Where to Stay in Milan | 5 Best Areas

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The 5 Best Neighbourhoods in Milan for families, couples and individual travellers

Travelling to the fashion metropolis and wondering where to stay in Milan? No worries. With so many places on offer, it can be both overwhelming and time consuming to find the perfect place for your stay. I have experienced it many times! I have researched, and taken time to consider the ratings of the accommodations in question before compiling this list for you. I hope to provide some of the highly rated places for you to consider where to stay in Milan when visiting this vibrant city.

The City of Milan, as you may already know is not just an iconic fashion hub but also a cultural and financial hub of Italy. It is located in the Lombardy region in northern Italy and is easily accessible by air, train and by road. Steeped in history, Gothic architecture and piazzas, sits modern skyscrapers that will blow you away! In addition, the city is surrounded by picturesque mountains and so many lakes and valleys that makes Milan a perfect destination for history buffs, fashionistas, hiking enthusiasts or for “just because getaways.”

For the many reasons you may wish to visit this incredible and energetic city, this post may have the answer to the question, where to stay in Milan along with added timeless memories.

Given the great many choices, the following list is curated just for you. Places to stay in Milan are selected by the top 5 neighbourhoods to suit for all interests  — individuals, couples and families.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

Not sure where to begin? Join one of our popular guided tours for an authentic Milanese experience:

1 | Gourmet Food Tour in Milan > This tour provides a great overview of Milanese food traditions. Avoid the tourist traps and join a local food expert to discover and taste a range of dishes with alcoholic drinks;

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WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN

Milan is massive and thankfully most of the attractions are centrally located, namely in Zone 1. While the city is best explored on foot, Milan’s public transport is extensive and runs an efficient service for you to hop onto when need be. The system is convenient and easy to navigate – one can get around Milan like a local if you familiarise yourself with the basics.

Read: Getting around Milan like a Local — A Complete Guide to Public Transportation in Milan

There are a number of districts and neighbourhoods in Milan that cater specifically for certain interests. Milan is divided into nine administrative districts covering about 180 square kilometres. These districts are further divided into neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood offers every visitor something unique to experience. In this guide on where to stay in Milan, you will find the ideal neighbourhoods along with conveniently located attractions you might want to visit.

You may want to read the Complete Travel Resource on Milan. The Resource has articles on transportation, places to visit, Milan bucket list, day trips and so much more for a timeless trip to this fun city.

Let’s take a look at the 5 top neighbourhoods — where to stay in Milan when you visit.

1 | CENTRO STORICO | WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN

Milan Cathedral, Italy - How to make the best of your visit
Where to Stay in Milan, Italy

In the very heart of Milan is Centro Storico, home to the most famous cultural and historical attractions as well as the city’s main piazza. It is a bustling area with tourists and locals alike. It is busy all day, all night, all seasons and all year round! If you are heading for a quiet vacation or a crowd-free vacation, then this is not the neighbourhood you might want to be. On the other hand, if you intend to visit the best of the beaten path over a weekend or a short-break stay, then this is absolutely the place to be!

1.1 | Hotels and Aparthotels in Centro Storico, Milan

Where to stay in Milan

1.1.1 | NH COLLECTION MILANO PRESIDENT

Where to stay in Milan

Located just 550 yards from the Duomo and a stone’s throw from Milan’s famous shopping streets, NH Collection Milano President is a stylish modern hotel featuring five star accommodation. Some rooms have balconies and views of the cathedral. The restaurant offers typical Milan-style dishes, as well as a complete menu that includes Italian and international cuisine. A generous breakfast buffet is served daily.

Particularly suitable for couples and 2 people stays.

Book NH Collection Milano President

1.1.2 | DUOMO HOTEL & APARTMENTS

This aparthotel boasts a central location — just 250 yards from Milan Cathedral and in the heart of the historic and financial district of Milan. It’s location is ideal for exploring the city — 400 yards from La Scala and the fashion district of Milan. It features modern accommodation and city views. Has self-catering options.

Suitable for solo travellers, couples and family.

Book Duomo Hotel & Apartments

1.1.3 | THE SQUARE MILANO DUOMO

Where to stay in Milan

The Square Milano Duomo is conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from Milan Cathedral and the Vittorio Emanuele Galleria shopping centre. Beautifully set within a historical building, The Square offers a restaurant, a bar and free WiFi throughout. Particularly suitable for a two person trip.

Book: The Square Milano Duomo

1.2 | Things to do in Centro Storico

1.2.1 | Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral is the most popular tourist attraction in Milan and for good reason. It is one of the grandest Gothic Cathedral in all of Europe and the second largest Catholic church after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. A tour of the Cathedral will reveal much of its history and it is a must for history buffs and art lovers.

Learn more from: Milan Cathedral and how to make the best of your visit.

1.2.2 | Rooftop of the Duomo

Next, head to the Best of Milan – Sunset on the Rooftop of the Duomo! It is mesmerising and if you can fit it into your schedule, you will thoroughly enjoy the evening experiences

Learn more about this experience and watch the sunset – a short video of the changing hues is included: Best of Milan – Sunset on the Rooftop of the Duomo

1.2.3 | Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria is located just steps away from the Duomo and is a stunning 19th century shopping arcade. This fascinating Milanese ‘drawing room’ with its high-end labels along with the great choices in restaurants and bars is a destination in Milan not to miss.

Read > Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Why you should visit and what you need to experience.

1.2.4 | La Scala Opera

North of the Galleria Vittorio in Piazza della Scala is the historical opera theatre that dates back to 1778. Renowned for its opulence and acoustic qualities, it should firmly make Milan’s bucket list.

Take a look at this fabulolous 19 bucket list ideas on Milan

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Guided Experience of La Scala Theatre

1.2.5 | Via della Spiga

Window shop and shop till you drop when you visit Via della Spiga, one of Milan’s most famous and charming high-end shopping areas, located on a cobblestone street.

1.3 | The following attractions are easily missed but worth including them in your itinerary:

1.3.1 | Parco Sempione

Within minutes of Milan Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio, is Parco Sempione, Milan’s largest green area. If you are looking for some respite from sightseeing, then this is an ideal place to rest up. Also within its grounds, you could visit a number of attractions.

Navigate to Parco Sempione | 5 must see attractions to learn more and for a full list of attractions within the park.

1.3.2 | Poldi Pezzoli Museum

Visit Poldi Pezzoli and immerse yourself in one of the world’s richest collection of private art.;

1.3.3 | The Last Supper mural at Santa Maria delle Gracie

On the wall of the refectory of Santa Maria is one of the greatest masterpieces in the world — the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. This famous painting has attracted so many viewers from around the globe that tickets are usually sold out. If the Last Supper is on your bucket list for Milan, then ensure you have your tickets booked in advance to avoid disappointment. Book a skip-the-line tour and marvel at the masterpiece without having to wait. Learn of its unique history from a tour guide.

Read: Three ways to experience Leonardo’s Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Gracie

Where to stay in Milan

1.4 | Places to Eat in Centro Storico

Centro Storico is the best place to eat and drink There are great many choices here from high-end dining to simple cafes. For an easy authentic meal without the fuss, you could try Pizza Am. Their thin crispy pizza goes well with any bottled beer!

A visit to Milan and a traditional Italian aperitive is a must try. Visit Bar Camparino where the tradition of the Campari has been kept alive since 1897. Try the iconic Campari and soda or Negroni cocktail.

If you want to experience the Milanese specialities at a landmark cafe, I would highly recommend a visit to Ristorante Biffi for a true traditional Italian cuisine.

Cafe Biffi is the oldest cafe at the Galleria. Biffi’s main specialities are Ossobucco with Milanese risotto and the Milanese cutlet. Although there are many choices, the menu has remained largely unchanged for the last twenty-five years. To enjoy a meal at Cafe Biffi will require a booking well in advance.

Georgina in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Why you should visit

2 | BRERA | WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN

Located northwest of Centro Storico, amidst a tangle of narrow streets is the trendy neighbourhood of Brera. If you want to be close to the heart of Milan, then this is the best place to stay. Brera has some of the prettiest looking buildings and is home to the famous Pinacoteca de Brera. Fashion boutiques and antique stores line the pedestrianised streets. A good mix of both tourists and locals enjoy the restaurants, bars and the shops. It is relatively a traffic-free area. Safe, sophisticated and a place to be seen.

2.1 | Hotels in Brera

Where to stay in Milan

2.1.1 | GRAND HOTEL ET DE MILAN

Where to stay in Milan

This historic Grand Hotel et de Milan was once home to the composer, Giuseppe Verdi for 27 years. Built in 1860s, the unique architecture of this landmark structure reflects the charm and allure of an old Milanese mansion. Sitting next to Montenapoleone Metro and conveniently located within 5 minutes walk of La Scala Theatre, and 10 minutes to the Duomo, the Grand Hotel et de Milan is a favourite amongst solo travellers, couples, and family.

Book Grand Hotel et de Milan

2.1.2 | BULGARI HOTEL MILANO

Where to stay in Milan

This impeccable and refined 18th century palace boasts a 4,000 sq m garden. Conveniently located within a 6-minute walk to La Scala and 15 minutes to the Duomo, the Bulgari Hotel Milano is a favourite for solo, 2 people and family travellers.

Book Bulgari Hotel Milano

2.1.3 | MANDARIN ORIENTAL MILAN

Where to stay in Milan

For the ultimate fusion in Milanese style and Oriental luxury, stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Milan. Conveniently located near La Scala and Via Montenapoleone, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Milan offers luxurious rooms and suites, fine dining, as well as private spa. Perfectly curated for all occasions including weddings.

Book Mandarin Oriental Hotel Milan

2.2 | Things to do in Brera Milan

2.2.1 | Explore the picturesque neighbourhood of Brera

Wander aimlessly in the winding streets of this picturesque neighbourhood that has been home to the most influential artists, writers, composers and intellectuals;

2.2.2 | Pinacoteca de Brera

Visit the world class art centre, Pinacoteca de Brera showcasing masterpieces of Raphael, Caravaggio and Piero della Francesca;

2.2.3 | Biblioteca Braidense

Don’t miss the Biblioteca Braidense, one of Italy’s largest and most beautiful libraries, housed within the same walls of Pinacoteca de Brera;

2.2.4 | San Marco Church

Visit San Marco Church which was built in 1254;

2.2.5 | Orto Botanico di Brera

Enjoy the impressive Orto Botanico di Brera, a historic botanical garden that dates back to 1774;

2.2.6 | Local Sunday Market

Go along to the local Sunday market which has plenty to offer on art, fashion and lifestyle goods.

2.3 | Places to Eat in Brera

2.3.1 | Nabucco – for an authentic Milanese dinner;

2.3.2 | Fishbar de Milano – a perfect lunch option;

2.3.3 | Princi – for best coffees!

3 | NAVIGLI | WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN

Navigli is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Milan and dates back to 1179. It is perfect for nightlife and markets, thus making this area an attractive one for those who want to experience Milanese drinking culture. By day, it is quiet, attracting tourists and families for a good cup of coffee and snacks. It is also a great place to people watch. There are artisan shops, vintage boutiques, bars and cafes. This bustling area is built around two canals, Navigli Grande and Navigli Pavese. These remains from what used to be a network of canals, an important part of Milan’s transport system. Navigli boasts a good selection of accommodation to suit everyone.

Here are our top selection for you:

3.1 | Navigli Hotel and Apartments

Where to stay in Milan

3.1.1 | MAGNA PARS l’HOTEL à PARFUM

Where to stay in Milan

Reviewed as superb on booking dot com, this affordable luxury hotel features elegant suites in soothing colours, comfort and style. Wooden furniture and leather sofas adds to the luxury of this hotel. Breakfast is available each morning.

Book Magna Pars Hotel

3.1.2 | MAISON BORELLA

Where to stay in Milan

Maison Borella is an 18th century building located along the banks of Navigli Grande. Accommodation is simple, yet elegant with all rooms air conditioned. Buffet breakfast comes with homemade cakes and fresh fruits while also offering both Milanese as well as Italian cuisines.

Book Maison Borella

3.2 | Things to do in Navigli, Milan

3.2.1 | People watch!

People watch as you sip on an aperitivo;

3.2.2 | Experience an open air antique market

Visit the open air antique market that takes place on the last Sunday of each month;

3.2.3 | Try the gelato!

Taste unique flavours of gelato at Gusto 17;

3.2.4 | Visit the Art galleries in Navigli

Explore art galleries and design studios that line the canal;

3.2.5 | Boat tour of the canals

Take a boat tour of Navigli Grande, the oldest canal in Milan. The Happy Boat Ride of 75-minutes on a Friday or Saturday evening at 7:30 includes aperitivo (Alzaia Naviglio Grande 4).

3.2.6 | Basilica di San Lorenzo

Visit one of the oldest churches in Milan, Basilica di San Lorenzo that dates back to 4th century.

Where to stay in Milan

3.3 | Places to Eat in Navigli

3.3.1 | Erba Brusca — embraces farm to table philosoply;

3.3.2 | Osteria del Binari — traditional Milanese choices.

Timeless Travel Steps:

Navigli Canal Cruise with Audio Guide

4 | FIERA / SAN SIRO | WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN

Fiera and San Siro are two neighbours located a little out of Zone 1 of the City of Milan. It is an area that is suitable and favoured by families. The area is quiet, lovely with lush parks for children to run around. Fiera/San Siro boasts beautiful shops and cafe lined streets.

A short ride into Milan City centre, gives easy access to the main attractions.

4.1 | Best places to stay in Fiera/San Siro

Where to stay in Milan

4.1.1 | ENTERPRISE HOTEL DESIGN & BOUTIQUE

Where to Stay in Milan

A luxurious 5-star hotel with a 7th floor spa that offers panoramic views the Enterprise Hotel is located less than a 10-minute walk from Domodossola metro stop and 950 yards from Fiera Milano City. Rooms are elegantly designed with customised furniture, along with free WiFi and tea/coffee making facilities. Breakfast is an American buffet that includes a natural and wellbeing section, with gluten and sugar free products. The tram stops 100 yards away, giving easy access to Milan Cathedral. San Siro Stadium is 2.5 miles from the hotel.

Compare prices, check reviews and Book Enterprise Hotel Design & Boutique

4.1.2 | HOTEL PORTELLO-GRUPPO

Where to stay in Milan

Conveniently located within 650 yards of Lotto Fiera Metro Station is Hotel Portello. This modern accommodation is within the residential area between Fiera Milano and San Siro Stadium. Offers a buffet breakfast, organic food and gluten-free products.

Compare prices, check reviews and Book Hotel Portello-Gruppo

4.1.3 | MELIA MILANO

Where to stay in Milan

Melia is elegantly decorated and is located within a 2-minute walk to Lotto Metro stop. The accommodation offers 24-hour gym, a buffet breakfast, air conditioned and luxurious bedlinens and furniture.

Compare prices, check reviews and Book Melia Milano

4.2 | Things to do in Fiera/San Siro, Milan

4.2.1 | Fun in Parco delle Cave

Take a lovely walk through the beautiful Parco delle Cave – perfect for children to run around and to explore;

4.2.2 | Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Watch a game at the infamous sports stadium, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, home of A.C. Milan. Perfect for sports fans especially

4.3 | Places to Eat in Fiera/San Siro

Trattoria Pizzeria dei Platani – Delicious Italian cuisines.

5 | PORTO NUOVO | WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN

Porto Nuovo is the modern face of Milan. With newly built skyscrapers and contemporary plazas, Porto Nuovo boasts some incredible futuristic looking buildings such as the mirrored Unicredit Tower on Corso Garibaldi. Further down on Corso Como, there is the fabulous Gae Aulenti, home to attractive shops, and buzzing eateries. Porto Nuovo is where the past, present and the future mix with fluidity and elegance.

5.1 | Best places to stay in Porto Nuovo, Milan

5.1.1 | NH COLLECTION

Where to stay in Milan

The NH Collection in Porto Nuovo is a modern and elegantly designed air conditioned accommodation featuring an American bar. Conveniently located about 1.2 miles from Milan Cathedral, this hotel is a favourite amongst tourists.

Compare prices, check reviews and Book NH Collection Porto Nuovo

5.2 | Things to do in Porto Nuovo, Milan

5.2.1 | Visit Cargo & High Tech for some memorable souvenirs;

5.2.2 | Explore the Galleria Carla Sozzani for their latest art exhibitions;

5.3 | Places to Eat in Porto Nuova

5.3.1 | Guyot — for mouthwatering risotto;

5.3.2 | 10 Corso Como — for light lunch or tea.


Final thoughts…

So, there you go — a selection of beautiful places to stay in the City of Milan no matter what your interests. Wherever you choose to stay, you are sure to have an awesome time in this beautiful city.

For added value, book a couple of guided tours so your visits to landmark sights are further enriched with information from a tour guide. Also, go on a day trip to surrounding areas like Lake Como, Verona or Venice. For some fabulous ideas on day trips from Milan, go to 12 very best day trips from Milan.

Lastly, don’t forget to sort out your travel insurance. For the best providers of travel insurance, peruse them here. My favourite travel insurance provider is World Nomads because it is quick, simple and straightforward to obtain a quote and off you go.

Have a fabulous time in Milan 🙂

Georgina xx

MILAN

Where to stay in Milan | timelesstravelsteps.com
Milan: 45° 27′ 51.37″ N 9° 11′ 22.24″ E

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Top 3 Leonardo’s Last Supper Tours in Milan

Leonardo’s Last Supper in Milan and How to See the Mural

The best way to experience this event is by joining a group tour. By doing so, you are assured of an entry ticket to the refectory and the opportunity to learn about the history of the painting from a knowledgeable guide.

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Leonardo’s Last Supper Mural at Santa Maria delle Grazie

Culture of Italy | Last Supper Leonardo da Vinci | Leonardo's Last Supper | timelesstravelsteps.com
Leonardo’s Last Supper

Leonardo’s Last Supper mural is one of the world’s greatest and famous artworks. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1495 and 1498, the mural depicts a relatively simple composition of human reaction in a varied and complex show of emotions. The painting contrasts between light and dark on the figures. The artwork closely represents the moments in the Christian Gospel, the scene of the Last Supper with Jesus Christ and his 12 Apostles, just after he reveals that he will be betrayed by one of them.

In the mural, Jesus wearing the traditional robe in red and blue, appears at the centre of a lengthened table with his disciples on both, the left and right side of him. Leonardo painted the disciples in four groups of three, symmetrically level. Jesus declares that he will soon be betrayed by “the one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with will betray me” (Matthew 26:23). Judas, who sits to the right of Jesus reaches out to the same bowl on the table simultaneously as Jesus, an act that marks Judas as the betrayer. Jesus also marks the supper with the sharing of wine and a piece of bread, thus establishing the Holy Communion rite.

Leonardo depicts an austere room in which the meal takes place. The sides are lined with dark tapestries. The back wall is accentuated with three windows, with views of the rolling hills of Milan’s countryside.

The stunning Leonardo’s Last Supper mural is one of the finest in the world. Leonardo adopted the unusual linear painting styles discovered in the Renaissance era to create the illusion of space. He applied parallel lines to converge at a single point to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface. This style of linear perspective draws the viewers attention to a single vantage point, in this painting is Jesus’ right temple. The focus to the centre of the mural depicts Jesus watching over the entire scene as well as very much present in the intense moment. The Leonardo’s Last Supper mural is best viewed fifteen feet above ground.

Over time, the mural sustained damage and underwent several restorations, with the final restoration completed in 1999. Despite restoration works, Leonardo’s acclaimed artistic qualities such as luminous colour, and soft facial expressions have been lost. However, the linear perspective which he employed is still noticeable along with the human expressions and gestures.

Leonardo’s Last Supper mural remains fragile. Visitors are allowed viewing in small groups and for fifteen-minutes only, thus ensuring a slow deterioration. The Last Supper mural is housed on a wall in the Refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie Milan

Santa Maria della Grazie - Milan bucketlist | Leonardo's Last Supper Tours in Milan
Leonardo’s Last Supper | Santa Maria delle Gracie, Milan

Leonardo’s Last Supper

Showcasing a combination of both Renaissance and Gothic architectural style, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site as well.

A structure of sophistication, the Church of Santa Maria is an emblem within the Catholic tradition and is a symbol of Renaissance Milan.

How to View Leonardo’s Last Supper Mural at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

Leonardo’s Last Supper mural at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie can be viewed in one of the following three ways. If you want to see this incredible centuries old preserved painting on the wall, you must book your place in advance of your visit. Book one of these three recommended Leonardo’s Last Supper tours in Milan for best experiences:

The ultimate aim of all three tours above is to ensure you get an up-close and personal experience of the world renowned timeless mural of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci Peruse the details and book your experience of Leonardo’s Last Supper tours in Milan with your preferred tour operator.

What to expect from the Leonardo’s Last Supper tours in Milan

Culture of Italy | Last Supper Leonardo da Vinci

Image above provided by Get Your Guide and Information about the tour on Leonardo’s Last Supper Tours in Milan are provided by Get Your Guide and Viator, our trusted partners.

Discover a masterpiece of the Milanese Renaissance when in Milan. Admire Da Vinci’s masterful “Last Supper” at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan up close. Also known as the “Cenacolo Vinciano,” the mural is hidden away on a wall of the refectory at the Basilica.

On this guided tour, your guide will give a quick introduction to Renaissance art in Italy, describing how it became one of the most fertile periods of painting in the world. Learn why the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, commissioned Leonardo, and how he presided over the most important period in the Milanese Renaissance.

Spend up to 15 minutes appreciating one of the most iconic images of Christ in the world.

Practical Information

Location: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

Opening hours:

From Tuesday to Saturday from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.

On Sunday from 9.00 am to 1.45 pm

Max. 18 admitted every 15 minutes.

Closed Monday, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.


Also included below are other related tours which you may also like to consider. These tours are highly popular and offer best experiences of the City of Milan.


Other recommended tours when visiting Milan

Leonardo’s Last Supper

Milan Cathedral and Last Supper tour | Leonardo's Last Supper Tours in Milan

Led by a guide, you will experience the best of Milan. Visit the iconic sights of the Duomo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper without waiting in queues. Have more time experiencing the City of Milan such as the Brera District and off the beaten paths.

Get Your Guide > Details

Viator > Details

Milan Cathedral and rooftop ticket | Leonardo's Last Supper Tours in Milan

This attraction ticket gives you access to all areas of the 600 year old Milan Duomo. Access to the terraces, cathedral, museum and archaeological area. Marvel at beautiful adornments and stained glass windows, and visit the Church of St. Gottardo in Corte. Enjoy favourable discounts at the Duomo Shop.

Get Your Guide > Details

Viator – Details

Recommended read: Milan Cathedral — How to make the best of your visit

milan in a day | Leonardo's Last Supper Tours in Milan

Discover the best of Milan with a guide in this Milan in a Day walking tour. Experience a journey through time – from the medieval square, Duomo, Last Supper (please see details) and the fashionable district of Via della Spiga and the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Get Your Guide > Details

Viator > Details

Recommended read: Milan bucket list ideas

Milan hop on hop off bus tour

This is an ideal option if you wish to explore Milan at your own pace. With a ticket for the open-top hop-on hop-off bus, there are 4 routes at your disposal. Explore all of the city’s top attractions, from the magnificent Duomo and La Scala to the city’s many quaint neighbourhoods.

Get Your Guide > Details

Viator > Details

Recommended read: Getting around Milan like a local – A Complete Guide to Transportation in Milan


Planning a trip to Milan?

Leonardo’s Last Supper Tours in Milan

Below is my go to resources when I plan my travels and I am happy to share them here with you to save time and money. You may find the resources helpful to plan your travels as well.

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.


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12 Very Best Day Trips from Milan Italy

12 Very Best Day Trips from Milan

While any day is an enjoyable day in Italy’s fashion capital, day trips from Milan will lead you to adventures, exploring captivating medieval cities, cultural gems and simple, beautiful lakeside towns where moments are frozen in time.

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With high-end shopping galleries, finest architectural and artistic masterpieces, along with a myriad of winding streets, Milan offers so many things to do for a visitor on any given day. If you can build into your itinerary a day or two to venture out of the city on a day trip, to experience something different, exploring the hidden cultural gems of medieval cities, castles and lakeside towns, then selecting from this article on 12 very best day trips from Milan curated just for you will be a great starting point to a perfect itinerary and timeless travel.

best day trips from Milan | timelesstravelsteps.com

1 | Lake Como | Day trips from Milan

Spend a day at Lake Como, Italy’s third largest lake and only a stone’s throw from the city of Milan. In under an hour in what is a seamless train journey, you will experience the most beautiful of the northern Italian lakes. The natural beauty of its settings, steep wooded shoreline and pristine aquamarine waters has been the playground for the aristocrats and wealthy since Roman times.

What to do in Lake Como

Enjoy a luxurious cruise around its waters and take in the sights of beautiful villas and stunning alpine scenery. Combine this lake visit with a tour of the larger town of Como, located in the southern tip of the lake. Spend at least a couple of hours exploring the hidden gems of Como city, notably the neoclassical building of Villa Olmo, Como Cathedral and Piazza Duomo. Don’t forget to ride the historical Brunate Funicular, operating since 1894. It connects Como city with the village of Brunate. A 7-minute ride up gives you panoramic views over the lakes and the Swiss Alps.

Along with the stunning landscapes and medieval villages, Lake Como has been Italy’s silk capital since the 16th century. World famous, Como is home to Mantero, just 15 minutes drive from Como city centre. If you can’t get to Mantero, then stop by at A.Picci, trading since 1919 and is the last remaining silk shop in town, dedicated to selling Como silk.

A day trip to Como typically involve a visit to the smaller town of Varenna and hopping onto a ferry to Bellagio. All three offering different landscapes to the lake.

Best time to go to Lake Como

The best time for visiting Lake Como is between March and November. The warm temperature allows you to enjoy boat tours and walks.

Best ways to experience Lake Como

Day trips from Milan

There are two best ways to experience Lake Como when visiting Milan:

1 | Self-guided

A self-guided visit to Como allows you to explore at your own pace and longer day as you could take the last train or bus back to Como. Both are seamless and cost-effective.

TTS recommends: If you are exploring on your own, I would highly recommend a train journey from Milan Central Station.

Como by train

2 | Join a group tour with an established tour operator in the travel industry

Day trips from Milan

Join a group tour and enjoy a full day trip to Como from Milan onboard a luxury coach with a knowledgeable guide. L

Join a group tour and enjoy a full-day to Como from Milan onboard a luxury coach with a knowledgeable guide. Guided tours takes you to some of the key points in Como and you do get to see and experience quite a lot in a day! Guided tours are offered by way of a train journey or a coach. If you opt for a coach tour, you can be assured of a relaxing and comfortable journey back to Milan after all the walking you’d do in Como 🙂

Georgina: Lake Como is often combined with other nearby destinations such as Bergamo but I think to fully experience Lake Como, a full day should be dedicated to exploring this picturesque area of the lake district in Italy.


2 | Lugano and Bellagio from Milan

2.1 | Lugano

Day trips from Milan

Known as “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”, Lugano sits on the southern Swiss border, Italian Canton of Ticino, south of the first ridge of the Alps. Lugano is easily reached in less than an hour from Milan offering breathtaking vistas of the Swiss Alps and shopping opportunities, a destination often high on a tourist list to this region.

What to do in Lugano

Immerse in the wild beauty of the lakeshore, the dominating San Salvatore and Brè Mountains. Fall in love with the Italianate architecture in the city, chic shopping streets where you buy the best Swiss chocolates. The villages are huddled to the mountainsides over the lake, offering picturesque sights for perfect photo opportunities.

San Salvatore – From Paradiso, take a 12-minute ride up onboard a funicular to reach the 900 metres for amazing views over the lake and the Alps.

Monte Brè – At 925 metres above sea level, Monte Brè is regarded the sunniest mountain in Switzerland and a perfect home to a special flower, Christmas Rose, which usually only found in the Mediterranean climes.

Combine Lugano with a trip to Bellagio: The “Pearl of Lake Como”, in less than an hour from Lugano.

2.2 | Bellagio

Day trips from Milan

Known as the “Pearl of Lake Como”, Bellagio is located in less than an hour from Lugano. Bellagio is unique – for its cobbled lanes, elegant buildings and an 18th-century terraced garden with lake views.

What to do in Bellagio:

Enjoy the charming town with its cobblestones and Villa Serbelloni, an 18th century terraced garden with lake views.

Best ways to experience Lugano and Bellagio:

Day trips from Milan

1 | Self-guided

Best way to reach Lugano or Bellagio is by train from Milan. The journey time from Milan Centrale to Lugano is a little over an hour.

If you want to reach Bellagio by train, take the train from Centrale to Varenna, nearest station to Bellagio. From Varenna take the ferry across to Bellagio. The are regular services to Varenna.

Check train schedule to suit your itinerary:

Milan Centrale to Lugano

From Milan Centrale Station to Varenna-Esino

2 | Group tours

Join a small group tour from the centre of Milan, seeing the very best of Lugano and Bellagio and plenty of time to explore on your own. There are various options offered, with some tours taking off from Como. Check and book now, on the one that best fits your itinerary.

For off the beaten path adventure in Bellagio:

Join a 2-hour activity exploring a wilderness trail in a place that is so close to Bellagio and yet, little known and little visited. The village of Lezzeno, between the mountains and the lake.


3 | Bergamo – Day trips from Milan

A visit to Bergamo is often combined with a visit to Lake Como but I think it’s worth dedicating a day exploring this historic town. With hills stretching for miles and its incredible surrounds, a remarkable experience awaits.

What to do in Bergamo

This charming, yet hidden and unexplored city has plenty of medieval architecture to marvel at including the 5 kilometres of medieval wall encircling the old town. Explore Bergamo Alta, the hidden city at the top of the town, accessed via a funicular. Visit the Venetian Works of Defence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for incredible views over Bergamo.

Other incredible experiences at Bergamo Alta not to be missed: Bergamo Cathedral, St. Maria Maggiore Basilica, and the Colleoni Chapel.

Best ways to experience Bergamo:

1 | Self-guided

Getting to Bergamo:

2 | Group tours

Spend a day on a walking tour of this medieval city and explore its history and culture.


4 | Lake Maggiore & the Borromean Islands – Day trips from Milan

Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Island are perfect destinations as day trips from Milan, an escape to the peaceful haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. Enjoy a day hopping-on and off the 11 islands that form this cluster of pretty charm.

What to do in Lake Maggiore and surrounds

The main attraction here are the three distinct islands, Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori (also known as Isola Superiore). Explore their individual charms at leisure and enjoy the tranquility of the natural beauty of the islands. Visit Palazzo Borromeo, a unique 10-tiered baroque garden design in Isola Bella that has remained intact. Isola Madre is home to a fabulous Palace Museum and Gardens which should not be missed. Isola dei Pescatori is a fisherman’s village and the only village inhabited all year round.

Best ways to experience Lake Maggiore

1 | Self-guided

Begin your day of island hopping at Stresa, a lakeside town which is about 1 hour 7 minutes from Milan by train. All the islands are a short ferry ride of each other.

Travel by train to Lake Maggiore from Milan options:

2 | Group tours


5 | Verona – Day trips from Milan

Best time to visit Verona

Anytime between March and September is a great time to visit. July and August are the busiest months of the year for tourism – expect to pay premium prices for accommodations and long queues at attractions. From mid February/March to June and September to early November, the weather is mild with less rain, which also makes a perfect time to visit Verona.

What to do in Verona

Best ways to experience Verona:

1 | Self-guided

How to reach Verona from Milan

Pro tip: Verona is a beautiful town and offers so much to see,, do and experience. I spent 3 days in Verona and wished I could have stayed longer. Dedicate 1 day in its entirety at the very least in Verona, because Verona is so much more than Juliet’s balcony.

Recommended read: Unique experiences in the City of Verona

2 | Group tours

Day trips from Milan

Join a group tour onboard a luxury coach from Milan to Verona and Lake Garda.


6 | Lake Garda – Day trips from Milan

Lake Garda, the largest, cleanest and the most famous of lakes in Italy definitely warrants a visit. It’s crystalline waters, the beautiful backdrop of snowcapped mountains, charming towns of Bardolino, Sirmione and Desenzano will captivate you from the moment you arrive here.

What to do in Lake Garda:

Take a quick cruise out to scale the shores and be captivated with the villas of the rich and famous. In Bardolino, there are two Romanesque churches which you simply must see. Sirmione, the “Pearl of Lake Garda” has so much to offer visitors including a medieval fortress, Roman villa and the Catullo caves.

Best ways to experience Lake Garda:

Day trips from Milan

1 | Self-guided

Getting to Lake Garda:

There are two ways to get to Lake Garda from Milan by train. First option is to arrive at Desenzano del Garda from Milan. The journey is 51 minutes and there are 25 trains each day. Secondly, a train journey to Peschiera del Garda will take 57 minutes, also 25 trains in a day.

1 | Group tours | Day trips from Milan

For convenience, group tours are a popular option. Day trips from Milan by coach to Lake Garda are in comfortable air-conditioned coaches accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. As well, day trips from Milan to Lake Garda often combined with a trip to Verona. This makes an excellent value for money experience.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tip:

1 | Verona and Lake Garda Day Trip from Milan


7 | Venice – Day trips from Milan

Venice needs no introduction! This romantic city of canals, bridges, cobbled streets and gondolas must be in everyone’s list of things to do when in Italy.

What to do in Venice:

You may not be able to fit all of Venice’s delights in a day trip from Milan but if a day is all you have, then allow yourself to be charmed by the fantastic architecture that characterises one the world’s favourite cities. Wander the little alleys and stop for coffee at the infamous Piazza San Marco. Hop over to Venice’s nearby island, Murano and experience the colours of the island and its historic tradition with glass-blowing. If you could do a gondola ride through its many canals at sunset, it will surely be memories well worth the money!

Best ways to experience Venice on day trips from Milan

1 | Self-guided

If you wish to explore Venice independently, the best way to do so is to make your way to Venice is by train. Make an early start so you have a full day in Venice.

Getting to Venice: 

Takes a little over 2 hours to reach Venice by train from Milan. The average travel time between Milan and Venice is 2 hours and 32 minutes. The quickest route is 2 hours and 10 minutes. There are 22 trains in a day between Milan and Venice, leaving approximately every hour.

2 | Group tours

Day trips from Milan

Group tours are highly popular and the following tours have been carefully selected for you.


8 | Cinque Terre – Day trips from Milan

Visit one of Italy’s most scenic landscape with layer upon layer of rainbow-hued medieval houses perched upon hillsides – the five villages of Cinque Terre are sure to captivate and delight visitors of all ages. A UNESCO World-Heritage is also one of the most Instagrammable site!

What to do in Cinque Terre:

A day is too short a time to explore all five medieval villages but there will be enough time to wander round Monterosso al Mare (the largest of the Cinque Terre villages) and Vernazza.

Ways to experience Cinque Terre: 

1 | Self-guided

Getting to Cinque Terre: 

There is a direct train from Milan to Monterosso which takes about 3 hours. There are other routes that require a change at Genoa.

2 | Guided Group tours

Book a coach tour from Milan to Monterosso. Spend one day exploring this picturesque Italian villages. Some tours include a 1.5 hour boat trip to Vernazza, a beautiful fishing village in every sense.

1 | 4 Day Italian Riviera from Milan

2 | Cinque Terre Sunset Boat Tour


9 | Genova and Portofino – Day trips from Milan

Get away for a day and go on a scenic drive along the coast to the three colourful gems in the beautiful Ligurian Coast. Genova is Italy’s largest port and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Together with the colourful villages of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, it is a delightful area of the Italian Riviera to explore as day trips from Milan.

What to do in Genova & Portofino:

The historic streets of Genova is home to monuments dedicated to its maritime history and memorials to Christopher Columbus. Sail along the coast to the glamorous fishing village of Portofino that dates back to Roman times, take in the picturesque sights of the fishing boats and spend some time exploring the Santa Margherita Ligure.

Ways to experience Genova & Portofino

Day trips from Milan

1 | Self-guided

You can explore independently by car or train. However, parking is very limited here and the recommended option is to take the train.

Getting to Genova or Portofino:

When taking a train to this area, you may have to decide between Genova or Portifino. Genova has a lot to offer and can typically involve a full day of discovery if you wish to explore the off-the-beaten paths as well.

Alternatively, take the train from Milan to Santa Margherita and from here, walk to Portofino. It is quite an easy trek. When in Portofino, take a boat ride to visit the abbey – San Fruttuosa. To catch your return journey from Santa Margherita, you could get the bus from Portofino.

Check train schedule to suit your itinerary:

2 | Guided group tours

Day trips from Milan

Onboard a coach tour from Milan city centre with a tour guide. This day trip from Milan includes a boat trip to Portofino.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips: from Milan to Genova & Portofino

1 | From Milan > A full-day tour to Genova and Portofino

1 | Food Tours > Do Eat Better Experience

2 | Genoa Day Tour: 4 hours of Wine Food History and Joy

3 | Gulf of Portofino Private Boat Tour

4 | Portofino Boat and Walking Tour with Pesto Cooking & Lunch

5 | Andrea Boat Charter Portofino

6 | Ligurian Sea Day Sailing Trip by Set Sail Tours/ Lavagna, Italy

Note: For those who do not know – Genova is the original Italian word for this city while Genoa is the English version of the word.


10 | Interlaken & the Swiss Alps – Day trips from Milan

Day trips from Milan

Venture to another country while visiting Milan! Just a few hours and you would arrive in Interlaken – one of the most scenic places on earth!

What to do in Interlaken:

Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Swiss Alps onboard the Green Train of the Alps.as it takes you on a journey through Simplon pass, one of the most beautiful crossings in Switzerland. Take an amazing cruise on Lake Thun and explore Interlaken at your own pace before your return journey.

Best way to experience Interlaken & the Swiss Alps

Onboard a high-speed train from Milan to the town of Domodossola to board the Green Train of the Alps.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

From Milan: Interlaken & Swiss Alps Day Trip


11 | Florence | Day trips from Milan

Florence is an unmissable destination for most visitors to Italy, especially so for art aficionados. Considered to be the birthplace of Renaissance, Florence is home to many Renaissance masterpieces, architectural delights and monuments.

What to do in Florence, Italy

Day trips from Milan

One of the most iconic sights in Florence is the Duomo. The Cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome was designed by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. This impressive Duomo offers panoramic views from the top. Make time to visit the Uffizi Gallery, exhibiting Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”.

The Ponte Vecchio is another experience not to miss – the first arch bridge built in the west which crosses over the Arno River. There are many jewellery and souvenir shops along here as well.

Best ways to experience Florence as day trips from Milan:

1 | Self-guided

Getting to Florence by train is the best option if you are not driving. You can reach Florence from Milan in under 2 hours on the high-speed trains! There are 36 trains in a day. The last train leaves Florence at 10:00 p.m. giving you ample time to explore the city.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tip:

Florence Day Trip From Milan By Train – this option includes the following:

City map and guidebook;

Florence hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket (valid for 24 hours);

Round-trip high-speed train ticket between Milan and Florence;

Skip-the-line ticket for the Uffizi Gallery (if option selected);

Book Florence day trip from Milan by train

Note: This is not a guided tour


12 | Turin – Day trips from Milan

Day trips from Milan

Last but not least is the Unmissable Turin! The capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy is captivating. It’s refined architecture of baroque buildings, old cafes and grand boulevards makes Turin one of the best Italian cities to visit. The bustling piazzas of Castello and San Carlo draws many and so are the miles of arcades to be explored. To top it off are a number of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Certainly, of course, Turin is most famous for “Shroud of Turin” also known as “Holy Shroud”. A piece of linen believed to be the garment in which Jesus was covered with after his crucifixion. The garment has been preserved since 1578 in the royal chapel of the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista.

Best ways to experience Turin when visiting Milan

Day trips from Milan

1 | Self-guided

The most convenient way to get to Turin from Milan when exploring the city independently is by train. Take the high speed train for a journey time of 1 hour 27 minutes. There are about 40 trains in a day. Last trains are at 10:00 p.m. giving you plenty of time to explore.

Note: Schedules may differ on weekends


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Important tips to consider:

Train travel in Italy

When planning ahead on your train travel journeys, one thing to bear in mind is that in Italy, point-to-point train journeys works cheaper. Therefore, when planning your day trips from Milan and your trip is a one-off journey, purchase a return ticket for your trip. However, if you are visiting a couple of the cities and planning on travelling by train over several days, then the Interrail Pass is a cost-effective option > Check Interrail for best options

Places to stay in Milan

A selection of hotels carefully selected for you to consider > Beautiful places to stay in Milan


Final thoughts on day trips from Milan:

These are the very best day trips from Milan which we have put together for you to design your itinerary your way. You have options to explore either independently or by joining a group tour for when you visit Milan. We recommend group tours because we find day trips are excellent value for money excursions. You can’t experience everything a destination offers but it certainly gives an overview of a destination, essential experiences and opportunities to return to explore deeper.

We hope that this list on 12 very best day trips from Milan is of value to you. Our suggestions are carefully curated for the discerning traveller who wants to create their very own timeless travel memories. As well, consider using the links to book your flights, train travel, places to stay and activities. We earn a commission from qualified stays and bookings at no cost to you at all. As always, we appreciate your continued support. You may wish to support us in other ways also.

Have a great time exploring Milan and surrounds.

Georgina xoxo

MILAN

Where to stay in Milan | timelesstravelsteps.com
Milan: 45° 27′ 51.37″ N 9° 11′ 22.24″ E

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12 Very Best Day Trips from Milan first published at timelesstravelsteps.com Last updated on April 23, 2022

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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.

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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


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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

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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!

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Update: April 24, 2022

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.

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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 regionPo, 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.

Read: Parco Sempione Milan: 5 Unmissable Attractions in Milan’s largest green oasis.


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.


Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips when visiting the Arch of Peace:

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.

MILAN

Where to stay in Milan | timelesstravelsteps.com
Milan: 45° 27′ 51.37″ N 9° 11′ 22.24″ E

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Arco della Pace | An unmissable monument in Milan first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update April 24, 2022

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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.

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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 | timelesstravelsteps.com

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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.

5 Must See Attractions in Sempione Park 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. The Sforza Castle became 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

Read: Guide to Sforza Castle and Museums Milan


2 | Arco della Pace Milan

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 miss when visiting Milan.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

Read: Arco della Pace A Guide for Visitors to Milan


3 | Arena Civica, Sempione Park Milan

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 Milan

Torre Branca is no ordinary tower!. It is narrow and made completely of steel. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is one of Milan’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.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips for the Branca Tower Sempione Park Milan

Aerial view of Milan from Branca Tower - Milan bucket list idea

A visit to Branca Tower is recommended when visiting Parco Sempione. There are 3 ways how you can experience the Branca Tower:

1 | Enjoy a glass of aperitif after exploring the beautiful park at the Branca Tower while you enjoy views over the beautiful city of Milan. Guided tour. Check availability for your chosen day>

2 | If you wish to explore the park independently, purchase your entrance ticket online. Prices start from just € 6 (April 2022). Book your experience>

Torre Branca Milan Practical Information

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.

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.


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.


… finally

So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Parco Sempione? If so, 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.


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Have a splendid time exploring Parco Sempione.