Travel Guides

The Ultimate Guide to Milan, Italy

Milan often gets a bad rap in comparison to other cities in Italy. If you love fashion and food (who doesn’t), add Milan as a stop on your next trip. I’ve been to the city a few times over the years, and my recommendation is to keep your visit short and sweet.

There are a few sights to see, but all can be done in a day or two. Here are my go-to spots:


Where to Eat in Milan

Soulgreen / Piazzale Principessa Clotilde, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
If you’re on a health kick or have dietary restrictions, I recommend you check out Soulgreen. They have some great plant-based options like gluten-free gnocchi made from green beans and potato, quinoa burgers, salads, and avocado toast. If you’re here around fashion week, you might even spot a few models.

Four Seasons Hotel Milan / Via Gesù, 6/8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The courtyard at the Four Seasons is a beautiful backdrop for your morning coffee. The Four Seasons Hotel offers a great breakfast selection and it’s not just reserved for hotel guests.

Bésame Mucho / Viale della Liberazione, 15, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
There are only so many days in a row that I can eat pizza and pasta, so I’m so happy to have discovered Bésame Mucho. With tacos, guacamole and REALLY good ceviche, it’s a great way to break up the cheese cycle.

Terrazza Aperol / Piazza del Duomo, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
I trekked up to this restaurant solely because of the view at first, and I’ll admit it’s a bit touristy. Whether you’re a fan of the Aperol spritz or not (like me), it’s a fun spot to dine with views of the Duomo. Try to snag a seat outside.

Pavé / Via Felice Casati, 27, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Pavé is a quaint little café well known for their breakfast in the Lazaretto neighborhood. I popped in for a pastry and cappuccino and wasn’t disappointed. There might be a wait if you have a few people in your party, but it’s typically less than 10 minutes.

Restaurants or trattorias
Scattered around the city, you’ll find a number of trattorias. In areas like the Brera district, you can’t really go wrong ordering ossobuco and risotto alla milanese at any one of those places. Discovering new locations is part of the fun!

Where to Shop in Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II / Piazza del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Whether you’re window shopping or determined to find the best Gucci bag for the fall, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II has something in store for you. With Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and … another Prada store under its glass roof, it’s a shopper’s dream.

Corso Como / Corso Como, Milano MI, Italy
Located in the Varesine neighborhood of Milan is this bustling shopping and dining strip called Corso Como. Here you’ll find Eataly, restaurants, shopping, and the famous café and clothing/bookstore 10 Corso Como.

P.S. In case you forgot to pack something, there’s also a Sephora here. I like seeing what beauty brands Sephora stores carry around the world. 

What to Do in Milan

Duomo / Piazza del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
The famous Duomo Cathedral is the crown jewel of Milan. It’s the largest church in Italy and offers breathtaking views if you head up to the top. I once climbed all the way up (I took the stairs – oh boy) but the view was well worth it. I haven’t had a chance to go inside, but just be mindful of the dress code should you wish to. 

La Vigna di Leonardo / Corso Magenta, 65, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Explore what was once Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard and take a 30-minute tour of the property. I really enjoyed taking photos of the space and the informative audio guide. Tickets are about 10 euros.

Santa Maria delle Grazie / Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Ever wanted to check out Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting The Last Supper? You can see it in person inside the Santa Maria della Grazie church. One thing to note – you need to purchase tickets for a specific date and time slot in advance (they run about 15 euros).

Sforza Castle / Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Sforza Castle can seem a little intimidating at first, but it’s quite beautiful when you arrive onsite. Take some time to explore the grounds, and if you’re interested in art, the castle houses a number of museums. It’s free to walk around, but there is a fee for the museums.

Navigli Milano / Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
I wish I had a better photo for the Navigli district! I was there in the evening grabbing dinner (complete with this tiramisu). The canal is lined with lively restaurants, bars, and cafés. Try to come by after a day of exploring, enjoy some apps and watch the sunset.

Brera / Brera, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Brera neighborhood is a charming one I’d recommend checking out, with cute restaurants and shops lining the streets. The buildings are colorful and the whole neighborhood is full of artists and their storefronts. Pop in to one and find something unique to take home – Milan is known for fashion, after all.

Where to Stay in Milan

The Westin Palace, Milan / Piazza della Repubblica, 20, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
I’ve never been disappointed with a Westin property. I loved my room and I especially loved the spacious bathroom that made getting ready in the morning that much more luxurious. It’s a bit of a trek to spots like the Duomo, which I’ve deemed the north star or central point (about 30 minutes on foot) but otherwise it’s in a great neighborhood. My one issue is that restaurants are kind of far on foot, whereas the NH Palazzo Moscova was right behind Corso Como.

Hotel NH Milano Palazzo Moscova / Viale Monte Grappa, 12, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
This hotel is steps away from Coso Como and right by the rail. Fun fact: this hotel was once Milan’s first rail station. The rooms are cozy, but the location and breakfast make up for it. 

Hotel NH Collection Milano President / Largo Augusto, 10, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
Okay, so this property is less than 2 minutes from the Duomo. That proximity allows for photogenic Duomo views, like this one I had from my room. This location had great service and cozy rooms. If you’re looking for a hotel in the heart of the city on a budget, I’d recommend this one.

Hope this was helpful as you plan your Milan adventure. In just one or two days, you can cover a lot of ground in this city.

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!


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