Thinking of traveling to Italy? Check out a list of the best attractions to see in Milan.

Located north of Italy and close to Switzerland and France, Milan It is the second most inhabited city in the country, with more than seven million residents in its metropolitan area. Capital of Italian fashion and design, the city also offers culture, entertainment, architecture, art, football and a vibrant nightlife.

There are several factors that make Milan a unique city in the world. Throughout antiquity, it was founded by the Celtic people and later conquered by the Romans. Due to its privileged location, it has prospered over the years and has become the Capital of the Western Roman Empire. Although it was hit during the Second World War, it recovered and experienced an economic boom, a fact that explains its expansion and growth.  

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For tourists, it is a full plate: in addition to the must-see attractions, the city has all the structure and offers great options for accommodation and gastronomy. Milan offers a sublime blend of historic architecture that contrasts with modern buildings and skyscrapers. financial and commercial center of Italy, transits between a cosmopolitan present and a rich and imposing past, both unmissable.

What to do in Milan


Photo: Kyh4120 / Pixabay

Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

Whoever is in Milan cannot miss visiting the city's postcard. The Duomo is one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world and an imposing building from 1386 that took over 400 years to complete. In addition to the imposing building clad in white-pink marble from Candoglia and beautiful sculptures, the cathedral still houses the famous Madoninna, a golden statue erected in the main tower, the symbol of the city.  

You can't help but be impressed by the colorful stained glass windows that represent biblical passages, the secular organs and the crypt of São Carlos. Be sure to climb on the roof to enjoy the incredible view of Piazza Duomo.

Holy Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano)

The Santa Maria delle Grazie Church, built in 1463 as part of a Dominican convent, would not be very different from the other beautiful religious temples in Milan if it weren't for an important and valuable detail: it is there that the magnificent painting The Last Supper, one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous creations. Unlike what many think, the work is not a painting, but an entire painted wall.

This true relic, which portrays the last moments of Jesus with the apostles, is one of the most sought after by tourists in the world, so it is extremely important to guarantee your ticket in advance - the ideal is to buy them at least a month before departure. your visit.

Scala Theater

The Teatro Alla Scala is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Built at the end of the 18th century in an old church, the neoclassical building consecrated geniuses like Verdi and Puccini, who had great opening nights at the venue. To guarantee tickets for shows, it is essential to book in advance due to high demand. Teatro Scala also houses a museum with an extensive collection of artifacts from the world of opera such as clothes and paintings.

Vittorio Emanuele Gallery

Upon entering Galeria Vittorio Emanuele, you may feel like you are in a palace, but the place, known as the “Hall of Milan”, is a sophisticated shopping mall. Whether just having a coffee or shopping in trendy stores, the luxurious space is one of the most interesting places to visit in Milan: it was designed in the 19th century and houses the first Prada store opened in Italy.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Considered one of the most important museums in Italy, the Pinacoteca di Brera was opened to the public in 1809 on the first floor of the Pallazo di Brera, a project by Empress Maria Teresa of Austria as a research instrument for students of the Academy of Fine Arts, also conceived for her.

Some time later it was transformed into a museum by Napoleon Bonaparte, who inserted paintings from former convents, churches and monasteries closed during the Napoleonic era. Through exchanges and donations, the museum grew and currently has an impressive collection, where it is possible to appreciate works by Piero della Francesca, Raffaello, Bellini, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Bramantino, Bergognone, Luini and Haye. In the same building as the Pinacoteca di Brera are also the Brera Library, the Astronomy Observatory and the Lombardo Institute for Science and Art, other points in Milan that are worth a visit.

fashion quadrangle

Milan is synonymous with fashion, sophistication and shopping in trendy stores. It is no coincidence that there are four streets – via della Spiga, via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni and Corso Venezia – in the city that form an area known worldwide as the Fashion Quadrangle. In this piece of paradise for lovers of high-end brands are concentrated luxury boutiques, jewelry stores, creations by famous designers and, of course, expensive hotels and restaurants.

Despite not being very extensive, the streets that form the Fashion Quadrangle have the most famous names in the world, such as Cartier, Valentino, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Christian Dior , Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, among many others. Milan exudes fashion and much of this glamor is found here, so the Quadrilátero da Moda is one of the places to visit in Milan that you cannot miss.

Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione

Located in the center of the city, this magnificent castle was built in the 15th century and has an area full of beautiful gardens. Sforzesco Castle has undergone several renovations, but still retains its elegance, status and power.

You will be surprised by the size of the imposing building, which has a collection of artifacts and historical information about the space and the city. Next to the castle is Sempione Park, a beautiful green area, perfect for sitting, relaxing and having a picnic.

Basilica Sant'ambrogio

One of the oldest buildings in Milan, the Basilica Sant'ambrogio was built in 1129 and still preserves a lot of history today. A great tribute to the famous Bishop Ambrogio, the church features two beautiful bell towers that draw attention to the logo and facade. The interior features beautiful mosaics and artwork, such as a representation of Christ in one of its domes. With a romantic and charming atmosphere, the Basilica is one of the places worth visiting.

Ambrosiana Library and Art Gallery

The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is one of the most important institutions in Milan and also houses one of the most complete and important libraries in Italy. Founded in 1609 by Cardinal Federico Borrero, the complex brings together an impressive collection of art collections with works by Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, among others.

National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci

This museum is a great tribute to the works of Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. On site are real representations of the artist's creations that never got off the ground, such as submarines, musical instruments and other impressive projects.

Focusing on science and technology, the museum has 40 thousand square meters that mix an incredible collection and interactive spaces, where it is possible to test different experiments.

navigli

Navigli is the neighborhood that houses the charming canals of Milan. In the past these channels were used for the transport of goods and people, but with the spread of other means of transport they were almost completely covered. Currently, those that persist give a special charm to the city.

During the day there are art galleries, markets, workshops and bookstores. At night, several bars and restaurants bring together young and cool people. For the most romantic, the tip is to take a walk at sunset, when the place is even more charming and colorful.

Most bars take part, from 6 pm, on the city's traditional “happy hour” system, where the customer pays only for the drink and has a buffet with various appetizers, breads, pastas and antipasti.

Other attractions to see in Milan:

  • Church of St. Maurizio
  • Piazza dei Mercanti
  • San Siro Stadium
  • Palazzo Reale
  • Archeological Museum
  • Basilica of San Lorenzo
  • white tower
  • Novecento Museum
  • Arco della Pace

how to get to milan


By airplane

Being located in northern Europe, Milan is easily accessible, either by plane or train. Departing from Brazil, there are flights departing from the main capitals towards the Italian city and stopping in other cities in Europe, but only LATAM operates direct flights departing from São Paulo. The destination for those arriving by plane from Brazil to Milan is the Malpensa airport, the second busiest in Italy, after Fiumicino, in Rome.

By train

For those already on the Old Continent, you can choose one of the many existing airlines that depart for Milan or take a train trip to the city's central station, Milano Centrale. From there it is possible to arrive from Italian destinations such as Florence, Rome and Venice and international destinations such as Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Lucerne.

How to get around in Milan


Public transport is punctual and works very well in the city. There is no ticket collector on the buses, so it is necessary to buy tickets in advance at a café or newsstand. The subway is also very accessible and practical.

For those who prefer convenience and security without wasting time figuring out how to get to places, one solution is to rent a car. Some travel agencies, such as Elmocar, offer options with drivers and guides who speak Portuguese.

Best time to visit Milan


Photo: ShenXin / Pixabay

There is no ideal time to visit. Milan: this will depend a lot on your weather preferences. As in every European city, Milan usually has well defined seasons.

Do you like heat? the summer in Milan brings hot days are intense, but the attractions are usually crowded and more expensive. For those who like to shop, July is the ideal month because of the promotions. In August, the Italians' vacation month, some attractions close and the city is empty.

the autumn in Milan there are days with milder temperatures and cooler nights, but the color contrasts of the trees give the city a charming charm. It is in this season, too, that the rainy days begin to appear. Spring starts in mid-March, where temperatures are high during the day and cool down as night falls. The flowers put on a show of their own and the city has an incredible mix of colors and contrasts.  

Between December and February, in winter, it is very cold, an ideal time to enjoy the empty tourist attractions and taste a delicious cappuccino in one of the many Milanese cafes. But be prepared and don't forget your coats, as thermometers often hit minus temperatures.

Where to stay in Milan


Photo: Marinade / Shutterstock

Find accommodation in Milan here.

» Tips for taking a day trip from Milan
» Tips for planning your first trip to Italy
» Train travel in Italy: how to go and other tips
» 11 exciting cities to visit in Italy






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