This guide about what to do in Milan in 3 days includes the perfect itinerary so you don’t miss a thing in the city. Milan is the perfect Italian city for a getaway within Europe.
Before visiting Milan, I had heard people saying that the city did not have much to see, or that in 2 days you will see it all, or that they didn’t like it so much. But my experience turned out to be quite the opposite, I loved Milan!
In my opinion, it is an ideal destination for a getaway within Europe and 3 full days are the perfect time to get to know it without having to rush from one place to another. History, fashion, design, art… Milan is a city with many places to discover.
On this post you will find:
- What to do in Milan in 3 days
- DAY 1: Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Teatro alla Scala, Giardini Indro Montanelli
- DAY 2: The Last Supper, Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Castello Sforzesco, Sempione Park, Navigli
- DAY 3: Milan Monumental Cemetery, Brera, Quadrilatero d’Oro, Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa
- Day trips from Milan
- Where to stay in Milan
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What to do in Milan in 3 days – complete itinerary
>DAY 1: Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro alla Scala, Giardini Indro Montanelli
↣FREE WALKING TOUR: a great option for this first day in Milan is taking this free walking tour with english speaking guide. The tour starts at 10 am and goes through some of the sites I will recommend on visiting on the first day in the city.
- Duomo di Milano
Start your day in Milan in the heart of the city: the Duomo di Milano. The Cathedral is a truly majestic and beautiful building inside and out. But what is really unmissable is going up to its terrace with panoramic views of the city.
- Novecento Museum
In the Piazza del Duomo you will see various interesting buildings, including the Museo del Noveccento, an art museum containing works from the 20th century by Italian artists mainly.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Another of the buildings that is located just in front of the Piazza del Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an icon of Milan which you’ve probably seen on Instagram many times. The gallery was built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877 and inside it you can find the shops of the most luxurious brands.
On the left side of the gallery you will find a drawing of a bull on the floor. The tradition is to spin on the bull to to “return to Milano”. Crossing the gallery to the other side you will reach Piazza della Scala.
- Teatro alla Scala
In Piazza della Scala you will find its famous theater which is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. If you are interested in exploring its interior, you can take this guided tour of Teatro alla Scala.
- Giardini Indro Montanelli
After visiting the center of Milan, you will surely want to relax for a while. I recommend you enter Giardini Indro Montanelli public gardens. It is a beautiful green space in the middle of the city, perfect to take a break.
- Starbucks Reserve Milano
You may wonder why I’m adding a stop at Starbucks on this first day in Milan. It turns out that Starbucks Reserve Milan is one of the only 6 reserves that exist in the world. The place is incredible and sitting down to have a coffee here is quite an experience (very different from an ordinary Starbucks). It is also located in the historic Palazzo Broggi building that used to be the Milan Stock Exchange. Even if you are not going to drink coffee, I recommend you visit it.
>DAY 2: La Last Supper, Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Castello Sforzesco, Parque Sempione, Navigli
- Cenacolo Vinciano – The Last Supper
Start the day by seeing Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece live. The painting of The Last Supper is located inside the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. If you are interested in visiting it, it is very important to book tickets in advance. You access the room where the painting is in very small groups so the tickets run out very quickly. You can buy the ticket here or book a guided tour.
- Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
Very close to Il Cenacolo, is the Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, built in 1503. It is well worth a visit because its interior walls are decorated with incredible frescoes in a very good state of preservation. Admission is free.
- Castello Sforzesco
The next visit on this second day in Milan is the Castello Sforzesco, a 15th century castle that is currently an art museum. The entrance to the museum is paid but entering the castle itself is free. You can go through it and reach the Sampione Park.
- Sampione Park
For lunch, I recommend that you buy a sandwich at the Al Politico kiosk that is in front of the Castle and eat it in the Sampione Park. This is the largest green space in Milan. It is a beautiful park with lakes, English-style gardens, fountains, etc. An ideal place to rest for a while or enjoy a picnic.
In the afternoon, head to Navigli. This is the canal district in Milan, a very lively area, full of restaurants, bars, and colorful facades. I recommend you go in the afternoon to watch the sunset and stay for dinner in this area. You can also take a boat trip through the Navigli canals.
>DAY 3: Milan Monumental Cemetery, Brera, Cuadrilatero de Oro, Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa
- Milan Monumental Cemetery
Start your last day in Milan by visiting the Monumental Cemetery, where you will see the most incredible tombs you’ve ever seen. It is a cemetery that reminded me a lot of the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. A true open-air museum, with impressive sculptures and tombs from important families.
After visiting the cemetery, head to Brera, the most bohemian neighborhood in Milan. This area is full of art galleries, design shops and super interesting corners. There are many picturesque pedestrian streets, full of restaurants and cafes where you can sit down and have a bite. In this neighborhood you can also visit the Pinacoteca di Brera.
- Cuadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Quadrilateral)
The Quadrilatero d’Oro is an area of the city formed by the streets Della Spiga, Sant’Andrea, Manzoni and Montenapoleone. Here you can find all the luxury fashion stores like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, etc. It is a nice area to walk around and you can really see why Milan is such an important city in terms of fashion.
- Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa
A place that you can’t miss in Milan is this church, known for having an ossuary full of skulls and human bones. Access to the sanctuary is free.
Other things to do in Milan in 3 days
If yu have some extra time in Milan, you could also see these places:
- Fondazione Prada: a space with temporary art and design exhibitions. You can also visit Bar Luce, the bar designed by Wes Anderson. More info here.
- Porta Garibaldi: an area of the city full of bars, restaurants and modern buildings.
- CityLife: a complex with homes, shopping, offices and parks designed by architect Zaha Hadid.
Day trips from Milan
Milan is a good starting point to explore other areas in Italy. These are some of the day trips you can take from Milan:
Where to stay in Milan
There are many accommodation options in Milan. On my 3 day trip to Milan I stayed at WorldHotel Casati 18 located near Milan Central Station. The rooms are a bit old but in general the hotel is very good and it is very comfortable to stay in this area to explore the city and go to the airport.
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