For those of you who are only in town for a short visit we have made a mini route where you get all the best Milan has to offer in terms of both shopping, food, architecture and culture. For our first express shopping route we have chosen the area from Piazza Gae Aulenti to Piazza della Scala, from the new and modern to the old and traditional.
Start on Piazza Gae Aulenti; Milan’s newest area, where you should see the internationally acclaimed buildings “Bosco verticale” (the vertical forest))
On the piazza you find the famous Muji,
Grom ice cream,
Replay store with Italian denim and a nice bar where you can have your morning coffee,
and Illy café – the world’s best espresso.
Located under the square is the supermarket Esselunga if you want to shop for specialties.
From there continue down Corso Como and check out the famous design store and art gallery at no. 10 – good place for lunch.
at the end of Corso Como turn left and check out High Tech with all you can desire for your home and on the square (Piazza XXV Aprile) is food temple Eataly
Continue into the Brera area (Via Solferino, Via San Marco and Corso Garibaldi) which is the old artistic neighbourhood of Milan with lots of quirky and chic stores and galleries.
If you’re here on either a Monday or a Thursday it is worth your while to visit the open air market in Via San Marco.
Continue down to Piazza della Scala with Milan’s famous Scala theater.
If you still have energy and time to spare you are now directly behind Piazza Duomo just walk thorugh the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele which links Piazza della Scala and Piazza Duomo and you have Milan’s cathedral right in front of you.
Milan has several museums worth visiting. But if you can – visit them during the week and leave the queues at the weekend to the others.
If you’re in Milan for 72 hours or less, you should consder getting a MilanoCard. Read more here.
You can visit many of Milan’s museums for free on every first Sunday of every month.
Most museums change their exhibitions frequently so it’s a good idea to check out the calendar for each of them. Read more about the best apps, our event calendar and our weekly recommendations for information.
Below is a list of almost all of Milan’s museums with a short description of each one. Please note that opening hours and days are very varied. Send us a message here if you think we have left out some place important.
The new-comer among the Milanese museums is housed in an old tram deposit from the 1930s in Milan’s China Town area. It is centered around the prestigious Compasso d’Oro prize awarded for excellence in industrial design.
-> 1, Piazzza Comasso d’Oro (find on map)
Admission is valid for both Largo Isarco and Milano Osservatorio within 7 days.
Museum for contemporary art and culture co-headed by famous designer Miuccia Prada. The foundation has operated since 1993 and organizes, amongst other things, film festivals. On May 9th 2015 they inaugurated their new venue in Milan – very impressive architecture. FONDAZIONE PRADA’s Bar Luce is designed by film director Wes Anderson. Bar Luce recreates the atmosphere of a typical Milanese café –> 2, Largo Isarco (find on map)
Admission is valid for both Largo Isarco and Milano Osservatorio within 7 days.
Fondazione Prada’s new location in the center of Milan dedicated to photography and visual arts. It is situated at the top of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II with a view of the glass Octagonal at its center.
–> Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (find on map)
This museum, which was inaugurated on April 30th 2015, celebrates Giorgio Armani’s 40-year anniversary as a designer. The museum has been created by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. 4 floors with historical creations. The museum is located in the Tortona design neighbourhood. Always check whether the mueseum is open before going there, they close for fashion week and frequently between exhibits –> 40, Via Bergognone (find on map)
This beautiful historical building located within the Quadrilatero della Moda Milan’s exclusive fashion dsitrict houses collections of decorative and fine arts and exhibits about fahsion. The museum is closed on Mondays.
–> 6, Via Sant’Andrea (find on map)
The Diocesan Museum is housed in the antique cloisters of Sant’Eustorgio and contains over 700 art works spanning from the 4th century up till today including some very fine sculptures by artist Lucio Fontana.
–> 95, Corso di Porta Ticinese (find on map)
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Last Supper” is located next to the church Santa Maria delle Grazie in the Cenacolo Vinciano and is a definite must-see, to get in you must book tickets well in advance here. If you cannot get tickets online, don’t despair; you can call this number +390292800360 and press 2 for English. You have to pay by credit card. –> 2, Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie (find on map)
Museo Vigna di Leonardo (Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard).
Opposite Santa Maria delle Grazie and “The Last Supper” is a small gem, that has been opened to the public on occasion of EXPO2015; the vineyard, which was given to Leonardo da Vinci by the Duke of Milan Ludovica Sforza in 1498, is located in the garden of the Casa degli Atellanti (Sforza courtiers). The grape variety is the original one from Leonardo’s time . Many days are already fully booked so it’s a good idea to go online (link above in the title) and book a tour. –> 62, Corso Magenta (find on map).
Toti – the first submarine built in Italy after WW2
The Leonardo Da Vinci museum is a must for children from age 6 and up. There is enoughentertainment to last you several hours on a rainy day. The most diversely talented person ever to have lived is painter, inventor etc. Leonardo da Vinci, and Italy’s national technical museum, located in Milan, is also his official museum. It combines the chance to actually try out some of his inventions with the more traditional exhibitions.
–> 21, Via San Vittore (find on map)
This incredibly beautiful church from 1503 is famous for its frescos, which have earned it the nickname the Sistine Chapel of Milan. It is open every day from 9.30 am-7.30 pm except on Mondays. -> 15, Corso Magenta (find on map)
The steam factory (literally) is a cultural centre in Milan that organizes art exhibitions, music festivals, theatre, conferences and more. The building complex is huge and definitely worth a visit. –> 4, Via Giulio Cesare Proccaccini (find on map).
This beautiful building dates back to 1251 and is a permanent space for changing photographic exhibitions. This museum is worth a visit not only for photo enthusiasts but also because of the building’s historical value. It is closed on Mondays.
–> Piazza Mercanti (findon map)
The ultimate art collection in Milan featuring masterpieces by the classical Italian masters; Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci just to mention a couple, the building itself is incredibly beautiful. –>28, Via Brera (find on map)
The museum covers the historic events that led to the unification of the different states on the Italian peninsula to the kingsom of Italy between 1815 and 1871.Admission is free of charge. -> 23, Via Borgonovo (find on map).
One of Milan’s most overlooked museums. This museum and library has an astounding collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s cartoons (charcoal drawings) and notebooks. Definitely worth a visit. –> 2, Piazza Pio XI Between Via Torino and Cordusio. (find on map).
The museum of the twentieth century, at Piazza Duomo, opened in 2010 after the collection’s original home in Palazzo Reale had been closed in 1988. It’s Milan’s municipal collection of paintings and sculpture from the twentieth century. The collection opens with Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo’s fantastic Fourth Estate. –> Via Guglielmo Marconi (South side of Piazza Duomo) (find on map)
The museum of Milan’s cathedral was originally opened in 1953 but re-opened in 2013 after a long period of renovation. It is a record of the history of the cathedral and covers a period spanning from the 15th to the 20th century. –> 12, Piazza Duomo (find on map)
This home belonged to the two brothers the barons Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi who collected 15th and 16th century art to decorate their home so that it reminded themselves and their guests of princely Lombard homes of the 16th century.It was inhabited by their descendants until 1974 when one of Giuseppe’s sons decided to create the Bagatti Valsecchi Foundation and donated the entire patrimony to it, at the same time the home was purchased by the region of Lombardy that opened the museum home to the public in 1994.
–> 5, Via Gesù (find on map)
One of Milan’s most interesting private museums founded by art collector Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli (1768-1833) it contains works by some of the greatest Italian painters e, g. Botticelli, Belini and Hauez. –> 12, Via Alessandro Manzoni (find on map)
This gem which was the private home of married art collectors was opened to the public in 2003 and contains their private collection by some of the finest painters from the twentieth century. A unique look into a private home. –> 15, Via G. Jan (find on map)
Fondazione Achille Castiglioni
Achille Castiglioni who died in 2002 was an Italian designer of furniture, lighting, radiograms a.o. his studio has been turned into a museum and is run privately by the Achille Castiglioni foundation. You must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to book your viat from Tuesday to Friday at ether 11 am – 12 – 1 pm. –> 27, Piazza Castello (find on map)
Situated in a gorgeous villa in Via Palestro. This villa is one of Milan’s finest examples of neoclassical architecture and hosts both contemporary photo exhibitions and paintings from the 19th century..
-> Via Palestro (find on map)
Milan’s permanent exhibition of more than 300 paintings, drawings, sculpture and engravings by Italian artists starting from 1886 all the way up to today. The museum itself was designed by renowned architect Luca Beltrami and was opened in 1886..
–> 34, Via Turati (find on map).
PAC houses a beautiful collection of contemporary art. It was re-opened in 1979 after a thorough restructuring of the building, (the mafia had a bomb explode here in 1993). The exhibitions are changed frequently..
-> 14, Via Palestro (find on map)
This amazing building was the seat for the local government of the city of Milan and is an important cultural center today and houses important exhibitions and events. -> 12, Piazza Duomo (find on map)
La Triennale di Milano is Milan’s Design museum with a huge permanent collection of design but it is also the main Italian venue for architecture, visual and decorative arts, design, fashion and audio/video. The terrace of Triennale is very cool and has a breathtaking view, good place for brunch and aperitivo, -> 6, Viale Alemagna (find on map)
One of Italy’s largest banks Intesa San Paolo have opened their private collections to the public on Piazza della Scala, right in the center of the city. It is an impressive exhibiton and there is no admission fee. .–> Piazza della Scala 6 (find on map)
Milan’s most experimental contemporary museum. It’s located in an old factory and houses very interesting exhibits and installations. Take the metro out there (purple line, get off at Ponale)
–> 2, Via Chiese (find on map)
Regrettably the English language version of the museum sites aren’t always neither thorough nor updated. But there is nothing wrong with the art so don’t miss out on some great experiences.
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