20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN MILAN AT NIGHT

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20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN MILAN AT NIGHT

 

20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN MILAN AT NIGHT, one of the world’s fashion capitals and a worthy competitor to London and Paris is the northern Italian city of Milan. Due in part to this, there is a built contemporary infrastructure to serve both residents and tourists. There are 1.4 million people living in the city, while about two million more live in the surrounding metropolitan area. With approximately 12 million people, the area beyond the major metropolis is built up all the way to the Swiss border and is accessible from the city center.

 

Milan’s commercial importance stretches beyond fashion, so there are significant numbers of business travellers to Milan as well. Nighttime entertainment offers many restaurants, theatres, operas and cultural events. Sport is important to Italians, and two of Europe’s soccer giants, AC Milan and Inter Milan, play in the city. Here are some ideas for how to spend a night in Milan with enough of them to enthral you, whether you’re on a flying visit or a longer stay.

1- LISTEN TO OPERA AT LA SCALA

milan cathedral at night
Theatre La Scala in Milan by night. One of the most famous Italian buildings built in 1778.

La Scala is one of Europe’s most famous theatres and is in the heart of the city, with guided tours available daily and a full programme of performances throughout the year.

La Scala has a proud history, a place where many, many years ago, Giuseppe Verdi and Gioachino Rossini performed.

Architect Giuseppe Piermarini designed the theatre inaugurated on 3 August 1778, with a performance of Antonio Salieri’s opera “Europa riconosciuta”.

More recently, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti have graced the stage here.

La Scala Museum has a wonderful collection of instruments and costumes used during operatic performances.

While on tour, your experienced guide will ensure you learn about the history of the theatre.

Tetro alla Scala is at Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI.

2- ENJOY A NIGHT AT A CONCERT

Another place where you can listen to classical music is in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.

You may find that while you are in Milan, its schedule might include performances of Mozart or Beethoven.

There will certainly be some popular musical performances played in a wonderful setting.

The Sala Federiciana, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana’s reading room, holds regular concerts, a space where you will find yourself surrounded by original Leonard da Vinci paintings.

Current performers are Matteo Fedeli on viola, Magdalena Valcheva on violin, and Cristiano Frisenda on the cello.

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is at Piazza Pio XI, 2, 20123 Milano MI.

3- ENJOY A FOOD TOUR

places to visit in milan at night
Eat delicious Italian seafood with mussels, clams, scampi and shrimp.

Italian cuisine is one of the world’s favourites.

Rather than sit in one location all night, why not take a tour with tastings of the best Milan has to offer?

Taste everything from cannelloni to Colabello, dry-cured ham, meatballs, Milan style to Parma ham.

Drink prosecco and other Italian wines, and at the end, eat delicious gelato (or learn to make it), Italy’s popular ice cream.

A tour like this is always done in small groups and while walking, you will hear more about Italian cooking and visit places that may be missing from the most popular itineraries.

4- LEARN TO COOK THE ITALIAN WAY

what to do at night in milan Pasta Italian cuisine lunch cooking wooden table.
Joining a cooking class is a fun activity in Milan at night.

While you may cook pasta at home, join a talented local chef to pick up tips on how to cook pasta and other Italian favourites.

A tour to learn about Italian cooking is great fun and begins at a local market where you will buy all the produce needed for dinner.

Remember why your chef picks one product from another; that will help you select things when you are back home.

The venue for cooking is a local home where the chef will reveal recipe secrets and prepare a dish.

You can expect a four-course menu which will vary by the season, with a starter followed by pasta.

A main course follows with some side dishes and finally dessert.

Wash down the meal with local wine and end the night sipping coffee and chatting with new friends.

5- LEARN TO MATCH YOUR WINES

Milan is the capital of the province of Lombardy, which is famous for its sparkling wine but also produces reds and rose.

Join an expert in a Milan wine bar and learn more about wine and how to pair Italian wine with typical Italian dishes.

Each of the wines you will taste has a rich history and learn about Lombardy’s wines and what dishes you would eat with them.

Refosco del Peduncolo is a great wine with beef, and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is ideal with both vegetables or a meat pie.

Pinot Nero and chocolate cake go very well together.

The food varies with the season.

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6- HAVE FUN ON A SCAVENGER HUNT

is milan central station safe at night
Old medieval Sforza Castle Castello, with its lit-up facade, walls and tower, is a beautiful building in Milan at night.

A fun way to explore Milan is on a scavenger hunt that you can do at your own pace.

10 of the city’s highlights are included with clues to take you from one place to the next.

There are no time restrictions, day or night.

You simply need to download the app, and you are ready to go to the first destination, then onwards.

The start is at Castello Sforzesco, but from there, you have to solve the clues to head-on.

You can expect to see Milan’s prominent landmarks along the way but do not let it be guesswork; solve the riddles.

7- DINE IN BRERA

Brera is a neighbourhood known for its quality, the heart of the fashion industry, boutique shopping and expensive housing.

It also has several of the city’s top restaurants where you may need to book well in advance.

The dress code is likely smart, so you should check when booking and it certainly is at Emporio Armani Caffè on Armani Hotel’s 7th floor.

Another place in Brera to check out is Fioraio Bianchi Caffè on Via Montebello, a flower shop.

Neither of these places is cheap but they are perfect for special occasions.

8- EXPLORE PORTA NUOVA

bergamo airport to milan at night
The Medieval Porta Ticinese is somewhere to explore in Milan at night.

One of the districts in Milan that has undergone regeneration is Porta Nuova, and it certainly has plenty to offer at night time.

The architecture is stunning and looks especially impressive at night.

You’ll find the city’s tallest buildings, including Unicredit Tower and the Bosco Verticale.

Greenery hangs from every balcony of Bosco Verticale, which is quite a sight.

For a satisfying dinner, there are plenty of alternatives in Porta Nuova, particularly in Piazza Gae Aulenti in the Unicredit Tower complex.

The district is also becoming increasingly popular for its nightlife.

9- TOUR DUOMO

duomo milan at night external at dusk
Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) is an impressive Gothic structure to admire in Milan at night.

Milan’s cathedral is an imposing building, and regularly, its photo is used in tourist material promoting the city.

It was constructed in the 14th century and when lit up, it takes on almost a magical aura.

Book tickets online to explore the cathedral to skip the lines, but you’ll have to pay for entry to its museum and the archaeological area at the ticket offices.

Some of the best views over Milan are from the cathedral’s rooftop, and if you book an evening tour, you will see them and get more information about Duomo from your guide.

The Duomo is at P.za del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI. It closes at 7 pm (last entry 6 pm). You may also like this two-hour guided tour of the city centre at night.

10- WATCH A FILM IN AN OUTDOOR CINEMA

Once spring arrives, Milan has a pleasant evening temperature, with summer evenings warm enough you probably won’t need to wear a coat.

Outdoor living is popular, and there are a few great outdoor cinemas, like Arena Milano Est, where the summer programme includes local and international films.

There are more than just films with comedy performances a regular occurrence as well.

Arena Milano Est is at Via Riccardo Pitteri, 60, 20134 Milano MI.

11- EAT ITALIAN GELATO

is milan safe to walk at night
Trying the different flavours of Italian gelato is one of the fun things to do in Milan at night.

Italy is the home of ice cream, even though frozen milk dates back to the Chinese Dynasties, it was a Spaniard, Antonio Latini, who made sorbet ice cream in Naples in the 17th century.

You will find ice cream shops throughout the city.

Almost every single one stays open until late, so on a summer’s evening, strolling with ice cream is a simple pleasure.

The range of flavours is extensive, with some seasonal specials.

Chocolate, milk and dark, strawberry, pistachio, almond, limone and vanilla are all fairly standard and always popular.

In one of the more famous ice cream shops, La Gelateria Della Musica, all the ice creams take the name of songs or musicians.

12- RELAX IN NAVIGLI

things to do in milan at night
One of the most atmospheric spots in Milan at night is Navigli, where you will find cafes and bars.

Navigli is a neighbourhood of canals in southwest Milan that dates back to the Middle Ages, with a system of five canals – Naviglio Grande, Naviglio Pavese, Naviglio Martesana, Naviglio di Paderno, and Naviglio di Bereguardo.

Designer shopping, good bars and restaurants are a feature of Navigli.

Aperitivo, sharing small plates of dishes with a drink, is available in many bars and restaurants along the canals.

It is a great way to satisfy your hunger if you do not want a substantial meal, and if you have not got too much time, it is also an excellent choice.

The walking paths along the canals provide a lovely romantic setting, especially at night.

In addition to its canals, the Navigli district is also home to the Navigli Flea Market, which is held every Sunday and is a popular destination for antiques and vintage items.

The neighbourhood is also home to several art galleries, boutiques, and other interesting shops, making it a great place to explore and discover new things.

13- TAKE TIME FOR SOME PAMPERING

Italian cuisine is terrific, but it does contain plenty of calories.

You can walk them off, but you still might fancy some pampering, health treatments where you can relax.

Milan is home to several places where you can relax, unwind, and be pampered.

You’ll find luxurious spas that offer a wide range of treatments, including massages, facials and manicures.

These spas are great places to relax and rejuvenate; many offer packages that include multiple treatments.

At QC Termemilano, you will forget that you are in a busy city as you soak in a pool filled with warm water, take a sauna and enjoy a massage.

If QC is the place you pick, you will find it in Piazzale Medaglie D’Oro in the heart of the city.

QC remains open until 11 pm, which is fairly standard for many spas in Milan.

Milan is also home to upscale salons that offer a range of beauty services, including haircuts, styling and colouring, and wellness centres that offer a variety of treatments and services designed to promote relaxation and wellbeing.

These centres may offer treatments such as massages, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation, as well as other services such as nutrition counselling and fitness classes.

14- EXPERIENCE A NIGHT WITH LEONARDO

“The Last Supper” is an iconic painting by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci that depicts the moment when Jesus announces to his apostles that one of them will betray him.

The original is housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent in Milan, Italy, and is one of the world’s most famous and revered works of art.

There are several ways to experience “The Last Supper” in Milan, including visiting the original painting in the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, which is open to the public.

The painting is housed in a dedicated room designed to protect it from the elements and preserve it for future generations.

You can view the painting from a distance, and there are often long lines to get in, so it is best to book tickets in advance.

In addition to visiting the original painting, it is possible to experience a digital recreation of “The Last Supper” in Milan.

Several museums and cultural centres offer digital recreations of the painting, which use technology such as projection mapping and virtual reality to bring the artwork to life in a new way.

These digital recreations allow visitors to get up close and personal with the painting and to explore it in a way that is not possible with the original.

At the World of Leonardo Museum, the interactive exhibits display the skills of Leonardo da Vinci and his contribution to the Renaissance, which was substantial.

While exploring the museum, you will learn of his writings and inventions.

You can assemble one of his inventions in the workshop and reward yourself with a certificate.

Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” has lost some of its colour over the centuries and a digital recreation restores the vividness of his work.

Santa Maria delle Grazie is at Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI and is open until 7 pm. World of Leonardo Museum is open until 9 pm on weekends and holidays at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, 11, 20121 Milano MI.

15- GO SHOPPING IN GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II

where to go at night in milan external people in front of the lit up building.
Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery at Piazza del Duomo in Milan at night.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Europe’s oldest shopping mall, a beautiful arcade that has never lost its appeal; it remains in fashion.

You can’t miss this glass-domed building between the Duomo and La Scala Opera House.

It is laid out over four floors with plenty of shops and restaurants in a light, airy atmosphere.

It looks even better at night under Milan’s lights.

You can expect to find top international brands like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.

Milan’s status as a fashion capital means that all the world’s leading brands have a presence in a city that hosts regular fashion shows.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is at P.za del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI.

16- WATCH A MATCH AT THE SAN SIRO

Two of Europe’s top soccer sides share a single stadium in Milan, the famous San Siro, the largest stadium in Italy with a capacity of around 80,000.

It’s a strange situation bearing in mind their intense rivalry, yet it seems to work.

Indeed, a new stadium is being built next door after San Siro hosts the 2026 Winter Olympics.

The ground share idea is being maintained.

Both clubs have a long list of previous honours, including winning the European Cup (now Champions League).

If a game is scheduled for the time you are there, buy a ticket and enjoy the atmosphere.

Other events are also on the schedule, perhaps a big concert?

San Siro is at Piazzale Angelo Moratti, 20151 Milano MI.

17- ENJOY THE VIEW FROM BRANCA TOWER

is milan safe at night
Sempione Park in Milan at dusk.

Torre Branca (Branca Tower) in Sempione Park, Milan’s largest, is among the tallest buildings in the city.

Gio Ponti designed it in 1933, but a couple of decades ago, it was restructured so visitors could again reach the top after being closed for 30 years.

The elevator ride takes just a minute to get you to 108 metres (354 feet). The views from the observation deck are lovely, especially after dark when all of Milan’s landmarks stand out.

By day, you can see as far as the Alps and the Po Valley when the day is clear.

There is every reason to go up both in the daytime and at night. Skip the lines and reserve your entrance ticket here.

Branca Tower is at Viale Luigi Camoens, 2, 20121 Milano MI.

18- EAT AT STAZIONE CENTRALE

best places to visit in milan at night Slice of pizza with tomatoes on a plate.
Trying out various pizzerias is one of the fun things to do in Milan after dark.

Food and drink are a significant part of Milan’s nightlife.

Stazione Centrale is one of the places where food and drink are especially important.

The Central Station was finished just before the start of the First World War when Italy was a major regional power with land outside its own borders.

The opulence of the station more than emphasised the strength of the city and the country.

It was immediately much more than a transport terminus, but the street food market is relatively new.

Think of your favourite Italian dishes, and you are certain to find them at the market.

Fresh fish is popular with a range of alcoholic and soft beverages to wash food down.

Stazione Centrale is at Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 20124 Milan.

19- DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY

milan duomo at night
Tourists and locals enjoy the Milan nightlife in Duomo Square, the city’s tourist centre.

You will not be surprised to learn that there are many nightclubs in Milan, many open until the very early hours.

If you’re planning on an especially late finish to the night, you need to be certain that the next day does not involve a very early start.

You will find every style of music from hip hop to reggae, swing to rock, some casual, others more formal.

Some cater to the young, others to older people.

There is even the chance to dance the night away outside in the summer.

20- LEARN OF THE CITY’S LEGENDS AND MYTHS

During excavations, ancient burial sites were discovered near the Basilica of San Vittore al Corpo.

A necropolis with 250 skeletons was a major discovery and a creepy place.

The small chapel in Piazzale Aquileia is “decorated” with skulls and an inscription, “What you will be we are now, whoever forgets us forgets himself”.

A mass grave of plague victims and executed people are on the site of the Cappelletta del Fopponino, where a ghost of a heretic roams.

Add the Monumental Cemetery with its legendary stories and Portinari Chapel, where the devil was said to be exorcised by Saint Peter and there are plenty of mysterious places in Milan at night to scare you out of your wits.

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