What to do in Milan? Low cost attractions and free things
Milan, the headquarters of the northern Italian region of Lombardy, is the second-largest city in Italy with a population of almost 1.4 million. Aside from being a global fashion capital, Milan is also a cultural and media center, a hub for higher education, and a global financial pivot, home to the Italian Stock Exchange. Although Milan has a reputation for being an expensive destination, the city actually offers a surprising number of free attractions. So, Milan may seem pretentious to you at first glance, but if you get beneath the surface, you’ll find that there are countless free attractions, from beautiful churches to many unique museums.
Whoever stated that you couldn’t get anything for nothing in Milan clearly hasn’t been there recently. Listed below are some enjoyable pursuits that won’t require you to break the bank.
Piazza del Duomo
The majestic Milan Cathedral is the city’s most well-known landmark and a must-see for any tourist interested in visiting one of Italy’s top destinations. In terms of floor space, it ranks among the world’s top 10 largest churches. It was constructed between 1463 and 1482 and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Visiting this one-of-a-kind structure will cost you €5, but taking in the stunning facade is completely free. From the cathedral square, you may get some stunning shots, especially in the afternoons when the sun glints off the white marble. Simply tossing a few scraps of food into the air can attract a large flock of pigeons to your photo. Explore this impressive structure and landmark in order to grasp its scale.
Photo by Gil Garza / Pexels.com
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Although there are many extremely high-priced boutiques at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, it does not cost anything to stroll through the arcades and take photos of the stunning architecture. Located in the center of Milan, this massive departmental store was one of the world’s oldest, having first opened its doors in 1867. The beautiful commercial arcade between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza del Opera features marble, mosaics, and a stunning glass dome.
The white cross on a crimson background and the famed bull make up the Savoy coat of arms, which is displayed on the floor at the heart of this cruciform edifice. To get back to Milan, you have to make a complete circle by turning once on the bull’s privates, which are a part of the mosaic. That’s what we’ve heard, at least, and it proved to be true in our own experience.
The Cimitero Monumentale, sometimes known as the “Monumental Cemetery,” is a prominent cemetery in Milan. Some of the most significant people in history are buried there. Artistic tombs and monuments transform the area into an outdoor gallery. Since its establishment in 1866, many prominent politicians, businessmen, writers, performers, and members of Milan’s upper class have commissioned artists to create tombs for them. Adolfo Wildt, Gi Ponti, Arturo Martini, Lucio Fontana, Manzù, Floriano Bodini, and Gi Pomodoro are only some of the artists whose work can be found around the grounds. The tomb of Alessandro Manzoni and the grand marble gateway are the two most striking features. The entrance fee to Cimitero Monumentale is nominal, and the grounds can be explored and experienced on your own, but guided excursions are also offered.
Sforza Castle Courtyard and Grounds
Beginning life as a fortress in the 1300s, Castello Sforzesco became a ducal mansion in 1450 under the rule of Francesco Sforza, for whom it is now named. There is a minor admission charge to enter the museum at Sforza Castle, but the grounds and courtyard are free to explore at your leisure. The castle’s outdoor exhibit of antiquities, columns, and statues should not be missed, nor should the moat that surrounds it. Milanese antiques, medieval weaponry, tapestries, and magnificent artwork fill the museum’s living quarters. Da Vinci painted a mural that still hangs on the ceiling of the Sala delle Asse, a room reserved for the duke. The unfinished marble sculpture Pietà Rondanini, reportedly Michelangelo’s last work before his death at age 89, can be found in a quiet room at the castle’s opposite end.
In addition, for a little cost, Vox City offers self-guided audio tours, perfect if you prefer to explore at your own pace without being bothered. This tour will take you inside Sforza Castle, a Medieval-Renaissance castle that was constructed in the fourteenth century. It is one of the most cherished and frequented landmarks in Milan because of its intriguing history and the fact that it was once one of the largest citadels in Europe.
Brera is a historical neighborhood in Milan that was once home to the city’s creative class. Right now it’s a fantastic spot for window shopping. The galleries and antique shops that populate the area’s many small boutiques are on the cutting edge of style. It is also where you’ll find the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan’s most prestigious art museum. It houses some of Italy’s most prized artworks in its 38 galleries. Free entry is offered on the first Sunday of each month.
Also, Vox City provides self-guided tour of various destinations throughout Milan and this is also included in that excursion. Explore the area at your own pace with the help of our convenient navigation features, which provide you with a number of suggested walking routes.