A Complete Guide to Shopping, Food, Art and Culture in Milan

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Advisor - Ali Duvaras
Curated By

Ali Duvaras

  • Italy

  • Milan

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Fashion

  • Foodie

  • Modern Art

A white gothic church opening up to square at Duomo Cathedral Square in Milan, Italy.
Curator’s statement

Milan is often misunderstood as just a transit hub, but it's actually brimming with hidden treasures. With its stunning architecture, upscale boutiques and vibrant dining scene, Milan rivals major Italian cities like Rome and Florence. To truly capture its charm, one should explore Milan by living like a local, uncovering tucked-away artisan workshops and savoring authentic cuisine. This city is not just a stopover. It's a rich, cultural adventure waiting to be discovered.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

Things to do

Mushroom art hanging upside down


Fondazione Prada: Visit the art center designed by Rem Koolhaas, which houses contemporary art in a unique complex of warehouse buildings. Afterwards, grab a treat at the in-house cafe, Bar Luce.

Pirelli HangarBicocca: The best place for international contemporary art. Former industrial plant in Milan that is now known to be one of the largest contiguous spaces in Europe.

Triennale di Milano: Located in Parco Sempione, the space is a design and art museum by Giovanni Muzio that was built between 1931–1933.

Lattuada Gallery-Arte Centro: A modern and contemporary art gallery.


For vintage shopping, check out Cavalli e Nastri, Madame Pauline Vintage or Gioielleria Vintage.

If you are more into luxury, get your shopping done at these top boutiques: 10 Corso Como, Antonio, Gio Moretti, Biffi Boutiques — Banner, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Wait and See Srl.

Lastly, if you’re looking for some home inspiration, check out Nilufar Depot, Cassina and Raw&Co.


Head to the top of the Duomo di Milano to experience an impressive view of Milan and enjoy the rich history of how the Duomo is. Maybe even grab a drink nearby at Maio Restaurant. Explore Milan's famous canals, or walk through Castello Sforzesco – a medieval fortification located in the city.

Eat & drink

Pastries at a cafe
  • Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone: A beautiful courtyard restaurant great for lunch and people watching.

  • A Santa Lucia: If you find yourself close to the Duomo di Milano and craving pizza.

  • Sogni Milano: Head to this vibey restaurant for pre/post drinks and hang out in their lounge. If you can snag a dinner reservation, consider yourself lucky.

  • Paper Moon Giardino: Head here for lunch in between shopping! Great courtyard seating.

  • Fioraio Bianchi Caffè: A small bistro in Brera district. Great spot to sit outside and grab a coffee after a long day of exploring.

  • Giacomo Bistrot: A favorite among locals!

  • Bar Luce: Designed by American Film Director, Wes Anderson, he has recreated a typical Milanese café inside the Fondazione Prada.

  • Le Specialità: Everyone’s favorite pizzeria. It will be hard to pick one thing off the menu.

  • LùBar: If you find yourself hungry after exploring.

  • Indro Montanelli Garden: Grab an outdoor spot for some light snacks.

  • Ristorante la Brisa: Good for a romantic dinner date.

  • Rovello 18: A family-owned restaurant with an easy vibe, offering elevated Italian recipes.

  • Da Giacomo: Elegant, old-school trattoria for upscale Italian classics.

  • Cova Montenapoleone: Grab a sweet treat and coffee.

  • Camparino in Galleria: Old-school icon bar with great cocktails.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy. In need of further inspiration? Check out my guide, Things to do in Mallorca, Spain.