A full itinerary for one day in Milan (+ map with all attractions and how to skip the lines at the Duomo and the Last Supper).
Milan is the capital of Lombardy. It’s a lovely region in Northern Italy that shares a border with Switzerland to the north. The area is also home to the beautiful lakes Como and Maggiore.
Milan is a city bursting with stunning architecture, rich history and mouth-watering food. I’ve been to many places in Italy, but when it comes to incredible food, this is one of my favourites.
The city is so much more than just a fashion capital. The famous mural painting the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci and the gorgeous cathedral attracts visitors from all over the world. No matter if you’re looking for astonishing architecture or delicious Italian food, this is the place to go.
One day in Milan itinerary
How to see Milan in a day? Is it possible to skip the lines at the Duomo and the Last Supper? Find all the answers in this Milan one day itinerary.
You can find a map of this Milan itinerary (with all attractions and restaurants’ websites) at the end of the blog post.
My favourite place to stay in Milan for sightseeing is Rosa Grand Milano. The location is fantastic, next to Duomo and transport links. It’s a perfect hotel for a short stay.
Already have a hotel booked?
See whether your hotel is in a good area in the article where to stay in Milan.
Always book tours or skip the lines tickets with GetYourGuide or Tiqets (you get a mobile ticket voucher + free cancellation). Tickets from the attractions’ official websites, in most cases, are non-refundable.
One day in Milan (the perfect itinerary)
- Start the day with breakfast atPanini Durini
- Visit the iconic Milan Cathedral
- Marvel at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
- Explore the Sforza Castle
- Sempione Park and Arco della Pace
- See the world-famous Last Supper
- Visit Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio
- Sunset stroll in Navigli
- Finish your one day in Milan with Italian pasta and wine
For my trip to Milan, I used this DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. I love their travel guides, as they have practical information, walking tours and a durable map!
Breakfast at Panini Durini or Princi
08:00 AM – 09:00 AM
Start your 1 day in Milan, Italy with breakfast at Panini Durini or Princi. Both places offer tasty coffee and mount-watering pastries and sandwiches.
The pistachio croissants at Panini Durini were heavenly.
Visit the iconic Milan Cathedral
09:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Duomo di Milano is one of the must-see attractions. Located in the beating heart of the city, this marvellous building took six centuries to complete. Its façade was finished in 1805, shortly before Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy at the cathedral.
As it’s the number one place to visit in Milan, the lines are always long (even in the low season). So, it’s best to buy tickets for Duomo in advance.
You can climb to the Duomo terraces for some outstanding panoramic views of the city. It’s possible to access the terraces by foot or by lift. There is a fee to visit both the cathedral and its rooftop.
Another option to skip the lines is by taking a guided tour of the Duomo (the tour includes also the terraces).
Marvel at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a magnificent glass shopping arcade right next to the cathedral. The first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, commissioned the arcade in the 19th century.
The two glass-covered walkways meet at an octagonal central piazza. On the ground, you’ll find a depiction of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy. It is said that if you spin three times around on a heel on the genitals of the bull, this will bring you good luck.
Explore the Sforza Castle
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Castello Sforzesco served as the main residence of the Visconti Family, a noble dynasty that ruled Milan from 1277 to 1447. Lord Galeazzo II Visconti commissioned the initial building in the 14th century. At that time the castle was known as Castello di Porta Giovia.
Later Francesco I Sforza, the founder of the Sforza dynasty, renamed the castle. Francesco I ruled the city as the fourth Duke of Milan from 1450 until his death.
Nowadays, the castle houses several museums plus an unfinished sculpture of Michelangelo, Pietà Rondanini. It was his last work before his death at age 89. You can visit the museums by paying a small fee.
The castle grounds are free to stroll.
12:30 PM – 02:30 PM
Stop for a lunch at La Prosciutteria or Hosteria Della Musica. For some salami, cheese and wine choose La Prosciutteria.
If you look for more lavishing lunch, go to Hosteria Della Musica.
Sempione Park and Arco della Pace
02:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Make your way through the beautiful Sempione Park till you reach the gorgeous Arco della Pace. This triumphal arch was built during the short reign of Napoleon I in the 19th century.
See the world-famous Last Supper
03:15 PM – 04:00 PM
The Last Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano) is a must-see even if you have only one day in Milan, Italy. This 15th-century mural painting is one of the most famous works of Leonardo da Vinci.
To see the Last Supper, you have to buy tickets in advance in any case. And you have to buy it as soon as possible (even in the low season). The tickets are out for sale 2-3 months in advance and they sell out quickly. Every visit is restricted to only 15 minutes.
If there aren’t tickets left, there is one option left – to book any of the numerous Last Supper guided tours.
Visit Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio
04:15 PM – 05:00 PM
Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in the city. The first building in this place is from the 4th century AD. The current Romanesque church is from the 11th century.
In the crypt, you can see the tomb of Emperor Louis II and the remains of three saints in glass coffins.
Sunset stroll in Navigli
There is one place to go at dusk and enjoy a sunset stroll along the canal – the Navigli area. It’s also the perfect spot if you look for aperitivo bars.
To finish properly your 1 day in Milan, have dinner at De Pasajo Dal Marchigiano or Osteria Delbinari.
De Pasajo Dal Marchigiano is my all-time favourite restaurant. They serve one of the best pasta in the city.
More ideas for your one day in Milan
If you have some additional time (or want to make any modifications to this Milan itinerary), check out the attractions below.
Tour Teatro alla Scala
Teatro alla Scala is one of the most famous theatres in the world. Don’t be misled by the exterior, it’s really impressive inside. You can take a guided tour of Teatro alla Scala or visit it on your own (see more info).
Take a Segway tour
Take a Segway tour of Milan to discover the city in an exciting way. Groups are small, there is a live tour guide and you’ll see the most important sites, including the Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
San Bernardino alle Ossa
San Bernardino alle Ossa is a small medieval church mostly known for its ossuary. The bone chapel is a unique and fascinating place. Its walls are decorated with human bones and skulls.
There is no entrance fee, but a €1 donation is welcomed.
Santa Maria presso San Satiro
Santa Maria presso San Satiro is a beautiful church with an amazing optical illusion. Because of the restricted space, Bramante added depth with a trompe-l’oeil painting on the wall behind the altar.
Admire the art at Pinacoteca di Brera
If you’re an art lover, include Pinacoteca di Brera in your itinerary. The museum features priceless masterpieces of Italian Renaissance art. You can book tickets for Pinacoteca di Brera in advance.
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is an art gallery housed in the historic home of the Bagatti Valsecchi Family. The art collection is from the 15th-16th century. It’s a unique and lavishing museum, that’s not to be missed. This was one of the highlights of my trip.
The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is open only in the afternoons (after 01:00 PM).
San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
The church is often called the Sistine Chapel of Milan and there is a reason why. The walls are covered with absolutely stunning frescoes from the 16th century. It’s a must-see for lovers of religious paintings.
See the street art around Porta Ticinese
While strolling around Porta Ticinese I found some awesome examples of street art. If you’re in the area don’t miss to check them out.
Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci
It’s a great technology museum filled with trains, automobiles, planes and even a submarine. Still, the most remarkable exhibition is the one with models of many of Da Vinci’s inventions.
If you’re interested in the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, visit also the interactive museum the World of Leonardo. Its exhibits include more than 200 interactive 3D machines by Leonardo da Vinci.
San Siro Stadium
If you love football, San Siro Stadium is a must-see. This is the largest football stadium in Italy, home to AC and Inter Milan. Buy your San Siro Stadium tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line.
During your visit, you’ll see areas usually off-limits (like the mixed zone and the changing rooms). You’ll even have the chance to walk through the Tunnel of Champions.
Visit Crazy Cat Café
This cat cafe is a must for every cat lover. There are several cats and all of them are rescued European cats. And the food is lovely! However, be prepared for waiting lines outside the cafe.
Cimitero Monumentale opened in 1866 to consolidate a number of small cemeteries scattered around. I have visited many cemeteries, but this is one of the most impressive. This serene place is filled with massive mausoleums and spectacular tombs.
Must buy tickets in advance
Duomo di Milano – one of the must-see attractions with long queues. My trip was in November and there were queues even before the opening time. You can book online your ticket to Duomo and skip all the lines.
The Last Supper – to see the Last Supper you have to buy tickets a few months ahead (especially in the high season).
Getting around in Milan
Find a detailed map of the itinerary here.
The city has a great network of public transportation options. And they all use one and the same ticket, which is very convenient.
Yet, if you stay right in the Historic Centre, you won’t need any public transport. The city centre is compact and walkable. However, you’ll probably need to use public transport to get to the Central train station (to take a train or a shuttle bus to the airport).
The most convenient transportation for me is the metro. There are different types of tickets. I used the Urban ticket, as I was mostly walking. It’s valid for a single journey, 90 minutes after stamping.
How to get to Milan
Milan is easily accessible by train from any major Italian (or European) city. The Central train station is about 2km away from the Historic Centre. Yet, you easily get to the centre by using the metro.
If you’re planning to travel by train through Italy, book tickets in advance (they are cheaper if you buy earlier). Check timetables and book train tickets online at Trenitalia official website.
If you’re arriving by car, it’s best to choose accommodation with available parking. The Historic Centre is a limited traffic area and you won’t find free parking (find more info about parking here).
To get the best car rental rate, take a look at Rentalcars (they compare deals from all major companies, giving you the best price).
There are two international airports in Milan: Milan–Malpensa Airport (MXP) and Orio al Serio (Milan Bergamo) International Airport (BGY).
- The easiest way to get to the city centre is by booking a private transfer directly to your hotel. I recommend this airport transfer (more than 2,360+ excellent reviews).
- Malpensa Airport is located about 50km from the city centre. To get to the Central train station from the airport use any of the numerous shuttle buses. There is no need to book tickets in advance.
- Orio al Serio International Airport is situated in the city of Bergamo, about 60km from Milan. You can get there by using a shuttle bus.
Day trips from Milan
If you have a few more days in Milan and want to explore Italy, check out these ideas.
Serravalle Designer Outlet
If you’re visiting Milan for shopping, then Serravalle Designer Outlet is a must. It’s one of the largest shopping malls in Europe. There are more than 170 high-end stores to choose from. You can reach it by car or a shuttle bus.
Lake Como is the most popular lakeside resort in Italy. It is famous for its fantastic Mediterranean and Alpine scenery. It’s a great option for a day trip. You can reach it by car or train.
How to get to Lake Como
- Take a train from Milan Centrale or Porta Garibaldi to Como S. Giovanni station (from there it’s just 10 minutes walk to the lake).
- You can also take a guided day tour, that includes a cruise to Bellagio Island and a guided tour of the city of Como. This day trip to Lake Como is the best rated.
St. Moritz is a popular mountain resort in Switzerland. You can take an organized day trip, that includes a ride on the Bernina Express. This is one of the most scenic railway routes in Switzerland.
Most popular Italian cities
If you’re planning a trip around Italy add to your itinerary Rome, Venice and Florence.
Rome is the capital of Italy and one of its most visited cities. It’s a little far away for a day trip (about 3 hours by train). So, it’s best to add it as a next stop in your Italian itinerary.
To see the best of the city follow my Rome itinerary. Also, check out what is the best area to stay in Rome for first time visitor.
Venice is one of the most scenic cities in Italy. Built on more than 100 small islands, it’s all surrounded by water.
Find all you need to know in my in-depth guide to how to spend 3 days in Venice (including how to skip the lines and transportation tips).
Booking a central hotel is very important because water buses are the only way of transportation allowed in Venice. Take a look at my guide to the best location to stay in Venice (including hotel recommendations).
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance. It’s located about 2 hours by train from Milan.
Although it’s possible to see the city on a day trip, I’d recommend spending 2-3 days in Florence (check out my perfect Florence itinerary). The capital of Tuscany is a heaven for every art and architecture lover.
Check out my guide to where to stay in Florence for the best areas and hotels.
How many days in Milan
Is one day in Milan enough?
If you have one full day in Milan, you’d able to see the city’s highlights including the Duomo, Sforza Castle and the Last Supper. However, my advice is to book in advance tickets for the most popular attractions and not to lose time waiting in lines.
1 or 2 days in Milan?
If you’re not into museums, 1 day is completely enough. Yet, for all art lovers, I’d recommend spending 2 days in Milan (if it’s possible). Visit Pinacoteca di Brera and Bagatti Valsecchi Museum (a historic private palace turned into an art gallery). Also, don’t miss San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, known as the Sistine Chapel of Milan.
Best time to visit Milan
Spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October) is the best time to visit the city. In this way, you’ll avoid the high season (May – September) and the sweltering temperatures in the summers.
Also, before booking your flight tickets, check for events such as the Fashion Week or Furniture Fair. And if possible choose different dates for your city break. The hotels in these periods are 2-3 times more expensive, plus it will be more difficult to find a place.
If you’re planning to visit the city in December don’t miss the Christmas markets around the Duomo and Sforza Castle.
Practical information about Milan
Italy is a part of the Schengen Agreement (the European border-free area). So you don’t need an Italian visa, but rather a Schengen visa. If your country is part of the Schengen Agreement, you’ll need only a valid passport or ID card.
You can check at iVisa if you need a visa and what type exactly. What I loved about iVisa is that they offer an easy and fast process to obtain a visa online. The application takes no more than 5 minutes!
The official currency of Italy is the Euro. Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere, so you won’t need much cash. American Express is accepted only in major stores.
The official language is Italian. Yet, most of the people speak good English, too. If you want to learn some Italian, check out this Italian phrasebook (it’s one of the best rated).
Italy operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. The associated plug types are C, F and L.
If you’re from the US, this is the only travel adaptor that you’ll need.
If you’re from the UK, this is the best-rated travel adaptor.
See more articles about Italy
How would you spend a weekend in Milan?
Pin for later
About the author
|I’m a full-time travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. I love to travel and to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.|
But the good news is that you can, indeed, conquer Milan in only one day. Believe it or not, it'll be just enough time to get a feel for the fast-paced city life, eat some delicious food, see Milan's most beautiful sights, and go shopping!Is a day trip to Milan worth it? ›
Yes, there are many amazing museums in Milan, nice parks to visit, and lots of stores where you can admire all the latest fashion trends… But unless you have more than one day in Milan, you will probably not want to waste half of your time queuing at a museum or shopping at some of the world's most expensive boutiques…How many days in Milan is enough? ›
Our recommendation for Milan is 2 days. 2 full days are enough to explore the MAIN attractions as well as enjoy a relaxed time in Milan without being rushed. Of course the more time, the better.How many nights is enough for Milan? ›
How Many Days in Milan is enough? The old city is fairly small, so you can see and do a lot with even just one day in Milan. However, I'd recommend a minimum of 2 days and 3 nights in Milan to really give yourself a chance to explore the city.Do you have to smile at all times in Milan? ›
In Milan, Italy, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits (fines apply).Should I take cash to Milan? ›
As Italy is a part of the European Union, official Italy currency is Euro. Of course, you don't need to pay by cash all the time as cards are very popular in Italy as well. However, we advise having at least 40-50 Euros per person just to stay worry-free and avoid rushing in order to track down the nearest ATM.Can you walk everywhere in Milan? ›
Milan is a huge city, but all the main attractions are located close to the Piazza del Duomo. What is this? You can easily walk to all the main attractions of Milan in one day.How much money should I bring to Milan? ›
On average, you can expect to spend around €67 to €152 per person per day on a trip to Milan for budget to mid-range travellers. However, these prices can vary depending on how you choose to spend your money on accommodation, transport, food, activities and entertainment.Is Milano cheaper than Rome? ›
Living in Rome is 6% cheaper than living in Milan, and this is also related to the lower salaries available in the capital.How can I spend a day in Milan? ›
- Morning: Milan Duomo and Piazza, Galleria Vittorio Emanele II, La Scala Theater, Sforza Castle.
- Lunch: Brera area (find recommended lunch addresses below)
- Afternoon: Piazza Gae Aulenti and Corso Como.
- Evening: I Navigli (Find recommended dinner addresses below)
If there's one thing you should know about getting around my city, it's that Milan is a very walkable city. But if you find yourself with achy feet, take a step back in time and hop on an old-fashioned tram—wooden seats and all! To figure out how to get from point A to point B, use the Milan Public Transportation site.What is the best month to go to Milan? ›
The best time to visit Milan is from April to June and September to October, when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. July and August are the busiest months, as well as the hottest. November to March sees cool weather and fewer tourists.What should I be careful of in Milan? ›
While Milan is generally considered a very safe area, there are some areas that might be troublesome. Be careful around the main exit of the Central Station, and the area around the Piazza Duca D'Aosta. This is where large crowds congregate and so do pickpockets. Another area that can be a problem is Parco Sempione.Is Milan cheap for tourists? ›
Milan is known to be one of the more expensive places to visit in Italy. And while most things in Milan aren't exactly cheap, you can definitely travel here on a budget.How do I not look like a tourist in Milan? ›
- Keep Your Shoes On. ...
- Shoulders And Knees Must Be Covered In Church. ...
- Don't Call During Pisolino. ...
- Punctuality Is Not A Priority. ...
- Italians Don't Wait In Line. ...
- Fare La Bella Figura. ...
- Familiarize Yourself With Campanilismo. ...
- Do Your Shopping Before Sunday.
Do I need to wear a face mask in Italy? Wearing face masks is required in some public places. For some cases, FFP2 or KN95 masks are required.Do you tip on Milan? ›
As is the case throughout much of Europe, tipping is not essential in Milan, but it is appreciated. Some businesses will include a service tip in the bill (especially in the touristy spots near the Duomo), so look out for that on your bill.Can you wear jeans in Milan? ›
Jeans are always a go-to staple for travel, so if you aren't sure what to wear in Milan, go for these. Italian denim tends to again be on the fashion-forward side, frequently with interesting details. Finally, a classic wool coat to keep you warm throughout your trip is essential.Can I wear shorts in Milan? ›
You can wear shorts in Italy and look perfectly normal.Do Italians prefer cash or card? ›
Paying with cash in Italy
Italy is a cash-based society compared to other major economies in Europe: Cash is king. Use your card in almost as many places as you would in the US and other countries. But Italy generally seems reluctant to let go of cash as payment for things like rent, food, clothing and so on.
The trams are not free in Milan. The ticket costs 1.50€ and lasts 90 minutes. You can use the ticket on tram, overground, underground and city trains.Is Milan famous for shopping? ›
Shopping in Milan is a unique experience and a must for all. Milan is considered the fashion capital of the world in addition to cities like New York, Rome, London, and Paris. The city is known for world-renowned fashion designers including Miuccia Prada, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce amongst others.Can you get by with English in Milan? ›
Do it, do it! I'm Italian and currently living in Milan. I think you will thrive perfectly even without speaking one bit of Italian. That's not the case for the whole country, of course, but Milan is certainly the place where English is most widely known and spoken in Italy.Are branded bags cheaper in Milan? ›
On average, there is at least a 10% difference between the price of luxury brands in Italy and America. An authentic designer label purchase is the perfect souvenir from a luxurious Italian vacation.How much money do I need per day Italy? ›
What is this? On average you can expect a trip to Italy to cost €55-130 per person per day (around $60 to $150 USD) for budget to mid-range travellers. These prices will be heavily influenced by how you chose to spend your money across accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and entertainment.How much is a meal in Milan? ›
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||20.00€|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||80.00€|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||9.25€|
|Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)||6.00€|
So what are the cheapest cities to live in Italy? Turin, Palermo, and Naples are the cheapest cities to live in in Italy. The cost of living in Milan is just slightly higher than the living costs in Rome. The cost of living in Florence is only slightly lower than the cost of living in Rome.Is Milan or Florence better? ›
While Milan houses an impressive collection of Italian art, including Leonardo da Vinci's world-famous The Last Supper, Florence is truly the mecca for lovers of Renaissance art and history. Milan has more to offer visitors in way of musical culture, shopping, and nightlife.How do you get around Milan for cheap? ›
Milan's subway, bus and tram system makes getting around Milan very easy and inexpensive. A single journey urban ticket, which covers travel in urban Milan (not outer city suburbs) is 1.50 euros (about $1.80). Ticket prices are the same on the subway, bus and tram and are only valid for 90 minutes after purchase.Are buses in Milan free? ›
One ride, including transfers, costs 2 euros, and you must have your ticket to enter and exit the metro; once you enter the metro and validate your ticket, you are given 90 minutes to ride on trams and buses, which is helpful if you need to use two forms of transport.
Milan is one of Italy's most fashionable cities, home to some of the country's major fashion brands. One of the best spots in the city center to find them in one spot happens to be the world's oldest shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.What is the nicest part of Milan? ›
- PORTA VENEZIA.
- PORTA ROMANA.
- PORTA NUOVA.
- CENTRO STORICO.
- SAN LORENZO.
While entry to the Duomo is free, there is a small admission fee to visit the roof, where you can inspect the cathedral's many spires, statues, and gargoyles and admire tremendous views of Milan.Does Milan have Uber? ›
Reserve a ride with Uber in advance in Milan
Complete your plans today by reserving a ride with Uber in Milan. Request a ride up to 30 days in advance, at any time and on any day of the year.
The coldest months in Milan are December, January and February with average lows of 30.4°F -1°C and average highs of 9°C.What month is the cheapest to go to Italy? ›
High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to Italy is February.Is Milan or Rome better to visit? ›
Rome has great areas for going out, but they're all very far apart. It's best to pick one area and stay in its bars and clubs. Otherwise, you'll spend a fortune on taxis! Milan wins as the nights start earlier but end just as late!Is 2 days enough in Milan? ›
2 days in Milan is enough time to visit all the main attractions and get a good feel for the city. Two days in Milan give you enough time to explore the top sights in Milan, including Duomo di Milano, see the Last Supper and spend some time exploring the Navigli district.How much do you need a day in Milan? ›
How much money will you need for your trip to Milan? You should plan to spend around €133 ($132) per day on your vacation in Milan, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, €31 ($31) on meals for one day and €28 ($28) on local transportation.How can I spend 24 hours in Milan? ›
- Breakfast at Panzerotti Luini.
- Duomo di Milano.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
- Piazza del Scala.
- Lunch in the Brera District.
- Pinacoteca di Brera or Castle Sforza.
- Da Vinci's The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie.
- Stroll Along the Navigili Canals.
Milan is also more expensive than many other cities in Italy since it's the country's business center. Milan isn't a huge tourism destination, but Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper and the amazing Duomo Cathedral are the two main draws.How much cash should I carry in Italy? ›
Example Daily Cash Budget for Italy
So you could carry €25 – €30 in cash for a day with plenty of discretion depending on how you budget and what you skip. You could sub a pizza slice for the wine, or limit yourself from buying cute souvenirs, for example.
One ride, including transfers, costs 2 euros, and you must have your ticket to enter and exit the metro; once you enter the metro and validate your ticket, you are given 90 minutes to ride on trams and buses, which is helpful if you need to use two forms of transport.