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Milan Tours

Milan is surrounded by lakes, mountains and other fascinating Italian cities and towns: I'll tell you which are the best excursions from Milan

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

9 min read

Milan Tours

Piazza del Duomo | ©George M. Groutas

Milan is a fashion capital, industrial and economic center, and cosmopolitan city. Its location makes it a perfect base camp for exploring other nearby areas, from magical Venice or Verona, to Cinque Terre or beautiful Lake Como. Here are the best options to see Milan and its surroundings:

1. Guided group tour of Milan's major points of interest

Plaza di Milano at sunset
Plaza di Milano at sunset

With this group guided tour of Milan's major points of interest you will take a walk through the city accompanied by a guide who will explain its history and all the details of its main points of interest, such as Piazza del Duomo with the Cathedral, Piazza Della Scala and its theater or the dynamic Porta Garibaldi district. In addition, this group will be a maximum of 14 people.

What this tour includes

  • 3-hour tour of Milan (without entrance fees to the attractions).
  • English and Spanish speaking guide

What you will see on this tour

  • Chiusa Leonardesca, Leonardo da Vinci's great hydraulic work to connect the city by "i navigli": the locks of the canals
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the first "shopping mall" in the history of Italy and one of the oldest in the world of great elegance
  • Castello Sforzesco, this fortress is one of the most important buildings in Milan, full of curious museums inside

2. Night group tour of Milan by night

Night tour of Milan
Night tour of Milan

Beautiful cities, at night, shine even more and Milan is no exception. With this night tour of Milan, you will see another side of the city while enjoying places like Piazza del Duomo or La Scala masterfully illuminated.

In addition, your guide will reveal the hidden history of Milan, such as that of the noble families and their ghosts, which are said to roam the courtyards of the Castello Sforzesco every night. There will be a maximum of 20 people in the group.

What this tour includes

  • Night tour of Milan of 2 hours (without entrance tickets to the attractions).
  • Guide in English and 4 other languages

What you will see on this tour

  • Castello Sforzesco, Milan's impressive fortress castle
  • Teatro Alla Scala, Milan's opera house and one of the most famous in the world for having served as a stage during its 200 years of life for works by the greatest composers in history
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a historic shopping center that today still houses some of the most exclusive stores in the city
  • Piazza del Duomo, where you will find the Duomo, Milan's marvelous Gothic cathedral, and its most representative building

3. Private and customizable tour of Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | ©Jorge Láscar
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | ©Jorge Láscar

If a group tour is not your thing, but you want to soak up all the history of the city, this private and customizable tour of Milan offers you a private guide for you and your group. Also, if you wish, they will prepare a personalized tour day or night and according to your interests (to be specified at the time of booking) without leaving out must-see places such as the Duomo, the Teatro alla Scala or the Sforzesco Castle.

What this tour includes

  • Customizable day or night tour of Milan (3 hours)
  • Private guide in your language, available in English and 4 other languages

What you will see on this tour

  • Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery
  • Duomo di Milano
  • Teatro Alla Scala
  • Castello Sforzesco

4. Guided tour of the interior of the Duomo of Milan

Interior of the Duomo of Milan | ©JasonParis
Interior of the Duomo of Milan | ©JasonParis

Visiting the Duomo of Milan is an unmissable experience in the city that is greatly enhanced if you do it with a fast-track ticket to skip its long queues of access and accompanied by a guide who will reveal all the history and secrets of this imposing gothic cathedral. I recommend you book online your guided tour inside the Duomo of Milan.

Please note, however, that this tour is inside the Duomo, but does not include a visit to its rooftop.

What is included in this tour of the interior of the Duomo?

  • Fast-track entrance to the interior of the Duomo for one hour (rooftop visit not included)
  • Professional guide in English and Spanish
  • Possibility to do the tour on weekdays or weekends
  • Groups of 25 people maximum
  • Possibility of free cancellation 24 hours in advance

Guided tour of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan

Interior of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan | ©Alejandro
Interior of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan | ©Alejandro

Whether you like opera or not, visiting Milan's historic Scala is one of this city's must-sees.

With this guided tour of Milan's Teatro alla Scala, you will learn about the history of opera and this theater, as well as admire its beautiful 18th-century auditorium, which has hosted the works of composers such as Verdi or Toscanini, and its museum, which exhibits costumes, instruments played by famous musicians and props used in famous performances.

What is included in this tour of the interior of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan?

  • Guided tour of the Teatro alla Scala and its museum (1 hour)
  • Professional guide in English and 5 other languages
  • Possibility of cancellation 24 hours in advance

6. Day trip to the Swiss Alps from Milan on the Bernina Express train

Winter views of the Alps from the Bernina Express | ©Germán Saavedra Rojas
Winter views of the Alps from the Bernina Express | ©Germán Saavedra Rojas

While you're in Milan, if you have time and you like natural landscapes, don't miss a visit to the Swiss Alps, located 78 miles from the city. The best thing about this day trip to the Swiss Alps from Milan is its means of transportation: the curious mountain train that has been crossing for centuries one of the most beautiful railway routes in the world, the Bernina Express, declared a World Heritage Site and with spectacular views of the alpine landscape and its glaciers.

This train will take you from Tirano to St. Moritz, an elegant enclave popular for winter sports and located at the foot of the Alps.

What is included in this excursion

  • Day excursion to the Swiss Alps aboard the Bernina Express (13 hours in total).
  • Bus from Milan to Tirano for train transfer
  • Professional guide on the way in English and 2 other languages
  • Free time in St. Moritz, where you will visit an exclusive resort and the best chocolate shop in Switzerland
  • Free time in Tirano, where you can see the church of the Madonna of Tirano, one of the most beautiful in the Valtellina region

Vicky's Traveller Tip

Milan is a city you can tour in a weekend, but if you can, travel more days and take the opportunity to visit nearby wonders such as Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre or Lake Como.

7. Day trip to Lake Como from Milan

Dawn from Lake Como
Dawn from Lake Como

Como is probably one of the most famous lakes in the world. And one of the most beautiful, no doubt. It is an hour and a half drive from Milan so, if you have time on your trip, this day trip to Lake Como from Milan, is well worth it. It includes a walking tour of the elegant town of Como and its historic center and a cruise on its beautiful lake, amidst a landscape of snow-capped mountains and luxurious villas.

Depending on the time of year you travel, summer or winter, you will visit the charming village of Bellagio or take a ride on the funicular to Brunate for spectacular views of the lake.

What's included in this getaway

  • Day trip to Lake Como from Milan (9 hours in total)
  • English speaking guide and 2 other languages
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Boat trip on Lake Como
  • Cable car to Brunate (from November to March)
  • Visit to Bellagio (from April to October)

8. Day trip to Venice from Milan

Grand Canal of Venice | ©Kit Suman
Grand Canal of Venice | ©Kit Suman

Northern Italy is home to some of the most famous and beautiful cities in the country. Traveling to Milan can be a great opportunity to get to know some of those treasures, such as the incomparable Venice, about 3 hour drive away.

With this excursion to Venice from Milan you will have that opportunity as you will walk through the most important sites of 'La Serenissima', such as St. Mark's Square and Basilica, the Rialto Bridge, and the Doge's Palace. In addition, you will participate in a glass-making workshop and have the chance to include a mythical gondola ride through the labyrinth of canals of this dream city.

What this tour includes

  • Day trip to Venice from Milan with a walking tour of the city (14 hours total duration)
  • English and Spanish speaking guide

What places you will discover on this tour

  • St. Mark's Basilica, the most important religious temple in Venice and one of the most beautiful and famous in the world houses authentic jewels of art inside
  • Doge's Palace, this magnificent Gothic-style building located in St. Mark's Square has been from the residence of the Doges of Venice to the prison during the Republic, being one of the symbols of the glory and power of the city
  • Rialto Bridge, the oldest and most famous bridge in Venice was for years the economic center of the city and is today one of its most visited sites
  • Possibility of 30 minutes gondola ride (not included in the price)

9. Tourist day trip to Cinque Terre from Milan

Cinque Terre from the heights
Cinque Terre from the heights

Another of the wonders that northern Italy has to offer is the Cinque Terre region, World Heritage Site and made up of five charming villages of colorful houses perched on cliffs.

Cinque Terre is about 3 hours from Milan so this excursion to Cinque Terre is ideal to immerse yourself in some of the villages of this fairytale region. You will visit the fishing village of Manarola and its vineyards, as well as Monterosso al Mare, its largest village and where you will take a pleasant boat ride.

What is included in this tour

  • Day trip to Cinque Terre from Milan (12 hours in total)
  • English and Spanish speaking guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Train ride from Manarola to Monterosso
  • Boat trip from Monterosso to La Spezia

10. Day trip to Verona and Lake Garda from Milan

Juliet's house and balcony, Verona | ©Richard Fritzson
Juliet's house and balcony, Verona | ©Richard Fritzson

It has always been and will always be the setting that saw the birth and death of the love between the two most famous lovers in history. Verona is an enchanting city in northern Italy that is possible to visit from Milan in a day. With this guided day tour of Verona and Lake Garda, you will take a walking tour of the city passing through places such as the Piazza delle Erbe, the Roman Arena and, of course, the house of Shakespeare's famous Juliet.

You will also get to know the natural landscape of the area at Lake Garda, an ancient summer resort for the Romans, where you will have the opportunity to board a cruise ship to tour it or take a walk through the ruins of a Roman villa in the area. You will also discover the medieval village that sits on its shore, Sirmione, with its famous castle with the moat of Rocca Scaligera.

What this tour includes

  • Guided day trip to Verona and Lake Garda from Milan (12 hours in total).
  • 2-hour guided walking tour of Verona and visit to Lake Garda
  • Professional guide

You will discover places like

  • Roman Arena, the popular amphitheater where concerts and operas are still organized in summer
  • Juliet's House, where you can look out onto the balcony from which Juliet called her Romeo. This house is the place where Shakespeare set the beginning of the greatest love story of all times, 'Romeo and Juliet'.
  • Rocca Scaligera, the impressive castle with medieval moat preserved in the peaceful village of Sirmione, by the beautiful Lake Garda

11. Other interesting activities in Milan

The Duomo of Milan | ©Valeria Capettini
The Duomo of Milan | ©Valeria Capettini

If you liked this post about the 10 best excursions to discover Milan and its surroundings, you may also find very useful other articles about the city such as Da Vinci’s The Last Supper Tickets and Tours and Milan Duomo Tickets and Tours.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is there to see in Milan?

    Considering that Milan stands as the most populated metropolitan area in Italy, the city can boast both a rich history and cutting-edge modern developments. Milan itself is known for its high end fashion such as the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Duomo Cathedral.

  • Is Milan safe to visit?

    Milan is a very safe place to visit, and the most likely of crimes to occur is petty theft. As Milan stays busy at night, it's also very safe at night, though you might want to avoid Parco Sempione. Finally, as there are many pigions, try to avoid feeding them as you could end up being mobbed by flocks of them.

  • How long does a Milan city tour last?

    Most tours and experiences centred around Milan last around 3 hours, however it does vary depending on what you decide to do.