Milan, Italy

Going on first trip to Milan? Free and other things to do

Updated September 12th, 2019, Posted by travelwith2ofus

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If you love fashion, then Milan is a bucket list must. Milan is one of Italy's largest cities as well as, one of the most expensive tourist cities in the world. The food, travel and accommodation are very costly for the average visitor. However, that doesn't mean you can't have the pleasure of visiting the world's greatest fashion city.

You will be glad to know that you won't need to leave your kids behind on account of the limited budget – there are great things for kids too, and absolutely free.  The following are some of the free things you and your kids can do in Italy's biggest city. You can also check out hotel rates in Milan here as well.

Other Italian cities worth checking out include Tuscany, Florence and Procida.

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Yea! SOME Free Parks in Milan

One of the things we enjoy when we visit a city is its park. Milan has a couple parks that you can check out. The Torre Branca tower, Arena Civica, Napoleonic arch and the Civic Aquarium of Milan aka Acquario Civico di Milano can be found in Parco Sempione, Milan's main city park.

These are among the many reasons why the park is an ideal stop for families. Arco della Pace or the Arch of Peace is also one of the must-see monuments in this park. Look out for the castle Castello Sforzesco as well. Please note you may have to pay a fee to enter the Civic Aquarium.

Parco Forlanini/Forlanini Park is another beautiful park in Milan. Because it is such a large park you will notice joggers, cyclist and locals as well as tourist taking a leisurely stroll. Some of the features in the park include Cascina Cavirano, Cascina Sant'Ambrogio and the Salesina pond, which is a favourite of joggers.

Cascina San Marchetto is an interesting park. It is surrounded by an abundance of rice fields being historically a location rich in agricultural traditions and crafts. The clear water coming from the rock and lakes make this an oasis worth visiting.

Cemmo National Archaeological Park is home to the earliest forms of rock engravings known in Italy. Opened in 2005, engravings depict weapons, scenes of farmers ploughing and hunting as well as animals. Named “Massi di Cemmo” or Cemmo Rocks, Cemmo was also the hometown of painter Giovan Pietro da Cemmo, regarded as one of the most interesting Brescian Renaissance artists.

Guastalla Gardens/Giardini della Guastalla is an ideal gardens to spend the day with kids as it has a playground. If you are traveling with your dogs then you can bring him/her along because there is a dedicated fenced-in area for them. It's also a great place to get some exercise while traveling as you can go jogging or take a bike ride around the park.

Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) and gardens of Parco Sempione.
Arco della Pace and gardens of Parco Sempione, Milan, Italy

Milan Tours

There are many exciting adventures you can do in Milan and its surroundings. Check out some of these tours.

Italy and Switzerland in One Day: Lake Como and Lugano from Milan

Italy and Switzerland in One Day: Lake Como and Lugano from Milan

Visit Italy and Switzerland in one day on a relaxing daylong excursion to Lake Como, Bellagio and Lugano from Milan! Hop aboard a sightseeing boat and cruise around chic Lake Como for 2 hours. Then, get ready to discover the beautiful town of Bellagio. In the afternoon, cross ...

Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour from Milan

Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour from Milan

Take a ride on the Bernina Express, Switzerland's alpine delight. This train journey takes you along one of the most beautiful railway routes in the world – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – through the Bernina Pass to the exclusive resort of St Moritz at the ‘Top of the World ...

Milan Food Walking Tour of Brera

Milan Food Walking Tour of Brera

Eat your way through Milan’s Brera neighborhood on a 3-hour food tour, led by a food-loving local guide! Learn about the city history and cuisine as you wander the atmospheric streets, and enjoy six different food stops for samples of local delicacies and well-known Italian treats. Traditional Milan dishes, artisan beer ...

Join the craze at Milan Fashion Week

The fashion Week, which is observed in major cities around the world, is scheduled to start from the 21st of September and runs until September 27th, 2016, in Milan. It is the biggest fashion event of the year, so you can mark the date in your diary. Entrance is absolutely free. If you can ignore the crazily expensive fashion items on sale, you won't have to squirm in your seat.

Thousands of people attend the event, making it possible for a budget-strapped tourist to camouflage themselves easily and get lost in the crowd. Nobody will notice that you have not picked any fancy shirt or handbag so long as you keep to yourself. Lol ... Shhhh ... I never said it.

Take the kids to the famous Duomo for a visit

The Duomo di Milano is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in the world. It is Milan's biggest cathedral, measuring a staggering 153 meters by 90 meters. It stands at the breath-taking height of 115 meters.

The cathedral sits on a floor area of about 8,300 square meters. The dome is so tall that you can see it clearly from the Giotto Campanile. The main portal bears the statue of St. Reparata, to whom the Duomo was dedicated.

It is absolutely free to enter the cathedral with worshippers on Sunday for the service. It is also a great place for the children as they can admire the marble walls and listen to the service as well.

You may need to carry some packed lunch for them since you are likely to spend quite sometime in the cathedral. Nevertheless, come with a little cash, for sometimes a levy is slapped on all those entering the museum. However, it is only two euro so it may be nothing to worry about. They call it the camera fee and it is levied mostly during the Expo week.

Piazza del Duomo.
Piazza del Duomo, Milan, Italy

Are you afraid of the Cemetery?
Touring the Cimitero Monumentale ... BoO!

Are you afarid of the Cementary? The illustrious history of Milan lives on through the graves of this great cemetery.

The cemetery has a life of its own and is considered the city of the dead. It is home to more than 15,000 statues and three famous buildings. These buildings are Pantheon, the final resting place of the politician Cataneo, Manzoni the writer and other famous personalities in Milan, former crematorium and the Ossario.

Just wandering along the gravel lanes and gazing at the astounding sculptures can make your day. To get to the Cimitero Monumentale, take the M2 Garibaldi and the M5.

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Biking along the Navigli

Nothing can be as refreshing as a bike ride on a Sunday morning along the Navigli. The Navigli are Italy's artificial canals. You can zoom down the Naviglio Grande, starting from Porta Nuova at the city center and enjoy the fresh air as you ride through the open spaces in the countryside.

Thirty Kilometers later, you will have breezed through the beautiful villages of Abbiategrasso and Gaggiano. If you get too tired, you can make your way back on a train.

If the Naviglio Grandedoes don't capture your fancy, there is an alternative: the Naviglio Martesana. It stretches from Gioa and after 40 Kilometers, you come to Adda river.

This route can be more fascinating to historians since it goes through some locks said to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci himself. The route will also take you through a coypu colony, but its landscape is primarily urban.

Naviglio Grande in the evening.
Naviglio Grande, Milan, Italy

Do you feel like dancing in the streets?

Two individuals, Tango Illegal and Mazurka Klandestina, usually organize random street parties for thrifty revelers. They hold the street dances at night, hence the name the Mazurka Klandestina night. If you are in Milan and have no idea what to do with your nights, look out for these street dances. They are absolutely free.

It may not be a good idea to bring along your children considering that they take place at night. Moreover, some of the revelers may not be quite sober and may treat your kids to some discomfiting spectacles.

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Modern Architecture - Gaze the skyscrapers at Porta Nuova

Many skyscrapers dot the Milan landscape. The tallest of them is the imposing Unicredit building in Porta Nuova. This building is a pure steel and glass structure towing into the Milan sky. It is not very far from the Garibaldi station and was meant for the Expo 2015 development.

You can simply sit in the Piazza Gae Aulenti with your children and crane your necks to get a good view of the Unicredit spire. When you have had your fill, get out of the Piazza and take a leisurely walk to Bosco Verticale, a block of flats pointing high into the sky. You can walk through the trees planted around the flats. Use the M2 Garibaldi to get to these elegant buildings.

Porta Nuova.
Porta Nuova Area, Milan, Italy.

Bosco Verticale, Milano.
Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy.

Are you a fan of soccer? Tour the great San Siro stadium then

Are you a football (For Americans Soccer) fan? This is the home of football in Italy. It is one of the biggest football arenas in the world, with a sitting capacity of more than 80,000 spectators.

You will find it in San Siro District in Milan. Two Italian football giants, AC Milan and Inter Milan, operate from this stadium.

During match-days, you will have to pay to enter the enclave. You can avoid the match-days and choose to watch the live match on TV instead. You can visit the stadium on non-match days and walk around the expansive stadium. You may even be allowed into the locker-rooms if you are lucky enough.

To get to the stadium, hop onto the Milan Metro at the San Siro Stadio station and take the M5 service line. Don't forget to bring along your children. It would be great for them to run across the manicured lawn and prattle along the stands. You never know, they may even get inspired to become the next great footballers of their generation.

San Siro arena.
San Siro arena, Milan. Italy

Go window shopping in the Golden Triangle

You are in one of the major fashion cities of the world why not enjoy yourself by going window shopping. Visiting the Golden Triangle aka Quadrilatero d'Oro is a must for anyone who loves shopping. It is an area that includes Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant' Andrea and Via della Spiga.

There you will find a lot of luxury brand names and once you don't get tempted you can enjoy the amazing window displays and the electrifying atmosphere free.

Fashion display, Milan, Italy
Fashion display, Milan, Italy


Have you ever visited Milan? Let us know what you thought about the city.

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