Among the most expensive cities are Rome, Florence and Milan. The latter stands out particularly due to its status as the main business and banking city in Italy. Despite the fact that Milan is typically busier with international businesspeople and bankers than it is with tourists, there are still plenty of reasons travelers have Milan on their must-see list. Here are some of the best free things to do in Milan.
- Milan Duomo. Milan’s iconic cathedral is free to enter, although if you want to tour the Treasury you’ll have to pay 1 euro. As a bonus, it’s a great refuge from either hot or wet weather, too.
- Castello Sforzesco. The old castle itself now houses several different museums and art galleries, most of which charge admission but strolling the castle grounds is free.
- Enjoying Milan’s Parks. Milan isn’t known for its green spaces, but it does have a few relatively big parks right in the city center. In nice weather, they’re popular with locals and visitors alike, and in the summer you’ll often find musical acts or other performances going on.
- Window Shopping. Although Milan’s famous high-end shopping districts like the Quadrilatero d’Oro or Brera are very expensive, wandering down the streets lined with designer shops can be as much fun for the window shopping as it is for the people-watching.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This beautiful shop-filled building lies next to the Duomo and although it’s expensive to buy anything in any of its stores, you can walk through it and just enjoying the gorgeous.
- Spinning on the Bull’s Balls. While inside the Galleria, don’t miss the opportunity to bring yourself a little Italian good luck. In the center of the mall you’ll see four mosaic shields – on one of them, a prancing bull, there is a hole where his genitals should be. In stereotypically superstitious Italian fashion, spinning on the bull’s balls on one’s heel is supposed to bring luck.
- Palazzo Reale. This “Royal Palace” was actually once the center of Milan’s government. The building now houses a tourist information office, so it’s worth a stop anyway, and you can also tour the palace museum for free and see a former theatre on the second floor.
- Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte Museum. This palatial former private residence is now a museum displaying artwork from the 18th and 19th century.
- Milan’s Aquarium. The aquarium in Milan isn’t particularly notable when compared with the top aquariums of the world and it’s fairly small, but it’s still a fun (and free) diversion.