The second large city in Italy, Milan, is famous all around the world as the Italian fashion capital. People from all around the world come here for shopping, but I was surprised to discover an incredible city, with beautiful sights, delicious food, and amazing historic attractions. It is true that you will find here the newest collection of all major designers, but let the city surprise you with its Italian spirit, the most grandiose cathedral in Europe, the traditional Milanese cuisine, and many more. You will see there are many interesting things to do in Milan!
Do not worry you will get bored in Milan after one or two days, because you will find enough things to do in Milan. Even if the city has a reputation as an expensive city, there are things to do in Milan for any budget, according to anybody’s preference. My trip was more focused on sightseeing and discovering the Italian culture, and this is what I will show you bellow.
Here are the most important things to see in Milan, you simply cannot miss:
It is the symbol of the city, and it is famous all around the world. You will find it right in the city center, where the crowd is. Take some time to admire the building, and then go inside. The admission is free, and the huge cathedral will impress you for sure. The best thing to do here is to take the elevator and to visit the roof of the Dom, which gives you spectacular views over the city.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
As I told you before, there are many things to do in Milan, but one of the most important one is to go shopping. Even if you are not here for fashion, visiting the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery is a must. In this pretty small mall you will find all the famous designer’s shops. You can admire their creations for free, and to get an idea about Italian fashion.
Once you are inside the gallery, try to find the “lucky bull”. People from all around the world come here to make a wish. You will need to place your heel on the bull’s balls and spin three times, for good luck! The tradition is not just for tourists. Just stop and watch the bull for a couple of minutes and you will see that every Italian who passes through the gallery will do it.
Castellano del Castello Sforzesco
Close to the city center you will find Szfora Castle, a beautiful building from the 14th century. It is one of the things to do in Milan you cannot miss! The castle is one of the biggest citadels in Europe, and it was the house of Francisco Sforza. Nowadays, it was transformed in a museum of art. Even if you don’t like art, you must admire the incredible architecture and its gardens.
The Last Supper
One of the most important things to do in Milan is to visit Leonardo Da Vinci’s Ultima Cena, or the Last Supper. It is one of the most popular paintings in the world. This monumental artwork cannot be missed, so admire it in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Keep in mind that you will need to make a reservation some weeks or months before, but it is totally worth it. This Da Vinci’s artwork is comparable to the Mona Lisa in Paris, and you cannot leave Milan without seeing it. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures of it.
The Quadrilatero d’Oro
This is the place for fashion addicts. The Quadrilatero d’Oro is the intersection of four streets, where all the luxurious shops are located. You can admire here the displays of Armani, Prada, Versace, Dolce&Gabbana, Valentino, and many more. However, if you don’t want to spend thousands of Euros in Milan, but still want to do some shopping, I recommend you to go to one of Milan’s fashion outlets, where you can buy 70% cheaper clothes. It is one of the things to do in Milan you must try.
The parks of Milan
As a business city, Milan is very crowded and smoggy. However, don’t let it scare you, and visit one of Milan’s parks. I have to admit, I was surprised to see a huge green area in such a crowded city, but it is the perfect place to escape and relax. You will see Milanese people do the same. Just behind the Castello Sforzesco you will find a huge park, or you can always visit the Giardini Pubblici, close to the Quadrilatero d’Oro.
Try the Italian food
You cannot leave Milan without eating some Italian delicious food. Don’t stop at pasta and pizza, because there are many other things to try. You can always start with a Panzerotto, a traditional Milanese street food, which is like a donut with mozzarella and tomato. Try the Panettone, the sweet bread, the Risotto alla Milanese or the Milanese pasta, and do not forget about Cotoletta alla Milanese, a veal cutlet. Last, but not least, keep in mind that Milanese people always enjoy an aperitivo in the evening. An aperitivo crawl is a must!
As you can see, there are many things to do in Milan, and if you let the city to surprise you, you will discover more than a fashion capital. Be open to any experience, and try to understand the Italian culture. I am sure you will love it as much as I did.