The Ultimate 3 Days In Milan And Lake Como Itinerary!

A view of the duomo cathedral in milan, italy.

With 3 days in Milan and Lake Como, I reveal all the gems Milan offers while squeezing in a side trip to the enchanting Lake Como. Join me as I outline each day’s adventures, top sights, and tips for a seamless Lake Como escape.

No more wasted time or money in Milan, I’ve got you covered with the best things to see! I’m an Italy enthusiast who has been to Milan multiple times and seen all its highlights. This post is your ultimate guide to a fulfilling Italian getaway. Here is your three-day itinerary to Milan and Lake Como!

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Day One: Last Supper

Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

The 1st stop on day one is to visit the Famous antique painting of the Last Supper. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci, the artwork is set on the walls of the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. To get inside the building you need to make reservations online months in advance since tickets fill up fast.

It is a bit cumbersome to get them but I have a link here for more information about getting your tickets ahead of time. You are not allowed to take photos of the painting once inside (which is why I have this blurry photo for you) and you will have to go through a “decontamination” process to keep the paint preserved.

Also see: How To Finally See Leonardo’s Last Supper In Milan!

Leonardo da Vinci Museum

If you love history and science you will love visiting the Leonardo3 Museum – Il Mondo di Leonardo. It’s a modern and interactive exhibit where you will learn about the inventions, artwork, and weapons Leonardo Da Vinci made while he lived.

They have interactive screens where you can build and put together his inventions. There’s also one where you can see what the Mona Lisa painting originally looked like when it was 1st created. But my favorite was the hand-painted fresco of the Last Supper recreated on the back wall which is also to scale. With the recreation, you can see how vivid the colors looked like 528 years ago. 

Also see: Visiting Leonardo3 Museum: The World of Leonardo da Vinci!

Naviglio Grande

End your first night in Milan, by strolling through its charming streets and historical spots. Head to Naviglio Grande as the sun goes down, a cool canal with hip bars and cozy eateries. Pick a nice spot by the water for a tasty Italian dinner with traditional dishes and wine.

Treat yourself to creamy gelato from a local gelateria after dinner for a sweet end to your day, soaking in the sights and sounds of this bustling canal area. Naviglio Grande is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the authentic Milanese feel, setting the stage for a memorable start to your Milan adventure.

Also see: Milan Bucket List: 25+ Ultimate Things To Do!

Day Two: Duomo di Milano and Sforzesco Castle

Duomo di Milano

Starting off day two, make your way to the Duomo Di Milano to see what I would consider the most beautiful cathedral in the world. It took 600 years and 65 million dollars to complete. Fun fact there is a statue of a man riding a horse in front of the church in the square and it is of Vittorio Emanuele II the 1st king of Italy. 

When you buy your tickets to the Duomo, get the one with lift access to the roof. You can go inside and see the stained glass windows and high ceilings. Then after, go outside to the back of the church where you will have access to an elevator that will take you to the roof of the church. You will get to see the amazingly intricate details of the facade up close.  You can buy tickets here.

Also see: Visiting Duomo di Milano? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ii

After your visit to the Duomo spend some time at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ii. Italy’s oldest active shopping gallery and a major landmark. Here you’ll find high-end shopping stores and restaurants. Places like Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, and Prada caught my eye. Everything here is so shiny and upscale, that it feels like you’re in a movie. 

After that, you can grab lunch in or around the Galleria mall, and don’t forget an afternoon snack of some gelato. If you go to Amorino around the corner they will make you a gelato cone in the shape of a flower. It takes an extra minute for them to form it into a flower but I think it’s worth the wait.

Also see: These Are The Best Places To Shop In Milan For Fashionistas!

Sforzesco Castle

After doing some shopping head to spend some time at the Sforzesco castle and Sempione Park right behind it. Sforzesco castle has a large courtyard in the center of it and another that wraps around it like a square. There are ponds, a water fountain, and plenty of adorable stray cats that mind their business.

Entrance is free to the castle every first and third Tuesday from 14.00 and every first Sunday of the month. Other than that it is 5 eu to get in. The castle houses Michelangelo’s last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà. This unfinished masterpiece is a unique and captivating piece of art that adds to the castle’s charm and cultural significance.

Also see: Is Milan Worth Visiting + Why It Will Surprise You!

Sempione Park

Sempione Park can be reached through the back entrance of Sforzesco Castle. It has a walking trail that has art statues set up throughout the park. There are ponds and bridges that cross over them plus Arco della Pace, a historical landmark. It was once the city gate of Milan and was requested to be built by Napoleon. 

The park was established in the early 19th century, spans 95 acres, and is a beloved spot for locals and tourists. Enjoy a stroll, have dinner at a nearby restaurant, or pack a picnic. The park also hosts cultural events and concerts year-round so be on the lookout for any happening.

Also see: The Top 5 Free Things To Do When Visiting Milan Italy!

Day Three: Lake Como

Lake Como Day Trip

When spending three days in Milan, a day trip to Lake Como is a must-do experience. Lake Como, with its scenic beauty and charming towns like Bellagio and Varenna, offers a perfect escape from the city. To make the most of your budget, you can take the train for a convenient and cost-effective journey allowing you to relax and enjoy the picturesque views along the way.

Alternatively, booking a private ride can offer flexibility and luxury, ensuring a personalized experience tailored to your preferences. Today you will wander the cobblestone streets of Bellagio, explore the colorful waterfront of Varenna, and relax on a boat ride in Lake Como. Both of the villages have stunning gardens that you absolutely can not miss and I cover all the details in this post here.

Also see: How To Go On The Best Lake Como Day Trip from Milan!

Where To Stay In Milan!

Best Modern Hostel: Located in Milan’s lively center, this hostel offers affordable, stylish accommodation. With stylish rooms, free WiFi, communal lounges, and 24/7 front desk service, it’s a cost-effective option for experiencing Milan’s vibrant culture and nightlife.

Best Hotel with View: Located next to Milan’s Duomo, this hotel offers Milanese sophistication with its designer rooms, exclusive experiences, gourmet dining, and top-notch wellness facilities. It provides a luxurious and intimate stay for travelers seeking an unforgettable Milan adventure.

Best Family Vacation Home: Experience luxury in Milan’s center near the iconic Duomo. These exquisite apartments offer privacy with high-end hotel services, perfect for families or groups. Ideal for indulging in Milan’s fashion, art, and cuisine with the comfort of home in a prime location.

Also see: These Are The Best Places To Stay In Milan Italy!

How To Get Around Milan

Navigating Milan’s vibrant streets is made easy with a variety of transportation options. To get around the city efficiently, you can use the extensive metro system, which connects key points throughout Milan quickly and conveniently.

Also, hopping on a bus or tram allows for a scenic view of the city while reaching the destination between metro stops. You can buy the 3-day Milan City Pass for 21 EU and this lets you ride the metro, trams, and buses. You can read more about tickets here!

For those looking for a more flexible and personalized journey, rideshare services are widely available, offering a convenient way to travel around Milan at your own pace. Services like Uber and Lyft work well in Milan.

Final Thoughts- 3 Days In Milan and Lake Como

With 3 days in Milan and Lake Como, you can explore iconic landmarks like the Last Supper, Duomo di Milano, and the Galleria, along with the charming towns of Bellagio and Varenna by the lake. I enjoyed Milan and Lake Como firsthand so I know you’ll have an amazing time too. What places in Milan are you ready to see the most? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy exploring!

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