Milan Bucket List: 25+ Ultimate Things To Do In 2024

As someone who’s wandered the streets of Milan twice, I’ve uncovered the gems that make this city shine. If you’re itching to explore the Milan bucket list, the must-sees are the majestic Duomo di Milano and the mesmerizing Last Supper. In this post, I’ll walk you through the top Milan experiences and even spill the beans on where to stay.

Ever felt lost on what to do in Milan? You’re not alone. But fear not, for I’ve got your back. Standing in awe of the Duomo still gives me chills every single time. If you’re eyeing a trip to Milan, Italy, this guide is your ticket to unlocking the best of the city.

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Milan Bucket List Things To Do!

A woman walking in front of a cathedral in milan.

1. Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)

No visit to Milan is complete without gazing at the marvel that is the Duomo, the city’s grand, Gothic centerpiece.

Ascend to the rooftop for a breathtaking view or, for true adrenaline junkies, participate in the annual ‘Spiral Staircase Run’ challenge.

Hidden in plain sight are over 3,400 statues adorning the cathedral’s facades, some of which are nearly 600 years old.

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

The last supper is painted on a wall.

2. Leonardo’s Last Supper

A reservation is as precious as the art itself. To secure a spot, plan months in advance.

Or opt for the keeper’s after-hours tour—an intimate setting for a time-traveling experience.

The painting, on the refectory wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, has undergone painstaking restorations, reviving its Renaissance glories.

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

A fountain in front of a large building with a clock tower.

3. Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)

Immerse in Milan’s military might and historical archives at the Sforza Castle.

Wander through its vast courtyards and lush, sculpture-filled gardens, then dare to visit the Museum of Ancient Art for masterpieces by Bellini and Mantegna.

The complex has seen a varied history, serving at times as a ducal palace and a WWII bunker.

4. Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II)

Literally, stroll through history and luxury at Vittorio Emanuele II’s architectural gift to Milan.

A must-do is to find the bull mosaic on the floor and step on its, erm, private parts—local legend swears it brings good luck!

The two-story arcade houses some of the world’s oldest luxury shops and cafes, making it an ideal spot for indulgence and a touch of superstition.

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

5. La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala)

If you can’t catch an opera or ballet, book a tour and stand on its famed stage for an unforgettable bow.

First built in 1778, it is the jewel in the crown of Italian operatic history, having seen premieres of works by Puccini and Verdi.

The entry hall showcases a collection of portraits of composers, covering the entirety of its gloriousness.

6. Brera District (Quartiere di Brera)

A walk through the winding, charming streets of Brera feels like stepping into Milan’s artistic soul.

Visit the famed boarding school where Napoleon studied or aimlessly drift into the neighborhood bars and boutiques.

Nestled in its heart is the Pinacoteca di Brera, home to northern Italian paintings, and a must for any art lover.

A park with a pond and trees in the background.

7. Sempione Park (Parco Sempione)

A beautiful spot next to Sforza Castle, Sempione Park calls you over with its lush greenery and calming ponds.

Stray from the path to discover modernist gardens and precious monuments like the Arch of Peace.

The park hosts a range of events, from book fairs to concerts, ensuring there’s always life in the serenity.

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

8. Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera)

Step into a world of rarefied beauty at the Brera Art Gallery, a treasure trove of Italian art.

Rub shoulders with works by Caravaggio and Tintoretto, then venture outside to the botanical treasures of the Orto Botanico di Brera.

The gallery also houses a library that, in the 19th century, was a salon for illustrious Italian poets and intellectuals.

9. Vertical Forest (Bosco Verticale)

Modern Milan speaks through the city’s skyline at the Bosco Vertical.

These award-winning residential towers stand tall, sporting over 20,000 trees and plants, to give ‘green living’ a whole new meaning.

Not only are they a remarkable sight, but they also absorb CO2 and dust particles, helping clear the city’s air.

Also see: The Ultimate 3 Days In Milan And Lake Como Itinerary

A woman standing in an ornate room with paintings on the walls.

10. Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale di Milano)

Through splendid halls and lavish decor, the Royal Palace weaves tales of royal life and public exhibitions.

Its doors are now open to the public; this monumental structure was once the seat of government and residence for the Visconti and Sforza ruling families.

Its immense Sala delle Cariatidi demands a moment of awe.

The arch of triumph in milan, italy.

11. Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace)

The Arco della Pace, a triumphal arch at Sempione Park, draws inspiration from Roman arches, adding a touch of grandness to the Porta Sempione area.

It has seen wars and victories, but these days, it hosts a variety of street performers and is a great spot for people-watching.

Also see: An Affordable 3 Days In Milan Budget Budget Breakdown

A mannequin in a room with a lot of umbrellas.

12. Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology

Here, the curious mind reigns supreme against the backdrop of one of the world’s largest collections of historical inventions.

Science comes alive, with interactive displays on everything from astronomy to submarine technology.

It’s the perfect space to immerse in da Vinci’s multi-disciplinary universe.

13. Santa Maria delle Grazie

Beyond Leonardo’s Last Supper, the church shows its Gothic and Renaissance architecture.

Santa Maria delle Grazie stands as a timeless witness to Milan’s history, surviving the test of time, including significant damage during the Second World War.

The refectory’s intricate 15th-century construction is an art piece unto itself.

A wooden sculpture of a lion is on display in a museum.

14. Leonardo3 Museum

An exploration of Leonardo’s genius aims to bring his works to life through 3D renderings, allowing you to interact with some of history’s most revolutionary ideas.

The museum features reproductions of da Vinci’s machines based on his original codices, which number over 6,000, yanked straight from the pages of history and modern fascination.

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

15. Milan’s Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale di Milano)

It’s not your average stop, but one cannot ignore the Monumental Cemetery’s expansive, open-air museum quality of family tombs and opulent mausoleums.

It’s a serene break from the city and an architectural marvel housing the graves of countless cultural inspirations, from poets to generals.

16. San Maurizio Church (Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore)

Often dubbed ‘the Sistine Chapel of Milan, this church’s frescoes blanket in breath-stealing beauty.

Over 9,000 square feet of them, in fact, narrating the stories of the Old and New Testaments for all who enter.

It’s like a masterpiece that blends art and dedication so perfectly, that you can’t tell them apart.

Also see: Milan VS Rome: Which One Is Better To Visit In Italy?

17. Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

A must-see spot on your bucket list, take a moment to admire the intricate Romanesque architecture.

Remember to dress modestly when visiting religious sites like this.

This basilica houses the tomb of Saint Ambrose, the city’s patron saint, adding to its cultural significance.

18. Fashion Quadrilateral (Quadrilatero della Moda)

For the fashion-forward, this is a pilgrimage.

The Quadrilatero della Moda is the haute couture destination housing the world’s finest fashion boutiques along streets filled with rich history.

It’s like a paradise for fashion lovers, with each store window in Milan oozing elegance and innovation.

19. Basilica of San Lorenzo

The final resting place of Roman Emperor Maximian and the location of several holy relics, the basilica is more than a monument.

It’s a lively hub, bustling with events like concerts and cultural festivals, bridging the Milan of the past with today’s modern culture in a timeless connection.

20. QC Terme Milano

A spa day in Milan? Absolutely. At QC Terme, bask in healing waters that have soothed the weary for centuries, from the Roman baths to modern pampering.

With seven types of saunas and blissful massage treatments, this oasis in the city offers a perfect retreat for those travel-weary bones.

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

21. Porta Nuova

Milan’s sleek and modern side greets you at Porta Nuova, an ultra-modern financial and business district.

Its eco-friendly design and contemporary architecture stand out, including the Bosco Verticale, and often hosts events that celebrate its vibrant urban community as well as innovation in design and business.

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

A canal in a city at night with lights on it.

22. Navigli Canal (Navigli)

Check out Milan’s nightlife along Navigli’s scenic canal, lined with eateries, bars, and boutiques that come alive as the sun sets.

The Navigli refers to a network of interlinked canals located in and around Milan, within the Italian region of Lombardy, with roots dating back to the Middle Ages. This system comprises of five different canals.

Also see: How To Take A Lake Como Day Trip from Milan!

23. Basilica of Santo Stefano Maggiore

This basilica, complete with 16 imposing Roman columns in its crypt and stunning, detailed mosaics, stands as an ode to its former glory as a significant religious institution with ties back to the fourth century, surviving various re-erects over its long history.

The basilica presents a stunning amalgamation of the Romanesque and Lindisfarne—something to savor.

24. Sforza Horse (Il Cavallo dello Sforza)

To honor the conqueror Francesco Sforza, Leonardo da Vinci began, though never completed, a cast equestrian sculpture.

This mock-up sculpture, the ‘Sforza Horse,’ now stands at the entrance of the racecourse, steeped in the Renaissance’s unfinished promises, a glimmer of history touched by the master’s hand.

25. Branca Tower (Torre Branca)

At 108.6 meters tall, Torre Branca offers a panoramic view of the city, from the Alps to the Apennines.

Take a ride on the glass elevator to the top and enjoy a commanding vista of Milan’s skyline—a hidden gem for those looking to escape the crowds and take in a unique perspective of the city.

26. Modern Art Gallery of Milan (Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano)

Nestled in its own green oasis, the villa housing this gallery was a residence for Napoleon and Princess Pauline.

Today it’s home to over 2000 works from the 18th to the 20th century, including pieces by greats like Picasso and van Gogh.

An often-overlooked treasure, it offers a quieter, more contemplative art experience.

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.

Final Thoughts-

If you’re eager to dive into the Milan bucket list, don’t miss the majestic Duomo di Milano and the mesmerizing Last Supper. With my expertise from two visits to Milan, I can attest to the wonders awaiting you in this great city. Comment down below what you can’t wait to see in Milan!

Happy exploring!

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