the countless art galleries that dominate the city.

With our Milan guide, you won't miss out on any prominent places to visit in Milan. Walking through its energetic streets is like flipping through a thick history book. From modern skyscrapers to centuries-old buildings, Milan is a city that perfectly bridges the gap between the old and the new. So, pack your bag and get ready to unravel the magic of Milan!

1. Milan Cathedral

Historical Monuments and Architecture
brown cathedral under clear blue sky
Milan Cathedral / Samuel Isaacs, Unsplash

Milan Cathedral, also known as Duomo di Milano, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that dominates the city skyline. Its construction began in the 14th century and was completed almost six centuries later, making it one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world.

With its stunning spires and adorned facades, Milan Cathedral is a true architectural treasure. Its interior houses numerous chapels and works of art, and you can climb up to its rooftop to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the city.

Visiting Milan Cathedral is a unique experience that will transport you back to the medieval era and leave you in awe of its beauty and grandeur. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this impressive site during your visit to Milan.

2. Teatro Alla Scala

Entertainment and Pop Culture
a tall tower with a crane on top of it
Teatro Alla Scala / Frank Eiffert, Unsplash

The Teatro Alla Scala, simply known as La Scala, is one of the main landmarks in Milan. It is famous worldwide for its significance in the world of opera and ballet.

With a history dating back to 1778, this beautiful theater has hosted some of the finest performances and has been the stage for countless premieres of iconic operas.

If you're looking for things to do in Milan, you can't miss the opportunity to visit La Scala and immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere filled with art and elegance.

3. Sforza Castle in Milan

Historical Monuments and Architecture
red acoustic guitar
Sforza Castle in Milan / Diane Picchiottino, Unsplash

Sforza Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Milan and a must-visit attraction for history and architecture enthusiasts. Built in the 15th century by the Sforza family, this Renaissance castle stands out for its imposing structure and rich history.

The castle houses several museums and art galleries, where you can admire masterpieces by artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. It also features beautiful gardens and an impressive collection of sculptures.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore this fascinating castle and delve into Milan's past.

4. Santa Maria delle Grazie

Historical Monuments and Architecture
lighted candles on black metal candle holder
Santa Maria delle Grazie / MAHESH TAYADE, Unsplash

Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church and convent in Milan, Italy.

Built between the 15th and 16th centuries, it is known for its impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The interior of the church is adorned with magnificent paintings and frescoes.

One of the main highlights of Santa Maria delle Grazie is its famous mural painting of the Last Supper, created by renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci. This masterpiece is an invaluable treasure and a must-visit for art lovers.

7. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Historical Monuments and Architecture
gray concrete building
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II / Fernando Meloni, Unsplash

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the main tourist attractions in Milan and a must-visit place during your stay in the city. This impressive shopping arcade, built in 1867, has become an icon of Italian architecture and an important shopping destination.

With its magnificent iron and glass structure, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II stands out as a splendid example of 19th-century architecture. Its elegant shops, cafes, and restaurants offer a wide variety of Italian products and cuisine.

In addition to its architectural and historical value, this gallery is also a popular meeting place for Milanese locals and visitors from around the world. Strolling through the arcades and enjoying the lively atmosphere will provide you with a unique experience in the Italian city.

8. Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology

Museums and Art Galleries

Discover the fascinating world of Leonardo da Vinci at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. This museum is dedicated to the life and work of the Italian Renaissance genius. Here you can explore the inventions and discoveries that made Leonardo one of the greatest geniuses in history. The museum houses an impressive collection of machines and models, created according to Leonardo's original designs, which will transport you to his brilliant and visionary mind.

Immerse yourself in the mind of Leonardo da Vinci as you explore his most famous inventions and discoveries. You will be able to admire replicas of his flying machines, his ingenious tools, and his studies on human anatomy. The museum also features interactive and multimedia exhibitions that will allow you to learn more about Leonardo's revolutionary ideas and concepts.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. It is an educational and fascinating experience that will transport you to the exciting world of the Renaissance and help you better understand Leonardo da Vinci's legacy in the history of science and technology.

9. Duomo Museum

Museums and Art Galleries
a painting of a group of people
Duomo Museum / Sies Kranen, Unsplash

The Duomo Museum is one of the main tourist attractions in Milan, a must-visit during your stay in the Italian city. Located next to the magnificent Milan Cathedral, this museum houses a valuable collection of religious art and historical artifacts related to the Duomo. Learn more about the history and cultural significance of this iconic place.

In the Duomo Museum, you can admire a variety of artworks representing different historical periods. From paintings and sculptures to liturgical objects and ancient manuscripts, each exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into Milan's past and its relationship with the Cathedral.

You can't miss the opportunity to explore this cultural treasure and immerse yourself in the city's fascinating history. Visit the Duomo Museum and discover everything Milan has to offer!

10. Milan Aquarium

Entertainment and Pop Culture
people standing inside building
Milan Aquarium / Renate Helgerud, Unsplash

Milan Aquarium is one of the top tourist attractions in the city. Located in the heart of Milan, this aquarium offers you the opportunity to explore marine life in a unique and exciting way.

Dive into a world of vibrant colors and beauty. You'll be able to see a wide variety of marine species, from tropical fish to impressive sharks. The aquarium also features interactive and educational exhibits that allow you to learn more about the fascinating marine ecosystem.

Don't miss the chance to visit Milan Aquarium during your stay in the city. We guarantee an unforgettable experience that will transport you to an underwater world full of wonders.

11. Porta Nuova District

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$

Porta Nuova District is one of the must-see attractions in Milan. This district, located in the northern part of the city, is known for its modern architecture and impressive skyscrapers.

Known as the 'new heart of Milan', Porta Nuova is home to a variety of offices, restaurants, shops, and green spaces. One of the highlights of this place is the famous UniCredit Tower, one of the tallest skyscrapers in Italy.

In addition to its architecture, the district features numerous sculptures and urban artwork that beautify its streets. A walk through Porta Nuova offers the perfect blend of modernity and culture.

12. Piazza del Duomo

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$

Piazza del Duomo is one of Milan's main tourist attractions. Located in the heart of the city, it is a popular gathering place for both locals and visitors. The square is dominated by the magnificent Milan Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

In addition to the Duomo, Piazza del Duomo is also home to the Royal Palace of Milan and the Museo del Novecento, which showcases artworks from the 20th century. Another highlight of the square is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an impressive shopping arcade featuring luxury stores and historic cafes.

With its stunning buildings and lively atmosphere, Piazza del Duomo is the perfect starting point for your visit to Milan and to explore everything the city has to offer.

13. San Siro Stadium

Entertainment and Pop Culture$$$

San Siro Stadium is a must-visit for football fans visiting Milan. Located in the heart of the city, this stadium is home to two renowned football teams: AC Milan and Inter Milan. With a capacity for over 80,000 spectators, it is one of the largest stadiums in Europe.

San Siro Stadium has witnessed numerous legendary moments in the history of Italian football. From European Cup finals to Serie A matches, this stadium has hosted some of the most exciting and memorable encounters. Don't miss the opportunity to witness a match here!

In addition to football, San Siro Stadium is also an impressive architectural landmark. With its modern design and distinctive exterior structure, the stadium is a symbol of Milan's passion for sport and culture.

14. Bosco Verticale

Natural Spaces and Parks

Discover Bosco Verticale in Milan and be amazed!

This impressive complex of two residential towers, designed by architect Stefano Boeri, is a true example of sustainable and avant-garde architecture. Bosco Verticale, which means 'vertical forest' in Italian, is made up of over 900 trees and 20,000 plants, covering the facades of the towers and creating a green oasis in the heart of the city.

In addition to its stunning beauty, Bosco Verticale contributes to improving air quality, reducing noise pollution, and promoting urban biodiversity. It's truly amazing to see how nature integrates harmoniously with modern architecture.

15. Pinacoteca di Brera

Museums and Art Galleries

The Pinacoteca di Brera is a must-visit attraction in Milan. Located in a beautiful 18th-century palace, it houses an extensive collection of Italian and European masterpieces.

In its halls, you can marvel at works by great artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt, among others. In addition to the impressive permanent collection, the Pinacoteca di Brera also hosts temporary exhibitions that offer a unique perspective on the art world.

Aside from enjoying the incredible artwork, the palace itself is an architectural gem. Both art lovers and history enthusiasts will find the Pinacoteca di Brera a fascinating experience.

16. Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, also known as the Nun's Church in Milan, is a dream-like place that you cannot miss on your trip to Milan. Located in the heart of the city, this 16th-century church boasts an impressive collection of frescoes depicting biblical stories and religious scenes.

Upon entering the church, you will be awe-struck by the beauty of its architecture and decoration. Its walls are adorned with detailed and colorful paintings that have been carefully restored to preserve their original splendor.

Inside the church, you will also find a rich collection of sacred art, including sculptures, altars, and other prominent elements from the Renaissance period. This sacred place is an oasis of tranquility and beauty amidst the hustle and bustle of Milan city.

17. La Scala Museum

Museums and Art Galleries

La Scala Museum is a must-visit for lovers of classical music and opera. Located in the heart of Milan, this museum offers a fascinating look into the history of La Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world.

Discover the costumes, sets, and original objects used in the most significant performances in La Scala's history. Immerse yourself in the world of classical music and learn about the great composers and singers who have graced this renowned theater.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that highlight different aspects of the opera world. A must-see for any music and culture enthusiast in Milan!

18. Cimitero Monumentale Milan

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Cimitero Monumentale in Milan is a true architectural and cultural gem. Founded in 1866, this cemetery is a veritable open-air museum with beautiful sculptures and mausoleums that represent the history and beauty of funerary art.

Located in the heart of Milan, the Cimitero Monumentale is a must-visit for those wishing to discover the history and culture of the city. Its magnificent sculptures and monuments are silent witnesses to Milan's rich history.

In addition to being a resting place, the Cimitero Monumentale is a space of tranquility and beauty that invites contemplation. Strolling through its tree-lined streets and admiring the works of art that adorn the tombs is a unique and moving experience.

19. Museum of the Twentieth Century

Museums and Art Galleries

The Museum of the Twentieth Century is one of the main tourist attractions in Milan. Located in the stunning Piazza del Duomo, this museum houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

Admire masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, and Kandinsky, and immerse yourself in the evolution of art during the 20th century. Explore the different thematic rooms and enjoy temporary exhibitions that will surprise you.

Don't miss the incredible panoramic view from the museum's terrace, where you can contemplate the majesty of the Duomo and the historic center of Milan.

20. Piazza della Scala

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Piazza della Scala is one of the most iconic squares in Milan. Located in the heart of the city, this beautiful space is known for being home to the famous Teatro alla Scala, one of the most important opera theaters in the world.

The square is surrounded by impressive buildings steeped in history, such as Palazzo Marino and Palazzo della Banca Commerciale Italiana. In addition, the Reale edificio delle Poste and the Museo Teatrale alla Scala are also located nearby.

Piazza della Scala is a place of great importance in Milan's cultural scene, as numerous outdoor events and concerts are held here. It is also a meeting point for art and music lovers, who enjoy its incredible atmosphere and imposing architecture.

21. Arco della Pace

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Arco della Pace: One of the most famous monuments in Milan that you must visit during your trip to the city. This imposing neoclassical arch was built in the 19th century and is located in Parco Sempione. It is a symbol of peace and a silent witness to Milan's history.

Things to do in Milan: The Arco della Pace is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Its impressive architecture and location in Parco Sempione make it a perfect place to stroll, relax, and enjoy panoramic views.

History and culture: The Arco della Pace is an important symbol of Milan's history and culture. Its construction was carried out to celebrate Napoleon's victory and represent the ideals of peace and freedom. Explore this magnificent monument and immerse yourself in the city's history.

22. Parco Sempione

Natural Spaces and Parks

Parco Sempione is one of the most iconic places in Milan, a beautiful park located right behind the Castello Sforzesco. It is a green space surrounded by history and nature, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a peaceful walk.

In Parco Sempione, you will find spacious gardens, tree-lined paths, and beautiful lakes. It is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a quiet and serene atmosphere. Additionally, you can admire various statues and monuments spread throughout the park, representing different historical moments of Milan.

One of the main attractions of Parco Sempione is the Arch of Peace, an impressive monumental structure that stands in the center of the park. When you reach this place, don't forget to take a souvenir photo and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of Milan it offers.

23. Planetarium di Milan

Science and Education$$$

The Planetarium di Milan is one of the main tourist attractions in Milan. It is located in the heart of the city and offers a unique experience for astronomy and science lovers.

At the Planetarium di Milan, visitors can enjoy fascinating interactive exhibits about the universe and its mysteries. They can also observe the starry sky in a state-of-the-art dome.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Planetarium di Milan and explore the cosmos in an exciting and educational way. It's a perfect place for the whole family!