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Sightseeing in Milan extends far beyond its fashion boutiques and upmarket restaurants. There is abundance of culture and history in this beautiful cosmopolitan city, including world famous museums, churches, stadiums and the largest Gothic cathedral on Earth. The ideal time for sightseeing in Milan is spring or Autumn when the weather is warm and balmy and the city is free from the crowds of summer holidaymakers. To make the most of your sightseeing in Milan, there are a number of different savings you can benefit from as a visitor. The MilanoCard offers free public transport and encorporates discounts on selected museums and monuments, as well as bike hire. A 24h card costs €9.50 and a 72h card costs €10. These cards can be purchased from any tourist information office in Milan, or online at www.milanocard.it.
Read more on this destination in the AA City Pack Guide to Milan.
Must-see attractions in Milan
Duomo: The biggest Gothic cathedral in the world, competed in the 14th century under Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti. The brass strip on the pavement near the entrance is part of Europe's largest sundial, laid out in 1786. Above the chancel, the crucifix has a nail from Christ's cross, while the nearby crypt contains the remains of St. Charles Borromeo, who worked with Milan's poor in the 16th century. Open daily from 09:00 - 18:00. Piazza del Duomo, 20123.
Sant'Ambrogio: A spectacular Lombard-Romanesque church, founded in the fourth century by St. Ambrose, patron saint of Milan, whose remains lie in the crypt. The simple church, with relics, carvings and mosaics, is reached through a colonnaded courtyard; outside is Bramante's Cortile della Canonica. Open daily from 07:00 - 12:00 and 14:30 - 19:00. Piazza Sant'Ambrogio 15, 20123.
Museo Poldi Pezzoli: An excellent museum founded in 1881 by Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli. It houses an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings, porcelain, jewellery and clocks. The museum building itself also acts as a research institute and is a great example of a 19th century aristocratic residence. Open Tue - Sun from 10:00 - 18:00. Admission €8. Via Alessandro Manzoni 12, 20123.
Santa Maria Delle Grazie: A Gothic style church, constructed in the mid 15th century and altered considerably by Bramante in 1492 when he added a spectacular tribune, serene cloister and huge dome. Leonardo da Vinci's fragile fresco of the Last Supper is displayed here in the adjoining monastery and is the biggest crowd pleaser. Open Tue - Sun from 08:00 - 19:30. (Reserve at least 2 days in advance). Admission €8. Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123.
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana: An art gallery founded in the 17th century by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Highlights include Leonardi da Vinci's Portrait of a Musicianand Carravaggio's Basket of Fruit - Italy's first still life. The adjoining library also has exhibitions, and is Italy's oldest public library, founded in 1909. Open Tue - Sun from 10:00 - 17:30. Admission €7.50. Piazza Pio XI 2, 20123.
La Scala and Museo La Scala: One of the world's most famous opera houses, named after the church that one stood on its site. Designed and built in a neoclassical style between 1776 and 1778, it has a beautiful interior surrounded by tiers of gilt and velvet boxes seating over 3,000 people. The theatre's museum houses a huge and fascinating collection of opera memorabilia. Open daily from 09:00 - 16:00. Admission €5. Via Filodrammatici 2, 20123.
San Siro Stadium Officially called the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, this five-star stadium is home to AC Milan and Inter Milan football clubs. Book your tickets in advance from the Via Turati club shop, FNAC in Via Torino or online at TicketOne and watch one of Italy's most illustrious teams in one of Europe's biggest stadiums. Every weekend from September until the end of June. Tickets from €17. Via Piccolomini 5, 20151.
Castello Sforzesco: This castle, built in the 15th century by the ruling Visconti family, is one of Milan's most popular landmarks. It was used as barracks hundreds of years ago when the Sforzas fell, until it was converted into a museum complex in the 19th century. Artistic highlights include Michelangelo's unfinished Rondanini Pietà and Arcimboldo's surrealistic portrait of Primaver. Open Tue - Sun from 07:00 - 18:00 (Oct - Mar) and Tue - Sun from 07:00 - 19:00 (Apr - Sep). The castle itself is free and the museum admission is €7.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: A monumental glass-roofed shopping arcade, built in 1867, which links the Piazza del Duomo with the Piazza della Scala. The central mosaic shows symbols of the cities of the newly united Italy. It is considered good luck to stand on the testicles of Turin's bull. The arcade is lined with expensive bars, café's and shops and is a great place for people watching. Piazza del Duomo, 20123.
Pinacoteca Di Brera: One of Milan's most renowned art galleries, founded by Napoleon to showcase treasures from displaced aristocrats, convents and Italian churches. It houses a massive collection of more than 600 works, exhibited in 40 rooms. Highlights include Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna, a striking piece that is viewed from the soles of Christ's feet, and Raphael's sumptuously languid Marriage of the Virgin. Open Tue - Sat from 08:30 - 19:30. Admission €5. Via Brera 28, 20121.