30 tips on things to do in Milan as a tourist (Attractions & Activities)

Il Duomo

Il Duomo

Inside the centre of Milan's Il Duomo there's a large, incredibly beautiful Gothic style cathedral. This cathedral took about five hundred years to build and is the world's third largest, after the cathedrals in Rome and Seville. It's free to enter the Duomo, but buying a ticket to get up on the roof via the stairs or the lift is also possible. Even though it's a bit pricey, it's definitely worth going up on the roof to get a view of the whole city of Milan and get to see the Alps in the north during clearer days. Il Duomo is located in Piazza Duomo in the middle of Milan and there are lots of other things to discover around the square. Clothing stores, ice cream parlors, restaurants, fast food chains and much more are just a few steps from the Duomo.

Eat an Italian Dinner in the Bohemian Neighborhood of Brera

Brera is a bohemian neighborhood in central Milan that is always full of life and movement. It's full of small shops and restaurants in a cosy Italian atmosphere. The neighborhood consists of narrow streets and small alleys and the car traffic is as good as non-existent—it’s the crowds of people who create a lovely buzz instead. The restaurants offer everything from pizza to seafood and you'll also have the opportunity of tasting the classic Risotto alla Milanese. If you've just arrived in Milan and would like to quickly find a restaurant in the evening, you're very likely to get help in Brera.

Get a Feel of Venice in Navigli

Navigli Lombari

The artist and universal genius Leonardo Da Vinci projected during the late 1400's the canal system of Navigli Lombari in Milan, which made it easier to transport heavy marble to the cathedral of Il Duomo. The canal system still remains to this day and Navigli is a popular place for both Milaneses and tourists. Navigli can be compared to a miniature Venice with its restaurants, cafes and small shops along the canals, which all make for a really pleasant visit. The whole surroundings of the channels are very special, and Navigli is something that just cannot be missed while visiting Milan. An evening visit combined with a delicious Italian dinner could be one of your best memories of Milan.

Go Shopping or Just Window Shopping in the Golden Triangle

Shopping

Anyone who is looking for an exclusive shopping experience, or just wants to observe one of the fashion districts of Europe, should head off to the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle consists of the streets of Via della Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea and Via Montenapoleone, all of which are full of shops with well-known fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Ralph Lauren. Fashion is not the only aspect that is exclusive; the decor of the stores is also extraordinary.

See an AC Milan or FC Internazionale Game

San Siro

San Siro, with its 85,000 seats, is one of Italy's most impressive football stadiums and this is where Milan's two football teams AC Milan and FC Internazionale play their home games. It's definitely possible to go and see these teams play as a tourist in Milan for a pretty affordable price. Football is considerably cheaper in Italy than it is in England for example, and tickets range from 15-20 euros and upwards. If you decide to go and see a game you should buy tickets outside the San Siro earlier during the day or on the day before, since it gets very busy just before the matches. Milan and Inter are among the best football teams in Europe and you're guaranteed to see some world class football if you choose to go to a game. Even on days when games aren't being played, you can experience football by visiting the Football Museum located by the San Siro. Here you can learn a lot about Italian football and also about former players of the Milan and Inter teams.

See an Opera

La Scala

A live show at the famous La Scala Opera House is a fantastic experience, whether or not you like opera. La Scala was built in the 1700s and this is where many of the great opera figures made their debut. La Scala is located in a beautiful square with the same name, and outside there's a monument to the memory of Leonardo Da Vinci. Tickets can be purchased onsite or online, but be aware that the shows are very popular and tickets sell out quickly. Usually you have to book at least a month in advance.

Get on a Hop On/Hop Off Bus

If you want to avoid having to look for the right subway station to get off when visiting one of Milan's sights, it might be a good idea to hop on one of the city's get off/get on buses. It is definitely very "touristy", but at the same time very practical. There are three different routes in total that stop at all possible destinations around the city. One of the routes for example goes all the way to San Siro's football stadium. The advantage of this in comparison to the subway is that you can follow the life of the Milan streets from the seats on the roof of the bus.

Visit the Amusement Park Europark Idroscalo

Europark Idroscalo

The amusement park of Europark Idroscalo is a nice place to visit when you want to take a break from the central parts of Milan. The park is Europe's largest and there are certainly enough attractions to entertain people young and old for hours. There are flume rides, a haunted house, go-kart track and classic rollercoasters. The park is open during March to September from 9 am to midnight, and visitors are welcome every day of the week. During the other months of the year, the park is only open at weekends. Europark Idroscalo is outside Milan i Segrate and you can easily get here by train or bus.

Enjoy an Extraordinary Experience at the Parco Avventura

Parco Avventura

Those who appreciate action-packed experiences should visit the Parco Avventura, which is an exciting adventure park perched among the treetops. Visitors will be able to go through an obstacle course in the air, with everything from suspension bridges to cable cars. There are three different difficulty levels and the easiest course is ideal for children, while the hardest is better suited for adults. It's possible to visit the park with the whole family, regardless of age, and there are staff onsite to guide and assist visitors.

See Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco is Milan's large castle located in the southern part of the Parco Sempione. The castle was built by Francesco Sforza in the 1400s and was expanded in the 1500s and 1600s. Inside the castle there are currently several museums and, among other things, you’ll find Michelangelo's last sculpture, ancient musical instruments, and a variety of objects that have long been at the Castello Sforzesco. The Castle yard is also a nice place which is like a small park where you can stop to view the architecture or just sit down and take it easy.

Wander Around and Relax in Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione

After wandering around the streets of Milan, it may be time for a little relaxation in the greens. Quite possibly the most popular park in Milan's Parco Sempione is located right downtown and spreads over 386,000 square metres in total. Here you can lie down on one of the park's lawns and relax or wander around the different walkways. There are cafés, restaurants and several galleries and museums in the park that you can visit. If you have children who need to get rid of some excess energy, there are also playgrounds where they can enjoy themselves.

Visit Acquario Civico

Acquario civico

Acquario Civico is an aquarium located on the eastern edge of the Parco Sempione. As a visitor at the Acquario Civico you can see several different fish and other marine creatures—mainly from the Italian coast, lakes and rivers, but also from other parts of the world. The surroundings in the different aquariums vary widely to mimic the different ocean vegetation that the various fish live in. The aquarium isn't that big so you'll have time to see most of it in just over an hour. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday and entrance is completely free. You should however keep in mind that it's closed for lunch between one and two in the afternoon.

Visit Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci

Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci

Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci was opened in 1953 by the former president Alcide De Gasperi and has expanded over the years to become Italy's largest science and technology museum. The museum is dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci and much of what is on display is related to his discoveries within engineering and science. There are also a lot of new things to explore and the museum follows the developing timeline from past to present. Among other things, there is a large modern submarine and an aircraft that you can look at. Even if you're not hugely interested in technology and science, you'll most likely appreciate what the museum offers since everything on display is as much about history as it is about social development. Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci is suitable for all ages—there are plenty of things to see and do, even for the smallest children.

Learn About Italy’s Rich Religious History at Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is one of the most popular churches in all of Milan. One of the things that makes this church so popular among tourists is it’s unique appearance. The church has two towers that are different heights and a very large atrium. The atrium was first built in 1098. It is almost as large as the church and is quite impressive since an unassuming small door does not reveal what is behind it. There is an arcaded gallery that is home to some of the most unique artifacts.There are also tombs that are housed within the property.

Visit Bosco Verticale

Bosco Verticale

Bosco Verticale are some unique pieces of architecture that you are not going to see anything else like them anywhere else in the world. These two towering buildings are filled with residential apartments.There is a wide range of different types of greenery on the side of the buildings. The name Bosco Verticale stands for vertical forest. The reason that this is the name of the building is that there are trees growing on different levels all the way up the building so it is like a vertical forest. It is truly and impressive site and something that you are not going to see anywhere else in the world.

Try Your Hand at Solving a Mystery at Trap Milano

Escape rooms seem to be a popular trend of recent years. Milan is not behind on the trends and they present you with Trap Milano. Trap Milano is a unique escape experience that requires users to really consider the options and try their hand at solving a mystery. There are quite a few different rooms that you can pick from as well. This simply means that you will be able to choose your own adventure. Do keep in mind that this is not a suitable activity for some children and that children who are too young might find this to be scary instead of fun.

Don’t Miss Out on Santa Maria delle Grazie

The last supper

Santa Maria delle Grazie is a unique place to explore when you are in Milan. This church is also a Dominican convent. This is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The church has many priceless pieces of art and artifacts. This is where Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper can currently be found. It was completed after 1490 which makes it one of the oldest still functioning churches in the world. It’s unique architectural style is in line with the times. You will be very glad that you went if you take the time to visit this location. Plus you can learn quite a bit about the history of the church.

Take a Day Trip to See Villa Olmo

Villa Olmo

Going to Villa Olmo is a day trip that is worth your time while you are in Milan. The Villa Olmo is a neoclassical style of architecture and is located in Como which is about thirty miles outside of the city. You can easily make the drive in an hour even in traffic or you can relax and enjoy a train ride where you can observe all of the scenes along the way. It was designed by Simone Cantoni who is a Swiss architect. This was actually just meant to be a summer retreat for those who were a part of the aristocracy and was it was built in 1797. It was actually named after an elm tree that was located on the property.

Check Out the Museo Poldi Pezzoli

The Museo Poldi Pezzoli was originally a private collection and it became a museum collection in the 19th century. The collection was owned by Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and Rosa Trivulzio, who was his mother. Starting in 1846 the rooms that are located within the castle were redecorated. The rooms were actually decorated around the paintings that were hanging on the walls, so the furnishings and decor pieces were all a perfect match. It is definitely one of the most significant house museums in all of Europe and perhaps a contender in all of the world.

Consider Taking a Stroll to San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

One of the most beautiful things to see in Milan is the church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. One of the things that is unique about the church is that it is connected to the most important female convent of the Benedictines. This unique piece of history explains the significance of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. Today there are services in the church each Sunday from October to June as they celebrate the Byzantine Rite. The services are done in Greek as was the traditional language of the churches in Italy.

Explore Art Deco with Villa Necchi Campiglio

The Villa Necchi Campiglio is another house museum. The area is explored by way of a tour. If you are lucky your tour guide will give you all of the information that you need to have while you are visiting. Some of the tour guides are reported as being willing to take time with guests and answer any questions that the people might have. It is one of the most interesting places that you can visit. This often the venue of impressive galas and events for those who are looking to truly impress their guests. Before you visit, be sure to visit the website and go when they will be open. You’ll love exploring this piece of history from the 1930s.

Enjoy a Ride on the Como-Brunate Funicular to Visit Lake Como

Como

Trains have often been the way of touring and traveling in Europe. If you are from the area, you know that the train is the way to go. If you are not from the area, you might not realize just how nice the areas can be. This particular train line has been running for more than one hundred years. It was started in 1894. Como is a quaint little village that you will love exploring while you are there. One of the villages best features is Lake Como. You can rent a boat, go on a cruise, enjoy sailing, or any number of unique lake adventures that are going to keep you enjoying the fun.

Feel Like You are in the Future with Life Village and Terme Gallarate

Life Village and Terme Gallarate

Life Village & Terme Gallarate is a unique and relaxing spa that has a very contemporary feel. You will love having services done here whether you are going to relax in the steam room or enjoy the couple’s massage. Plus they offer a relaxing hot tub that you can use during your visit. The massages are known for being super high quality and they feature some of the most innovative techniques and equipment. If you have the time stick around for one of their yoga classes and really explore how you can relax and control your own body.

Pretend You’re Royalty While at Castello Baradello

Castello Baradello is another amazing site to see in Como. Castello Baradello is a military fortification. It is located high on a hill where you see those who were coming to invade your city. Most people would tell you to take some time enjoying the walk as you are going to visit. This is because it is a beautiful and scenic hike. Just remember to check the hours and make sure that it is going to be open. Most people do not want to make the hike without the reward of visiting Castello Baradello at the end.

Don’t Miss Out on Seeing Leonardo’s Horse

Leonardo’s Horse is a unique site that you can see when you are in Milan. The story behind the statue goes that in 1482 the Duke of Milan who was commissioning a horse statue that was meant to be the largest horse statue in the world. This was meant to be in memory of the duke’s father. However, while Leonardo da Vinci sketched the horse and made a clay model. He was not able to finish and bring this horse to life. During the war the French destroyed the clay model, but five centuries later the drawings were observed and then the horse statue was created by artists who wanted to bring it to life.

Spend the Afternoon at Piazza Cordusio

Piazza Cordusio

Piazza Cordusio is one of the main squares in Milan. It is a great place to sit and observe people and what the typical life is like in Milan. The buildings in this area are all unique and offer different glimpses at architecture styles of the past that were popular in Milan. There are buildings that represent the Art Nouveau, eclectic, and Neoclassical periods. Each one has unique features and has been designed with the beauty of the time period in mind. By visiting the Piazza Cordusio you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the people from Milan.

Go Back in Time at the Biblioteco Ambrosiana

The Biblioteco Ambrosiana is one of the most amazing libraries in all of the world. This is more than just a library and has many features that you would previously associate with a museum. It was actually founded in 1609 so it is a very old library. After the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Biblioteco Ambrosiana was the second public library in Europe. The library houses the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana which is the Ambrosian art gallery. It houses some of the most impressive pieces of art in all of the world. In the beginning (and still) this was home to some of the oldest Greek and Roman books and documents.

Explore Space at the Planetario di Milano

The Planetario di Milano is one of the most popular planetariums in all of the world. The building itself is very beautiful and is housed inside a building that is part of the Art Nouveau style. Check out the schedule to see if there is a special event while you are there. If you can get to one of these, they are not to be missed. However, if you cannot get into a special event there, you can still visit and explore space. The planetarium was actually first started in 1930 and has been open to the public since.

See the Cars at the Alfa Romeo Museum

Alfa Romeo Museum

The Alfa Romeo Museum is one of the most unique car museums in all of the world. Car enthusiasts from around the globe rush to get the chance to explore this museum. They have a wide expanse of cars in the entire world. There are so many great vehicles to explore while you are there. While this is one of the most impressive car museums in the world, you can actually purchase some of these collectible cars. This is one of the things that truly makes the experience so unique. The museum is located in Arese.

Don’t Skip the Galleria Vittono Emanuele II

Galleria Vittono Emanuele II

One of the things that many people think of when they think about Milan is fashion. It is certainly one of the fashion capitals of the world. It offers visitors many unique shopping opportunities. One of the best shopping opportunities that you will not want to miss is the Galleria Vittono Emanuele II. This is truly one of the best shopping malls in the world as well as being one of the most visited. It was originally designed in 1861 and was built between 1865 and 1867. Each year this mall opens its doors to a number of guests and offers visitors a chance to explore the unique history of shopping that only Milan can offer.

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