Milan Castle: opening times, guided visits, tickets, etc.

Milan was the cradle of the Roman Empire for 200 years and because of its importance, Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, had the Castello Sforzesco built. Join the best tour and discover why the Milan Castle is the symbol of the city.

Carla Yaquer

Carla Yaquer

10 min read

Milan Castle: opening times, guided visits, tickets, etc.

Castello Sforzesco, Milan | ©Alejandro

Visiting the Castello Sforzesco is one of the must seeand do activitiesin Milan. Although the city is currently known as the capital of European fashion, among the museums, theaters and monumental areas, the Milan Castle is an irresistible plan for any good traveler who travels through the largest metropolitan area of Italy.

Milan Castle houses 7 museums, libraries and exquisite art galleries dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Andrea Mantegna and Bramantino. It is also flanked by tourist attractions such as Piazza Mercanti, the famous Duomo, Milan's Arc de Triomphe and more. Here's how to get tickets and everything you need to know to make the most of your visit.

How to get tickets for the Castle of Milan

Sforzesco Castle| ©Alejandro
Sforzesco Castle| ©Alejandro

Admission to the Sforzesco Castle is free. Just show up at the entrance hours and you will be able to visit the internal spaces. However, to visit the museums and exhibitions, you will have to buy a ticket. Don't worry, the prices are cheap, as we have already seen, from 3 €.

Do the tickets include an audio guide?

No, the price of the audio guide is from 3 €. This is one of the largest and most symbolic castles in European history, every corner is imbued with personality and interest, such as the famous Venetian knots that are part of the decoration of the Sala delle Asse, a work whose tree branches intertwined by Leonardo Da Vinci, make up one of the emblematic spaces of the castle.

If you speak English or Italian, I recommend that you buy the audio guide so as not to miss any details. The audio guide is not available in English.

How much does the entrance ticket to Milan Castle cost?

Sforzesco Castle, Milan| ©Alejandro
Sforzesco Castle, Milan| ©Alejandro

The entrance to the Sforzesco Castle is free, however, to visit its rooms, museums and specialized exhibitions, you must buy a ticket that costs between 3 and 5 €.

Can I visit the Milan Castle for free?

Interior of the Castle| ©Alejandro
Interior of the Castle| ©Alejandro

Yes, on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 2:00 p.m. admission is free. Another day that you can also enter free of charge are Sundays. However, remember that this admission does not include a guided tour and the available rooms are limited.

Considering that only the outer defenses are 3 km long and have four levels, I think it is wise to buy a guided tour.

Who can enter the Milan Castle for free?

  • Under age visitors. From the age of 18 and older must buy their tickets.
  • Groups of high school students and teachers who anticipate their visit can write to [email protected] to expedite the process.
  • Certified tour guides who belong to the European Union.
  • Tourist interpreters who assist the guides.
  • Disabled persons, also their companion enjoys the benefit.
  • Journalists.
  • Superintendents and academic personnel authorized by the museum management. If you wish to take advantage of this benefit, please let us know in advance of your visit by writing to [email protected].
  • Members of the Sala delle Asse and the Friends of the A. Bertarelli Print Collection. Bertarelli Collection.

Is the guided tour inside the Milan Castle worth it?

Exteriors of the Castle| ©Rafael López
Exteriors of the Castle| ©Rafael López

Being the main wall in Milan, it is worth its weight in gold to take the time to see this medieval building. Not surprisingly, you should book in advance to take a look at the rooms, museums, exhibits and libraries inside. Milan' s well-known fortress houses and offers to the public:

  • The La Pietà Rondanini Museum - dedicated to Michelangelo, who completed this work a few days before he passed away.
  • The Museum of Musical Instruments.
  • The Egyptian Museum.
  • The Museum of Ancient Art. One of the most exciting museums in Milan where you can book your tactile tour.
  • The Museum of antique furniture and wooden sculptures.
  • Two archaeological museums.
  • One of the largest collections of Italian paintings. A visitto the Pinacoteca di Brera is one of the top activities for art lovers.
    And a dozen other gigantic halls.

The Egyptian room is often undergoing restoration to protect the works it contains, so make sure it is available before visiting.

Some sections of the castle, including the crenellated walls and the covered passage "Ghirlanda", are accessible only by private tour. I recommend you to choose on Hellotickets among the best tours and excursions from Milan one that fits your time and budget.

Book your excursion to the Castle

Why visit the Castle of Milan?

Pinacoteca di Brera| ©Pierre André
Pinacoteca di Brera| ©Pierre André

The Sforzesco Castle is a Gothic-style fortress built in the fifteenth century by the Visconti dynasty that served as the home of the reigning family in the city in 1450. It is regal, dominating and, if you want to know in depth why it was the center of the Roman Empire for so long and its evolution within the Sforza dynasty you must visit it.

Originally this castle was a military citadel. Over the years, the changes of governments and republics have left their mark on this place, which is why it is impossible to talk about art, culture and tradition in Milan without highlighting this space.

On the other hand, the design of its walled brick walls was in charge of Leonardo da Vinci, who added imposing round battlements, gardens, museums and a tower with panoramic views of the city and is considered one of the masterpieces of genius. To this fortress was added the Torre Branca, one of the modern cultural assets in the Parco Sempione so impressive that it is considered the Eiffel Tower of Milan.

Are the entrance tickets to the Milan Castle included in any of the city's tourist passes?

Castello Sforzesco| ©Alejandro
Castello Sforzesco| ©Alejandro

Yes, I tell you:

  • With a Lombardy Museums Pass. For the purchase of your subscription you receive a year of free visits to the participating museums and exhibitions, including a visit to the Castello di Milano. The subscription comes annually and tickets for adults cost about 45 €.

  • With the Esselunga program. By combining subscriptions, coupons and joint tickets can be redeemed tickets to enter the Castle of Milan. Approval depends on seasonal promotions as well as the availability of available seats.

How to get to Milan Castle

MIlan Bus| ©Blue moon in her eyes
MIlan Bus| ©Blue moon in her eyes

The Sforzesco Castle is located in Piazza Castello, 20121 in Milan. You can get to visit it in different ways, I leave you how to get there from the most frequented meeting point: Milan Centrale station.

  • By subway:
    By line 1 from Cadorna or Cairoli stations you will be 200 meters from the castle. The first one leaves you on one of the sides, passing by the Museo della Pietà Rondanini while the second alternative invites you to pass by the Torre del Filarete.

By subway line 2 from Centrale Fs to Lanza station. There you walk 300 meters and you will arrive at the gates of the castle.

  • By bus:
    Lines 18, 50, 37, 58, 58, 61 and 94 stop in front of the castle.

  • By streetcar:
    Lines 1, 2, 4, 12, 14 and 19 have a stop a few meters away.

  • By car:
    You can go along Via Vittor Pisani and you will find it 3.6 km away. If you choose to go along Foro Buonaparte you will find it 4.5 km away (this road also takes you directly to the nearest parking lot, the Buonaparte Parking).

Where to park

If you go with your private or rented car you have several options for parking.

  • At the Salone del Mobile Milan: located at Foro Buonaparte, 65, 20121 Milan.
  • At the Buonaparte Parking: just 300 meters from the Castle, you can find it in Via Giacomo Puccini, 5, 20121 Milan.
  • At the Garage Sforza: it is located in Via Francesco Sforza, 4, 20122 Milan. Ironically despite its name, this is the furthest option from the castle, it is 1.8 km. This option is suitable if you want to enter the Duomo of Milan before reaching the Castle.

Is it advisable to go to the Milan Castle with children?

Sempione Park| ©Alejandro
Sempione Park| ©Alejandro

Yes it is recommended, especially if it is a family outing. Milan Castle is a beautiful place where children have special activities in and around its Gothic walls.

  • Inside the Castle
    Children between the ages of 4 and 12 can enjoy workshops and guided tours every weekend. The activities are part of a collaboration between Ad Artem, Aster, Opera d'Arte and Le Voci della Città for children to explore and discover the history of the city. Visit theSforza Castle website for details and to plan your visit in advance.

  • Around the Castle
    Apart from the imposing building designed by Leonardo da Vinci, the Castle's parks and gardens form the green lung of Milan with their paths and ornamental fountains. It is a very beautiful place. In this space is the Parco Sempione, a design by Emilio Alemagna that has a tower, an aquarium, a theater, a library and a large green area with a pond to match the spectacular nature of this fortress of Milan.

The place lends itself to take pictures of 10, especially if you visit it in summer. You can write down this visit in the top of things to do in Milan with children.

What not to miss at the Milan Castle

Outside the Pinacoteca| ©Julien Maury
Outside the Pinacoteca| ©Julien Maury
  • The visit to the Sala delle Asse. The Castle of Milan is impregnated with works bearing the signature of Leonardo da Vinci and with the passage of time researchers continue to bring to light part of the memories of that genius.

In the Sala delle Asse, besides being surrounded by the Venetian Knots, the frescoes of "Trompe-l'œil" or "trap before the eye" stand out, where realism is present. In 1893 a part of this painting was discovered and careful examination has been ongoing. In 2013 another part of the fresco and its history were added to the curiosities of this impressive room.

  • The Museum of Michelangelo's Rondanini Pietà. Knowing the relevance of this artist, you won't want to miss this peculiar room.

  • Don't miss a visit to the Pinacoteca di Brera, a bohemian place that houses masterpieces by Bramantino, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Canaletto, Lorenzo Lotto, Correggio, Tintoretto and many more.

  • The Sempione Park. Its gardens and ornaments alone are worth the visit to the Castle of Milan. From its highest point you can get a nice panoramic view of the Lombard capital while the atmosphere relaxes you.

  • Last but not least, get close to the Arco della Pace or the Triumphal Arch of Milan.

Book your excursion to the Castle of Milan

How much time you need to visit the Milan Castle

Sforzesco Castle| ©Alejandro
Sforzesco Castle| ©Alejandro

The Sforzesco Castle is huge and houses as we saw a rich amount of internal museums, exhibition halls, as well as seasonal activities. To visit it completely it is ideal that you reserve at least half a day of your itinerary. 4 to 5 hours will be enough time to complete the visit.

In my opinion, the ideal is to reserve a day to walk between the Sforzesco Castle, climb to the Terrace of the Duomo of Milan and take the opportunity to visit the Pinacoteca di Brera.

Opening hours of the Milan Castle

Milan Castle| ©Alejandro
Milan Castle| ©Alejandro

The Castle is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm. The Castle Museums instead have shorter opening hours. You can visit them from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30.

All sections are closed on Mondays, December 25, January 1 and May 1.

Tips for visiting the Milan Castle

Last Supper, Da Vinci| ©Dimitris Kamaras
Last Supper, Da Vinci| ©Dimitris Kamaras
  • Travel by public transport. Use the metro or a bus to reach the Castle, it is practical, fast, cheap and has stops just a few meters away.
  • Reserve a day to get to know the area. The Sforza Castle is the center of Milan's main tourist attraction area, around it you get from Giuseppe Piermarini'sLa Scala Theater to the Santa Maria delle Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its world famous tour: the visit to Milan's Last Supper.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and cool clothes, especially if you visit the city in summer.
  • Buy your tickets in advance or sign up for one of the most complete tours to the Sforzesco Castle, I tell you how to do it and why I like this option.

The best guided tour of the Milan Castle

Milan Duomo| ©Benjamin Voros
Milan Duomo| ©Benjamin Voros

If you are interested in visiting the capital of Lombardy without forgetting the main landmarks of its long list of monuments, I recommend a guided tour from the Duomo to the Sforzesco Castle.

The experience offers you the opportunity to visit the courtyard and the interior of the Sforza Castle and get to know the history of one of the most imposing noble families of Milan in a much more intimate and personal way. This tour also highlights different emblematic Italian works to explore the artistic memory of Lombardy.

Why I like this option: it is undoubtedly one of the best tours and excursions from Milan and includes a minimum of four stops.

  • Milan Castle. Better known as its walled fortress.
  • La Scala Theater where Milan's opera comes to life.
  • The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Where you can among other things visit Leonardo Da Vinci's last supper in Milan.
  • The tour of the Duomo square, where there are 10 other things to see and do including passing by the Cathedral, the central point of the square.

This tour is the most complete, including the four stops mentioned above with enough time to enjoy the works and continue the tour of the city.

This tour is recommended if you want to see the four sites of interest mentioned above, plus a visit to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. All in all, this is a tour of contrasts and history with an expert to make sure you don't miss a single detail.

Other interesting facts about the tour

  • Price: From 204 €.
  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
  • What the tour may include: An expert multilingual historian leading the tour and answering your questions. A guided tour inside the Castle of Milan. Entrance tickets to La Scala Theater and Milan Cathedral.