Milan is capital of fashion and design, economy and sport, opera and pop music. Discover all you can do in Milan in 7 days.

tickets banner

Talk about Italian fashion and you immediately think of Milan and its haute couture or pret-a-porter fashion shows. You talk about design and again you think about Milan, you discuss urban planning and contemporary architecture and Milan comes back again and the continuously changing face of its squares and districts. And it is always Milan that comes back in conversations about where to go shopping, where to invest and do business, and where to discover new trends in terms of trendy aperitifs and gourmet dinners.

Milan is therefore much more than just the largest city in the North of Italy. It is the capital of everything that "business" means and it is obvious that it is a crossroads of cultures and ideas that come from every corner of the world, a sea port even if it doesn't have the sea, and it happens over and over again during the course of the life to return there: to study, to work, to visit it or to go to a concert or a sporting event. There are plenty of things to do in Milan in 7 days, the "industrious" northern city will always surprise you.

Anyway the first advice you need to discover Milan is to buy a city pass which will make it easier for you to travel on city's efficient public transport throughout the week and will allow you to enter many museums and unmissable places in the city.

Discover Milan with the Milan Pass

Ancient and modern, many things to discover in 7 days in Milan

What to do in Milan for 7 days

Andrea Mantegna's Lamentation over the Dead Christ, Pinacoteca di Brera (Wikimedia Commons)

To organize a program on what to do in Milan in 7 days, you need to think on two distinct levels of experiences, as if you divided a sheet of paper into two columns: on the first the monuments and works of art to see; in the second column the things to do following the mood of the city. Milan is in fact the Italian capital of fashion, finance, design, cultured music with the Teatro alla Scala and popular thanks to the presence of the major record companies. It hosts major sporting events, the next one is the 2026 Winter Olympics and in football it was for decades the only city with two teams to have won the Champions League.

But Milan is also one of the oldest cities in Italy, full of historical testimonies and with absolute masterpieces to see, from Mantegna's Dead Christ at the Pinacoteca di Brera to Michelangelo's Pietà Rondanini at the Sforzesco Castle, passing through Leonardo's Last Supper in the church of Santa Mary of Graces. It has a history dating back to the Roman era and it was in Milan that the edict of Constantine was issued which opened up freedom of worship in the 4th century AD. encouraging the development of Christianity.

Roman, medieval, then Gothic and Renaissance, Milan welcomed artists such as Petrarch and Leonardo and was the capital of duchies and kingdoms under various foreign dominations. It has always been able to enrich itself from a cultural point of view, it still does so today by accepting the challenges of modernity and becoming the most international of Italian cities, with modern art galleries and brand new theaters such as the Arcimboldi, always dictating new styles and trends.

Book visits to the Last Supper and the Sforza Castle and skip the line

Day 1, Milan famous for the 3 Marys: Duomo, Cenacolo, La Scala

What to do in Milan for 7 days

The basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie and, on the left, the refectory with the fresco of the Last Supper

It is a must to start the first day in Milan from the Duomo, an extraordinary masterpiece of Lombard Gothic art with contributions from the Renaissance era, given that the complete construction of the cathedral took almost 600 years! The Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente and the Latin inscription on the white marble of the façade reminds us of this. But it will not be the only time that the holy name of Mary will appear in the monuments of Milan.

Tall and imposing, the five internal naves of the cathedral host various masterpieces, from the relic of a thorn from the cross of Christ, the Holy Nail, to the cycle of 56 canvases dedicated to the life of San Carlo, one of the patron saints of Milan. Also worth visiting are the underground crypt and the baptistery where Sant'Ambrogio baptized Sant'Agostino, but the Terraces of the Duomo (reachable from the outside by lift) are also worth a visit to admire the city from above and the Madonnina, the symbol of Milan, up close.

Name of Maria also returns in the visit to Leonardo's Last Supper, the second and unmissable thing to do in Milan in the first of 7 days in the city. Let's say right away that the visit must be booked online, entrances are in fact limited due to the fragility of the dry fresco depicting the Last Supper. It is located in the refectory of the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie and, from Piazza Duomo, you can get there with a tram in a few stops or even with a pleasant 15-minute walk along Via Meravigli and Corso Magenta.

Returning towards Piazza Duomo, we have the third meeting with the Milanese "Mary": that of the Teatro alla Scala. Few people know, in fact, that the name derives from Santa Maria alla Scala, an ancient church from the 14th century on whose foundations the architect Giuseppe Piermarini built the court theater that today we call "la Scala" at the end of the 18th century. The name of the church is due to Regina della Scala, who belonged to the noble Scaligeri family of Verona and married Bernabò Visconti, lord of Milan.

The Theatre can be visited when there are no performances and the temple of opera deserves to be discovered in all its magnificence. After the theatre, then, he usually goes to dinner and since we are in Brera, the classic district of Milanese nightlife, it is nice to get lost in its alleys and among the many pubs and bistros that compete for the streets together with the poets, painters and to imaginative fortune tellers and tarot "readers" who flock to the neighborhood.

Visit Duomo and its roofs

Day 2, the Milan of art and monuments

What to do in Milan for 7 days

Umberto Boccioni, "Unique forms of continuity in space", Museo of 900 in Milan

In the last years the historic center of Milan has changed face several times, as have many of its historic districts, but always in the name of walking free from the car and its noises. Piazza Duomo is the ideal crossroads for an artistic tour of the city, but you know that Milan has many souls: classical at Palazzo Reale and Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and that of Brera, modern at the Gallery of Modern Art in via Palestro and at the Museum of 900 at the Palazzo dell'Arengario. And then there are the gems, such as the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in via Gesù (in the fashion district) and Villa Necchi Campiglio in via Mozart, a property now managed by the FAI. Sites all reachable on foot from Piazza Duomo.

If you love art you therefore know what to do in Milan in 7 days and what to see, leaving the Sforza Castle at the end, perhaps in the afternoon, because with its large Sempione park lends itself to long walks throughout the year. On one side of the park you will find the Aquarium, with a very busy calendar of exhibitions and events, while at the end stands the Arena Civica, Milan's first stadium (the national team also played there at the beginning of the last century). At the Castle there are many important artistic collections and the famous Pietà Rondanini attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Lovers of religious buildings will be able to admire, still in the centre, churches such as Santa Maria presso San Satiro, proud of its perspective apse created by Bramante, the church of San Giorgio a Palazzo built on the remains of the ancient imperial palace of Diocletian, who had elected Mediolanum among the four capitals of the empire, the lively and colorful San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore and near the State University, in Piazza Santo Stefano, the sanctuary of San Bernardino alle Ossa with its famous seventeenth-century ossuary.

Ending the evening at the columns of San Lorenzo, in the square where there is the splendid basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, one of the oldest in the city (dating back to the 4th century). The "columns" with Corinthian capitals look towards Porta Ticinese and make the area - also known as the park of the basilicas - one of the most evocative in all of Milan, with many places to eat and have a drink.

Leonardo's Last Supper with guided tour of Milan

Day 3, the Milan of contemporary design and architecture

What to do in Milan for 7 days

City Life

Design is one of the main attractions that make Milan so much popular for tourists and businessmen and cannot be missing from the list of things to do in Milan in 7 days. Every year the Design Week welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors in spring, but it all began with the Triennale and now has a century of history behind it. Located in Viale Alemagna, on one side of Sempione Park, the Triennale houses the Design Museum inside the Palazzo dell'Arte. It was born with the 1923 Expo in Monza and was supposed to be temporary, but in 1930 it moved to Milan and became permanent.

Architecture is also part of the modernity of Milan, a city that loves to change its skylines and its postcards. A few years ago, Portello, the old Fair district, was rebuilt from scratch, which today is called City Life and showcases its Three Towers and very modern residences. The lilac M5 metro takes you directly into City Life.

Another completely renovated neighborhood is Bicocca, once home to steel mills (Breda) and heavy industries (Pirelli), today to universities, companies and institutions, with many pedestrian and cycle spaces where you can spend a peaceful evening. Porta Nuova has also changed its skin, with its skyline that can be pleasantly photographed, from the new headquarters of the Lombardy Region (the tallest skyscraper in Italy) and above all the Vertical Forest, which today almost competes with the Duomo for the most representative image of the city.

At the foot of Porta Nuova the green spaces of the Biblioteca degli Alberi Milano (tree library) stand out, which rise up to Piazza Gae Aulenti. The entire pedestrian area, the road for cars runs underneath. The square then connects with the discos and clubs of Corso Como, Piazza XXV Aprile and Corso Garibaldi, up to Brera, almost creating a single large nightlife district.

Discover Milan with a guided bike tour

Day 4, the Milan of fashion and shopping

What to do in Milan for 7 days

Four weeks a year, two dedicated to the women's collections and two to the men's, one for the spring/summer season and the other for autumn/winter. Talking about fashion in Milan is not just a matter of catwalks and social life, it is pure business! Clothing, footwear, accessories, the world of cosmetics and make-up move the Milanese economy. The Milanese know this and not only them, because more and more tourists decide to pop into Milan to discover the latest trends and go shopping!

The most exclusive purchases are to be found in the famous fashion district (quadrilateral). Here between Via della Spiga and the parallel Via Monte Napoleone there are the boutiques of the most famous brands in the world. Crossing Via Gesù you also come across the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum and going out towards the wide Via Manzoni you can discover the house museum of the great writer Alessando Manzoni and, towards the end of the street, the Teatro alla Scala and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. On the roofs of the latter it is possible to go up and dine outdoors at the end of a walkway with a breathtaking view of the new Milanese skyline.

As for shopping, in Milan there are other districts where you can shop... less expensive. In the centre, Via Torino is especially attractive, due to the large chains of young and casual fashion, but the greatest offer of brands and multi-storey venues is found in Corso Buenos Aires, the long artery that connects Porta Venezia to Piazzale Loreto and is considered the commercial street longest in Europe, with three red line metro stops passing underneath it. Another opportunity is the Marghera-De Angeli district, which between Corso Vercelli, Via Marghera and Viale Michelangelo truly offers an infinite number of shops and surprises of all kinds.

...And after shopping, enjoy the relax of the Terme Milano

Day 5, the Navigli and the Milan of nightlife

What to do in Milan for 7 days

Church of San Cristoforo along the Naviglio Grande

Start the fifth day of the week that you spend in Milan in a pleasant place, bathed in water and frequented by runners: the Darsena. This too is a place rediscovered and given back to the city, once a full-fledged port, because the barges that traveled along the canals stopped here bringing building materials to Milan (Duomo was built like this), foodstuffs and other goods. Until the 1950s, Milan was among the top 10 Italian ports for goods traffic.

During the day it is nice to walk here, also because it is an area of antique markets, and you can travel many kilometers by bike along the waterways and the church of San Cristoforo along the Naviglio Grande towpath is delightful. In the evening the Navigli and the Darsena are the hub of Milan's nightlife, full of clubs of all kinds. This is where happy hours were born at the beginning of the 2000s, but the ritual of the aperitif has been a must in the city since the 80s, one of the mandatory things to do in Milan and which has today evolved into sumptuous aperitifs.

During the day it is nice to walk here, also because it is an area of antique markets, and you can travel many kilometers by bike along the waterways and the church of San Cristoforo along the Naviglio Grande towpath is delightful. In the evening the Navigli and the Darsena are the hub of Milan's nightlife, full of clubs of all kinds. This is where happy hours were born at the beginning of the 2000s, but the ritual of the aperitif has been a must in the city since the 80s, one of the mandatory things to do in Milan and which has today evolved into sumptuous aperitifs.

New ones are always being invented, so today there is a flourishing of aperi-sushi, aperi-pizza, there are even aperi-piada and aperi-kebab, sometimes served in places such as cycle workshops, garden centers and even those in the company of cats. However, the nightlife in Milan touches many districts, Navigli and Brera aside, among others the Isola stands out with its refined music and in the Sempione area the area around the Arco della Pace and the Procaccini-Piero della Francesca area. Another idea for an evening out is to go to concerts, the San Siro stadium is not only the Scala of football, it is also the largest live stage in Italy. And the old racecourse does the same.

Enjoy the thrill of entering San Siro, the Scala of football

Day 6, SantʼAmbrogio, the Science Museum and Milan at the table

What to do in Milan for 7 days

The Luna Rossa catamaran exhibited at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan

Modernity but not only that, in Milan tradition runs a little under the radar but is clearly shown in religious rites. So among the things to do in Milan in 7 days you certainly cannot miss a visit to the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, which dates back to the 4th century and gave rise to the "Ambrosian rite" of the mass, still respected and different from the Roman Catholic rite. Proud of its beautiful colonnaded courtyard, the basilica has a facade that dates back to the 11th century.

SantʼAmbrogio is the heart of a neighborhood that is changing its skin (the blue metro line will arrive soon), where there is also the Catholic University, the altar to the fallen soldiers of Milan and the house where Francesco Petrarca lived. Above all, here there is the Museum of Science and Technology dedicated to "Leonardo da Vinci" and very popular with schools and families. Among the wonders hosted there are the submarine "Enrico Toti" and the catamaran "Luna Rossa" which participated in the America's Cup.

Tradition in Milan is also expressed at the table and it is good to grasp it in the maze of streets that opens up behind the church of Sant'Ambrogio. You can eat the best sushi and poké in Italy, but the Milanese love their "cutlets", which they took from the Austrian domination (the Viennese) but have personalized them by frying the breading in butter and not in oil and using the loins with the bone. And among the other typical Milanese dishes, risottos and panettone aside which have now become national dishes, don't miss the cassoeula, a cabbage and pork soup, the mondeghili (meatballs) and the ossobuco cooked in the complex preparation for the Milanese style.

Visit the Science and Technology Museum dedicated to

Day 7, Milan outside the city: the abbeys and a trip to the lake, the last stops of 7 days in Milan

What to do in Milan for 7 days

Villa d'Este at Cernobbio, at lake of Como

We spend the last day of our week in Milan outside the city. In an hour from Milan there are enchanting lakes and rivers, pleasant mountains in summer and equipped ski slopes in winter and sweet, generous countryside. To the south of Milan there is the so-called "Road of the Abbeys", because in about 40 kilometers it unites religious sites of rare beauty and still perfectly preserved, such as Chiaravalle and Morimondo.

Both were built by Cistercian monks and date back to the 12th century. Chiaravalle was built in 1135 by the will of Bernardo di Chiaravalle and among its splendors shows the seventeenth-century wooden choir and the Cloister. Famous for its excellent acoustics, the Morimondo Abbey hosts concerts of classical and sacred music. Adjacent there is the Museum which preserves works by the Art Nouveau painter Angelo Comolli.

If you choose the lake, that of Como - also called Lario - is the closest to Milan and you can opt between the two branches of Como and Lecco. The charm and the views are amazing on both sides, the first is perhaps more worldly with Cernobbio and the fabulous Villa dʼEste and Villa Erba, the wildest branch of Lecco with the mountains - the Grigne - that rise close by. The two branches then join in Bellagio, the pearl of the lake with its promontory kissed by the waters. If you go up to the north, there is another abbey on the Lecco shore, that of Piona, set in a splendid bay.

Enjoy a day at Lake Como departing from Milan

We recommend

We recommend