Visiting Museums in Milan and Lombardy
Art, archaeology, history, literature - find out how to make the most of the museums in Milan and Lombardy using discount tickets and vouchers...
Most state-owned museums (particularly those in the north of the country and cities) are open Tuesday to Sunday, 09:00-19:00. These hours may be shorter in more rural places and during winter.
Privately-owned museums keep their own times. The local tourist office has relevant information.
Archaeological sites generally open from 09:00 to an hour before sunset.
Churches are open to the public and admission is generally free (although there will be a donations box). Visitors should dress modestly when visiting religious sites (no sleeveless shirts, short shorts or skirts or bare feet; shoulders should be covered).
Taking photos with a flash is banned in most museums. When visiting churches and cathedrals it is forbidden to film or take photos during services.
Milan and Lombardy have many museums, monuments and sites of historical interest. In general, museums are closed on Mondays.
Tourist Cards and Discount Packages
Milan Welcome Card
An initiative of the APT of Milan, the Milan Welcome Card includes a day travel pass, discount vouchers to certain tourist attractions, a CD of classical music, a map of the city and a short guide to the city. It can be purchased from tourist information offices around Milan.
- APT Tourist Office
At: Via Marconi 1, Milan (MI)
Tel: 02 725 24301
A 48-hour pass, which once purchased allows free travel on public transport, and free access to some of the museums and attractions in Milan.
- Find out more about the Milan Pass
Bergamo Family Card
The Family Card scheme was launched in 2006. It is specifically designed to benefit the larger families (with three or more children) of Bergamo. The card entitles all members of the family to a range of discounts on food, books and other items. It also provides reduced entry to museums, art gallery and sites of tourist interest.
- For an overview of the benefits of the Bergamo Family Card, visit the Comune of Bergamo website: Click here (in Italian)
National Heritage Week
The Settimana dei beni culturali, a government-organised heritage week, is an annual event during which entry to many museums is free.
- For the Beni Culturali website: Click here (in Italian)
There are many museums in the Milan and Lombardy area. Here is just a selection.
Castello Sforzesco: The Sforzesco castle is an important Milanese monument. It was founded by Galeazzo II Visconti in 1360, was demolished, rebuilt by General Sforza and modified by many nationalities. Entry to the castle is free.
- Castello Sforzesco
At: Piazza Castello 3, 20121 Milan (MI)
Tel: 02 884 63700
Open: 07:00-18:00 (wintertime) and 07:00-19:00 (summertime)
The castle also houses several exhibits in the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Musical Instruments and the Archaeological museum. The museums are open every day except Monday 09:00-17:30.
- Free entry: Fridays 14:00-17:30 and all other days (except Monday) 16:30-17:30
Pinacoteca di Brera: Milan's most renowned art gallery displays works including Umberto Boccioni's Riot in the Galleria, Mantegna's Dead Christ, Francesco Hayez's The Kiss and many more. The collection was built by Napoleon who plundered the riches of nobles and churches. Audio guides and guided tours are available, but tours must be reserved in advance.
Entrance is free to EU citizens under 18 or over 65 years of age. Visitors can also purchase special tickets to visit the Pinacoteca di Brera, The Last Supper (Cenacolo) and Museo Teatrale alla Scalla.
- Pinacoteca di Brera
At: Via Brera 28, 20121 Milan (MI)
Tel: 02 722 631
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 08:30-19:15
Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica: The Science and Technology Museum traces the development of scientific practice through the ages. It displays static and interactive models including the revolving crane and flying machine with manoeuvrable wings. It features the work of Leonardo da Vinci and has a whole hall dedicated to replicas of his inventions. There are also 18 educational exhibits where visitors can perform science experiments. Entry is free to disabled visitors. The museum also provides English-speaking tour guides on some Sundays.
- Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica
At: Via S. Vittore 21, 20123 Milan (MI)
Tel: 02 485 551
Open: Tuesday to Friday 09:30-17:00 and weekends 09:30-18:30
Museo Teatrale alla Scala: This museum displays the Sambon collection of theatrical antiques including musical instruments, paintings and musical scores. Guided tours are available, but these must be booked in advance for school visits.
- Museo Teatrale alla Scala
At: Piazza Scala, Largo Ghiringhelli 1, 20121 Milan (MI)
Tel: 02 887 9247
Open: 09:00-12:30 and 13:30-17:30 daily (except festivals and holidays)
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum: Curious about how rich aristocratic Milanese families lived surrounded by real Italian Renaissance paintings, sculptures and furnishings in the late 19th century, or just love Renaissance art? Nose around the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum aided by the info cards and audio-guide in English (use free with entrance ticket purchase). Sign up on our web site to our free email English-language newsletter for info about our temporary exhibits, concerts, theatrical evenings and children's activities. This is one of Europe's most important and best preserved historic house museums.
- Bagatti Valsecchi Museum
At: via Gesù 5 - 20121 Milan
Open: Tuesday-Sunday, 1PM - 5:45 PM