What Not to Miss in Milan

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I’ll cut straight to the point – Milan has quite the reputation for underwhelming visitors. Some people love it, but there’s no denying that a lot of people are lift feeling deflated after scheduling in a visit to Milan in the European itinerary. But the good news is Milan CAN be a fantastic, vibrant and unique city to visit in Europe – You’ve just got to know what not to miss in Milan and hit up these spots in a day or two, and be on your way.

four seasons milan

Before you go Anywhere!

Stay Central:

First things first, your hotel of choice is sure to impact your stay. If you have the budget, a stay at The Four Seasons Milan will surely get you in the mood to enjoy the city. However if you’re on a more restrained budget, one of the best ways to enjoy the city is to rent an apartment and live like a local.

Make a List of your Must see Sites and Stick to It

One of the biggest mistakes travellers make when coming to Milan is to assume that this is a great big city full of sights and attractions, not dissimilar from Rome or Paris. It’s not. The Milan Cathedral should certainly be on your list, but aside from that, it’s totally dependant on your preferences.

Milan Brooke Saward

Milan Cathedral

There’s no doubt this architectural marvel will be on your list of things to see and do in Milan. In fact, it might be the only thing on your list. Indeed – travellers come to Milan just to see the Cathedral, arguably the most impressive in all of Europe. It’s little wonder this Gothic Cathedral took nearly 6 centuries to complete – one look and you’ll see why.

See here for Visitor Info

Teatro alla Scala

Teatro alla Scala or simply ‘La Scala’ is Milan’s glorious opera house that is one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. Now we all know the Italians are doing something right when it comes to opera, so why not see a show whilst in town?

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Pinacoteca di Brera

With so many fantastic Italian artists over the course of history, it would be silly not to make the effort to drop by Milan’s public pantings gallery, Pinacoteca di Brera. Closed Mondays.

More Visitor’s Info Here


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

You can’t go to Milan and not pass through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – situated right next to the Milan Cathedral. It is here where you will find all of the luxury brands, but if you don’t wish to buy anything it is still worth a look!

Santa Maria delle Grazie

This church is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and is certainly worth a visit if you have a few days in Milan.

View more visitor’s info here

Brera District

This district is located within zone 1 of Milan and centres around Brera Street. It is without a doubt the prettiest part of town, so be sure to spend a few hours wandering the streets and find yourself a quaint cafe to people watch from!

Louis Vuitton Luggage

If all else fails… Shop ’til you Drop!

There’s a kind of magic in the air when you visit Milano. It comes in the form of designer handbags – cemented on the shoulder or inside the elbow crease of every female you encounter. Louis Vuitton is a classic fave, but don’t forget the homegrown Italian talent: Prada, Armani, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci…. the list is truly endless.

There’s even an Armani hotel; Maison Moschino Hotel; Bulgari Hotel… but arguably the best experience of these is just to drop by the Armani Hotel for aperitifs and early evening drinks in the Bamboo Bar Loung (see below).

Armani Bamboo Bar Lounge Milano

Over to you! Have you been to Milan? Do you have any insider tips you’d like to share with WOW readers? Let us know in the comments below!

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    March 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    The navigli district (remindins a little of Venice) is clearly missing on your list.

      March 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm


    Mae Cabigas
    December 1, 2015 at 12:54 am

    I am listing everything down! We’ll be visiting in December and I can’t wait, especially when I saw how close everything was to each other.

    family tours of italy
    September 21, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Lovely photos of Milan. As with many other European destinations, I would love to put this on my bucket list.

    June 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Even if I agree that Milan is not the first place to visit when coming to Italy, it seems that you only visited 4/5 streets around the Four Seasons Hotel (I mean litterally).
    Have you seen the Castle? Have you been to the Navigli district? What about the aperitivo at the Arco della Pace?

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    May 8, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I definitely understand why people feel underwhelmed after visiting Milan, but I really think it’s the subtly glamorous lifestyle that Milan has that makes it amazing. Being in Italy, it still has amazing food and great nightlife (aperitivo, anyone?), plus the people have always been really welcoming and friendly to me. Shopping there is great too!

    May 7, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    When I was in Milan I am several times walked around the Cathedral and enjoyed this beautiful building. This is Cathedral must see if you going to Europe.

    May 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I really liked Milan however I quickly discovered that going to a restaurant around Plaza del Dumo is a wast of time and money. So much horrible food, I think some of it might have been made n the microwave. And the price! half a bottle of prosecco for 50 euros??? No, we rented bikes, a great way of exploring and getting around Milan, and when down to the canal and found a great pizzeria and an area where all the locals hung out, so much better in every way.

    Saakshi Kumar
    May 6, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Well, I honestly did not know Milan was such an attractive place. I suddenly want to be restationed to Milan after reading this. Thanks:)

    Samantha Elisabeth
    May 5, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Milaaaaannnnn!!!! Love that beautiful place. I will say it’s lower on my list of favorite Italian cities, but I still thought it was beautiful, even in the cold, gray November air. I was lucky, though, because I had a friend born and raised in Milan, and she was awesome enough to show me around the city and truly make sure I understood everything I was seeing and taking in. The cathedral is BY FAR my favorite duomo in all of Italy. Did you get that shivers moment when you first come upon it? It was absolutely crazy and glorious all at once.

    Also everyone should know there is an amazing all you can eat pizzeria in Milan, and it’s food-baby-coma heaven. The name escapes me now, but if you guy try to find it. Between that and the experience of apertivos on a Friday night… I still have happy dreams about them. Anyhow, yes Milan isn’t the prettiest city when you compare it to Florence or Capri, but it’s got its own charm. You just can’t go with tumblr, Pinterest, and instagram images of Italian countryside in your head when you visit.

    May 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Great article! Thanks for this..I will use it when going to Milan (hopefully soon:))

    Bette Lakin
    May 5, 2015 at 10:21 am

    How about the Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore? Most amazing frescos. This was a women’s convent, and there is a real feminine feel about it. I stumbled upon this wonderful church, and only wish I had had more time there. Please don’t miss it.

    Debbie L
    May 5, 2015 at 7:01 am

    I recently visited Milan and while some parts were a little underwhelming, I loved it! The Duomo is definitely a must see, as is Santa Maria della Grazie (the ‘Last Supper’ anyone?) – although bookings are essential if you do want to see the famous mural.
    For those wanting a great designer fashion deal and willing to be up early enough to beat the crowds, il Salvagente is fabulous! All of the other ‘outlets’ in the city were quite deflating. However I have heard that the one outside the city (you need to take a shuttle or drive there) is rather good, so that’s on my bucket list for next time.
    Milan is also a great base for visiting towns nearby.

      Debbie L
      May 5, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Oops! I meant Santa Maria delle Grazie!

    May 4, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    totally see why there are people who want to go there just for the cathedral, i would, too! wondering if they allow photos inside?

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    May 4, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Milan is not on my list for my upcoming trip to Europe this year, but definitely is for the future! Definitely a city to be enveloped in its fashion for sure 😉

    A Life Passport
    May 4, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Unfortunately I’m one of those people who didn’t love Milan. Everywhere deserves a second chance though!

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    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    May 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    I was actually in Milan a few weeks ago and wrote about my experiences there. Overall, I loved the city, but there were certainly a few sights that weren’t worth it for me. In regards to staying central, my advice would actually be to spread out a bit. It’s amazing how many random churches and public parks you’ll stumble upon. I definitely agree with the spots you’ve listed here though!

    May 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Excellent Blog,Great Place to Visit,Stunnying images,keep sharing us.

    May 4, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I live in Milan and I agree that its a city to come to for a few days at most.
    One the most wonderful things about Milan is appretif. That you touched on briefly. You can easily just eat on out appertif if you wanted. appertif is drinks and snacks before dinner. usually between 7-9. But many places offer great buffets so you wouldn’t need to go anywhere else.
    Bulgari hotel does the most elegant. Dsquared roof top restaurant and bar is the coolest. Head to corso sempione in the summer and sit outside next to the park. Or down to the naviglio area for some great bars and restaurants!

    Malena Permentier
    May 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    On my bucketlist to visit this summer! I’m so excited. Love these photos.

    X Malena

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    May 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Oh my god, those Louis Vuitton bags…*drools*. I’m staying near Milan this summer for a month, so this is great timing. Thanks for the recommendations!

    May 4, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Louis Vuitton is French 😉 . For sure it’s best to go for it in Paris than in Milan .

    May 4, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I live in Italy and Milan is my favorite city for fashion, design and innovation but I don’t like for art except the Pinacoteca in Brera. I live in Rome and here there is the art! Come to visit Rome soon 🙂

    Jovana Miljanovic
    May 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Here is my Top 10 for Milan on my blog 🙂 🙂 🙂