Julie Italy 34 Comments

Why go to Milan? It’s the home of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” one of the most famous paintings in the world. Milan is also home to the Duomo, world-class museums, and trendy shopping areas. If you like the idea of spending a few hours in Milan while traveling through Italy, in this guide learn how to plan your Milan day trip from Florence, Venice and the Cinque Terre.

Places to Go on Milan Day Trip

Spending one day in Milan can be done as a day trip when traveling between two Italian cities. We spent several hours in Milan, stopping here midday while traveling between the Cinque Terre and Venice. Milan’s main sights are located within a small area, making it easy to see the best of Milan in a short period of time.

Duomo di Milano

The Milan Cathedral is the 3rd largest cathedral in the world and the 2nd largest in Italy. It took over 500 years to complete construction and changes have been made as recently as the 1900’s.

The Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Treasury can all be visited, but the best part of visiting the Duomo is getting a chance to walk on the rooftop. From here you can see the flying buttresses, spires, and have awesome views over Milan. You can even see the Alps on a clear day.

Duomo day trip to Milan | Milan Day Trip

The Duomo, one of the best places to visit on a day trip to Milan | Milan Day Trip

 

Tyler Rivenbark | Milan Day Trip

Tyler on the rooftop of the Duomo | Milan day trip

 

Duomo Rooftop day trip to Milan | Milan Day Trip

Another view of the Duomo rooftop | Milan day trip

 

Milan in one day | Milan Day Trip

View from the Duomo terrace | Milan day trip

How To Visit the Duomo

The lines to climb to the rooftop, also called the terrace, can be very long, especially midday. To avoid waiting in long lines, you can either take the stairs to the rooftop (which typically has shorter lines than the elevator line), take a skip-the-line tour, and purchase your tickets online in advance.

Below we list prices and hours. Check the official website before you go for any changes since our last update. Here is the link to purchase your tickets in advance.

Visiting the Roof Top Only
  • Hours: 9 am to 7 pm, last admission at 6:10 pm
  • Cost: by stairs €13, by elevator €15
  • Fast Track Tickets (Skip the Line): €24
Visiting the Cathedral & Museum
  • Hours: Duomo 9 am to 7 pm, last admission at 6:10 pm; Duomo museum 10 am to 7 pm, closed Wednesdays
  • Cost: €8
Visiting the Cathedral, Roof Top & Duomo Museum
  • Hours: 9 am to 7 pm, last admission at 6:10 pm
  • Cost: by stairs €16, by elevator €22
  • Fast Track Tickets (Skip the Line): €24
Tours of the Duomo

Here are several skip-the-line tours of the Duomo.

 

 

Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”

Leonardo Da Vinci painted the “Last Supper” on the refectory wall of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. He worked on this painting from 1494 to 1498, painting the mural directly onto the wall. It has undergone several restorations and even survived a bombing during WWII.

To keep the “Last Supper” at the appropriate temperature and humidity, only 30 people are allowed to enter the room every 15 minutes. Tickets must be purchased in advance in order to see the “Last Supper.”

It is open 8:15 am to 7:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday.

Purchasing Tickets for the “Last Supper”:

Tickets can be purchased on the VivaTicket website. The “Last Supper” is listed as Cenacolo Vinciano. Tickets are released in batches every three months. On noon on December 19th 2023, tickets were released for February, March, and April. 

PRO TRAVEL TIP:  Purchase your tickets as soon as possible!! We booked our tickets on the first possible day at the moment they were released and they were literally disappearing as we were picking out our time slot. These tickets sell out within hours of going on sale, so mark the date and time on your calendar so you can purchase your tickets as soon as they become available.

Tickets cost €15 including the reservation fee. Children under the age of 18 years are free, with concessions made to EU residents. You are limited to purchasing only 5 tickets per booking.

Once you purchase your tickets, print a copy of the receipt. You will show this receipt and a copy of your ID to the ticket office at Santa Maria delle Grazie to get your official tickets. This will have to be done 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

At your appointment time, you will enter the convent refectory. On the far wall is Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” Benches are provided and taking photographs are prohibited. You will have exactly 15 minutes to view the painting before asked to exit the room.

Dress code: Information on this is conflicting. I have read that shoulders and knees must be covered, which means long pants for men and women. There were many places in Italy where the dress codes were ignored but we never wanted to take the chance and get turned away. Italians rarely wear short pants anyway, especially the men, and you will blend in and look nicer in long pants.

What if you couldn’t reserve tickets online? Here are tours to Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the “Last Supper.” Most likely, you will have to make a reservation through a third party seller, since tickets sell out almost immediately once they are released. This highly rated one hour tour through GetYourGuide also has the advantage of being fully refundable up to 24 hours in advance (as of May 2023), should your plans change. 

 

 

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This is the oldest shopping mall in Italy. It contains luxury stores, fancy restaurants, and trendy places to get a drink. Located right on the Duomo Square, it is worth at least strolling through the mall and doing a little window-shopping.

Galleria day trip to Milan | Milan Day Trip

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Milan Day Trip

How To Get Around Milan

Milan has an excellent public transportation network. To get between the train station and Milan’s top sights the metro is sufficient.

To get from the main train station, Milano Centrale, to Santa Maria delle Grazie, take the metro. Take the green line five stops to Cardona (direction Abbiategrasso) and from here it is just a short walk to the church.

To get from the train station to the Duomo, take the green line five stops to Cardona, transfer to the red line, and take this 3 stops to Duomo (direction Sesto).

Taxis are more convenient if you are not used to using public transportation, but taxis can also be very expensive in Milan, not to mention slow, as they tend to get stuck in traffic.

Italy Travel Guide Rome

How to Plan Your Milan Day Trip

Most large cities in Italy are a 2 to 3 hour train ride away from Milan. You can take an 8 am train from one city, arrive in Milan by 11 am, spend three to four hours in the city, and then board a second train mid-afternoon to your next destination.

Here are approximate durations for traveling between Milan and other cities in Italy. Please note: times can vary depending on the time of day and the type of train. Italy has several different classes of trains, ranging from high-speed trains to slower regional trains.

  • Milan to Florence:  2h 45m
  • Milan to La Spezia (Cinque Terre):  3h to 4h
  • Milan to Venice:  2h to 3h
  • Milan to Bologna:  1h to 3h
  • Milan to Verona:  1h to 1.5h
  • Milan to Rome:  3.5 to 4.5h (on the Frecciarossa, the high speed train)

Arriving in Milan

Train stations in Italy have offices where you can stow your luggage for a few hours, freeing you up to walk around the city. Once you disembark your train, follow the signs to Deposito Bagagli. You can leave your bags here for a small fee. You will be given a deposit slip…don’t lose it!

One Day in Milan Itinerary (in Just a Few Hours)

From the train station, take the metro to Santa Maria delle Grazie for your scheduled viewing of the “Last Supper.” Remember to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment.

Next, take the metro to the Duomo. From Duomo Square, visit the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It is best to book your tickets to tour the Duomo and the rooftop online in advance.

The restaurants inside the Galleria look fabulous, but if these are outside of your price range, we found many smaller restaurants on the streets behind the Galleria.

From the Duomo Square, take the metro back to the train station in time for your next departure.


If you have any questions about how to plan your Milan day trip, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

NORTHERN ITALY:  Verona is a beautiful city to add to your Italy itinerary and we also have a detailed guides on how to day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio. Learn how to combine Milan, Lake Como, Verona, the Dolomites, and Venice into a 10 day trip to Italy.

LAKE GARDA: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in Lake Garda. Learn how to plan your time with our Lake Garda Itinerary. We also have information about things to do in Sirmione and Riva del Garda.

VENICE: Learn more about what to do in Venice in our Venice Bucket List. To help you plan your time, we have a detailed one day Venice itinerary and a 2 day Venice itinerary.

FLORENCE: If you are planning your first visit to Florence, don’t miss our guide to the 10 Best Things to Do in Florence and how to spend two days in Florence. We also have guides about the best rooftop bars in Florence, the best viewpoints in Florence, and how to visit the Florence Cathedral.

CINQUE TERRE: One of the best experiences in the Cinque Terre is to hike between all five towns. If you are traveling on a budget, get our money saving tips for the Cinque Terre.

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy. 

 

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.

 

 

Milan Italy Day Trip from Florence Venice

 

Milan in One Day

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Comments 34

  1. Avatar for Laura Fischer
    Laura Fischer

    Hello Julie-Firstly, your blog is by far the best I’ve found for guidance on our first family trip to Italy. My husband and I are traveling with our 3 college age children and staying in air bnb’s. The following is the itinerary we have more or less committed to for a 10 day trip in July. Rome-Florence-day trips to Tuscan towns, Cinque Terre-Milan and/or Lake Como. I’m struggling to decide on the plan for the last 3 days/2 nights of the trip. We’ll travel from Cinque on Thurs up North and fly home from Milan on Sat morning (11am). Would you recommend we stay in Milan 2 nights and do day trips to Lake Como towns or stay in a Lake Como town. Considering that we have to travel to the airport early on the final day. Haven’t determined if we’ll get a car for this part of the trip. Any suggestions? Note: we decided to skip Venice due to the craziness of the tourists in July and the longer trip to get there.
    Thank you. ~Laura

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Laura. Thanks for writing in and I’m glad you like our site! Given your timing, I think it is best to use Milan as your home base and day trip to Lake Como from here. It is very easy to day trip to Lake Como from Milan by public transportation so you don’t have to rent a car, unless you want to skip the train rides and longer boat ride from Como to Bellagio. Also, staying in Milan sets you up for your flight home. If you have any other questions please let me know. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Amy Fruetel
    Amy Fruetel

    Julie- quick question about parking in Verona and Milan. We will have a car and be driving from Val Gardena early in the morning to Milan and stopping for a quick visit to Verona. Where should we park to visit each city for a few hours? Sorry if this has been asked and answered, I did look! I know it will be a longer day of driving and very quick visits but we want the extra full day to hike and we want to visit Lake Como on our last day. We only have 9 days not 10! The Northern Italy itinerary has been AMAZING- thank you for all the help!!
    Amy

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Amy. When we visited Verona, we also had a car and we parked at Parcheggio Interrato CITTADELLA | APCOA on Google Maps. It is a parking garage that sits right outside of the historic city center. For Milan, you have a lot of options. We arrived by train so don’t have personal experience parking here. But we look up parking on Google and look for a large lot or garage near where we want to be. On a quick search in Milan, “The Big Parking” near the Garibaldi train station looks to be a good option, but you could spend some more time looking and saving places on your map. Look at the photos because a lot of what comes up is street parking. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Amy Fruetel
        Amy Fruetel

        Thank you so much! Would you drive into Milan and park or is the metro a better and quicker option? This is our first time traveling in a different country and its so challenging to know all the details!

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          Once in Milan, it is best to walk or use the metro for sightseeing. So, I’d drive in, park at a garage or my hotel (if I had a hotel reservation) and then walk and use public transportation to get around the city. This is what I would do for pretty much any city in Europe. Many are easily walkable and have a metro or bus system that connects places that are farther away. Cheers, Julie

          1. Avatar for Amy Fruetel
            Amy Fruetel

            Thank you!! I am stressing out over how to plan our last 2 days, like loosing sleep over it and driving my husband crazy! We are following the 10 day Northern Italy trip but only have 9 days. (bummer)
            Day 1 and 2 Venice
            Day 3 and 4 eastern Dolomites
            Day 5 and 6 western Dolomites
            Day 7- travel to Milan
            Day 8- day trip to Lake Como
            Day 9-Fly home out of Milan

            I am stuck on day 7- if we get up early can we visit Verona in the morning, drive to Milan for the afternoon to visit? Both being very quick visits or is it best just to do one and then which one? I realized the airport is an hour from town and not any interesting places to stay. Any direction is appreciated! You can either answer here or my email I sent last night. Appreciate you and your amazing website. I learn a lot by reading the comments and answers too!

          2. Avatar for Julie Post
            Author
            Julie

            Hello Amy. You can definitely visit Verona on the way to Milan. Our visit to Verona was similar, spending about half a day here when driving from near San Marino to Venice. It will be a quick visit but it is enough time to see the highlights. We personally prefer Verona over Milan. It would be better to put your time into Milan if you want to see DaVinci’s Last Supper and tour the Duomo. Verona is better if you just want to wander through a beautiful small city. You can visit Verona and see the outside of the Duomo in Milan, which is worth it, then you get a lot of Verona and a little bit of Milan. I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Darlene Scorzelli
    Darlene Scorzelli

    I am traveling from Cinque Terre to Venice in September and took your advice and I am traveling through Milan for a few hours. We already have tickets for the last supper
    I am traveling by train and staying in La Spezia. What is the best way to get from La Spezia to Milan and then to Venice?
    Are the baggage lockers readily available or do I need to book in advance?
    Thank you

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Travel from La Spezia to Milan by train (on average, 3 hours). There are a few direct trains and some have one connection. You can see the train schedule for your date of travel on ItaliaRail.com. In the evening, take the train to Venice, again checking the schedule on Italia Rail. This takes about 2.5 hours and there are a lot of direct trains. If you plan to stay in Venice, the Venezia Santa Lucia is the train station in the heart of Venice. Mestre is on the mainland and if you take the train here, you will then have to ride a bus into Venice. If it were me, I’d book these tickets in advance, which you can do on ItaliaRail. There are luggage lockers in the Milan train station. We used them and didn’t have any issues. You can also use Bounce to store your bags (we haven’t used them but they get good reviews). Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Monica Mc Kernan
    Monica Mc Kernan

    Great information here, thanks. I plan on visiting Italy in September for 5/6 nights, flying into Bergamo, Milan. I would like to visit Pescheira del Garda, Sirimone, Verona, Venice, & Milan, what itinerary would you recommend to visit all?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Here is a sample itinerary with the places you have listed: (1) Milan/Bergamo (2) train to Peschiera del Garda, day in Sirmione, sleep Sirmione (3) train to Verona, sleep Verona (4) train to Venice (5) Venice. That’s 5 nights. On your 6th day, train to Milan to fly home/to your next destination. If you have an additional night, you could spend more time in one of these places (Venice would be my first choice). Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Monica Mc Kernan
        Monica Mc Kernan

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply, I’ve read there is no train station in Sirmione so would it be better to stay in Peschiera del Garda?

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          That is correct, there is no train station in Sirmione. You could take a taxi or maybe even hire an Uber to travel from Peschiera to Sirmione. I think it would be a nicer experience to stay in Sirmione. It’s a pretty town with a lot of great restaurants and clears out at the end of the day once the day trippers move in. The next day, you could have the hotel call you a taxi to take you to the train station, so it’s a little bit less convenient than staying in Peschiera. Cheers, Julie

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