When planning a trip to Italy, Milan might not be the first destination you think of – but it definitely is the right one. Why? Because Milan scores with numerous excellent sights.
Milan may not have the attraction of Rome, Florence, or Venice, but it is also not overrun by streams of visitors. As something like the “underdog” among the Italian holiday destinations, the fashionable Milan can impress with its architectural showpieces, the palazzi with Renaissance paintings, its impressive cathedrals, or of course the legendary football stadium.
It is wonderful to see how beautifully the oldest buildings fit into the midst of modern skyscrapers in Milan. Despite all the efforts of famous “star architects” who waved their planning and architectural magic wand over the city in recent years, one building is still the undisputed star in Milan – the Milan Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece is by no means “just another cathedral,” but is located in the heart of Milan and looks just as good inside as it does outside. Plus, make an early stop at Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo to avoid the crowds and try the real Neapolitan pizza if you’re in the area.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Another church? And whether! The Santa Maria della Grazie is breathtaking, Gothic, and breathtakingly Gothic at the same time, oh, and it is the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” You know it. You’ve seen it a million times. But if you’ve never seen it up close, do it while in Milan. The color has been deteriorating continuously since the 16th century. Have a look at the artwork before it disappears forever.
Address: Piazza di Santa María delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Not far from the Milan Cathedral is the Sforza Castle. This impressive citadel was built in the 15th century by Duke Francesco Sforza of Milan and is home to extensive gardens and a number of museums, including the Museum of Ancient Art with some da Vinci frescoes and the Pinacoteca gallery. Here you will find works by artists such as Bronzino, Tintoretto, and Tizian. It impressed visitors even then and is sure to leave a lasting impression on you too.
Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
We have already put together a guide to restaurants in Milan when you want to take a break from sightseeing. For moments when you want both, head to Bar Luce. If visiting this 1950s style cafe feels a little like stepping into a Wes Anderson movie, you’re half right – the writer himself designed the bar. Suddenly the pastel colors, the pinball machine by Steve Zissou, and the kitsch design make sense. This incredibly instagrammable bar is open every day except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. on weekends).
Address: Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
A cyclist-friendly city and the canal-rich Navigli district is home to some of the best cycling routes in town. An undeniably scenic path follows the Naviglio della Martesana outside the city, through old villages, noble villas, and picturesque parks. The beautiful city on the lake of Lecco is a potential travel destination. However, if you’re a cheese lover, head to Gorgonzola – it’s fine, you’ll (likely) burn off those calories on the bike back to town. Just get on a BikeMi or Mobike and enjoy creamy blue cheese to your heart’s content.
Address: Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
If you are looking for superlative paintings and frescoes from the Renaissance, visit the Isola district with its modern masterpieces. Milan is a mecca for street art, and this humble, creative neighborhood is Ground Zero – the area is full of street art, often created by locals. Take a walking tour yourself or book a special street art walking tour to make sure you don’t miss out on the best things!
The famous San Siro stadium in Milan is home to two of the European football giants – AC Milan and Inter Milan. With a capacity of 80,000 spectators, this football temple is one of the largest in Europe and juggles home games between the two teams from August to May every year. Concerts are held here in the summer. Over the years, Madonna, Beyoncé & Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, and many more have been guests in this legendary stadium. The set is to be demolished and replaced before the Serie A 2022/23 season. Time is running out to watch a game here. There really aren’t many places like this.
Address: Piazzale Angelo Moratti, 20151 Milano MI, Italy
Lecco and Gorgonzola aren’t the only day trips you can take from Milan, however. Rent a car and head to Bergamo’s pretty historic fortified town (just an hour’s drive away) or the perfect Lake Como (less than 45 minutes by train). Hop on a train and visit nearby Verona (just over an hour away) to enjoy Romeo and Juliet, charming architecture, great food, and irresistible regional wines. If you don’t mind starting early and sitting longer on the train, or just taking a longer trip outside of Milan, St. Moritz is in Switzerland one option – it’s about four hours away by train.