Milano is one of those cities in Italy that often gets overlooked. When people think of Italy, they think of Rome, Florence, Verona and even of those little picturesque towns in Cinque Terre. Lombardy as a region is usually forgotten, and with that, Milano too.
In my opinion, Milano is definitely worth visiting. It has amazing architecture, charming streets, delicious food and so many places to get yummy gelato. And shopping! We can’t forget the amazing shopping. You can find something for everyone there. From Prada to Chanel to all those lovely little boutiques to the chain stores like Zara. And even if the city itself is not enough for you, you can always take a little day trip. Lake Como is breathtaking and only one hour away by train.
With all those things to do, I’ve created a list of top 10 things to do in Milan.
1. Take as many photos as you can in front of the Duomo di Milano
We are all familiar with that dreamy Cathedral in Milano. Being the largest church in Italy, it really is a sight to see. Take a moment and just enjoy its magnificent beauty, but don’t forget to take photos! I think I took a few everytime I passed by, which is pretty often.
2. Feed the pigeons on Piazza del Duomo
Taking pictures of Duomo is great, but the most fun comes from feeding the pigeons! They are everywhere. Usually, there are always a lot of people around who will try to put some seeds in your hands and after that demand for you to pay them for it. If you want to avoid paying for it on the square, you can buy your own seed beforehand and just take it with you.
3. Climb the rooftops of Duomo
Even though this one is not free, it is worth every penny. Admission is 9€ if you go on foot, or 13€ if you take the lift. It will be a dreadful climb with about 250 steps, but the views you encounter when you get up are more than rewarding. You can see the city from all the sides, and let me tell you, it is gorgeous!
4. Window shop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The shops you can find here like Chanel, Gucci and Prada are not for everyone (but if you can afford it, good for you!). Most of us do not come here for shopping, but to admire the grand building. I could stay inside with my Savini ice cream for hours and just enjoy the surroundings.
5. Try the Italian Gelato
Surely, you can do this anywhere in Italy, but Milano as every city has its own popular spots to enjoy one of the best gelatos you will ever try. I’d recommend the gelato from Savini (located in the Galleria) or the one from Cioccolato Italiano (also near Galleria, pictured above).
6. Eat pizza/pasta/risotto
In Milan, you can not only find delicious pizza or pasta on every corner but also delicious Milanese risotto, its specialty. Some of the restaurants I’d recommend are Signorvino for delicious pizza and amazing wine or Taverna del Borgo Antico for the most delicious pasta and Milanese risotto.
7. Explore Navigli
Milan city center is amazing, but it is not all that Milan has to offer. Navigli was one of my favorite neighborhoods. It is perfect to take a walk around its canals in the evening. After that, you can easily find a restaurant there to get dinner or even a bar for some drinks.
8. Visit Castello Sforzesco
Not far away from Duomo, you will find the Milan castle. Built in the 14th century it is amazing how well preserved it still is to this day. Now it is a home to numerous museums. If museums are not something you enjoy doing, you can always just take a walk around its grounds and beautiful gardens. The gardens are also a place where Milanese locals like to spend their afternoons with a glass of wine (or two) and a blanket.
9. Get a cocktail with a view of Duomo
Rooftop bars are one of my favorite things to do in every city that I visit. You get the unique view and all that while enjoying a yummy cocktail! There are quite a few rooftop bars to choose from in Milan, though the one I visited is Terrazza Duomo 21 with a view of Duomo. Another great one is Ceresio 7.
10. Take a walk around Brera
Another neighborhood that I really liked is Brera. There are not many significant things to see there, but just the unique style of that part of the town is enough reason to visit. Another great thing is that it has so many amazing restaurants and cute coffee shops to take a break.
Take a day trip to Lago di Como
If you have done all those things you can do in Milan and still have time, I would definitely recommend taking a day trip to Lago di Como. You only need an hour by a train to get there. Immediately you are welcomed with the most breathtaking views of the lake and the picturesque little villages.
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