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This article contains a Milan itinerary for one day listing 9 places to see in Milan in 1 day.
The enchanting city of Milan, the fashion capital of the world, is the capital of Lombardy in Italy. This vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis is nestled in the heart of Italy and there are a dearth of things to do in one day in Milan. This city seamlessly combines historical grandeur with contemporary flair, creating an enrapturing blend of tradition and modernity. Milan city boasts a rich tapestry of art, culture, and gastronomy, captivating the hearts of visitors from all corners of the globe.
As you stroll through the bustling streets, you’ll be greeted by architectural wonders at every turn. That, plus the luxurious shopping arcades, high-end boutique stores, numerous art galleries and museums and the vibrant energy make spending 1 day in Milan an unforgettable experience.
This travel guide to spending one day in Milan is your one stop shop for finding all the travel information in order to plan your trip to Milan, Italy. Apart from listing the best places to visit in Milan in one day, this guide also contains a one day Milan itinerary. Furthermore, as you scroll down, you’ll find a list of the best places to stay in Milan and answers to questions such as how many days to spend in Milan, how to budget your trip and how to get to Milan.
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Map of One Day in Milan Itinerary
Places to Visit in Milan in One Day
1. Duomo di Milano
The Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and a landmark in Italy. The construction of this gothic cathedral began in 1386 and took over five centuries to finish. While the exterior of the cathedral is adorned with statues, spires and elaborate carvings, the interior has stained glass windows, an intricately designed marble floor and a golden altarpiece known as the Ciborium. Furthermore, the rooftop of the Milan Cathedral is one of the top places to visit in Milan in one day and is also adorned with spires and sculptures, offering a great vantage point to get a closer look at the architecture of the cathedral.
2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Named after Italy’s first king, Vittorio Emanuele II, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a shopping arcade located in the Milan city center, within a stone’s throw away from the Milan Cathedral. Constructed between 1865 and 1877, the Galleria showcases a stunning blend of Neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau styles. The impressive entrance of the galleria has glass domes and ornate ironwork leading to a light-filled vast space with a tall ceiling, towering arches, mosaics and a marble flooring. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the one-stop shop for fashion and architecture enthusiasts, filled with boutique designer stores, flagship stores and memorable restaurants and cafes. And while some of us can only dream about being able to afford such luxuries, you can still walk around in this glorious passage while spending a day in Milan.
3. Piazza Della Scala
Only a few steps from some of the popular sights in Milan, Piazza Della Scala is a charming public square that is named after the iconic opera house Teatro alla Scala. The prominent monument of Leonardo da Vinci lies at the center of the piazza, as a tribute to the Italian High Renaissance polymath. Furthermore, the piazza is also home to Milan’s city hall – the Palazzo Marino. This captivating square, surrounded by historic buildings, fashionable boutiques and architectural grandeur is not to be missed while visiting Milan for 1 day.
4. La Scala Theater
Teatro alla Scala, also known as the La Scala Theater, is an iconic opera house and one of the top places to see in Milan in one day. Ever since its opening in 1778, the theater has played host to legendary performances of some of the most celebrated opera singers, conductors, and dancers in history, making it one of the world’s leading opera and ballet theaters. Apart from the main auditorium, the theater also has a museum where visitors can learn about the history of the La Scala Theater, in addition to seeing a spectacular costume collection, musical instruments and other memorabilia. Quite naturally, the opulent interiors, the luxurious status, intricate chandeliers and lush seats are further reasons to pay a visit to this attraction in Milan, Italy.
The historic, lively and bohemian neighborhood of Brera is located in the city center of Milan. Also referred to as the “Montmartre of Italy”, the art galleries, antique stores, delightful squares, bustling streets and overall ambience make it an unmissable place to visit in Milan in 1 day. Furthermore, the Brera area offers one too many works of art, vibrant cafes, photo-worthy streets and trendy boutique stores. Not just that, the Pinacoteca di Brera, one of Italy’s most notable art galleries is also located in the heart of the Brera neighborhood. This gallery, located in a former monastery, is home to many significant Renaissance pieces of art.
6. Sforzesco Castle
Sforzesco Castle is an impressive medieval fortress that was built in the 14th century to defend the city. Over time, it went through various renovations, expansions and modifications, making it one of the largest citadels in Europe during the 16th and 17th century. Torre del Filarete, the castle’s giant central tower is one of its most prominent features, from where you can get an amazing bird’s eye view of Milan city. Currently, the castle holds a museum and various art collections which include the Museo d’Arte Antica which houses Renaissance art and the Museum of Ancient Art which houses relics and artifacts from various periods. Furthermore, the castle also plays host to cultural organizations such as the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Museum of Applied Arts, and the Egyptian Museum. All of this makes the Sforzesco castle a must-visit place in Milan, particularly for art and history buffs.
7. Sempione Park
Sempione Park or the Parco Sempione is an urban park spanning 47 hectares that is nestled right in the heart of Milan city. With a convenient location next to both the Sforzesco Castle as well as the Brera district, the park is a harmonious blend of lush landscapes, a water body, interesting monuments and vibrant flower beds. Apart from being the go-to spot for recreational activities for locals, the park also holds various events, concerts and cultural activities throughout the year making it an unmissable place to include in your one day in Milan itinerary.
8. Arco della Pace
The Arch of Peace, known as the Arco della Pace in Italian is a majestic neoclassical arch located at the north-western entrance of the Sempione Park. The arch is one of the newer monuments in Milan, having been constructed in the 19th century, inspired by the Arch of Constantine in Rome, to commemorate the peace established in Europe after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The arch is a testament to Italy’s cultural heritage and its peace, and combined with its architectural splendor and wonderful location at the Park Sempione, this memorable arch is worth visiting in Milan.
9. The Last Supper
One of the world’s most famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, the Last Supper is a masterpiece of Renaissance art that is housed inside the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The painting displays a crucial moment in Christian history and is known for its outstanding attention to detail, realistic portrayal of emotions, use of perspective, lighting and the brushwork. Not to mention that it is one of the best works of Leonardo da Vinci. That being said, due to the high-profile nature of the painting, it can only be viewed by a limited number of visitors in a day. Therefore it is best to make a reservation to view the painting online, so as to not miss out on this incredible experience while spending a day in Milan.
Milan Itinerary for 1 Day
Start your one day in Milan by grabbing a hearty breakfast at your hotel then follow all the places to see that are mentioned in this Milan itinerary in that exact order starting with the Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza della Scala and the La Scala Theater.
Next, make your way to the vibrant Brera district and find an offbeat, local, authentic restaurant to try out the delicious Italian gastronomical delights. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll through the Brera neighborhood and walk towards the Sempione park for a much needed break after that hearty lunch. Once you’re well-rested, explore the Sforzesco castle and the Arco della Pace.
Lastly, take a tram to The Last Supper. Remember to buy your skip-the-line tickets to The Last Supper in advance to save time and avoid missing out on this important experience in Milan. And then you’re free to explore the streets of Milan, grab apertiv and a fine final dinner in Milan, Italy.
How to Reach Milan
Milan has two airports which makes it easy to fly into the city. Keep in mind though that both airports, particularly the Milan Bergamo airport, are outside the city so if you’re arriving late at night, you’ll have to plan and arrange your transport accordingly.
There are multiple buses plying from the Milan Bergamo airport to Milan city and back. Exit the airport towards the airport bus station to find the buses going towards Milan central station.
Find Places to Stay in Milan
$ Hotel Berna
Hotel Berna is one of the top-rated budget-friendly hotels in Milan which is conveniently located just 200 m from the Milan Central Station. With soundproof and air conditioned rooms, a continental breakfast buffet, cozy lounge area and a bar, this budget hotel in Milan is the top choice for visitors, particularly due to the ease of getting around in Milan while staying here.
$$ NH Collection Milano President
Situated just 500 m from the Milan Cathedral, NH Collection Milano President is a stylish and modern mid-range hotel in Milano. Offering a ton of amenities, a restaurant on site, a breakfast buffet, fitness center, and other comforts, the hotel also has a terrace that offers a spectacular view of the city. Furthermore, its location is convenient and close to all the places mentioned in this Milan 1 day itinerary which means that you can easily walk around and can save money on local transportation fees.
$$$ Armani Hotel Milano
This luxury hotel, situated in the acclaimed Quadrilatero della Moda fashion district serves a fantastic breakfast buffet, the hotel has a restaurant and bar on premises. Apart from elegant rooms, Armani hotel provides impeccable service and an impressive spa, where one can relax in the sauna or indulge in a Turkish bath. Moreover, its central location, close to the Sempione Park and Sforzesco Castle make it an ideal hotel to book in Milan, Italy.
$$$$ Park Hyatt Milano
An epitome of luxury, Park Hyatt Milano is located next to the Milan Duomo, facing the entrance to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, in the heart of Milan’s fashion district. The elegantly designed rooms come with marble bathrooms, a private terrace and gorgeous views of Milan. Furthermore, the hotel offers many gastronomy experiences such as a Milchelin-starred restaurant called VUN Andrea Aprea, a restaurant for tea and light meals called La Cupola Lounge and Mio Bar & Lounge – a place for enjoying cocktails and fine wine. Park Hyatt Milano has a lot more to offer which you can checkout online.
Is One Day Enough in Milan?
Can I see Milan in 1 day? Is one day enough in Milan? The answer to these questions lies in a simple yes. It is perfectly do-able to visit all the places to see in Milan in one day itself. Since Milan has a good tram and underground rail network, it gets easy to commute around the city. Although you may not even need to use them since all the things to do in Milan are also within a walkable distance, if you don’t mind a few hours of walking around an architecturally impressive city.
Day Trips from Milan
Once you have spent a day in Milan, consider taking an enchanting day trip to many of the exciting Italian destinations that can easily be covered in day trips from Milan.
Lake Como is one of the most popular places to visit from Milan and it takes less than 2 hours to get there by public transport, making it the perfect day trip from Milan. To get there, just take a train from Milan Centrale to Como S. Giovanni Station and then take buses or boats to explore Como. Although it is completely feasible to explore the highlights to Como in a day trip from Milan, it certainly helps if you book a day trip to Lake Como with a tour company that can arrange a luxury bus transfer, town visit and even a private boat cruise of Lake Como. It takes away the hassle of planning everything by yourself.
Furthermore, the colorful 5 Cinque Terre towns and villages are yet another viable and exciting day trip from Milan, Italy. If you book a guided tour from Milan to Cinque Terre, your transportation, sightseeing and even a boat cruise will all be taken care of and this way, you’ll save time in trying to get around.
Apart from that, Lake Garda, Genoa, Verina and Venice are other practical day trips from Milan.
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