Getting to Milan by train
It’s easy to include Milan in your travels through Italy. Whether you’re visiting the Colosseum in Rome, or the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, our fast and direct train routes bring you straight to Milan. For example, you can travel from Rome to Milan in less than four hours and from Florence to Milan in about two hours on Frecciarossa or Italo high-speed trains.
Milan is also accessible from nearby European countries, such as Switzerland and France. Direct Eurocity trains connect Zurich to Milan in less than four hours, while TGV high-speed trains take you from Paris to Milan in about seven hours, and from Lyon to Milan in about five hours. The fashionable streets and cutting-edge architecture of Milan are just a short train journey away from many European cities.
On the rooftop of the Duomo Cathedral
After settling into your accommodation, dive straight into your Milan city break. Milan blends contemporary, stylish architecture with elegant Renaissance palaces and buildings. To start your weekend in Milan, find a detailed map of the city centre and make your way to the city's famous Duomo Cathedral. With its soaring towers, marble walls, and historical furnishings, the cathedral makes for a memorable first stop. At the top of the Duomo, a platform offers splendid views over the city. From here, you can start to get a feel for the whole of Milan and spot your next destination, the Sforzesco Castle, amidst the cityscape.
Make sure you book your entrance ticket to the Duomo Cathedral in advance to avoid waiting in long queues. You can choose between a ticket granting access only to the cathedral building, or a more comprehensive ticket which includes a visit to the Crypt of St. Charles, the Cathedral Museum, and the roof terrace. If you choose the latter, plan to stay at least a couple of hours on the premises. As you leave the Duomo, explore a side street and enjoy a well-deserved lunch in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area. Or if you're not yet hungry, buy some picnic supplies to enjoy at the next attraction.
Sempione Park and Sforzesco Castle
Just around the corner from the Duomo Cathedral lies the impressive Sforzesco Castle, which dates back to the 15th century. Feel free to explore the wide-open courtyards framed with terracotta walls and towers. Fancy a picnic? Just walk straight through the castle grounds and across a grassy moat to find the stunning Sempione park. With flower gardens, ornate bridges, and artworks such as Alberto Burri's ‘Continuous Theatre’, you'll have no trouble finding an idyllic or entertaining spot to enjoy your lunch. Now, you can either spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the park and castle or move on to further attractions in the city. The Milan Aquarium makes for a great family outing, while the Triennale Milano museum delights culture vultures with exhibitions showcasing contemporary design.
An evening of jazz and cinema
Not far from Sempione Park, the Jazz Cafe Milano awaits. This lively bar and restaurant serving modern Italian dishes is the perfect place for your evening meal. Live jazz and DJ performances ensure you want to stay on here long after you have finished your meal. If you've got time to spare, catch a late-night film at the Cinema Centrale, the oldest cinema in the city!
Time for some Italian gastronomy
Italy is a food lover's paradise. The Italians are obsessed with food, and they have perfected the art of cooking, consistently wowing visitors with their culinary skills. Therefore, no trip to Milan is complete without immersing yourself in Italian gastronomy. Book a morning cooking class with a popular cooking school, such as Cooking Class Milan, or Cook and Dine. Local chefs will introduce you to a few of the basic Italian culinary secrets. After preparing a delicious meal, you’ll also get to eat it! Alternatively, head to the delightful Garigliano food market where you can buy fresh seasonal produce, or sample delicious Italian street food. From fashion ware to kitchen appliances, you’ll find everything imaginable at this market that also attracts street musicians and live performers. Afterwards, take the time to explore the Isola neighbourhood to admire the street art, which pops up around every corner here.
A walk-through space and time
Walking south from Isola, find your way through the side streets of Milan to discover the inner city's hidden secrets. The 18th-century Indro Montanelli gardens make for a welcome escape the crowd. Beautiful trees, fountains, and flower beds, as well as several museums, including the Natural History Museum, await you here. You can easily spend the rest of your afternoon in this park, visiting the 17th-century Dugnani Palace, or the popular Modern Art Gallery. But if you prefer to continue exploring more of the city, head on to the Invernizzi Palace. Aside from the stunning building, you’ll also find a flock of flamingos relaxing by the garden pool.
Sunset drinks in Naviglio
After all that action, it's high time for a refreshing beverage, and Milan's Naviglio Grande canal provides the ideal relaxing setting. Naviglio is a bohemian neighbourhood with many small art galleries and vibrant bars. It’s easy to find a nice waterfront dining spot in this area where the city’s canals intersect. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your meal while admiring the sun sinking behind Milan's rooftops.
Start the day with Leonardo Da Vinci
It's your last day in Milan, and you won't want to miss seeing one of the world most famous paintings, Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper. This iconic mural, housed in the Church of Holy Mary of Grace, depicts the last supper Jesus Christ shared with his disciples. The intriguing terracotta renaissance church is also worth a visit in its own right. But Da Vinci's mural attracts scores of visitors, so make sure you book a ticket several months in advance of your visit to Milan.
If you want to find out more about Leonardo Da Vinci, take a short walk from the Church of Holy Mary of Grace to the National Museum of Science and Technology. Formerly a monastery, the science museum houses scale models of Da Vinci's submarines and planes. There's even a flight simulator, which lets you experience what it would have been like to fly with Da Vinci's helicopter.
Fashion and shopping in Milan
When in Milan, the fashion capital of the world, an afternoon in the boutiques and shopping malls is a must. After a spot of lunch, wander through the spectacular Vittorio Emanuele II shopping gallery with its elegant arcades and luxury shops. Alternatively, stroll through the Fashion District to explore some of the smaller, specialised boutiques and labels. The district is mostly made up of 19th-century townhouses. From Versace to Gucci, you can explore all the latest fashion trends here.
If you haven't found quite what you need in the luxury shops of the Fashion District, catch a bus to the increasingly popular East Market of Milan. Located in the Lambrate neighbourhood, this huge market brings you all the vintage, second-hand fashion you could dream of, as well as stalls selling antiques, works of art, and local crafts. It's the perfect place to pick up a souvenir to bring home to your friends.
It's easy to make your Milan dream come true. Given Milan's central location in Northern Italy, the city is easy to access by train. So, book your train tickets with us to discover the fashion, gastronomy, and cultural highlight of this amazing city.