Milan in a Day

Getting lost in Milan’s beauty is a dream come true for many people. But what should you do when you only have one day to do that? It is a big city, and going through everything it offers in only 24 hours is impossible. However, if you get a chance to see it, you will want to make the most of it, and that is when a good travel plan pays off. Seeing a great part of Milan in a day can be challenging, but it is doable!

Unless you want to spend your time solely roaming the city streets, you should plan your trip wisely. This is where my experience can be beneficial to you and allow you to make an amazing Milan one-day itinerary. Sharing my knowledge will help you narrow down your choices when it comes to picking activities and attractions so you can have an unforgettable day in one of Northern Italy’s finest gems

In this blog, I have included amazing tips and recommendations for different tastes. Going through it will give you an idea of what your travelling agenda can look like. Therefore, explore your options and make the most out of your short Milan trip!

A Day in Milan

Milan in a Day | Milan Art Market | Brera

On Sunday afternoons in the Brera area of Milan, you will find artists selling their work on the street.

Things to Do in Milan for a Day

Since we are looking at a quite big European city, the abundance of activities is not surprising. Milan is quite a diverse place with something for every taste. On the one hand, picking from so many choices can be challenging. On the other hand, it allows you to plan a day just like you desire. If you are unsure about what to do in Milan for a day, I am here to shed some light on your options. 

I have separated my recommendations into distinctive groups so you can easily decide what you want to see in the city. Hopefully, this list of things will help you get the Milan experience you have always imagined!

Amazing Milan Activities for Architecture Lovers

Milan is adorned with splendid architecture. This is an old European city, so diverse architectural styles are unsurprising. Both famous landmarks and ordinary buildings are characterised by specific designs that will take your breath away. Each architectural design is authentic on its own, so prepare to be mesmerised! 

Since you will be staying for only a day, you need to select the buildings you want to see. There are many of them, but unfortunately, 24 hours are not enough to cover them all. So, here are some you shouldn’t miss out on.

Milan Street Art| Milan one day itinerary

Some of the street art in the Isola District of Milan 

Milan Duomo 

Whether you are seeing Milan in a day or staying longer, the Milan Duomo is an unmissable landmark. This remarkable cathedral is the most popular attraction in the city and definitely a unique symbol of Milan. No matter how long you are staying in the city, ensure that you take at least half an hour of your time to admire this architectural marvel. 

Both the interior and the exterior of the cathedral are astonishing! Each side of the church encompasses authentic details that will captivate your attention. Make sure to circle the entire cathedral so you get every aspect of it. 

The grand Milan Duomo started being built in the 14th century. However, since then, there have been many changes in terms of styles and architects, hence the ornate and unique design. The cathedral was completed only several years ago, but the outcomes are extraordinary, meaning they were worth the wait. 

Even though every aspect of the church is majestic, its rooftop is the most breathtaking detail in the entire building. Architectural enthusiasts will fall in love with the details! Take some time to explore the rooftop as well and enjoy Milan’s views from a different perspective.

Milan | Duomo di Milano | Italy Travel Photos

La Scala (Teatro alla Scala)

Since I already mentioned the grandeur of the Milan Duomo, I must mention the elegance of La Scala. Teatro Alla Scala is the opera house of Milan known for its majestic views both inside and out. It is quite big and spectacular to see. 

When you are on a day trip in Milan, you may not have the chance to experience every architectural piece in detail. So, even if you cannot enter this grandiose theatrical hall, you should admire it from the outside. Architecture lovers are amazed by it, so be sure to take a glimpse of it!

Things to do in Milan for a day | Teatro Alla Scala

Some images from inside the Teatro alla Scala 

Bosco Verticale 

Even though Milan has preserved its old buildings and architectural gems from the past, it is also proud of its contemporary and revolutionary designs as well. Bosco Verticale is one example of the advances introduced in the city. The English name for the building is Vertical Forest, and the building got its name because it is covered in plants and trees. 

Bosco Verticale is one of the greatest innovations in Milan when it comes to sustainable architecture. Plus, it does not only contribute to the biodiversity of the city but also to its spectacularity. Once you look at this building, you will know what I am talking about. This magnificent design has made the building one of the main attractions in Milan.

Bosco Verticale | Milan | Milan in a day

An Abundance of Options for Museum Lovers 

Since Milan is a city of history and culture, one thing you certainly will not miss during your stay there is the selection of great museums. If you are keen on exploring places with artworks and historical artefacts, you should definitely include at least one museum in your Milan one-day itinerary. Museum lovers cannot experience Milan in a day without visiting at least one of these miraculous places. 

Here are some suggestions that can help you pick the museum you want to see.

Leonardo3 Museum 

When you want to learn about the true Italian art movement, you need to visit the Leonardo3 Museum. This place celebrates Leonardo da Vinci’s work and is full of his most iconic pieces. The museum is interactive, so you are in for a unique experience!

The Leonardo3 Museum is inside the Galleria and it has a great view of the inside

Fondazione Prada

While Leonardo3 is all about the Renaissance, Fondazione Prada displays contemporary works of art and shows Italy in its new modern light. This museum embodies changes that have happened throughout the years, and its primary mission is to present the different perspectives from the past. If you want to get to know Milan in a day, this museum will show you its cultural and artistic nature.

Fondazione Prada | Mushroom Room | Museums in Milan
Fondazione Prada | Milan | Milan in a day

The exterior of the Fondazione Prada Museum in Milan and a shot of one of the most popular exhibitions, ‘The Upside Down Mushrooms.

The Last Supper 

When you browse through the internet about things to do in Milan for a day, you will probably come across Da Vinci’s Last Supper. This iconic painting was installed in the Santa Maria della Grazie church in the 1400s and has never left the place. Even though I am not talking about a regular museum, this is a monastery where you can see the painting and learn a lot about its history. The monastery is astonishing, meaning you will enjoy the surroundings as you admire the iconic piece of art. 

Booking a guided tour is the best option because tickets are not always available. This is because Italians are trying to protect this fragile painting the best way they can, so they limit the visits.

Leonardo DaVinci Last Supper Painting

Exploration of The Italian Coffee Culture for Genuine Coffee Lovers

Italians are known for their love for coffee, and Milan is a hub of cafes and espresso bars where you can experience the heavenly taste of Italian coffee. You will also see how they consume coffee and feel like a true local. There are plenty of gorgeous spots where you can have a cup of magnificent speciality coffee accompanied by spectacular city views. 

Loste Café 

Loste Café is a contemporary place but with a traditional take on the coffee culture. It offers delightful espresso and delicious pastries, making it the perfect spot for starting the morning. You cannot let your day trip in Milan go without an amazing cup of the famous Italian coffee. This place also offers wine, so if you visit it in the evening, you may want to give it a try as well.

Nowhere Coffee 

This cafe is considered a must in Milan. It is one of the most popular places in the city with excellent service and extraordinary coffee. Besides the amazing espresso shots, the place offers an astonishing ambience ideal for your Instagram feed. It is very colourful and vibrant and you will love having your coffee there. The cafe also roasts its own beans, so you will have the chance to enjoy the original and unique taste.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery 

I do not usually recommend Starbucks to tourists because I believe that local goods are always a better option. However, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery found in the centre of Milan is something different. First, the ambience is completely different from the Starbucks coffee shops you regularly see around the world. It is sophisticated and modern, creating an elegant morning or afternoon coffee atmosphere. Second, there is an abundance of choices when it comes to fresh coffee roasts, so if you want to try coffee with a difference, this is the place to go!

Luxurious Stores for Shopping and Fashion Enthusiasts  

You may have heard many people opt for a day trip in Milan solely for shopping. This is not so surprising because the city is home to fashion and luxurious stores. You can spend an entire day going from shop to shop and never get enough of them. The selection of goods Milan offers is unparalleled to any other city in Italy. 

However, if you are visiting Milan in a day, you will need to choose the stores beforehand so you do not waste time and get the most out of your shopping.

montenapoleone district | Rolex | Shopping in Milan

One of the many boutiques on Via Della Spiga in Milan, a famous shopping district.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II 

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II is not only a shopping heaven but also an architectural gem. No one visits Milan without spending a little time in this magical shopping gallery. The city has numerous shopping centres, but nothing can be compared to this one. The luxurious style and the sophisticated design are features that will make your shopping experience extraordinary. However, since this is one of the most popular spots in the city, expect crowds! You may want to begin your shopping early in the day to avoid the tourist masses.

Brera Neighbourhood 

Brera is one of the liveliest places in Milan. It used to be a bohemian district abundant with artistry. However, nowadays, the neighbourhood is quite sophisticated, accompanied by fashion, design, fine dining places, and, of course, shops. Hit the chic stores and then enjoy a lunch or dinner in some of the cute restaurants found in the area. Purchasing new things and enjoying heavenly delights in Brera is the perfect way to experience Milan in a day and feel its magic.

Brera | Milan in a Day

A Heavenly Selection for Real Foodies 

I suggest eating locally to make your day trip to Milan unique and unforgettable. Only then can you experience the spirit of this city and feel like a part of it. There is nothing better than getting to know a place by the food it offers. That is why I have included some recommendations for the entire day.

A Pistachio Croissant for Breakfast 

Nothing is better than a fresh pastry early in the morning accompanied by a cup of authentic Italian espresso. A pistachio croissant is a Milan thing, meaning you have to give it a chance. Head to one of the numerous bakeries around town and get yourself a delicious breakfast pastry. If you want to be on the safe side, check out the bakeries around Duomo – you will not regret your choice!

Aroma Napoletano - Milano | Milan thing to do
Aroma Napoletano - Milano | Things to do in Milan for a day

Some of the Croissants available at Aroma Napoletano Milano

Pizza Slice on The Go for Lunch 

Since you will not have much time, go for a pizza slice in one of the many street restaurants around Milan. You can opt for a traditional slice or try the diverse pizza alternatives, such as focaccia or panzerotti. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that you will end up with a delicious meal for the afternoon.

Pizzeria da Giuliano Milano | Milan | Pizza

One of the best places to get Pizza by the slice in Mila is Pizzeria da Giuliano Milano

Fine Dining in Navigli District 

Since you are only staying for a day, you will want to experience fine dining in Milan as well. The Navigli District is home to many nice restaurants with gorgeous views where you can savour an amazing traditional dish and enjoy a few drinks. It will be the perfect way to finish your day trip in Milan! 

The Navigli District, known for its canals, bars, and restaurants. One of the best places to experience the nightlife of Milan 

Who says that you cannot enjoy Milan in a day? Although short, if you create a good plan, you can make the most of your trip and see a great deal of the city. Combine your activities, set your priorities, and count on an astonishing day in this Italian gem! 

For more travel tips in Italy, please visit my blog page. 


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