Visiting Italy is always a good idea, and while most visitors tend to focus on visiting Rome, Florence, and Venice, there are still so many major cities in the country that are worth a visit. Milan is a major fashion and economic capital, as well as the second most populated city in Italy. If you are in the city for just a weekend, it can be overwhelming to know exactly what to fit in, since there are plenty of things to do. Here’s a great guide to follow if you have just a few days in this amazing city.
One of the best parts of Milan being such a major city is that there is a wonderful public transportation system. You can get a 3-day metro pass for 12 euros, or if you prefer individual ones they are 2 euros each.
If you want to get the Milan City Pass, which is good for 48 hours, it gives you flexibility and also includes attractions like the Duomo Cathedral (with its rooftop), La Scala Museum and Theater, The World of Leonardo Museum, Triennale Design Museum and the Navigli Canal Cruise during the spring and summer months.
Make sure to start out your mornings the Italian way: an espresso or cappuccino along with a cornetto, which is the Italian answer to the croissant. You can get it plain or filled with jam, chocolate spread, or cream.
Stroll along Corso Vittotio Emanuele, which is one of the main streets in the city and is located just by the Duomo. Once you arrive at the Cathedral, you can take in this incredible Gothic structure and also enjoy its stunning interiors. You’ll quickly understand why it took 6 centuries to complete construction of the building!
Another can’t-miss spot is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a striking building with its breathtaking glass ceiling that was built between 1865 and 1877 and is the oldest shopping gallery in Italy. It also connects you between the Duomo and the Piazza della Scala, which is right by the Opera House called La Scala di Milano.
Another can’t miss spot to visit is Piazza Mercanti, make sure to walk along Via dei Mercanti to get there. This was once the site of Milan’s public market and is still home to Palazzo Delle Scuole Palatine and the Palazzo Della Regione. You can also see the Castello Sforzesco, a typically Lombary style fortress that was built in the 15th century by Duke Francesco Sforza.
After all that walking and sightseeing you can relax at Parco Sempione, which features expansive green stretches dotted with fountains, gardens, and benches. You can even bring a picnic here to enjoy some local foods outdoors.
If you’re an art history buff, you’ll know that you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s famous The Last Supper painting, which is housed at the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church. We highly recommend booking in advance and arriving early in the day, as this place is always crowded. Some other noteworthy churches nearby include Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and Sant’Ambrogio Basilica.
For something different, check out the Navigli district, where you can walk along the canals and enjoy delicious local fare for dinner. It’s a very popular area for nightlife, especially on the weekends. In the summer, you can take a cruise in the canals as well.
If you have some time for a day trip, some Italian cities accessible by train include Verona, Bergamo, Brescia, Vicenza, and Padua. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can take a trip to southern Switzerland, with nearby cities like St. Moritz and Lugano being good options.