beautiful panoramic view of Milan.

Milan, one of the prominent fashion capitals of the world, is a fascinating destination to visit on a European tour. The city is tucked in the Lombardy region in Northern Italy. In an environment rich with fashion houses and renaissance rustic architectural wonders, visitors will be blown away by the fusion of modern and ancient charms. Can one day in Milan be enough? This is something one might wonder after seeing all the gorgeous sights and attractions in the city. Well, spending one day in Milan is just the tip of the iceberg and you can only get an impression of what this wonderful city has to offer. A one-day Milan visit isn’t enough to see all that the city has to offer, but with some essential tips, you can make the most of it. Scroll down to find out more.

For a fantastic day in Milan, make sure you incorporate these tips and places of interest into your Milan 24-hour itinerary.

How to Spend Your Day in Milan

  • Have a plan in place. Milan is stylish, but it is filled with a wealth of experience. Travelling to Milan without knowing where and what to do will lead to complete confusion and ruin your holiday. When you only have 24 hours to spend in Milan, it is best to compile all the popular points of interest and attractions and plan an itinerary around those. It is just like the mise en place method that chefs swear by; having everything ready and planned systematically makes a huge difference, especially if you are visiting Milan for one day.
  • A city like Milan offers both rich historic heritage and an exciting shopping and dining scene. To experience the best of one day in Milan tour, be sure to include the following attractions in your travel program:

Morning: Duomo di Milano

Cathedral Duomo di Milano at sunny morning, Milan, Italy.

Start your day at this iconic Milan attraction. This Italian masterpiece is one of Milan’s most famous cathedrals, and if you can get to the roof of this architectural marvel, you can see the city in its entirety. All the major attractions in Milan are within walking distance of this attraction, so it can be a central point for your day in Milan. If you love architecture and the buzz of central Milan, you will greatly enjoy exploring places such as Teatro Alla Scala and Palazzo Marino.

Admission fee:

Duomo di Milano: Approx. EURO 17 per person. Fast Track Pass: EURO 25 per person.

Afternoon: Brera

Aerial view of the center of Milan, from Brera

This quarter of the city is known for its artistic essence. Among the sights in this Milanese district are the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Biblioteca Braidense, the Museo Astronomico di Brera, and the Palazzo di Brera. It is a must-visit if you are a history buff or a die-hard art lover.

Admission Fee:

Pinacoteca di Brera: Approx. EURO 12 per person.

Museo Astronomico di Brera: Free of cost

Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Church Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an absolute must-visit as it houses some of the most prominent Renaissance frescos and the famous artwork of Da Vinci – The Last Supper. To avoid any disappointment on your Milan vacation, make sure you book your tickets in advance.

Admission Fees:

Entrance is free, however a nominal charge of approx. Euro 10 per person applies to explore the galleries.

Evening: Naviglio Canals

Naviglio Grande canal at the evening in Milan, Italy  

Wind up your day with a visit to this serene attraction. If you have the opportunity, try to get out on a boating trip to watch Milan’s incredible skyline from a new perspective.

Tips & Hacks For Making The Best of One Day In Milan

  • If you are looking for great food, head to the Brera District, and especially to Corso Garibaldi. Continuing up the street past Moscova will lead you to a terrific spot for drinks and aperitifs. It is worth a visit to Via Dente to try authentic Milanese flavours such as Caprese salad, Gnocchi, Ossobuco alla Milanese, and more. In terms of shopping, Milan is Italy’s ultimate destination to shop till you drop. Malls and fashion stores are plentiful at this location, but they can be quite expensive. Go to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II instead, where you can shop while enjoying the glass ceilings and arcade structures built in the 1800s. Among the top shopping areas in Milan that won’t break the bank are Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Corso di Porta Ticinese, and Via Torino.
  • When planning your trip to Milan, pre-book all of your travel services, be it your attractions tickets, hotel reservations, or even your lunch or dinner reservations. That way, you will not waste precious time trying to book your travel services on the phone or a computer during your stay in Milan. There are Skip-the-Line Tours available for attractions, which are efficient, time-saving, and convenient.
  • If you want to travel within the city in a fast and affordable way, you can use Milan’s metro, trams, and train services. Milan is one of the busiest cities in Europe, so you might get stuck in traffic and spend a big part of the day waiting to get where you want to go. It is thus best to avoid road travel altogether and take the train or Metro instead. It costs around Euro 7 per person to travel anywhere in Milan with a metro ticket for a day. Milano Centrale is Milan’s main train station, with trains to various points in Milan and other parts of Italy. Taking a tram ride is also a great way to travel within Milan while admiring the beautiful sights of the city.
  • Make extensive use of online maps. You are likely to be visiting Milan for the first time if you are there for just a day. In that case, you might become confused or miscalculate the distances between various Milan attractions. Online maps are one of the biggest blessings of modern digital technology. Use it extensively for navigation and as a GPS tracker. It is a time-saver as you can even view when it gets crowded in the day and where you might find more traffic congestions. You can also use it to know exactly how to follow a trail in case you want to walk around and explore the city.
  • Watch out for festivals and events. If you are visiting Milan during one of its fun, dynamic events, you may find yourself caught up in the crowds, facing gnarly traffic, and even paying more for lodging and food. Some of the festival times to keep in mind are the world-famous Milan Fashion Week, F1 Grand Prix, Milan Jazz Festival, Ambrosiano Carnival and Mercatone dell’Antiquariato Antiques Fair. It is best to avoid these periods for a Milan tour if you are not so keen on attending these events.

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Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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