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Milan Itinerary – How To Spend 1 Day In Milan

The city of Milan is located in northern Italy and is the second-most-populous city in the country, after Rome.

Home to over 3 million people, this cosmopolitan city is a major cultural centre, with museums and art galleries that hold some of the most important collections in the world.

However, it’s probably most well known for being a global capital of fashion and design, with many of the most famous luxury fashion brands in the world having their headquarters in Milan.

From stunning architecture, to high-end restaurants and canal side cafes, the vibrant city of Milan has plenty on offer.

So, if you’re short on time in Italy’s most fashionable city, here’s my one day in Milan itinerary to help you hit some of the best spots.

How To Get Around Milan

On Foot

Milan is a large city, however, most of the main attractions are located close to the main square, Piazza del Duomo. Hence making it possible to walk around them in one day.

Public Transport

Alternatively, the best and least expensive way to get around Milan is using the public transport. Called the ATM, it is a very efficient system.

There are more than 80 buses , 18 tram lines, 4 metro lines and a suburban rail system. So you have plenty of ways to get around the city.

Hop On – Hop Off Bus

Another option for the day is the Milan: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket which costs about €18 per person.

Taxi

Taxis are also available everywhere, although these can get expensive if you are using them all day.

Tour

For those that prefer everything organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

If you do fancy a guided tour, the City Center & Last Supper Walking Tour is a 3 hour tour. This visits all the main attractions in the city centre.

Best Time To Visit Milan

The best time to visit Milan and the surrounding areas would be between April and October, when the weather is warm/hot.

If you want to avoid the crowds, July and August are the busiest months in the city and also the hottest.

If you have more than one day, I can can highly recommend visiting the famous Lake Como, just one and a half hours drive from Milan.

Alternatively, you have some stunning lakes in Trentino, approximately three hours drive away.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack 

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Milan Itinerary Day 1

Navigli

Where better to start your one day in Milan itinerary than in this beautiful neighbourhood. Located in the south west corner of the city it is definitely a must-see.

This romantic canal district is full of history and style. As well as quirky bars, gourmet restaurants and river side boutiques, all adding to its charm.

Consequently, the locals and tourists all flock here for its inviting atmosphere, unique shops and delicious food and drinks.

You can stroll along the waterfront, spot some stunning historic landmarks, as well as see some great street art. Or just sit and people watch whilst relaxing and enjoying some tasty Italian cuisine.

Alternatively, treat yourself to a Navigli District Canal Boat Tour with Aperitivo. Tickets start at €33 per person and the tour lasts an hour.

This is also where the young crowd come in the evening. Making this area a vibrant hub of activity if you are looking for some nightlife!

If you don’t have time to get up to Lake Como on your trip to Italy, then this is a good option in the city.

Navigli Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
Arriving at Navigli canal.
Navigli Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
The view from a bridge crossing the canal.
Navigli Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
A packed out Sunday market at Navigli.

Duomo Di Milano

Duomo Di Milano (Milan Cathedral) is the impressive centre piece of the city and is its most visited attraction.

Dating back to the 14th century, it houses thousands of statues, hundreds of gargoyles and other church figures.

This much-loved landmark dominates the Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) and from the top gives views as far as the Italian Alps! 

To see inside, there are various ticket packages available, depending on which parts of the cathedral you want to visit. For just over €18 the Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket allows access to all areas.

This stunning piece of French Gothic architecture is renowned for its grandeur and beauty and has to be on your one day in Milan itinerary.

Duomo Di Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
Duomo Di Milano at golden hour.
Duomo Di Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
An iconic spot in the city.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Just a few steps away from the Duomo Di Milano, you will find Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls.

Named after Italy’s first monarch, Victor Emmanuel II, this imposing, Neo-Renaissance style building was completed in 1877.

Made up of two glass vaulted arcades intersecting at an octagon and with a beautiful marble mosaic floor, this building is opulence personified.

Moreover, the Galleria Vittorio’s four storeys of luxury retailers, selling everything from haute couture to jewellery, paintings, books and more, are a perfect match for the stunning architecture.

Along with exclusive restaurants, cafes and bars it is also famous for being home to some of the oldest shops in Milan. Including Biffi Cafe, founded in 1867.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is definitely a must-see on your one day in Milan itinerary. Great for some high-end shopping or just window shopping and a coffee.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
The royal domes at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
Exploring the high end shops at the Galleria.

Spin On The Bull’s Balls

Whilst in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade don’t forget to take a spin on the famous bull’s balls.

Located in the central mosaic there is a depiction of the four coats of arms of old kingdoms. These make up present day Italy – Milan, Florence, Rome and Turin.

Within the Turin coat of arms mosaic is a bull. According to local tradition, it’s good luck to place your right heel on the bull’s balls and spin around three time.

This has obviously proved to be a very popular activity as there is now a large hole in that area of the mosaic!

You might have to wait your turn, but this is certainly a fun thing to do on your one day in Milan itinerary.

Spin Bulls Balls Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan
Tourists spin on the bull’s balls.
Spin Bulls Balls Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan
The mosaic bull on the floor of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Spin Bulls Balls Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan
Spinning on the bulls balls is a must.

Eat Local

Finally you’re going to want some good food on your one day in Milan itinerary.

Berbere

Well you can’t go to Milan and not have Pizza!

I would recommend visiting one of the three Berbere pizzerias in Milan for the perfect Italian pizza.

They serve delicious artisan pizzas made from living sourdough, covered with your choice of locally sourced, seasonal toppings.

From vegans to meat lovers, they cater for everyone and the prices are very reasonable.

In addition, if you like to dunk your crusts like me, they offer delicious sauces including spicy nduja and honey, aioli, basil and walnut pesto and garlic butter.

Nori Way

If you are looking for a vegan restaurant with a difference, Nori Way, located in the Piazza Bruno Buozzi, is a 100% plant based, sushi restaurant.

They use lots of different ingredients to reinterpret the typical Japanese cuisin. Offering vegan versions of salmon, tuna and prawns along with uramaki, gunkan, ramen, udon mocha and much more.

The staff are friendly, the quality of food is high and beautifully presented – like a piece of art.

So to finish off your day in Milan itinerary with the perfect dinner, one of these restaurants might just hit the spot!

For real foodies, if you have time, the Guided Street Food Walking Tour with Food Tasting lasts 2.5 hours and explores the tastes of Milan.

Berbere Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
€8 margherita at Berbere.
Berbere Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
The cool interior at Berbere.
Nori Way Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
Enjoying a vegan Ceviche at Nori Way.
Nori Way Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
‘Salmon’ uramaki.
Nori Way Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary
Avocado and aubergine Nigiri.

Where To Stay In Milan

Luxury

Sonder Missori

Well located in Milan, Sonder Missori provides a buffet breakfast and free WiFi. Built in 2022, this 4-star hotel is within 900 yards of Museo Del Novecento and 0.9 miles of Darsena. The property is non-smoking and is located 750 yards from Palazzo Reale.

Guest rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a coffee machine, a bath or shower, free toiletries and a desk. All guest rooms include a private bathroom, a hairdryer and bed linen.

Popular points of interest near the hotel include San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, San Babila Metro Station and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The nearest airport is Milan Linate Airport, 5 miles from Sonder Missori.

Mid-Budget

43 Station Hotel

43 Station Hotel is located in Milan city centre, 100 yards from Milan Central Train Station, and offers modern rooms with free WiFi.

All rooms come with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bath or shower and free toiletries.

There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. The hotel also offers bike hire and car hire.

43 Station Hotel has excellent public transport links around Milan by bus, metro and tram. The cafes and restaurants of Brera are 1.2 miles away, while Milan Cathedral is 5 metro stops away.

Budget

Lucca 22

Situated within 2.5 miles of San Siro Stadium and 3.1 miles of CityLife in Milan, Lucca 22 features accommodation with a kitchenette.

The property is around 3.2 miles from Fiera Milano City, 3.4 miles from Santa Maria delle Grazie and 3.4 miles from The Last Supper. MUDEC is 3.6 miles away and Darsena is 3.7 miles from the guest house.

All units come with a fridge, kitchenware, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a wardrobe. Featuring a shared bathroom with a bidet and a hair dryer, units at the guest house also boast free WiFi.

For more places to stay in Milan, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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Duomo Di Milan 1 Day In Milan Itinerary