Milan is one of the most expensive cities in Italy, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have a fantastic experience. In fact, sometimes the budget-friendly stuff ends up being the most memorable and fun. After exploring the city with our Milanese friend Camilla, we can share some awesome free things to do in Milan with you.
In this article we’ll cover budget-friendly places and activities throughout the city based on our own experience. Go ahead and put away your wallet, lace up your shoes, and get ready for some literally priceless entertainment.
1. Visit The Navigli District
The Navigli District is a great hangout and people-watching location. This area is characterized by cool architecture and interesting streets punctuated with several canals. It has a distinct alternative, youthful vibe and a proliferation of street/offbeat art.
Wander here and you’ll find people lining the edges of the canals kicking back. Often times there is music in the air and street performers in the vicinity as well. If you make the Navigli District a stop on your itinerary, you’ll have the ability to take in the local culture in a relaxed atmosphere.
2. Go To Parco Sempione
Parco Sempione is located in Milan’s historic center and covers an impressive 386,000 square meters. The north side of the park ends at the beautiful Arco della Pace (Milan’s version of the Arc de Triomphe) and the south end is bordered by the medieval Castello Sforzesco.
The park is a hangout spot for locals, and a great place to sneak in some exercise or a picnic during your stay in Milan.
3. Wander The Brera District And Visit The Brera Academy Botanical Garden
Out of all the free things to do in Milan, I think this one might be my favorite. The Brera district is a lovely bohemian neighborhood that will run away with your heart. It’s home to enchanting architecture, hip restaurants, and artists. Just being in this district was enough to sweep me away.
It’s also home to the Brera Academy, a distinguished fine art school. The school has a public botanical garden that we absolutely loved and highly recommend visiting.
4. Visit The Bull Of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II For Good Luck
This one is a little silly, but definitely a little fun as well. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an epicenter of Milan’s luxury shopping and shows of some amazing architecture.
The Galleria is stunning enough to visit just to walk through, but there’s a fun little tradition you can partake in on you visit here too. In the middle of the Galleria is a tile mosaic of a bull with a slight divot in the center. The tradition says if you put your right heel in that divot and spin to the right three times you’ll be blessed with good luck.
5. Visit Piazza del Duomo
Even if you don’t pay the admission fee to go inside the cathedral, visiting the Piazza del Duomo in Milan is a must.
The cathedral is crazy stunning high gothic architecture, and the surrounding plaza is really beautiful. Just go have a seat and soak it in.
Do You Have Suggestions For Free Things To Do In Milan?
If you have experience in this fine city and have other free things to do in Milan please share by commenting on this article. We would love to hear from you!
P.S. — If you want to budget for a couple of activities in Milan, check out our overall list of things to do in Milan.