Here is how to spend a few hours in Milan, Italy. Come with me as we explore the top places to see + a rooftop to check out before leaving this beautiful city.
Milan, The Fashion Capital of the World
Milan IS the fashion capital of the world, and we had an unexpected but fascinating experience when we visited during Fashion Week in late September. Although it can be hectic, visiting Milan during Fashion Week is an adventure worth considering, especially if you plan to stay in the city for a full day.
Our journey began with a tight schedule, thanks to Fashion Week traffic. We were racing against time to reach the train station for our trip to Lake Como. Fortunately, our dedicated taxi driver pulled off a miracle, ensuring we made it to the station in the nick of time. Kudos to him! 😉
[To help put our short time in Milan into perspective, we only had about 5 hours of exploration. Therefore, the below itinerary reflects that.]
How to Spend a Few Hours in Milan
Piazza del Duomo, A Grand Start
Our whirlwind adventure kicked off in Piazza del Duomo, the beating heart of Milan. The monumental square is dominated by the impressive Milan Cathedral, the Duomo. It only made sense to start here.
While we were pressed for time, we made sure to savor the Duomo’s breathtaking exterior. The intricate details and architectural splendor were simply captivating. It’s a must-see for anyone in Milan.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Shop and Stroll
From the Duomo, we made our way to another iconic Milanese destination, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This historic shopping arcade is not just for shopaholics; it’s an architectural gem with a rich history.
As we strolled through the Galleria, we encountered high-end designer boutiques, charming cafes, and upscale restaurants. It’s the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy or simply enjoy a coffee while taking in the elegant ambiance.
Aperol Terrazza, Incredible Rooftop Views
With enough time to spare before our guided tour of The Duomo, we headed to Aperol Terrazza, a rooftop bar that was calling my name. (Not Jose’s because he was practically falling asleep at this point, LOL!) It offered not only fantastic views but also the quintessential Italian experience: my first Aperol Spritz.
I was a HUGE FAN.
Aperol Terrazza is a chic spot with a lively ambiance. We enjoyed our refreshing Aperol Spritz while taking in the Milan skyline, a mix of modern skyscrapers and historical architecture. It was the perfect spot to unwind and embrace the Milanese atmosphere.
As we relaxed on the Aperol Terrazza, we watched the clock, making sure we were closer to our scheduled tour at the Duomo Cathedral. The beauty of it all?
Everything was walking distance!
The Duomo, A Must-See
If you geek out on architecture like I do, The Duomo is a must-see. This architectural masterpiece is a testament to Milan’s grandeur, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to explore it.
To make the most of our limited time, we booked the “Milan: Fast-Track Milan Cathedral and Terraces Guided Tour” through GetYourGuide. The tour lasted two hours, and it was an excellent choice. Unfortunately, the Fashion Week traffic made it impossible to visit the terraces, but the tour still offered us an in-depth look at this incredible cathedral.
If your schedule allows, take the opportunity to ascend to the terraces for panoramic views of Milan.
For this guided tour, which cost $75.58 for two adults, we gained insights into the history and architectural wonders of the Duomo. Our knowledgeable guide shared fascinating stories about its construction and significance.
Travel Tip: Stowing Luggage
To maximize our exploration, we needed to find a solution for our luggage. I mean, after all, we were not walking around with four suitcases.
Milan Central Station, like many train stations, offers luggage storage services, and we opted for “Stow Your Bags.” It was a seamless experience that allowed us to roam the city.
At Milan Central Station, you can find secure luggage storage facilities. Costs typically depend on the size and duration of storage. “Stow Your Bags” provided us with a hassle-free solution, freeing us to explore Milan with ease.
Our few hours in Milan were filled with unforgettable experiences. From admiring the exterior beauty of the Duomo to wandering through the Galleria, sipping Aperol Spritz at Aperol Terrazza, and finally, our insightful tour of the Duomo, it was a whirlwind adventure.
As you plan your visit to Milan, remember that even in a hurry, the city has plenty to offer. With the right choices and a dash of adventure, you can savor the essence of Milan, the fashion capital of the world, in just a few hours.
After our whirlwind Milan adventure, we bid farewell to this fashion-forward city and headed to the tranquil beauty of Lake Como. (BLOG POST COMING SOON.)
That said, feel free to make any adjustments, or add other iconic places, to your Milan itinerary. As always, if you have any questions about how to spend a few hours in Milan, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at email@example.com or send a DM on Instagram.