1 day in Milan: Itinerary with the best places to visit in Milan

Milán za 1 den

Milan, a cosmopolitan city where history and modernity meet. With a breathtaking cathedral, designer and fashion scene to streets lined with historic houses with stained glass shutters. Milan hides many attractions and today we will show you the itinerary if you are planning to spend a day in Milan, Italy.

Is it possible to visit Milan in one day?

The historic centre of Milan is relatively compact. What’s more, the transport works great and gets you where you need to go in no time. Thanks to this, you can see many beautiful places in Milan in just one day, making it one of the most visited cities in Italy.

But if you want to visit the hidden gems and enjoy Milan more, I recommend staying in Milan for at least 2-3 days. What’s more, the city serves as the perfect base for exploring Lombardy – from the Alpine lake Lago di Como to the medieval town of Bergamo, which will enchant you with its historic core.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore Milan
The Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, “Milan’s Sistine Chapel”, one of Milan’s hidden gems

Milan in one day – route map

On the map you will find the route for visiting Milan in one day. The route is largely on foot and starts in the heart of the city – at the Duomo di Milano. It is easily accessible by metro or on foot if you are staying nearby.

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with an itinerary of the best places to visit in Milan in one day. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the itinerary for a day in Milan, Italy. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.



8:30 – Admire the Duomo di Milano

No Milan itinerary is complete without the Duomo di Milano. The majestic cathedral, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

And it will take your breath away when you see her up close. With all the ornamentation, statues and turrets, it is an architectural marvel.

Duomo di Milano

What’s more, you can even climb up to the roof and enjoy a close-up view.

Walking on the roof of one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world, and with a fantastic view of Milan – this was the best experience in Milan, and we would recommend it to anyone visiting the city.

Duomo di Milano

Our itinerary for a day in Milan starts here. Time is short and the morning is your best chance to see everything in peace. You’ll avoid the biggest crowds, which are already here in the morning.

In the morning you will be here with only locals and a few other tourists. Moreover, the sun rises directly behind the cathedral and literally bathes the cathedral in a golden glow.

Duomo di Milano

Piazza del Duomo

The cathedral opens at 9:00. I recommend arriving early and in the meantime to explore the surrounding streets.

Piazza del Duomo is a large square surrounded by important historical buildings – to the right of the Cathedral you will see the Royal Palace, followed by the Museo del Novecento. The left side belongs mainly to the Vittorio Emanuele II shopping gallery, which we’ll talk about in a moment.


Piazza Mercanti

Piazza Mercanti is a small, medieval square just 2 minutes from the Duomo di Milano. A little hidden, but absolutely magical.

Piazza Mercanti Milan

Duomo di Milano

As 9:00 am approaches, we continue our visit to the most beautiful monument in Milan, the Duomo di Milano, which is now opening to the public.

Please note: Dress appropriately for the Duomo – knees and shoulders covered in summer. This is a religious building, where you may not be allowed to go in inappropriate clothing. I also recommend choosing sturdy shoes, as marble can slip.

How to visit the Duomo di Milano

Tickets for the cathedral are sold on the right side of the cathedral – in the Royal Palace wing. The number of tickets is limited and the queues can be long in the morning. The best option is to book tickets in advance and go straight to the entrance on the spot.

First, you climb the stairs/elevator to the roof of the Duomo di Milano – you walk along the side of the roof, then climb a few more steps to reach the roof.

Once you’ve enjoyed the view from the roof, you’ll descend the stairs directly into the cathedral – here a member of staff will scan your ticket again and then let you in.

The inside of the cathedral is stunning and vast. It will take a while to see everything.

Duomo di Milano
Duomo di Milano

Admission and opening hours of the Duomo in Milan

Full admission is 20 € and 10 € for children 6-17 years old. With the use of the lift, the entrance fee is 25 € and for children aged 6-17 years 12,50 €. Children under 5 years of age and disabled children with an accompanying person are admitted free of charge.

The cathedral is open daily from 9:00-19:00 (last entry at 18:10).

How to skip the lines for the Duomo:

We were buying combined tickets in advance at 9:00am – included the cathedral, the roof, the archaeological site and the Duomo museum. We went through the entrance on the left side of the cathedral reserved for advance reservations, where only a few people were waiting. We chose to take the stairs – the elevator is located a little further on the left side of the cathedral (everything is perfectly marked).

10:30 – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

After a tour of the Duomo di Milano, we continue west of the cathedral, where Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world, is located. The Galleria is an architectural gem with its four-storey double arcade crowned by a glass dome.

Milan in 2 days / where to go in Milan / Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

You can go shopping, enjoy the windows or sip espresso in the historic cafés.

If you’re hungry, go for a delicious panzerotti at Luina’s bakery a short walk away (see map). Panzerotti dough is reminiscent of linguine and is filled with sweet and savoury. They cost around €3 and are very popular, so queues can form. In the morning, however, the queues will probably still be short, and they’re passing quickly (closed on Sundays).

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Milan

Practical tip: Toilets are located on the right side of the cathedral (fee €2, cash only). You can refill your water in the green fountain in Piazza Cesare Beccaria, just behind the Duomo.

Accommodation in Milan 😴

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B&B Hotel Milano Ornato

Cheap and comfortable hotel

milán ubytování
Hotel Ritter

Quiet 3* hotel in the centre

11:00 Get lost in the streets of Brera

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. is passable and takes you to the small Piazza della Scala. In the centre of the square is a statue of Leonardo da Vinci, opposite the world-famous La Scala Theatre. Walk past the theatre to the back and continue to Milan’s most picturesque district, Brera.

Brera is known as the artistic heart of the city, with its many small galleries, quaint shops and picturesque streets. This neighborhood absolutely charmed me with its typical Italian atmosphere.

Brera Milan

The narrow streets are lined with houses with colourful shutters and lots of greenery. Restaurants and cafes literally beckon you to sit down and in summer they are the perfect escape from the hot centre.

The best part of La Brera is around Via Fiori Chiari.

It’s lunchtime and Brera has some great restaurants to eat at. Hosteria della Musica is down a side street and Osteria Da Fortunata is a short walk away. You won’t go wrong in either of these restaurants – excellent Italian cuisine and atmosphere.

Milan in 1 day / Brera Milano

As well as wandering the streets, Brera has some interesting places to visit – depending on what you plan to see in a day in Milan, but here are the best things to do in the Brera district:

Pinacoteca di Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera is a public gallery housing an important collection of Italian Renaissance art. Artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio and Mantegna are well represented.

Please note: Pinacoteca di Brera is closed on Mondays. You can book your visit
book here

Brera Milan

Brera Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is an oasis of greenery in the middle of the busy centre. Once you pass through the iron gate, the crowds of tourists stay far behind. You can stroll in the arboretum or relax on a bench in the shade of the trees.

Botanical Garden Brera Milan

Practical tip: Entrance to the Botanical Gardens is free. There is a small seating area and free toilets.

Read: Itinerary for 3 days in Milan

14:00 – Visit Sforza Castle and the Peace Arch

Just a few minutes’ walk from the Brera district is another of Milan’s landmarks, Castello Sforzesco, known as Sforza for short. This fortress, later converted into a museum, hosts various collections including art, antique furniture and musical instruments. The highlight is Michelangelo’s unfinished sculpture of Rondanini’s Pieta.

Sforza Castle Milan

You can walk around the complex for free or visit the museum for a small fee. Behind the castle is the large Sempione Park, where locals spend their leisure time. There are plenty of benches, ponds, toilets and refreshments. An ideal place to relax.

Arco della Pace

Walk to the other side of the park, where the Arco della Pace towers majestically. You can’t climb it like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but it’s still definitely worth seeing.

Arco della Pace Milan

Right in front of the Arco della Pace, take the historic tram No. 10 (direction Viale Lunigiana) and take the Garibaldi stop. The historic yellow trams have been inseparable from Milan for almost a century. Line 10 crosses some of the most important points in the city.

Accommodation in Milan 😴

ubytování milán

New 4* hotel with good access to the centre

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Hotel San Siro

Modern hotel near San Siro Stadium

Cimitero Monumentale di Milano

The tram passes through Chinatown and the Cemetery of the Cimitero Monumentale di Milano.

If you like impressive architecture, I recommend taking a break here. It’s a wonderful place of tranquillity that may be one of the best things you’ll see in Milan. At least it was for me.

Cimitero Monumentale di Milano
Cimitero Monumentale di Milano

Read: Itinerary for 2 days in Milan

17:00 – Modern Milan around Piazza Gae Aulenti

Get off at the Garibaldi stop, from where you can see Piazza Gae Aulenti. So far, we’ve soaked up the atmosphere of old Milan and are moving on to its contrast – the modern Porta Nuova district, which is full of skyscrapers, luxury apartments and corporate offices.

Porta Nuova Milan

You can sit in the grass, have a delicious ice cream at Venchi and see the interesting architecture, including the Bosco Verticale, a sustainable apartment building with lots of greenery.

Porta Nuova Milan Bosco Verticale

Tip: Need to brush up on your travel English? EasyLingo is an online English learning app that we’ve been using for a few months now. You will learn writing, reading, speaking and listening skills. And you only need 20 minutes a day to do it. On your computer or mobile.

18:30 Walk around the Navigli Grande Canal

The Navigli district is the perfect end to a day in Milan. The lively area, once a system of canals designed by Leonardo da Vinci, is now home to many bars, restaurants and vintage shops. Navigli Grande is lined with small stalls where artists display their paintings.

Navigli Grande Milan

The best restaurants open after 7pm. In the meantime, you can have an aperitivo, or a small snack with a drink. Try traditional Milanese dishes such as risotto alla Milanese or osso buco. You can find some restaurant tips in our map at the beginning of this article.

Navigli Grande Milan

Do you have more time to visit Milan? Check out our itinerary for 2 days in Milan.

Where to stay in Milan in 1 day?

  • B&B Hotel Milano Ornato: Cheap, comfortable hotel a short walk from the tram station, with parking and 24/7 reception
  • Hotel Ritter: A quiet hotel on the edge of the centre, with easy access to the Sforza Castle, the Duomo or the Brera district, 5 minutes by metro, 24/7 reception.
  • B&B Hotel Milano San Siro: A pleasant hotel right next to the San Siro Stadium with parking and a few minutes from the metro station
  • Hotel AMEDIA: New, 4* hotel with good access to the centre and parking

Accommodation in Milan 😴

milán ubytování
B&B Hotel Milano Ornato

Cheap and comfortable hotel

milán ubytování
Hotel Ritter

Quiet 3* hotel in the centre

How to get from the airport to Milan?

Milan is served by 3 airports. Most passengers are concerned with Malpensa (Wizz Air, Easy Jet) or Bergamo (Ryanair) airports. Both airports are located about an hour from the centre of Milan and are not accessible by public transport.

How to get from Bergamo Airport to Milan?

Shuttle buses stop right outside the arrivals hall of Bergamo Airport (Orio al Serio Airport) and take you to Milano Centrale Train Station without stopping. From there, it’s easy to get to the centre by metro or on foot.

We always buy our tickets in advance. Tickets are valid for the whole day, so you can use them for any connection without any problems. Upon arrival, we go straight to the buses and don’t wait in line at the window or the ticket machine where you buy tickets to the center. At the bus, we then show the ticket on our mobile phones to the worker standing there.

Milano Centrale Station in Milan / How to get from the airport to the center of Milan
Milano Centrale Train Station

Read: Transport in Milan

How to get from Malpensa Airport to Milan?

In the case of Malpensa Airport, you have a choice of train or bus. In both cases, follow the signs at the airport to guide you.

Buses stop again at Milano Centrale station. The same place you get back to the airport from.

In this case we also bought tickets in advance. You can take any bus on any given day – just show your ticket to the driver.

The trains are slightly faster and there are 2 lines to choose from – to Cadorna Station or to Milano Central via Garibaldi Station.

How to enjoy Milan in 1 day

  • Wear comfortable shoes. The sidewalks are sometimes uneven and the marble in the Duomo is a bit slippery.
  • Lots of places located in the city centre and are easily accessible on foot. For more distant places, use the metro or the historic yellow trams – transport is safe, cheap and reliable.
  • Try the food outside the main tourist spots. In hidden alleyways or neighborhoods frequented mainly by locals. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also enjoy more.
  • Summer or winter, Italian gelato is a must-try. Excellent gelaterias are scattered all over Milan – in the centre, try Venchi, which has excellent gelato and chocolate.
  • Stop at the main tourist spots such as the Duomo or the Last Supper.
  • Or, conversely, explore Milan after dark, when it’s beautifully lit up. From the Navigli Grande Canal to the Duomo, in the evening everything is bathed in warm colours of light.

Do you have a question about our itinerary, what to see in Milan in one day? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Northern Italy

MILAN: Here’s an overview of the best places to visit in Milan. To help you plan your trip to Milan, we’ve created an itinerary for 3 days in Milan including a map and an itinerary for 2 days in Milan.

Here is a guide to transport in Milan. In this article we share our tips on where to stay in Milan. We have compiled practical tips for visiting the Duomo di Milano in a separate guide.

LOMBARDIA: Get inspired by the most beautiful places to see in Lombardy.

In Lombardy you will find other beautiful places besides Milan. Just outside Milan is the Alpine lake Lago di Como. Or check out our 15 tips on what to see in Bergamo.

ROME: Rome is one of the most popular cities in Europe. Here’s a list of the best things to see in Rome. Build your 3-day Rome itinerary and see how to save in Rome. Find out all about the Vatican Museums or the Colosseum.

VENICE: In the article What to visit in Venice we bring you tips on the most beautiful places and other useful tips.

Read even more tips on travelling in Italy.

Milan in one day

Summary: The perfect itinerary for Milan in 1 day

What to see in Milan in 1 day?

If you only have one day in Milan, include the Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Brera district, Castello Sforzesco, the modern Piazza Gae Aulenti and the Navigli Grande canal in your itinerary. The complete itinerary including a map can be found in the article.

Do I need to book tickets in advance?

Reservations are not required, but are recommended due to limited time and long lines. This is especially true for the Duomo di Milano, where we booked our tickets at 9:00 am. There were very few tourists and we could enjoy the atmosphere even more without having to buy tickets on the spot.

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