The only two things to do in Milan


1. Visit the Duomo2. Go shopping

I’m sure that many people would disagree with me, and this is purely my own opinion, but these are the only two real things I would suggest to anyone when visiting Milan. Milan is definitely a more industrial metropolis rather than a majestic city riddled with history and remarkable sites. However, Milan does offer some impressive European architecture in the center around the Duomo area. This architecture is typical throughout Europe though, so I wasn’t overly impressed with it.  Especially the Duomo itself. Yes, it’s beautiful and gothic, but once you’ve seen one church in Europe – you’ve seen them all. Especially after visiting the Vatican, no other cathedral will ever amaze you the same way again, it’s all downhill from there.
Anyways, back to Milano, the Duomo is like the Dundas Square of Toronto, or the Times Square of New York. It’s where it’s at. All the events, protests and spectacles take place around here. There was actually a large protest demonstration there on Sunday, but I couldn’t tell you what for. Alot of people holding signs, alot of green smoke, and alot of Italian polizia.

Moving on to the second thing to do in Milan…The shopping is obviously one of Milan’s biggest allures as it is one of the fashion capitals of the world. You walk through the streets and see every name: Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Valentino. But this is the same as every other major city, so who cares? I only went to my usual stores anyways, which are nowhere near that calibre, so Milan’s shopping wasn’t that glamorous to me.
I’ll go on further to suggest that if anyone is visiting Italy in the future, just stick to the “tourist trio”: Rome, Florence and Venice. Or if you want to be more adventurous go to the Cinque Terre (which is my favourite place in Europe) or Naples to eat some pizza or Capri to drink Limoncello. Anywhere but Milan.
It’s not that I didn’t have a fantastic weekend, and I don’t mean to complain. I went with some amazing people and had some amazing times. I also ate alot of incredible Italian cuisine: gnocchi, panino, bruchetta, spaghetti, pizza and apperitivo. Apperitivo is this amazing Italian tradition, like eating over drinks. Most local bars and restaurants offer this. It’s when you pay for a drink (in our case it was 8 euros) and then you are free to eat an all-you-can-eat buffet style appetizer bar. The options were endless: (prosciutto, bruschetta, pesto penne, charcuterie platters, potatoes, vegetables, etc.) So, the drink I ordered was the Capiroska, which is a tall glass just filled with vodka and crushed ice accompanied with a lime section and a bunch of sugar. Sooo strong but soooo good!!!
But you can experience this incredible apperitivo evening anywhere in Italy, so go somewhere more lovely!!! Like Roma!!!

milano shopping Milan rooftop Milan streetcar Milan


6 responses to “The only two things to do in Milan

  1. I’d add a third thing (admittedly heavily related to the second) – Milan has the most amazing people watching!

    You also need to get off the beaten track for some really interesting shops – I found the most amazingly beautiful stationery shop down a side street and another boutique selling real ballet flats on a little square just near LaScala

  2. I haven’t been, but I’d add seeing the Last Supper to that list.

    I really liked this post, I like finding out which cities that have limited tourist attractions before I visit. Guidebooks never tell you, One day, I’ll have a long layover in Milan, I’ll see the Duomo and Last Supper, and that’ll be it.

    • Hi travel bug! Thanks for your comment. That’s very true, I actually wanted to see the painting while I was there, but the hostel owner told us that you have to make a reservation in advance. Apparently it’s quite exclusive that way, so we didn’t get to see it. But maybe try looking up how to make those reservations if that is the case!

      • I think if I’ve ever pass through Milan, that will be the first thing I look up. I think it’s some ridiculous arrangement where you book 6 months in advance to spend 5 minutes with the painting.

  3. I agree with you, milan is one of the ugliest city in italy. Of course many can tell you about ‘last soup’, brera district, sforzesco castle, la scala…however milan doesnt have any caracter. Is (maybe was…) based on business, money, industries, fashion and cause of the current (economical) situation even these topics are not significant. I’d even recommend to visit bergamo (the upper city) instead of milano

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