2 Days in Milan Itinerary: A Perfect Weekend in Milan (2024)

2 Days in Milan Blog Cover Graphic - Text overlaying and image of Piazza di Duomo Milan at dawn.

I spent the summer working in Milan and it far exceeded my expectations; I absolutely fell in love with this charming, cosmopolitan city. I would even go as far as to say it’s one of my favourite European cities!

Tucked away in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, Milan provides a harmonious mix of modern and traditional. It is brimming with historical art and architecture, modern skyscrapers, high-end fashion, green spaces and mouthwatering Italian cuisine.

After extensively exploring the city, I have created this 2-day Milan itinerary to help you visit all the top sights and make the most of your time. I have also included alternative options to suit your individual preferences.

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know for your first visit to Milan, including essential travel tips such as how to get around, ticket and reservation suggestions, costs, where to eat, and more.

💃🏽 2 Days in Milan Itinerary Overview

With just 2 days in Milan, you don’t want to waste any time planning when you get there. Having a well-planned itinerary before you go will help you maximise your time in this incredible city.

Here is how to spend 2 perfect days in Milan:

Day 1

  • Duomo di Milano
  • Piazza Mercanti
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Piazza della Scala
  • Quadrilatero della Moda
  • Brera District
  • Castello Sforzesco
  • Parco Sempione
  • Arco della Pace

Day 2

  • Santa Maria delle Grazie (and The Last Supper)
  • Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio
  • Colonne di San Lorenzo & Basilicia di San Lorenzo
  • Arco di Porta Ticinese
  • Navigli District


🗺 Two Days in Milan Itinerary Map

I’m a sucker for a colour-coded Google Map! I love saving and organising all the places I want to visit in order to plan the most efficient itinerary.

So I thought I’d save you the work and provide you with mine! All the places mentioned in this Milan two-day itinerary are pinned and colour-coded.

Click on the image below or here to open the map in a new tab so you can get an understanding of the layout of the city as you read through this guide.

A photo of an interactive map of all the places included in this 2 days in Milan itinerary, linking to Google Maps.
A map of all the best things to do in Milan in 2 days.

⛪️ Milan 2 Day Itinerary:
Day 1

Sophie Marland in a red dress running through a flock of pigeons in front of Duomo di Milano at sunrise during 2 days in Milan.
I couldn’t resist chasing the pigeons!

The first day of this Milan itinerary will take you to all the top attractions. Therefore, even if you have only one day in Milan, you can still make it to all the best places.

However, I’d recommend getting a fairly early start each day, as this travel itinerary has packed a lot in!

With that said, the total walk time for this route from Duomo di Milano to Arco della Pace is around one hour and about 5km (3 miles) in length. You’ve therefore got plenty of time to visit everything at a reasonably relaxed pace.

Therefore, even those of you who like to sleep in and have a late start will be able to manage this Milan itinerary at a slightly faster pace.

Piazza del Duomo

A sun star appears as the sun rises behind Milan Cathedral.
Watching the sunrise behind Duomo di Milano.

Your 2 day Milan itinerary will start with perhaps the most impressive part of the city; Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square).

Within this square, towering over the heart of the city is the mighty Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral). Truly, no visit to Milan would be complete without witnessing this grand architectural feat.

Dating back to 1386, the construction of this spectacular Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy and the second largest in Europe, after St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

You will find that the Duomo has contributed to many of the most interesting facts about Milan!

I highly recommend getting to Piazza del Duomo for sunrise if possible. I’m not typically a morning person, but it’s definitely worth the early alarm to experience sunrise here.

Arriving early at Piazza del Duomo will allow you to enjoy the front of the cathedral (and capture perfect Instagrammable Milan photos) without the usual hordes of tourists.

Duomo di Milano Rooftops

At no cost to you, we receive a small amount for any bookings made using the links below.

One of the best things to do in Milan (it was my absolute favourite!) is exploring the rooftop of Duomo di Milano. The rooftop terrace spans nearly the entire roof of the cathedral and provides incredible panoramic views over Milan.

Furthermore, it allows a close-up view of the incredible sculptures and ornate spires that adorn the rooftop.

You will need to purchase a ticket to access the church and rooftop.

With your rooftop ticket, you’ll also be able to access the inside of the cathedral. Take time to marvel at its decorative interior while you’re there.

The stunning interior of Milan cathedral should be seen during 2 days in Milan
The stunning interior of Milan Cathedral.

There is also an archaeological site and crypt below the Duomo. However, I wouldn’t recommend this unless it’s something you’re particularly interested in.

However, the rooftop doesn’t open until 9am. With this in mind, you may wish to take a wander, then return at 9am or wait until the afternoon to visit.

Tickets for Duomo di Milano

Sunrise at Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral).
Sunrise at Milan Cathedral.

Duomo Cathedral is the most visited attraction in Milan and as a result, the lines for tickets can get very long.

With this in mind, I’d recommend book your tickets online in advance. There’s no need to print your tickets, you can display your ticket on your smartphone.

There are a few options for tickets depending on where you want to visit, whether you want a fast-track entrance, and whether you feel like tackling the 250 stairs to reach the rooftops or prefer to take an elevator.

⭐️ Pro tip: There is a strict dress code for entrance to the cathedral’s interior (not for the rooftop). Shoulders and knees must be covered. However, cover-ups are available and included in some tickets.

Details of the rooftop of Milan Cathedral
The rooftop of Duomo di Milano.

*Prices below correct as of April 2024.

Fast-Track Milan Cathedral and Terraces Entry – €34

The fast track access is perfect with only two days in Milan to avoid queues, however, it is a more expensive option.

This ticket will allow you to enter via a separate entrance providing fast-track elevator access to all areas, including the terraces and the archaeological site.

Milan Cathedral and Rooftop – via stairs €26 or via elevator €32

This ticket includes access to the cathedral, rooftop, archaeological site, museum, exhibitions, and the church of San Gottardo. You will have the option to select entry via the stairs or elevator.

If you choose to take the stairs then you will need to be comfortable climbing the 250 steps to the rooftop. Otherwise, the elevator may be the better option for you.

Additionally, you can choose to add an audio guide when you book your tickets.

Balconies and spires of the Milan Cathedral rooftop as seen on a one day Milan itinerary
Admire the intricacy of the Milan Cathedral rooftops.

Rooftop Only Access via Stairs – €19

While you do have the option to purchase rooftop-only access, you only save €3. I personally think it’s well worth paying extra to see the cathedral itself.

Milan Cathedral Access Only – €11.50

If you do not wish to visit the rooftops, there is the option to buy a ticket just for entrance to the cathedral. While you will save some money, you will miss out on one of the best things to do in Milan!

Milan Tours including Cathedral Access

If you prefer, you can book an organised tour of the cathedral and rooftops as part of a bigger Milan tour, for which you have several options.

Check each tour to compare to see what access is included, as well as other attractions

Book your Milan tours here:


Piazza Mercanti

Exterior of Palazzo Giureconsulti in Piazza Mercanti Milan
The 16th century Palazzo Giureconsulti in Piazza Mercanti Milan.

A few minute’s stroll from Piazza di Duomo, you’ll find the picturesque Piazza Mercanti (Merchant’s Square). During the Middle Ages, Piazza Mercanti was the heart of the city and much larger than it is today.

It still retains its medieval atmosphere today thanks to the historic buildings that surround it. Emerging in this charming square feels like being transported back in time!

The exterior of Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine as seen from Piazza Mercanti.
Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine dates back to 1644 and served as the most prestigious higher school of medieval Milan.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Sophie in front of the entrance to Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II from Piazza di Duomo at dawn.
The entrance to Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II from Piazza di Duomo at dawn.

Named after the first King of Italy, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Italy’s oldest active shopping mall, dating back to 1865. Today, it is one of Milan’s major landmarks and a must-see in the city.

The building itself is breathtaking, particularly first thing in the morning. Admire the unique roof and dome comprised of iron and glass, as well as the ornate mosaics adorning the building.

If you want to go shopping in Milan and aren’t budget-conscious, then the Galleria hosts numerous luxury stores and brands.

However, if luxury shopping isn’t for you, it’s still absolutely worth taking time to stroll through this magnificent 4-storey arcade. It is also magical at night when the building is beautifully illuminated.

The magnificent Galleria houses many luxury shops.

Within the centre of Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, you will find mosaics of the coat of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence and Rome), as well as Milan’s.

Look out for the legendary bull on Turin’s crest! It is believed that if you spin around three times with your heel on the testicles of the bull you will receive good luck!

This has even led to a clear depression in the mosaic from the many people who have tried it over the years.

Piazza della Scala

A visit to the statue of Leonardo da Vinci in the centre of Piazza della Scalla should be included on every 2 days in Milan itinerary.
A statue of Leonardo da Vinci has dominated Piazza della Scala since 1872.

Continue straight through the Galleria and you will exit into one of the most iconic squares in Milan; Piazza della Scala. At the core of this famous square is a white marble statue of Leonardo da Vinci.

Surrounding the square are some of Milan’s most beautiful buildings, including Teatro alla Scala, for which the square takes its name.

Built in 1778, this iconic opera house is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. Return in the evening to check off an opera performance from your Italy bucket list, or if you prefer, you can take a tour of the inside of the Scala Opera House.

Teatro alla Scala is one of the most famous opera houses in the world and a top attraction in Milan.

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Quadrilatero della Moda

Via Monte Napoleone is home to some of the most expensive luxury brands and is famous for shopping in Milan.
Via Monte Napoleone is home to some of the most expensive luxury brands.

If you’re looking to do some shopping in Milan, then this next part of the itinerary is for you!

Personally, I’m not a big shopper, but you can’t visit the fashion capital of Europe without a stop in the fashion district, even if it is just window shopping!

Wander through Quadrilatero della Moda, also referred to as Quadrilatero d’Oro, for some world-class shopping.

Here you’ll find an endless succession of famous upscale international brands. Within the heart of this district is Via Monte Napoleone, one of the most expensive and exclusive shopping streets in the world.

If you’re looking to go shopping in Milan without the hefty price tag, then check out Corso Vittoria Emanuele II where you’ll find more high-street fashion brands.

Brera District

From Quadrilateral della Moda, walk via Piazza Cavour to the Brera neighbourhood.

If you time it right, you may get to see one of the old-fashioned trams passing through the medieval city gate, Porta Nuova, which was originally built in the 12th century!

The enchanting neighbourhood of Brera is known for being the artistic heart of the city and is a must-see with 2 days in Milan.

Colourful streets of Brera neighbourhood Milan
The colourful streets of Brera neighbourhood.

While there are a few attractions in Brera, the best thing to do here is to soak up the atmosphere. Both charming and romantic, meander through its quaint colourful streets or stop for a coffee in one of its squares.

Palazzo Brera

The courtyard of Palazzo Brera, Milan.
Palazzo Brera is home to many important cultural institutes.

One of the main attractions in Brera is Palazzo Brera. Like much of the architecture in Milan, this building has an incredible history.

Built on the remains of a 14th-century monastery, this building was a Jesuit college for nearly two centuries prior to becoming home to several of the city’s leading cultural institutes. These institutes remain here today and include:

  • Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera)
  • Brera Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera)
  • Braidense National Library (Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense)
  • Brera Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico di Brera)
  • Brera Astronomical Observatory (Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera)

Piazza del Carmine

Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Brera, Milan, Italy.
Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Brera.

Continue your walk up Via del Carmine to reach Piazza del Carmine and the beautiful Santa Maria del Carmine church, dating back to 1446. Relax here and enjoy a coffee if you need a rest.

Otherwise, keep going to reach your next stop on this Milan itinerary…

Castello Sforzesco

Fountain in front of Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco) Milan - a top attraction during 2 days in Milan
Fontana di Piazza Castello in front of Sforza Castle.

As you approach the southern edge of Parco Sempione, you will first discover the iconic Castello Sforzesco (or Sforza Castle).

Originally constructed as a fortress by the Visconti family in the 14th century, it was converted in the 15th century into a grand castle by Francesco Sforza. Many incredible artists, including Leonardo Da Vinci, were commissioned by Sforza to decorate the castle.

Encompassing a huge complex of towers, gardens, fortresses and residences, Sforza Castle was once the largest citadel in Europe. This should give you some indication of the sheer enormity of it.

Ancient red brick wall of Castello Sforzesco (Castle Sforza) Milan Italy
Ancient wall of Castello Sforzesco.

Today, Castle Sforzesco houses several museums and art collections, including the Museum of Ancient Art which features work by Michelangelo.

While these collections are ticketed, it is free to wander the grounds of the castle, and you absolutely should include it on your 2 days in Milan itinerary!

As you approach this iconic red-brick castle, look down into its moat. You will likely see several stray cats which have taken up residence here!

These feral cats were welcomed to help tackle an issue with rats. Judging by the number of cats here, I can’t imagine they have much of a rat problem nowadays!

The castle grounds are open every day. However, the museums are closed on Mondays. Check the Sforza Castle website for current opening hours and admission prices.

If you prefer, you can take a guided tour of Sforza Castle to get to know more about its rich history.

⭐️ Pro tip: If you’re able to visit on the first or third Tuesday of the month after 2pm or the first Sunday of the month, you can get free entry to the museums!

Parco Sempione

View of Sforza Castle from Sempione Park, Milan, Italy.  The castle is reflected in the water of the lake and people are resting on the grass.
View of Sforza Castle from Sempione Park.

Walk through Milan’s largest urban park, Sempione Park, from Sforza Castle. This vast green space covers an area of over 95 acres and runs from Castello Sforzesco to Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace).

Parco Sempione is one of my favourite places to just relax and people-watch. It’s also a great spot for a picnic and a moment’s tranquillity in this city oasis.

There are often events taking place in the park at the Arena Civica, particularly in the summer.

In the centre of the park you’ll find an artificial lake which is not only home to many birds, but also turtles! During the day you’ll often find them basking in the sun.

Turtles basking in the sun in the lake at Sempione Park Milan
Turtles basking in the sun in the lake at Sempione Park.

Arco della Pace

Arco della Pace viewed from Parco Sempione at sunset - one of the best things to do add to your 2 days in Milan itinerary
Arco della Pace viewed from Parco Sempione.

The final stop on this 2 days in Milan itinerary is another iconic landmark; Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace). At sunset, you’ll find many locals sat on the steps surrounding the arch watching the sun go down.

Building of the Triumphal Arch began in 1807 to commemorate Napoleon’s victories. However, construction ground to a halt when the Austrian Empire invaded Milan. The arch was finally completed in 1838 to celebrate the Italian unification.

That is the end of your first day in Milan.

To finish your day in Italian style, I’d recommend heading to nearby Corso Sempione or one of the terraces near Piazza di Duomo to enjoy an aperitivo (more on that below!) before dinner.

I’ve listed a few suggestions below in the “Where to Eat and Drink in Milan” section. You should also check out this post on what to eat in Italy… Seriously Italian food is some of the best in the world!

If you prefer to have your Milan itinerary taken care of, you can always opt to book a tour:

🖼 Milan 2 Day Itinerary:
Day 2

Day one of this Milan itinerary focused on seeing all the top sights in Milan’s historic city centre.

For Day 2, you’ll venture a little further from the heart of the city. Realistically, Milan is pretty small so you won’t have to go too far!

This part of the Milan itinerary also features a few churches. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you should definitely consider keeping them on the itinerary as these are no ordinary churches!

Dating back to medieval times, these buildings are absolutely incredible, and the walk between them will have you meandering down some of Milan’s prettiest streets.

Santa Maria delle Grazie (and The Last Supper)

The exterior of Santa Maria delle Grazie church in Milan.

The first stop on your second day in Milan is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Milan! The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie famously houses much of the world’s iconic artwork.

Most notably, it is home to one of the most famous pieces of art ever created – Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” (or Cenacolo Vinciano in Italian).

The 15th-century painting covers the end wall of the refectory of the church. It is one of Milan’s top attractions and you will need to book your tickets in advance.

Tickets for Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”

Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper Painting at Santa Maria delle Grazie Church Milan
Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting at Santa Maria delle Grazie.

To ensure the preservation of this mural, visits are restricted to 15 minutes with a maximum of 30 people at a time. Therefore, getting tickets to see The Last Supper can be difficult.

Additionally, it is closed on Mondays. Therefore, if you want to include this on your Milan itinerary, you will need to plan in advance!

There are a few options for ensuring you’re able to get tickets.

*Prices below correct as of April 2024.

Book via the Official Website

The cheapest way to get tickets to visit this masterpiece is through the official website. However, tickets typically go on sale 2-3 months in advance and sell out fast.

Tickets booked through the official site cost €15 for an adult, with concession rates available. They also offer guided tours in English for an additional €8, making it by far the cheapest option for a Last Supper guided tour.

You will have to book a specific date and time. Additionally, you are required to arrive 30 minutes prior to your ticketed time, or you will lose your reservation.

Be aware that the tickets are also name-specific, so you will need to show a valid ID with the name of the owner of the reservation.

⭐️ Pro tip: It is also possible to get last-minute official tickets to see The Last Supper in person on the day. For your best chance of getting lucky, arrive at 8am when the box office opens. This is also the cheapest way to get tickets as it doesn’t include a booking fee!

Book a Third Party Tour

If you’re unable to secure tickets via the official website and don’t want to risk trying to get tickets on the day, it is possible to find a third-party guided tour.

While this option is more expensive, it does include a guide. They also often come with other benefits, such as skip-the-line tickets or even out-of-hours visits.

Here are some of the best options for Last Supper Tours. They range in price from around €50-75 and differ in terms of duration and start time.

Book your Last Supper Tour here:

Book a Milan Tour including The Last Supper

Your final option for seeing The Last Supper is to book a broader tour of Milan. There are plenty of tours that cover the highlights of Milan and include a visit to the Last Supper.

While this is the most expensive option, it does provide greater value and will likely cover many of the things to do in this Milan itinerary.

There are options for either half-day (typically 3 hours) or full-day Milan tours.

Here are some of the best-rated tours available that include The Last Supper:

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

The entrance portico of the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio, one of the oldest churches in Milan

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan with over a millennium of history. It was built by St. Ambrose from 379-386 and reconstructed in the Lombard Romanesque style in the 12th century.

Colonne di San Lorenzo & Basilicia di San Lorenzo

Colonne di San Lorenzo & Basilicia di San Lorenzo Milan Italy
The ancient Roman columns frame Basilica di San Lorenzo.

Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the very first churches in all of Italy! Dating back to 370, it precedes Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio by just a few years.

This magnificent building is located opposite Colonne di San Lorenzo, the remains of ancient Roman columns from the 3rd century. These two landmarks combined make for an incredible scene and made me feel like I’d stepped back in time.

Arco di Porta Ticinese

Arco di Porta Ticinese, one of three former city gates of Milan.  Definitely worth adding to your 2 days in Milan itinerary.
Arco di Porta Ticinese – one of three former city gates of Milan.

From Basilica di San Lorenzo, head south to reach Arco di Porta Ticinese, one of three former city gates of Milan. Originally built in the 16th century, it was later destroyed and rebuilt in the 19th century to create what you see today.

On your way down Corso di Porta Ticinese, you will walk past the beautiful Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio.

Navigli District

Colourful houses align the canals in the artsy Navigli neighbourhood of Milan Italy.
Colourful houses align the canals in this artsy neighbourhood.

Pass through Arco di Porto Ticinese to reach the canal district of Navigli. Built up around the Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese canals, this up-and-coming neighbourhood has a unique, quirky feel to it.

Originally built to ship goods from the nearby lakes, today these picturesque canals are surrounded by colourful buildings with lots of cafes, restaurants, boutiques, vintage stores and art galleries.

A courtyard with artist's studios in Navigli, a must-see attraction during a 2 days in Milan itinerary
Meander through the side streets and courtyards to find some hidden gems in Navigli.

It’s well worth exploring away from the main canals too. I loved exploring the hidden artist’s studios tucked away on the little side streets and courtyards! If you’re there on the last Sunday of the month, you’ll also find a vintage bazaar.

Navigli is a great place to take a slow stroll and stop for a drink or bite to eat, particularly in the evening. After 5pm, the atmosphere in Navigli is buzzing as locals flock to the many canal-side bars to enjoy an aperitivo.

🏙 Other Things to Do in Milan

While this itinerary covers the main things to do in Milan, there are also other attractions and neighbourhoods that are worth a visit if you have a bit more time.

Even with just 2 days, you could potentially squeeze in a little more if you move at a faster pace or swap out some attractions to match your interests.

With three days in Milan or more, then you could easily cover everything in this itinerary plus some of these extra things to do!

So if you’re visiting Milan as part of a longer northern Italy trip by train or an epic Italy road trip this section is perfect for you!

Porta Nuova & Porta Garibaldi Districts

Porta Nuova

Porta Nuova, the Napoleonic gate built in 1810, against a modern backdrop of skyscrapers in Milan, Italy.
Porta Nuova, where the new meets the old.

The Porta Nuova district is located to the north of the city centre. This contemporary area, characterised by modern skyscrapers, is one of the main business districts of Milan.

Reaching this part of Milan almost feels like entering a different city entirely, with its modernity a stark contrast to the antiquity of the historic centre.

I loved this part of Milan and it made me further realise the diversity of this incredible city. It’s easily reachable on foot, or you can take the metro to Garibaldi FS station.

I actually stopped here between Quadrilatero della Moda and Brera District. However, I didn’t include it on Day 1 of this Milan itinerary as it makes for a busy day and doesn’t leave much time for each attraction.

Porta Garibaldi

Porta Garibaldi, Milan, Italy
Porta Garibaldi.

If you walk here, you’ll pass by the Napoleonic gate built in 1810, which gives its name to the surrounding area. It seems there are two gates with this name, the other of which is the medieval gate you will have seen by Piazza Cavour on day one in Milan.

Piazza Gae Aulenti

Continue up Corso Como to reach Piazza Gae Aulenti. Skyscrapers and shops surround this contemporary square, creating an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in Milan.

The Unicredit Tower dominates the skyline, designed by the same architect who built the famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Bosco Verticale

Hidden away behind Piazza Gae Aulenti are two phenomenal residential towers called Bosco Verticale. Literally meaning vertical forest, thousands of plants cover these buildings.

They provide an area of vegetation equivalent to 30,000m2 of woodland and undergrowth! This is one of the best hidden gems in Milan!

City Life Area

Coloris sculpture against a backdrop of skyscrapers at City Life Milan Italy at-City-Life-Milan-Italy
The new, futuristic City Life area in Milan.

The futuristic City Life area is a new development comprised of residential apartments, offices, shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the second-largest public park in Milan.

It is also the largest urban shopping district in Italy, boasting a huge array of shops and restaurants.

While it is not necessarily one of the top tourist attractions in Milan, it is a popular place with locals and worth a visit if you have more than two days in Milan.

Although you can walk to City Life, the walk beyond Arco della Pace isn’t too interesting. Therefore, save time and jump on the metro to Tre Torri station.

One of the main highlights of City Life is the colourful, modern Coloris sculpture. If you’re looking for more off-the-beaten-track or unique things to do in Milan, then City Life is worth a visit.

🚞 Day Trips from Milan

If you have the time, then I’d definitely recommend taking a day trip.

Milan is extremely well connected and there are many great day trips from Milan that you can take if you have longer than two days.

I have written a guide to my favourite option, which is a day trip from Milan to Lake Como. In just over an hour, you can be next to a lake in the foothills of the Alps, exploring charming, colourful villages steeped in history.

The lakeside town of Varenna nestled against a mountainous backdrop in Lake Como, a perfect day trip from Milan.
Take a day trip from Milan to Lake Como.

Another easy day trip from Milan is to Bergamo, which only takes an hour by train. For day trips a little further afield, you can even visit Switzerland! By train, you will arrive in a manageable 2.5 hours. Indeed, Milan is a really great starting point for a bigger European trip!


✈️ How to Get to Milan

Milan is extremely well-connected, both domestically and internationally. You’ll most likely be arriving by plane, but it is also possible to arrive by train or road.

By Plane

The main international airport is Milan Malpensa (MXP). However, there are two other airports that also serve Milan: Bergamo and Milan Linate.

It is most likely that you’ll arrive via Malpensa Airport. It is well connected with the city via train and bus. The easiest way to get into the city is with the Malpensa Express train.

This option takes 35-50 minutes, depending on where in the city you’re going, and leaves every 20-30 minutes. Tickets cost €13 one way. Check the Malpensa Express website for current pricing and timetables.

If you prefer to have things arranged in advance, you can book your airport transfer ahead of time, either by bus or private car.

By Train

There are direct train services from many other Italian cities including Rome, Venice and Florence. These will generally bring you to Milano Centrale station. However, there are several train stations in Milan so check to see which will get you closest to your hotel.

🚶🏻‍♀️ Getting Around Milan

Milan is an easily walkable city. It is possible to complete this Milan itinerary entirely on foot, with both days requiring under an hour of walk time between destinations.

However, Milan also has an excellent public transport service that includes metro, trams and buses.

You can buy tickets from within the subway stations or at tabaccherias (these shops will have a large “T” sign). There is a zoned fare system in place which starts at €2.20. If you have a contactless payment card, then you can use this to touch in and out.

For a map of the Milan metro click here.

🍝 Where to Eat and Drink in Milan


View of Duomo from Il Bar at Rinascente while enjoying an aperitivo, an absolute must on your 2 days in Milan itinerary
View of Duomo from Il Bar at Rinascente.

You cannot leave Milan without indulging in one of northern Italy’s most delicious traditions; an aperitivo! An aperitivo is like a warm-up for dinner and my favourite part of the day.

You’ll be served some light snacks, or sometimes even a small buffet, alongside your pre-dinner drink. But don’t eat too much, you want to save some space for a delicious Italian dinner.

I’d recommend pairing your aperitivo with a view of one of Milan’s iconic sights. There are a few different bars around Piazza di Duomo that offer such views, including Giacomo Arengario, Terrazza Aperol, and the rooftop bar at La Rinascente.

These do come with a higher price tag and may not be the most authentic aperitivo experience, but they all come with amazing views.

For a cheaper and more authentic experience, try one of the many bars in Navigli district.

Lunch and Dinner

Fresh pasta at Miscusi.

It’s worth noting that lunch and dinner in Milan is a little later than is typical in the UK or US. Lunch is usually from 1-3pm and dinner from 8-11pm, hence the need for an aperitivo around 5-7pm!

I had a great pizza for lunch at Fresco & Cimmino and some amazing fresh pasta at Miscusi for dinner (so good I ate there more than once – there are a few around Milan too!).

For some Milanese street food, you have to try a panzerotti from Luini. Since 1888, Luini’s has been creating these heavenly delights!

Similar to a calzone, they are dough parcels filled with various ingredients that range from savoury to sweet. There is often a line at lunch as it’s a popular place with locals and tourists alike.

The best thing is they’re one of the most budget-friendly options (starting from €2.50), so you can try a few!

For real foodies, you may even want to consider a food tour of Milan. Here are a few great options:


No 2 days in Milan would be complete without gelato!
Gelato from Chocolat!

It would be sinful not to have at least one gelato while in Italy, and with two days in Milan, you’ll have time to try at least 2 different gelaterias!

Hands down, my favourite gelato was from Chocolat Gelato near Sempione Park. Their chocolate orange gelato is insane!

Really, you can’t go too wrong with gelato anywhere in Milan. However, some other favourites of mine include Grom and Cioccolat Italiani.

🛌 Where to Stay in Milan

With two days in Milan, I recommend staying somewhere central to maximise your time. Look for places within the city centre in the Fashion District or Brera, and use Duomo as a central landmark.

However, accommodation in Milan is fairly expensive, even by European standards. This is particularly true near the city centre.

Public transport is excellent in Milan, so you may wish to choose somewhere further outside of the historic centre, such as Navigli. If you do so, just ensure it’s close to a metro line to allow you easy connectivity with the city.

🧳 What to Pack for 2 Days in Milan

Disclosure: At no cost to you, we receive a small amount for any purchases made using the links below.

While your individual packing list for Milan will vary depending on the time of year and the places you intend on visiting, there are a few key items that should be on everyone’s list!


You are absolutely going to want to bring a camera with you to Milan as this city is stunning! We use the  Sony a7riii and have been in love with it ever since the first photo we took with it.

However, we’ve recently invested in a Sony Rx100 VI which will likely become my city camera as it’s so small and convenient!

If you like the photos in this post, you can find a full list of all our camera gear here!

Comfortable Shoes

This 2 days in Milan itinerary includes a fair bit of walking, so I’d recommend bringing a comfortable pair of shoes.

Depending on the time of year, the right style of shoe may vary. In the summer, open shoes will help with the heat, while waterproof shoes may be useful in the spring to stave off the rain!

Reusable Water Bottle

The drinking water in Milan is excellent, so bring your own reusable water bottle and fill up as you go! This easy consideration helps to save the planet as well as your bankroll!

With 565 to choose from, there are plenty of water fountains distributed throughout Milan. They are known as vedovelle which means “widows” in Italian.

This name comes from the continuous stream of water that pours from them, which is said to compare to the cry of a widow.

Despite the constant flow of water, the fountains were designed to reduce water waste and maintain quality by preventing stagnation. There’s a map of where to find Milan’s vedovelle here and below is an image of a vedovelle so you know what to look for.

⭐️ Pro tip: If you block the flow with your thumb, the water will spout from the top to provide an easier upward flow to drink from!

Vedovelle water fountain in Milan Italy
Vedovelle drinking fountains can be found all over Milan.

Portable Powerpack

It’s likely you’ll be using your phone to navigate around the city (and hopefully have this Milan itinerary saved to refer to… *wink wink*). Bring a power pack with you to keep your phone charged on the go.

Insect Repellent

When I arrived in Milan, I had no idea the city had so many mosquitoes! I visited in the summer, which is likely the worst time for them, and they were horrendous!

I got bitten even in the middle of the day. So if, like me, you’re a mosquito magnet, then be sure to pack some insect repellent.

🙋🏽‍♀️ FAQs About 2 Days in Milan

Now you know all the best things to see and do in Milan, here are a few practical tips to ensure you have the best time possible in this wonderful city.

Do I need a visa to visit Italy?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver program is expected to come into effect in early 2024. Italy is one of the 30 European countries that will require an ETIAS visa authorisation to enter.

Under this new program, visitors from visa-exempt countries outside the EU (including the UK, Australia, Canada, and the USA) will need to apply online for an ETIAS travel authorisation.

This costs €7 and is valid for three years or until the travel document you used in your application expires – whichever comes first.

The travel authorisation typically allows you to enter any of the countries covered by ETIAS for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

More information can be found about this new program on the ETIAS website.

How Many Days in Milan is enough?

A girl twirling in a red dress in front of Milan Cathedral at sunrise as the sun creates a starburst effect.  A beautiful way to start 2 days in Milan itinerary.
Two days in Milan will give you enough time to explore the top sights in Milan, including Duomo di Milano.

The historic centre is fairly small, so you can see and do a lot in even just one day in Milan. However, I’d recommend a minimum of 2 days and 3 nights in Milan to really give yourself a chance to explore the city.

If you only have a weekend, two days in Milan is enough time to visit all the main attractions and get a good feel for the city. Of course, as with most places and holidays, more time is always better!

When is the best time to Visit Milan?

Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II at sunset during 2 days in Milan Italy/
Summer in Milan is one of the busiest times.

The best time to visit Milan is from either March to May or September to October. Visiting during the spring or autumn shoulder seasons provides a great balance between mild weather and fewer tourists.

Milan has four seasons but remains humid year-round. During the summer, temperatures can reach 30°c (86°F) and is the peak season for tourism. You’ll find much longer lines for attractions and accommodation options are often booked out.

While tourists flock here during the summer, it’s common for the Milanese to take a vacation to the south of Italy, so you may even find more tourists than locals around!

In the winter, daytime temperatures drop down to around 5°c and rain is common. While there will be less tourists, the weather is also much less enjoyable with rain and fog being common!

💭 Final Thoughts on Two Days in Milan

The two of us work very hard to create these free travel guides to help you plan your dream vacation. If you think we’ve done a good job and would like to say thanks, please consider clicking the donate button below 🙂

Phew, congrats for making it this far, that was a lot of information, right? The good news is that this guide should provide everything you need to know to plan your perfect 2 days in Milan.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you as to why Milan is considered one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy and you now have it firmly on your Italy bucket list.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this 2-day Milan itinerary. But most importantly, have the most incredible time in Milan!

Don’t forget to check out our guide to the Most Instagrammable Places in Milan for some further Milan inspiration!

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Sophie's passion for travel and photography are outweighed only by her love for animals! Originally from London and now living in the Pacific Northwest, Sophie has traveled to over 30 countries across all seven continents, many of which as a solo female traveller.

20 thoughts on “2 Days in Milan Itinerary: A Perfect Weekend in Milan (2024)”

  1. Your pictures are really beautiful. I studied abroad in Italy, but never made it to Milan. I guess I just need to go back! This was very insightful. Thank you.

  2. Italy is high on my list of places to visit. I will have to plan on visiting Milan. So much to do and the architecture is outstanding!

  3. Are you able to email me the google map so I can download it? The select option didn’t work for me. Thank you so much!

  4. Absolutely loved this blog !!
    Milan is indeed a wonderful city. I am planning to visit Milan soon. Keep sharing such beautiful content

  5. I love how you approach sustainable travel in all of your trips. It’s something that I try to do as well so I really enjoy reading your posts. It’s good to know that they have fresh running water throughout the city so you can fill up without buying plastic water bottles!

  6. I happened upon your 2 days in Milan itinerary after endless scrolling. We will be arriving in Milan Mid April 2024 for 2 days, then onto Como for 3 days afterwards. You’ve highlights, suggestions, maps has me feeling more confident as a 1st timer overseas traveller. While we may not do it all, I can’t wait to have a go.


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