48 Hours in Milan, Italy: 10 Cool Things To Absolutely Do

If you find yourself with only 48 hours to spare in Milan, Italy, here are ten cool things that you absolutely must do to make the most of your short visit. Milan is a city known for its fashion, art, and thriving food scene. With its rich history and architectural wonders, you will find plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this remarkable city.

1. Visit the Duomo di Milano

Your visit to Milan would be incomplete without admiring the awe-inspiring Duomo di Milano. This grand Gothic cathedral stands tall in the heart of the city and is an architectural marvel. With its intricate spires and imposing facade, the Duomo is a testament to Milan’s rich heritage and religious significance. Climb to the rooftop terrace and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Milan. As you explore the cathedral’s interior, marvel at the stunning stained glass windows and ornate decorations that bring the Duomo to life.

Useful Links:
Duomo di Milano Official Website
Milano Cathedral Visitor Guide

2. Wander through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Adjacent to the Duomo, you will find the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. This architectural masterpiece boasts a magnificent glass dome and showcases luxurious stores, cafes, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll through this glamorous shopping arcade, admiring the intricate mosaic floors, stunning frescoes, and opulent decorations. Don’t forget to spin your heel on the bull’s mosaic in the center of the Galleria for good luck.

Useful Links:
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Official Website
Milano Secrets Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Guide

3. Explore Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie

No art lover should miss the opportunity to witness one of the world’s most iconic masterpieces, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Located in the historic church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, this incredible fresco depicts the poignant moment of Jesus and his disciples during the Last Supper. Due to its delicate composition and historical significance, access to the Last Supper is strictly limited, so it’s essential to book your tickets in advance.

Useful Links:
The Last Supper Official Website
Ticket Booking for The Last Supper

4. Admire the art at Pinacoteca di Brera

Art enthusiasts should head to Pinacoteca di Brera, one of the most important art galleries in Italy. Located in the Brera district, this gallery houses an extensive collection of masterpieces from renowned Italian artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Tintoretto. Take your time to stroll through the captivating rooms and soak in the beauty of these timeless pieces in a peaceful and intimate setting.

Useful Links:
Pinacoteca di Brera Official Website
Explore Brera Neighborhood of Milan

5. Enjoy a traditional Aperitivo

One of Milan’s most famous culinary traditions is the Aperitivo, a pre-dinner drink accompanied by various delicious snacks. Head to one of the trendy bars in the Navigli or Brera districts and experience the lively ambiance as locals unwind and socialize. Sip on a refreshing Aperol Spritz or Negroni while sampling an array of tasty bites such as bruschetta, olives, and Italian cheeses. This vibrant and social occasion is the perfect way to soak up the Milanese atmosphere and kick-start your evening.

Useful Links:
Guide to Italian Aperitivo in Milan
Lonely Planet – Uncovering Milan’s Aperitivo Scene

6. Take a stroll around Parco Sempione and Castello Sforzesco

Escape the bustling city and find tranquility in Parco Sempione, a beautiful green oasis in the heart of Milan. The park offers a serene atmosphere and picturesque views, providing the perfect backdrop for a relaxing stroll. As you wander, you will encounter the stunning Castello Sforzesco, a majestic fortress dating back to the 15th century. Explore its courtyards, visit the museums inside, and learn about Milan’s captivating history.

Useful Links:
Official Website for Parco Sempione
Milan Museum Guide – Castello Sforzesco

7. Indulge in Milanese Cuisine

Milan boasts a rich culinary heritage, and no visit is complete without exploring its delectable cuisine. Treat yourself to traditional Milanese dishes such as risotto alla Milanese, a creamy saffron-infused rice dish, and ossobuco, tender braised veal shanks. End your meal on a sweet note with a slice of panettone, the famous Milanese Christmas cake, or savor a creamy gelato from one of the many gelaterias scattered throughout the city.

Useful Links:
Discover Walks – Typical Food in Milan
Milano Today – Traditional Milanese Cuisine

8. Visit the Teatro alla Scala

Opera lovers should not miss the chance to visit one of the world’s most renowned opera houses, Teatro alla Scala. Immerse yourself in the rich history and opulence of this legendary theater. Book a guided tour, and step behind the scenes to discover the backstage areas, explore the museum showcasing historical costumes, and marvel at the impressive auditorium. If possible, catch a performance to witness the magic of a world-class opera in this magnificent venue.

Useful Links:
Teatro alla Scala Official Website
Guided Tour of Teatro alla Scala

9. Explore the Navigli Canals

Charming and vibrant, the Navigli district is characterized by its picturesque canals and quaint streets. Take a leisurely walk along the lively Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese canals, lined with colorful buildings, cafes, and shops. This bohemian neighborhood comes alive in the evening, transforming into a lively hub filled with restaurants and bars. Enjoy a romantic dinner by the water’s edge or join the locals for aperitivo in one of the trendy bars along the canals.

Useful Links:
Milan Finally – Exploring Navigli District
Atlas Obscura – Discover Navigli District

10. Shop at Quadrilatero della Moda

Milan is an international fashion capital, and the Quadrilatero della Moda is the epitome of high-end luxury and Italian fashion. Home to prestigious brands and designer boutiques, this iconic shopping district is a dream destination for fashion enthusiasts. Explore Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, and Via Manzoni, where you will find international fashion houses alongside local Italian designers. Even if shopping doesn’t fit your budget, the stunning architecture and glamorous atmosphere make for an unforgettable experience.

Useful Links:
Milano Made in Punta – Quadrilatero della Moda
Milano Davai – Quadrilatero della Moda Shopping Guide

Make the most of your 48 hours in Milan by immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, art, and cuisine. From its awe-inspiring architecture to its rich heritage and fashion-forward reputation, Milan offers an unforgettable experience that will surely leave you longing to return. Whether you prefer exploring historical landmarks, indulging in delicious food and drinks, or immersing yourself in art and fashion, Milan truly has something for everyone. So, seize the opportunity to discover the hidden treasures and cool experiences this magnificent city has to offer.