3 Days in Milan - The Perfect Milan Itinerary

Girl posing in front of Duomo di Milan with caption

I have been thinking a while about visiting Milan. At one point last year we just decided to go for it and go for the New Year. The main reason for my trip wasn’t the New year but mostly to relax and explore the city a bit.

Turned out (unsurprisingly) that we loved it and that three and a half days in the city are sometimes just what you need for a perfect New year escape.

We knew that the city was huge and beautiful but we didn’t know that it was this big. We were there for 3 days and still couldn’t see everything that we wanted.

Share or save:

What to do on Day 1 in Milan?

On our first day, we arrived in the city at about 6.00 am, at that point since nothing was working we went directly to the hotel (we didn’t think that our room was ready) just to leave our luggage and go to the city.

But the receptionist at the hotel said that our room was ready and that we can go in (which was perfect since we decided to take a short nap). After the rest, we had breakfast at the hotel and then went to the city.

Explore all Milan Hotels here.

Visit Duomo di Milano

It took six centuries to finish the construction (from 1386 – 1965.), almost 80 architects and engineers, and an organization called Fabbrica del Duomo, which has been responsible for preservation and restoration of the cathedral for more than 600 years now.

Girl standing in front of Duomo di Milan

With the construction span so wide, it is hard to talk about a unified style, but in the end, it is predominantly gothic and neo-gothic, and one glimpse of its lush ornamentation including flying buttresses, spires, gargoyles, and sculptures will leave no doubt about it. You don’t always get the chance to see the architectural ornamentation up close.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

People at entrance to Galleria vittorio Emanuele

Since Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is located right next to the Duomo di Milan cathedral, we had to visit it just to see how many expensive things there can be in one building and also admire both Italian architecture and style. 

The gallery was designed by Giuseppe Mangoni in the second half of the 19th century. The legend says that if you spin three times below the central dome it will bring good luck.

Location with pink background icon

Location of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

At around 19.00 we went back to town to see how it looks at night. We were more than stunned because it is beautiful, especially Duomo di Milan which lights up at night.

Eating ice cream at CioccolatItaliani

CioccolatItaliani is one of the prime spots when it comes to ice cream, also they are open almost all day, so you can get ice cream in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Besides the ice cream, they do a complete show when it comes to putting ice cream in your cone that is amazing.

After eating everything around us we when back to the hotel to recharge our batteries for tomorrow.

Chocolate flowing from pipe next to ice cream cones in Milan

What to do on Day 2 in Milan?

Breakfast at Panini Durini

Premium breakfast spot with amazing coffee, croissants, and sandwiches to start that exploration morning on the right note, Panini Durini has one of the best breakfast in the whole of Milan.

Arrow with pink background icon

For all info check out Milan Travel guide

Castello Sforzesco

Girl sitting next to fountain at entrance to Sforzesco castle

Our first destination on day 2 was to visit the Castello Sforzesco afterward, a giant castle built by the Duke of Milan in the 15th century. We circled the castle from the outside, and then decided to visit it from the inside, but discovered that at the back of the Castello there was a huge park.

Exploring Sempione park

As mentioned above behind the Castello Sforzesco there is a huge Sempione park that has a lot of people relaxing and taking a lot of photos.

Enjoying coffee at Starbucks reserved roastery

Next, was to visit Starbucks (since we don’t have it in Croatia). The first Starbucks that we visited was the Starbucks Reserve Roastery which is something that you don’t see every day and have to visit if you are in Milano, it is located in the center of Milano in a beautiful old building.

After we tasted Caramel Brew coffee we hopped on the metro and if I may say we got LOST.

Checking out Corso Como

But we got lost in one of the most luxurious and beautiful parts of the city. That neighborhood was also home to one of the architectural wonders I’ve been wanting to see for a while, Milan’s Vertical Forest. 

Two ghost graffiti on building in Milan with girl at the bottom of the building
Girl posing at Corso Como in Milan

It is a complex of two residential skyscrapers whose facade is home to more than 900 trees, planted on its balconies, providing residents with shade, fresh oxygen, moderate temperatures, noise protection, and beautiful greenery.

New Year's Eve

That evening was all about New Year’s Eve. Like everybody else, we decided to go to the center of Milano (Duomo di Milano) like every other person in Milano. Since there were so many people they had a control station that you had passed through if you wanted to get to the center (we waited about half an hour before we got in).

To be honest, the ambient was nothing special, and we got especially disappointed when we saw that there were no fireworks at Midnight. A woman next to us even said at one point “What the f…? Did I got here for this?” which was funny but also true.

After the concert, we went back to the hotel, which took more than usual since we got on the wrong tram at first and then when we realized that we were on the wrong tram the right one passed by, so we had to walk about 10 minutes to our hotel.

What to do on Day 3 in Milan?

Terrazza Aperol

After the enormous breakfast, we went to the most famous terrace beside the Duomo di Milano to have a cocktail and some snacks. Also from the pictures, you can see that the view is something that you don’t see every.

Girl looking from balcony drinking wine at people in Milan

Shopping in Milan

Since it was our last day and we had a lot of free time before our bus went back home we went to do a little bit of shopping. We went to a Lego shop which has lego made Duomo di Milano and a lot of fun other things.

Of course, there are luxury brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, Prada, and others which I and you probably haven’t even ever heard of.

Eating at Gino's 1928

Next of course was to have lunch. We went to a restaurant that was right next to the Ferrari shop and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. We both had a chicken steak with potatoes (amazing food).

When we finished our lunch we decided to go on the bus. We left Milano completely excited and blown away by the people, food, art, and the beat of the city. I would dare to say that it was one of my favorite city escapes so far. And that I can’t wait to go back.

Attractions in Milan

Eating in Milan

  • Berberè
  • Panini Durini
  • CioccolatItaliani
  • Il Brutto Anatroccolo
  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Shopping in Milan

  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Via Dante
  • DMAG
  • Via Monte Napoleone
If you liked the article, click on the image and save it for later so you can share it or read it any time.
Girl posing in front of Duomo di Milan with caption

Hello! I’m Sara, a Croatian native. I’ve traveled all over the world and have knocked out some amazing cities and countries off my bucket list.

Related articles

Discover More:

Join TheSworld newsletter and receive 2 free Lightroom presets in your inbox.

Get a gift in your mail

Subscribe to TheSworld and receive 2 free Lightroom presets in your inbox