13 May one day in Milan: 24-hour itinerary
When planning our two week Italy itinerary we had to factor in our return flights from Milan. Arriving in the morning we had one day in Milan to explore some of the cities attractions.
Arriving in Milan
We had booked return flights to Malpensa Airport. We walked off the plane and into a huge queue for passport control. After finally collecting our bag, we bought train tickets to Milano Centrale Station. The trip from the airport to the city took just over one hour.
Storing Luggage in Milano Centrale Station
We were only travelling with one large backpack but didn’t want to walk around the city with it. Our check-in was still a few hours away so we chose to store our bag. Following the signs in Milano Centrale Station, we found the storage centre and joined the queue. They offer an express lane for extra money which feels like a ripoff. Once at the counter, our bag was weighed and we were given a ticket for collecting our bag.
One day in Milan: 24-hour itinerary
The attractions we visited during our one full day in Milan were all within walking distance from each other.
Taking the subway from Milano Centrale to Duomo station brings you right into Piazza del Duomo. Here is where the Milan Cathedral or Duomo di Milano stands tall. It is one of the world’s largest Catholic churches and it is certainly impressive to look at.
After spending some time admiring the Duomo and taking photos, we were going to enter but remembered the day pack we had taken off our checked bag still had our toiletries bag inside, with a razor. We would return later instead.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
A shopping arcade located next to Milan Duomo. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is very impressive with the roof of the 19th-century arcade made from glass. It houses restaurants and designer clothing brand stores. It is also where we bought our SIM card for Italy from TIM Mobile.
Lunch in Milan
Before continuing our sightseeing in Milan, we grabbed a quick lunch from Princi Bakery. We were a little unsure how to order as everything was sold by weight. We ended up getting some little pizzettes and eating at the small table outside.
A 1km walk from Milan Duomo brought us to Sforzesco Castle. There are a number of museums located inside however, we simply viewed the castle from the outside. Over time it has been a fortress, a palace home to Milan’s rulers and a military complex before being restored in the 19th century. You are able to walk through the castle grounds, which then lead out to a park.
Behind Sforzesco Castle is the large park and gardens of Sempione Park. We strolled through the grounds, crossing a decorative bridge over a small pond. There are bars, a museum and a library within the park grounds.
Arco Della Pace
Milan streets and gelato
Milan Duomo rooftop
Later in the afternoon, we returned to Milan’s cathedral to view the rooftop. Tickets can be purchased from the building to the left of the Duomo. Upon entering the building you need to get a number and then you can browse the store while waiting. Numbers are displayed above each counter. While waiting we discovered there are also self-service machines so, we purchased our rooftop tickets from one of these. Find ticket information or buy in advance from the official site.
We chose to buy Milan Duomo rooftop tickets with access via stairs. This has its own entrance and after joining a short queue and passing through security we began the climb up. The staircase is narrow and winds around to the top.
From the rooftop, you get a close-up view of the incredible details of the spires and statues. The Duomo rooftop terrace also provides excellent views over the Duomo Piazza below and out over the city. You are able to walk right around to the other side of the roof and up to higher levels. There was some maintenance happening on the roof during our visit so, while one section wasn’t able to be accessed it was interesting to watch the work in progress.
We aren’t ones to pay to enter all the attractions due to watching our budget however, this experience was definitely worth it. If you have some time in Milan we highly recommend visiting the Milan Duomo rooftop terrace. Read our full Italy trip expenses post.
Pizza in Milan
We walked to a nearby pizza restaurant from our apartment and ordered take away pizza to end our day in Milan. Read our post on what food cost in Italy.
For our one night stay in Milan, we booked an apartment on Airbnb. We also booked the same apartment for a night before our flight out of Milan at the end of our two week Italy trip. It was walking distance from Loreto subway station which was a short ride from Milano Centrale and Duomo stations. This is the Milan apartment we stayed in.
If you are new to Airbnb you can use our link and get up to $76aud off your first stay.