Top 10 free things to do in Milan
The Italian Tourist Board reveals their top 10 sites with free admission, including some of the city's most stunning museums, churches and parks
Milan is a city full of rich history, interesting culture, gorgeous landscapes, relaxing recreational spaces and many sites and attractions you can visit for free.
Here, Visit Italy reveals their top 10 sites with free admission, including stunning museums, churches and parks.
1. Visit the civic museums
Every day from 4:30pm and Tuesday from 2pm you can get free entry to all municipal museums in Milan, except the Museo del Novecento. Explore the Milan history and culture with free entry to the Gallery of Modern Art, Archaeological Museum, Museo del Risorgimento, Civic Aquarium and Egyptian Museum, among others. Every first Sunday of the month the Milanese civic museums adhere to the national initiative that promotes free access to all state cultural venues.
2. Get to know the churches of Milan
Except for the Milan Dumo, all the city churches with their works of art housed within can be visited for free. Stunning city churches include the Duomo in white marble and late gothic style, the cross-shaped building of Basilica of San Nazaro Maggiore, and the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio that contains beautiful fifth-century mosaics.
3. Discover two house museums
The exquisite Museo Studio Francesco Messina and the Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano which houses incredible artworks by Carra, Fontana and Boccioni, both offer free admission in opening hours.
4. Admire the monumental cemetery
The Cimitero Monumentale is more than just an ordinary cemetery; it is an authentic open-air museum with free daily access. The architecture has both Roman and Gothic inspiration, and it regularly hosts readings, concerts and tours.
5. Admire the city from above at Palazzo Lombardia
Every Sunday from 10am to six pm, access is permitted to the Palazzo Lombardia belvedere. The complex consists of a 161,30 metre high tower surrounded by high buildings of sinusoidal shape, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning views. It is the largest covered piazza and most extensive and scenic-open air space in Milan.
6. Visit the abbeys of Milan and the hinterland
The Strada delle Abbazie (Abbey Itinerary) will take you to the southern belt of Milan with the stunning monastery complexes of Clairvaux, Viboldone, Mirasole and Morimondo. These are all free with guided tours on special occasions.
7. Stroll in the city parks
Milan has over 50 parks, green zones and gardens, perfect for a relaxing break that takes you back to nature. Here you can find cycle paths, sporting fields and outdoor exercise areas, as well as kiosks and gazebos so you won’t go hungry.
8. Relax in the Villa Necchi Campiglio garden
A hidden gem in the walls of the residence, the Villa Necchi Campiglio garden is an oasis of peace inside the ‘quadrilateral of silence’. It is a part of the Circuit of Historic House Museums of Milan, and a large garden, swimming pool and tennis court surrounds the villa. A visit here allows you to delve into Milan in the first half of the 20th Century with its rituals and etiquette.
9. Get to know a contemporary artist at Hangar Bicocca
Together with PAC (Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea) and the Fondazione Prada, the Hangar Bicocca hosts great names of contemporary art in its exhibition rooms. Entry to Hangar Bicocca is free, allowing guests to explore exquisite exhibitions of contemporary art and musical events. It is one of the leading spaces for artistic production in Italy, with shows from Mark Wallinger and Alfredo Jaar in recent years.
10. Discover the Botanical Garden and the Astronomical Museum
Close to Pinacoteca, the Palazzo Brera encloses an evocative 18th Century Botanical Garden and an Astronomical Museum both open to the public. The Botanical garden is an open-air museum that epitomises peacefulness at the heart of Milan and allows visitors to discover more about nature. The Astronomy Museum in the same building conserves valuable instruments from Milan University and from the Observatory that is the oldest scientific research institution in the city.
Photography by turismo.milano.it