Best things To Do in Milan 2024: Travel Guide (UPDATED!)

O que fazer em Milão, Itália: visitar o Duomo, ou Catedral de Milão.
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2024-01-07

Discover the Best Things To Do in Milan, Italy with our up-to-date travel guide. Known as the capital of Italian fashion, Milan offers a wealth of cultural and historical experiences that captivate visitors from all over the world.

We’ll provide you with a carefully curated list of the best things to do in Milan, ensuring you don’t miss out on the city’s top highlights. From the magnificent Duomo to the historic Castello Sforzesco, we’ll guide you through the must-visit attractions that showcase Milan’s rich heritage.

But that’s not all – we’ll also help you navigate accommodation options, suggesting the best neighborhoods to stay in Milan and providing a range of hotel choices to suit various budgets. Rest assured, you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your Milan adventure.

When it comes to dining, Milan’s culinary scene is a true delight. Our guide features a selection of restaurants serving authentic Milanese cuisine, with information on average prices for dishes. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with mouthwatering risottos, delectable pastas, and other local specialties.

If you’re looking to explore beyond the city limits, we’ve got you covered there too. Our guide includes day trip suggestions, such as a scenic train journey on the Bernina Express or a visit to the picturesque Lake Como. Experience the beauty of the surrounding areas and make the most of your time in Milan.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the practical aspects of your journey. You’ll find valuable information on transportation within Milan, tips on getting from the airport to the city center, and guidance on whether travel insurance is necessary for your Italian adventure.

Best Things To Do in Milan, Italy

O que fazer em Milão: Subir ao telhado do Duomo di Milan.
Best Things to do in Milan: Climb to the roof of the Duomo di Milan.

Explore the Magnificent Duomo of Milan (Cathedral of Milan)

The Duomo of Milan, also known as the Cathedral of Milan (Duomo di Milano), is a must-visit landmark situated in the heart of the city, specifically in Piazza del Duomo. This architectural marvel stands as one of the main attractions in Milan, captivating visitors from around the world.

Constructed over a span of more than 400 years, from 1386 to 1813, the Duomo showcases a remarkable flamboyant Gothic style, characterized by intricate ornamental details resembling flames.

The grandiosity of the Duomo’s facade is awe-inspiring. In fact, it ranks as the fifth largest cathedral in Europe, stretching 157 meters in length and 109 meters in width, with its five naves reaching an impressive height of 45 meters.

Step inside, and the interior will not disappoint. Adorned with vibrant stained glass windows, exquisite frescoes, and captivating artwork in the chapels, the Duomo creates a captivating atmosphere of beauty and reverence.

For an exhilarating experience, don’t miss the opportunity to ascend to the Duomo’s terrace. If you have the time and aren’t prone to dizziness, consider purchasing a ticket that grants you access to the cathedral’s rooftop. From there, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Milan.

Choose between climbing the stairs or taking the elevator to reach the top. Once there, you can enjoy stunning panoramic vistas of the city, including the iconic Duomo Square, and on clear days, even catch a glimpse of the majestic Alps.

As night falls, the cathedral’s golden-toned illumination adds an enigmatic allure to the Duomo, creating a truly mesmerizing sight.

Ensure your visit to the Duomo of Milan by booking your ticket in advance, allowing you to admire this architectural masterpiece and immerse yourself in its rich history and splendor.

Book your online ticket to Duomo of Milan

Indulge in the Charm of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Gallerias Vittorio Emanuelle II.
Inside the Vittorio Emanuelle II Galleries.

Located right next to the Duomo and adjacent to the Teatro alla Scala, you’ll find the enchanting Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

These iconic shopping arcades, named after Italy’s first king, were designed in the 19th century and have become a true symbol of the city.

The gallery building, constructed between 1865 and 1877, boasts two intersecting arcades adorned with a magnificent glass and iron vault.

Luxury boutiques, charming cafes, and renowned restaurants line the corridors, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and style. While internationally acclaimed brands like Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton have their presence here, you’ll also discover stores showcasing more affordable, lesser-known brands.

Beyond shopping, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II boasts some of the finest cafes and restaurants in Milan, making it the perfect spot to take a break and savor a cup of authentic Italian coffee or indulge in the flavors of local cuisine.

Interestingly, the Galleria bears resemblance to the Galeries Saint-Hubert in Brussels, showcasing the architectural similarities across Europe.

At the center of the galleries, you’ll find the coat of arms of the House of Savoy embedded in the floor, represented by a bull.

Tradition has it that if you complete a full turn atop the bull, with your right foot and eyes closed, it brings good luck. If you perform this ritual on December 31st at midnight, it is believed that luck will accompany you throughout the New Year.

Explore the Magnificence of Castello Sforzesco

O que fazer em Milão: visitar o Castello Sforzesco.
Best things to do in Milan, Italy: visit the Castello Sforzesco.

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Castello Sforzesco, an imposing fortress that has stood proudly in Milan since its construction in 1368.

Originally built as a fortress, Castello Sforzesco underwent a remarkable metamorphosis when the powerful Sforza family dedicated themselves to transforming it into a splendid ducal palace.

Passing through the hands of Spanish and Austrian rule, the castle eventually returned to its military function. However, in 1800, Napoleon’s edict condemned the fortress to demolition, resulting in the dismantling of the side towers and Spanish bastions in 1801.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the fate of Castello Sforzesco became a subject of debate among the citizens of Milan. While some advocated for its destruction to make way for a luxurious residential neighborhood, the prevailing appreciation for history and culture triumphed.

Under the guidance of architect Luca Beltrami, a significant restoration effort was undertaken, restoring the castle to its original Sforza-era splendor. In 1905, the restoration culminated with the inauguration of the Tower of Filarete and the creation of Sempione Park, which now graces the former parade ground.

However, the story of Castello Sforzesco did not end there. During World War II, the fortress suffered severe damage from bombings, but it emerged resilient and determined to preserve its legacy.

In the late 20th century, the castle square was rebuilt, including a fountain inspired by the original structure that once occupied the site before being dismantled in the 1960s during the construction of the metro. In 2005, the final touches of the restoration were completed, breathing new life into this architectural marvel.

To make the most of your visit, consider purchasing your tickets online in advance to save time.

Discover the Museums of Sforzesco Castle: Unveiling Milan’s Cultural Treasures

Each museum offers a unique perspective on history and human creativity, showcasing a wide range of treasures that span centuries of artistic expression.

Begin your journey at the Museum of Ancient Art, where you’ll encounter a mesmerizing collection of ancient sculptures, historic furniture, and exquisite frescoes commissioned by the illustrious Sforza family. Marvel at the unfinished masterpiece of Michelangelo, the “Piety Rondanini,” alongside priceless works from antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.

Step into the Pinacoteca, home to over 1,500 paintings spanning from the 13th to the 18th centuries. This extensive collection traces the evolution of art over the centuries, offering a comprehensive view of different techniques, styles, and themes explored by the artists of each era.

For a glimpse into ancient Egypt, venture into the Egyptian Museum, where you’ll encounter a captivating display of statues, sarcophagi, mummies, and funerary masks. These artifacts shed light on the rich culture and religious practices of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Embark on a historical journey through Lombardy at the Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory. From the Neolithic period to Romanization, this museum presents representative objects that illustrate the main cultures that have shaped the region over the centuries.

The Museum of Decorative Arts showcases the masterful works of sculptors, potters, upholsterers, and weavers from the 11th to the 18th centuries. Delight in the intricate craftsmanship and artistic ingenuity displayed in each piece.

Discover the universal language of music at the Museum of Musical Instruments, where a curious collection of musical instruments from around the world awaits. Witness the diversity of sounds and craftsmanship that have shaped the musical traditions of different cultures.

Finally, delve into six centuries of history at the Furniture Museum, which presents an exquisite array of furniture crafted between the 15th and 20th centuries.

Discover Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper: A Timeless Masterpiece

The Last Supper, also known as Il Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena, is a renowned fresco created by Leonardo da Vinci for the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.

Commissioned by Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, in 1495-96, this masterpiece portrays the poignant biblical moment of Jesus’ Last Supper with his apostles before his arrest and crucifixion.

Regarded as one of the most celebrated cultural treasures in the world, the Last Supper mesmerizes viewers with its exquisite beauty and profound spiritual significance.

Over time, the Last Supper has endured its share of challenges, from minor incidents like the opening of a door by priests to the impact of aerial bombings during World War II. Nevertheless, it continues to captivate audiences worldwide, its timeless beauty undiminished, portraying a pivotal moment in Christian history.

When planning your visit, it’s important to note that tickets for the Last Supper sell out quickly. The cheapest way to purchase tickets is directly through the Santa Maria delle Grazie church website. However, due to high demand, tour companies often buy tickets in advance and resell them to tourists.

To ensure a chance to see this famous painting, I recommend booking a tour that includes a visit to the Last Supper, rather than waiting until the last minute. This way, you can experience the remarkable artistry of Leonardo da Vinci while exploring the rich history and charm of Milan’s city center.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper Tour

What is a Fresco? Exploring an Ancient Painting Technique

A fresco is a captivating mural painting technique that involves applying pigments onto a damp surface of lime mortar or plaster. This age-old method has stood the test of time and remains a celebrated art form in the realm of frescoes.

The term “fresco” originates from the Italian word “affresco,” which translates to “fresh,” alluding to the requirement of working on a cool and damp wall.

The technique entails adding pigments to wet mortar, allowing them to permeate and blend with the surface as it dries. This chemical bond between the pigments and the substrate results in a long-lasting and resilient paint.

Artists employing the fresco technique must work swiftly, as the moisture in the mortar allows only a limited window of time to apply the pigments before it dries.

During the Italian Renaissance, luminaries such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael embraced the fresco technique, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of fresco paintings adorning churches, palaces, and public edifices.

These magnificent frescoes serve as enduring testaments to the skill and vision of the artists, captivating viewers with their intricate details and vibrant colors.

Next time you encounter a fresco, marvel at the artistic mastery and the labor-intensive process that gave birth to these captivating works of art.

Stroll Through Sempione Park: A Tranquil Oasis in Milan

Bosco Verticale, ou Floresta Vertical no bairro de Porta Nuova de Milão.
Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest in Milan’s Porta Nuova district. (Things To Do In Milan)

Sempione Park, located in the heart of Milan near Castello Sforzesco, spans an impressive 386,000 square meters, making it the city’s second-largest park.

Designed by Emilio Alemagna, construction of the park commenced in 1890, resulting in a picturesque urban escape.

Milanese locals flock to Sempione Park for a variety of outdoor activities, such as jogging and leisurely walks amidst the lush greenery.

On sunny days, you’ll often find people spread out on the grass, enjoying picnics or engaging in lively conversations on the park benches.

For more adventurous endeavors, take a boat ride on the lake or ascend the panoramic elevator of the White Tower, a soaring 99-meter structure offering breathtaking views of the Alps, Porta Garibaldi, and other iconic landmarks in Milan.

Notably, the park is also home to the impressive Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace), a neoclassical monument renowned for its beauty and historical significance.

Originally commissioned by Luigi Cagnola in 1807 to commemorate Napoleonic victories, the construction was halted due to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. Emperor Francesco I of Austria later resumed the project in 1826, with the arch finally inaugurated in 1838 by Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.

Make sure to include a visit to the Acquario Civico di Milano in your Milan itinerary. As the third oldest aquarium in Europe, it stands as a testament to the 1906 World Exhibition, the only remaining monument from that grand event.

Explore the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Enchanting Brera Neighborhood

Centro de Milão, Itália.
Milan center, Italy.

Immerse yourself in the artistic wonders of Milan by visiting the renowned Pinacoteca di Brera, located in the charming Brera neighborhood.

This art gallery is an absolute must-visit for art enthusiasts and anyone seeking to delve into the city’s rich history and culture.

The Pinacoteca di Brera houses an extraordinary collection of paintings and artworks spanning from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

You’ll have the opportunity to admire masterpieces by Italian maestros such as Caravaggio, Raphael, Tintoretto, Mantegna, and the esteemed Giambattista Pittoni.

Noteworthy pieces include “The Marriage of the Virgin” by Raphael, “The Kiss” by Francesco Hayez, “Dead Christ” by Mantegna, “Supper at Emmaus” by Caravaggio, “Beijo” by Hayez, and “Madonna del Roseto” by Bernardino Luini.

Moving beyond the art gallery, the Brera Quarter is a destination in its own right, captivating bohemians, artists, and students from the Academy of Fine Arts for centuries.

Steeped in history, art, and culture, this neighborhood exudes a magical atmosphere, with its historic buildings, shops, antique stores, and art galleries, all complemented by the presence of the Pinacoteca di Brera.

The Brera Academy of Fine Arts is another highlight of the area, attracting aspiring artists and creatives seeking knowledge and inspiration. The academy’s presence contributes to the vibrant and intellectual ambiance that permeates Brera, solidifying its status as a significant artistic hub.

Moreover, the neighborhood boasts the historic San Marco church, a site of architectural and religious importance. A visit to the centenary bar, Jamaica, is also recommended, as it is steeped in fascinating stories and traditions.

An additional allure for visitors is the Mercatino di Brera, an antique fair held on the third Sunday of every month, where enthusiasts of vintage objects and collectors can peruse a diverse array of treasures and uncover remarkable relics.

Watch an Opera at Teatro alla Scala

Immerse yourself in the world of opera by attending a performance at Teatro alla Scala, one of the most renowned opera houses in the world, located in the heart of Milan.

Since its opening in 1778, the theater has captivated audiences with its architectural beauty. Designed by architects Giuseppe Piermarini and Luigi Canonica, the neoclassical façade of Teatro alla Scala stands as a testament to the grandeur of the era. Its name, “alla Scala,” derives from its proximity to Piazza della Scala, where the church of Santa Maria alla Scala once stood.

Step inside and be enchanted by the opulent interior adorned with intricate details. The theater’s main stage boasts exceptional acoustics, meticulously crafted to enhance the sound quality during performances. As an audience member, you’ll be treated to a unique and sophisticated experience in elegant boxes and seats.

Throughout its illustrious history, Teatro alla Scala has hosted countless performances of renowned operas, ballets, and concerts. Legendary composers, opera singers, and dancers have graced this stage, cementing its status as one of the world’s premier centers of artistic excellence.

The theater’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of classical and contemporary operas, featuring works by celebrated composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Mozart, and Wagner.

The opera season typically runs from December to July, attracting visitors from across the globe eager to witness extraordinary performances in this extraordinary setting.

To fully appreciate the significance of Teatro alla Scala, consider taking a guided tour. By purchasing the La Scala Theater Guided Experience online, you can discover the secrets and history behind this iconic venue, gaining deeper insights into its cultural importance in Milan.

Explore the Canals of the Navigli Neighborhood

Discover the charm of the Navigli neighborhood in Milan, a historic area renowned for its picturesque canals, namely the Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese.

These canals, which once played a crucial role in transportation and irrigation, have now become the heart and soul of this vibrant district.

The Navigli district is a hub of activity, attracting a diverse crowd seeking entertainment and enjoyment.

Dating back to the 12th century, the Naviglio Grande is the oldest canal in Milan, stretching approximately 50 km. Originally built for transporting goods, it even played a part in the construction of the iconic Duomo in Milan.

Another canal worth exploring is the Naviglio Pavese, created in the 14th century as a bustling commercial route connecting Milan to Pavia over a distance of around 30 km.

During the day, wander through the markets, browse the shops, and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the canals. As the sun sets, the neighborhood truly comes alive, with the warm glow of lights illuminating the bars and restaurants that line the canals.

Experience the vibrant energy of the Navigli neighborhood, where history and modernity merge to create an unforgettable destination in Milan.

Shopping on Via Torino

Via Torino is a bustling and renowned street nestled in the heart of Milan, Italy.

Famous for being one of the city’s premier shopping destinations, it offers a vibrant and diverse retail experience for both locals and visitors alike.

Along Via Torino, you’ll find a wide array of shops, boutiques, and international brands catering to various tastes and budgets. From fashion and accessories to electronics, footwear, and sporting goods, there’s something to suit every shopper’s desires.

One of the highlights of shopping on Via Torino is the sheer variety of options available. Explore a mix of well-established brands and local stores, providing a chance to discover unique and authentic products.

Beyond the shopping experience, Via Torino also boasts a delightful atmosphere for strolling. The street is lined with charming cafes, bars, and restaurants, inviting you to take a leisurely break and soak in the ambiance.

An additional advantage of Via Torino is its prime location, situated in close proximity to other popular Milan tourist attractions such as the iconic Milan Cathedral (Duomo) and Piazza del Duomo.

Embark on a shopping adventure along Via Torino and indulge in the vibrant spirit of Milan’s fashion and retail scene.

What to do in Milan for free?

Tradição em Milão, Itália: rodar o calcanhar no touro das Galerias Vittorio Emanuelle.
Tradition in Milan, Italy: turning the heel of the bull at Galleries Vittorio Emanuelle. (Things To Do In Milan)

Milan may be known as an expensive city, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the city on a limited budget. Here are some suggestions for free activities in Milan:

  • Visit Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano: This museum houses an extraordinary collection of 20th-century art amassed by Antonio Boschi and Marieda Di Stefano. Admission is free, allowing you to explore and appreciate their remarkable collection.
  • See Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” (Cenacolo): The famous painting is located on the wall of the refectory at the former Santa Maria delle Grazie convent. While entry is typically ticketed, you can visit for free on the first Sunday of each month. Remember to reserve your tickets by calling +39 02 92800360.
  • Explore the Museo del Castello Sforzesco: This museum is situated within the historic Sforza Castle. Take advantage of the free admission on the first and third Tuesday of every month starting from 2 pm. Discover the castle’s rich history and immerse yourself in its art collections.
  • Marvel at Milan’s architecture: Milan is renowned for its stunning architecture. Spend time walking around the city and admire architectural gems like the magnificent Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano), the historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the modern skyscrapers of the Porta Nuova district.
  • Enjoy the street art in the Isola neighborhood: Head to the vibrant Isola district to discover an array of captivating street art. Wander through the streets and alleyways to appreciate the creativity and expression of local artists.

Remember, even though these activities are free, it’s always a good idea to check the opening hours and any specific requirements in advance to make the most of your visit.

Hotels and Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Milan

Torre Velasca, o primeiro arranha-céu em Milão.
Torre Velasca, the first skyscraper in Milan.

If you’re looking for suggestions on where to stay in Milan, here are some recommendations on the best neighborhoods and areas suitable for tourists.

For a comprehensive experience, I recommend choosing accommodation in the city center of Milan, as it provides easy access to major attractions, dining options, and a vibrant atmosphere that captures the essence of the city. Don’t worry, there are accommodations available for different budgets.

The Brera District is a highly popular area in the heart of Milan and is often favored by visitors. It offers a charming ambiance with its narrow streets, art galleries, and a wide selection of bars and restaurants. For your stay in this neighborhood, I suggest considering Hotel Milano Scala (4 stars) for a more luxurious option or Ostello Bello (hostel) if you’re on a budget.

Another excellent neighborhood to consider is Porta Garibaldi. Located near Sempione Park and featuring pedestrian streets like Corso Como, it offers a trendy and dynamic atmosphere. The Tocq Hotel (4 stars) or the Marsala Flexyrent apartment (a two-bedroom apartment) are recommended options in this area.

These accommodations provide good options for an overnight stay in Milan, usually offering reasonable prices. However, if none of these alternatives suit your preferences, I recommend exploring the map below to discover additional options that may meet your specific needs.

Remember to consider factors such as proximity to public transportation, attractions, and the amenities that matter most to you when making your final decision on where to stay in Milan.

Book your stay in Milan, Italy

Restaurants and Typical Cuisine in Milan (with Prices)

Risotto alla milanese.
Risotto alla milanese.

Milan is renowned worldwide for its fashion and design, but it also boasts a vibrant culinary scene that caters to even the most discerning palates.

The city is a true paradise for food lovers, offering a wide range of dining options that encompass traditional Italian dishes as well as high-quality international cuisine.

Here are some recommended restaurants in Milan, along with an idea of the prices based on my recent trips to the city and suggestions from local residents.

Trattoria Masuelli San Marco, open since 1921, is a must-visit if you want to try some of Milan’s typical dishes. Indulge in Risotto alla Milanese (risotto with saffron and osso buco) or La Costoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal cutlet). A meal featuring these specialty dishes typically costs around €20-30.

Address: Viale Umbria, 80, 20135 Milano MI, Italy.

For an affordable and delicious meal, I recommend Il Panino del Laghetto, a place known for its tasty sandwiches at reasonable prices. Each sandwich costs approximately €6.

Address: Via Laghetto 7, 20122 Milan, Italy.

If you’re a pizza lover, don’t miss out on Spontini Pizzeria. Their pizzas have a thick crust, and the margherita pizza is the most budget-friendly option, with each slice priced at around €5-6.

Address: Via Santa Radegonda, 11, 20121 Milano MI, Italy.

Please note that some restaurants may charge additional fees, such as a service fee (coperto). It’s always advisable to check the menu and prices beforehand. Regardless of which restaurant you choose, I’m confident that Milan will provide you with a memorable culinary experience.

What to See and Do in Milan in 2 and 3 Days

O que fazer em Milão, Itália: visitar o Duomo, ou Catedral de Milão.
Best things to do in Milan, Italy: visit the Duomo, or Cathedral of Milan.

If you have two or three days to spend in Milan, you can easily visit the city’s main tourist attractions within this time frame.

In fact, I often recommend that two or three days are sufficient to experience Milan fully. This article will provide you with enough information to plan your own itinerary.

As a summary, here are some suggestions for what to do in Milan in 48 hours, or more:

First Day / Day 1: Explore the city center of Milan, including the following must-see sites:

  • Start with a visit to the magnificent Duomo.
  • Wander through the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, known for its luxury shops and elegant architecture.
  • Continue to the Castello Sforzesco, a historic fortress and museum.
  • Conclude the day with a visit to the renowned Teatro alla Scala.

Second Day / Day 2: Dedicate this day to museums and cultural landmarks:

  • Choose one or two museums to delve into Milan’s art scene, such as the Pinacoteca di Brera or the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely stroll through Sempione Park, a beautiful green space near the city center.

Third Day / Day 3: Venture outside of Milan to explore the surrounding areas:

  • Embark on a dream trip aboard the Bernina Express panoramic train, which offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and takes you through charming towns.
  • Alternatively, take a boat ride on Lake Como, known for its stunning landscapes and picturesque towns.

These suggestions provide a well-rounded experience of Milan and its surroundings, allowing you to appreciate the city’s historical, artistic, and natural beauty.

Transportation in Milan, Italy

Estação Central de Milão.
Milan Central Station.

If you’re curious about how public transport works in Milan, here’s a helpful overview:

The public transport system in Milan is managed by Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM) and includes the metro, tram, and bus services.

So, the metro system consists of four lines: the red M1, green M2, yellow M3, and lilac M5. The metro operates from 6 am to midnight, and on Saturdays, it runs until 1:40 am.

Trams, known as trams, operate from 5 am to midnight, providing convenient transportation throughout the city.

Buses in Milan also operate from 5 am to midnight, with some central lines running later.

To purchase tickets, you can visit kiosks, but the easiest option is to use the automatic machines available at stations. It’s important to note that tickets cannot be bought on board buses; they must be purchased in advance. Don’t forget to validate your ticket once you board to avoid any issues.

Be aware that ticket inspectors regularly check for valid tickets, so it’s best not to take any unnecessary risks.

Keep in mind that the city center of Milan is relatively compact, and many of the main tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other. Walking can be a pleasant and convenient way to explore the center of Milan.

Whether you choose to utilize the efficient public transport system or enjoy a leisurely walk, navigating the city of Milan is quite accessible.

How to get from Milan Airport to the city center?

Aeroporto de Bergamo (BGY).
Bergamo Airport (BGY).

Milan is served by three airports: Milan Linate Airport (LIN), Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), and Il Caravaggio International Airport (BGY) in Bergamo.

Milan Linate Airport is the closest airport to the city center. However, the main airport serving Milan is Milan Malpensa Airport, while Bergamo Airport is primarily used by low-cost airlines.

If you’re traveling from the United States or Britain, you’re likely to fly into either Milan Malpensa Airport or Milan Linate Airport.

Milan Malpensa Airport is the main international gateway to Milan and handles a significant number of flights from various destinations, including the United States and Britain. It is the largest airport in the Milan area and offers a wide range of domestic and international flights.

On the other hand, Milan Linate Airport also serves as a popular entry point for travelers from the United States and Britain. While it primarily operates domestic and European flights, there are also select intercontinental flights connecting Milan to major cities in the United States and Britain.

Both airports provide convenient transportation options to the city center, including shuttle buses, taxis, and public transportation. It’s recommended to check the flight schedules and availability to choose the most suitable airport for your travel needs.

How to get from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) to the center of Milan?

When traveling from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) to the center of Milan, you have several transportation options to choose from.

First, there are bus services available. Thus, although the Autostradale bus company runs between the airport and Milano Centrale station, Flixbus runs the same route but with lower prices, if purchased in advance. Prices start at €5.99 and the bus journey takes approximately 40-50 minutes to reach central Milan.

Alternatively, you can take the Malpensa Express train, which offers two lines.

The first line connects the airport to Milano Cardona station in just 30 minutes, making it a convenient option for exploring the city center on foot. The second line travels to Garibaldi (41 minutes) and Milano Centrale (52 minutes) stations.

Trains depart every 30 minutes from Terminal 2. Although the train ticket may be slightly more expensive, it provides a faster way to reach the center of Milan.

Both bus and train services offer reliable and efficient transportation options for travelers arriving at Milan Malpensa Airport, allowing you to conveniently access the vibrant city of Milan.

How to get from Bergamo Airport (BGY) to the center of Milan?

When traveling from Bergamo Airport (BGY) to the center of Milan, there are convenient transportation options available.

Bergamo Airport is also known as Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport or Il Caravaggio International Airport.

The most cost-effective way to reach the center of Milan from Bergamo Airport is by bus. Flixbus operates bus services with prices starting at €6.99. The bus journey takes approximately 1 hour to reach the center of Milan.

By choosing the bus option, you can enjoy a comfortable and affordable ride, allowing you to easily access the vibrant city of Milan.

Please note that it’s always a good idea to check the bus schedules and fares in advance to plan your journey accordingly.

What to visit near Milan (day trips from Milan)

O que fazer em Milão: visitar o Lago Como.
Best things to do in Milan: visit Lake Como.

Milan’s strategic location makes it incredibly convenient to embark on day trips and explore the nearby cities and attractions.

In addition to easy access by bus or train, renting a car in Milan opens up a world of possibilities. Within just a few hours, you can visit incredible cities like Turin (2 hours), Genoa (2 hours), Brescia (1 hour), or Bologna (2.5 hours).

If you’re considering renting a car in Milan, I recommend simulating the rental process to find the best options and prices that suit your needs: rental car in Milan, Italy.

However, if you prefer not to drive or venture out of Milan using public transportation, there are still plenty of fantastic tour and day trip options available.

The great advantage of these excursions is that they typically offer free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance, allowing you to change your plans or receive a refund if needed.

Explore the diverse range of tours and day trips departing from Milan, and choose from an array of captivating destinations and experiences just a short journey away.

Remember to check the specific details and itineraries of each excursion to ensure you make the most of your day trip from Milan.

Experience the Breathtaking Bernina Express: A Journey through the Spectacular Swiss Alps

Bernina Express, comboio panorâmico entre Itália e Suíça.
Bernina Express, panoramic train between Italy and Switzerland. (things to do in Milan)

Embark on an unforgettable adventure aboard the Bernina Express, a breathtaking panoramic train that traverses the magnificent mountainous region between Switzerland and Italy.

This extraordinary rail journey connects the picturesque towns of St. Moritz in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes along the way.

While the Bernina Express may not be the most budget-friendly option, it offers an incredible experience that is well worth it. In fact, the section of the route between Tirano and St. Moritz has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

To ensure a seamless journey, be sure to purchase your tickets for the Bernina Express in advance. This scenic train ride through the Swiss Alps offers a remarkable opportunity to witness some of the most awe-inspiring views in the world.

Tickets for Bernina Express

As you embark on this unforgettable expedition, you’ll be treated to unparalleled vistas of the Alps, with the train passing through impressive bridges, viaducts, and tunnels.

Keep your camera ready to capture the iconic sights along the way, including the mesmerizing 360-degree turn at the Landwasser Bridge and the enchanting curves of the Brusio Viaduct.

Prepare to be captivated as you indulge in the beauty of the Bernina Express, truly one of the most spectacular train rides on the planet.

Visit Lake Como

A visit to Lake Como offers an excellent opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of Milan.

While you can simply walk along the lake, the most captivating experience is taking a cruise on Lake Como.

With a boat ticket, you can explore all the charming small towns surrounding the lake. However, it’s important to consider the departure times of the last boat. To make the most of your time, it’s advisable to arrive early in Como.

Personally, I opted for taking the train from Milan to Lake Como to save some money. However, I regretted my decision as the journey from the station to the lake took longer than expected. Additionally, the return train was scheduled quite late in the day.

In conclusion, it turned out to be an exhausting day.

If you prefer a more hassle-free experience, I recommend joining a group tour: Lake Como Tour.

Although I don’t always opt for group tours, I must admit that they can be incredibly convenient, particularly for those with limited time in the city or who are concerned about getting lost.

If you find yourself in such a situation, I recommend exploring other suggestions for what to do in Milan.

Consider looking into various Tours, guided walks, and exciting excursions available in Milan.

Do I need travel insurance to travel to Italy?

Duomo de Milão, Norte de Itália.
Milan Duomo, Northern Italy. (things to do in Milan)

Travel insurance is highly recommended for American and British visitors traveling to Italy. While it is not mandatory, having travel insurance provides important protection and peace of mind during your trip.

Italy is a popular tourist destination, and unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage can occur.

Travel insurance, such as the policies offered by IATI Seguros, can help cover the costs associated with these unforeseen circumstances, ensuring that you are not left with hefty expenses or inconveniences.

Medical expenses in a foreign country can be quite expensive, and travel insurance typically covers emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, and medical evacuation if necessary. Additionally, travel insurance can reimburse you for non-refundable expenses in case you need to cancel or cut short your trip due to unforeseen reasons such as illness, injury, or family emergencies.

Furthermore, travel insurance often includes coverage for lost or stolen belongings, delayed or missed flights, and other travel-related mishaps. It can also provide 24/7 emergency assistance, including access to a helpline for immediate support and guidance.

Before purchasing travel insurance, it’s important to carefully review the policy and understand what is covered, including any exclusions or limitations. Consider factors such as the coverage limits, deductibles, and any additional options that may be relevant to your specific needs.

IATI Seguros is a reputable travel insurance company that offers comprehensive coverage for American and British travelers visiting Italy. Their policies are tailored to meet the specific needs of international travelers, providing reliable support and assistance throughout your trip.

How to get to Milan Italy?

To travel to Milan, Italy from the main airports in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, you have several options available.

Here’s a guide on how to reach Milan from these destinations:

From the United States of America:

  • From New York (JFK): You can find direct flights from JFK Airport to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) operated by various airlines such as Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines. The flight duration is approximately 8-9 hours.
  • From Los Angeles (LAX): Although there are no direct flights from LAX to Milan, you can opt for a connecting flight. Popular connecting airports include Frankfurt, Munich, or Amsterdam. Major airlines like Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM offer these routes. The total travel time can range from 12 to 15 hours, depending on the layover duration.
  • From Chicago (ORD): Several airlines, including United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, offer direct flights from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Milan Malpensa Airport. The flight duration is typically around 9 hours.

From the United Kingdom

  • From London Heathrow (LHR): Milan is well-connected to London Heathrow with multiple daily flights. Airlines such as British Airways, Alitalia, and easyJet operate direct flights to Milan Malpensa Airport. The flight duration is approximately 2-2.5 hours.
  • From Manchester (MAN): You can reach Milan from Manchester Airport by taking a direct flight to Milan Malpensa Airport. Airlines like easyJet and Ryanair offer this route, and the flight duration is around 2-2.5 hours.
  • From Edinburgh (EDI): Although there are no direct flights from Edinburgh to Milan, you can opt for connecting flights via airports like London, Amsterdam, or Paris. Airlines such as British Airways, KLM, and Air France operate these routes. The total travel time can vary depending on the layover duration.

Upon arriving at Milan’s main airport, Malpensa (MXP), you can easily access the city center by various transportation options. These include train services like the Malpensa Express, shuttle buses, or taxis, depending on your preference and budget.

Remember to check the latest travel guidelines, entry requirements, and any COVID-19-related protocols before your journey.

It’s also advisable to book your flights in advance and consider travel insurance for a smooth and worry-free trip.

What to do in Milan (Final Tips)

Street food em Milão, Itália.
Street food in Milan, Italy.

During our family trip to Milan in July, we experienced intense heat throughout the day, with little relief at night.

To make the most of your time and beat the heat, we recommend balancing outdoor walks (which can be warmer) with visits to indoor attractions such as monuments, museums, or churches.

While we found restaurant prices to be quite high, there is a budget-friendly and delicious option worth exploring: the focaccias available at pastry shops. For affordable hydration, consider buying water from supermarkets instead of purchasing it at cafes, where prices tend to be steep.

It’s worth noting that public toilets in Milan are not free and can cost around €1.5-2, which may seem pricey. However, most museums offer free access to their restroom facilities.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can enjoy your time in Milan while managing the summer heat, saving money on meals, and making the most of the city’s attractions.

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We are a Portuguese Family traveling around the world and sharing our journey and experiences at passaportenobolso.com. Here you can find plenty of family budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. We have visited 30+ countries and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Follow our adventures on YouTube / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter / Facebook.

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