10 unexpected museums in Milan

Discover Milan like a local

If you are coming to Lake Como most likely you will land or arrive by train in Milan – the fashion and business capital of Italy – a must-see destination during your time in Italy. We are sure that you’d like to know, as many of our clients do: “What do locals do in Milan?” Over the years, we have collected many suggestions for you on what to do to discover Milan like a local.

We know where to stay, and where to eat. Obviously, we recommend visiting the Duomo and some of the most known spots like Teatro la Scala or Cenacolo Vinciano (Last Supper). But today, we want to focus on some tips on how to explore a more the hidden Milan, with unusual and unexpected museums we truly think you should visit. 

Following is a short guide with 10 unexpected museums in Milan highlighting why we love them and why we think you will too… So, here you can read our list to discover Milan like a local, visiting museums:

Armani Silos: not just a fashion museum

Armani Silos: not just a fashion museum

Why we love it: From the moment you enter this museum, you are captivated by beauty, creativity and luxury. Everything is breathtaking! From the architecture of the building to the display and the clothes themselves. Here Giorgio Armani’s talent is just wonderfully obvious!

Perfect for: Fashion lovers and anyone with a love for beautifully crafted things.

Opening Hours: Wed to Sun • 11 am – 7 pm

Location: Via Bergognone, 40 Milano, Italia

Villa Necchi: a design residence with its quiet “secret” garden

Villa Necchi: a design residence with its quiet “secret” garden

Why we love it: Luxury, art and glamor in the heart of Milan. This Villa, gifted to FAI (Italy’s National Trust) in 2001 by the Necchi Campiglio Family, is a jewel of the architecture of the 30s. As well as is the perfect quiet place to restore yourself before exploring more of the city of Milan.

Perfect for: those who want to immerse themselves in the glamorous world of Milan’s interwar years and get a bit of quiet in the hustle of the city.

Opening Hours: Wed to Sun • 10 am – 6 pm

Location: Via Mozart, 14

Shoah Memorial: hidden but not forgotten

Shoah Memorial: hidden but not forgotten

Why we love it: this is truly “Hidden Milan” as it is definitely unusual and unexpected to find a museum located deep within Milan’s main train station below the main tracks. We strongly recommend this place as – per their own words – “Of all the places in Europe that had been theaters of deportations, the Milan Memorial is the only one that has remained intact. […] It’s a place where one can actively work through the tragedy of the Shoah. The Memorial is meant to be a place of study, research, discussion, and interchange: a memorial for those who were, for those who are, and especially for those who will be.”

Perfect for: those interested in deeply understanding Italy’s past and sparking a meaningful conversation on difficult topics. Because traveling should not only be fun and relaxing. A good choice if you are coming with teenagers or young adults.

Opening Hours: 10 am – 4 pm • Closed on Friday

Location: Piazza Edmond J. Safra 1

Pietà Rondanini: an unexpected Michelangelo masterpiece

Pietà Rondanini: an unexpected Michelangelo masterpiece

Why we love it: an unfinished masterpiece by the great Michelangelo that shows his work process and passion for marble. Locals in Milan love to enjoy less crowded masterpieces like this one.

Perfect for: anyone who just loves art

Opening Hours: Tue to Sun • 10 am – 5:30 pm

Location: Castello Sforzesco – Piazza Castello

Fondazione Prada: a golden palace of art

Fondazione Prada: a golden palace of art

Why we love it: we think the visit to this modern and contemporary art museum is worth it just to admire the stunning architecture… I mean, the building is literally GOLD. If that isn’t a cool and unusual thing to do in Milan we don’t know what is. Trust us when we say that you will definitely find locals here!

Perfect for: all of the art and architecture lovers out there

Opening Hours: 10 am – 7 pm • Closed on Tuesday 

Location: Largo Isarco,2

Pirelli HangarBicocca: stunning art in a fascinating setting

Pirelli HangarBicocca: stunning art in a fascinating setting

Why we love it: a stunning contemporary art museum close to the Bicocca University Campus used for various expositions. Check their website to see what’s on and learn more about the fascinating history of this building.

Perfect for: This varies from exposition to exposition! 

Opening Hours: Thu to Sun • 10:30 am – 8:30 pm

Location: Via Chiese 2

Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro: a House of sculture!

Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro: a House of sculpture!

Why we love it: this is not just a museum but a gem of rare and visionary beauty. Learn, explore and create in this inventive, almost experimental space. Visit the studio and the Labyrinth and learn through workshops both for adults and/or children.

Perfect for: almost anyone curious we find it a great family museum.

Opening Hours: Tue to Fri • 11am – 1pm/ 2 – 7pm

Location: Via Vigevano, 9

Museo Della Scienza Leonardo Da Vinci: learning has never been more fun!

Why we love it: from a stunning collection of trains, cars, planes and even a submarine that you can visit, this museum has been recently renewed and has wonderful and immersive exhibitions that will enchant adults and kids alike. A special mention to the Leonardo da Vinci Galleries.

Perfect for: Families especially with young and curious children.

Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays • hours vary depending on the season.

Location: Via san Vittore 21

Biblioteca Ambrosiana: a library home to Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus

Biblioteca Ambrosiana: a library home to Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus

Why we love it:

visiting the Biblioteca Ambrosiana only takes about an hour, but it’s well worth it… this library looks like the ones in fairytales and it might just be one as it contains rare and antique copies of books making it one of the most important libraries of the world.

Perfect for: book lovers and curious minds.

Opening Hours: Closed on Wednesdays • 10 am – 6 pm

Location: Piazza Pio XI, 2

Museo delle Illusioni: experience the impossible

Museo delle Illusioni: experience the impossible

Why we love it: This is definitely an unusual and unexpected museum you should visit as it is great fun at every age. An unique experience that will challenge what you perceive as real but we’ll not say any more to not spoil the fun! 

Perfect for: just having a bit of fun in an unusual way, perfect with children

Opening Hours: Closed Thursday • 10 am – 8:30 pm

Location: Via Luigi Settembrini 11

Duomo, Milano

Whether you are visiting Milan with kids, your loved one or friends we’d love to help you with even more tips on cool and unusual things to do in Milan. Therefore don’t hesitate to write us if you want help planning a great stay in Lake Como and while you are here discover Milan like a local. You can find us on Instagram for more cool and unusual things to do in Milan, Lake Como and Beyond.

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