One Day in Milan: What to Do in 24 Hours and How to See The Main Attractions In Milan


If you are looking for a one day itinerary in Milan, this is the right place. I know that many tourists decide to make a quick stop in the capital of Lombardy, so I want to make sure you use your time wisely and discover all the main attractions in Milan.

Milan is known to be the economic heart of Italy. It is the capital of Italian fashion and design, and the iconic view of the Duomo is just the cherry on the top.

Located in the North of Italy, it is extremely well connected and you might cross this beautiful city while visiting some famous places like Lake Como, Piedmont, Venice, Dolomites, Liguria, etc.

In this article, you will find a detailed itinerary for one day in Milan, the best ways to move around the city, nontouristic restaurants, bars filled with locals, some museums, and even hidden gems of Milan.

I also planned some time for shopping and the famous Italian aperitivo. Filled with a lot of useful tips, so you don’t have to waste your precious time. I guarantee that after reading this article you will be fully prepared for your one day in Milan.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

One day Milan itinerary

Morning of your one day in Milan itinerary: Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Teatro alla Scala, Piazzale Cordusio il dito

Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

A day in Milan obviously starts with the famous Duomo. The Duomo of Milano is built in gothic style. It’s 3rd largest catholic church in Europe and its construction took more than 500 years.

On the top of the Duomo, you will find terraces with more than 3,400 statues. I highly suggest that you go up and take your perfect photos of the facade, and see the square from the rooftop.

Times: every day 9:00-19:00, last ticket 18:00.

Price: 3 euros for the cathedral, 10 euros for the rooftop terrace, or 23 euros for the rooftop terrace if you want to use the lift.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Right next to Duomo is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It is considered the oldest “Shopping Mall” in Italy. It is called the Salotto dei Milanesi – the living room of Milanese. Once you visit you can treat yourself to some luxurious shopping or have a breakfast in a historical bar.

Motta Milano 1928 could be the right choice. The bar opens at 7 am and stays open until 21, this means you can have also lunch or aperitivo here.

Motta Milano 1928 offers an artistic, eye-pleasing environment and every design lover should take at least a coffee here. This is why it is considered one of the best bars in Milan.

Another gem located in the Galleria is Il Camparino In Galleria. Unlike the Bar Motta Milano 1928, the place is specialized in cocktails.

Inside the gallery, you will find a symbol of a bull on the floor. Don’t forget to “push the balls of the bull”, it will bring you good luck.

Keep in mind, that this is one of the best photo spots in Milan, so bring your camera and capture the beauty. If you want to see it empty, make sure you start your day early and visit the Duomo and Gallery around sunrise.

Teatro alla Scala

At the end of the Galleria, you will find the Teatro alla Scala. While the facade might not catch your attention, once you visit the inside of the Opera house, you will discover why this is one of the most famous opera houses in the world.

The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778. In 1883 La Scala was the first theatre in the world lightened up by electric lights. Its famous chandelier is made in Bohemian crystal and it counts 400 lamps.

The famous La Prima – The First – opens the opera season every year on the 7th of December, the day Milan celebrates Saint Ambrogio, the protector of the city.

Click here to check the opening times and prices.

Piazza dei Mercanti 

Behind Piazza del Duomo there is Piazza dei Mercanti, so it’s a short walk away from your previous stop. This picturesque square dates back to the middle age and hides some secrets. Most tourists miss this spot, so I would call it a hidden gem of Milan.

The square was the place where the merchants were gathering to sell their products. It hides a secret communication system – speak softly to some of its columns, and its archways will whisk your whispers to a well-placed listener on the opposite side of the portico.

Biblioteca Pinacoteca Accademia Ambrosiana

Via Cesare Cantù will take you to the Biblioteca Pinacoteca Accademia Ambrosiana and it’s less than 5 minutes away. It is a hidden gem and one of the best places to see in Milan. The place has a convenient location, so you don’t want to miss it. 

The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was founded in 1618 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. At the Ambrosiana Library, you can find works from the collections of Federico Borromeo and numerous subsequent legacies including paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and take a great photo of the Library.

Times: Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00.

Price: check their website, because there are different tickets available.

Piazzale Cordusio and Il Dito

After a short walk, your Milan itinerary proceeds to Piazzale Cordusio. Here you can admire the Neoclassical and Art Nouveau Buildings, including the former Stock Palace which now hosts the first Starbucks in Italy.

Nearby you will find the new Stock and the famous sculpture of “il Dito” – the finger – and it is one of the most instagrammable places in Milan.

Afternoon of your one day in Milan itinerary: lunch, Castello Sforzesco , Parco Sempione, Arco della Pace, Brera, Quadrilatero della Moda

Afternoon of your one day in Milan itinerary: lunch, Castello Sforzesco , Parco Sempione, Arco della Pace, Brera, Quadrilatero della Moda


Milan is well known to have a remarkable food scene. In fact, in the city, you can find restaurants from all around the globe, nevertheless, I always recommend something local. The central area of Milan is full of “tourist traps”, so I am here to share a couple of tips to find some of the best restaurants in Milan.

Trattoria di Burla Giò is one of the very few local trattorias left, so here you can try classics of Milanese cuisine like the famous Risotto with saffron or the fried Cotoletta. The place is very simple and cheap, yet the quality of the food will surprise you.

If you are in the mood for something a bit more “sophisticated” Osteria Brunello is your place. Here you can find still the classics of Milanese cuisine in a modern environment and a huge selection of wines.

Castello Sforzesco 

After lunch, you will be in the area to discover another iconic and instagrammable place in Milan which is Castello Sforzesco. It is a medieval fortification built by Francesco Sforza, who was the Duke of Milan.

His son, Ludovico Sforza, called on numerous artists to decorate the castle. Leonardo da Vinci was one of them and he collaborated with other famous artists at the time like Donato Bramante.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 until 16.30.

Price: 5 euros for the entrance, gardens are open to the public for free.

Parco Sempione and Arco della Pace

Behind the Castello Sforzesco lies the Parco Sempione – the biggest park in Milan’s center – cross it to reach the Arco della Pace. The arch was started by Napoleon during the French domination.

In 1838, the Arch of Peace was finished by the Austrian, who made it a mockery of Napoleon and France: the horse statues at the top were originally meant to be facing France, but the Austrians turned them 180 degrees to turn their back to France. It’s one of the best photo spots in Milan!


After you should take a vintage tram and head to one of my favorite neighborhoods of Milan – Brera. Brera is the heart of old Milan and it was always loved by artists. Here you can just enjoy a coffee in one of the several bars and visit Pinacoteca Brera. It is one of the best museums in Milan.

Pinacoteca Brera is one of the most important picture galleries in Italy. You will find some famous paintings like The Kiss of Francesco Hayez or artworks of Ettore Modigliani.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday from8.30 until 19.15 (last entrance at 18.00).

Price: 15 euros.

Quadrilatero della Moda

Now, it is time to discover a different kind of art – shopping at Quadrilatero della Moda.

Here you will find all the most prestigious luxury brands in the world. Spoil yourself with some royal shopping or just enjoy the atmosphere. In the area, you can also find a historical pastry shop – Pasticceria Cova. A place where design, taste, and tradition meet.

Evening of your one day in Milan itinerary: Navigli and aperitivo

Evening of your one day in Milan itinerary: Navigli and aperitivo

Navigli and aperitivo

The busy lifestyle of locals is interrupted as soon as the clock ticks 6 PM and the sunset magic happens. You can hear bartenders shaking their favorite drinks, people gathering together to chat and tasty Italian food offered all around you. If you are not already enjoying your Spritz, you are doing it wrong!

Yes, I’m talking about the famous Italian aperitive. For those of you who do not know, the idea is – you buy one drink (priced from €8-15) and you get a wide selection of local goodies to snack on.

Navigli is the place to be during aperitivo time. From Quadrilatero della Moda, take tram number 3 and enjoy the view from your window while riding the tram. You will spot the Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore and its famous columns.

La Prosciutteria Milano Navigli or Rita are two of my top choices to enjoy a drink and see the sun going down. Make sure you visit Vicolo Lavandai, because it’s a famous place where the people of Milan were doing their laundry during ancient times.

Nightlife in Milan

Nightlife in Milan

In case aperitivo didn’t fill you up, here are some of the best restaurants in Milan. And yes, restaurants are part of the nightlife in Italy. 

Il Marchesino or Ristorante Teatro alla Scala il Foyer

This place doesn’t need any introduction. The restaurant was opened by the beloved Milanese chef Gualtiero Marchesi and it is located inside the Teatro Alla Scala. The signature dish is undoubtedly the Saffron Risotto with the golden leaf.

The price range is 100+ euros per person.

Casa Fontana 23 Risotti

As you can imagine the signature dish is risotto, but 23 is not casual. In fact, there are 23 risottos on the menu to choose from. Anything from rosemary and sparkling white wine to red wine and sausage. The choice is yours.

The price range is from 30 euros to 60 euros per person.

Il Tegamino

Some of you might think, I am in Italy, so I have to eat pizza! One of the best restaurants in Milan to try pizza is definitely il Tegamino. There are other Neapolitan specialties as the restaurant is run by a Neapolitan family.

The price range is from 20 euros to 40 euros per person.

If you are still not tired, then head to Corso Como to enjoy the best nightlife in Milan.

Other useful things to know before visiting Milan

How to arrive in Milan? 

How to arrive in Milan? 

Arriving in Milan by air. Milan is very well connected by three airports – Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, and Milan Bergamo. Taxi services are available from all these airports for a fixed price. Make sure you check it before because the prices are updated constantly, but keep in mind that taxi in Italy is quite expensive. 

Milan Linate is located inside the city of Milan, you can easily reach the center by bus 73. This airport offers mostly national flights.

Malpensa Airport is located approximately 1 hour away from the center of Milan. You can choose between a shuttle bus or a train.

The Airport Orio al Serio also known as Bergamo Airport, is located approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from the center of Milan, you will find shuttle busses to take you to Milan.

Arriving in Milan by train. If you arrive in Milan by train, most probably you will arrive at Centrale Station. It is the largest railway station in Europe by volume and it should be included on your bucket list when visiting Milan.

Make sure you notice the details and the art inside the station. It was designed by French architect Louis Jules Bouchot and its architectural style was reminiscent of Parisian buildings of the XX Century.

Arriving in Milan by bus. Flixbus and Itabus have many national and international routes in Milan. The biggest terminals are Milan Lampugnano and Milan San Donato.

How to move around?

How to move around Milan

Public transport is considered good in Milan and the metro will take you literally anywhere you need. 

Also, you will have the chance to ride one of the historical trams. In fact, a lot of central routes are covered by these vintage trams, so don’t miss a ride back in history.

If you are planning to use public transport, I strongly recommend you to use the daily ticket, which can be purchased in any metro station or newspaper shop (look for a shop with a ’Tabacchi’ sign). Click here to check the prices.

In this guide, I will share the best tips on how to move around in Milan and how to get from one attraction to the next one.

How many days in Milan?

Maybe you are wondering if you can see Milan in a day? The answer is yes, but be prepared to follow a busy itinerary. In one day you can see most of the main attractions in Milan, however, you won’t have a lot of time to visit museums and relax.

Luckily, this itinerary will help you to cover the best of Milan and make the most of your time. Even if you have one day in Milan, I suggest you spend a night here, so you can wake up early and start early.

Where to stay in Milan?

Where to stay in Milan?
Photo credit: Galleria Vik Milano via

The capital of the Lombardy region is quite a big city. If you ask me, the best place to stay in Milano is anywhere nearby Piazza del Duomo. This way you can walk to all the main attractions and stay close to the best things to do in Milan that we will cover in this 24 hour itinerary.

Photo credit: Galleria Vik Milano via
Photo credit: Galleria Vik Milano via

LUXURY: Galleria Vik Milano

If budget is not an issue for you, the best place to stay in Milan is Galleria Vik Milano. This artistic hotel reflects the character of Milan and it is located inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The best room offers a breathtaking view of the Galleria.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this luxury hotel in Milan.

Photo credit: Hotel Dei Cavalieri Milano Duomo via
Photo credit: Hotel Dei Cavalieri Milano Duomo via

MID-RANGE: Hotel Dei Cavalieri Milano Duomo

Great 4-star hotel in the heart of Milan. Modern design, high-quality services, excellent amenities, and a wonderful rooftop bar. Perfect for a quick stop in Milan.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this mid-range hotel in Milan.

Photo credit: Castello Guest House Milano via
Photo credit: Castello Guest House Milano via

AFFORDABLE: Castello Guest House Milano

If you prefer something more simple, but still care for a quality accommodation Castello Guest House Milan is your place. The Guest house is conveniently located in front of the Castello Sforzesco in a historical palace and offers comfortable rooms decorated with taste.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this affordable hotel in Milan.

Fun facts about Milan!

Fun facts about Milan

Milan is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the European Union, with more than 6 million visitors per year.

The unofficial anthem of Milan is called “Oh mia bèla Madunina” and the title refers to the golden statue of the Virgin Mary on the spire of Milan Cathedral visible all over the city. By tradition, no building in Milan is higher than the Madonnina. Once they started to build skyscrapers, the replica of the sculpture was placed on the top of the high buildings to keep the tradition.

Some of the historical Milanese trams still operate in San Francisco.

The restaurant ATMosfera offers you the chance to get dinner while riding one of the historical trams.

Two of the most successful and oldest football teams in Italy play here: AC Milan (1899) and FC Inter (1908) and they play the famous Derby di Milan in the San Siro Stadium. It is also called the Scala del Calcio – the opera of football.

The name Milan comes from Mediolanum which means “in the middle of the plain”. That’s because the city’s land is flat, the highest point being 122 meters (400 ft) above sea level.

Further reading for one day in Milan

Or read about other popular regions of Italy

Dolomites | Liguria | Lombardy | Piedmont | Puglia | Sicily | Tuscany | Veneto

Other useful tips for visiting Italy

🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide and Viator have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Italy? Use Rentalcars
✈️ Looking for the best flight deals? Check WayAway
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo

In conclusion… 


With these fun facts about Milan, I want to end this ultimate guide for Milan. I know that this is a packed itinerary, so feel free to adjust a few things to your needs, but this is truly the best way to discover Milan in 24 hours.

I have been to Milan multiple times since I live only 2 hours away and I have tested this itinerary before. Trust me, you will be left tired, but satisfied. And that’s exactly how you should feel after a good day of exploring.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

Pin it for later and make sure you save the best itinerary for one day in Milan!



  1. Such gorgeous pictures! And definitely a great one-day itinerary!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Really appreciate it ❤️

  2. gosh that first pic just blew me away! i kept scrolling up and down to take it in, it’s so impressive and i LOVE it!! 😍

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh my, thank you so much!! 😍

  3. Goodness what a jam-packed itinerary! I guess I would want to spit this into two days, and then spend plenty of time following your advice about skipping the tourist traps and eating fabulous Italian food! 🙂

    p.s. OMG I love your floral dress. You look fabulous Lasma!!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I used to do a lot of these, but now I do more slow travel. However, I know it’s possible to do it all, haha! Thank you so much! And I’m sure you will love those food recommendations! ❤️

  4. Love your 24-hours-in…. write ups! Milan has so much to discover but it’s nice to have a round-up of the must-sees. And beautiful photos as well! You’ll have to share your tips for how to get a pic without any of the infamous crowds!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I try to pack it with multiple options, so people can adjust and find something that they enjoy! And the trick is easy – an early wake-up call haha. And staying in central locations, so you can sleep in a bit longer!

  5. I have not visited Milan but must go back to Italy so if I am nearby, perhaps I can just visit for a day. There’s plenty to do and such wonderful architecture to explore that’s for sure!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I agree, Italy has so much to offer, so it’s impossible to see it all. But Milan certainly deserves a quick stop!

  6. I have been to Milan for a day a few times, but never feel like I get it right. Thanks for the tips!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Maybe next time haha! But you need to be prepared ☺️

  7. Lisa Manderino says:

    Milian is on my list. I have visited all over Italy except this northern section! I am excited to go!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      And I’m sure you will enjoy your time in Milan! Hopefully soon 😍

  8. Love this one day guide 🙂 I never knew it could be possible but this guide definitely proved that!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      And I have tested it, so everything is possible haha! Especially in a city that is so well connected 😍

  9. Milan looks like such a beautiful and photogenic city! I’d love to spend a day roaming the streets and discovering the attractions. What a beautiful place to visit! Thanks for the great guide!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And sounds like you would love Milan, it’s already waiting for you haha😍

  10. This is such a great guide. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Milan but now I’m wanting to go back. Gorgeous photos as well!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sorry not sorry haha. And hopefully, you can! Thank you so much ❤️

  11. This is such a useful guide! I’m not a huge city person and only like to explore cities during transit to smaller, quiet places so a guide like yours definitely comes in handy for me! Thanks for sharing, definitely coming back to it later!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I understand that! I have a special love for Milan, but I often use the Airport of Milan, so make a quick stop before or after my flight. I think there are many people like that 🙂

  12. I was so surprised at Milan, however I now wish I had of read this first! I will have to go back and do the things you mentioned that I didn’t get to do. 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! Sounds like you do! And I’m sure that you will discover the best of Milan if you follow most of this itinerary😍

  13. What a great one day itinerary! This is such a great guide. Of course, I would love to spend more than one day there. The photos are incredible!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Of course, I get that and highly advise to do that if you have more time!

  14. Milan looks absolutely stunning! There’s so much to see in such a short time!

  15. Thanks for such a helpful post about making the most of one day in Milan! I haven’t been there yet and it is great to know that we can see a lot in such a short time.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Totally! And I’m sure you would love Milan, it’s such a vibrant city… and still has that Italian charm 😍 Thank you so much!

  16. Wonderful guide, thank you! Headed to Milan in the fall, and this is really helpful. Especially the restaurant recommendations. <3

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yaay! Enjoy! And if you are staying for longer, you can easily cut this itinerary in two!

  17. You sure did a lot in 24 hours in Milan. We too had a short visit but left knowing we want to go back and enjoy more. We visited mostly spots close to our hotel so walking was ok. Good to know the public transport system works well with a daily ticket. We will definitely have to visit Castello Sforzesco on a return trip.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I have been in Milan a lot of times, but yes, my first visit was pretty much like this itinerary haha. Castello is a must, I hope you can go back soon 😍

  18. I love Italy and have been a few times in Milan, but while transiting to another place in Italy. Your article makes me think that I can make a longer stop next time I will be there. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Same here! I often use the airports of Milan, so make a quick break in the city before or after my flight! Hopefully you can go back and see more of Milan 😍

  19. Milan is one city in Italy I have not visited. I love those narrow cobblestoned streets, the beautiful cathedral and the galleries. I think I will get lost in shopping too. Stunning photos and great descriptions. 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Milan certainly deserves a visit… even if you are not a city lover, it deserves a quick break 😍

  20. This is an incredible amount of information thank you so much! The pictures are beautiful. I’ve saved this post to use later when I visit 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Feedback means a lot to me ❤️

  21. I’ve been to Milan a few years ago, but this post is making me want to book a new trip! It’s a such a beautiful city 😍

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yaay!! So happy! Hopefully you can go back soon 😍

  22. I could spend a long time in Milan. With the architecture ranging from gothic to neo-classical and beyond and shopping plazas to drool over, I would get lost. I might even visit my former exchange student who studied fashion design there.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan! Especially if you are planning to visit museums and visit an old friend 😍

  23. You must have gotten up really early to be able to capture no one in these locations. I’m impressed how impeccable you always look! Gorgeous photos and great content!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I really did haha, but I booked accommodation right behind Duomo, so at least I didn’t have to use my time for transport 😁 And thank you so much, that’s very kind!

  24. I love that this guide is coming from someone who lives 2 hours away! Saving for future reference. Milan is on my list.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Haha, thanks! And my partner’s family is from Milan, so obviously he helped a lot here! 😍

  25. Milan is my husband’s favorite city and I love it too! The Duomo is one of our favorite spots to visit — there is always so much to see and do.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Same about my partner! He is Italian, so he was the one who showed me all the cool sides of Milan 😍 I couldn’t agree more!

  26. I love Milan, and the Duomo is just stunning. I was last there about ten years ago. I need to visit again. By the way, you are always glam, love all the shots!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And I believe Milan has changed so much in the last 10 years! I think I first visited it 5 years ago and it’s already so different now haha. Sounds like you need another visit, right?!

  27. You have captured Milan beautifully, love your photos. It’s a city I could visit over and over. This post makes me want to book a trip back!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Haha, I feel the same! Been many times and certainly will be back there 😍 Thank you so much! ❤️

  28. Oh my gosh, I love how much you cram into 24 hours here! I almost planned a girl’s weekend to Milan a few months ago but didn’t. Your post has really made me want to book that trip now! I love how many spots you can fit in, and thanks for the price tips! Sharing your post with my friends to see if I can convince them to come! 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Haha, fingers crossed they say yes!! You are right, it’s a quite an intense itinerary but totally doable! Especially for those who want to see even more of Italy in a limited amount of time!

  29. First, I just have to comment on how beautiful and creative your photos are! I love all of your outfits too – so cute! Milan has long been on my bucket list, and I would love to visit. Thanks for all of the details about how to get there, where to stay, what to do and more. I think I’d probably want more than a day here to explore this gorgeous city and to not feel too rushed. And, I obviously would want to start my day with Duomo too, like you said, haha. Xx Sara

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Sara! These were not taken on the same day though! And I totally root for more time in Milan 😍 Plus, you can still use this itinerary and just break it in two! By the way, seeing Duomo without a crowd in front is one the highlights ❤️

  30. Beautiful post! I never got round to going to Milan on my Europe trip but your photos have definitely convinced me to plan a trip!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And makes me happy to read that 😍😍

  31. I love reading your one day in Milan suggestions, but after reading and seeing all the beautiful pictures, I think I will need more time! Great post.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And yes, I always suggest staying longer if possible and you can easily divide this itinerary for 2 days, so you can take it slow ❤️

  32. Great photos. If you have the chance to see the view from the top of any of the cathedrals in Europe, I highly recommend it. The views are phenomenal.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Totally!! And thank you 😍

  33. How I love Milan! I am always happy to go back and just enjoy the vibes! This is really the best way to spend one day in Milan and discover the beauty that this city has to offer, without forgetting aperitif!
    It was nice to read this and bringing back good memories

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Same here! Milan is such a vibrant city, I love to become part of it once in a while 😍 Glad you liked it!

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