Milan itinerary – best things to do in Milan in 1, 2, 3 and 5 days

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Milan is a beautiful and vibrant city known as the fashion capital of the world and praised for its cuisine and entertainment. But Milan is also a city with a rich history and home to some of the world’s best architecture and art. Think the likes of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper or the Rondanini Pietà by Michelangelo.

I’m not exactly a city girl, but I seriously enjoyed my every visit to Milan and I often dream of going back, even if just for an aperitivo. And, as you’ll soon learn if you keep reading, there is nothing small or mundane about an aperitivo in Milan. The Milanese take this stuff seriously, and so should you.

Below I’m sharing crafted itineraries and recommendations on the best things to do in Milan in 1, 2, 3 and 5 days.

These itineraries include unmissable sights like The Duomo, some off the beaten path attractions and I also made sure you get plenty of fun (and the best aperitivos) into your days. This way you’ll get a feel for the history and culture, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the contemporary perks of this big city.

In a hurry? Wondering what to see in Milan?

These are the best Milan things to do and you should really book them in advance, especially the Last Supper as it sells out quickly!

Milano tram tour
Milan walking tour
The Last Supper guided tour
Duomo di Milano Rooftop access
Lake Como Day Trip

How many days in Milan?

2 or 3 days are the perfect amount of time to spend in Milan, making it the perfect city for a weekend trip.

While you can visit the highlights of Milan in just one jam-packed day, I recommend spending at least one night in Milan so you’ll be able to experience the amazing aperitivo culture and experience more of what this fabulous city has to offer.

When it comes to how many days you need in Milan, also consider the rest of your itinerary and travel preferences. If you prefer to stay in one place and explore the area on day trips, Milan is also the perfect base to explore the surrounding area in which case you could consider extending your stay to 5 days or even a week.

Where to stay in Milan

The best area to base yourself in Milan is the historic city center or the Brera neighborhood. They are both centrally located and provide easy access to many attractions, as well as a wide variety of restaurants and bars. If you’re traveling by train or with a lot of luggage consider basing yourself near the central train station.

Check this article for more info on where to stay in Milan, including the best areas to base yourself and hand-picked hotels and apartments.

Casa Baglioni Milan

LUX BOUTIQUE

With 30 rooms and suites, a restaurant by Michelin-starred Chef Claudio Sadler, and a wine cellar, Casa Baglioni is among Milan’s newest 5-star hotels.

CHECK PRICES

Matilde Boutique Hotel

OUTSTANDING SERVICE

The hotel’s perfect balance of tradition and innovation is apparent in every detail, from the elegant decor to the modern amenities.

Check prices

Galleria Vik Milano

IMMERSIVE ART

Not just a luxury hotel but also a private gallery, situated inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II featuring unique furniture and design elements.

Check prices

Milan itinerary overview – the best things to do in Milan, Italy

I’ve condensed all of the best things to do in Milan and the most amazing places to see into these 1, 2, 3 and 5 day Milan itineraries.

These Milan itineraries will let you experience a diverse range of what Milan has to offer, from the world famous Duomo and Last Supper, to less known attractions like San Bernardino alle Ossa and quirky corners of the city only known to the locals.

I’ll be giving you plenty of information with links to other relevant articles for what to do in Milan whenever I mention the attraction or activity for the first time. But since these activities repeat for different itineraries I left those as a list and you can refer back up for more info when needed.

Refer to this map of Milan to find the attractions mentioned below.

5 day Milan itinerary

If you’re lucky enough to have 5 days in Milan, you’re in for a treat! This 5-day itinerary of Milan includes all the best things to do in Milan, some quirky attractions you’ve never heard of and leaves enough time for some unmissable day trips!

Day 1 – The unmissable Milan

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard

La Vigna di Leonardo at the Atellani House where he once lived while creating The Last Supper.

Join this tour to get a glimpse into the artist’s life and art, and the fascinating architecture of Atellani House. See the incredible collection of his works in the museum and learn more about the history of the Vineyard.

Santa Maria delle Grazie & Last Supper

The Last Supper is an iconic fresco painted by Leonardo da Vinci and an absolute must when it comes to what to see in Milan It depicts the moment when Jesus Christ reveals that one of his disciples will betray him while they’re all sitting at the dinner table.

This masterpiece of Renaissance art from the late 15th century is housed on the walls of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church.

Due to the fresco’s fragile condition the daily visits are limited and tickets are very hard to get. While slightly pricier, it is much easier to find a spot on a guided tour but you still need to make sure to book it well in advance.

You’ll get the best value with this walking tour which includes tickets to the Duomo and the Last Supper.

Sforzesco Castle

The Castello Sforzesco was built in the 15th century by the powerful Sforza family. Throughout its history, the castle has served as a military fortress, a royal palace, and even a prison at various points over the years.

Today, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Milan, thanks to its impressive architecture, fascinating history, and the many exhibitions and museums it hosts.

The castle complex is made up of a series of interconnected buildings and courtyards, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It also contains the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco and houses the famous Rondanini Pietà by Michelangelo. The Castle also often host temporary art exhibits and cultural events.

Sempione Park

This Sempione park is one of the largest and most popular parks located in the heart of Milan, just behind Sforzesco Castle. Take a stroll down one of the winding paths towars the Arco della Pace.

This park is perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some fresh air and greenery. You might even choose to sit down on the grass and enjoy the pond for a minute.

Arco della Pace

As you make your way through the park you’ll reach the Arco della pace (arch of peace).

Designed by Luigi Cagnola, the arch was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate the French victory over the Austrian army at the Battle of Marengoit. It was built between 1807 and 1808 from white marble and is quite a sight!

Piazza Mercanti

Historically, Piazza Mercanti was the heart of the city’s medieval markets and is surrounded by some of Milan’s most prominent buildings with incredible architecture.

Here you’ll find the Palazzo della Ragione, which was once the city’s main courthouse, and the Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine. The square is also home to the Loggia degli Osii, a Gothic-style loggia from the 14th century.

Duomo di Milano

Milan’s majestic Cathedral stuns not just with its immense size, but also for the sheer beauty of its 135 spires and 3,400 statues. Standing 108m tall as Europe’s second-largest Church after St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City – it truly is a sight to behold!

For over six centuries, master craftsmen and builders have been perfecting its details – resulting in this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site full of stunning frescoes, breathtaking stained glass artistry, and even a mysterious crypt below ground!

The Duomo cathedral in Milan is and architectural masterpiece and one of the most iconic and impressive landmarks in all of Italy. This magnificent Gothic cathedral was built over six centuries, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Milano Cathedral is full of beautiful frescoes, gorgeous stained glass and there is even a crypt underneath the cathedral. But the absolute best part about a visit to the Duomo is climbing to the top of the roof! From the rooftop you’ll get unforgettable views of Milan and the surrounding, including the snow-covered Alps on the horizon.

You can join this tour of the cathedral and the rooftop for a guided experience so you can skip the line. Or combine your visit to the Duomo with a walking tour of the city and a visit to the Last Supper by joining this tour.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is a beautiful shopping arcade located in the heart of Milan, Italy. Built in the 19th century, it’s one of the oldest and most famous shopping malls in Europe. The arcade is named after Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of a unified Italy. Inside you’ll find high-end shops, restaurants, and a stunning mosaic floor created by Giuseppe Verdi.

Pay special attention to the bull of Turin, you’ll notice a hole where his family jewels used to be. That’s because it’s said that spinning around three times with a heel on the testicles of the bull brings good luck.

Although a popular attraction any time of the year, the Galleria is especially enchanting in winter, when it’s wrapped in Christmas decorations.

And if you’re a Leonardo Da Vinci fan make sure to visit the Leonardo3 interactive exhibition which includes a number of reproductions of Leonardo’s famous machines. Make sure to book your tickets in advance.

RoofTop della Rinascente for dinner

Dine eye-to-eye with the Spiers on the Duomo cathedral and enjoy sweeping views over Piazza Duomo. While it might sound super fancy this is actually a food court and your dinner can be as cheap as a pizza margarita from one of the chains.

Brera district

The Brera district in the heart of Milan is one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. It is well known is for its lively nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants staying open late into the night.

While beautiful during the day with many galeries and historyc buildings you could visit, Brera really comes to life in the evening, with locals and tourists alike heading here to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and great food and drink selection.

It’s the perfect place to go for a drink or a late-night bite after a day of sightseeing!

Day 2 – Old meets new, exhibitions and a night out

Teatro alla Scala

Since 1778, La Scala theatre hosted some of the world’s most famous operas and performances by Giuseppe Verdi, Arturo Toscanini, and Maria Callas.

La Scala is still one of the most prestigious theaters in the world and continues to attract audiences from all over the world. You can visit the theatre and museum with this guided tour or grab a ticket to a performance for an evening of grandeur.

Piazza Gae Aulenti & Bosco Verticale

Symbol of contemporary Milan, Piazza Gae Aulenti is a raised circular square designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli.

This area is home to some of Milan’s most prominent modern architecture and from the square you can see the Garibaldi Towers, Bosco Verticale, the Galfa Tower, the Municipal Technical Services Tower, the Pirelli skyscraper, the Solaria, Solea, Aria residential towers and a portion of the Diamante Tower.

My favourite is Bosco Verticale, a metropolitan forestation project that helps regenerate the environment and increases biodiversity in urban areas, all without taking up precious land. These two residential towers were designed by Boeri architects and together they form an area of 10,000 m² (107,639 sq ft) of greenery.

Monumental Cemetery

The Cimitero Monumentale in Milan, Italy is one of the largest and most famous cemeteries in Europe. It was founded in 1866 and contains the graves of many notable people, but the reason for visiting is not so much who is buried here but how.

While a visit to a cemetery might appear somewhat grim at first, the Cimitero Monumentale can actually be considered an open air museum where most tombs are full on works of art, monuments if you will. Here you’ll find a large collection of Italian sculptures, Greek temples and obelisks.

Join this guided tour to see the most impressive monuments and learn more about the art and the notable people burried here.

Via Paolo Sarpi for lunch

Paolo Sarpi is one of the most popular street food streets and is part of China Town in Milan. It offers a wide selection of delicious dishes from various restaurants and vendors and ranges from traditional Chinese to traditional Italian with some tasty fusion options as well.

Labirinto di Pomodoro, Mudec, or Armani/Silos

After lunch it’s time to head to some museums or galleries. The Labirinto di Pomodoro, Mudec, and Armani/Silos are all located fairly close together and are on your way to the Navigli district. Depending on how quickly you zap through them and you personal preferences. you can choose to visit one, two or all three of them.

The Labirinto di Pomodoro is an environmental installation that spans over 170 square meters and takes you through Arnaldo Pomodoro’s mind and through time.

Arnaldo Pomodoro is an Italian sculptor and goldsmith, and is considered one of the greatest contemporary Italian sculptors. Over sixteen years, from 1995 to 2011, he built the Labyrinth. The installation is a synthesis and reflection of his career as an artist.

You can grab tickets here and explore the exposition on your own or join this guided tour for more insight into the meaning of the artworks.

The Museo delle Culture (MUDEC) is a center dedicated to the interdisciplinary research on the world cultures. This ethnographic museum displays an awe-inspiring collection comprising of more than 7000 fascinating objects from all across the world, from the Far East, Africa and pre-Columbian Americas From exquisite art pieces to everyday items like fabrics and music instruments – this truly unique gathering features artifacts ranging in age from antiquity up until the 19th century. A must see for anyone looking to explore global cultures past and present!

Armani/Silos is a museum dedicated to the work of fashion designer Giorgio Armani. It is located in a former grain silo, hence the name Armani/Silos. The exhibition features examples of Armani’s work from the 1970s to the present day, including clothing, accessories, and photographs, including iconic pieces like the power suits of the 1980s.

Aperitivo in Navigli

Italy is known for its aperitivo culture, a pre-dinner drink served with appetizers. Traditionally, an aperitivo is a low-alcohol fizzy drink, like an Aperol Spritz and is usually served with a small plate of crackers, olives, meats, cheeses, and bread.

But Milan is not traditional and they take the aperitivo to the next level! Think giant cocktails and all you can eat buffets. Trust me, there will be no need for dinner after this and the evening will soon turn into night as everyone at the bar gets a little bit tipsier and a lot happier. Head to Naviglio Pavese for the ultimate experience.

You can also join this aperitivo and street food tour or combine sightseeing with an aperitivo on this fun sunset bike tour.

Day 3 – Art, bones, pampering and a twist

Pinnacoteca Brera

Founded in 1776, the Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera) is home to an impressive collection of artworks from some of the world’s most famous artists, including masterworks by Raphael, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens, and others from the 13th to the 20th century.

Grab your tickets in advance to avoid any lines.

The gallery is housed in a beautiful building that was designed by architects Francesco Maria Ricchini and Giuseppe Piermarini.

Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa

Also known as the Sanctuary of Saint Bernardino of Siena, this church stands out for its macabre decor, which includes a large quantity of human bones and skulls.

The bones used to decorate the walls and chapels of the church were taken from a nearby cemetery and serve as a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of salvation. San Bernardino alle Ossa is also home to the iconic frescoes by Giovanni Battista Crespi (Il Cerano), and a painting by Simone Peterzano.

The church is a unique and eerie attraction that you can visit on your own or as part of this guided tour which will take you to some of Milan’s lesser known spots.

QC Terme Milano or Shopping

If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable winter experience, look no further than QC Termemilano. This amazing thermal spa is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate during the colder months.

The spa is housed in an old art nouveau complex in the centre of town and blessed with stunning architecture and lush gardens. With its many pools, saunas, and steam rooms, QC Termemilano will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

You can grab day tickets for a full day of relaxation or book an evening visit with an apperitivo and snacks.

Aperitivo with a twist

If you choose to go shopping in the evening then you can still go for a dip in the evening. Head to Bagni Misteriosi for an unforgettable evening in these idyllic 1920’s pools. Sip on your drink, raid the buffet and cool down in the pool (only open in season).

Feeling pampered after your afternoon at the spa? Head to Nottingham Forest to end the day with a cocktail you won’t easily forget. This tiny bar serves cocktails inside syringes, mini bathtubs, toothpaste tubes and so on and so forth. If you’re a cocktail aficionado, this is not a bar you’ll want to miss.

Day 4 – Lake Como Day Trip

Lake Como is one of the most popular day trips from Milan, and for good reason.
It is famous for its breathtaking beauty with clear waters surrounded by mountains and charming villages.

I highly recommend this Lake Como day trip with lake cruise. You’ll start with a walking tour through the town of Como, where you can soak up the local atmosphere, explore its historic streets, and indulge in delicious Italian cuisine, followed by a scenic cruise on Lake Como, allowing you to admire the breathtaking vistas and stunning villas from the water.

Day 5 – Bernina Express and St.Moritz Day Trip

The Bernina Express is a scenic railway connecting Tirano, Italy, to St. Moritz, Switzerland. Known for its stunning panoramic views, the journey traverses high alpine regions, with stunning views of snow-capped peaks, valleys, glaciers, and lakes. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and reaches the highest railway point in Europe at 2,253 meters above sea level

I recommend you book this guided tour from Milano. You’ll ride the Bernina Express one way and take a coach ride back while also have plenty of time to explore St Moritz.

Milan 3 day itinerary

If you have 3 days in Milan this itinerary is perfect! You’ll get to see all the best things Milan has to offer, and explore some lesser known but incredibly fun attractions. You’ll get the best value with this walking tour which includes tickets to the Duomo and the Last Supper.

If you prefer a packed itinerary feel free to compress it a bit and add a half day trip from Milan. I highly recommend this Lake Como excursion.

Day 1 – The unmissable Milan

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard | Join this tour 

Santa Maria delle Grazie & Last Supper | Book your Last Supper tickets

Sforzesco Castle

Sempione Park

Arco della Pace

Piazza Mercanti

Duomo di Milano | Book your tour incl. rooftop ticket

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

RoofTop della Rinascente for dinner

Brera district

Day 2 – Old meets new, exhibitions and a night out

Teatro alla Scala | Book this guided tour

Piazza Gae Aulenti & Bosco Verticale

Monumental Cemetery | Join this guided tour 

Via Paolo Sarpi for lunch

Labirinto di Pomodoro, Mudec, or Armani/Silos

Aperitivo in Navigli | Book this aperitivo and street food tour | Join this fun sunset bike tour.

Day 3 – Art, bones, pampering and a twist

Pinnacoteca Brera | Grab your tickets 

Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa | Book this guided tour

Go Shopping

Aperitivo at Bagni Misteriosi or Nottingham Forest

Milan 2 day itinerary

Two days are a good amount of time to see Milan and its main attractions without being too rushed. You might even be able to squeeze in some shopping into this 2 day Milan itinerary!

Day 1 – The unmissable Milan

Arco della Pace

Sempione Park

Sforzesco Castle

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

RoofTop della Rinascente for lunch

Duomo di Milano | Book your tour incl. rooftop ticket

Piazza Mercanti

Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa | Join this guided tour

Aperitivo in Navigli | Book this aperitivo and street food tour | Join this fun sunset bike tour.

Day 2 – Da Vinci, contemporary Milan and history

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard | Join this tour 

Santa Maria delle Grazie & Last Supper | Book your Last Supper tickets

Monumental Cemetery | Join this guided tour 

Via Paolo Sarpi for lunch

Bosco Verticale

Pinnacoteca Brera | Grab your tickets 

Teatro alla Scala | Book this guided tour

Brera district

1 day in Milan itinerary

Buckle up, it’s gonna be a wild ride! This itinerary for one day in Milan really packs in a punch so make sure to get up early and fuel up on coffee! You’ll get the best value with this walking tour which includes tickets to the Duomo and the Last Supper.

Arco della Pace

Sempione Park

Sforzesco Castle

Pinnacoteca Brera | Grab your tickets 

Teatro alla Scala | Book this guided tour

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

RoofTop della Rinascente for lunch

Duomo di Milano | Book your tour incl. rooftop ticket

Piazza Mercanti

Santuario di San Bernardino alle OssaJoin this guided tour

Santa Maria delle Grazie & Last SupperBook your Last Supper tickets

Navigli | Book this aperitivo and street food tour | Join this fun sunset bike tour.

Possible tweaks:

Depending on how interested you are in the museums and galleries you might be able to slow down a bit by skipping the Pinnacoteca and only passing by the La Scala theatre.

If you can’t get tickets to the Last Supper or if you’re not that interested in seeing this iconic fresco consider visiting the Museum of Dreamers (temporary exhibit) just behind the Duomo, or the Labirinto di Pomodoro, Mudec or Armani/Silos on your way to Navigli instead.

Is Milan worth visiting?

Milan is a fantastic city absolutely worth visiting for its historic landmarks, rich culture and art, and vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere. Milan is home to the iconic Duomo di Milano and the renowned fresco, The Last Supper.

In Milan, you can dive into its history and architecture through sightseeing, explore various museums and galleries, indulge in shopping (it’s the fashion capital, after all), and enjoy some of the city’s superb restaurants and bars. Additionally, Milan serves as an ideal base for day trips to nearby lakes, mountains, and charming towns.

Getting to Milano

The best way to get to Milan is by flying into the Milan Malpensa Airport. There are a number of transportation options available to get from the airport into town, including buses, taxis, and trains.

The Malpensa Express trains run between the airport and downtown Milan every 30 minutes, with a journey time of around 40 minutes. Alternatively, there are also shuttle buses that run between the airport and offer stops in Milan, but they generally take longer than the Express train.

Another great way of traveling to Milan is by train. The central train station has great connections to all major cities in Italy as well as Switzerland and France.

Getting around Milan

Public transportation in Milan is excellent and includes buses, trams, metro, and trains. There are also a number of taxi companies and Uber drivers.

Taking a tram is not just good for getting from A to be but it’s also a great way to explore the city. There are numerous tram routes that operate throughout the city and provide a convenient, efficient, and affordable way to get around town, with a view.

Another great option for getting around Milan is using the Metro, which is fast and serves nearly all areas of the city.

Best time to visit Milan

Milan is a fantastic destination at any time of the year. While less popular, winter in Milan is especially magical, while the summer (particularly August) is surprisingly quiet but incredibly hot. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for a visit to Milan in terms of weather, however, they do tend to get a bit busier.

Best day trips from Milan

Milan is a fantastic city and has so much to offer, but even more adventure awaits you outside of town. Milan is really close to the alps and some of Italy’s most beautiful cities so if you have a spare day (or two), make sure to take this opportunity to explore the surrounding area as well.

Some of my favorite day trip destinations from Milan are:

Italy is such a stunning country that packs beautiful nature, astonishing architecture, rich history, interesting culture, loads of hand gestures, and delicious food. Oh, don’t even get me started on Italian food!

I’ve prepared a whole plethora of articles to help you plan your Italian adventure and if you’re planning a trip to Milan or a winter trip to Italy make sure to check out the relevant resources below:

Italy travel insurance

Good travel insurance is an absolute must when traveling abroad, and we’ve learned that the hard way!

Now we always get insured before we leave and Travel Insurance Masters is our go-to platform to find the best insurance options for the specific trip.

The TIM platform works as a search engine and suggests the best insurance company and insurance plan for your criteria so you don’t end up paying more for things you don’t need! It also takes into account your age, nationality, destination etc. which can greatly impact the final price.

You can get your quote & provider recommendations here.

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Zi @Craving Adventure
Zi @Craving Adventure

Zi is the Founder and Editor in Chief behind Craving Adventure.

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