Milan as a city has so much to offer to every person who visits. But while you may want to visit the most popular places in the city, you may also want to discover some of the lesser known spots in Milan. The touristy side of Milan tends to be extremely chaotic and busy during the peak seasons. The best way to get away from all this hustle and bustle is to explore the hidden gems in Milan and discover the real essence of the city like the locals. Take a tour of Milan off-the-beaten path and visit the hidden spots in the city, away from the big crowds and loud noises.
Here are 22 hidden gems in Milan off-the-beaten path for you to explore on your upcoming trip to the city:
Leonardo’s vineyard is a hidden gem that is right in the middle of the city and can be easily reached by public transportation. This vineyard was gifted to the artist by the duke of Milan as a token for all the artwork he produced for the city. The vineyard is right next to Casa Degli Atellani where you can find the famous last supper by Da Vinci. The vineyard is a quaint place to have a nice wine or aperitivo. You could also just take a stroll and experience one of the hidden gems in Milan off-the-beaten path.
The Palazzo Lombardia is an architectural marvel. It lets you enjoy some of the most stunning views of the Milan cityscape. The Lombardia palace has a belvedere on its top floor that is open to visitors from 10 am to 6 pm every day. From this belvedere, you get the beautiful panoramic views of Milan and even the Alps, far off in the distance. There are long queues to enter the palace but it is totally worth your time. The Palazzo Lombardia should be on your Milan bucket list.
The Hidden Terrace
After a long day of sightseeing and waiting in line, the hidden terrace is an ideal place to sit back, relax, and unwind. This hidden gem in Milan off-the-beaten path is located in the Corso Como area. It is located on the first floor of an art gallery in the Corso Como area. You will find a spiral staircase leading up to a rooftop garden. This is one of the most relaxing places to visit in the city if you want to take a break and look at the skyscrapers of Milan.
The Hidden Cascina is located in the heart of the city and is surprisingly different from its surrounding urban atmosphere. It is for sure a very beautiful hidden gem in Milan off-the-beaten path. This was once an old farmhouse surrounded by acres of farmland which is now the city of Milan. The ambience of the Cascina will make you feel like you have left the city behind and entered the countryside. There are plenty of things to indulge in while you are at the Cascina, like getting a freshly cooked meal, exploring the gardens and the farmers market, taking a break to enjoy nature, and exploring the numerous events that are held in the Cascina.
This is a garden that will make you feel like you are in Africa or South America. The Villa Invernizzi is a one of a kind garden where you will find exotic imported birds like pink Flamingos and Peacocks that roam about freely. You can also find ducks swimming in the water features and hear the musical chirping of these birds. Villa Invernizzi should be on your bucket list as it is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Milan off-the-beaten path.
Naviglio Martesana Cycle Path
The Naviglis around the city gives the city that Venetian look. The pathways around the Navigli are one of the best ways to explore Milan if you are short on time, as you can just cycle around from place to place. The pathway is very scenic with the canals on one side and the beautiful sights of Milan on the other. This is one of the more convenient things to do and ways to explore Milan.
Duomo di Milano Rooftop Terrace
The Duomo di Milano is one of the more iconic spots in Milan and you’ll find all the tourists flocking to the Duomo. But, to experience one of the best hidden gems in Milan off-the-beaten path, you will have to go to the terrace of the Duomo. This rooftop experience is like nothing else Milan has to offer, especially for photography during dusk. The panoramic views of the city centre and the top view of the tourists below makes you feel like an angel watching from the skies. This hidden gem should definitely be on your Milan-bucket list.
Book a skip-the-line ticket to the rooftop here.
There are numerous churches in Milan and you will find something interesting in all of them. Exploring all the churches can be a task, so here are three churches that aren’t as popularly known but are some beautiful hidden gems in the city:
San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
Also known as the Sistine Chapel of Milan, the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a beautiful church with excellent architecture and frescoes on the interior walls and ceilings. This was once a monastery of the Benedictine order. Today, it is a museum that you can explore.
San Bernadino alle Ossa
San Bernadino alle Ossa also known as the chapel of bones is an unusual chapel located in the Duomo area of Milan. This chapel will give you an eerie and supernatural vibe as the interior of the chapel is adorned with human bones. This chapel was the solution to cemetery overcrowding as human remains were stored in the church.
Basilica di Santo Stefano Maggiore
This is one of the oldest standing churches in Milan being well over a thousand years old. The Basilica di Santo Stefano Maggiore is located right next to San Bernadino alle Ossa. You can visit this church and experience the passage of time through the walls and interiors of the church as it has stood the test of time.
Brera Botanical Garden
One of the more hip hidden gems of Milan is the Brera Botanical Garden. Located inside the Brera palace, this tropical piece of paradise is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy some time with your loved ones in the middle of a natural oasis. The gardens are not too large in area but compensate for it through their beauty and peaceful ambience. You can visit this hidden gem in Milan from Monday to Saturday.
Bull of Vittorio Emanuele II
The bull in the centre of Vittorio Emanuele II is a quirky centrepiece. It is said that if you spin around the privates of the bull you will be granted good luck and fortune. This legend brings thousands of tourists to the bull, but it is still relatively hidden from the mainstream attractions. As you visit the bull, you can browse through the shops inside the gallery and do some shopping.
Located in the poshest area of Milan, the vertical forest is one of a kind. It houses almost nine hundred trees within two buildings and is stunning to look at. You can take a walk around the buildings and admire the beauty of the vertical forest. The buildings look like something out of a movie and are one of the best hidden places to visit when you are in Milan.
Shopfronts in Brera Districts
The shopfronts in Brera District are completely unmissable as you walk by this fashion and art hub of Milan. The design district as the locals call it houses many shops with beautiful shop fronts that display their unique products. You can window shop as you walk along the design district and visit some of the exhibitions that are organised to promote the latest and best in world fashion and design.
Pinacoteca di Brera
The Pinacoteca di Brera is a gallery that houses some of the best collections of paintings found in Milan. The gallery is located within the Palazzo Brera. You can also find a library on the top floor that is stunning and has a large collection of old books. It is the best place in Milan for any book lover.
La Montagnetta is a little hill as the name suggests. This hill and the park surrounding it is truly a magical place and the best to witness the sunset as you sit on the green grass. This hidden gem of Milan should be on your bucket list if you want to experience a little magic while in Milan.
Other things to do :
Milano East Market
The east market is a good place to explore, hang out and chill. You can find different items here at a fairly cheap price point. You can walk around the market, buy things, eat some street food and enjoy a drink.
Do the groove on Sunday is a group that organises EDM parties all over Milan. They are spontaneous and exciting as they can pop up at any new location and give you an enthralling experience like nothing else. This organisation started to boost the nightlife of the city that is definitely something you should experience.
La Casa con l’Orrechio
La Casa con l’Orrechio is named after a secret ear that is placed next to its main door on the wall. This used to be a part of the building’s interphone system which is now out of service. An urban legend associated with the building is that if you whisper your wishes into the ear, they will come true. You can try this hidden gem out yourself.
Colibri is located in the university district of Milan and serves as a place for students to relax after lectures. This cozy and comforting cafe is a bookstore and bistro as well where you can sit and enjoy your books or have an igniting conversation over an aperitivo.
Ma’ Hidden Kitchen Supper Club
If you want to experience a posh but approachable fine dining experience then the Hidden kitchen supper club is the place to be. The hosts are amazing at making you feel at the place and you get to enjoy a scrumptious four-course dinner. It’s better to get your bookings done in advance as it tends to fill up fast.
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