I’m sure you’ve heard that Milan is the world capital of fashion, right? And maybe that deters you from visiting?
Well it shouldn’t. Aside from its high end shopping Milan is great place to visit for a few days – here are my top 8 things to do:
Arco della Pace
The Arch of Peace is part of a historical gateway to Milan’s city centre. It’s beautiful architecture is well worth a visit. It’s also located close to the Sempione Park and Branca Tower (read on…)
Duomo di Milano
The undisputed highlight of any visit to Milan is the cathedral – it’s the largest in Italy and the third largest in the world. It’s magnificent exterior makes it the most iconic building in Milan but you really have to see it to appreciate its grandeur. I’d recommend checking it out both during the day and at night for different but equally impressive perspectives.
On a sunny day this is probably the nicest place in the city to relax – there are sweeping paths lined with benches and a small lake which overlooks the Arch of Peace. Also nearby are the Triennale and Sforzesco Castle.
P.S. if you’re a dog lover then you should definitely come here at weekends – there’s a fenced off section that gets full of running, yapping, sniffing dogs of all shapes and sizes.
The “Gate to the Ticino” is a landmark building in the south of Milan. Instantly recognisable by its towering columns, it is a popular tourist attraction and is located close to the Navigli neighbourhood – an area popular for eating and drinking.
Branca tower is quite an odd looking structure (wait until you see it – you’ll know what I mean) but at 112m tall it makes a perfect observation deck. From the top you’ll get 360 degree views of Milan – you can even see the snowy peaks of the Alps in the distance! It costs €5 to get to go up and unfortunately views are limited to around 7mins (something to do with the small lift that takes you up and down). However, I still think that this is best view of the city you’ll get and therefore worth the money.
La Triennale di Milano
The Triennale is a popular cultural centre located on the outskirts of Sempione Park. It houses a number of exhibitions based around art, design, architecture and more – some are free and some require tickets. Great for a rainy day or just if you’re interested in arts and culture!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
This is Italy’s oldest, and possibly the worlds prettiest, shopping centre. It’s certainly the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen in a shopping complex myself. If you’re shopping for luxury brands then this is the place to come; it contains high end boutiques such as Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.
Sforzo is a large castle complex situated next to Sempione Park – it was the attraction that most impressed me on my visit to Milan. One of the more popular areas of the castle is a tiled courtyard with reflective pool. It now also houses a number of museums and art collections. Entrance to the castle and courtyards is free but certain museums require tickets.
Of course, any visit to Milan wouldn’t be compete without a slice of pizza and a bowl of pasta – read here for my recommendations on where to eat and drink in Milan.