Our top tickets for things to do in Milan
Leonardo Da Vinci Trail
Make it a trip to remember with these must-dos
Know your Milan basics
Central European Time (CET)
There are four underground/subway lines (#1 - red, #2 - green, #3 - yellow, #5 - purple ), one suburban rail link (AKA "Passante", (in blue on subway maps), and roughly 70 lines serviced by trams, trolleys, and buses. Buy your tickets, including daily passes, before boarding, and stamp them properly when you get on a bus, subway or tram. The inspectors do call, and they won’t care if you’re a tourist. They’ll bust you in Italian if they have to.
Milan gets proper seasons, ranging from “get me some gelato, I’m melting” hot, to “how do I ask ‘Can I please buy some mittens’, in Italian?” cold. The hottest month is July, when temperatures peak at an average of 25C, but it’s also the month that sees the most rain. Pack an umbrella with your sunscreen. January’s the coldest month, when it regularly plummets to an average of 3C. Don’t forget the thermals. Or travel in the in-between months.
Meat is the star of Milanese cuisine. Lashings of butter are also a must, and saffron is the highlight of a good risotto. Seek out cotoletta alla Milanese, a pan-fried veal cutlet, snack on a plate of fresh crusty bread and salami, or for something hearty try some Cassouela - a delicious pork and Savoy cabbage stew. There are dishes to suit all tastes in Milan and the fun is in sniffing out the best restaurants. Stuck? Just ask a local.
National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci
Packed into a 16th-century monastery, this cutting-edge science museum offers a hands-on experience with scientific phenomena and models of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and designs. It has over 16,000 historical objects and 13 interactive laboratories, plus an array of flying machines, war paraphernalia and curious inventions - some of them even work. A true Renaissance man, the famous painter is also credited with inventing the parachute, helicopter and tank.
Milan's most popular attraction is also Italy’s most spectacular church. Fill your Instagram account with photos of intricate stonework, arches, spires and Gothic buttresses as you explore centuries of work and detail. Take the elevator up to the top for mind-boggling views of Milan and behold the crowning glory - the Duomo Rooftop. Say hi to the gargoyles and of course Madoninna, a 14-foot-high golden statue of Mary which marks the highest point of the building.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Built in 1867, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele arcade (named after the first king of Italy) is one of the oldest and most glamorous shopping malls on the planet. The world’s first ever Prada opened its doors here in 1913 and Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Armani and Versace have all followed suit. Look out for the famous bull’s testicles. Yes really. Legend says that if you stand on this part of the special floor mosaic, good luck will soon be on its way.
Art, old and new
Visit the Dead Christ by Mantegna, and Supper At Emmaus by Caravaggio, both fixtures of one of Italy’s most important collections at the Pinacoteca di Brera. See some of Leonardo da Vinci’s early work at the smaller Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, but don’t just take in the old stuff. The Museo del Novecento and Gallerie d’Italia were both opened in 2010, and for 20th-century Italian and international artwork, head to the Museum of the Twentieth Century and the free, Gallerie d’Italia.