So you’re heading to the Italian fashion capital, and you want to check out some sites other than the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco. Well, there’s plenty to see, so here’s my top 10 guide for places to visit in Milan!
Places to Visit in Milan: Cimitero Monumentale
This is one of the most chilling yet beautiful places I have ever been to and is definitely somewhere I would recommend tourists and new exchange students visit. The cemetery is brimming with a mix of modern and classical Italian sculptures, ornate mausoleums and an extensive crematorium temple. The entrance to the cemetery is through the Famedio (Temple of Fame). I would follow up the visit with gelato at Il Massimo, one of the most incredible gelaterias in Milano.
Places to Visit in Milan: Parco Sempione e Arco della Pace e Triennalle
Parco Sempione is the largest city park in Milan, with views of both the Castello Sforzesco and Arco Della Pace. It also contains one of the most prestigious galleries in Milan, the Triennale. It’s worth heading up to the rooftop bar, to check out the views. This park thrives during the summer and spring months as friends and family gather outside to sunbathe, eat and drink. There’s also Bocce games on most days that you could join in!
Places to Visit in Milan: Villa Necchi e Via Cappuccini
Villa Nechhi is a 1930’s home that was gifted to the city of Milan by its owners in 2001. Having housed the family who invented the sewing machine (how cool is that?!), the property has been converted into a museum and cafe. The architecture purports to represent a transition between Art Deco and Rationalist styles, a key trademark of the designer Piero Portaluppi. For me, it’s a beautiful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and sit by the poolside. Whilst you’re in the area, I would also recommend heading to Via Cappuccini to check out the estate with a dozen flamingos in the yard. Yes, real flamingos! They are gorgeous!
Places to Visit in Milan: Bocconi University
So if you’re a student here, then you’ll probably be traversing the campus day in day out. Still, if you’re visiting Milan as a tourist, you may or may not have time to visit the buildings of Bocconi. However, if you have spare time in your itinerary, do it because it’s such an incredible way to see how Milan is attempting to modernise itself through architecture. The newest buildings are based on floating volumes and diffuse natural lighting. And if the architecture isn’t enough to allure you, then come for the food! Plenty of cafes and restaurants to visit!
Places to Visit in Milan: Fondazione Prada
Fondazione Prada houses the first cafe designed by Wes Anderson, and boy, oh boy ain’t it a beauty! Aside from the delicious food and the quirky interior Fondazione Prada also has several permanent and temporary exhibitions to view and an entire building coloured gold?! So if you love fashion, food, and art, get here quick!
Places to Visit in Milan: Navigli
Now that Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio and the nearby canals construction has finished, Navigli is a lot easier to navigate with many new events, cafes and markets taking place daily. For me, the Navigli is one of the coolest places to visit in Milan, especially during the night when everyone comes out for aperitivo, which is a perfect way for friends to meet on a budget (one drink = a meal essentially… but not all places are like this, some expect you to balance your drink purchases and meal consumption fairly whilst others work on a buffet-style). From here, I would also recommend walking to Mercato Metropolitano and Via Vigevano!
Places to Visit in Milan: Museo del Novecento
Right next to the Duomo is the Museo del Novecento. I visited when they had the Yves Klein exhibition. The second floor was covered with a blue dust floor overlooking the Duomo. So if you’re into art, then I would recommend a visit, and if you’re not, perhaps you could go to La Rinascente for a view over the Duomo rather than MdN.
Places to Visit in Milan: Brera
Whenever I visited Brera, I absolutely loved it. This is a wealthy area with incredible buildings, high-end fashion headquarters, luxury restaurants and beautiful galleries. Wander the streets and find your way to and from the main square in Brera, where you can sit, sip an espresso (or my fave, a marochino), and people watch.
Places to Visit in Milan: The New Milan
Cesar Pelli’s Unicredit skyscraper symbolises modern Milan in the Porta Nuova district. Nearby, you’ll also see Bosco Verticale, the world’s first “vertical forest”, and it’s an incredible building worth checking out. Adjacent to the Unicredit building is the Piazza Gae Aulenti containing several retail stores and cafes. Having strolled along to see the architecture, I recommend visiting 10 Corso Como; it’s a little bit touristy but still a favourite of many local Milanese for shopping and food. For me, the collection of niche fragrances is one of the best I have seen in the world, so worth trying a few scents. The food is also delicious but a little expensive.
Places to Visit in Milan: Centrale Stazione
Italy’s second-largest station is also one of its most beautiful. Centrale provides an elegant invitation to take a train journey somewhere fabulous for the weekend with an undefined architectural style. Although I should warn you, train stations are notorious for pick-pockets, so be mindful of where your valuables are.