Free Independent Walking Tour of Milan, Italy

Updated: May 20, 2019 This website uses cookies, ads and affiliate links.

Milan, Italy - Santa Maria delle Grazie church.We arrived in Milan on a very hot July evening as we started our Northern Italy tour with our family. The following day we took on this very busy and large Italian city. Milan is the industrial and financial capital of Northern Italy and as such it is a city full of life. For the tourist, however, Milan is not very exciting. Except for a few extraordinary tourist attractions, Milan is mostly an uninteresting European city. Come along with me on a free walking tour of Milan, Italy.

What to expect on your walking tour of Milan, Italy?

While Milan is a very old city, it is neither a small nor a quaint Italian town. Milan, or Milano in Italian, is a large, busy, thriving city, full of traffic and tourists, especially in the summer months. If you want to enjoy your visit to Milan you must know why you want to visit it. Come along with me on a walking tour of Milan, Italy as we explore the extraordinary tourist attractions in this place.

Milan, Italy - Beautiful italian building on Via San Vittore
Milan, Italy – Beautiful italian building on Via San Vittore
See my photos from Milan

You will like Milan if you are looking for historical attractions, some high scale shopping and of course good Italian food. We loved walking the streets of Milan where we had our first encounter with the amazingly fresh and yummy Italian Gelato. This was an awesome experience, especially for our kids. Gelato has remained their favorite memory about Italy.

However, if you are looking for medieval towns and quaint villages then you need to look elsewhere like Siena or San Gimignano.

My favorite things to see in Milan, Italy

After lots of research prior to coming to Milan, I had a short list of things to see. I have a very efficient system for planning my trips which makes sure our expectations match what our destination can offer. After visiting the city our experience has been pretty close to our expectations which made for a pleasant and enjoyable trip to Milan.

  • The Dome in Milan is absolutely impressive and it makes coming to Milan worthwhile even if this is the only attraction in Milan you get to see. Plan to spend time outside, inside and definitely buy the ticket to explore the room of the Dome
  • Walk on Via Dante and enjoy the shops and restaurants. Plenty of choice.
  • Castello Szforsesco and Parco Sempione are very nice attractions as well, even though they are not very exciting when compared to the Dome.
  • Visit Santa Maria delle Grazie church where the “Last Supper” painting by Da Vinci is. You must reserve your spot many months in advance, especially in the summer months. Otherwise you will be like us and miss out if you don’t plan in advance. You can search for Milan activities and reserve a local Milan tour (which includes a skip-the-line ticket to Santa Maria delle Grazie church).

Here is my quick map of my favorite tourist attractions along my walking tour of Milan, Italy. This map follows pretty much the trip we took to Milan and the route we followed walking through the city.

Walking tour map of Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy – Map of main tourist attractions in Milan, Italy
See my photos from Milan

Unfortunately the official Italian site no longer sells tickets for visiting Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. However, you can get skip-the-line tickets to see Da Vinci’s Last Supper by joining this popular local tour.

With the list of tourist attractions and a map in our hands we started exploring Milan. Come along with me on a free walking tour of Milan, Italy.

1. Il Duomo di Milano

We started our walking tour of Milan by taking the subway from our hotel to Il Duomo subway station which dropped us off right in front of the Dome. To put it mildly, we were awestruck when we came out from the underground subway station right in front of Il Duomo di Milano. The Dome is one of the world’s largest places of worship and it is truly magnificent. I really can’t find enough words to express what an impressive site the Dome is.

Il Duomo is the best place for starting your walking tour of Milan. The Dome in Milan is one of the largest places of worship in the world.
The Dome in Milan is one of the largest places of worship in the world.
See my photos from Milan

In addition to being impressed by the exterior, the interior of the Dome gave use more reasons to be very happy we decided to come to Milan. Very impressive and large, the Milan Dome interior is filled with very large paintings.

2. Milan Shopping Galleries

We continue our walking tour of Milan, by stepping into the fancy shopping area at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. These stores are Italy’s oldest shopping mall and the building is simply beautiful having lots of glass around and on the roof. It is delightful to walk through this area even though the stores are prohibitively expensive.

Milan, Italy - Walking through the fancy Milan shopping galleries
Walking through the fancy Milan shopping galleries
See my photos from Milan

3. Scala di Milano

Right outside the shopping galleries, we find the famous Scala di Milano with the large statue of Leonardo Da Vinci right in front. Scala di Milano, along with the Paris and Vienna opera buildings, is one of the most famous artistic venues in Europe. While the outside is not very impressive, it is well worth the effort, if you have the time to watch a performance at the Scala di Milano.

Milan, Italy - Leonardo da Vinci statue in Piazza della Scala
Milan, Italy – Leonardo da Vinci statue in Piazza della Scala
See my photos from Milan

4. Via Dante

From Scala di Milano, we turned back a little bit and continued our walking tour of Milano, on Via Dante. This is the touristy street with lots of shops and restaurants. Yes, Via Dante is touristy but this is where everyone goes, so it’s a lot of fun to walk around and eat yummy gelato.

Milan, Italy - Via Dante is a busy street filled with shops and restaurants.
Via Dante is a busy street filled with shops and restaurants. Being the main shopping area near the Dome, in the summer months it is filled with tourists.
See my photos from Milan

5. Castello Sforzesco

We’re continuing our walking tour of Milan by strolling leisurely up on touristy Via Dante. Castello Sforzesco is located in the middle of the old center of Milan, only about 10 minutes walk from the Dome. There is a rounds plaza right in front of the castle and many roads meet up in front of the castle. There are several ways to go to see the castle from the Dome. We took the road from Scala Theater, but you can also go straight up via Dante.

Milan, Italy - Outer wall of the Castello Sforzesco seen from Via Dante
Outer wall of the Castello Sforzesco seen from Via Dante
See my photos from Milan

6. Parco Sempione

Our walking tour of Milan continues by searching some relief from the summer heat. We visited Milan, Italy at the end of July and it was very hot. So, Parco Sempione was a very welcomed sight that provided great relief from the unrelenting heat.

Milan, Italy - Beautiful old bridge in Parco Sempione behind Castello Sforzesco
Beautiful old bridge in Parco Sempione behind Castello Sforzesco
See my photos from Milan

7. Visit Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper

Santa Maria della Grazzie is the most famous attraction in Milan because it houses the Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper painting. Especially in the summer months you must buy tickets way in advance if you want to see it. In addition, even if you have tickets, you have to allocate enough time because visiting this masterpiece take time as all tourists must sit in a colder ante chamber so that your bodies cool off a bit before entering the room with the very old and precious work of art.

Milan, Italy - Leonardo da Vinci statue in Piazza della Scala
Milan, Italy – Leonardo da Vinci statue in Piazza della Scala
See my photos from Milan

If you want to visit Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper you must get skip-the-line tickets to see Da Vinci’s Last Supper way before your visit. This is especially true during the summer months when everything is sold out weeks in advance.

8. Saint Ambrogio Basilica

We continue our walking tour of Milan, by going to the near by Saint Ambrogio church complex, on our way back to the Il Duomo area. Saint Ambrogio is a very old church complex dating from the 1100s. Its courtyard is surrounded by beautiful columns and arches.

Milan, Italy - Passageway inside the Saint Ambrose church building complex.
Milan, Italy – Passageway inside the Saint Ambrose church building complex.
See my photos from Milan

Is it worth visiting Milan, Italy?

We spent one full day in Milan, Italy and we definitely loved the experience and what we were able to see. However, after reading a lot about Milan and visiting the city for one entire day, I can’t really say that it’s worth spending more than one day in Milan, especially if your time in Italy is limited.

Except for the Dome and Leonardo Da Vinci’s work, Milan, Italy has little else to offer for the tourist especially if compared with other tourist attractions in Northern Italy. However, just these two attractions are well worth your effort to come visit Milano, Italy.

My best resources for planning your trip to Milan, Italy

Milan is a very large city with lots of transportation options. Milan is a great starting point for exploring Northern Italy.

See my travel photos from Milan, Italy..

Find a budget hotel in Milan (3000+ properties). Or you can stay at Milan San Siro Idea Hotel where we stayed. It is close to the subway and it has free breakfast and parking.

Download the Milan subway map to plan your day in this large city.

Rent a car in Italy. Save up to 30% on your Italy rental car by comparing all rental car companies and picking the best price for you.

Train schedules. If you want to reach Milan by train, you can check the train schedules and buy tickets here.

Day trips. If you have a few extra days in this area, read my 5 beautiful day trips from Milan for some gorgeous places to visit from Milan.

This free walking tour of Milan is part of my 1 week in Northern Italy travel series.

  1. Walking tour of Milan
  2. Charming walking tour of Verona
  3. Venice Main Island walking tour
  4. Walking tour of Murano Island
  5. A colorful walking tour of Burano Island
  6. In the Dolomites at Barcis
  7. Treviso is a surprising destination
  8. In-depth walking tour of Padua
  9. Short tour of quaint Soave
  10. In-depth walking tour of Sirmione
  11. In-depth walking tour of Genoa
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2 Comments

  1. Md. Rasel Mahmud

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