An ideal itinerary to visit Milan in one day among art, culture, luxury and nightlife, in the unique atmosphere of the Fashion Capital of the World.

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The squares, the monuments, the museums, the shopping and the aperitivo: Milan is a vibrant metropolis capable of offering all this and much more, in a context where history, culture, and folklore blend seamlessly with modernity, fashion and the desire to amaze.

Limiting ourselves to visiting Milan in one day may be too short to explore all the attractions the city has to offer. However, even in just 24 hours, with our precise and well-structured itinerary, we'll be able to uncover the true and authentic soul of the most significant places in the Lombard capital.

Because even behind the most well-known and visited sites by mass tourism there are fascinating and unique stories, through which we can perceive the extraordinary atmosphere of a city that, beyond the gleaming skyscrapers and luxury shops, boasts centuries-old traditions and a charming and evocative cultural heritage.

Milan in one day, the experience of an itinerary in the heart of the city

Milan in one day, the city

Our itinerary to visit Milan in one day will be short but intense: we’ll explore the city on foot, or possibly using public transportation like the subway to move between various neighborhoods easily and quickly.

We’ll start in the morning from the extraordinary setting of Piazza del Duomo, the true beating heart of the city, crowded with tourists and locals at all hours of the day and night. After exploring it thoroughly, we’ll move to the area of Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione, before entering the Brera district and stopping for lunch at a typical Milanese trattoria.

In the afternoon, we’ll understand why Milan is called the Fashion Capital of the World by walking along the shopping streets, among the luxurious boutiques of Via Monte Napoleone and the trendy shops of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via Torino.

We’ll end our day dedicating ourselves to art and history, visiting the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, Santa Maria delle Grazie and the splendid Museum of the Last Supper.

In the evening, to relax after such a full day, we’ll take a break at one of the bars in the Navigli district to enjoy a well-deserved aperitivo and experience the vibrancy of Milan's famous nightlife.

Buy the Milan City Card, use public transports for 24 hours

Morning itinerary, 9:00 AM: the elegance and grandeur of Piazza del Duomo

Milan in one day, Duomo

Our journey begins with a hearty breakfast at one of the numerous bars in the area around Piazza del Duomo. The square is the focal point of the historic center and the entire city, making it the perfect place to start our visit to Milan in one day.

Here, we can feel a unique atmosphere and easily understand the grandeur and importance of the splendid Duomo, which not only serves as a tourist attraction but also remains an iconic symbol that plays a central role in the city's religious and cultural life to this day.

Let's not miss the opportunity to visit the fabulous interior and admire the panoramic view from the terrace. Then, once outside, let's also enjoy the splendid neoclassical building of the Royal Palace, which often hosts very interesting art exhibitions, and the elegant shops located under the arcades on the opposite side of the square.

Climb to the top of the Duomo with a guided tour

10:30 AM: from the Galleria to the Castle

Milan in one day, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

On the northern side of Piazza del Duomo, let’s enter the picturesque Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a true architectural masterpiece where we can find renowned cafes and luxury shops. Surrounded by a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere, we stroll through the Gallery admiring not only the splendid ceiling but also the refined flooring.

In this way, we may notice a particular mosaic depicting a bull. A popular belief holds that stepping on the bull's attributes, spinning three times around oneself while keeping the heel inside the hole in the pavement, is a propitiatory and auspicious ritual!

After performing this lucky gesture, we exit the Gallery and momentarily leave the area of Piazza del Duomo. Let's head to the adjacent Piazza Cordusio and continue along Via Dante, a pedestrian thoroughfare that leads to Largo Cairoli, where we will be faced with the imposing silhouette of the Sforza Castle.

11:00 AM: Sforza Castle and Parco Sempione

Milan in one day, Sforza Castle

The extraordinary building of the Sforza Castle, with the wonderful architecture of its towers and picturesque courtyards, allows us to immerse ourselves in the art and culture of Renaissance Milan. Inside, several museums are located, such as the Museo della Pietà Rondanini or the Museum of Ancient Art.

Of course, due to time constraints, our itinerary does not include visits to these museums. However, for those who can spend an entire weekend in Milan or who have even 3 days to explore the city, it's certainly worth making a stop at one of these excellent sites.

Instead, we pass the castle's courtyards until we reach Parco Sempione to stroll along the paths immersed in this true green lung of Milan

Let's walk to the central area of the park, crossing the Ponte delle Sirenette (Bridge of the Little Mermaids) and then turning right to exit from the eastern side of the park, where the Arena Civica is located, dedicated to the great Lombard journalist Gianni Brera.

Skip-the-line and visit the Duomo, Castle and The Last Supper

01:00 PM: in Brera for a lunch with the traditional Milanese recipes

Milan in one day, Brera and typical Milanese dishes

Exiting Parco Sempione, we enter the artistic district of Brera, so named because of the word "braida," which in the local dialect means "uncultivated land" or “meadow."

In the past, indeed, this area was a stretch of fields and open farmland. Over the years, and now more than ever, Brera has become a renowned cultural area of ​​great importance for the entire city.

In the neighborhood, we also find many trattorias where we can stop to enjoy a lunch based on the most typical recipes of Milan: from Risotto with Saffron to Ossobuco, from Cotoletta alla Milanese to Cassoeula, not forgetting, during the Christmas season, the inevitable Panettone.

Despite being a cosmopolitan metropolis, indeed, Milan boasts a rich culinary tradition that represents a fundamental element of the city's folkloristic heritage. And Brera is the ideal place to get to know it.

Afternoon itinerary, 02:30 PM: shopping in the heart of Milan

After lunch, we stroll through the picturesque streets of Brera and exit the neighborhood by way of Via Borgonuovo. This leads us directly into the area of the famous Quadrilatero della Moda, precisely onto Via Monte Napoleone, one of the world's most luxurious shopping streets, where we can leisurely walk while admiring the splendid shop windows of the most prestigious clothing brands.

Once we reach Piazza San Babila, let’s take the scenic Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to return to Piazza del Duomo. From the southwest side of the square, we proceed down another street known for its shops, this time with much more affordable prices: Via Torino.

We walk all the way down this bustling commercial district. Then, we set aside shopping and dedicate ourselves to a couple of visits that are a must for art and culture enthusiasts: let’s follow Via del Torchio and Via Lanzone until reaching the fabulous Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio.

04:00 PM: exploring the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

Milan in one day, Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio

Besides being an extraordinary example of Romanesque architecture, the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is particularly dear to Milanese people because it’s the burial place of the city's patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio.

The current style of the building is the result of a renovation that took place in the 11th century; however, the origins of the Basilica date back even further, to the end of the 4th century, during the period of Roman Mediolanum.

Today this church, which is one of the oldest and probably the most important in Milan after the Duomo, represents an ideal bridge between the city's traditions and its more modern soul.

The atmosphere of the area is indeed made lively by the presence of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart: the blend of the atmosphere of a site with a centuries-old history and the enthusiasm of young students crowding the square in front, contributes to making this place even more captivating and illustrative of the city's cultural landscape.

5:00 PM: Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Last Supper

As the final stop of the day, let's move north of the Sant’Ambrogio area to reach the nearby Corso Magenta. We turn right and follow the street for a few hundred meters to reach another of Milan's most famous and recognized churches: Santa Maria delle Grazie.

In addition to its beautiful dome and fabulous interiors, the complex is also home to the Museum of the Last Supper, which houses one of the greatest artistic masterpieces of all time, namely Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper.”

To admire it up close, advance booking is necessary. Opting for a guided tour is also a good idea, so that we can discover every secret of this extraordinary work with the help of an expert guide.

Buy the ticket for a guided tour of the Last Supper

07:00 PM: “apericena” and nightlife along the Navigli, seeking out the

Milan in one day, evening along the Navigli

After this intense visit of Milan in one day, the Navigli district represents the ideal neighborhood to spend a relaxing evening immersed in entertainment and nightlife.

In this bustling area, particularly popular on weekends, you'll find a concentration of bars, restaurants, and pubs highly appreciated by both tourists and locals.

In such a setting, you can opt for an "apericena", a very popular experience that combines an aperitif with a light dinner, usually served buffet-style.

This allows us to fully enjoy the lively atmosphere of the venues, replenish ourselves after the day's activities and, at the same time, meet locals in a relaxed and informal environment.

After dinner, take a stroll along the canals and stop for one last drink while listening to live music, soaking in the cosmopolitan atmosphere that reflects a vibrant social scene, as per the Milanese tradition of the famous "Milano da bere" of the 1980s, which refers to the key role of nightlife in Milan’s charm and identity.

Join the aperitivo and street food tour in Milan

Alternative options for visiting Milan in one day

Milan in one day, skyline

Milan is a versatile city, rich in attractions to discover and experiences to live. Our itinerary took us to some of the most beautiful and significant places from both historical and artistic points of view, as well as in terms of shops, restaurants and entertainment in general.

However, there are also other sites and neighborhoods that are very interesting and worth exploring during our visit of one day in Milan

Art enthusiasts, for example, could spend the entire afternoon in the Brera district, where the Accademia di Belle Arti and the renowned Pinacoteca di Brera are located. The Pinacoteca, in particular, houses masterpieces by artists such as Andrea Mantegna, Raphael, Piero della Francesca, and others.

From Brera, we could head north, cross via della Moscova and then enter via Maroncelli, a street situated behind the glass building of the Feltrinelli Foundation, along which there are numerous very fascinating and unique modern art galleries.

In addition to art, Milan also offers a lot to sports enthusiasts, with the iconic San Siro Stadium (reachable by the M5 subway line), to theater lovers (La Scala is one of Italy's most beautiful and famous theaters), and to those who appreciate architecture as a true representation of a modern metropolis, with the skyscrapers of the City Life Shopping District or the evocative Piazza Gae Aulenti (the latter is located just a stone's throw from Garibaldi FS station).

Explore Milan quickly with a bus tour

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