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Perfect 2 Days in Milan Itinerary

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A major tourist hub, Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region and an economic hub of the country. Being a dynamic destination, there is so much to do in this bustling metropolis. And we will show you how to explore it all, using our 2 days in Milan itinerary. 

2 Days in Milan Itinerary: Planning your trip to Milan for a weekend

2 day Milan Itinerary

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Milan is located in northern Italy and is known for its fashion, design, and finance. The city is home to Italy’s stock exchange and is the second most populated city after Rome. 

It is also the fashion capital of Italy. 

Milan has a number of cultural attractions, such as the Duomo (cathedral), the Santa Maria Delle Grazie (church), and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (shopping mall). 

Girl at the rooftop in Milan Duomo
Milan Cathedral views

Visitors to Milan love to enjoy a number of activities, such as shopping, dining, and sightseeing.

In a nutshell, here is how you can spend a weekend in Milan,

2 day Milan itinerary: Things to do in Milan in 2 days

  • Day 1 of 2 days in Milan itinerary: Milan Cathedral and Piazza, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro Alla Scala & Piazza Della Scala, Hop on hop off bus tour with a stop at Maria Delle Grazie, Parco Sempione
  • Day 2 of 2 days in Milan itinerary: Sforzesco Castle, self-guided Street art tour, Navigli Canal District and San Lorenzo Maggiore, shopping

Pressed for time? Here is a short one day in Milan itinerary

Milan Trip planning 

There are a number of ways to get to Milan. If Milan is your only destination of choice in Italy, then you can fly into either of the city’s two airports, Milan Linate Airport or Milan Malpensa Airport. 

Milan Centrale

Alternatively, you can take a train or bus into the city. During our trip, we flew to Rome and then took the high-speed train to Milan (and arrived at the gorgeous Milan Centrale Station). 

You can also connect to Milan from Nice France on a short flight, or from the Principality of Monaco, a European microstate

Once in Milan, you can use the city’s efficient public transportation system to get around. Use trains, buses, or on foot to explore the city’s prime attractions. 

Milan Streets: Trains and Trams

We used a 24 hour hop-on and hop-off sightseeing pass and then used local trains to get around. It rained on the first day in Milan during our visit, so the bus was convenient to get to different spots. You can grab your tickets here!

If you plan to take public transport more than a few times, then buy the “carnet” ticket which is valid for 90 minutes for unlimited travel on trams and trains within the period.

Read: Detailed guide to how many days in Milan are enough?

Where to stay in Milan Italy?

The best way to make use of your two day Milan itinerary is to find a hotel that is centrally located and where you can move around on foot without having to use public transportation. 

Areas near the Duomo or the Castello Sforzesco are central and near all the important landmarks and sites. 

Avoid areas such as Piazza Duca D’Aosta as they draw huge crowds and are easy targets for pickpockets. Neighborhoods near train stations can be a little tricky, but you can find some good places to stay for a short visit (options below).

Here are a few hotel recommendations for your Milan trip,

  • c-Hotel Atlantic Milano: We stayed at this property during our first visit to the city. c-Hotel Atlantic Milano was conveniently located near the central station, and it was perfect for sightseeing, as well as for entering and leaving Milan. The hotel was clean, of good value, and spacious. You will also find restaurants and parks nearby. Book your stay here (this hotel is also known as Atlantic hotel Milano)
  • Park Hyatt Milan: Located close to the Milan Duomo in Zone 1, Park Hyatt is a luxury property with stunning views of the city. It is about a 4-5 minute walk from the hotel. Some suites also have a private terrace, and you can wine and dine in their restaurant on-site. View more information here
  • Hotel Spadari Al Duomo: Another luxury property in the heart of Milan, the Hotel Spadari Al Duomo offers upscale suites with free breakfast! Its terraces offer great city views as well! Book your stay here
Plot your Europe trip with this kickass planner!

EUROTRIP PLANNER

Get this 50+ page Europe travel planner for your upcoming trip. You will find designed templates to help track your budget, visa, hotels, sightseeing, and more.

Plus you can plan your overall sightseeing routes using our multi-country and city combinations to save valuable time!

Now let’s kickstart this Milan 2 day itinerary, shall we?

Day 1 of the 2 days in Milan Itinerary: Explore the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro Alla Scala & Piazza della Scala, Hop on hop off bus tour with a stop at Maria delle Grazie, Parko Sempione

This Milan 2-day itinerary assumes that you are in the city the night before. Wherever you are staying – whether near the train station or the Duomo – grab a quick breakfast and then start exploring!

Morning (08:00 am to 08:45 am)

The beauty of visiting Milan is that it is a culinary paradise. There are lots of cool places for a lovely breakfast of coffee and delicious baked goodies. 

Breakfast in Milan

We stopped at a local cafe by our hotel c-Hotel Atlantic Milano on our first day of sightseeing. 

If you are traveling by train to the Duomo, you can start the day the Italian way with delicious brioche, cannoli, and cappuccino at the iconic Lu Bar, inside Milan Centrale Railway station. They have a bigger branch at Via Palestro 16, which is open till midnight. 

After breakfast take the train or a taxi (€8/10 minutes) to Milan Duomo, your first stop on your two day itinerary to Milan. 

Milan Duomo (9:30 am to 12:00 pm)

No visit to Milan is deemed complete without a visit to this marvelous architectural feat – the Milan Duomo or the Milan Cathedral. 

Milan Cathedral

Arriving early at the Piazza di Duomo will allow you to take Instagrammable photos of the cathedral without the usual hordes of tourists later in the day.

This Gothic cathedral took nearly 600 years to build and is the second largest church in Italy after St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. 

Girl viewing from the terrace at the Milan cathedral
From the terraces

We highly recommend setting aside at least three hours to admire all the intricate details and take in the panoramic views of the city from the top.

There is an archaeological site and a crypt below the Duomo which is also worth looking into.

Tickets for the Duomo:

To visit the church for prayers, there is no entry fee. 

However, for visiting the Milan Cathedral for exploring, museum exhibits, and the archaeological site, there is an entry fee. 

There are 3 options for Milan Duomo tickets 

For our visit, we paid for rooftop access via lift, and also explored the museum and the underground exhibits. 

When you book lift access, you are only taking the elevator one way, and then you get down via stairs. 

There are about 250 steps leading to the rooftop terrace. The stairs take you down to the church area inside. 

For just rooftop access by stairs, it will be the cheapest ticket fee. 

We booked our tickets with GetYourGuide, and they were actually valid for 3 days! It rained on the first day of our visit to Milan, so we skipped the rooftop on that day, and just entered the church and the museum. 

With this ticket to the Duomo and the rooftop access, you can see the inside of the cathedral and its stunning interiors as well as visit the terraces and the roof to enjoy close-up views of the ornate spires that adorn the Duomo!

View from Milan Cathedral rooftop

Note that there is a strict dress code for entry to the cathedral, but not to the roof, which forbids uncovered shoulders and knees, (though some tickets include cover-ups). 

  • Hours: Open every day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. 
  • Tickets: Fast track pass starts at €26. Fast track rooftop only starts at €23

Pro Tip: Since you have only two days in Milan take the fast-track guided tour of the cathedral through a separate entrance that includes entry to all the attractions. This will allow you to better understand the history of the Duomo in a shorter time.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

Barely a few minutes’ stroll away from the Duomo is Italy’s oldest active shopping mall – the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II! 

Inside the Galleria

It is a breathtaking building with a unique roof and dome studded with ornate mosaics on the walls of the four-storey building.

The Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele, the first king of Italy, and is the best example of iron architecture in all of Europe.

For sheer splendor and opulence, this mall serves as a lively and noisy place to purchase some high-end pieces and at the same time enjoy passers-by from the Galleria’s numerous bars and restaurants. 

2 day Milan Itinerary stop: The Galleria

The Galleria is home to the most luxurious brands, the Prada Observatory, and a 7-star hotel. 

If the weather is nice, do not miss the walk on the roof of the Galleria to enjoy views of Piazza Duomo from above and take 3 spins on the bull’s groin, located in the building’s lobby, for good fortune.

  • Hours: Open 24 hours. Rooftop 12: 30 pm to 3:00 pm and then from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Monday to Friday), weekends from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • Tickets: Free

You can stop for lunch at the Galleria or any of the cafes and restaurants nearby (lots of options there!)

Teatro Alla Scala & Piazza Della Scala (1:00 pm to 1:30 pm)

As you exit from the Galleria Vittorio, you will reach the square, at the core of which lies the white marble statue of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. This is the iconic Piazza Della Scala. 

Leonardo da Vinci statue in Milan

And it is surrounded by some of the most stunning buildings like the leading ballet and opera theater Teatro Alla Scala, from which the square gets its name. 

If you have time, return in the evening to enjoy a performance. Or book a guided tour of the theatre museum here

Alternate stop: A 4-minute walk from the Galleria will bring you to the Palazzo Delle Scuole Palatine. It is a historic site in Milan and served as a high school in the Middle Ages. 

Hop on hop off bus tour (1:30 pm to 6:00 pm) with a stop at Maria Delle Grazie

Next, return to Duomo square for the sightseeing bus tour. 

Since you are short on time, with the Milan Open Tour you can comfortably visit all the sites in double-decker buses. 

The route will take you past the premier shopping and cultural spots, the Duomo, and many other points of interest in the heart of the city including the Last Supper stop. 

So hop on the bus from the Duomo complex, and enjoy one full loop to get an orientation of the city. 

Santa Maria Delle Grazie church in Milan. It hosts the painting of Leonardo da Vinci: the Last Supper

We recommend getting down at Santa Maria Delle Grazie for a unique opportunity to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting in the refectory of the Delle Grazie church. Plan to arrive there at around 3:00 pm-ish (after completing one round of the bus tour). 

Remember to grab the tickets to the gallery here

Typically the Last Supper and the Santa Maria Delle Grazie tours are for 1.50 hours like this one, but you can also book one for 30 minutes (if short on time).

After the guided tour, you can spend some time at the Church complex, stop for coffee, and then hop on the bus again. Without the bus tour, you can either take public transportation or a taxi to get to Santa Maria Delle Grazie. 

Sightseeing Bus Tour details: 

  • One day pass: Starts at €18. For children, 0-4, wheelchair-bound, and people with disabilities travel free.
  • Departures from Duomo every hour starting at 10:15 am every morning.
  • Book your sightseeing bus tour here.

Parko Sempione (06:30 pm to 07:30 pm)

Spend the evening, walking through the largest urban park in Milan which covers an area of 95 acres. This vast green space runs from Castello Sforzesco to the Arch of Peace, Arco Della Pace.

Sempione Park: Arch of Peace
Sempione Park: Arch of Peace

The Parco Sempione is a wonderful place to relax in the middle of the city. The Arena Civics is the site for many cultural events which are held here in the summer. Many locals sit on the steps of the Arch to watch the sun go down.

Dinner (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)

Finish your first day in Milan with an Italian-style dinner at the nearby Corso Sempione, a continuation of the park, or on any of the terraces near the Duomo and enjoy an aperitif or two before the meal.

The broad Sempione avenue is lined with many cafes and restaurants on both sides. Some popular eating outlets here are Bomaki Sempione for authentic Japanese food and Sophia’s Restaurant for local dishes.

You have another hard day ahead of you, so we suggest you retire for the night.

Day 2 of the 2 days in Milan itinerary: Breakfast, Sforzesco Castle, Street art tour, Navigli Canal District, shopping

Delight yourself in another lovely breakfast in Milan – there are so many awesome and affordable options to choose from. Every few blocks you will come across a pasticceria where you can feast your eyes on goodies.

For a heavy breakfast, visit Biancolatte where you can try pastries, plates of pasta, and burgers. 

Or head to Pave if you want to enjoy a gourmet breakfast different from other parts of the city. We suggest you order a cappuccino, salmon, ricotta brioche, and croissant topped with Madagascar vanilla cream, to keep you fueled for the remainder of the morning at least.

Sforzesco Castle (10:00 am to 12:00 pm)

Head back to Parco Sempione again, to visit the Castello Sforzesco or Sforza Castle on its southern periphery. Many renowned artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, lent their hand in decorating this 14th century complex encompassing residences, towers, gardens, and forts. 

Sforzesco Castle from outside

If you prefer, you can opt for a guided tour of the castle and some of the museums like the Egyptian museum and the Archaeological museum to learn more about its rich history.

  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm (Mondays closed)
  • Tickets: Free to enter the castle, museums entry is €5 (free entry on every first Sunday of the month, and on every first and third Thursday from 02:00 pm onwards 
  • Book: You can book a self-guided tour with an audio guide

Navigli Canal District (12:30 pm to 04:30 pm)

The legendary canals of Milan are situated in the Navigli District in the southwestern part of the city. This unique area is full of cafes, shops, and restaurants that are open throughout the week. 

During weekends, most of the locals head here to catch up with friends and enjoy a sunset walking tour of the district and its interconnected canals that have been around since the Middle Ages.

Stop at a local cafe by the canals for a quick lunch, before continuing sightseeing. 

After your meal, you can either go on a self-guided tour of the neighborhood and enjoy the alleys of the Ticinese area and both above and below the bridges of Navigli in a hunt for art. 

The original work by street artists is not found in museums but is imprinted on the walls and doors in this region of Milan. Once hastily described as a work of vandals, they have now been considered a new form of expressing art. 

Or you can join a guided tour of the Navigli district that will showcase an emerging Milan by livening up its oldest streets with poetic messages, images, and riddles. 

Navigli District Canal in Milan, Italy

In this 2.50 hour excursion, you will also visit the Basilica of San Lorenzo, and the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio along Corso di Porta Ticinese which are one of the oldest churches in Milan. 

San Lorenzo Maggiore (basilica) was built in the 4th century. You can see the remains of a Roman amphitheater inside and the piazza. The church has an impressive interior, and entry is free. 

So although the Duomo takes the cake when it comes to sightseeing in Milan, if you have some extra time you must visit the oldest church in the city!

Shopping (04.30 pm to 06:30 pm)

When it comes to shopping, Milan is at the forefront when compared with Paris and London. 

Shopping in Milan!

And if you LOVE to shop, you can splash all your cash and buy all the designer labels and look the best. Shopping in this fashion capital is a unique experience that must be enjoyed by all. 

You may like this tour: Private Fashion Tour in Milan

Quadrilatero della Moda or the Fashion District of Milan is an upscale and popular shopping area. Some of the amazing streets and stores where you can have the ultimate shopping adventure are:

  • Via Monte Napoleone: For all famous designer brands
  • Via Della Spiga: For upscale boutiques for D&G, Cavalli, and Armani 
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II: For clothes, footwear, accessories, and coffee
  • Via Dante: Extravagant shopping area for home decor items 
  • Corso Como: The first concept store in Milan
  • Cormano Flea Market: For purchasing high-quality silk, pottery, and household items.
  • Fiera Di Sinigagila: For cheap souvenir hunting like books, old records, etc.

Enjoy a Milanese aperitivo

After a hectic day of sightseeing in Milan, you can finally call it a day at the end of your itinerary and treat yourself to the most authentic tradition of the city, the aperitivo hour. 

Some good spots are Camparino in Galleria or Terrazza Duomo 21 in Duomo Square.

Every evening, locals love to get together around 7:00 pm, just before dinner time, at any of the bars scattered around Milan to chat and enjoy a Negroni or a cocktail or a glass of Italian wine, followed by the aperitivo buffet which includes tasty servings of cheese, cold cuts, pizza, bread and olives 

Alternate tour recommendations for Milan Itinerary 2 days

Here are some alternate sightseeing options that you can use to swap any of the activities above.

Hit the chic shops of Brera and explore the district: 

Head to the boutique shops of Brera, a chic neighborhood of the Duomo. The quiet cobbled lanes are a haven for art galleries and boutiques where you can pick up affordable handmade shoes and leather accessories. 

Brera

Besides the unique outlets, Brera is the venue of one of the best open-air markets in Europe which are held every Monday and Thursday on Via San Marco. 

Braidense National Library or Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense is also located here, and it is considered to be one of the largest public libraries in Italy!

Plus there is the beautiful Brera Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico di Brera) which is nice for a walk. 

When you stroll through Brera without any particular time frame, you will be delighted at your discovery. 

BOOK: A guided tour of the Brera district (with a stop at the Brera Gallery)

Pro tip: You can swap all the activities on day 2 of the Milan itinerary after visiting the Sforzesco Castle and spend time at the Brera district instead – go shopping, check out the library, and gardens, and hang out in the neighborhood! 

Porta Nuova District:

In terms of design, design, and architecture, the Porta Nuova district is home to one of the largest redevelopment works in Europe, thanks to an important and complex plan that has transformed it into the most futuristic region in Milan.  

It is home to landmarks like the Game Aulenti Square, Unicredit Tower, and Bosco Verticale.

Literally meaning “New Gate”, this regenerated region was named after the Napoleonic gate that was established on this site between 1810 and 1813. 

After its completion in 2014, Porta Nuova became the venue of several cultural events and home to skyscrapers.

Cimitero Monumentale: 

If you are looking to experience the off-beat or quirky part of Milan, then you must make a visit to the Cimitero Monumentale – a mid 19th century graveyard. While plenty of prominent people lie buried here, the cemetery is well known for its artistic tombs and monuments.

Some shrines and sculptures in the graveyard are in the form of pyramids or a representation of the Last Supper on one of the tombs. The cemetery lies at a distance from the city and many of the tombs are works of famous architects.

Admire the views from Pallazo Lombardia: 

Views from the rooftop of the Duomo are no doubt out of the world, but there is another way to soak in and admire the panoramic views of Milan. And this is from the top of the Belvedere, located on the 38th floor of a skyscraper tower with a 360° observation deck.

Milan Itinerary 2 days: Sightseeing Map

Click on the image to view the full map

Day trips from Milan Italy

Since Milan is well-connected to its surrounding areas there are plenty of doable day trips that can leave visitors spoilt for choices. Check out these excellent getaways that are holiday destinations in their own right to make the most of your vacation to Milan.

Monza

Besides being home to the Italian Formula One, there is much more to Monza than just motor racing. 

As far as attractions are concerned, it is highly recommended to visit the Duomo di Monza, Villa Reale, and Ponte dev Leoni. Moreover, the train from Milan Central railway station takes just fifteen minutes to reach Monza.

Bergamo

This ancient walled city lies in the Lombardy region, just 41 km (25.4 miles) away from Milan, and is most popular for its natural beauty and vintage buildings. 

The Old City of Bergamo is located on a gradient and a funicular shuttles tourists uphill to explore the place. Some other top places to visit in this gem of Northern Italy are Cappella Colleoni, Piazza Vecchia, and Santa Maria Maggiore.

Bellagio

Just 58 km (36 miles) away from Milan lies one of the most beautiful lakeside towns in the whole of Italy – Bellagio. 

Panoramic view of Cernobbio town (Como lake, Italy)

While the standout attractions here are Lake Como and the Giardini di Villa Meizi, the churches, shops, and restaurants make Bellagio a perfect place to spend the day from Milan. 

Watersports buffs can have a wonderful time at Pescallo, a further 10 km (6.2 miles) away, for water skiing and kayaking.

BOOK: Here is a day tour from Milan covering Lake Como and Verenna 

Genoa

Italy’s largest port and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Genoa is located about 117 km (72 miles) away from Milan and enjoys an absolute scenic location on the coast. 

The stunning boulevards, Roman cathedrals, bronze fountains, and age-old public squares, makes Genoa a top place to visit on a day trip from Milan. Some interesting places to see in Genoa are the Aquarium of Genoa, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Piazza de Ferrari.

Monte Carlo Monaco

If visiting a microstate is on your list, then you can hop on 2 trains and get to Monte Carlo, Monaco and explore it on a day trip. Here is a detailed guide to visiting Monaco from Milan.

Girl in Monaco

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican. It is located on the French Riviera. It is known for its luxury hotels and casinos, as well as its yacht-lined harbor. You can also enjoy the many museums and art galleries Monaco has to offer.

On a day trip, you can visit the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, and Monte Carlo Casino, tour the Oceanographic Museum, stroll through the Jardin Exotique, and Port of Hercules, and shop in the Monte-Carlo Shopping Center or Monaco One.

Additional Milan Travel Tips

Milan is located in northern Italy. Italy is a European Union member and as such Schengen zone rules apply. 

Visitors with US and Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter the country and stay for 90 days; however, from 2025, an online authorization – ETIAS – is required prior to travel. 

If you belong to a non-visa-exempt country then you will have to apply for a Schengen visa prior to your visit. 

Plot your Europe trip with this kickass planner!

EUROTRIP PLANNER

Get this 50+ page Europe travel planner for your upcoming trip. You will find designed templates to help track your budget, visa, hotels, sightseeing, and more.

Plus you can plan your overall sightseeing routes using our multi-country and city combinations to save valuable time!

Weather and packing for Milan

The best period to visit Milan is either from April to May or then from September to October. As you plan your special two day trip to Milan, make sure you take into account the dates of special events like the Milan Designer Week, etc.

Irrespective of the time of the year, Milan is susceptible to sudden violent thunderstorms and cold snaps. Layers you may not need on your first day may become a necessity on the second. So it is best to pack for a variety of weather conditions.

Budget 

Euros is the official currency of Italy/Milan. 

If you want to save money on your two-day trip to Milan consider buying a 48 hour Milan Pass which offers free entry to most of the city’s museums as well as public transport and even a ride on the hop-on hop-off bus, albeit at a nominal charge for an upgrade. This handy pass allows you to see Milan at leisure.

Private rooms in hostels or a bed in a dorm could cost about €25 depending on the location and the amenities offered. If you are traveling alone some Milan hotel recommendations that meet the above criteria are Ostello Bello and Hotel Milano Scala.

That said, you can expect to spend €100 per day in Milan, provided you book well in advance and choose only the tickets to attractions that suit your taste and budget.

Hotels in Milan charge a tourist tax or fee, which is usually collected in cash once you check out. It is levied per person per day.

Safety 

Travelers from any part of the world need not fear for safety in Milan. The only cause of concern, however, are pickpockets who thrive in some of the neighborhoods of the city or around the center of Duomo where people may ask you for money. 

Milan Italy

Visitors should only use the registered taxis which carry the sign on the roof and ensure the meter is turned on and reset before hiring one. 

Vehicles at zebra crossings usually do not stop, something pedestrians should take note of.

On the whole, Milan is a safe city except for certain areas like Loreto and Porto di Mare which should be avoided at night.

Quick Tips: 

  • There is no harm in learning a few courtesy words in Italian, as it will help you get acquainted with the locals better
  • You MUST book your Last Supper tickets well in advance when chalking out your Milan itinerary
  • Cafes usually have no service fee as tipping is not essential in Milan. Visitors can however tip if they feel satisfied with the service
  • You can visit some of the best museums in Milan for free on the first Sunday of every month 

Are 2 days in Milan enough?

To be honest, our answer is yes. Two days in Milan gives ample time to visit all the main attractions and get a feel of the city. That said, as Milan is packed with treasures and is full of history, it is strongly recommended to chart out a well-defined itinerary before coming to Milan. 

Lastly, to make this trip work, book your tickets to all the attractions well in advance as Milan is a big and crowded city, all year round.

Read our other Italy travel guides

Pin: Milan Itinerary 2 days: Plan the perfect weekend in Milan Italy

Things to do in Milan in 2 days

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