The Best Milan Itinerary for 3 Days in the City

From must-see art to the most memorable meals, we've rounded up the greatest things that Milan has to offer (because you deserve it)

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Naviglio Grande, Milan, Italy

Milan is one of Northern Italy’s main hubs – a perfect destination whether you’re into shoes, museums or the stock market. If you're heading to the city, this itinerary will give you plenty of time to relax in your Plum Guide home as well as the chance to impress your loved ones back home by taking selfies in front your stories of The Last Supper.

Day 1: Morning

Stroll through the artistic quarter

Once you’ve settled into your Plum Guide Milan home - and no, you can’t really say that you’ve ‘done Milan’ if you just relax on the sofa all day admiring the interiors - head straight to the charming Brera area. Stroll the streets and admire the independent boutiques filled with things you don't need but will inevitably buy.

A tram passing through Brera, Milan

A tram passing through Brera, Milan

Eat a pastry at one of Milan’s oldest cafes

Pasticceria Marchesi is a Milanese institution, and with three locations in the city you’ll always be nearby. Definitely order the famed panettone. Just don’t be the idiot that asks for a cappuccino after lunchtime - in Italy, that’s akin to chairing your next board meeting naked.

Day 1: Afternoon

See The Last Supper

If you’ve never seen Leonardo’s skills up close, now’s your chance. Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie houses The Last Supper, one of his most famous works. Don’t be a tourist and skip seeing the Renaissance Casa degli Atellani across the road, where Da Vinci himself lived and tended to its vineyards. Nursing a fantasy about moving to Italy and making your own wine? You and us both, but an expertly curated Milan itinerary of 3 days will have to do for now.

Day 1: Evening

Peck at your food

Whether you’re into cheese, truffles and deli meats (frankly, who isn’t?) or a simple but sophisticated sit-down dining experience, Peck has it all. A great choice for your first night in the city, it’s the place to try Milanese classics such as riso al salto (crispy Milanese risotto) and osso bucco.

Go out on the town

Seeing as it's your very first night in the city, there's only one place for it – Navigli. Its streets, laden with artsy canal-front bars, host quite the nightlife scene making it the perfect neighbourhood to grab a drink and enjoy the view.

Day 2: Morning

Modern art to cure a sore head

Your first instruction for tomorrow is to down at least three espressos to deal with that hangover - you’re not young enough to get away with that to the same extent you used to be. Secondly, get yourself to the nearby Museo del Novecento, with its collection of 20th century artworks, featuring pieces by Kandinsky, Picasso and Modigliani. For lunch, the rooftop restaurant Giacomo Arengario is the place to go. It's a popular haunt amongst the fashion crowd, and you’ll get an impressive view of the Duomo too.

Day 2: Afternoon

Walk the 251 steps to the Duomo roof

Speaking of views, for the best view of the city, climb up the rooftop of this famous gothic cathedral (or you could just jump in the lift - your secret's safe with us). If any of your companions make a joke about how you resemble one of the 3,500 statues and gargoyles on the roof with you, throw them over the edge. (Don't do that.)

Hit the shops

Located (conveniently) just around the corner, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was built in 1867 and is one of the world’s oldest shopping emporiums. With its four-story double arcade with mosaics, marble floors and a glass ceiling, it’s great for giving your credit card(s) a real workout.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan

Day 2: Evening

Go to an opera

Going to Italy without seeing an opera is akin to not staying at a Plum Guide home when you travel - a real waste of time. Teatro alla Scala is world-famous, and is poised to indulge your passion for the opera. When the curtain falls, enjoy a late dinner at Antica Trattoria della Pesa.

Day 3: Morning

See some luxury

On the last morning of your Milan itinerary of 3 days, the fashion quarter will be calling your name. Even if that name is Mr Socks With Sandals rather than Mr Stylish, the buzzy atmosphere of Via Monte Napoleone is sure to set your heart alight with desire for fine leather goods.

Day 3: Afternoon

A traditional lunch

The actually-authentic Ristorante Al Mercante is a favourite amongst locals for lunch, so find yourself a table here. The restaurant is run by siblings Claudio and Simona Romanini who personally greet all diners as they enter. But its their traditional Milanese cuisine that steals the show, which is even more impressive than their manners.

King of the castle

We want to treat you like the royalty you are, so for your last afternoon of your Milan itinerary of 3 days, we’re sending you to a castle. The Castello Sforzesco is a Renaissance wonder. Once the home of the Sforzas and further back the Viscontis, the rulers of Milan, it has courtyards-a-plenty to admire and is also the location of Michelangelo’s unfinished masterpiece, the Pietà Rondanini.

Head to the park

Once you’ve seen enough architecture to be able to design your next house extension, head to the park. The Parco Sempione sprawls around Castello Sforzesco and is well worth your time, with a lake, open spaces and paths to explore. If you like heights, take a turn ascending Giò Ponti's 1933 steel tower, which has a 108m high platform to admire the view.

Day 3: Evening

Have a blowout last supper

Identità Golose is a true gastronomic paradise, making it the perfect venue to mark your final evening in Milan. Famous chefs from Italy and beyond, with past examples including Alain Ducasse and Massimo Bottura, make Southern Italian-inspired food here so it's sure to be one to remember. That's as long as you don't go overboard on the negronis...

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