Having a stopover in Milan? Or just making a quick getaway? I have an ideal 24-hour itinerary drawn up in detail from my personal experience. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up having a great time. Here’s how to spend a perfect day in Milan.
1. Arrive by train at Milano Centrale. The railway station itself is old-fashioned with architecture that speaks of a different era, yet equipped for the current century. First things first, download an offline Google map of Milan and take a screenshot of the metro map.
2. Grab a warm almond croissant and a cup of Italian Moka coffee from a nearby bakery/pasticceria or have a sit-down breakfast at Crazy Cat Cafe while cuddling cute kitties or at the Boscovich Bakery on Via Ruggero Boscovich.
3. Ride the metro for a meagre ticket €1.5 for 90 minutes or buy a one day pass from the ‘Bigletti’ (ticket) machines for €4.5 with a validity of 24 hours. Beware of pickpockets on train stations. Keep your personal belongings close to you at all times, like you would do in any other city. Catch the yellow line 3 San Donato to Duomo Di Milano.
4. Book tickets to Duomo Di Milano at the earliest possible time to evade queues or buy them online in advance. Be there at least by 8:30am to avoid large crowds. Make sure you cover your shoulder and legs otherwise they don’t let you enter the Duomo. We bought Cathedral + Museo + Baptistry ticket for €7.50 pp. You can opt to go on the terrace of the cathedral with a different ticket.
(The button is not an ad. It’s the actually link to the official website.)
Calling the Duomo ‘beautiful’ would be an understatement. This one definitely makes it to the top 5 of my favorite cathedrals in Europe. what fascinates me the most, are the medieval stained glass windows, each one narrating a significant story from the past.
A word of warning, you’ll come across people offering to take your picture with pigeons for a charge and sell pigeon food for a Euro or two. They may incessantly pester you about it. Politely decline and walk away.
Museo Del Duomo has a mind-blowing collection of sculptures and statues so it takes time to admire every artifact in there. Sculpting, drawing, painting like art forms are an absolute part of Italian history, and are therefore, greatly admired and encouraged. On the way out, spot the ODStore and fill your bag with crazy amount of candies.
5. Now is the time to give into all your pizza cravings. After resisting the mouthwatering aromas drifting from literally every corner of the city, it’s time to cave. Grab a classic Margherita pizza for lunch while walking towards the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall. The intricate design and state of the art skylight of this extremely opulent mall make it a center of tourist attraction. Exit the mall via Corso Vittorio Emanuele II street and be prepared to drool and gawk at the window of every high-end fashion store on this street.
6. If you’re not the one to participate in the fashion hullabaloo, exit the mall at Piazza della Scala and check out the Statua di Leonardo da Vinci. Take in the fact that this is the guy who created the world-famous Mona Lisa painting sitting at the Louvre museum in Paris.
7. If you’re worn out already (what? walk off that pizza you just inhaled!), go back to the Duomo metro station, catch the yellow line 3 Comasina and get down at Montenapoleone. If you wish to walk, navigate your way to the Brera area while passing through some interesting wine stores, cold cut shops and fascinating fashion outlets. If you’re already at the Statue of Leonardo da Vinci, walking will be easier but riding the old tram system would be even more fun. Just flash your one-day ticket for the tram ride. A single ride costs €1.5.
In a city where you need a ticket for everything, it’s exciting to see something for free. Visit the free exhibit at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera Milano. You might come across some popular artwork by renowned artists.
8. It’s Spritz O clock ! Stroll around Darsena while the sun quietly sets over and enjoy an Aperol Spritz at Vista Darsena. Aperol Spritz was invented in Italy and therefore is a must try here. Too long by the Darsena water body and you’ll be a feast for mosquitoes, so quickly hop out before it gets too dark.
9. For all the Italian food fanatics like me, being in Milan is a dream come true. Treat yourself to a fancy dinner at a Trattoria or any of the exhausting list of ristorantes all over Milan. (Sorry! I couldn’t pick a favorite.) Dig into a bowl of pasta, slice up that pillowy soft Burrata, savor some traditional seafood delicacies, taste the gourmet specialities. In short, satisfy that tingly Italian taste bud of yours till you just can’t take no more. How about trying that ‘Milanese’ cutlet from the menu?
10. End this glorious day with a lip-smacking gelato. Not trying a gelato while in Italy ,should be a penalty-worthy crime! Drop by at Amorino’s on Via Fiori Chiari for that world famous velvet-textured rose of gelato topped with a macaron. Do not miss the pistachio flavor!
Make it back in time to catch your train/flight out of Milan or stay the night and leave next day. Glad you had a good time!