Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Milan is a vibrant Italian city that offers visitors a mix of history, culture, cuisine, fashion, and entertainment. As we look ahead to 2024, Milan will continue to captivate travelers with its energy and style. Finding things to do while you spend time in Milan can be overwhelming. That’s why we thought of helping you out. Here are 10 of the best things to explore and experience when visiting Milan in 2024:

What is Milan Best Known For?

Milan is one of the world’s fashion capitals and a global hub for design, business, tourism, and culture. As a leading manufacturer of ready-to-wear fashion and the home to many prestigious designers and labels like Prada, Armani, and Versace, Milan is internationally synonymous with cutting-edge style and luxury shopping. The city’s “Quadrilatero della Moda” neighborhood contains the flagship boutiques of leading Italian fashion houses and sets fashion trends each season during Milan Fashion Week.

Beyond fashion, Milan is also recognized globally for its central role in business, art, architecture, music, and cuisine. As Italy’s economic powerhouse, Milan is home to the Italian stock exchange and headquarters for many major banks and companies. Culturally, the city boasts the world-famous Teatro alla Scala opera house, Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting, the Duomo di Milano cathedral, and Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery. Milan’s reputation for business, fashion, music, art, dining, and nightlife establishes its status as an epicenter of style and culture.

Things To Do In Milan, Italy

1. Admire the Grandeur of the Duomo di Milano

No trip to Milan would be complete without visiting the magnificent Gothic cathedral known as the Duomo di Milano. Dating back to 1386, the cathedral dominates the city skyline with its intricate architecture, 135 spires, and ornate details. The rooftop provides stunning 360-degree views over the city that are not to be missed. If possible, try to time your visit to catch one of the masses accompanied by the pipe organ—it’s a memorable experience.

2. Stroll Through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This beautifully preserved 19th century glass-vaulted shopping arcade epitomizes Italian style and will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. With its intricate mosaic floors, vaulted glass ceiling, and upscale shops and cafes, no visit to Milan is complete without wandering through this iconic landmark off of the Piazza del Duomo. Be sure to spin your heel on the bull mosaic’s genitals for good luck!

3. Take in Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”

One of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous works, “The Last Supper” mural painting is a must-see when in Milan. Timed-entry tickets are required to view this fragile art piece, so be sure to book those well in advance of your 2024 trip. Gaze in awe at da Vinci’s emotive depictions of Christ and his disciples just before Christ’s betrayal. Soak in the atmosphere of this spacious dining hall connected to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

4. Explore the Quadrilatero della Moda

Fashionistas will feel right at home in Milan’s Quadrilatero della Moda neighborhood. This “golden rectangle” of fashion is home to the who’s who of Italian fashion—think Prada, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana. Even if your budget won’t allow for purchasing anything from their signature boutiques, the window displays alone make it a worthwhile visit for any fashion enthusiast or people watcher.

5. Take in Italian Masterpieces at the Pinacoteca di Brera

Boasting one of Italy’s most impressive art collections, the Pinacoteca di Brera gallery houses seminal works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Piero della Francesca, and Gentile da Fabriano. Wander its 38 halls to take in Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces that resonate through the centuries. Don’t miss Raphael’s gorgeous “The Marriage of the Virgin” and Caravaggio’s arresting “Supper at Emmaus” paintings.

6. Explore the Trendy Navigli District by Boat

Milan’s hip Navigli district is centered around a charming network of canals and brickwork streets that make you feel transported back to medieval Milan. Take a guided boat tour along the canals to soak up lively nightlife scenes focused around the array of cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. Or simply stroll the cobblestone streets, stopping to puff on a cigar, sip an Aperol spritz, or sample Ossobuco at an outdoor cafe table.

Also Read:  Shopping Desires in Italy

7. See an Opera at Teatro alla Scala

If your Milan itinerary allows, try catch a world-class opera or ballet performance at the renowned Teatro alla Scala opera house. The opulent red and gold interior transports you to a bygone era from the moment you sit down. Founded in 1778, La Scala’s stage has been graced by Verdi, Puccini, Toscanini, Maria Callas, Rudolf Nureyev, and countless other luminary performers. Even if the tickets stretch your budget, it may well prove the ultimate Milan cultural experience.

8. Take in the Ambience at the Mercanti Piazza del Duomo

Adjacent to the Piazza del Duomo lies this bustling enclosed market that perfectly encapsulates local Milanese life. Wander through the lively array of vendors selling books, clothing, flowers, accessories, and toys. Street musicians provide an entertaining soundtrack as locals go about selecting ingredients for their evening family meals. Grab a cone of fior di latte gelato, take a seat, and simply soak up Milan’s vibrant energy.

9. Explore the Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church and Convent

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

Many visitors know this UNESCO World Heritage Site for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned “The Last Supper” mural. Yet the complex has even more artistic and architectural treasures waiting to be discovered. Wander through the peaceful Dominican convent with its stunning cloistered courtyard and refectory featuring Bramante’s luminous Renaissance architecture. If possible, explore the archaeological ruins beneath the church revealing remnants of Roman walls and early Christian baptisteries.

10. Take Day Trips to Lake Como and Other Nearby Gems

While Milan offers more than enough to keep you captivated, it also serves as the perfect launch pad for exciting day trips to places like Lake Como, Bergamo, and Verona. Journey just an hour by train to the picturesque Lake Como villages and luxurious villas that have beckoned the elite from Roman times to the present day. Or take a quick train ride to medieval Bergamo, Verona (the setting for Romeo and Juliet), or other nearby Northern Italy gems.

Do check out for climate changes once your Italy visa from Dubai is granted. Bag your bags and get ready to explore beautiful Italy and shortlist destinations on what to see in Milan.

FAQ’s About Milan, Italy

Why do people visit Milan?

Milan is globally renowned as a fashion capital and hub for business and finance. As home to luxury fashion houses like Armani, Prada, and Versace, Milan sets world fashion trends. The city also boasts powerful financial institutions like the Italian stock exchange, multinational companies, and banks. Culturally, Milan is famous for its stunning Gothic Duomo cathedral, Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" painting, Teatro alla Scala opera house, and lively dining and nightlife scenes.

What is the best time of year to visit Milan?

The best times to visit Milan are spring (April-May) and autumn (late September-October) when the weather tends to be sunny and mild with temperatures ideal for sightseeing. Summer also offers warm sunny days, but some festival months can get quite hot. Winter months bring more rain and cooler temperatures, but decorated Christmas markets and fewer tourists.

What are the must-see attractions and landmarks?

Top attractions include the magnificent Duomo di Milano cathedral and Villa Reale, galleries like the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum, Teatro alla Scala opera house, shopping districts like the Quadrilatero delle Moda, the UNESCO site of Santa Maria alle Grazie church housing “The Last Supper,” medieval Castello Sforezesco, and the lively evening dining and bar scenes of the trendy Navigli district. These attractions make it worthy for you to get Italy visa from Dubai and visit Milan.

What is some quintessential Milanese culinary specialties?

As a global city, Milan offers immense culinary diversity. However, classic Milanese dishes include risotto alla Milanese, the famous cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal cutlet), ossobuco (braised veal), and pasta classics like lasagne. Local dessert specialties include panettone (a fruited Christmas bread) and sweet gelatos. The regional Lombardy wine Franciacorta and bitter aperitifs like Campari and Aperol are quintessential local libations.

What types of transport get you around Milan efficiently?

As a major city, Milan boasts an efficient metro system with 4 underground metro lines, trams, buses, and suburban trains to help visitors reach key sites and neighborhoods with ease. Walking and taxis/ride shares provide good options for shorter distances. Biking around the city has also become very popular with an expanding network of bike lanes. And Milan has two international airports: Malpensa and Linate Airports.

Where are the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Milan?

The historic city center around the Duomo, luxury shopping districts, and Navigli dining district provide super convenient and atmospheric areas to stay. Brera and Moscova districts also place you near top attractions. For nightlife, the Corso Como and Isola neighborhoods offer trendy bars and clubs. For value options, look at hotels near Milan Central Station and newer districts like Porta Nuova.

What are the best day trips from Milan?

Top day trips include Lake Como to visit picturesque historic lakeside villages, Bergamo's medieval Upper Town center, classic Italian cities like Verona and Bologna, Lake Maggiore’s tranquil Borromean Islands, the village of Argegno on Lake Como, and local wineries around Franciacorta and Valtellina. Trains provide fast connections to most surrounding sites.

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