Who said nothing is free in Milano? Museums without entry fees, street art tours, Art Nouveau architecture, parks and even a visit to the opera for everyone. Here is a list of 10 things you can do without opening your wallet.
1. Free museums in Milan
There are several museums, studios and house museums in Milan that you can visit without spending a euro. The following can always be visited for free: Palazzo Morando | Costume Fashion Image, Palazzo Moriggia | the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum, the Francesco Messina Studio Museum and MUDEC - Museum of Cultures permanent collection which houses a large selection of finds from global cultures, ranging from the ancient Andean civilizations to the Far East.
Alternatively, if you are a contemporary art fan, the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca hosts free installations and exhibitions featuring prominent international artists. You can also walk amongst Anselm Kiefer's permanent site-specific installation, The Seven Heavenly Palaces.
2. Discover Milan’s “Sistine Chapel”
Not everyone realises that Milan also has its very own “Sistine Chapel” that can be visited for free. As soon as you step inside San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore you will be awed by the stunning array of paintings, stuccos and frescoes that cover every wall and ceiling space.
With the exception of the Duomo, all the city churches, with their wonderful interior artworks, can be visited without an entrance fee.
3. Admire the Monumental Cemetery
Cimitero Monumentale is an authentic open-air museum, freely accessible every day. It regularly hosts readings, concerts and organized tours.
4. Have a Stroll in the City Parks
There are over 50 parks, green zones and gardens in Milano, and these are ideal for a relaxing break in nature.
5. Hunt for Street Art around the city
Milano Street Art could surprise you around any corner, in the city centre and in the neighboroods alike. Street art hunting is free and alllows you to discover unespected places in the city. You may like:
- Our street art in Ortica neighborhood
- Download the app and see street art get alive with MAUA - Museo d'Arte Urbana Aumentata (the website is in Italian, but the Language of art is universal).
6. Discover Brera Botanical Garden
A stone's throw from the Pinacoteca art gallery, still within Palazzo Brera itself, you will find the Astronomical Museum with the Schiaparelli dome, but also a precious eighteenth-century Botanical Garden, open to the public and free to visit.
7. Jump on a tram and see Milan
Well, it's not exactly free, but it is a great low-cost experience. And most importantly it enables you to get your bearings in the city. For the price of a public transport ticket, you can make your own tram tour of Milan.
If you get on the n°14 tram, which connects Lorenteggio to the Monumental Cemetery area, crossing some famous districts - Chinatown, Brera, the city centre with the Duomo and Galleria, and the Navigli - you will stop close to a lot of the city’s major tourist attractions.
Or, for a tram trip with a retro touch, you can catch the historic n°1 tram which crosses via Montenapoleone, then passes in front of the Teatro alla Scala and the Arco della Pace.
8. Art Nuveau in Milan
Porta Venezia is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Milan. But it is also one of the areas where you can see some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. This is where you have to come to discover the jewels of Art Nuveau architecture: the buildings around Piazza Eleonora Duse, the Berri-Meregalli houses on Via Mozart 21, Via Barozzi 7 and Via dei Cappuccini 8, Casa Galimberti on Via Malpighi, with its magnificent fully decorated façade, and Casa Campanini on Via Vincenzo Bellini 11, with its iconic entrance.
9. Stroll around the Castello Sforzesco courtyard
The Cortile delle Armi of the Castello Sforzesco is always open to visitors, free of charge. You can also admire the Ducal and the Rocchetta courtyards. Alternatively, every first and third Tuesday of the month, from 14:00 onwards, and every first Sunday of the month, admission to the Castello museums is also free.
10. See an opera at the Teatro alla Scala for free (or almost)
If you are not on the list of lucky invitees who will attend the Prima della Scala, every year on December 7th, you still have a chance to experience the magic of opera in Milan. Thanks to the Prima Diffusa project, a live broadcast of the special operatic event will be shown in numerous locations around the city.
Apart from the opening night, if you want the unforgettable experience of seeing the opera in one of the most famous theatres in the world, you can try to get a seat in the Balcony. For almost all the shows, La Scala, offers numbered tickets for seats with reduced visibility, with significant discounts (for the opera circa 14 euros, prices can go even lower for the ballet or the symphonic concerts): you just need a lot of patience and you must join the queue in via dei Filodrammatici (more details here - Limited view Balcony seats).
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