Ultimate 2-Day Milan Itinerary with Map
If you have decided to dedicate a weekend to visiting the Lombard capital and you are wondering what to do in Milan in 2 days, I tell you right away that you have landed on the right page.
The harsh reality with which you will have to face, and which I prefer you to deal with right away, is that this is not a city like any other: to find what it really has to offer you will have to try to broaden the perspective and put I plan to grind out a few kilometres.
Its historic center is certainly something unique, but besides the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the Navigli, what are the things to see in Milan?
Discover them by following Milan itinerary and come back whenever you want to deepen your visit, enter an exhibition or attend a particular event.
I assure you that in Milan you will find a lot to do!
If you have 2 days available to see Milan, be sure to follow this itinerary which will gently lead you to approach the most famous attractions of the city, but starting from the “lesser known” ones.
This will make you fall in love little by little, accompanying you to discover what to see in Milan in 2 days without having to plan too much, but simply relying on this itinerary.
If you only have one day available, instead, focus on the main attractions or follow your instinct to reach the ones that inspire you the most (you will find more information on what to see in Milan in one day at the end of the article).
Tips: if you want to deepen your visit to the city with a local guide, take part in a walking tour of just 2 hours, by bicycle or in a private tour if you will be traveling in a group.
1: Monumental Cemetery
The first stop that I suggest you mark for this itinerary of things to see in Milan in 2 days is a cemetery.
Well of course, I understand your probable distrust in seeing a cemetery reported (especially as a first stop), but this is not a simple place of worship as you might imagine.
Indeed, to be honest of “simple” it has very little.
“To be part of the Milanese elite it is said that one must possess: a seat at La Scala, a bench at San Fedele and a tomb at the Monumental Cemetery”, which is why this place is so important.
Illustrious personalities and excellent minds rest right here: Salvatore Quasimodo, Alda Merini, Dario Fo, Giorgio Gaber, just to name a few.
The real peculiarity is that each tomb is a work of art: some are decorated with gold mosaics, others carved in the precious Carrara marble, still others simple but with a touch of art that leaves you amazed.
It is no coincidence that the best artists from all over the world have contributed to the creation of this open-air museum.
What will in all probability amaze you the most, however, will be the internal area of the cemetery: here you will feel a bit like being in an old station (a metaphor that I admit sounds particularly good) and a bit in a large bookshop.
Listening to the sound of your footsteps you will arrive at the central dome: in this area the light filters through the iron and glass decorations and the ceiling is painted a bright blue.
Alessandro Manzoni rests right in the center of the room .Bear in mind that the monumental cemetery covers an area of 250,000m², so however full of energy you may be, you may be missing out on something fascinating simply because you don’t know where it is or how to get there.
If you want to deepen its discovery, the best option is to participate in a guided tour of the Monumental Cemetery.
Closed on Mondays.
2: Chinatown of Milan
After the visit to the monumental cemetery, walk to Milan’s Chinatown.
The neighborhood develops mainly around via Paolo Sarpi, and is characterized by Chinese entrepreneurial shops and restaurants.
For obvious reasons, the best Chinese restaurants in town are found here.
The most fascinating time of the year to visit this district is during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, when the streets are filled with lanterns and parades with floats and dragons.
Don’t get confused though: the dates of the celebrations vary from year to year.
So be sure to check when Chinese New Year falls before your departure conveniently here if you’d like to assist you during your weekend in Milan.
3: Arco della Pace and Sempione Park
One of the things to see in Milan in two days is definitely Parco Sempione.
It is a large green area, as well as the largest park in the city centre.
Inside you will be able to see the statue of Napoleon III, monumental trees, the ever-present ducks that splash around in the lakes, the fields equipped for various types of sports and the entertainment of children.
Before entering the park, you cannot fail to notice the large Arco della Pace that precedes the entrance and, exactly on the opposite side of Parco Sempione, you can see the red bricks of the Castello Sforzesco.
4: Sforzesco Castle
Crossing Parco Sempione you will reach the Castello Sforzesco.
Once through the entrance (free) you can walk in the courtyards and choose whether to visit any of the 7 museums inside, including the Michelangelo Museum where you can admire the artist’s last and never completed work.
The castle is of a truly remarkable size and unless you’re just passing through, the best way to learn more about it is through a guided tour that can be booked online.
The guide will take you to discover the internal rooms, but also the historical facts that have characterized it.
Upon exiting from the opposite side of the park, you will come to the Fountain of Piazza Castello.
5: Piazza del Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
After the visit to the castle, set off on foot following Via Dante, a street full of cafes and boutiques.
After having also crossed Via Orefici, you will arrive in the magnificent Piazza del Duomo.
Lose yourself in the details of the historic center of Milan, admire the statue placed in the center of the square, the pigeons that invade it to the sound of bread crumbs, the details of the Duomo, the spiers, the decorations and statues of the facade, but also in the colors and glitz of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Walk through the gallery entrance and, once again, take a close look at the paintings, raised terraces, paving and decorations.
I recommend : don’t forget to go around the bull’s balls with your heel 3 times (they say it brings you luck, but I’m not too convinced.. by now the poor bull doesn’t even seem to have any more balls since he was consumed by playing of fortune seekers).
In any case, I agree with you: it doesn’t hurt to try! You will find the bull on the floor to the left of the large central mosaic (entering from Piazza Duomo).
Inside there are restaurants and shops of Italian high fashion.
6: Visit of the Cathedral and terraces at sunset
As the last thing today of this 2 days itinerary in Milan, I suggest you treat yourself to something truly magical: visit the Duomo and climb the terraces at sunset.
It may be due to the warm colors that marble is able to assume when the sun goes down, but this time is very popular.
Book your Duomo tickets in advance on the dedicated page.
Once down from the terraces, it will be time to visit the church, admire the immense columns inside and the wonderful stained glass windows and paintings that make it up.
With the same ticket you can also visit the Duomo museum and the archaeological area.
If you suffer from vertigo, I advise you not to buy tickets for the terraces of the Duomo, but reserve only the entrance to the church, which is truly majestic and worthy of a visit (you can buy the ticket here ).
The ascent is safe, but the stairways are exposed and allow you to see the square below, which is why I advise against it.
Where to stay in Milan
Thanks to the convenience of the Metro, you’ll really have no trouble finding accommodation that fits into this 2-day itinerary in Milan.
Compare the best rates for your dates on this page and just make sure your accommodation is near a Metro stop.
If you have more time, instead dedicate yourself to reading the article dedicated to the best area to stay in Milan.
Poll: could we ever have not dedicated this second part of the itinerary of what to see in Milan in 2 days to shopping?
Well, even if you may not be one of those people who wander around the city with a dozen bags in their hands (as I understand you!), in the fashion capital we could not fail to consider at least seeing with our own eyes the many famous streets of boutiques and prestigious shops.
Don’t worry, although with this itinerary you will pass through here, it will not be boring, but simply a way to better discover Milan and its many facets.
1: Royal Palace Milan
On the morning of the second day, return to the Piazza del Duomo.
On the left of the Duomo you will see a square: this will be your first stop today! Here is the Royal Palace of Milan, used in the Middle Ages as the seat of the government and as the residence of the royal families that followed one after the other.
Today it is worth reaching it because it has become a truly noteworthy cultural center and prestigious exhibitions are often held.
When I visited, for example, there was the Monet exhibition .
Consult the program of the Royal Palace to find out the next events on the calendar.
2: Shopping in Via Torino
If good morning starts in the morning, your wallet might not be too excited by this thing: strolling along Via Torino.
This is one of the most famous shopping streets in the city and connects Piazza del Duomo to the Navigli.
Here there are shops for all wallets and, also for this reason, many young people animate Via Torino.
3: What to see in Milan in 2 days: the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is the second most important religious building in the city (after the Duomo of course), because it is dedicated to the patron saint of the city.
The red brick building does not go unnoticed even walking across the street, but it is worth seeing it more closely and, if you wish, visiting its interiors which also house the remains of Sant’Ambrogio in a casket of ‘gold.
4: Cenacolo Vinciano: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
A work that has really gone through a lot, including the realization with an experimental technique, bombings and restorations, but it is something to see with your own eyes at least once in your life.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is still on the wall painted by Leonardo himself, but it has needed many restorations over the years precisely because the technique he chose and the humidity in the refectory have led it to crumble more and more more.
It is possible to visit it in 15-minute shifts and without having liquids with you.
The visit to the Cenacolo Vinciano is completely optional, as the ticket must be booked well, or very well in advance depending on the period, on the official page.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for what to see in Milan in two days simply because you decided to leave at the last minute, I suggest you don’t waste time and don’t try to buy tickets on the spot.
5: Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
In the same square where the entrance to the Last Supper is located, there is the entrance to the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO heritage site.
In reality it is exactly the church in whose refectory the Last Supper was painted, but the two entrances are separate.
If you pass by here it might also be pleasant to admire its interiors, the result of the reconstruction in 1943 when the bombings almost destroyed it.
6: La Scala Theater
Even if from the outside it might not seem like a particularly important building, the interiors of the Teatro alla Scala are sumptuous, luxuriant and being able to watch a show sitting in those armchairs is something unforgettable.
Inside the museum there are many accessories used during opera performances.
7: Via Montenapoleone and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
Via Montenapoleone and Corso Vittorio Emanuele reveals what Milan is: the capital of fashion.
Via Montenapoleone, in particular, is the place where the windows of high fashion brands are located, but also of jewelery excellence.
During the fashion week models and models from all over the world and internationally renowned VIPs walk this street.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele is instead the classic place for a walk in the center of Milan.
8: Columns of San Lorenzo and Corso di Porta Ticinese
If you want to admire the remains of Medieval Milan, one thing you should see in these two days is the Medieval Porta Ticinese: it was one of the 6 gates that allowed access to the city.
Nearby you will also see the 16 marble columns and the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
Inside the Basilica, which shows an imperial Milan, it is possible to admire one of the copies of the Last Supper painted by a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci.
Inside, the mosaics also deserve your attention.
It is one of the most popular areas for young Milanese, the Navigli are a set of canals that connected Milan to Switzerland (yes, you read that right) even if today they are no longer used for commerce.
If you want to learn more about its history and the construction of the canals, I suggest you take the Navigli tour or, if you prefer, a Navigli cruise.
In any case this is the perfect place to spend the evening in Milan.
You can choose to stop here until sunset, treat yourself to an aperitif in one of the many clubs and spend the evening here.
If, on the other hand, you should have the return train in the evening (and above all TI VA), you could consider reaching Platform 21where the Holocaust memorial is now kept near the central station.
10: Shoah Memorial: Platform 21
I would not have wanted to conclude this guide on what to see in Milan in two days with a memorial of this type, but I am convinced that only by remembering history and how certain inhuman acts were possible can we improve the future.
If you leave from Milano Centrale station, you must know that just outside the building is the only departure station with which Jews were deported, still left in Europe.
Inside you will be able to enter the same wooden carriages in which innocent people were herded, see those same rails on which the wheels of the trains ran and understand how such an inhumane thing was there for all to see.
You must know that this track was used to transport mailand precisely for this reason positioned on a lower floor than the station for the transport of men.
The track was then seized and used to deport hundreds of thousands of people.
If you want, you should know that you can visit it by paying a €10 ticket.
Here are the directions for reaching it (but remember that you will have to leave the station to reach it).
How to get there and move around Milan
You can reach Milan in different ways: by train, arriving at the central station, with the Flixbus you can often find convenient fares from the main cities, or by plane if you arrive from further away.
Getting around Milan is really convenient and practical.
For your day trip, what I suggest you do is buy the metro day pass.
The price of the day ticket for 3 zones (M1, M2 and M3) is €7. If you stay at least 2 days, what I suggest you do is choose the ticket valid for 3 consecutive days at a cost of €12 in order to save bit’.
You can buy it comfortably from the machines placed at the entrance of any subway station and you will immediately realize how fundamental it is.
For the avoidance of doubt, know that in the maps within the article, travel is on foot, but take the metro whenever you want!
Also, know that I do not recommend buying the Milan pass if you are going to visit the attractions of this 2-day itinerary in Milan because it would not be convenient.
FAQ: Questions with answers
1 – What to see in Milan in one day?
If you only have one day to discover Milan, make sure you focus on the main attractions: the Castello Sforzesco, Parco Sempione, the Duomo and the ascent to the terraces, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Navigli and the Last Supper.
2 – What to do in Milan?
Visit the city on foot, admire the sunset from the terraces of the Duomo, eat a pizza on the canals, stroll along via Montenapoleone and Corso Vittorio Emanuele, attend a show at the Teatro alla Scala, get lost in the details of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele or take part in some event among the myriad of proposals present in the city ( here the calendar).
3 – When is the best time to visit Milan?
Although it is difficult to say, it seems that September is one of the best months to visit Milan.
Summer is to be avoided due to the great sultriness that reigns and winter due to the biting cold that characterizes it.
In any case, seeing Milan during the Christmas holidays is something truly magical.
Spring is a good time to visit the city.
With this itinerary you have the necessary information on what to see in Milan in 2 days, but obviously if you want to modify or replace some stops because they don’t reflect your travel preferences, you are completely free to do so (indeed, it is what I suggest).
See you soon and enjoy Milan!