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Where to Find the Best Views in Milan


Where to Find the Best Views in Milan
Hi, I'm Rebecca!

Rebecca’s first visit to Italy was a coup de foudre and her affection for Il Bel Paese has only grown over almost 30 years of living here, during which time she has mastered the art of navigating the sampietrini cobblestones in heels but has yet to come away from a plate of bucatini all’amatriciana with an unsullied blouse. She covers Italy travel, culture, and cuisine for a number of print and online publications.

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Though Milan can seem strictly modern from street level, from above, its ancient bones come to the fore. A bird’s-eye view highlights the city’s terracotta roofs and winding lanes, the domes and cupolas of medieval chapels and monasteries, and even a few Roman ruins. For an unforgettable glimpse of Milan past and present, seek out these scenic overlooks.  


Branca Tower (Torre Branca)

For Alpine vistas.

This 300-foot-high (91-meter-high) steel tower soaring above Sempione Park, designed by architect Gio Ponti in 1933, is among the highest panoramic perches in the city. Take the elevator to the observation deck for a sweeping view as far as the Alps on the horizon. 

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Duomo rooftop terrace

For famed views.

The most famous—and perhaps most dramatic—vista point in Milan is from the top of its ornate Duomo. Most visitors snap photos from the rooftop itself, but be sure to stop a few times on your way up to frame your shots with the ornately carved arches and spires.

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You can't miss Milan's Duomo when in the northern Italian city. Photo: David Robert Hagerman / Viator

Navigli District

For street-level sights.

Milan also offers delightful views from street level in the historic Navigli District, a former working-class neighborhood that is now one of the trendiest corners of the city. Crisscrossed by canals, the area is thick with chic bars and galleries. Be sure to visit at night, when the lights reflected off the surface of the water make for dramatic photos.

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Bernina Express

For mountain panoramas.

Considered one of the most scenic trains in Europe, the Bernina Express passes spectacular glaciers, gorges, and valleys in the Swiss Alps just north of Milan. Take a day trip along this narrow-gauge line, which runs between Zermatt and St. Moritz, to enjoy unforgettable mountain vistas.

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Take a ride on one of the most scenic trains in the world. Photo: David Hagerman / Viator

Hot air balloon flights

For bird's-eye views.

To widen your horizon beyond the city, set off with a hot air balloon flight in the countryside just outside Milan. Take in the rolling hills of Lombardy and Piedmont as you drift with the wind, snapping photos of the lush landscape, pretty vineyards, and placid lakes from the sky.

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Hi, I'm Rebecca!

Rebecca’s first visit to Italy was a coup de foudre and her affection for Il Bel Paese has only grown over almost 30 years of living here, during which time she has mastered the art of navigating the sampietrini cobblestones in heels but has yet to come away from a plate of bucatini all’amatriciana with an unsullied blouse. She covers Italy travel, culture, and cuisine for a number of print and online publications.

Keep exploring
See all Milan tours
749 tours & tickets
Things to do in Milan
See all things to do in Milan
Milan Neighborhood Guide
6 Must-See Milan Neighborhoods and How to Visit