Visit Milan on vacation and you’ll find a world city that oozes European style and class. Explore the classical splendor of the Brera neighborhood’s cobbled piazzas, where apartment buildings with gilded doorways meet frescoed Romanesque churches. Sip an espresso at a corner cafe in the Quadrilatero della Moda. End your day in the Navigli neighborhood eating saffron risotto, a local speciality. Plan your vacation today as part of a multi-stop tour of Italy. We make it easy for you to book your flights, transfers, English-speaking guides, and accommodations all in one place!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Last Supper
When you travel to Milan, your first port of call should be Milan Cathedral. Over 600 years in the making, the cathedral was finally completed in 1965. Inside, keep an eye out for the chilling statue of the flayed Saint Bartholomew and the multicolored stained-glass windows. Climb 250 stairs to the roof—don’t worry, there’s also a lift. Look out to the city from your perch among the spires and gargoyles.
If you’re looking to shop when in Milan, then head to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is more than just a mall: it’s Milan’s cathedral of fashion. Alternatively, if you want to simply admire the spectacular building, stop here for a morning espresso or an afternoon Aperol Spritz in one of the many old-school cafes that line this iconic arcade and watch the fashionistas go by.
If you’re passionate about opera, then Milan’s La Scala opera house is a real mecca. Check the program in advice and incorporate a very special performance at La Scala into your trip plans. During your visit, take a look at the gold-leafed wallpaper and Corinthian columns of the foyer, used as the social epicenter for the Milanese upper crust since 1778.
If you’re interested in art, check out Da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper at the Santa Maria della Grazie. The painting has stood in the refectory for over 500 years, surviving Napoleon’s troops and Allied bombing raids. You’ll have 15 minutes to study the anguished faces of the Apostles, so look out for Judas’ bag of silver before exploring the rest of the convent.
For those that are interested in medieval history, be sure to visit Sforza Castle, a magnificent 15th-century citadel that was one of the largest in Europe. Walk the ramparts, up to 23-foot thick, and ascend the Filarete Tower for a great view over Milan’s center. See medieval weapons in the armory, or head into one of the museums to enjoy the work of some of Italy’s great artists—think Caravaggio, Titian, and Michaelangelo.
Sempione Park is a great place to go for some fresh air and a relaxing stroll while on vacation in Milan. Do as the Milanese do and explore the park’s 95 acres of manicured lawns, which are an oasis of calm. Cross the Mermaid’s Bridge, where young lovers come for good luck, towards the Porto Sempione, a neoclassical triumphal arch at the northwestern end of the park.
Milan has three airports: Linate (LIN), Malpensa (MXP), and Bergamo (BGY). Linate is the nearest to the city center and has one-stop flights to the USA via Frankfurt with Lufthansa, via Paris with Air France, and via London with British Airways. Malpensa is approximately 50 minutes from Milan and has direct flights to the USA with Alitalia, American Airlines, Delta, and United. Bergamo is one hour from Milan and is the main airport for low-cost carriers.
Milan is situated in the region of Lombardy, at the heart of northern Italy. It is approximately one hour south of Lake Como, and three hours drive west of Venice. It is 350 miles northwest of Rome, which takes about seven hours by car. Italy is well connected by high-speed train, and we recommend this as a mode of transport if you are considering a multi-stop tour of the country.
The best places to stay in Milan depends on your travel tastes and preferences. If you want to be very central and within walking distance of most major attractions, we recommend a hotel close to the Duomo. If you prefer something quieter, consider staying in a vacation apartment in Navigli, Milan’s picturesque canal district. For insider tips and recommendations, speak to a Tourlane Travel Expert.
Milan is well connected by train to the entire of Italy, and there are many excellent destinations that are easily reachable, including day trip destinations. If you want to enjoy the great outdoors, head to the world-famous Lake Como, which is less than an hour from Milan. If you’re a keen foodie, consider a day trip to Bologna, Italy’s food capital, which is reachable on the high-speed train network in just over an hour.
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