Are you planning a trip to Milan, Italy and wondering what to do in just three days? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As a professional travel advisor, I have put together this itinerary to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.
From iconic landmarks and museums to hidden gems and local cuisine, Milan has something for everyone. Read on to discover the must-see attractions, recommended routes, where to stay and eat, and even free tours to make the most of your stay.
Day 1: Historic Milan
Start your day by visiting the iconic Duomo di Milano, the largest cathedral in Italy and one of the most impressive Gothic buildings in the world. Take the elevator or stairs to the roof for a breathtaking view of the city.
Next, walk to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world, and admire the stunning glass roof and luxury boutiques. Don’t forget to touch your heel on the bull mosaic for good luck.
For lunch, head to Luini Panzerotti for their famous deep-fried stuffed dough pockets or Panini Durini for delicious sandwiches.
In the afternoon, visit Castello Sforzesco, a stunning Renaissance castle that houses several museums, including works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
End your day with a stroll through the charming Brera District, known for its narrow streets, trendy cafes and art galleries.
Day 2: Modern Milan
Start your day by visiting Quadrilatero della Moda, the fashion district of Milan, known for its designer boutiques and luxury stores. Don’t forget to stop by Bosco Verticale, a pair of award-winning residential towers covered in greenery.
Next, head to Museo del Novecento, a modern art museum that showcases works from the 20th century.
For lunch, try the traditional Milanese dish of saffron risotto at Ratanà or Trattoria Milanese.
In the afternoon, visit CityLife, a modern residential and business district that features striking contemporary architecture, including the impressive Tre Torri skyscrapers.
End your day by watching an opera or ballet performance at Teatro alla Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
Day 3: Local Milan
Start your day by exploring the trendy Navigli District, known for its picturesque canals, lively bars and restaurants. Have breakfast at Pavè, a popular bakery that serves delicious pastries and coffee.
Next, visit the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, one of the oldest churches in Milan, built in the 4th century. Admire the stunning Byzantine mosaics and the Romanesque architecture.
For lunch, try some local specialties at Da Rita e Antonio, a cozy trattoria that serves homemade pasta and traditional dishes.
In the afternoon, take a stroll through the Sempione Park, one of the largest green spaces in Milan. Admire the stunning Arco della Pace, a neoclassical triumphal arch that celebrates peace and victory.
End your day with a visit to Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery that houses one of the most important collections of Italian Renaissance art.
Where to Stay in Milan
Milan offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. For a central location, consider staying in the Duomo area, which is close to most of the main attractions. Some recommended hotels in this area are:
- Hotel Milano Scala
- Bulgari Hotel Milan
- Room Mate Giulia
If you prefer a more trendy and hip neighborhood, the Navigli District is a great option. Some recommended hotels in this area are:
- Nhow Milano
- Hotel Magna Pars Suites
- Savona 18 Suites
For budget-friendly options, there are many hostels and guesthouses in the Porta Venezia and Brera neighborhoods. Some recommended options are:
- Ostello Bello Grande
- Babila Hostel
- Brera Apartments
Where to Eat in Milan
Milan is known for its delicious cuisine, from traditional Milanese dishes to international flavors. Here are some recommended restaurants for different budgets:
- Trattoria Milanese: traditional Milanese dishes, mid-range budget
- Temakinho: Brazilian-Japanese fusion, mid-range budget
- Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia: Michelin-starred Italian cuisine, high-end budget
- Luini Panzerotti: deep-fried stuffed dough pockets, budget-friendly
- Ratanà: traditional Milanese dishes with a modern twist, mid-range budget
- Pisacco: contemporary Italian cuisine, mid-range budget
If you’re looking for a more local experience, try some of the street food options, such as Panzerotti (deep-fried stuffed dough pockets) or Cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal cutlet).
Free Tours in Milan
One of the best ways to explore Milan is by joining a free walking tour, where local guides will take you through the city’s history, culture and hidden gems. Here are some recommended free tours:
- Free Walking Tour Milan: covers the main landmarks and hidden corners of the city
- Alternative Milan Tour: explores the street art and alternative culture of Milan
- Milan Food Tour: takes you on a culinary journey through the city’s traditional and modern cuisine
These tours operate on a pay-what-you-wish basis, so you can decide how much to contribute based on your satisfaction.
- What is the best time to visit Milan?
The best time to visit Milan is from April to June and September to October, when the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner.
- Do I need a visa to visit Milan?
If you’re a citizen of the European Union, you don’t need a visa to visit Milan. If you’re from outside the EU, check the visa requirements for Italy.
- Is Milan an expensive city?
Milan can be expensive, especially in the central areas and during peak season. However, there are many budget-friendly options for food, accommodation and entertainment.
- What is the dress code for visiting churches and museums in Milan?
Most churches and museums in Milan require visitors to dress modestly, with no shorts, short skirts or bare shoulders.