2 Days in Milan: Ultimate 2-Day Milan Itinerary

Weekend in Milan: what to do and see in 2 days?

Do you want to go to Milan for 2 days ? Wondering what to do?

You are in the right place!

To prepare for your short stay, I have concocted the perfect itinerary for you to visit Milan in 2 days. 

I start with my tips for not queuing in front of the main tourist monuments, which will allow you to save the most time during your weekend in Milan!

I then continue with the detailed program of these 2 days: the visits to be made for each day, a map of the places to find your way around and some good tips to make the most of it.

And for your stay to be a real success, I also give you my selection of the best hotels in Milan according to your budget and suggestions for activities for a family stay.

So where to go and what to do in Milan in 2 days? 

Our advice to avoid queuing in Milan

Impossible to consider a visit to Milan in 2 days without seeing the famous Duomo (the cathedral), the essential site of the city.

Well you might be surprised by the length of the queue which stretches over several tens of meters, every day and at any time of the year.

Just like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or the Colosseum in Rome, which are considered iconic monuments, you often have to wait hours before you can get inside!

However, this is not inevitable, there are several very simple ways to avoid wasting time during your 2-day Milan itinerary.

I will immediately show you the 3 best solutions:

1. The Milan Pass

For your two-day tour in Milan, the first solution I recommend is to buy the Milan Pass.

These City Passes, now offered by all major tourist cities, allow you to avoid the queues in front of certain very famous sites. Very practical to use, they also have the advantage of saving you money!

You can book your Milan Pass in advance online, you will then be sent a confirmation email to print or a booking voucher on your smartphone. This will be used to collect your Milan Pass at the Milan tourist office. 

It is on Via Cusani, opposite the entrance to the Sforza Castle (Cairoli Castello metro stop).

The Milan Pass is valid for 48 hours from its first use (in transport or for a visit).

This Pass is clearly the most complete to visit Milan in 2 days!

Overview of what’s included in the Milan Pass:

  • A skip-the-line ticket for the Duomo of Milan (the cathedral) which also includes the climb to the terraces
  • Free entry to La Scala Museum and Theater
  • Access, always free, to the other main tourist sites: the Pinacoteca de Brera or the Museum of Science and Technology…
  • A discount booklet in bars, restaurants and for certain guided tours during your weekend in Milan.
  • A map of the city

Do not hesitate to click on the green button a little lower and you will have all the details of the activities included.

When purchasing your Milan Pass, you will also benefit from:

  • A ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus  (City Sightseeing) that allows you to hop on and off whenever you want to see the main attractions
  • A ticket to use public transport (metro, tram and bus) for free during your entire 48-hour stay in Milan.

A very good solution if you can’t walk or have small children. In this regard, know that the Milan Pass is free for children under 4 years old. Reduced price between 4 and 11 years old.

2. The Milan Digital Pass or Milan City Card

The second choice to skip the line on your 2-day Milan itinerary is to get the Milan Digital Pass. 

The principle remains the same as for the Milan Pass, the Milan Digital Pass offering free access and reduced prices to certain tourist attractions.

You will receive the Milan Digital Pass  directly by email or through the app. No need to travel to pick it up once you arrive in Milan.

The Milan Digital Pass includes:

  • A skip-the-line ticket to Milan’s must-see attraction: the Duomo (+ museum and rooftop access)
  • Skip-the-line admission to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology
  • Access to the Ambrosian Pinacoteca
  • An audio guide 
  • 10% discount on another activity in Milan.

3. Skip-the-line tickets for tourist attractions in Milan

We arrive at the last solution to have quick access to the most visited sites:  buy a skip-the-line ticket for each monument or museum, according to your program of visits to Milan in two days.

If you don’t think you can make the Milan Pass or the Milan Digital Pass profitable, it’s still a good choice. Especially since the selection is very varied in terms of activities to do in a weekend in Milan.

I have listed a small part of them just below but you will be able to find them throughout this article.

To book them, it’s once again super simple, just click on the links for each site:

Visit Milan in 2 days: The essentials

Last tip for a perfect 2 day stay in Milan

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you have them!), I highly recommend that you book your accommodation.

And yes, Milan is quite simply one of the most touristic cities in the world and the hotels offering the best value for money fill up very quickly.

Being used to travelling, I can guarantee you that it’s always by going as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best accommodation.

It would be a shame to partly ruin your stay in Milan by finding yourself in a terrible hotel that will have cost you a fortune, right? 😀

So take 5 minutes now to take a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Milan.

And if you like a hotel, book it!

Cancellation is often free, it’s quick, easy, and it will protect you from the inconvenience of finding nothing, except mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To see the best deals on Milan right now, just click here.

Once you have booked your hotel or apartment, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

Visit Milan in 2 days: the best itinerary

Discover now my 2-day Milan itinerary.

You just have to follow my itinerary of visits for each day to discover the city at best.

The program is based on 2 full days and assumes that you have purchased your Milan PassMilan Digital Pass  or skip-the-line tickets in advance to optimize your stay. If over 2 days, you lose 3 hours waiting in front of the entrance to the Duomo, it is sure that you will not be able to do everything.

If after reading this article you have any further questions, or need a little help planning your vacation, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section.

So what to visit in Milan in 2 days?

Day 1: The Historic Center

2 days in Milan – Itinerary day 1

The visits of day 1:

A. Duomo of Milan
B. Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery
C. La Scala
D. Sforza Castle
E. Sempione Park
F. Chinatown

A. The Duomo of Milan

To start this 2-day Milan itinerary, I suggest you visit the Duomo. It is the most emblematic monument of the city and is therefore unmissable during a weekend in Milan.

This famous Duomo, also known as the Cathedral of Milan, is the third largest cathedral in the world.

It was built in the 14th century and sits proudly in the center of the city, on the Piazza del Duomo (which is a very good starting point for the rest of the visit). Every year, millions of visitors come to admire it.

As you can imagine, the influx of visitors means that the queue at the entrance to the Dome is often endless. Feel free to book the Milan Pass, Milan Digital Pass , or skip-the-line ticket  to avoid this inconvenience.

Before going inside, take the time to admire the external architecture of this imposing cathedral decorated with 2000 marble statues  and exactly 136 arrows pointing towards the sky. These numerous arrows give it a unique look and have earned it the nickname “marble hedgehog”.

Inside you can see:

  • The 5 naves
  • The sarcophagi and tombs of several archbishops
  • A crucifix made by Leonardo da Vinci himself
  • The Dome terrace from which you have a breathtaking view of the city (access is included).

Tips for your Milan itinerary:

The dome is located right in the historic center, so you can reach it on foot or take the metro to the Duomo stop.

Mian itinerary 2 day
The Duomo of Milan, a must see during your weekend in Milan!

B. The Vittorio Emanuele II gallery

The next stop on your 2-day Milan tour is just a few steps from the Duomo, in the same square.

As you exit the cathedral, head right and you will find the entrance to the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery. You will easily recognize it thanks to its arcades and its remarkable glass dome.

This luxury shopping arcade is home to several high-end boutiques and restaurants, in a bright and very chic atmosphere. Even without breaking your wallet, it’s an interesting place to visit and very much captures the spirit of Milan as a fashion capital.

The Vittorio Emanuele II gallery is a neo-classical gallery with Baroque inspirations, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. The central dome of the galleries is framed by 4 corridors topped by a glass roof that brings light inside in a captivating way.

The Vittorio-Emanuele II Gallery, Milan itinerary
The Vittorio-Emanuele II Gallery

C. The Scala

I suggest you continue the day by heading now to La Scala, just a 5-minute walk from the gallery.

Take the North corridor, cross Piazza della Scala (take a look at the statue of Leonardo da Vinci erected in the center) then continue straight for a few meters.

La Scala is another must-see destination in Milan as it is home to the Milan Opera House, one of Italy ‘s most prestigious performance halls.

Inside La Scala, famous works have been created such as Verdi’s “Otello” piece. The singer Maria Callas also sang here.

Seen from the outside, the building may seem quite plain but the interior is truly magnificent.

You can choose the guided tour and also visit the museum to the left of the building which exhibits a rich collection of musical instruments, opera costumes and historical documents. Otherwise access is included with the MilanPass.

Tips for your Milan itinerary:

If you also want to take advantage of your weekend in Milan to attend an opera or a ballet at La Scala, you can book your tickets here.

La Scala, the opera house in Milan, Milan itinerary 2 day
La Scala, the opera house in Milan

D. Sforza Castle

To get the afternoon off to a good start, I now suggest a visit to the Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco). It is about 1 km from La Scala and you can easily get there on foot.

From Piazza della Scala, take Via Giuseppe Verdi and then turn left onto Via dell Orso. Continue on Via Cusani and you will come to a large roundabout (Largo Cairoli).

Go around it to the right and you will come to Piazza Castella. Cross this square, pass the fountain and you will arrive in front of the entrance to the castle.

Sforza Castle dates from the 14th century and once served as a bulwark against attacks from Venice, Milan’s enemy at the time. A few centuries later, Leonardo da Vinci set up his workshops in this castle.

Today, the building houses several museums:

  • The Museum of Ancient Art
  • The museum of prehistory
  • The Museum of Decorative Arts
  • The Egyptian Museum
  • The art gallery
  • The Museum of Musical Instruments
  • The furniture museum.

The inner courtyard of the castle is open to the public and regularly hosts cultural events.

The castle is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the museums are open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

To book your ticket for the castle + audio guide

Sforza Castle, 2 days in Milan
The fountain and south entrance to Sforza Castle

E. Sempione Park

After visiting the castle, I suggest you take some fresh air in the Sempione park. It is the main lung of the city and the largest park in Milan.

It is just behind the Sforza Castle, less than 500 meters away.

A walk in this park will allow you to recharge your batteries while not failing to see:

  • La Triennale: a small museum on Italian arts and architecture
  • The Arena Civica to the northeast
  • The Arco della Pace to the North West, the triumphal arch of Milan.

If you are visiting Milan with your children, you can also take them to the aquarium, which is also in the Sempione park.

The Arch of Peace, Milan
The Arch of Peace, au Nord du parc Sempione

F. Milan’s Chinatown

This first day in Milan is coming to an end and I suggest you visit the very small Chinatown of the city.

It is north of the Arco della Pace, about 10-12 minutes on foot.

You can take a leisurely stroll to discover the shops selling Asian products and then return to the center to eat in a good Italian restaurant.

Spend the night in Milan. You will find a selection of the best hotels at the end of this article.

Day 2: Points of Interest & Landmarks

2 days in Milan – Itinerary day 2

The visits of day 2:

A. The monumental cemetery
B. The Leonardo da Vinci science and technology museum
C. The Basilica of Saint Ambrose
D. The Navigli district

A. The Monumental Cemetery

Let’s go for the second day of your weekend in Milan.

Leave early in the morning and start the day with a visit to the Monumental Cemetery. It is an unusual place, a kind of tombstone museum and it is located just behind Chinatown.

Nothing creepy, I assure you, it is on the contrary a pleasant place to take a nice walk. You will discover many tombs and vaults, each more original and artistic than the next.

In particular, you will be able to see the tombs of famous Italian figures, whose final resting places should surprise you: tombs in the shape of a pyramid, a tower and even a marble baldachin. An entire program!

The cemetery is open every day except Monday. Count 1h to 1h30 of visit.

Tips for your Milan itinerary:

Take the map of the cemetery, available at the entrance. It will be useful for you not to miss any of the most incredible structures.

It is very easy to get to the cemetery by bus or metro in about twenty minutes from Piazza del Duomo. The “Monumental” metro stop is right in front of the entrance to the cemetery.

The entrance to the Monumental Cemetery of Milan, Milan 2 day
The entrance to the Monumental Cemetery of Milan

B. The Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum

Leaving for 2 days in Milan, of course, means going to visit the unmissable Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology.

You can get there in 20 minutes by metro from the Monumental Cemetery, stopping at first at the Garibaldi stop and then taking line 2 to S Ambrosio. If you prefer to walk, go through the Arco della Pace and you will be there in about 40 minutes.

This museum is huge and it exhibits a multitude of models straight out of the imagination of the famous Italian genius, Leonardo da Vinci.

The exhibitions are linked on several levels and there are sections on aviation, rail and naval transport, the automobile, space and communications.

The museum is so rich that it takes half a day to see everything. Allow at least 3 hours to get a good overview.

The museum is suitable for children.

Entrance to the museum is included in the Milan Pass, the Milan Digital Pass  or you can also buy a skip-the-line ticket by clicking here.

The Leonardo da Vinci Museum, a must on a 2-day Milan itinerary
The Leonardo da Vinci Museum, a must on a 2-day Milan itinerary

C. The Basilica of Saint Ambrose

To continue this 2-day stay in Milan, head to the Basilica of Saint Ambrose.

It is just a 3-minute walk from the museum.

The Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is a historic monument located in a small, quiet and pleasant area. Named after the patron saint of the city, this basilica is one of the oldest religious buildings in Milan.

It dates from the year 379 and is considered a strong symbol of Lombard Romanesque art. You will immediately notice its particular architecture with its two asymmetrical brick towers.

Inside are exhibited very fine pieces of goldsmithery and the sarcophagus of Stilicho. You can also see the crypt which contains the relics of several Italian saints, including Ambrose.

Note also the architecture of the nave and the ceiling of this unique church in the world.

Tips for your Milan itinerary:

As an option after the Basilica of Saint Ambrose, you can reach the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan in 10 minutes.

There is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of painting by Leonardo da Vinci: “The Last Supper”.

Please note: visits are by reservation only, for certain days and specific times. It’s up to you to see if this can fit into your program. Tickets are on sale by clicking here.

Right next to the church, you can also pass by Leonardo’s vineyardTickets are on sale here!

Milan itinerary
The Basilica of Saint Ambrose in Milan

D. The Navigli district

Your 48-hour itinerary in Milan is coming to an end and I suggest you spend this last evening in the Navigli district.

It is the trendy district of the city, heart of nightlife in Milan. Very picturesque, it is nicknamed the “canal district” because it is crossed by a whole network of canals, a feature that gives it a lot of charm.

From St. Ambrose Basilica, you can reach the Navigli district in 15 minutes by metro : take line 2 at S Ambrogio and get off at P Genova.

Once there, take the time to stroll along the canal and admire the sunset while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the streets.

Treat yourself to a drink and dinner on the terrace then go party in the bars, pubs and nightclubs that are springing up everywhere.

Tips for your Milan itinerary:

Vicolo Lavandai on Alzaia Naviglio Grande is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest corners of the district, don’t miss it!

To discover the Navigli, I also advise you to book a small cruise on the canals with aperitif included. You have all the information by clicking here.

Navigli district, on the program for these 2 days in Milan
Navigli district, on the program for these 2 days in Milan

Accommodation in Milan

There you have it, now you have all my tips for how to visit Milan in 2 days!

We move on to another key step in the preparation of your weekend in Milan: booking your accommodation.

For this, I have prepared a small selection of the best hotels to stay in Milan:

  • Ostello Bello Grande: Youth hostel, located not far from Milan Central Station. Bed in dormitory from 60€, breakfast included. Most: the welcome, the atmosphere, the cleanliness.
  • Hotel Da Vinci : Located away from the city center but only 10 minutes walk from a metro station. Huge double room with modern and bright decoration from €90 per night, breakfast included. Most: quiet, spacious rooms, free parking, very generous buffet breakfast. Our big favorite for its performance / price ratio!
  • 43 Station Hotel : 2 steps from Milan Central Station. Modern and spacious room from €130 per night, breakfast at €9. Most: brand new and well-equipped hotel, hearty breakfast, ideal location.
  • Hotel Folen: Also located next to the train station. Spacious room with comfortable bedding, from €190, breakfast included. Most: the location, the friendliness of the staff, the full breakfast.
  • Rosa Grand Milano – Starhotels Collezione: Located 2 minutes walk from the Duomo. Modern and warm room with some views of Milan Cathedral from €300, breakfast included. Most: the location in the heart of Milan, the wellness center, the friendliness of the staff. An excellent choice where to sleep in Milan for an upscale stay!
  • Suite Milano Duomo:  5 star hotel located 5 minutes from Milan Cathedral. Spacious and design room from 325€ per night. Most: location, hospitality, staff. This is our recommendation for a romantic stay in Milan.

Tips for your Milan itinerary:

If you have not found the hotel corresponding to your desires in this selection or if it is already full at the time of your departure, I advise you to read my other article including a wider selection of hotels, classified by neighborhoods and according to your budget.

You’ll find it here: The best hotels in Milan.

The Royal Palace of Milan
The Royal Palace of Milan

Visit Milan in 2 days with the family

If you are wondering about the possibility of visiting Milan with children, know that spending 2 days in Milan with your family is quite possible.

Even though the city is very fashion, art and culture oriented, there are also plenty of family activities that will appeal to all ages.

Milan can also be visited more easily on foot because the sites are close to each other and the visit circuit is very fluid, even by public transport.

If you are spending your weekend in Milan with your children, here are the best visits:

  • The Leonardo da Vinci museum is a must for a family visit to Milan. Designed for children, it is very fun and allows you to spend an interesting and rewarding half-day around the inventions of the famous Da Vinci.
  • Sforza Castle: Castles are always a hit with kids and this one is no exception! It is home to a few fun museums, including the Egyptian Museum and its enigmatic atmosphere. You can also discover unusual musical instruments, mummies and sarcophagi as a family, as well as visit the mysterious underground passages of the castle.
  • The Duomo of Milan: an impressive building to see for both adults and children.

Other sightseeing ideas for a family weekend in Milan:

  • The natural history museum: if it ever rains (or if you are passionate about science and nature), this museum is an interesting solution for spending a pleasant and fun time with your children. It is dedicated to the evolution of species, fossils, fauna and flora. It is located in the east of the city, 4 minutes by metro from Place du Dôme, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
  • A visit for football fans: the mythical San Siro stadium. This stadium regularly hosts the prestigious teams of AC Milan and Inter Milan. It is also the largest stadium in Italy and is open to visitors by reservation. Tickets are on sale here.
  • Idroscalo Park: an ideal leisure base for family fun in sunny weather. Pedalo, swimming, climbing… there are many activities to do. On the other hand, count on a big half-day or even a whole day because the park is located about an hour from the center of Milan by public transport.
  • Leolandia (tickets on sale here!), an amusement park located 40 minutes from Milan. Super clean, well maintained and with lots of rides and shows. A great choice for a family day out around Milan!
  • Acquatica Park, a beautiful water park with swimming pools, slides and paddling pool, located just outside Milan.
  • Acquaworld, another water park, indoors and outdoors, 20 km from Milan.

More things to do and see in Milan in 2 days

Do not hesitate to take a look at my other article dedicated to Milan.

You can concoct your program of visits for 2 days in Milan or find other ideas of things to do.

Just click on the following link to read it: What to do in Milan? The ultimate guide!

Map of your 2-day Milan Itinerary

To help you visualize your itineraries during these 2 days in Milan, I made you a map listing the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow. You will then be able to view the routes for each day.

Need help planning your 2 day Milan itinerary? Do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.

Are you going to Milan? Read also

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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