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Things to do in Milan

Full of attractions like the Milan Cathedral, this metropolis is a magnet for fashion and culture buffs alike.

Our most recommended things to do in Milan

Milan: Milan Cathedral & Terraces Exclusive After-Hours Tour

1. Milan: Milan Cathedral & Terraces Exclusive After-Hours Tour

Discover Milan Cathedral and its terraces on an exclusive guided tour after they have closed to the public. Snap photos of the city in the evening light from the rooftop. Explore over six centuries of history, marvel at the stained-glass windows up close, and watch as the cathedral is closed up. Meet your expert guides, Marilena and Victor, and get a brief introduction to the cathedral. Then, take the elevator up to visit the Milan Duomo Rooftops as everyone else is leaving. Discover a myriad of gargoyles, statues, spires, and more. Admire the stunning city views and the gold Madonnina. Then, walk down the stairs and into the empty cathedral for an exclusive tour without the usual crowds. Take in a Gothic cathedral church that was six centuries in the making — with 34,000 statues, 135 spires, 55 stained glass windows, and 150 gargoyles, you can see why it took so long. Have fun finding your zodiac sign in the marble tiles and learning how this unusual solar calendar works. Be surprised — and perhaps horrified — by the statue of the tortured St Bartholomew. Take photos of statues that have been standing on the columns in the Duomo for over 600 years. Visit the retrochoir to admire the monumental stained glass windows that draw your gaze when in the nave. Marvel at the stories from the Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocalypse, and learn about the unusual ingredients used to make the bright colors of the paints. While in this area, open your eyes wide to take in the largest musical organ in Italy — the grand organ of Milan Cathedral has 15,800 pipes ranging from a few centimeters to several meters, covered with elaborate doors adorned with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Get exclusive access to the Feriale Chapel, which visitors don't usually get a chance to visit. See the stained glass windows and intricate carvings of the wooden choir up close. Be moved by the intimate atmosphere of this small chapel, usually used for mass when visitors take over the cathedral. Finally, watch as Milan Cathedral is closed down for the night. Witnessing all the lights that illuminate the whole cathedral be turned off before the doors are closed is a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Milan: Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket

2. Milan: Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket

Discover the iconic symbol of Milan with your access-all-areas ticket to the Duomo and see the 600-year-old cathedral. Learn about the history of St. Ambrose and the cathedral's important role during the evolution of the city both spiritually and culturally.  Admire city panoramas from the Duomo Terraces. Built using Candoglia marble, on bright days, you can see as far as the Alps and the Apennine Mountains. Have the option of taking the elevator (not included). Admire the Duomo's 27 halls and its 14th-century Palazzo Reale's stained glass window, tapestries, and sculptures.

From Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, and Varenna or Menaggio

3. From Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, and Varenna or Menaggio

Enjoy a memorable full-day trip by luxury bus to Lake Como, world famous for its beautiful villas and gardens. You’ll have a chance to admire the 3 branches of the lake, each with different landscapes. Stop in the town of Como for a walking tour of the city center and a visit to the neoclassical Villa Olmo and its lovely Italian garden. Next, take a relaxing cruise on the lake by private boat, and enjoy the spectacular views. Visit the colorful villages of Bellagio as well as one in Varenna (the visit to Varenna may be exchanged for another location in Menaggio, Tremezzo, Argegno, or Cernobbio). Take a walk along narrow cobblestoned streets and enjoy the charming surroundings.

Milan Cathedral: Rooftop Terraces Ticket (No Church Access)

4. Milan Cathedral: Rooftop Terraces Ticket (No Church Access)

Avoid the hassle of buying an entrance ticket to the Milan Duomo on the day by picking one up in advance. By far the most unique feature of the cathedral is its vast rooftop, granting a panoramic viewpoint over Milan and a birds-eye perspective on the church itself. With options to challenge yourself by mounting the 250 stairs up to the rooftop, or to take a ride on the convenient elevator, the rooftop is accessible to all with a desire to see this iconic sight. Once you’re on the rooftop, peer out over the city from over 150 feet above street level while taking in the characteristic rows of white marble spires. An enduring symbol of Milan, the cathedral broke ground in 1386, only to be finished in 1965. Built of stunning marble quarried from the Candoglia region, there are few better examples of Italian Gothic architecture in existence.

Milan: City Center & Last Supper Walking Tour

5. Milan: City Center & Last Supper Walking Tour

Get acquainted with the most historically significant landmarks of Milan on this 3-hour guided walking tour. Witness the beauty of the city as your guide leads you through the city's history, culture and, traditions during an unforgettable experience. Admire the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most sought-after masterpieces of all time. Your guide will be sure to make the most of the 15-minutes you have inside the Refectory to bring this mural painting to life for you.  Then, move on to Sforza Castle, a Medieval stronghold surrounded by a beautiful park. Continue your tour by walking to the Scala Opera House, the all Milanese Temple of Music, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Admire the beautiful gothic Duomo from the outside, an architectural wonder and the fifth-largest cathedral in Europe. Select the lunch option to finish off your tour with a traditional Italian meal in a nearby restaurant.

Milan: Milan Cathedral Direct Entrance - Terrace Excluded

6. Milan: Milan Cathedral Direct Entrance - Terrace Excluded

Enjoy a seamless entrance to the Milan Cathedral, the international symbol of Milan, and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Italy and in Europe. Visit this treasure of art and faith and discover its peculiarities, amongst which the spellbinding stained-glass windows and vertiginous columns. Discover the history of beautiful statues, such as the most famous statue of all the Cathedral: the Saint Bartholomew Flayed. See Sarcophagi, magnificent altars, and stunning organs.

Milan Cathedral & Terraces by Elevator Fast-Track Options

7. Milan Cathedral & Terraces by Elevator Fast-Track Options

Skip the long lines to one of the most magnificent monuments in Milan with a fast track entrance ticket to the Milan Duomo terraces. With an optional upgrade you can also enter the cathedral through an exclusive group doorway, and enjoy access to all areas of the cathedral to see masterpieces of art and architecture. Marvel at beautiful adornments and stained glass windows, and discover the former chapel of the ducal palace at the Church of St. Gottardo in Corte in the archaeological area. Learn more about the sacred monument at the fascinating museum, and ride the dedicated elevator to get panoramic views from the amazing terraces. Get a free cape-kimono required to enter the cathedral as an added bonus, and use your ticket to enjoy a 10% discount on selected merchandise at the gift shop.

Milan: San Siro Stadium and Museum Tour

8. Milan: San Siro Stadium and Museum Tour

Feel like a player and go behind the scenes at one of the world's most famous stadiums. Visit the sidelines and the stands where thousands of supporters gather on the weekend. Enter the changing rooms and the mixed zone. Walk through the tunnel of champions and make your way to the pitch of La Scala del Calcio. Treat yourself to an exciting journey within the legend of San Siro and satisfy your curiosity with our guides. The San Siro Museum, set up in a dedicated area, is the first leg of the Stadium Tour: the room showcases a selection of jerseys worn by some of the leading players of the Milanese teams, and many more. As the tour continues, discover the 'behind the scenes' of the stadium while walking in the footsteps of the champions. Enter Ac Milan and Inter’s locker rooms, cross the mix zone, walk the players’ tunnel, and get ready for the enchanting view of the San Siro field, the greatest thrill for every football fan. Experience the stadium from the perspective of your heroes, in groups led by our guides: enjoy anecdotes, curiosities, and unique views for your shots on the pitch, the sideline, and the benches. The tour of the History of Football continues in the bleachers, with a pleasant moment of leisure and relaxation in the grandstand: enjoy the view of the bowl and the engaging description of the stadium from a historical point of view. At the end of the stadium tour, visit of “Italia 110 & Lode”, an exhibition entirely dedicated to the Italian National Football Team. Check out original memorabilia, including the first jersey used against France in 1910, the pennant from the 1938 World Cup final between Italy and Hungary, the 1968 World Cup final kits of Italy and Yugoslavia, tops from Italia 1970, and also trophies and shirts of Italy’s World Cup and European Championship.

Bergamo: Bus Transfer to/from Milan City Center

9. Bergamo: Bus Transfer to/from Milan City Center

Enjoy a comfortable direct one-way transfer between Bergamo Airport and Milan. Travel safely in an air-conditioned bus with no extra fees for luggage. If arriving at Bergamo Airport, simply locate the bus located just outside the arrivals hall. Arrive in a central location in Milan city center near taxis, the metro, and public bus transport options. Departing from Milan city center, hop on the bus at the exit of the "Piazza Luigi di Savoia" train station. Save yourself from navigating the public transportation system and take comfort in the fact that all vehicles are regularly maintained to high hygiene and quality standards.

Milan: Da Vinci's Last Supper Guided Tour

10. Milan: Da Vinci's Last Supper Guided Tour

See the masterpiece that is the Last Supper up close on a guided tour, learning about its fascinating history from your licensed guide. The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Refectory with the Last Supper has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980. They were part of a large monastic complex belonging to the Dominican monks. See the Last Supper with this tour who will tell you all about the most fantastic wall paintings of the Renaissance. A licensed local guide will show you this masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, revealing surprising facts about the perspective, the composition and the technique used by the artist, as well as the history of the site.

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Frequently asked questions about Milan

What are the best day trips and excursions from Milan?

The best day trips and excursions from Milan are:

Lake Como

Insider tips: Explore Milan like a local

Megan & Aram is a travel blog that focuses mostly on travel in the Nordics and Eastern Europe with the occasional trip beyond those regions. We love coffee, promoting small businesses, and sports.

What should I do on my first trip to Milan?

Milan boasts the largest and arguably the most gorgeous cathedral in Italy, and visiting the Duomo is one of the best things to do in Milan. The Duomo is a breathtaking Gothic-style centerpiece of the city, which took 600 years to build. If you want to learn more about the church’s history, art, or architecture, consider taking a guided tour. You can also ascend to the roof (Terraces) for beautiful views over the city. Another world-famous treasure is Leonardo da Vinci’s "Last Supper" in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church.

What are some hidden gems to see in Milan?

Though many people go see the famous "Last Supper" painting, few venture across the street to Casa degli Atellani and Leonardo’s vineyard, which he tended while he painted the Last Supper. You can tour the lovely house and gardens, including the vineyard. And don’t miss out on the Pinacoteca di Brera museum, a treasure trove of Italian art. You can also visit an astronomical observatory, a gorgeous library, and a botanical garden in the surrounding complex.

How much time should I spend in Milan?

While it is possible to see the main highlights of Milan in one day, the city is best explored in two or three days. This allows time to see some of the less-visited attractions and neighborhoods. If you have more than two or three days, consider taking a day trip; some great options include Lake Como or Verona.

What food is Milan known for?

Milan has some fantastic traditional dishes. Try the risotto alla milanese (risotto with saffron), ossobuco (stewed veal shanks), cassouela (cabbage and pork stew), and cotoletta alla milanese (breaded veal cutlets). During the holidays, try panettone, a sweet bread with candied citrus. While it is now popular all over Italy and the world, Milan was the birthplace of this holiday cake. There are so many different culinary delights in Milan, it is well worth taking a food tour to sample a wide variety of dishes and learn about the food scene from a local guide.

What is the best way to get around Milan?

Getting around Milan is convenient and easy. In the city center, many attractions are close together, and you can see interesting things as you move between them. Milan’s public transportation system is extensive and inexpensive, with four metro lines, 18 tram lines, and over 80 bus lines. Tickets cost around €2 and are valid for 90 minutes. Taking a taxi or renting a bike is also common and easy to do.

What are the best months to visit Milan?

While beautiful in every season, the best times to visit Milan are the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October. The weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds. Winter is an excellent option for the fewest tourists, especially during the holidays when there are beautiful decorations and Christmas markets, though it can be chilly. Summer is hot and can be quite crowded.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Milan?

Centro Storico, the historic center of Milan, is where most of the big attractions are, such as the Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and La Scala. The Navigli neighborhood surrounds the canal and has a relaxed vibe, filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, bookshops, and markets. Brera is one of the city’s most beautiful areas, with lovely architecture and an artsy vibe. And while not as large as some others across the globe, Milan’s Chinatown is a great place to eat and explore.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Don’t miss out on eating in the Navigli neighborhood, which has many typical Milanese restaurants, cafes, and trattorie. Aperitivo is also very popular in Northern Italy — a pre-meal drink in the early evening, often accompanied by light snacks. Join the Italians in this relaxing custom as you sit at a table at one of the many attractive bars along the canal at sunset.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Milan is Italy's fashion capital, so there is no shortage of shopping options here. Milan's most famous shopping center is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a mall housed in a gorgeous arcade. For luxury brands, visit the Quadrilatero della Moda, which literally means Fashion Quarter. For a wider range of price and store options, Corso Buenos Aires should be your destination. For more vintage, boutique, or alternative finds, head to Porta Ticinese.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Milan?

If you want to be at the center of everything, look for accommodation around the Duomo area, though it will be more expensive than more outlying areas. A picturesque neighborhood to plant yourself in is Brera, with great cafes and an artsy vibe. For more of a modern feel, stay in the Porta Nuova district, filled with reclaimed warehouses-turned-restaurants, shops, and the amazing Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) apartment building. The Navigli area has bars with great outdoor seating overlooking the canal, antique shops, and markets.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Milan?

The Sforzesco Castle is a great place to visit with kids. There is a great museum inside where you can introduce your children to fine art, and a vast garden and green space in Parco Sempione behind the castle where the kids can run around. If you or anyone in your family is a soccer lover, do not miss out on seeing San Siro, the legendary stadium where AC Milan and Inter Milan play. Even those with only a fleeting interest in soccer will love a tour of the stadium.

What is the best thing to do in Milan for solo travelers?

One of the best things about solo traveling is being on your own time schedule. Take advantage of this by spending as much time as you’d like wandering around Milan’s fascinating art and history museums, such as Pinacoteca di Brera, the Last Supper Museum, Leonardo’s Vineyard, Castello Sforzesco, and the Duomo. If you’d like to meet some people and sample some of Milan’s most delicious foods, sign up for a food tour.

What is the best thing to do in Milan for couples?

A great way to spend an evening with your partner is to dress up and see a performance at the stunning La Scala, Milan’s famous opera house. Whether a ballet, opera, or concert, it’s sure to be an impressive evening at this world-renowned theater. Another great way to spend an evening is strolling around the Navigli district, checking out the little shops and enjoying a sunset aperitivo along the canal.

What are the best annual events in Milan?

One of the biggest events in Milan is the biannual Fashion Week, each February and September. In December, holiday decorations are up, Christmas markets are open, and festive activities are held. In February, Milan celebrates Carnevale with parades, concerts, and exciting festivities.

What are the best things to do around Milan?

Parco Sempione is Milan’s largest park, directly behind Castello Sforzesco, which is a lovely way to take in some fresh air. If you want a more tranquil hidden gem, head to Guastalla Gardens, a small garden built in the traditional Italian style. If you have time for one of the best day trips from Milan, head to the beautiful Lake Como.

Other Sightseeing Options in Milan

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What people are saying about Milan

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 66,199 reviews

Citysightseeing provides a pretty straightforward experience - you get on the bus with the audioguide for the major landmarks and districts you'll see. It saves you so much time from having to walk from place to place. While you won't get the intimate experience of every place, it does allow you as a traveler to gloss through each part of town. In my case, Milan has 4 bus lines reaching out to all parts of the city. I know for sure when I travel abroad again I'll be using Citysightseeing's services. The 24, 48 and 72 hour passes provide flexibility.

My class size was 5. Very hands on. We made 2 different kinds of pasta, tiramisu and learned how to make risotto and a butter and sage sauce. The Chef was knowledgeable and personable. His recounting of his vast experiences took the class over the top.

Fantastic day out. The guide was excellent and the bus driver made the trip safe and comfortable

Great guide, amazing experience! Worth every cent :)

Amazing views and absolutely stunning architecture