๐Ÿ’ƒ Perfect One Day in Milan Itinerary for 2023 (+ Map)

One day in Milan itinerary blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of a young woman in a black dress inside Galleria Emanuele II at dawn.

Milan is a charming, captivating city Tucked away in Italy’s northern Lombardy region that far exceeded my expectations. It has truly become one of my favourite European cities!

Milan is an economic powerhouse and global fashion capital. Shrouded in a rich history, Milan has been home for human settlers in some form for thousands of years, having once been the capital of Western Roman Europe.

Today, this magical place provides a harmonious mix of modern, historic, and traditional. The city is brimming with historical art and architecture, modern skyscrapers, high-end fashion, and green spaces, not to mention mouthwatering Italian cuisine!

With careful planning, one day in Milan is just enough time to explore all the main highlights the city has to offer.

This guide will help you allocate your precious time effectively in order to see as much as possible at an enjoyable pace.

Disclosure: In order to keep providing you with free content, this post likely contains affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase through one of these links we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. So a HUGE thank you to you if you click one of these links ๐Ÿ™‚

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น One Day in Milan Itinerary Overview

With just one day in Milan, you don’t want to waste any time planning after you’ve arrived there!

Only you can decide the sights and attractions that are truly can’t-miss based on your personal preferences. To give you as much flexibility and customisation as possible, I have included a few optional stops to consider including in your one day Milan itinerary.

Whenever necessary, additional details will be provided to help you include these optional destinations within your day.

Here is a quick overview of your one day in Milan itinerary:

  • Morning:
    • Duomo di Milano
    • Piazza Mercanti
    • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
    • Piazza della Scala
    • Quadrilatero della Moda
    • *Optional: Porta Nuova
  • Lunch:
    • Brera District
  • Afternoon:
    • Castello Sforzesco
    • Parco Sempione
    • Arco della Pace
    • *Optional: Santa Maria delle Grazie (The Last Supper)
    • *Optional: Navigli District

โณ HAVE MORE TIME? THEN WE SUGGEST:
THE PERFECT 2 DAY MILAN ITINERARY


โ—๏ธ Important Information for One Day in Milan

Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie where the famous "The Last Supper" painting can be seen
Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie where the famous “The Last Supper” painting can be seen.

Before we get into the details of this one day Milan itinerary, there are a couple of important updates and pieces of information that are worth knowing:

1. Seeing The Last Supper:

If you want to include a visit to the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see The Last Supper, you will want to book tickets for it first, then arrange your itinerary around your time slot!

We’ll cover everything you need to know about scoring great tickets below, just keep in mind this is the thing you’ll want to arrange first.

2. For visitors on a layover in Milan:

  • From Malpensa Airport it takes around 40-60 minutes to reach the city centre via public transport or car.
  • From Bergamo Airport it takes approximately to 50-70 minutes to reach the city centre from.

This is worth keeping in mind if your one day in Milan is just a stopover between flights as you will need to consider your travel time to and from the airport.

โ˜€๏ธ Milan One Day Itinerary: How to See Milan in a Day

A young woman in a red dress in Plaza del Duomo at dawn with Milan Cathedral behind her.
Make the most of your one day in Milan by watching the sunrise from Piazza del Duomo.

This itinerary assumes that you have a full day in Milan and will require a fairly early start to see it all. If you have less time, you will need to adjust accordingly.

Milan is a compact city, making it easy to walk and still see a lot. For reference, the total walk time for all the attractions as described in this itinerary (from Duomo di Milano to Arco della Pace) is around 1 hour at only 5km (3 miles), excluding Porta Nuova.

You can see the walking route here.

If you want a slower-paced itinerary or have only a short day in Milan, I would recommend either excluding all the optional stops or only including one of them.

For those that have a full day or prefer a fast pace, it is possible to add two of the optional stops.

Personally, when I explored Milan in a day, I included both Porta Nuova and the Navigli Distict, but chose to exclude The Last Supper.


โ›ช๏ธ 1. Sunrise at Duomo di Milano

A young woman in a red dress during sunrise at Duomo di Milano with a sunstar appearing behind the cathedral; the best way to start 1 day in Milan.
Sunrise at Duomo di Milano is a magical way to start your day in Milan.

Get an early start on your day in Milan to make the most of it. Sunrise at Duomo di Milano is truly a magical experience and the best way to view this impressive architecture without the crowds.

One of the best things to do in Milan in one day (it was my absolute favourite!) is to visit 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.

However, the rooftop doesn’t open until 9am. With this in mind, after sunrise I recommend grabbing a coffee and some breakfast, then meandering across to Piazza Mercanti and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, before circling back to visit the rooftops.

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.

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

The stunning interior of Milan cathedral should be seen with one day in Milan
The stunning interior of Milan Cathedral.

๐ŸŽŸ Tickets for Duomo di Milano

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 you book your tickets online in advance. There’s no need to print your tickets, you can scan display your ticket on your smartphone.

There are a few options for tickets depending on where you want access to, 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.

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

A young woman in a short green dress on the Milan Cathedral rooftops framed by the intricate arches and details of the marble roof
The rooftop of Duomo di Milano make is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Milan.

*Prices below are accurate as of 20th January 2023.


Fast-Track Milan Cathedral and Terraces Guided Tour – โ‚ฌ33*

Discover the history of this famous monument on this 1.5-hour tour with an expert guide. Additionally, this tour provides a separate entrance providing fast-track elevator access to all areas, including the terraces and the archeological site. Access to the rooftops

The fast track access is perfect with only one day in Milan to avoid queues. Additionally, taking a tour allows you to better understand the history. However, it is more expensive.


Milan Cathedral and Rooftop – via stairs โ‚ฌ16.50 or via elevator $22*

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

If you choose to take the stairs 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.

Looking down on the city from Milan Cathedral rooftop, framed by decorative spires
The Milan Cathedral rooftops provide incredible views over the city.

Rooftop Only Access via Stairs – โ‚ฌ13*

While you do have the option to purchase rooftop only access, you only save โ‚ฌ3.50. I personally think it’s well worth paying extra to see the cathedral itself.


Milan Cathedral Access Only – โ‚ฌ9*

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:

๐Ÿ“ธ DON’T MISS: Beautiful Milan Instagram Spots


๐Ÿข 2. Piazza Mercanti

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

Just a couple of minutes’ walk 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.

The historic Palazzo delleย Scuole Palatine showing the many archways on the front facade.
Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine dates back to 1644 and served as the most prestigious higher school of medieval Milan.

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


๐Ÿ‚ 3. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

A young woman in a long red dress 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.

Dating back to 1865 and named after the first King of Italy, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest active shopping malls in the world.

Today, it remains one of Milan’s major landmarks and hosts a number of luxury stores and brands

Whether you’re interested in shopping or not, Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II is a must-see attraction in Milan. The architecture of the building is truly spectacular.

Take time to wander through and admire the unique roof and dome comprised of iron and glass, as well as the ornate mosaics adorning the building.

It is particularly breathtaking first thing in the morning when it glows against the dark skies and free of the hordes of people that venture here during the day.

A girl in a black dress under the dome in the center of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele at dawn
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 that have tried it over the years.


๐ŸŽญ 4. Piazza della Scala

The statue of Leonardo da Vinci in the centre of Piazza della Scalla surrounded by greenery as seen during one day in MIlan
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.

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

Built in 1778, this iconic opera house is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world.

You can also take a tour of the inside of La Scala Opera House to learn more about its history. The tour lasts one hour so you will want to factor this into your day.

To avoid wasting time in line with only one day in Milan, I also recommend booking skip-the-line tickets online in advance.

DISCOVER MORE INSPIRATION: 101+ Dream Destinations for your Travel Bucket List!


๐Ÿ‘— 5. Quadrilatero della Moda

Burberry shop front on Via Monte Napoleone in the fashion district of Milan
Via Monte Napoleone is home to some of the most expensive luxury brands.

Unless you’re a very keen shopper or fashionista, I would recommend you skip the shopping spree with such precious little time for sightseeing.

However, you can’t visit the fashion capital of Europe without at least passing through the fashion district, even if it is just to window shop!

Wander through Quadrilatero della Moda (also referred to as Quadrilatero d’Oro) where 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.


๐Ÿ™ Optional Stop: Porta Nuova District

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.

If you walk here you’ll pass by the Napoleonic gate built in 1810 which gives its name to the surrounding area.

Porta Garibaldi under a blue sky in Milan Italy
Porta Garibaldi.

Continue on to Porta Garibaldi and 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.

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!


How to Add the Porta Nuova District to your One Day Milan Itinerary

The Porta Nuova District is easily reachable on foot, or you can take the metro to Garibaldi FS station.

To be as time efficient as possible, I would recommend walking to Piazza Gae Aulenti from Quadrilatero della Moda via Piazza Cavour, then continuing from here to Brera District. Following this route would only add a walk time of 30 minutes (2.3km / 1 mile).

This is the option I chose during my day trip to Milan. In fact, I even added on Navigli District in the evening too (all by foot)! It makes for a busy day and doesn’t leave much time for each attraction, but I love walking and really enjoyed getting a glimpse of all of the city.


๐Ÿก 6. Brera District

A yellow tram passing through an archway in the Brera District of Milan

From Quadrilatero 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 even with on your first visit to Milan.

Colourful street in Brera District of Milan Italy as seen with one day in Milan
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 or lunch in one of its squares.

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

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

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 cityโ€™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)
Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Brera
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.


๐Ÿฐ 7. Castello Sforzesco

A large water fountain (Fontana di Piazza Castello) in front of Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco) 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!

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 take at least a quick walk through!

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

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!

While the castle grounds are open every day, the museums are closed on Mondays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and May 1st. Check the Sforza Castle website for current opening hours and admission prices.

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

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


๐ŸŒณ 8. 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).

It’s a great place to just relax and people watch. Or even take a picnic with you and enjoy a moment’s tranquillity in this city oasis.

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

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

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.


๐ŸŒ‡ 9. Arco della Pace

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

Next up on this one day 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 Milan was invaded by the Austrian Empire. The arch was finally completed in 1838 to celebrate the Italian unification.


๐Ÿ–ผ Optional Stop: Santa Maria delle Grazie (and The Last Supper)

Red brick exterior of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Milan

Santa Maria delle Grazie is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Milan!

The church 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 in Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” (aka 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.


How to Add The Last Supper to your One Day Milan Itinerary

With just one day in Milan, if you want to see The Last Supper, you will want to book your tickets first then plan the rest of your itinerary around your entrance time.

To add it on to the end of the itinerary as presented, it is possible to walk to Santa Maria delle Grazie from Arco della Pace. It is a 16 minute walk (1.3km/1.6miles).


Tickets for Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”

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. If you’re wanting 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 18th January 2023.

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.

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 โ‚ฌ15* for an adult, with concession rates available. They also offer guided tours in English for an additional โ‚ฌ8*, making it by far the cheapest option for a Last Supper guided tour.

You will have to book a specific date and time and are required to arrive 30 minutes early on the day of your visit to collect your tickets otherwise, your reservation will be lost.

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.

โญ๏ธ 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 doesnโ€™t include a booking fee!


Book a Third Party Tour

If youโ€™re unable to secure tickets via the official website and donโ€™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 โ‚ฌ40-50* 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 in one day 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 Milan in one day on this itinerary.

There are options for either a half-day (typically 3 hours) or full-day Milan tours. These tours are also a great way to see and learn more about the city if you have only one day in Milan.

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


๐Ÿ›ถ Optional Stop: Navigli District

Colourful buildings and stalls align the canals in the artsy Navigli district of Milan - a great way to end your one day in Milan itinerary
Colourful buildings and stalls align the canals in this artsy neighbourhood.

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, vintages stores and art galleries.

You’ll also find artist’s studios tucked away on the little side streets and courtyards, so be sure to explore away from just the main canals!

If you’re there on the last Sunday of the month, you’ll also find a vintage bazaar!

A courtyard with artist's studios in Navigli
Meander through the side streets and courtyards to find some hidden gems in Navigli.

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.


How to Add the Navigli District to your One Day Milan Itinerary

The Navigli District makes for a great place to end your day in Milan. There are many great restaurants to enjoy dinner. You can simply add this area on to the end of the itinerary as presented.

From Arco della Pace, it is a 40 minute walk (3.2km/2miles) to Naviglio Grande. Alternatively, you can take public transport which takes around 20 minutes on the Line 10 tram.

๐ŸŽŸ Milan One Day Tours

A girl running through pigeons in front of Duomo di Milano at sunrise during one day in Milan

While Milan is a large city, the centre is fairly compact and easily to explore independently on foot or by public transport.

With that said, I appreciate that some people prefer to take a tour and with only one day in Milan this can be a great way to make the most of your time.

Most of the tours in Milan are 3-4 hours long. Therefore, it would be possible to combine a morning and an afternoon tour, or take a guided tour in the morning to get a lay of the land then explore by yourself in the afternoon.

Below are some of the top-rated tours available for one day in Milan. Additionally, there are a number of private tours available if you prefer to curate your own schedule with a local guide.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II at sunset
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II at sunset.

Milan: Grand City Highlights E-Bike Tour 4.9/5 โญ๏ธ

Starting in the vibrant Navigli district, this 3.5 hour e-bike tour takes you to all the main city highlights as your guide explains the city’s history. Top sights you’ll see include the Duomo, Sforzesco Castle, Sempione Park, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and Gae Aulenti. This is a great tour for seeing a lot in a short amount of time.


City Highlights Walking Tour with The Last Supper 4.9/5 โญ๏ธ

If you want to see The Last Supper, this is a great tour option. The 6 hour tour includes skip-the-line tickets to The Last Supper and Duomo, as well as taking you to most of the city’s top attractions.


Best of Milan Walking Tour with Duomo Visit 4.5/5 โญ๏ธ

Discover Milan with a local guide on this 4.5 hour walking tour. Visit and learn more about many attractions including Castello Sforzesco, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Teatro alla Scala and Duomo. The tour ends at Duomo with skip the line tickets included.


Milan: Hidden Gems Guided Bike Ride 4.8/5 โญ๏ธ

Once you’ve taken in the main highlights of Milan, discover the city’s hidden gems with this bike tour through local neighbourhoods.


Milan Hop-On Hop-Off Bus 4.1/5 โญ๏ธ

Purchasing a hop-on hop-off bus ticket can give you the best of both worlds. With it you have the flexibility to explore at your own pace, while also getting informational audio commentary and transportation.

๐Ÿ—บ One Day in Milan Itinerary Map

The colour-coded Google Map below has all the main Milan attractions in this itinerary.

Click here or on the image below 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.

Colour coded one day in Milan itinerary map showing points of interest including attractions and restaurants.

โญ๏ธ Travel Tips for the Perfect One Day in Milan

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

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


๐Ÿ˜Ž Can I travel to Italy in 2023?

You no longer require a Green Pass or any COVID-19 documentation to enter Italy, with the exception of all passengers coming from China.*

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver program is expected to come into effect by November 2023.  More information can be found about this new program on the ETIAS website.

*Correct as of 20th January 2023. Always check for updates prior to travel. These can be found on the Ministero della Salute website.

Piazza di Duomo at sunrise showing a sunstar appearing behind Milan Cathedral
One day in Milan will give you enough time to explore the top sights in Milan, including Duomo di Milano.

๐Ÿ“† When is the best time to Visit Milan?

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 30ยฐc (86ยฐF) 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 5ยฐc and rain is common. While there will be less tourists, the weather is also much less enjoyable with rain and fog being common!

Duomo di Milano on a bright summer's day in Milan
Duomo di Milano on a bright summer’s day.

โœˆ๏ธ 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.

๐Ÿ›ซ 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 youโ€™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 youโ€™re going and leaves every 20-30 minutes. Tickets cost โ‚ฌ13* 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.

*Price correct as of 20th January 2023.


๐ŸšŠ 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.


๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธGetting Around Milan

A yellow tram in Milan Italy
Milan has a great public transport system.

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 does also have 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).

Single journeys cost โ‚ฌ2, or you can buy daily travel cards (accurate as of January 2023). 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.


๐Ÿ• Where to Eat and Drink in Milan

Aperitivo

Two women smiling at the camera while enjoying sunset aperitivos at Giacomo Arengario with Duomo di Milano in the background.
Enjoying sunset aperitivos at Giacomo Arengario.

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.

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, Terraza 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

Pasta with ragu sauce at miscusi in Milan
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’s 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 its a popular place with locals and tourists alike. The best thing is they’re one of the most budget friendly options (starting from โ‚ฌ2.50), so you can try a few!

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

Gelato

A hand holding a chocolate and strawberry gelato at Chocolat in Milan
Gelato from Chocolat!

It would be sinful not to have at least one gelato while in Italy!

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.


๐Ÿ› Where to Stay in Milan

If you have an overnight stay in Milan, it is worth considering 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.

If budget is more of a concern than time, 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.


๐Ÿงณ What to Pack for One Day in Milan

Piazza di Duomo at dawn during one day in Milan

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!

Camera

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 1 day 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! I love my Brooks sneakers and found them perfect for exploring the city.

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.

โญ๏ธ 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.


๐Ÿšž Day Trips from Milan

If you have more time in Italy 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 more time.

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!

๐Ÿ” YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Day Trip to Lake Como from Milan

โ“ FAQs About One Day in Milan

Still have questions? Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions for a day trip to Milan. Simply click the drop down arrows to reveal answers!

โณ Is 1 day enough in Milan?

One day in Milan is enough time to explore the city and visit most of the main attractions. It will give you time to take in Milan’s most beautiful architecture, indulge in some incredible Italian food, and get a feel for this historic city.

Of course, as with most places, more time is always better!

โ˜€๏ธ Is a day trip to Milan worth it?

Yes! A day trip to Milan is absolutely worth it. The old city is fairly small and even with just one day in Milan, you can walk around most of the city and explore the top attractions, while still having time for some decadent Italian food and gelato.

๐Ÿ’ƒ How to visit Milan in one day?

Here is the perfect way to visit Milan in one day:

  • Morning:
    • Duomo di Milano
    • Piazza Mercanti
    • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
    • Piazza della Scala
    • Quadrilatero della Moda
    • *Optional: Porta Nuova
  • Lunch:
    • Brera District
  • Afternoon:
    • Castello Sforzesco
    • Parco Sempione
    • Arco della Pace
    • *Optional: Santa Maria delle Grazie (The Last Supper)
    • *Optional: Navigli District
๐Ÿ› What to do in Milan in 24 hours?

With 24 hours in Milan you can see most of the main attractions following this itinerary:

  • Morning:
    • Duomo di Milano
    • Piazza Mercanti
    • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
    • Piazza della Scala
    • Quadrilatero della Moda
    • *Optional: Porta Nuova
  • Lunch:
    • Brera District
  • Afternoon:
    • Castello Sforzesco
    • Parco Sempione
    • Arco della Pace
    • *Optional: Santa Maria delle Grazie (The Last Supper)
    • *Optional: Navigli District

๐Ÿค” Final thoughts on One Day 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Alright, that’s it! Hopefully, I’ve covered everything you need to know for the perfect one day in Milan!

Milan is a truly enchanting city and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, regardless of how much time you spend here.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this 1-day Milan itinerary. Was there anything left out? Was it perfection as promise? Let me know!

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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