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Language: Italian | Currency: Euros (€) | Local time: CEST | Avg. Flight time: 1.45 hrs
One of the foremost tourist attractions in Milan, the Duomo is as beautiful as cathedrals come.
Its detailed Gothic interiors impress, but the outside is even better: admire the hundreds of cascading, silvery spires and 3,000 statues – crowned by the gold-plated La Madonnina – from Piazza del Duomo, then climb (166 stairs or a busy lift) up to the marble rooftops and gaze towards the snow-crested Alps.
Book tickets months in advance to ensure your 15 minutes with fame in Milan – or rather with Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ mural, found in the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery.
Such brief, timed appointments help to preserve the painting, and rightly so: it’s a haunting masterpiece of light and expression, as Jesus stands serenely amid his uproarious disciples.
Ah, shopping: one of the most essential of Milan activities. From Piazza del Duomo, walk through the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade into Il Quadrilatero della Moda – a fashion rectangle where Gucci, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana all sell their latest lines.
Move northwards, passing stationery boutiques in cobbled Brera, to finish at 10 Corso Como, ex-Vogue Italia editor Carla Sozzani's concept store, bar and gallery.
It’s near impossible to know what to do first in Milan when it comes to museums. Castello Sforzesco includes a decorative-arts museo; behind it is the design and architecture-focused Triennale di Milano museum in Parco Sempione, while the Pinacoteca di Brera has works by Bellini and Tintoretto. Even La Scala has an opera museum.
But the most amazing tourist attraction in Milan has to be the Fondazione Prada, a gin distillery turned gold-plated modern-art mecca.
Dilapidated for decades, Milan’s attractive canal network has recently been reborn: here now are vegan boat caffs, bijou stores and bars and, along the Naviglio Grande, an antiques market that takes place on the last Sunday of each month.
When you’ve figured out what to do in Milan it’s wise to figure out where to stay. TravelSupermarket can help; visit our Milan hotels page for advice and inspiration.
Milano Moda Donna; February and September: As the main fashion shows in the city, these bi-annual demonstrations of trends take place on invitation-only catwalks across Milan: a palazzo here, an ex-biscuit factory there. Every self-respecting fashionista knows where to be and what to do in Milan when the Milano Moda Donna comes around.
Mercato dei Fiori; April and October: The Navigli hosts almost as many festivals as the rest of Milan combined. This especially lovely flower fair sees bouquets and blooms lend colour to the sides of the canals.
La Notte Bianca; June: In a reprise of Paris’s Nuit Blanche, galleries, cinemas and restaurants across the city stay open until dawn, allowing artistic types to take over the city well into the summer night.