10 Things You Must See in Milan

Travel Guide to Milan – what you must see on your visit to Milan. Shopping, Duomo cathedral, Sforza Castle, Last Supper by Da Vinci, Royal Palace, Central Station, and more…

If you are visiting Milan, you probably already have a general idea of what you’d like to see and do. You probably won’t have lots of time, so pick three or four things to do while you are in the fashion and finance capital of Italy. Here are our top ten, not a ranking, but the best places to visit in Milan.

Milan Duomo Cathedral

Milan Duomo Cathedral

1. Il Duomo – Gothic cathedral of Milan

The world’s third largest cathedral in the world. It took over 500 years to complete. Visit the church and crypt and /or  climb to the top of the Duomo via a spiral stone staircase of 919 steps. An elevator to the top is also available. Tickets are on sale on Corso Vittorio Emanuele (the left side of the Duomo if you are looking at it straight on). Lines and waiting times get very long in spring and summer, so try to book tickets and tours to the Duomo online in advance. A special evening rooftop tour is also available.

Address:  Piazza del Duomo, Milan, Italy
Hours: : everyday 8am- 7pm (Crypt and museum have varing times)
Click here to book tickets to visit the Duomo di Milano.

 

Last Supper Da Vinci 1495

2. The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci & Church of  Santa Maria della Grazie

The Last Supper a.k.a. “Il Cenacolo Vinciano”
Leonardo Da Vinci’s materpiece was painted when he was in Milan between 1494 and 1498 working for the Ludovico il Moro family. Extensive measures have been implemented to protect the fresco from decay and the visitor intake has been restricted to groups of 25 admitted every 15 minutes. YOU MUST BOOK IN ADVANCE 2-3 weeks in advance. You cannot visit without a reservation.
Address: Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2, Milan, Italy
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8.30am alle 7.15pm, all day (last entrance 6.30pm).
Closed Mondays and  1 January, 1 May, 25 December.
Click here to book tickets to visit The Last Supper.
S forzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle

3. Castello Sforzesco & Parco Sempione – the castle and grounds in the center of Milan

Castello Sforzesco dates back to the 14th century and in 1450 was named after Francesco Sforza, who transformed it into a ducal residence.  On the ceiling of the ducal room Sala delle Asse, you will find another Da Vinci and in a  room at the far end of the castle,  Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini, an unfinished work and last piece he worked on before his death at age 89.
Parco Sempione found on the north end of the castle was once Sforza’s private gated hunting ground. Today it’s a popular place for sports, families and romantic walks at the far opposite end you will also see L’Arco della Pace – The Peace Arc monument.

Hours: Grounds; open 7am-7:30pm, Museums; Tuesday to Sundays 9am -5.30pm (Last entrance 5pm)
Closed Monday and 25 December, 1 January, Easter Monday.

Address: Piazza Castello, Milan, Italy

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4. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – one of Europe’s oldest glass covered shopping galleries

Inside you will find luxury boutiques such as the original Prada store, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, as well as luxury hotels. The most luxurious hotels are here in the gallery, the Hotel Town House and the Park Hyatt Milan. At the center of the gallery, take a spin on the Bull of Torino for good luck. Place your heel on the bull’s balls and spin around. A curious note: In 1867, Giuseppe Mengoni, the architect, fell to his death from the heights of the glass dome while scrutinizing decorative details two days before King Vittorio Emanuele led the opening ceremony.

Address: between Piazza Duomo and Piazza della Scala
Hours: Always open, Store openings vary

 

Brera Pinacoteca art museum

Brera Pinacoteca art museum courtyard entrance

5. Brera &  Pinacoteca di Brera – the historic artists’ quarter and classic art museum

Brera was once the poor artists’ quarter in the 1950’s and 60’s, and is now a hip-chic neighborhood with boutiques, restaurants and nightlife and nighttime fortune tellers. Pinacoteca di Brera  Italian masterpieces from the XIV to the XX century such as: Raphael’s “Marriage of the Virgin”; Giovanni Bellini’s “Pietà”; Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus”; and Bramante’s “Christ at the Column”. There are six new halls dedicated to Italian paintings between XIII and XVI century; there is a collection of metaphysical paintings, and there is also the Maria and Emilio Jesi collection, which has been donated to the gallery.

Address: Pinacoteca di Brera , Via Brera, 28, Milan, Italy
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 8.30am – 7.15pm (the Ticket Office closes at 6.40pm)
Thursday 8.30am – 10.15pm (the Ticket Office closes at 9.40pm), Closed on Mondays, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

Click here to book a private tour of Art and Style in Brera


Read also:

24 Hours in Milan

24 Hours in Milan

24 HOURS IN MILAN, ONE DAY ITINERARY

D.I.Y. travel guide of Milan. You’ve only got one day to visit Milan – here is a guide on how to best spend your time. You can follow this D.I.Y. tour, or book a 3 hour tour with a guide.


6. Palazzo Reale –  Milan’s central exhibition hub

Milan has a long history of overthrown rulers and residency of  The Royal Palace. It went through many architectural changes since the middle ages and what we see today is a modernization and restoration of a succession of ruling families and foreign invasions. Since the 1950’s the Palace has held Milan’s most prominent exhibitions with shows ranging from the classic masters to modern pop culture. Click here to visit the website and calendar of exhibitions

Address: Piazza del Duomo (on the right looking towards the cathedral)
Hours: Monday 2:30pm – 7:30pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 09:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Thursday e Sunday 09:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Last admission one hour before closing time.

Naviglio canal district of Milan

Naviglio canal district of Milan

7. Navigli – the Canal district of Milan

Milan’s alternative-chic district where you find both up-scale boutiques and restaurants and hippy-chic, grungy pubs. It’s a mix of all which is Milan. Once a month there is an antiques market (click here for the calendar). There are two canals;  Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. Lovely for evening walking and dining.

Address: Intersection of Darsena, Alzaia Naviglio Grande, Ripa di Porta Ticinese, Alzaia Naviglio Pavese
Hours: Always open, Store openings vary
Click here to book a Food Tour of Canal Distric Milan

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Milan Central Station, art work detail

8. Stazione Centrale Milano – main, central train station of Milan

The station we use today was opened in 1931 . Designed and constructed by architect Ulisse Stacchini but when Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister in 1922, he had decided that Stazione Centrale should become  an icon of his fascist regime, therefore some embellishments and changes were made, resulting in the overwhelming building it is today. The station is not all Fascist;  Liberty and Art Deco motifs can also be admired in the marble tiling , mosaics, wall sculptures and lighting fixtures.

Address: Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 1, Milan, Italy
Hours: Always open, Store openings vary


Booking.com: Find Hotels in Milan


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Versace Store Milan

9. Via Montenepoleone & The Golden Quadrilateral – the luxury shopping district of Milan

The Quadrilaterale della Moda, Milan’s luxury shopping district is made up of via Montenapoleone, via Borgospesso, via Della Spiga, and via Sant’ Andrea.  Even if you are not a luxury shopper, it is still fabulous seeing all the creative window displays!

Address: via Montenapoleone , Milan, Italy
Hours: Always open, Store openings vary
Click here to book a day or half-day with Melanie Payge, personal shopper Milan 

10. Cimitero Monumentale di Milano – Milan’s open air art museum

Opened in 1866, it has since then been filled with a wide range of contemporary and classical Italian sculptures as well as Greek temples, elaborate obelisks, and other original works. Many of the tombs belong to noted Milanese, artists and is worth visiting to see the sculptures  decortign the park designed by modern artists such as Giò Ponti, Arturo Martini, Dante Parini, Lucio Fontana, Medardo Rosso, Giacomo Manzù, Floriano Bodini, and Giò Pomodoro.

Address: Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, Milan, Italy
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m., closed on Mondays . Open on Holidays 8am-1pm (applies to holidays that fall on Monday as well). Last enterance 30 minutes before closing.

Click here to book a Guided Tour of the Monumental Cemetery Milan

Celia Abernethy

Celia lives in Italy, spending her time between Milan and Lake Como. . She shares her discoveries of her travels and experiences in Italy and beyond, giving readers an insider’s view of what to do, where to go and how to do it in style. More: www.travelpostrepeat.com