WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN MILAN?
The capital of fashion and design does not attract as many tourists as Rome or Venice, but it does have interesting things to discover, both architecturally and culturally. If you are going to Milan for a few days, this list of the best things to do and see can help you plan your itinerary.
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Here are 10 must-see things to do and see in Milan:
1. VISIT THE DUOMO
The Duomo is Milan’s cathedral. This majestic Gothic cathedral is one of the most imposing in the world. With more than 11,000 m2 to cover and 157 metres in length, it’s impossible to get to Milan without visiting it. At the top of the building is a gigantic panoramic terrace that allows you to discover another side of the building and a panoramic view of the city and the Alps. Plan a correct outfit for the visit, covered shoulders are required in this religiously supervised place.
2. ADMIRE THE LAST SUPPER IN THE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE
The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to being magnificent, this church is the temple of one of the most famous works of art in the world: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. This historical painting is Leonardo da Vinci’s only work painted on a wall that can be admired.
A true symbol of rebirth, an authentic symbol of the city and art in general, this magnificent place is worth a visit. Built between 1463 and 1482, it will take you back to another era.
3. THE CASTELLO SFORZESCO (CASTLE OF THE SFORZA)
In the heart of Milan’s city centre, the Sforza Castle is a fortress that now houses several beautiful museums and exhibitions. There are various art museums, a museum of musical instruments, the museum of prehistory and protohistory, an Egyptian museum, a furniture museum…
The central courtyard of the castle is very beautiful and accessible free of charge, offering visitors and residents of the city a magnificent green space for a privileged stroll in the heart of the modern city.
4. THE NAVIGLI DISTRICT
The Navigli district is Milan’s canal district. The canals bring an atmosphere and romance to the place. In a picturesque and bohemian setting, many restaurants meet nightclubs and small shops by the water.
It’s a very colourful district with a unique atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to go out, have a drink, eat in one of the restaurants or go to a nightclub. As a couple or with friends, everyone loves the Navigli district. If you are in Milan on the last Sunday of the month, this is the opportunity to discover the vintage flea market.
5. THE BASILICA DI SANT’AMBROGIO
The Basilica of Saint Ambrose is a church built in the 380s by Saint Ambrose himself. Ambrose was the bishop of Milan when he built this building. The basilica is worth a visit with its brick towers, atrium and archaeological remains. It’s one of the oldest and most important churches in the city. This place steeped in history is a true sanctuary. In its crypt are the exposed skeletons of Saint-Ambroise, Saint-Protais and Saint-Gervais, in their authentic period clothing.
6. LA SCALA OPERA
Built in 1776 on the site of a church, Milan’s La Scala is a world-famous opera house. This extraordinary place has witnessed the greatest Italian operas. If the building itself is synonymous with simplicity, the magnificent room full of authenticity plunges visitors into a prestigious setting. La Scalla is located in the square of the same name: Piazza della Scala, a popular place in Milan. The opera house has a museum where you can admire objects related to the history of the place and lyrical music, such as instruments or costumes.
7. LA GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II
This unique place offers both an architectural visit and a high-end shopping trip. The Galleria is an exceptional place. The largest luxury brands are found alongside the finest restaurants with terraces, in an overwhelming setting of beauty. This shopping gallery is composed of two cross-shaped arches, covered with a glass dome and a gigantic glass roof. This fully covered 19th century building is decorated in every detail with mosaics and statues. An original walk whether you are addicted to shopping or not. Lovers of good restaurants will find their happiness in the Galleria.
8. THE PINACOTECA DE BRERA
Inside a former convent hides a large part of Italian art. The Brera Picture Gallery houses a splendid botanical garden, an art museum, an astronomical museum and observatory, the national library and a prestigious art school. The art gallery has 38 museum rooms and more than 400 works of art, it’s possible to admire works known throughout the world, such as paintings of the famous Raphael.
9. THE LEONARDO DA VINCI MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology appeals to young and old alike. Located in a former monastery of 40,000 m2, this very special place houses a very impressive collection of scientific and technological objects. There is a boat and a submarine, the first Italian locomotive or a special section on Leonardo da Vinci with his inventions, models, plans, etc. For the little ones, the museum has very informative and fun interactive laboratories for a very entertaining visit.
10. THE MONUMENTAL CEMETERY OF MILAN
Visiting a cemetery may seem strange, but Milan’s monumental cemetery is like an open-air museum covering 250,000 m2. There are magnificent works, sculptures, obelisks, temples… The artistic and splendid side makes you forget the gloomy side of the place. You can discover the tombs of Italian celebrities accompanied by real carved works of art or pyramids. To fulfil its role as an open-air museum, the cemetery also has a photo exhibition showing the evolution of the site in pictures, as well as electric hearses built in the 1920s.