Milan at a Glance – An overview of what to expect

Milan at a Glance

Milan is one of the most travelled cities in Europe and a magnificent destination. You can spend hours or days getting lost here. Milan at a glance sets out an outline of what to expect on your first visit.

TTS logo

Milan at a Glance

Milan at a Glance

1 | Legal Entry to Italy – Visa

Schengen Visa- Netherlands | practical travel information for Amsterdam | Milan at a Glance

Italy is part of the common travel area known as the Schengen Zone. This means that if you are a national of EU/EEA, you can travel to Italy with just an Identification Card. However, if you are non EU/EEA, you will be required to present the following as a minimum at the port of entry to Italy:

i | A valid passport or travel document.

Your passport or travel must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of your planned exit from the Schengen Area.

The passport or travel document must be issued in the last 10 years.

ii | A Visa

If you are a national of a country that is subject to the Italy’s visa regime.

iii | Additional information

At border control, you may be asked about your purpose of visit, how long you intend to stay and your financial means during your trip.

iv | Entry stamp

Ensure your passport is stamped by the border control officers so that you could move freely within the Schengen Area. Without a stamp, you could be fined or detained.

**EU – European Union | EEA – European Economic Area

***British passport holders are exempt from the criteria of passport validity and issuance date.

Recommended read: Italy Tourist Travel Visa – A Simple Overview

Pro tip: Check visa requirements with iVisa

iVisa is an independent company in the travel documentation industry. They are resolved to getting an application for travel documents processed quickly in a simple and reliable manner.

2 | Language

The official language spoken in Milan is Italian but the majority of Milanese speak Milanese. Milanese is a dialect of Italian’s commonly spoken in the Lombardy region.

3 | Currency

The currency in Italy is the Euro (€) and was introduced in 1999. Euro is the only form of legal tender in the country. It’s predecessor, the Lira was taken out of circulation in 2002.

*1 Euro equals 0.85 Pound sterling (August 10, 2021)

4 | Credit Cards and ATMs

Inform your credit card company that you are travelling abroad.| Milan at a glance

In Milan, there are no problems in finding ATMs or cash machines that accepts foreign credit cards or bank debit cards. Most shops, restaurants and tour operators will also take credit cards as a form of payment. You only really need cash for small purchases like metro tickets, bottles of water, coffee, gelato and small souvenirs.

5 | Power plugs

The plugs and sockets in Italy are type F and L. The standard voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

6 | WiFi

7 | Safety 

While Milan is generally a safe place to be, you may want to keep a close eye on your belongings. There are always that elements of pickpockets and theft.

8 | Getting around


9 | Activities to do in Milan

In short, Milan is a city that has so very much to offer its visitors that even a few days may not be enough to soak-up the Milanese culture. Read through the following articles for some ideas on activities to do in Milan.

Tip: Discover Milan with a 48-hour City Card

10 | Resources to support your travel plans

Travel resources at a Glance

Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.

Flights

I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com

Accommodations

My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.

Unique experiences & tours

My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals.

Travel insurance

Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.

Travel essentials

Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.


I hope this overview has given you a taster of what to expect when visiting Italy. Browse through all related articles so you can make an informed decision and know before you go. Milan is a fabulous city and one not to miss on your travel bucket list.

If this article added value to your search in planning your travels to Italy, perhaps you would also consider using the links embedded here and in related articles to reserve/book your flights, train travels, accommodations and activities to do. TTS earns a commission from qualifying stays and purchases at no cost to you at all. As always, we appreciate your support and thank you in advance for your custom.

Have a splendid time discovering Milan.

Georgina


On Milan

What’s new

Keep exploring


Pin me on Pinterest!

Milan at a Glance
Milan at a Glance
Milan at a Glance

Milan at a Glance – An overview of what to expect was first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update Aug 16, 2021

line breaker
Milan at a glance is a quick overview of what to expect and what you need to know when visiting one of the most travelled cities in Europe. #milan #cityguide #europecities #italiancities via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Milan at a glance is a quick overview of what to expect and what you need to know when visiting one of the most travelled cities in Europe. #milan #cityguide #europecities #italiancities via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Milan Centrale Station | An Overview

Milan Centrale Station | An Overview

Milan Centrale Station is no ordinary Station, for sure! Its imposing, grandiose architecture has sculptures of winged horses, lions, bulls and eagles adorning its roof. Not only is it one of Europe’s largest stations, it depicts various architectural styles and art deco. The only thing you must not forget to do is to Look Up!

TTS logo
milan centrale station

About this post on Milan Centrale Station

This post provides a quick overview on Milan’s and one of Europe’s largest train station which is an attraction in itself. An architectural masterpiece showcasing various styles, it is a reflection of the grand city as a center of commerce and fashion. In addition, the station is home to a dedicated memorial as well as many restaurants and high-end fashion stores. There are practical information included for travellers using this station.

Milan Centrale Station

Milan Centrale Station is the main train station for Milan, a city that is the centre of commerce and fashion in northern Italy. It was opened in 1931, replacing an older and smaller station that was built in 1864. The station showcases an imposing, grandiose design to reflect the dominance of the then fascist regime of Prime Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini. Milan Centrale Station is the second largest station in Italy, following Roma Termini.

The Station is centrally located in Milan, giving easy access to Milan’s top attractions, such as the Piazza del Duomo, Duomo di Milano, the Brera District and the many museums located around the city. The Station itself is home to high-end designer shopping which the City, as one of the fashion capital of the world is popularly known for.

Architectural design

Milan Centrale Station
Milan Centrale Station | mytimelessfootsteps

“They told me that when Frank Lloyd Wright came to Milan, and he came only once, he was really impressed by it and said it was the most beautiful station in the world. For me it is also more beautiful than Grand Central Station in New York. I know few stations like this one”.

Aldo Rossi declared in an interview of February 1995 to Cecilia Bolognesi (Aldo Rossi, Luoghi Urbani, Unicopli 1999, p. 31)

There are no definite architectural style that can be associated with this grand station. Though beautiful and adorned with sculptures of winged horses, lions, bulls and eagles, it appears to be a blend of many different styles of Art Deco and Liberty, but not limited to those.

The platforms are covered with a canopy of soaring glass and metal arched roof, which is 341 metres (1,119 ft) long. It covers a total area of 66,500 square metres (716,000 sq feet).  

As I mentioned earlier, don’t forget to look up – this is a magnificent building.

The Shoah Memorial of Milan

The Milan Centrale Station played a key role during the holocaust in Italy. It was the centre where the station transported Jewish inmates of the San Vittore Prison and other persecuted people to concentration or death camps. They were taken to a secret track, located deep, on a sub-level below the train tracks, Binario 21. Between 1943 and early 1945, a total of twenty deportation trains and prisoners were sent away from here.

Today, this part of the station is a place for memory, gathering and awareness.

The Shoah Memorial of Milan

The Shoah Memorial of Milan occupies a vast space of train yard underneath the Centrale Station. Covering an area of twenty-four parallel tracks which were originally used for mail wagons, it is laid out on two levels, the ground floor and mezzzanine floor.

Learn more of The Shoah Memorial of Milan


An overview for travellers using Milan Centrale Station

There are twenty-four platforms at Milan Centrale Station, with daily service to cities throughout Italy and Europe. It serves about 320,000 people each day.

Access to platforms

The platforms and concourse are above ground level but these are fully accessible from ground level via lifts and escalators. Thus, providing level access to all platforms and concourse.

If you are without or with manageable luggage, you may want to walk-up the grand staircase from the station’s main entrance on the Piazza Duca d’Aosta.

Helpful information on facilities around Milan Centrale Station

The following useful information may be handy when navigating Milan Centrale Station:

1 | The station has free WiFi. 

2 | On platform level, there is an information office and a few shops and restaurants.

3 | There are restrooms near platform 22.

4 | Executive class & Business Salottino passengers on its Frecciarossa trains have access to Sala Freccia Club located near platform 21.

5 | Passengers with disabilities who need special assistance have access to Sala Blu, located near platform 4.

6 | On ground level, there is a large ticket office, the KiPoint left luggage facility, a post office, shops and restaurants.

7 | Currency exchange is on platform level – Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.


Practical information on transportation – Connections to Airports from Milan Centrale Station

The city of Milan is served by 3 international airports – Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo. All three airports are within reach of a train, bus or car ride. If you are accessing the airports from Milan Centrale Station, the following information is what you need to know:

i | To Malpensa Airport

Malpensa Airport (MXP) is the main international airport for Milan. The airport is located 49 kilometres northwest of the city and is accessible by train, bus and private transfers. The most convenient way is to use the Malpensa Express. For budget travellers, the bus transfers from Centrale to Malpensa or Malpensa to Centrale is the preferred option.

Know before you go:

For Malpensa Express travellers from Milan Centrale to Malpensa Airport – here’s what you need to know:

Malpensa Express is the fastest way to get to Malpensa Airport. Trains run every 20 minutes from Milan Centrale Station and takes 50 minutes.

For up-to-date train times, platforms, journey times, and to buy your tickets, go to Trainline as at most times, Trainline offers cheap last-minute tickets which you may wish to take advantage of.

Check tickets for Milan Centrale Station to Malpensa Airport or from Malpensa to Milan Centrale

Recommended read: All about Trainline and how to get cheap tickets for your journeys

For travellers using bus transfers from Milan Centrale to Malpensa/Malpensa to Centrale – here’s what you need to know:

1 | From Central Station: Buses depart every 20 minutes from 4:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., then every 30 minutes from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

2 | From Malpensa Airport Terminal 1: Buses depart every 20 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 10:40 p.m., then every 30 minutes from 11:00 p.m. to 12:40 a.m.

3 | From Malpensa Airport Terminal 2: Buses depart every 20 minutes from 6:10 a.m. to 10:50 p.m., then every 30 minutes from 11:10 p.m. to 12:40 p.m.

Malpensa Direct Shuttle | Departs every 20 minutes | Journey is 1 hour

Direct transfer in comfortable, airconditioned coaches: Buy tickets to/from Malpensa Airport from/to Milan Centrale Station. The price of this ticket includes luggage as well.


ii | To Linate International Airport

Milan Linate is located at only 8 kilometres away which makes this airport the nearest to the city. There are no train stations here but there is a good regular shuttle service from /to Linate to/from Milan.

Book a ticket for a hassle free journey onboard an airport bus transfer from Linate Airport to Milan Central Station and from Milan Centrale to Linate Airport. This transfer assures a direct connection between Linate Airport and Milan Central Station by providing buses from early morning until late at night. Get you and your luggage where you need to go when you need to go.

Know before you go:

Milan Centrale to Linate Airport

Bus schedule from Milan Centrale Station to Linate Airport:

5:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every 30 minutes;

8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Bus schedule from Linate Airport to Milan Centrale Station

From 7:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. every 30 minutes;

From 5:45 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. every 30 minutes;

Then – 8:15 p.m. 9:15 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.

Bus | Departs Milan Centrale every 30 minutes | Journey is approximately 25 minutes | From 5:30 a.m.

Book your airport transfers to/from Linate International Airport from/to Milan Centrale Station and take your luggage with you.


iii | Milan Centrale Station to Bergamo Airport

Bergamo Airport (BGY) or better known by its official name Orio al Serio is located 45 kilometres northeast of Milan, near the city of Bergamo. You have a couple of options here.

Know before you go:

1 | Bergamo Bus #1

There are no direct train to /from Bergamo Airport from/to Milan Centrale but the airport is connected to Bergamo train station by regular bus services.

The Bergamo Bus that connects the airport to the train runs every 30 minutes from 6:00 a.m. The journey time is between 10 to 15 minutes. Lookout for Bus #1. This bus takes passengers from Bergamo Airport and drop them off outside the train station to continue their journey. The bus then collects the awaiting passengers at the train station to be taken to the airport. You need a ticket for this journey. This page gives you all the up to date information on fares and schedule.

2 | Direct shuttle service

Alternatively, for your comfort, take the direct shared shuttle service from Milan Centrale to Bergamo Airport. You will be dropped off at the Terminal and there is no need for a further connection as would be the case if you take the train to Bergamo station.

Learn more about the direct shuttle service from/to Milan Centrale to/from Bergamo Airport and reserve your place well in advance of your travel as this is a popular option.


From Milan Centrale Station to Milan city centre by Metro

Depending on where your departure point is in the city centre to Milan Centrale Station or from Milan Centrale to city centre, the following 3 subway lines will help you plan your journey:

M1 [RED] – Connects Duomo di Milano with Porta Venezia, the castle, Corso Magenta and the Fiera;

M2 [Green] – Connects Porta Garibaldi with Brera and Navigli;

M3 [Yellow] – Connects Quadrilatero with Porta Romana;



Other related information on train services at Milan Centrale Centre

Train services that operate via Milan:

Le Frecce | Thello | City Night Train


Cities commonly travelled to from Milan Centrale Station:

Basel | Florence | Geneva | Lugano | Lucerne | Nice | Paris | Rome | Venice | Zurich


Getting to Milan City Centre from Milan Centrale Station

From Milan Centrale Station:

To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.

The quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.

If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.

You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.

Learn more from this page that tells you all about getting around Milan like a local using public transport


Milan Centrale Station location

Address: Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 1 20124 Milan | GPS: 45.4870° N, 9.2055° E


Places to stay in Milan

Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Milan, IT

Radisson Blu Hotel, Milan, IT

Recommended read: Beautiful places to stay in Milan

Take advantage of last-minute deals in Milan:

Booking.com

For more choices on accommodation, use this link and check on the vast choices available in Milan – Accommodation in Milan


On a final note

If you train travel to Milan or if you ever find your self at Milan Centrale Station, take a moment to look around. This magnificent, awe-inspiring station building is no ordinary station and it is indeed an attraction in itself!


Sincerely hope that this post is valuable to you when at Milan Centrale Station and you find the suggestions helpful in designing your timeless vacation in Milan. If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. As well, use the links to book your stay, buy your transit tickets and things to do in Milan. TTS earns a commission from qualifying stays and purchases at no cost to you at all. You could also support TTS in other ways if you wish. As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Have an awesome time exploring Milan.


More on Milan

What’s new

Pin me on Pinterest!

milan central station
milan centrale station
milan centrale station
Milan Centrale Station

Milan Centrale Station | An Overview first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update August 20, 2021

line breaker
A quick overview to Milan Centrale Station. If you ever find your self here, take a moment to look around. This magnificent, awe-inspiring station building is no ordinary station! Milan Centrale Station | Milan Transport | Getting around Milan | From Milan Station to the Airports | How to get to Milan from the airport | Ways to get to Milan airports | How to get to Milan city centre from Milan station | Things to do | #milan #milantransport #gettingaroundmilan #milantrainstation #milanairport via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/A quick overview to Milan Centrale Station. If you ever find your self here, take a moment to look around. This magnificent, awe-inspiring station building is no ordinary station! Milan Centrale Station | Milan Transport | Getting around Milan | From Milan Station to the Airports | How to get to Milan from the airport | Ways to get to Milan airports | How to get to Milan city centre from Milan station | Things to do | #milan #milantransport #gettingaroundmilan #milantrainstation #milanairport via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Arco della Pace | An unmissable monument in Milan

Arco della Pace | An unmissable monument in Milan

An elegant Neoclassical architecture stands gallantly at one of Milan’s oldest city gates surrounded by lush green oasis. The Arco della Pace is freely accessible and one not to miss!

TTS logo

Arco della Pace or the Arch of Peace is an elegant Neoclassical architecture and a symbol of Milan. It stands at Porta Sempione, one of the five oldest of the City’s gates. This symbolic monument is surrounded by the largest lush green oasis of this fashion capital, Parco Sempione, which is a popular tourist attraction in itself. The area is freely accessible and the Arco della Pace is an unmissable attraction when visiting Milan.

arco della pace milan

History of Arco della Pace

Designed by architect Luigi Cagnola in 1807, it echoes Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. It was originally named Arco delle Vittorie (Arch of Victory) to celebrate Napoleon’s victory. The Arch is built at the start of Corso Sempione, a road that connects Milan to Paris along the Simplon Pass. This meant that Napoleon would pass through the Arch on his way into the Italian city. However, with Napoleon’s fall in 1814, this Neoclassical facade was left unfinished.

Post-Napoleonic era, the Arch was renamed Arco della Pace in 1815. Work resumed in 1826 and completed in 1838, in time for the crowning of Ferdinand I as King of Lombardy-Veneto. Ferdinan I dedicated the Arch to Francis I. Later, and with another change of power in 1859, the Arch was rededicated to the unified Italy. Sadly, Luigi Cagnola died in 1833, not having witnessed the completion of the Arch.

The architecture of Arco della Pace

arco della pace

The design of Arco della Pace is similar to the Arch of Septimius Severus at the Forum Romanum in Rome. It features a large passageway along with four Corinthian columns, decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures. At 23 metres, this monument was built using several materials, including the Baveno granite and Creola d’Ossola marble.

At the top of the Arch, there are three groups of bronze statues. The central one is of a Goddess led by six-horses – the Chariot of Peace, sculpted by Abbondio Sangiorgio. The statues on either side of the arch were created by Giovanni Putti and are known as the Victories on Horseback. The sculptures were intended to face Paris but their position was modified by the Hapsburgs after Napolean’s defeat. The horses were turned 180 degrees to face the City.

arco della pace milan

Just below the statue, in the four corners of the columns are representations of the four rivers that flow through the former kingdom of Lombardy-Veneto region – Po, Ticino, Adige and Tagliamento. Bas-reliefs along the sides of the monument depict scenes of Battle of Leipzig which led to Napoleon’s defeat rather than his military victories. Other bas-reliefs depict major events in Italian history.


Practical information to support your visit

1 | Location of Arco della Pace

If you are accessing Arco della Pace via Sforzesco Castle, then it is located at the far end of Parco Sempione. Parco Sempione can be accessed at the rear of the Castle. With so many attractions in Parco Sempione, this map shows you where exactly you need to head to.

Location of Arco della Pace in Sempione Park


2 | How to get to the Arco della Pace

Attractions in Milan are all located within walking distance. If you decide to use public transport, then the following might be helpful. The starting point is from Piazza del Duomo, the central square and the meeting point for most in Milan.

Take Line 1 Subway and Line 1 Tram

This journey involves a 6-minute transfer

From the Duomo, take the Metro (M1) to Cadorna Fn . Journey is 3 minutes and costs 2 Euros.

At Cadorna, change to Tram 1. A 8-minute journey to Arco della Pace and costs 2 Euros.

Take Line 1 Tram

From the Duomo Metro Station, walk to Cordusio M1 – about 4 minutes.

Board Tram 1 to Arco della Pace. Journey is about 20 minutes, costs 2 Euros

Alternatively, you can take a taxi which costs around 8 Euros.


Recommendations

When visiting Milan, consider joining a tour or two to learn about the history of the City. If you are a foodie, join a food tour so you get to experience the authentic Milanese restaurants that only the local experts know. If time permits, get away from the City for a day and experience the Lake Districts or the mountains or better still, visit a neighbour!


Lake Como with Bellagio and Lugano Day Trip from Milan

Milan Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket

Milan Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: 72, 48-Hour or 1 Day Ticket

Milan: Da Vinci’s Last Supper Skip-the-Line Guided Tour


Sincerely hope that this easy guide is valuable to you in planning your visits to the Arch of Peace and I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have an awesome time exploring the City of Milan.

Travel to Italy

UK Travellers to Italy

Italy Travel Advice

City of Milan:

45.4641° N 9.1919° E


Best European Cities


Best on Resources



Explore Train Travel in Europe


Stay at the Millennium


Stay at Radisson


Explore Train Travel in Europe



Stay Connected! Sign-up free to Exclusive Readership Offers and Access to Our Timeless Travel Stories & Valuable Guides to Create Your Very Own Incredible Experiences


More on Milan

What’s new

Keep exploring

Pin me on Pinterest!

arco della pace
arco della pace
arco della pace milan

Arco della Pace | An unmissable monument in Milan first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update August 20, 2021

line breaker
Arco della Pace, an exquisite landmark of Milan is surrounded by the lush oasis of Sempione Park. An unmissable monument which is also freely accessible. via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Arco della Pace, an exquisite landmark of Milan is surrounded by the lush oasis of Sempione Park. An unmissable monument which is also freely accessible. via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Parco Sempione (Milan) | 5 must-see attractions

Parco Sempione (Milan) | 5 must-see attractions

A perfect haven in the midst of a bustling metropolis, Parco Sempione offers much more than tranquility. Here is a guide on the unmissable 5 attractions within the Park not to miss.

TTS logo

Parco Sempione Milan

parco sempione milan

Parco Sempione is the largest green space in the city of Milan. It is located at the rear of Sforzesca Castle, in the northwest of the city. Covering an area of about 95 acres (38 hectares), it is a perfect haven to relax, to walk, jog, to bike ride or just about anything you wish, to fly away the time. The shaded area, sculptures and ornate fountains are especially inviting. Flora and fauna abound here as is the tranquillity in some areas where it is not crowded. This peaceful haven is popular amongst tourists as well as Milanese who seek respite from their hectic city life.

Parco Sempione Milan - 5 Unmissable Attractions

Parco Sempione Milan over the years

First established in 1888, the park was used as a hunting ground by the Sforza family, the Dukes of Milan. Then it was landscaped when Napolean came, with a few orchards. In 1891, a large park was constructed for the public.

Today, Parco Sempione has a number of attractions on site which should not be missed when you are visiting this peaceful and tranquil haven. There are 5 attractions which are made up of the Sforza Castle, Arch of Peace, an aquarium, a sporting arena, and Torre Branca, one of the tallest tower in Milan.

1| Sforza Castle in Parco Sempione

Milan in one-day - Sforzesco Castle

Sforza Castle is a landmark in Milan. An impressive red brick fortress which was initially built in the 14th century by the Visconti family. The Castle was almost destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. It underwent massive improvements and reconstruction later in the 15th century when the Sforza family became the Dukes of Milan, to be one of the largest palaces in Europe. Today, Sforza Castle is home to several museums that houses valuable art and masterpieces. Notably, Michelangelo’s unfinished last work, the Rondanini Pietà and Sala delle Asse, frescoes by Da Vinci.

Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy | Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 17:30


2 | Arco della Pace

The Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) is a symbol of Milan and marks one of the historic gates. This was the strategic route taken by Napoleon when he invaded Northern Italy. This triumphal monument, is a beautiful structure made of marble and was completed in 1838. Standing at 23 metres and topped with horse-drawn chariots. is a landmark not to be missed when visiting Milan.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy


3 | Arena Civica

Also in Parco Sempione, there is Arena Civica which is one of Milan’s most popular sporting venues. The official name is Arena Gianni Brera, named after the famous Italian writer and journalist. Designed by Luigi Canonica, the Arena Civica was Napolean’s mini-colosseum which he opened with a chariot race in 1807. This Neoclassical stadium hosts major sporting events such as soccer, rugby games and concerts. The Arena is open daily to the public.

Address: Viale Giorgio Byron, 2, 20154 Milano MI, Italy


4 | Acquario Civico in Parco Sempione

The Acquario Civico di Milano (Civic Aquarium of Milan) is tucked away in a convenient corner of Parco Sempione. Opened in 1906, it is beautiful. but a rather small aquarium. Home to over one-hundred species of fish, it tells a story of the mountain streams to seabeds. The are video presentations on the rare species.

The Acquario Civico is open to the public every day except Monday. Entrance is free.

Address: Viale Gadio, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy


5 | Torre Branca

torre branca sempione park milan

Torre Branca is no ordinary tower!. It is narrow and made completely of steel. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is one the City’s tallest buildings. The Tower was designed by Gio Ponti and erected in just two-and-half months in time for the 5th Triennale exhibition in 1933.

torre branca sempione park milan
torre branca sempione park milan

Take the elevator to the top, step out to see the incredible views over the City of Milan, the skyscrapers both old and new as well as the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Opening times varies:

On mid April-mid October: 

Tues and Thurs 9.30pm-midnight

Wed 10.30am-12.30pm/4pm-6.30pm/9.30pm-midnight

Fri 2.30pm-6pm/9.30pm-midnight

Sat and Sun 10.30am-12.30am/2.30pm-7.30pm/9.30pm-midnight. 


On mid October-mid April: 

Wed 10.30am-12.30am/4pm-6.30pm

Sat 10.30am-1pm/3pm-6.30pm/8.30-midnight

Sun 10.30am-2pm/2.30pm-7pm.


Full ticket €5.

NB: The Torre Branca is closed for visits in case of bad weather.

Address: Torre Branca
Parco Sempione, viale Milton
M1-M2 Cadorna FN
T:+39.02.3314120


Practical information when visiting Parco Sempione

1 | Map of Parco Sempione

To support your visit to the Park, below is a map of Parco Sempione in Milan with markers for the 5 attractions I have listed on this post.


2 | Plan ahead

When visiting Milan, consider joining a couple of city guided tours to enhance your experiences. There are hundreds of unmissable activities in Milan for all ages and interests. Plan ahead and secure your ticket/s especially if you are planning on visiting “The Last Supper” at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Pre-book your tickets and stay flexible with easy cancellation up to 24 hours before. Save time, avoid queues and purchase skip the line tickets for major attractions. The following may be of interest to you:

Milan hop on hop off bus tour
Milan Cathedral and rooftop ticket
Milan City highlights E-bike tour

3 | Travel Resources

Travel resources at a Glance

Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.

Legal entry/Tourist travel Visa

Check Visa requirements with iVisa, a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry.

Flights

I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com

Accommodations

My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.

Unique experiences & tours

My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals. You shall find suggestions on recommended tours sprinkled throughout TTS on each experience I write about.

Travel insurance

Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.

Travel essentials

Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.


So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Parco Sempione? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you. As well, use the links embedded in this article and related articles to book your flight, train travel, accommodations, activities to do and travel essentials. We earn a commission from qualifying purchases and stays at no cost to you at all. You could also support TTS in other ways, if you prefer. As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Have a splendid time exploring Parco Sempione.

Travel to Italy

UK Travellers to Italy

Italy Travel Advice

City of Milan:

45.4641° N 9.1919° E


Best European Cities


Best on Resources



Explore Train Travel in Europe


Stay at the Millennium


Stay at Radisson


Explore Train Travel in Europe



Stay Connected! Sign-up free to Exclusive Readership Offers and Access to Our Timeless Travel Stories & Valuable Guides to Create Your Very Own Incredible Experiences


More on Milan

What’s new

Keep exploring

Pin me on Pinterest!

Parco Sempione Milan - 5 Unmissable Attractions
Parco Sempione Milan - 5 Unmissable Attractions
Parco Sempione Milan - 5 Unmissable Attractions
Parco Sempione Milan - 5 Unmissable Attractions

Parco Sempione Milan, 5 must-see attractions first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update: August 21, 2021

line breaker
Parco Sempione is the largest green space in Milan. A public park since 1891, this oasis of natural habitat is home to 5 "must see" attractions.  This is a quick read for now to #travel later via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Parco Sempione is the largest green space in Milan. A public park since 1891, this oasis of natural habitat is home to 5 "must see" attractions.  This is a quick read for now to #travel later via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Milan bucket list ideas | The best 19 attractions

Milan bucket list ideas | The best 19 attractions

TTS logo

About Milan

Milan is a lively metropolitan hub often compared as just another city like London, Paris or New York but I think Not! The City of Milan is unique. Milan has Piazzas!! Milan has gelato! The city has Milanese Ossobuco! The city has all of the 19 attractions listed in this Milan bucket list ideas which makes it incomparable to other metropolises. I am working through the list as I shall be returning to Milan on many future occasions and I share them here with you.

About Milan bucket list ideas

I have included a Google MyMap towards the end of the post so, you too can use it to design your visit to Milan. Along with this map, there are some suggested tours which you can book to maximise your experiences. To have an authentic experience like a Milanese, get around Milan on their public transport! Everything you need for your Milan bucket list experience is right here, in this post. Scroll all the way down to see all related posts. So, grab yourself a cuppa or an aperitivo – here is the ultimate 19 ideas on Milan bucket list for exploring the best the city has to offer.

milan bucket list

1 | Milan Cathedral | An absolute Milan bucket list experience

Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo
Duomo di Milano in the centre of Piazza del Duomo | Image by georgina_daniel

A combination of Gothic and Romanesque style, this pink and white facade is made of special marble from Val D’Ossola. The front facade is magnificent and is decorated with countless statues, spires and numerous carvings. A symbol of international effort by the many architects, sculptors and artists, this monument is top on Milan bucket list ideas.

Ways to experience the Milan Cathedral

Then, to top off your experience at Milan Cathedral, with the same skip-the line ticket, go up to the terraces, either via lift or stairs at just before sundown to catch the golden hues turning into the velvety night sky.

Changing hues of the skies over Milan’s skyline at sunset

Recommended read: Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

Located in the centre of Milan, at Piazza del Duomo, Milan Cathedral is the symbol of Milan. No visit to this fashion capital is complete without stepping foot into its grand doors.

Piazza del Duomo | Milan Cathedral opening hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Recommended activity: Fast-track Milan Cathedral & Terraces Guided Tour

2 | Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Milan bucket list

Sitting just steps away from Milan Cathedral is the opulent and grandest of shopping mall! Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was designed by Guiseppe Mengoni and completed in 1877. With over 160 years of history, the Galleria Vittorio is one of the oldest shopping mall in the world.

The cross shaped mall covered via four glass panelled arms allows the sunlight in perfectly. So bright and airy! The walls and shop fronts are decorated with ornate panelling and beautiful stucco artwork. The Galleria exudes an air of luxury. There are a string of high-end designer names such as Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton that line the mall.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo | Accessible at all hours | Shops are typically open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Recommended read: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Why you should visit


Sign-up free for Exclusive Readership Offers and Access to our best travel stories & valuable guides to help you create your very own timeless travels


3 | La Scala Opera | Milan bucket list

Also known as “Temple of Opera”, the La Scala dates back to 1778. This historical opera theatre is one of its kind to have hosted as many great artists and composers in her time and continue to do so. One of the finest in the world, La Scala is renowned for its acoustic qualities, opulence and grandeur of the seating.

Experiencing a show, seating in one of the 6-tiers of seats or individual boxes that frame the stage in a semi-circle amidst full of red velvet drapes and gold furnishings is surely a memorable occasion. This makes one of Milan bucket list ideas for many, me included. To experience the show, get your tickets from the official La Scala website here.

La Scala is located in the small town square of Piazza della Scala, north of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, accessible from Piazza del Duomo.

Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy | Guided tours available at specific times.

Recommended activity for best experience: Join a tour of La Scala, learn about its history and visit the museums

4 | Castello Sforzesco | Milan bucket list

This 14th century building is one of the most famous landmarks in Milan. It looks very much like a castle and is set in extensive grounds and gardens. The original design had been modified over the years but still retains its elegance and status of power. It was home to the Dukes of Milan, the Sforza family.

These days, the castle is home to a number of small museums and collections containing a myriad of interesting artefacts and historical information about the castle and Milan.

There are a number of guided tours available where you can learn more of medieval Milan and the Dukes who once ruled this city. The 2-hour guided tour of Sforza Castle and the museum comes with skip-the-line priority giving you access to the grounds and all of the museums. The tours are timed for 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Ensure that you pre-book to secure your tour as soon as you work out your itinerary for Milan.

Castello Sforzesco | Piazza Castello, 3, 20121 Milan Italy | Opening times: Castle grounds free entry – 7.00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ; Museums – 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through to Sunday.

Recommended read: Sforza Castle and Museums

Recommended experience: Sforza Castle express guided tour

5 | Parco Sempione | Milan bucket list

Parco Sempione is a large public space that sits behind Sforzesco Castle. This beautifully landscaped park covers about 38 hectares (95 acres) and offers a myriad of footpaths, bike trails, shaded areas, sculptures and ornate fountains. Flora and fauna abound here.

Walk through the park to see the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace). There is also a little museum and Torre Branca, a huge watch tower that offers panoramic views of the city.

Parco Sempione is a perfect place to rest your feet if you have been on a walking-tour of the city or simply just to relax.

Address: Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

Opening hours:

Friday6:30am–9pm
Saturday6:30am–9pm
Sunday(Assumption of Mary)6:30am–9pmHours might differ
Monday6:30am–9pm
Tuesday6:30am–9pm
Wednesday6:30am–9pm
Thursday6:30am–9pm

Recommended read: Parco Sempione – 5 must-see attractions

6 | Arch of Peace | Milan bucket list

The Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace) is one of the symbols of Milan and marks one of the city’s historical gates. This 18th century Neoclassical triumphal monument is a 23 metre marble structure at one end of the Simplon Road, Parco Sempione. This was the strategic route through the Alps taken by Napolean when he invaded northern Italy in 1800. Napolean later commissioned the arch to commemorate his victories.

Construction began in 1806 but was not completed until 1838, years after Napoleon’s death.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

Recommended read: Arco della Pace – An unmissable monument in Milan

7 | Torre Branca | Milan bucket list

Torre Branca is a panoramic tower situated in Sempione Park. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is the 6th tallest structure in Milan after Unicredit Tower, Palazzo Lombardia, Pirellone or Pirelli Tower and the Breda Tower.

Address: Viale Luigi Camoens, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

8 | Pinacoteca di Brera | Milan bucket list

The Pinacoteca di Brera, otherwise known as Breara Picture Gallery is housed in Palazzo di Brera, an 18th century Neoclassical structure. Pinacoteca is an art museum. Founded in 1809 by Napoleon I and is one of the most important of Italian museums. It is home to a large collection of Italian art.

The museum’s exhibits consist some of the greatest masterpieces of Italian paintings from the 15th century to the 20th century. It has especially rich collections of Venetian and Lombard paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. There are works such as the Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael, Pieta by Bellini, the Last Supper by Rubens and the Adoration of the Magi by Correggio. The works are displayed on the first floor of the building, where the Academy of Fine Arts is also located.

This amazing historical museum is conveniently located in close proximity to both the Sforzesco Castle and the Piazza del Duomo and warrants a spot on Milan bucket list ideas.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Address: Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

There is a two hour guided walking tour available for you, combining a visit to Pinacoteca, with a fascinating walk through Milan’s popular Brera district.

Recommended activity: Walking tour of Brera District and a visit to Pinacoteca museum

9 | Brera District | Milan bucket list

Brera is a charming and rather enchanting area of Milan that has many hidden gems to explore. A distinct Bohemian beauty and simple old-school charm, Brera often finds itself in the top of Milan bucket list ideas of many visitors.

The main attraction in Brera is the area itself. The district is full of art academies, galleries, a number of antique shops and well-to-do restaurants and bars. It is a good area to eat like a local, from traditional pasta to pizza and have your Italian beer along with your meal.

You can also go on a little high-end retail therapy, wander through its picturesque cobbled streets, explore the many hidden gems, perhaps stopping for a coffee or an aperitivo in one of its squares.

The vibe here is fantastic and is an experience that should not be missed.

Location: To the north of the Duomo di Milano, in-between Borgonuovo and Broletta. | 20121 Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy |

Recommended activity: Discover Milan in 48 hours with Milan’s City Card

10 | Biblioteca Braidense – Brera Library

The Braidense National Library is in the same building as the Pinacoteca di Brera museum and the Brera Academy, making it a perfect stop for a visit. It is a public library, which was created in 1770 by Maria Theresa of Austria.The library was open in 1786. I included the Brera Library as one of Milan bucket list attraction because of its historical significance and contribution towards promoting the book as an object of art.

Furthermore, the Biblioteca Braidense is the third largest library in Milan. This Neo-classical library is home to a collection of 1,500,000 books, including 2,000 manuscripts, 350 of which date back to medieval times, and 25,000 sixteenth-century editions. The collection also includes catalogues, religious books housed in the reading room, a rare collection of letters and first editions by Alessandro Manzoni.  

The reading rooms feature the library’s original wooden shelves and furnishings, crystal chandeliers, frescoed ceilings and a collection of antique paintings. A spot in Milan bucket list is highly merited, I think.

Address: Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

11 | Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie | Milan bucket list

Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace) is located in the heart of Milan. An outstanding architecture, with a certain charm and grace, is an emblem to the Catholic religion.

The Santa Maria delle Grazie was built between 1466 and 1490 to a design by architect Guiniforte Solari. The church features a Gothic style using red bricks and a large rear basilica.

Inside the church, more precisely the refectory, on the wall is one of the greatest artistic masterpieces in the world – The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The mural depicts the scene of the Last Supper as described in the Bible. Throughout the years, this piece of artwork has been scrutinised and analysed for its hidden meanings and content. It only seems fitting that Santa Maria delle Grazie is included in Milan bucket list of ideas.

Address: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI,

Pro tip: This is a top rated attraction and tickets are sold out months ahead of time. Pre-book your tickets to secure your visit.

Recommended activity:

Secure your visit and pre-book one of the following 3 ways to visit to see this miraculous piece of art

12 | Sant Ambrogio Milan

Sant Ambrogio (Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is a church in the centre of Milan. This ancient building is one of Milan’s most important churches. Named after the city’s patron saint, Saint Ambrosius (Ambrose) who consecrated the church in 386 AD during his tenure as bishop of Milan. The church was built in 379 AD and was a focal point for the people, as the city of Milan was built around it.

The architecture is of a simple Romanesque style. Two large towers frame the front facade. The central courtyard is pretty, decorated with a series of ornate arches. The interior of the church features beautiful mosaics and artwork including the ceiling of the Oratory and the delightful depiction of Christ on one of the domes.

A visit to this church is highly recommended, meriting a spot on Milan bucket list ideas as it will provide an insight into the history of Milan and its religious importance.

Address: Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

13 | San Bernadino alle Ossa

San Bernardino alle Ossa is a church but a very different kind of church from the rest of the churches in Milan. The church walls are completely covered in bones and skulls! Even the door knobs! Therefore a visit to San Bernardino may not be suitable for everyone.

According to its history, in 1145, a hospital was built near the Santo Stefano Maggiore Church, Milan. The graveyard,became overfilled with bodies from the new hospital, so in 1210 a little chamber was built to collect the bones from the hospital. In 1269 a small church was added near the bone chamber.

Today, you will find San Bernardino alle Ossa located at the end of a short corridor to the the right of the church’s entrance. The vault is decorated with frescos from Sebastiano Ricci, dating from 1695.

If you are interested in visiting an unusual church, visit the San Bernardino. Entrance is free.

Location: Piazza Santo Stefano, Milan, 20122 Italy | Entrance is Free | Closed on Sundays

14 | Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology

Leonardo da Vinci was a legendary man of true genius and amongst the most influential artists in history. He left a significant legacy not only in the realm of art but in science as well, each discipline informing his mastery of the other.a painter, an architect, an engineer, a theatrical producer. Therefore, it stands to reason that a museum named after him contains many of his works and a huge collection of other important scientific and technological displays.

As one of the most important museums in the world, one can expect to find collections of model cars created from da Vinci drawings, reconstructions of his flying machines, and a plethora of his drawings, blueprints and sketches.

Address: Via San Vittore, 21, 20123 Milan MI, Italy

Recommended activity: Reserve your experience to the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology

You may also like the Pinacoteca & da Vinci Codex Exhibition

15 | Archaeological Museum Milan

The Archaeological Museum of Milan is housed in the former convent of the Monastero Maggiore and the Church of San Maurizio. Both buildings were founded in 8th and 9th century. Dedicated to the history of ancient Milan, the museum features archaeological finds from several periods. This includes the Middle Ages, influences from the Etruscan civilization and also the ancient Greeks.

Address: Corso Magenta, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

16 | Naviglio Grande

Navigli is fast becoming one of Milan’s most popular neighbourhoods, but there’s more to do here than seeing the canals.

The Naviglio Grande is one of the two canals in Milan. It stretches from the Porta Ticinese to the Ticino river some 50km to the west. Constructed in 1177, the canal was worked on for many years and continued to expand into what it is today.

The canals are busy, especially during the summer months where tourists are ferried up and down the water. The boat tours depart every hour from Alzaia Naviglio Grande. For a bucket list experience, you can choose to cruise the canal on Milan’s first (and only) Venetian Gondola, owned by the Canottieri San Cristoforo – they even offer gondolier lessons. Or you can just grab an aperitivo and sit along the harbour banks and soak in the lively vibe.

The Navigli area is popular as well for good bars and restaurants.

Address: 21015 Milan Italy

17 | Piazza dei Mercanti

Piazza Mercanti (Merchants Square) was once the heart of the city in the Middle Ages, a hub for many merchant activities and trade markets.

It is one of the most picturesque squares in Milan that still preserves an authentic Medieval atmosphere. Notable buildings are Pallazo della Ragione, the Pallazo delle Scuole Palatine and the Loggia degli Osii. There are some important statues and monuments here, some of which have Roman origins.

Pro tip: The loggia dei mercanti, an open air space beneath Pallazo della Ragione is a whispering gallery, Speak softly to some of its columns, and its archways will whisk your whispers to a well-placed listener on the opposite side of the portico.

Piazza Mercanti is located between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Corduiso | Address: Piazza dei Mercanti, 20123 Milan MI, Italy

Visit this easily accessible square (just 3 minutes walk from Piazza del Duomo) to admire its ancient origins and beautiful architecture.

18 | Porta Nuova