What To Do in Milan in 3 Days: Ultimate Milan 3-Day Guide

what to do in milan, the ultimate three day guide

Welcome to Milan, the global capital of fashion and design. The choices of what to do in Milan are endless. The city is always bustling with events and there are countless cafes, bars, and traditional Italian restaurants you can try.

Living in Milan for two and a half years now, I have put together my own Milan Ultimate Three-Day Guide.  The guide includes everything – what to do in Milan, where to stay in Milan, what to eat and drink in Milan, what time to travel to Milan and much more. Three days are more than enough to see Milan at a calm pace and still see the majority of the most important sights. Follow the guide below.

If you instead prefer to explore Milan through guided tours, you can find a full list of guided tours and experiences in Milan by clicking the button below.

Note: this post includes affiliate links. I gain a small commission from the provider each time you click the link and book a service through it. That comes at no extra cost to you. Every little commission helps me run this blog and provide better content for you. 

Before we begin

If coming to Milan, you will likely need to book a hotel. To make your search easier, I have prepared helpful tips and lists of hotels in Milan:


1. Piazza del Duomo & Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Spend the first day of your stay in Milan visiting the city’s main attractions. Start on Piazza del Duomo and first head to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to avoid the afternoon crowds.

Take a moment to admire the luxury stores of Milan’s oldest shoping mall. You will soon reach the central area of the galleria, where you will find the “Lucky Bull Mosaic”. Legend has it that spinning with your heel on the bull 3 times brings good fortune.

architecture, building, city, galleria vittorio emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

 Right by the mosaic you will find Marchesi 1824 – one of Milan’s Historic Pastry Shops where you can experience a true Italian breakfast. Order a cappuccino with pastry and enjoy the view over Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Marchesi 1824 is also highly Instagramable – check their profile at @marchesi1824

Marchesi 1824 Milano breakfast

Breakfast at Marchesi 1824

2. Duomo di Milano Rooftops

Continue your day by visiting the rooftops of Duomo di Milano. This is truly an incredible experience and I highly recommend it to everyone visiting Milan. Buy tickets a day in advance to avoid the long queue, choose a time slot, and even enjoy a small discount with online purchases. Tickets cost 20€ to reach the rooftops by elevator or 15€ for a climb on foot (it’s a nice little workout).

You can find more details about Duomo on their official website.

Duomo di Milano rooftops

Duomo di Milano rooftops

3. Via Montenapoleone and Brera

Head back for walk on the main shopping street of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to reach Via Montenapoleone. Known for being Europe’s most expensive street, Via Monte Napoleone is full of luxury stores, high-end boutiques, and exclusive showrooms of famous designers. Chances are you will meet at least one celebrity here.

Note: Be careful in the area as it is famous for pickpockets. Always keep your belongings close.

Passing by Teatro alla Scala, the famous Italian opera house, make your way to Brera. I suggest getting lost in the cobblestone-paved streets of this historic neighborhood. You will be surprised by how many lovely boutiques and cafes you will find! The area is also famous for its Brera Botanic Gardens (open all year round) and Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan’s main public art gallery.

You can have a delicious lunch in one of many typical restaurants in the area or continue exploring the city by walking towards the next main attraction – Castello Sforzesco. 

4. Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione

Castello Sforzesco was once home to the Sforza family. Passing through you will reach Parco Sempione, the most popular Milanese park and one of many green areas in the city. Crossing Parco Sempione stands Arco della Pace, built under the Napolean times to echo Parigian Arc du Triomphe.

Parco Sempione

View on Castello Sforzesco from Parco Sempione

Right by Arco della Pace is the stop of the legendary Tram 1, the line operated only by historical trams, like the ones you see in Porto. Buy a single ticket in the nearest tabacchi store (or read my post on how to get a tram ticket), hop on the tram, and enjoy the panoramic ride back to Duomo! 

5. Navigli (aperitivo time)

To finish your exciting day, head to Navigli, one of Milan’s best areas, for an aperitivo or apericena. The area on the two canals, Navigli, becomes alive at night and is, therefore, the perfect choice. Choose a bar by the main canal and eat and drink the successful day away!

Tip: try negroni as a typical Milanese drink.



Spend the morning of your second day in Milan in the area, called City Life. Reachable by red and purple metro, this brand new quarter is a combination of high business skyscrapers and modern residential buildings. Here you will find a beautiful park and the City Life Shopping District shopping mall. Several celebrities, including Chiara Ferragni and Fedez, live in the area.

When in Milan, visiting San Siro Stadium is a must. Reach San Siro from City Life by purple metro and have a tour of San Siro Stadium.

If you happen to be in Milan on a Tuesday or a Saturday, take a stroll through one of Milan’s best street markets in Isola. There you will find locals offering everything from vintage clothes and bags to jewelry and typical Italian foods and beverages.

Spend the afternoon exploring the city or head to Via Torino, another famous shopping street. Finish the day with dinner in a traditional Italian restaurant and go for gelato afterward.

Dinner Milan pasta
Gelateria La Romana

Dinner at La Gioia (left) and gelato at La Romana (right)

Here are two snapshots from La Gioia (an Italian restaurant) and Gelateria La Romana (my favourite – they serve the best panettone gelato during Christmas!).

Oh, and if you want to discover more delicious foodie spots just like the two above, read the blog post about the best cafes and foodie places in Milan.


For your third day in Milan – go on a trip. Here are my top destination suggestions for daily trips from Milan with linked travel guides:

All destinations are easily reachable by train. Two applications I always use to buy train tickets in Italy are:

Lago di Como - Como Lake

A trip to Lake Como


Hotels and Apartments in Milan

For a short trip, I would suggest you book accommodation in advance. I personally recommend staying nearby centro storico to be close to the main attractions. Book your stay in Milan through Booking.com. 

Before booking a hotel or apartment, make sure to read my posts on the Best Areas to Stay in Milan and The Areas to Avoid. You would not want to end up in a sketchy area during your trip!

If you prefer staying outside the city center, choose a location that is well connected with the rest of the city, this is near a tram or better, near a metro line. Even though Milan is small, having a hotel close to public transport comes in as extra convenient for moving around the city. I recommend Navigli or Città Studi.

Below are my top hotel picks in Milan:


The hotel is known for its exclusive location inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The luxurious rooms are equipped with private terraces, overlooking Duomo di Milano.


Elegantly designed 5-star luxury hotel, 10 min walk to Duomo. Offering elegant rooms, a spa, its own restaurant and patisserie, serving Italian sweets.


IQ Hotel Milano is ideal for business travelers, overlooking Milan Central Station. Hotel prices include access to the gym, spa, and breakfast buffet.

Hotel Ibis Milan Centro

BEST ON BUDGET HOTEL: Ibis Milano Centro

Ibis Milano Centro comes with a central location (Porta Venezia). Rooms are equipped with free WiFi, 24h front desk service, and continental breakfast (included in price)


The best times to visit Milan are most certainly spring and fall. Not only does the city turn gorgeously pink in spring or orange in fall, but the two seasons are also perfect temperature-wise.

SPRING: Plan your trip to Milan anytime between late March to end of May. The weather is mostly sunny and pleasant (18-20 degrees Celsius). You can catch blossoming trees in the last days of March or several events and activities at the end of April (Design Week, Fuori Salone, Fashion Week,…)

FALL: Fall time in Milan is equally beautiful. Chances for rainy weather are slightly higher, but the temperatures remain pleasant until mid-October. Pack up your thin jacket and you’re good to go!

FOR EASIER PLANNING: When should I travel to Milan?

Blossoming trees Milan
Autumn in Milan

Milan in spring (left) and autumn (right)

Why not travel to Milan in winter and summer?

WINTER: Milan is exceptionally humid. Even though Milan’s winters are mild, winter humidity gives a freezing feel (coming from someone used to snow and cold temperatures). The days are short, with sunlight between 6 am-3 pm. Milan is also a good friend of foggy weather, meaning there is a high chance you won’t see much.

SUMMER: I highly recommend avoiding Milan in summer, unless you are okay with extreme heat and humidity. Temperatures go as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Many Italians do, in fact, leave the city, especially during August.


Milan has 3 international airports (Milano Malpensa MXP, Bergamo Airport BGY, Milano Linate LIN) and several train stations (the most popular: Milano Centrale, Milano Cadorna, Milano Garibaldi).

Arriving by plane, you will need to either take a taxi, train, are bus to reach Milan.

Arriving by train or bus, you already reach Milan and are ready to now move by public transport.

Book your tickets to Milan through Omio (and gain instant cashback if you use a Revolut card).


The public transport in Milan is extremely efficient. The public transport system is a combination of trams, metros, and bus lines. All three public metro types are easily accessible by a single public transport ticket.


  • Single ticket: 2.20€ and valid for 90min upon validation
  • Daily ticket: 7,60€ (valid for 24h)
  • 3-day ticket: 13€ (valid for 72h)
  • Monthly pass: 22€ (under 26 yo) or 39€ (age of 27+)

Where to purchase public transport tickets:

  • ATM Points across the city
  • Any metro station (look for orange machines)
  • Tabbachi stores
  • NEW: on trams and buses (by card) since April 2023


Here are my top choices of where to eat when in Milan:


  • Cocciuto (Pizza Napoletana, several locations, I recommend  Cocciuto in Via Melzo 16, 20129 Milan)
  • Pizzium (Pizza Napoletana, several locations, I recommend Pizzium in Via Vigevano 33, 20144 Milan)
  • Rossopomodoro (several locations, I recommend Rossopomodoro in Naviglio Grande – Via Casale 7, 20144 Milano)
  • Pizzeria Olimpia – best and most economic pizza place. *it’s not a restaurant but does take aways
  • Aqua e Farina (Largo Corsia dei Servi 21, 20122 Milano)
  • La Gioia (Via San Marco 38, 20121 Milano)
  • Il Capestrano Ristorante Abruzzese (Via Gian Francesco Pizzi 14, 20141 Milan)
  • Trattoria Trippa (Via Giorgio Vasari 1, 20135 Milan)
  • Osteria dell’Oca Giuliva (Viale Bligny 29, 20136 Milan)
  • Gelateria La Romana (Viale Col di Lana 2, 20136 Milan)
  • Rivareno Gelato (Viale Col di Lana 8, 20136 Milan)
  • Il Massimo del Gelato (Know for their special chocolate ice cream flavours, Via Lodovico Castelvetro 18, 20154 Milan)
  • Caffè Napoli (Espresso bar with several spots around the city)
  • Ammu Cannoli Espressi Siciliani (several locations, cake shop serving typical Sicilian sweets – cannoli)
  • Aroma Napoletano (Instagram famous croissant shop – Via Traù 2, 20159 Milan)

VOILA! That was my ultimate three-day guide. Have I missed something? Are there any must-do things in Milan you would like to add? Let me know in the comment section.

Are you traveling or moving to Milan and need help settling in? Send me a message.


Hi, it's Neja

I am an expat from Slovenia,
 living in Milan since 2021 and writing a travel blog for all of you who are curious about life in Italy or traveling in Europe.

Follow me on my journey and learn everything about Italy and the European destinations.

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