In Milan, as already mentioned in other pages of our website, and as you probably know, has many attractions to offer. Among them, and specifically for those passionate about culture and art, are over a hundred museums you can explore and enjoy. There are so many well-noted museums in the city, but we’ve managed to pin-point ten of the very best, most recommended museums to make things easier for you, so if you’re in town for merely a few days – here you’ll find some information.
Now all you have to do is choose:
Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)
Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)
At Piazza Castello you’ll be able to admire one of the most famous examples of renaissance architecture, the Sforza Castle – a magnificent structure built by Francesco Sforza in the 15th century. In addition to the castle being one of the historic symbols of Milan, it is actually a collection of a large number of historically- and artistically notable museums, among which is the Egyptian museum, the Pinacoteca, the musical instruments museum and the museum for ancient art. One of the sections holds what’s considered to be Michelangelo’s last work, dated back to the second half of the 16th century.
Address: Piazza Castello – 20121 Milano
Website: Castello Sforzesco Museum
Brera’s Pinacoteca (Pinacoteca di Brera)
One of the most notable museums in Milan is the famous Pinacoteca, located in the Brera district. It is famous for its impressive collection of art dated all the way from the 14th century to the 20th century. Among countless pieces you’ll find the ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Caravaggio, ‘The Kiss’ by Hayez and many more.
Address: Via Brera 28 – 20121 Milano
Website: Pinacoteca di Brera
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
One of the most famous paintings in the entire world, by the one and only Leonardo Da Vinci, that has become one of building blocks in teaching of painting techniques, is situated at an old church, and is essentially painted on one of the church’s crumbling walls. It is, in fact, not an actual museum in the common sense of the word, and visitors come to observe this one and only piece. Arriving in Milan and going to see The Last Supper is almost a cliché, and yet, still – it is a recommended attraction. It is well worth the trouble of pre-ordering tickets online ahead of time, since it is almost impossible to enter without obtaining a ticket about two months in advance.
Address: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie – 20123 Milano
Website: The Last Supper
The Ambrosian Pinacoteca
This cultural institution was found in 1618 to guarantee free cultural education to those demonstrating artistic and intellectual positions. The gallery constitutes the oldest museum in Milan. It holds many notable pieces by well-known artists such as Titian, Botticelli, and Raphael.
Address: Piazza Pio XI, 2 – 20123 Milano
Website: Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Poldi Pezzoli Museum
This notable museum exhibits art donated by the Milanese collector Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli. It presents masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Bellini, Hayez and many other famous names in the history of Italian and international art. The Poldi Pezzoli museum is essentially one of the most important Italian art collections in Italy and worldwide.
Address: Via Alessandro Manzoni, 12 – 20121 Milano
Website: Museo Poldi Pezzoli
The Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale)
Right at the city center, in Piazza del Duomo, in addition to the famous cathedral you’ll find the royal palace. Since 1919 the palace has become a home for prestigious exhibitions, both on a national and international level. The exhibitions change but their high level always remains. Through the years these exhibitions included ones dedicated to Monet, Van Gogh and others.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 12 – 20122 Milano
Website: Palazzo Reale
The 19th century Museum
(Museo del Novecento)
This museum is located in proximity to the Palazzo Reale, in a marvelous building, and exhibits a permanent collection of art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Pieces by artists such as Kadinsky, Picasso, Boccioni and many others are presented here.
Address: Palazzo dell’Argenario, Via Guglielmo Marconi, 1 – 20122 Milano
Website: Museo del Novecento
Holocaust Memorial Museum
(Memoriale della Shoah)
This relatively new museum opened its gates in January of 2013 for the first time. It is located at an underground street, right below the grand central station of Milan, on platform number 21 – the platform from which trains transporting Jews, hidden from the eyes of by passers, departed to the concentration camps of Flossenburg, Ravensbruck, Bergen-Belzen, Mauthauzen and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The museum is modernly built and hosts many groups of students and citizens of the city. There is no information in Hebrew (mostly in Italian, and some in English), yet the experience is spine-tingling, due to the unique display and the horrors that took place.
Address: Piazza Edmond J. Safra, 1 – 20124 Milano
Website: Memoriale della Shoah
The La Scala Theatre Museum
(Museo Teatrale alla Scala)
This fascinating museum is situated right next to the La Scala opera house. It holds one of the richest collections of stage costumes, including rare sketches and signed pieces. In addition, it exhibits many other items linked to the opera and music world, such as portraits, letters and ancient musical instruments. Visiting this museum ensures a lovely experience even for those who aren’t the biggest opera fans, and purchasing a ticket to an actual opera show is not mandatory and is available separately.
Address: Largo Antonio Ghiringhelli, 1 – 20121 Milano
Website: Museo Teatrale alla Scala
Museum of Italian Unification
(Museo del Risorgimento)
This museum, established in 1886, is a showroom dedicated to the Italian unification, one of the most significant processes in the Italian history. It is located in the Moriggia Palace, which housed the ministry of foreign affairs in Napoleonic times. The museum exhibits articles, weaponry, prints, art and many other historical remnants from 1796-1870, the period of time in which Napoleon conquered Rome.
Address: Via Borgonuovo, 23 – 20121 Milano
Website: Museo del Risorgimento
Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
(Museo Nazionale Scienza E Tecnologia Leonardo Da Vinci)
This is Milan’s science museum. It is located in a beautiful structure that is quite impressive on its own. In addition to both changing and permanent exhibitions, some of which may interest children as well, it also houses various activities and workshops specifically designed for the younger generation.
Address: Via San Vittore, 21 – 20123 Milano
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 09:30-17:00, Saturday-Sunday 09:30-18:30. The museum is closed on Mondays that are not public holidays.
Milan’s civic Gallery of
Modern and Contemporary Art
(Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporane)
Located right next to the city’s public gardens, on the opposite side of Palestro Street, is Milan’s gallery of modern art (shortly known as GAM). It is housed in a magnificent palace that turned into a museum in 1921. This glorious, amazingly beautiful palace, in which the gallery lies, is essentially a royal villa with historical significance, as it was previously used as Napoleon’s house in the city, after he conquered northern Italy. The place’s beauty and wealth has been kept ever since, and it appropriately serves as the quarters of the marvelous pieces presented in it. It is without a doubt the most noted modern art museum in Milan, focusing on art dated to the 19th and 20th centuries. The GAM doesn’t hold any contemporary and post-modern pieces. In the grand halls of this gallery you’ll be able to find hundreds of pieces made by the best impressionist, expressionist and modern artists, such as Cezanne, Gauguin, Modigliani, Max Ernst, Andy Worhal and various other Italian and French artists of the modern movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. On the top floor of the building you’ll also find Neo-Classical sculptures by 20th century Italian artists, such as Canova, Marini and others. This gallery is truly a paradise for the modern art lovers – the art that has broken the Realism tradition during the 19th century, and has become stronger by the 20th century. It is a place that combines the splendor of the past with the Italian and international art of the recent past.
Address: Via Palestro 16, reachable by the red Metro line (Palestro station stop).
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 09:00-17:00, last entrance 30 minutes before closing.
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