Milan Italy is the real Italian powerhouse where tourists flock to Rome. Home of Italy’s stock exchange, the high-end fashion industry, and brilliant design, where Rome is preserved, Milan drives forward and is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe today.
Main Attractions in Milan Italy
Milan Cathedral (Duomo)
Taking over 600 years to complete, Milan cathedral is the 5th biggest cathedral in the world and one of the most impressive and recognizable buildings in Italy. Proving that excessive beauty is not a new love of the Milanese, this cathedral is carved from pink marble and has over 3,200 statues on its impressive frontage. For twelve euros you can take the lift to the top of the spires, which will give you great aerial views over the city and the Alps.
The Last Supper
Leonardo DaVinci’s masterpiece is one of the most recognizable images in the world, and many who visit Milan take a break from the bustle of the city to see the calming fresco in person. The image is based in the refectory of the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church and has been lovingly restored to its original glory, a process that took 25 years. Those wanting to witness The Last Supper will need to book tickets ahead of their trip, as it is unsurprisingly popular. A viewing window of 15 minutes costs seven euros.
Where to Stay
As the cosmopolitan capital of Italy, rooms in Milan can be expensive. If you are looking for a basic hotel to spend the night, have a look for the bed and breakfasts that will have reasonably priced rooms with a surprising amount of luxury.
The Bulgari Hotel is a welcome green spot in the center of Milan, this old villa has beautiful rooms that overlook a verdant terraced garden with a bar that serves up the best cocktails in Milan. The Excelsior Hotel Gallia is a grand hotel in central Milan, located a short walk from the shopping quarter, the perfect place to drop off your bags before dinner.
Things To Do in Milan Italy
Italy’s Milan is known for being at the heart of the world of fashion. Stylish and sophisticated, Milan is also home to numerous places of interest, varied attractions, and a plethora of things to do and see. Italy, and especially Milan, is known for being one of the pricier places in Europe to visit. There are several great free things to do in Milan, however, that will make your Euros stretch further and help you to stick to a budget. Combine the free places with the paid attractions and not only will you save some money, but you will also enjoy a varied and rich selection of experiences.
Here are some top ideas of free things to do in Milan:
Be a Fashion Star
London, Paris, Milan. As one of the fashion capitals in Europe, Milan is home to some of the most glamorous people and the biggest fashion brands in the world. Gucci, Armani, Versace, and Prada all have their headquarters based in Milan. If you fancy a spot of high-end shopping, the prestigious quadrilateral Della Moda is the area to see and be seen. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall also houses many of the big brands, with the added plus of being one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
If you can’t afford to splash the cash on a designer handbag, the Milan fashion district is still a great place to sit, sup an espresso, and people watch.
Eat and Drink only the Best
Milan’s fashionable reputation also applies to its food. Where rustic Italy gives you stone-baked pizzas, Milan has a more sophisticated vision of traditional Italian food, which can be found in its Michelin star restaurants. Milan also has a proud wine heritage, and wine tasting evenings are available in venues throughout the city. Milan is a luxurious playground with some of the best food in the world, it’s well worth budgeting for at least five star Italian meal!
As well as being one of Milan’s top touristy sights, the stunning and iconic cathedral is completely free to go inside. You can admire the beautiful exterior and the stunning interior without parting with a single coin. There is a nominal charge to go into the Treasury, though at one Euro this is not going to break the bank should you decide that it is something you want to do.
Milan is known for its high-end, and expensive, fashion houses. Take a stroll along the main shopping streets and through the key shopping areas, such as Brera and Quadrilatero d’Oro, and feast your eyes at some of the designer styles. You will surely also be blown away by the staggering price tags! Whilst you probably will not want to actually buy anything, having a look at the shops is fun and completely free.
The large cemetery is a peaceful and pretty place a little way out of the main city center. Some of the graves are rather ornate and impressive. There are some final resting places of some semi-famous past Milan residents. The area known as fame house is where you will find the most well-known people’s graves.
Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte Museum
This former home of Napoleon is a grand and opulent palatial mansion. Not only is the house steeped in history and a great piece of architecture, but it is now home to a terrific selection of 18th and 19th-century works of art.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse
As well as being home to the famous painting of the Last Supper, which you will pay a lot to see, Milan also contains another of Leonardo de Vinci’s masterpieces – and this one is free to admire! The gigantic horse sculpture is the biggest in the world and it dates back to the 15th century.
There are a number of pretty churches sprinkled around Milan, the vast majority of which are free to go inside. Some of the best include Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, San Simpliciano, and San Bernardino alle Ossa.
Whilst it may not be the biggest and best aquarium in the world, Milan’s aquarium does contain some different water creatures and is one of the city’s free attractions. It offers an ideal place to spend a couple of hours when entertaining children in Milan.
With these free things to do in Milan, a visit to this vibrant and electric Italian city need not completely blow your budget.