Milan Tourist Ultimate Guide When Short on Time!
I think Milan is my favorite (modern) city in all of Italy. While Rome is a glorious city filled with illustrious and extraordinary history, Milan has this energy to it that makes it easy to be swept up in. I’ll always remember taking my wife several years ago, she was my girlfriend then, there for the first time. Sitting at a quant little cafe at the Piazza watching people paint, sing, and be really well dressed!
Milan is the second largest city in Italy and is the capital of the region of Lombardy, and as such, has a lot to see for any Milan tourist.
It has a really rich history, having being founded by the Celts, conquered by the Romans and has served as an important commercial center since the middle ages. It became a center for resistance against the Nazis during the Second World War and today is known as an international fashion hotspot.
Milan Tourist – Duomo (Milan Cathedral)
The front of the cathedral is so intricate and so big it is impossible to take in all of the details from the photos. You really do have to see it to believe it. On my first day in Milan I climbed right to the top of the roof to look out over the city of Milan. You do have to pay a small fee to be able to take photos, but this money goes towards the upkeep of the cathedral itself, so I would recommend paying it.
I didn’t find the climb to the top too bad at all, but there is an option to pay twice as much and take the elevator. The stairs weren’t busy at all even though we were there at a busy time of day, so you have time to take a break if you need it. For me, the views from the top made the climb completely worth it.
Being a Milan tourist, it’s a real experience climbing the stairs and emerging onto the fantastic roof with incredible details and designs.
Be inspired by The Last Supper
Arguably Milan’s most well known attraction, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is the place to visit.
But! Getting tickets to go is like getting front row seats to Lady Gaga or another world famous singer! Sometimes it’s tough being a Milan tourist…
If you’re lucky enough or purchase tickets in advance are allowed to enter the hallowed refectory. Normally visiting time is limited to 15 minutes, but those inside get to witness the expression of hostility, despair, and conservation on the faces of Jesus’s disciples moments before his betrayal.
Although here Leonardo used an experimental technique, meaning the painting or fresco is flaky, the quality and experience is superb.
La Scala Opera House
The outside of the Opera House doesn’t look that impressive. Don’t be put off by this because inside it is just as grand and decadent as you would imagine. There is a fantastic museum inside which will talk you through the various different superstars who have conducted and performed in shows at La Scala over the last 200 years.
If you are an opera fan, see if you can book ahead to get tickets to a performance. Even if you’re not an opera fan, you won’t be disappointed; the standard of everything performed at La Scala is simply world class. Just make sure you adhere to the dress code, the locals can get a bit upset if you don’t.
Milan Tourist – Shopping
Fashion lovers, beware! Relatives of fashion lovers beware even more! Milan is an amazing place to shop for all of your favorite Italian designers. The best part is you won’t even need to go traipsing all over the city to browse all of the different stores.
All of Milan’s top boutiques and designer stores are all on one square which is known as the Quadrilatero d’Oro, (the rectangle of gold). Here you will find stores such as, Armani, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, Prada, Moschino and many, many more. The amazing thing is, is during off seasons, the price of the clothing can be really inexpensive!
These places are only some of the awesome places to visit in Milan! Can you do all of these in a day? Absolutely. But to really see the city, you’ll need a few days. Here are a few more places you can visit and I’ll be writing about each one at length:
- Get some culture at the Teatro alla Scala
- Hop on (and have dinner) on a tram
- Step into a time capsule at Villa Necchi Campiglio
- Patronize the Sant’Ambrogio
- And more!
So whether your interests are in opera and ballet, religious architecture, panoramic views or high-end fashion, you will have an amazing time enjoying everything that being a Milan tourist has to offer.