What to Do in Milan: A Complete Travel Guide

The first time I visited Milan, I didn't like the city at all. And I often hear that from Dutch people visiting Milan: that they're not that impressed. I am always willing to give a city a second chance, so when I went to Italy, I planned just that. And this time I really liked the city! So now I'm sharing my tips on what to do in Milan from the best things to do and coolest places to eat and drink!
What Made Me Like Milan Better this Time Around
Apart from the fact that I think the city has developed considerably in recent years in terms of nice restaurants and pleasant neighborhoods, I think that I have now also become better at planning trips in big cities. Nine years ago I was a young teenager with little money, no internet on my phone, and there was a lot less information available online. I am now an expert on city trips, and I have visited dozens of cities worldwide, haha. Moreover, I have a little more to spend, which is great in an expensive city like Milan.
I think I used to expect Milan to be just as romantic a city as Rome or Verona, but that's not realistic. Milan is not the most "stereotypical Italian" city, but that doesn't make the city any less fun. You just have to adjust your expectations. It is a city with beautiful sights, but it is also a city where people live. It is the richest city in Italy with lots of business, so it has a different feel than other places. Milan is a city where career people go to in Italy, and that is reflected in the streets and atmosphere. What I really liked was walking around in the morning amongst the beautifully dressed business people going about their day. It felt like you really saw what typical local life was like.
I would recommend spending two days in Milan. That gives you enough time to visit the top sights and maybe do some shopping before your bank balance is completely used up.

A Short History of Milan
Milan is the most important city in Italy after Rome. It was started in 600 BC by Northern Italian Celts. In the following centuries the city changed hands again and again, and saw emperors and kings passing by from different countries. In the 13th century, Milan led the revolution for semi-independence of the Holy Roman Empire. The city was then ruled for a while by the Sforza and Visconti families, who were among the most prominent families in Italy. After another few centuries in which Milan was conquered by, among others, the French, Spaniards, and Austrians, the kingdom of Italy finally came into being in 1861. Although the city was very hit by bombing in World War II, it has since been able to rebuild itself and has become Italy’s business center. Visit the Duomo of Milan The absolute highlight of Milan is of course the Duomo. This striking and detailed Gothic church is one of the largest Roman Catholic cathedrals in the world, and the largest in Italy.
If you thought the construction of the Sagrada Familia took a long time, Milan will laugh at you in your face. The construction of the Duomo took no less than five centuries (!). The Count of Visconti began the construction of the church in 1386. The last work on the church was not completed until 1950, and then the restoration work could be started almost immediately afterwards. One of the reasons why the church is so impressive is the statues on the facade. There are no fewer than 2300! The 135 pinnacles also make an impression, which you can admire even better from the roof. If you want to visit the church it is possible for €3, but if you also want to visit the roofs, it costs € 10 (with the stairs) or €14 (with the elevator).
Do you want fast-track access to all the sights in the cathedral? The church, the museum, the roof, the crypt and the archaeological excavations? Then buy this ticket. With this you can skip the queue and you can immediately go up with the elevator!

Check out Castello Sforzesco
Milan also has an important castle: Castello Sforzesco. The construction of the castle began in the same period as the construction of the cathedral, and that is not surprising, because this construction also comes from the Visconti family. The structure was initially intended to serve as a family fortress. The name, however, comes from the Count Sforza, who had the castle renovated a century later. The building now houses museums that can be visited, but it is also possible to simply walk through the complex and its gardens. That is free and a perfect way to cool off during a hot summer day.