What to Do in Milan in a Day

A day in Milan can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do and see that it seems almost impossible to see everything in 24 hours. However, with the right tips you can see the best spots in the city.

A day in Milan must start with the most famous landmark of all, the Piazza del Duomo. Arrive early and you may just avoid the large crowds, but no matter what, don’t leave without taking a photo in front of the impressive Duomo Cathedral. It’s a gothic treasure of the city built over centuries and will serve as a great introduction to this stylish and historic city. Pro tip: don’t bother to go inside, especially if you’re pressed for time, the outside is much more scenic. Definitely one thing you must do if you’re only in Milan for a day is to see the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s in Santa Maria delle Grazie, and you can book ahead of time and purchase tickets online to view it. The amount of time you can spend is limited, as there are half-hour slots for the viewings, and a limited amount of people are allowed in the room. No matter where your day in Milan takes you, take the opportunity to ride on the tram. The wooden, vintage trams are a piece of living history, and are used every day by normal city dwellers, not just tourists. They date back to the 1920s, a time of great design and style. Just remember to have your ticket before you board.


Next to the Duomo Cathedral’s plaza is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It’s the country’s oldest shopping mall and a great stop to make if you only have one day in Milan. There’s plenty of places here to purchase a high-fashion souvenir that will remind you of your time in the city. If you can’t afford any of them, sit in one of the cafes and admire the architecture of the gallery.


What would an Italian trip be without good food? For something different, try Luini. It’s a small unassuming shop, but Luini’s panzerotti is world-famous. This pastry is a type of calzone, and since it’s small, you can try multiple flavors. Start with a mozzarella and tomato then have a sweet panzerotti for dessert. This is a perfect spot to grab and go, so stop in here if you’re on your way to another sightseeing spot and don’t have time for a sit-down lunch. Another Milanese option for lunchtime is the Spontini pizza chain. There’s a small but busy branch close to the Duomo, but the branches are also scattered around the city. The pizza here is done in huge, olive-oil infused slices. A slice is just right for a hearty lunch that will keep you full while you’re walking around the city.


While the traditional round pies are the most common sight in Milan, pizza by the slice is popular as well, and Spontini is one of the best places to try a version of the traditional pizza.