Last edited: 7th July 2019
If you have only a day in Milan, fear not because there is still a lot that you can do in this city. Milan offers its visitors a plethora of things – it boasts of one of the biggest and expansive shopping quarters in all of Europe, its many restaurants especially in the Navigli district are a gastronomical delight and for the art enthusiasts it houses the original Last Supper as well as the most Instagrammed Duomo.
But before I begin, remain forewarned that if you wish to see the Last Supper, and haven’t booked it months in advance then there is little chance of seeing it. There are multiple tips on the internet on bagging last minute tickets for the Last Supper but most of them do not work. So if seeing this masterpiece if your most important objective then book it in advance at their site (Milan Museum) or book a guided tour.
Where to stay in Milan
I stayed in an Airbnb just 500 metres from the Milan Central station and found it to be a very convenient location. I was arriving into Milan by train and leaving by flight and all airport connector buses leave from near the central train station. There are quite a few options to stay here in terms of hotels in home stays (as well as Airbnbs) and it is a fairly budget-friendly and safe place to stay.
What to see in Milan
Because time is short, head straight for the Duomo, Milan’s biggest attraction. There are usually long queues at the ticket counter so you can save some time by booking in advance. If you haven’t then do carry a credit card as there are automated ticket machines at the ticket centre to buy tickets. These machines have long queues too but are a tad bit faster than the manned counters.
Spend a couple of hours at the Duomo complex, both outside and inside. Climb up to the rooftop to get good views of the cathedral itself if not of a flattering city line.
Then walk straight into grandeur and opulence at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and then land into Piazza della Scala which is flanked with some of the most important buildings in Milan including the Opera house. Most of the buildings here and the view at this square, including the statue of Michaelangelo, are nothing to talk home about but do stop by for some quick photo opportunities.
Quick detour: There is an ossuary just 6 minutes from the Duomo at San Bernardino alle Ossa which is worth a visit if you like ossuaries in general. I didnot visit it myself because I wasn’t aware of it at the time but picked it up from a fellow traveler’s blog [Our-Escape-Clause].
We had reached Milan on a Saturday afternoon, so by the time we were done with the Duomo, it was already evening and we headed straight to the Navigli district for some amazing drinks and dinner. If you have arrived in Milan in the morning, then you will have enough time to now go to the Sforzesco Castle (we saw it on Sunday morning as we had some time before our flight in the afternoon). You can spend about an hour here to walk around the perimeter of the castle as well as take a look inside the castle.
Once done, you may have some time left to wander around some of the shopping districts in Milan – it has something to offer for every kind of shopper. And when you are completely spent (pun intended), head to the Navigli district for some refreshing drinks and food. But be ready to fight for space with the thriving mosquito population however the atmosphere and the dining options more than make up for that.
PS: If you have already booked your tickets or tour for the Last Supper, then you are in a different league altogether and probably are not in need of reading this blog at all. Just kidding about not reading the blog! (but you are definitely a league apart, Salut!)
Hope you enjoyed this blog and will love your time in Milan. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. And as always,