Discover the top 27 must-see places in Milan, Italy that you should visit when you are in the city. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Milan through its iconic landmarks, exquisite art, and delectable cuisine.
Milan, the fashion and financial capital of Italy, is a city of timeless beauty and vibrant energy. From its awe-inspiring architecture to its world-class museums and bustling shopping districts, Milan offers an unforgettable experience to every visitor. If you’re planning a trip to this enchanting city, we’ve curated a comprehensive list of the 27 best must-see places you should explore during your stay. Let’s embark on a journey through the heart of Milan, where ancient history blends harmoniously with modern elegance.
The Best 27 Must-See Places in Milan, Italy You Should Visit When You Are in Milan
1. Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)
The magnificent Duomo di Milano, the city’s most iconic landmark, is an exquisite example of Gothic architecture. With its stunning facade adorned with thousands of sculptures and intricate spires, this grand cathedral will leave you in awe. Take an elevator or climb the stairs to the rooftop terraces to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Milan.
2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Step into the world’s oldest shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a masterpiece of 19th-century architecture. This stunning glass-vaulted arcade houses luxurious boutiques, charming cafes, and fine dining restaurants. Don’t forget to spin on the bull’s mosaic for good luck!
3. The Last Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano)
Experience Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper,” housed in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Book your tickets in advance to witness this iconic fresco, but remember, no photography is allowed to preserve the artwork.
4. Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)
Immerse yourself in history at the Sforza Castle, a medieval fortress that now houses several museums. Explore the art collections, historical artifacts, and stroll through the lush Sempione Park nearby.
5. Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre)
For the lovers of opera and ballet, a visit to Teatro alla Scala is a must. This world-renowned opera house has hosted legendary performances since the 18th century. Catch a show or take a guided tour to admire the opulent interiors.
6. Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera)
Art enthusiasts will be enchanted by the Brera Art Gallery’s remarkable collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. Works by artists like Raphael, Caravaggio, and Titian grace the walls of this cultural gem.
7. Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology
Delve into the genius of Leonardo da Vinci at this fascinating museum. With interactive exhibits, models of his inventions, and a vast collection of scientific artifacts, it offers an engaging experience for all ages.
8. Navigli District
Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Navigli district, known for its picturesque canals and lively ambiance. This area comes alive in the evenings with an array of bars, restaurants, and street performances.
9. Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio
Visit one of Milan’s oldest churches, the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, dedicated to the city’s patron saint. Marvel at its stunning mosaics and ancient architecture, which dates back to the 4th century.
10. San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
Often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of Milan,” San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a hidden gem featuring breathtaking frescoes that adorn every inch of its interior.
11. Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library)
Book lovers will find solace in the Ambrosian Library, which houses a priceless collection of manuscripts, including the original sketches by Leonardo da Vinci and works by Dante and Petrarch.
12. Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest)
An architectural marvel, Bosco Verticale, or the Vertical Forest, is a pair of residential towers adorned with thousands of trees and shrubs, creating a stunning urban oasis.
13. Cimitero Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery)
Uncover the beauty of Cimitero Monumentale, an open-air museum of sculptures and monuments that commemorates Milan’s notable figures.
14. Museo del Novecento (Museum of the 20th Century)
Delve into modern Italian art at the Museo del Novecento, boasting an impressive collection of 20th-century paintings, sculptures, and installations.
15. Parco Sempione (Sempione Park)
Escape the bustling city and relax at Parco Sempione, a tranquil green space adjacent to the Sforza Castle. Enjoy a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or rent a paddleboat on the lake.
16. Leonardo3 Museum
Unravel the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions at the Leonardo3 Museum, where his drawings come to life through interactive displays.
17. Fondazione Prada
Art meets contemporary architecture at Fondazione Prada, a cutting-edge cultural complex showcasing contemporary art exhibitions and installations.
18. San Bernardino alle Ossa
Step into the eerie yet fascinating San Bernardino alle Ossa, a small chapel adorned with human bones and skulls arranged into intricate patterns.
19. Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace)
Marvel at the opulence of Palazzo Reale, the former royal residence of Milan, which hosts various exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.
20. Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard
Discover the vineyard that once belonged to Leonardo da Vinci himself. Take a tour, taste the wines, and learn about viticulture in the Renaissance era.
Explore Darsena, Milan’s historic port district that has been revitalized into a trendy area with bars, restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene.
22. Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Poldi Pezzoli Museum)
Delve into the private collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, a wealthy art collector, and admire the exquisite artworks and decorative arts in his former residence.
23. Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore
Visit the Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore, an ancient church with well-preserved archaeological remains underneath, providing a glimpse into Milan’s Roman past.
24. Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Braidense National Library)
The Braidense National Library houses a vast collection of ancient manuscripts, maps, and prints, making it a haven for researchers and history enthusiasts.
25. Museum of Ancient Art (Museo d’Arte Antica)
Discover an impressive collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period at the Museum of Ancient Art.
26. Basilica of San Simpliciano
The Basilica of San Simpliciano, dating back to the 4th century, showcases a mix of architectural styles and houses remarkable religious artifacts.
27. Museum of Cultures (MUDEC)
Explore diverse cultures from around the world at MUDEC, a contemporary museum dedicated to anthropology, ethnography, and art.
Q: How many days should I plan to explore all these must-see places in Milan?
A: To fully experience the best 27 must-see places in Milan, it is recommended to plan at least 4 to 5 days for your visit.
Q: Are there guided tours available for The Last Supper?
A: Yes, guided tours are available for The Last Supper. It is advisable to book your tickets well in advance to secure a spot.
Q: Can I take photographs inside The Last Supper?
A: No, photography is not allowed inside The Last Supper to preserve the integrity of the artwork.
Q: Is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II open on Sundays?
A: Yes, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is open seven days a week, including Sundays.
Q: Are the museums and attractions easily accessible by public transportation?
A: Yes, Milan has an excellent public transportation system, making it convenient to reach most museums and attractions.
Q: Are there any discounts available for museum tickets?
A: Some museums offer discounts for students, seniors, and families. Additionally, consider purchasing a Milan Pass for access to multiple attractions at a discounted price.
Milan, with its rich history, artistic heritage, and modern elegance, is a city that captivates the hearts of travelers. From admiring the grandeur of the Duomo di Milano to exploring the hidden gems like San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, every corner of Milan tells a unique story. So, when you find yourself in this vibrant city, immerse yourself in its cultural delights and indulge in the wonders of the best 27 must-see places that Milan has to offer.