Milan: Solo Travel Guide for One day

Last Updated on October 17, 2022 by

The first time that I visited Milan was back in 2014: I had planned a beautiful solo trip among other cities such as Brescia, Padova and Venice and I had decided to spend one day visiting the world’s fashion capital. Since then I revisited the town for one day in Christmas of 2016 and two days during the summer of 2018.

Is it worth visiting Milan for one day?

duomo of milan italy

To be honest, I was very excited about my first solo trip. It is Italy’s second biggest city, and I thought that there were so many things to see and do.

Italians however don’t share the same love. When I said to my friend that I am going to Milan, he asked “What are you going to do there? There is nothing to see or do!”. I argued that this is not true and he challenged me to prove him wrong. I opened my Lonely Planet Guide Book and started skimming all the pages about Milan. I arrived at the sad conclusion, that yes, there are some famous landmarks, but let’s be honest, there are not so many things to do.

Since then I have visited Milan other two times, once for attending a Christmas Party and once for spending a weekend solo and explore the city a bit more.

The answer to the question “Is it Worth Visiting Milan?” is very complicated. It depends on your hobbies, your expectations and from a list of other things that I am going to analyze in the paragraph below.

Milan at a glance

galeria vitorio Emanuele inside

Let’s find out together why it’s worthing visiting Milan and what to expect from your trip:

  • You should know that Milan is the capital of Lombardy and Italy’s second biggest city.
  • It is also called the “fashion capital” and if you love fashion or if you are passionate about shopping this is the place for you!
  • It also called “the business capital” of Italy. The job market is good here, there are a lot of companies and let’s say if you were an Italian businessman you would be based here.
  • The city is famous for its aperitivo, for its risotto alla Milanese and the “cotolettta alla Milanese.” But I am going to prepare you: the locals don’t eat a lot. That means that the portions are small and there is a lot of healthy/vegetarian/vegan food. I liked Milan, but I left the city hungry!
  • Is it expensive? Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive than Rome.
  • The weather is a bit dull, it rains a lot and is colder than Rome.
  • For me, Milan is an excellent destination for solo female travelers: I traveled solo the first and last time in Milan, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Milan in one day? 8 top-rated tourist attractions   

#1. Duomo of Milan 

Duomo di Milan Architecture

The Duomo of Milan is the symbol of the city and should be the first stop of your itinerary. Before you enter, take some beautiful photos in front of the Cathedral, in Piazza Duomo. If you are not afraid of pigeons, you can even try to feed them!

As Milan is becoming a very famous tourist destination, the queues to enter the cathedral are becoming huge. If you don’t fancy waiting in the line under the rain or the grey skies, I strongly advise you to purchase your tickets in advance.

You can buy the tickets for Milan’s Duomo online from this link or by choosing one of the options below.

♦ EXTRA TIP: Don’t skip the Duomo’s Terrace! Buy the ticket online and get up to the top of the cathedral where you can get a magnificent view of the city.

#2. Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II

golden hour in galleria vittorio emanuele in milan

If you are done with the Duomo, you will find on your left hand the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II: this classy, elegant shopping arcade was built in 1865-1877, and if you love shopping, you can find brands like Prada, Gucci, etc.

galleria vittorio emanuele milan Prada Shop

During Christmas time, Swarovski put up a fabulous Christmas tree with crystals.

 

 ♦ Extra tip: On the floor of Galleria Vitorio Emanuelle you will find a bull: if you put your heel in the hole, in the place of the bull’s testicle and spin around… it will bring you good luck… seriously!

Man spinning in bull hole in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan
He is ready to spin around the dancing bull and get some good luck!

#3. Teatro alla Scala: Milan’s Opera House

dante in Milan

If you love opera, or if you are seeking a unique experience in Milan you should visit the famous opera house. Try to book tickets in advance and of course, get dressed up!

#4. Castello Sforzesco

girl sitting in front of castello sforzesco, Milan

Milan has a castle, and this is castle Sforzeso. It was build in the 15th century and is one of biggest fortresses in Europe.

#5. Leonardo’s Da Vinci Last Supper

Da Vinci's Last supper in Milan

You’ll probably know of The Last Supper, one of the most famous paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci. The good news is that it is in Milan, at Santa Maria delle Grazie. The bad news is that if you are a last-minute traveler, you will not see this: you must book tickets in advance, ideally two weeks before.

#6. Pinacoteca di Brera

I didn’t visit the place but if you are an art-lover is a must. There you will find some excellent artwork by Ticiano and Raphael!

#7. Navigli District

Navigli District in Milan

Navigli District is one of the most beautiful and romantic neighborhoods in Milan! In Navigli District, you can find a lot of restaurants, cafes, and bars and the good thing is that is not a tourist hot spot, locals go there too.

I enjoyed my cocktail there but unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me.

#8. Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione is Milan’s biggest park. I am allergic to pollen (ouch!), so I admired it from far away. If it’s a sunny day, take your favorite book and enjoy Parco Sempione.

Final thoughts about Milan

I liked the city a lot, and I highly recommend it for spending a weekend, max. three days. Take it easy, see the most famous landmarks, do some shopping (shopping in Milan is much better than shopping in Rome) have an aperitivo at Navigli or a lovely dinner. The city has an excellent public transport system & it is clean and safe. Therefore, Milan is female solo traveler approved! 

1 day milan solo travel guide

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