Introducing holidays to Milan
Renowned as one of the most fashionable destinations in the world, this Italian city is as stylish as you’d imagine. Italy’s industrial powerhouse, it might be a world away from the romantic city of Florence or tourist-led Rome, yet Milan city breaks have plenty of charm that keep holidaymakers flocking back year on year.
Aside from business and fashion, you’ll also be surprised to discover a wealth of history beneath its glamourous facade. The grand gothic cathedral, the duomo, is a striking sight at the heart of city breaks to Milan - a must-visit for keen photographers for its spectacular architecture as well as its stunning views from the top. Nearby you’ll find some fantastic destinations to escape the bustle of the city - head to La Spezia for a laid-back day trip with a dose of culture thrown in.
Top hotels in Milan
Hilton Garden Inn Milan
Mercure milano Regency
Hotel da Vinci Milano
B&B Hotel Milano San Siro
Grand Hotel Milano Malpensa
Idea Hotel Milano San Siro
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Italian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 5m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
The most modern of all Italian cities, world famous for its fashion sense and design flair, Milan is truly an urban gem. Boasting a shopping experience with few equals, perfect for those who like their luxury brands, the city also has a glitzy nightlife to match. But not all of Milan's attractions are focused on the here and now, and it's also home to some of the world's greatest artworks, palaces, and opera houses. Whether exploring these historical treasures, or taking a leisurely walk around its charming squares, this is a destination which rarely disappoints.
Located in the monastery, next to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church, is one of the most famous paintings of all time – The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Widely thought of as the greatest artwork of the Renaissance, and having miraculously survived the passage of time, the fresco can now be seen in full colour thanks to a painstaking work of restoration. In order to avoid disappointment, make sure you reserve a 15 minute slot in advance.
For a more up-to-date cultural offering visit the Trienalle Design Museum. Hosting frequent exhibitions which highlight contemporary Italian design, architecture, and media arts, it's one of the less advertised, but more interesting things to do in Milan. The building also incorporates a spectacular bridge entrance leading to the museum's permanent collection of designer classics, along with a stylish café.
With plenty of iconic landmarks and attractions, you’ll be hard pressed to run out of things to do on your Milan city breaks. From traditional churches to fascinating museums and world class theatres, there are plenty of beautiful buildings to explore. Head to the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology to immerse yourself in all things scientific or browse the vast contemporary art collection found at the Museo d’arte Paolo Pini.
If it’s history you are craving in Milan, ensure you make time to drop into some of the city’s finest churches. With some of the oldest religious buildings in the whole of Italy, you’ll find beautiful architecture from varying time periods - from the renaissance feel of the Saint Mary of the Graces to the Romanesque architecture of Saint Ambrose. Simply by strolling its streets, you’ll be revealed to countless churches, with most of them free to explore - head to the nearby city of Turin for catch a glimpse of even more fine religious buildings.
Of course, Milan city breaks are incomplete without embarking on a shopping trip and with the iconic Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle shopping mall on your doorstep, it’d be rude not to! A spectacular 19th century building with a stunning mosaic floor, you won’t help but feel like royalty when you’re laden up with shopping bags from its glitzy boutiques or sipping coffee at one of its stylish cafes. Alternatively you can head to the nearby destination of Genoa if you’re looking for unique souvenirs.
Wine and Dine
Apart from all the super-stylish options you'd expect, dining out in the city doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. One of the fun things to do in Milan is to join in with locals and eat for free by sampling aperitivo, Milan's own answer to tapas. Between 6pm and 10pm, many of the city’s bars lay on a spread of buffet-style snacks to go with your drinks; these include salami, cheeses, salads, pasta, and cakes. Simply keep an eye out for bars advertising Happy Hour or Aperitivo and snack away!
Action and Adventure
The Duomo, Milan's main cathedral, is the third largest church in the world, and a truly stunning spectacle. Built from white marble, and with hundreds of spires and thousands of statues on open display, it's clearly a dazzling achievement. Better yet, visitors are permitted access to the rooftop and a breathtaking view which stretches all the way to the Alps. You can either take the lift up to the top or use the stairs located on the south side of the cathedral, a climb of five minutes on average. Either way, this is an experience which should not be missed.
The Fashion District is the place to go for shopaholics, and one of the most alluring of Milan attractions. Here a dazzling selection of retail outlets awaits you, all brought together in one area, known in Italian as “The Rectangle of Gold”. Strolling the elegant streets and arcades, you will come across some of the most glamorous stores to be found anywhere in the world. Home to both the Armani and Gucci flagships, the Fashion District is also a great place to visit funky boutiques featuring the work of up-and-coming designers. Whether it's chic dresses or trendy sunglasses that take your fancy, there's never any shortage of items on show. Even if it's only window shopping you indulge in, rather than splashing the cash, here you'll get the chance to rub shoulders with the beautiful people of Milan!
As day gives way to night, Milan comes into its own, with no end of lively bars and happening clubs. A great place to start your evening off is the Navigli district which sits alongside one of Milan’s canals and features an assortment of low-key pubs, open air wine bars and cafés. As the night heats up, it's a good time to move on to the Brera