Milan: modern, stylish, and fast-paced. You won’t find the ancient buildings and laid-back lifestyle of Rome here. This city is completely different, but charming in its own way.
What first stands out about Milan are its ancient Gothic cathedral, old buildings, museums, atmospheric cafes, and the hustle and bustle of a thriving metropolis.
To truly explore this city on a deeper level, you have to immerse yourself in it and stay for a while. Only then will it reveal its secrets.
To make this an easier task for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best places that you can visit with your four-legged friend.
How to Travel in Milan with a Pet: Walking Routes
First and foremost, you have to take a walk at the city’s main square - Piazza del Duomo, or Cathedral Square. This is the historical and social center of the city, a place where you can stroll around with your furry friend while you admire the old buildings and shop for souvenirs from local craftsmen.
The square is always crowded. No wonder, because this is the home of Milan’s famous Duomo Cathedral. Its facade is like an elegant marble cliff, looming over the entire city. One could spend hours in this church viewing the thousands of sculptures that depict scenes from the Bible. This miracle of architecture was erected over the course of five centuries, and judging by its magnificence, it was worth it.
After you’ve walked around the square, head over to the most famous opera house in the world, La Scala, through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (The Gallery of Victor Emmanuel II). This covered passage was built in the shape of a cross and is decorated with various sculptures and mosaics. Its translucent ceiling creates a special atmosphere.
After that, you can visit the Sforza Castle, a 15th century defensive fortress whose construction involved some of the most famous architects in Milan - even Leonardo da Vinci himself. The Castello Sforzesco houses many priceless objects, sculptures, and paintings inside, but even its exterior makes for lasting impressions and memorable photos.
If you long to find your soul mate and have a wonderful wedding, then the fountain near the main entrance to this castle can help you. They don't call it the “Wedding Cake” for nothing. A popular local tradition holds that whoever throws a coin into this fountain will soon find themselves at the altar to begin a new family with the one they love.
Another place in Milan with ties to Leonardo da Vinci is the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore. This is where the famous fresco "The Last Supper" is located. This ancient building was erected at the turn of the fourth and fifth centuries, and is the second largest church in Milan. Despite its many restorations, the structure’s classical Byzantine architectural elements have survived to this day. Directly in front of the basilica is a pedestal with a sculpture of Emperor Constantine. According to legend, this is where the ruler proclaimed the freedom to practice Christianity.
Be sure to visit the Piazza Mercanti - this is a truly Italian square whose unique atmosphere is sure to steal your heart. Come here with your dog to gaze at the ancient castles, the facades of which feature sculptures by D. P. Lasagna, as well as the architecture and monuments of the “Palace of Wisdom” (Palazzo della Ragione).
Continue your walk through the Naviglio district, an incredibly picturesque and romantic place in Milan. Once upon a time, an attempt was made to create a “second Venice” here by building an extensive network of canals. There are only three canals left today, the most remarkable of which is the Naviglio Grande. There are footbridges, antique shops, and art studios along its course. It extends beyond the city limits and into an area full of amazing villas with flower gardens. In the spring and summer, you can take a sightseeing tour by water taxi along the Grand Canal to see the city from a new perspective.
On the last Sunday of every month, the Italian antique market (Mercatone dell'Antiquariato) is open in Naviglio. It’s impossible to miss, because it is constantly teeming with vendors, tourists, and interior designers looking for decor for their projects. Take advantage of the opportunity to buy yourself or your loved ones a memorable souvenir.
If you’re in the mood for a chuckle, you can visit the Middle Finger monument. That's right - everyone’s favorite indecent gesture. This unusual art piece was installed over ten years ago next to the stock exchange building. Its creators wanted it to serve as a symbol of protest against the financial division of society. The monument was expected to be left standing for just a few days, but local residents liked it so much that there are still no plans for its removal.
After walking around the city’s concrete blocks, you and your dog will probably want to touch some green grass or try a park path. The best place in Milan to do so is in Sempione Park. It’s actually quite large - nearly a hundred acres. You can access it via Sforza Castle.
This park features a classic English garden style, with tranquil walking paths, shady seating areas, and fountains. There is also a museum where you can see musical instruments as well as various sculptural and architectural structures.
You could wander around Milan forever and never get bored. But it could also be nice to take a break from all of the new sights and experiences. To that end, we’ve put together a selection of hotels where both you and your pet will be welcome!
Where to Stay in Milan: The Most Comfortable Dog-Friendly Hotels
Hotel Roxy (***)
A room at this dog-friendly hotel has everything you need: air conditioning, a TV, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom. Every morning the hotel prepares a breakfast with Italian desserts, so a pleasant culinary experience awaits you when you wake up.
The Roxy Hotel is located near the Milan Cathedral. There are also cafes and shops nearby, and the Parco di Villa Manzoni, where you can walk with your furry friend, is just a few minutes’ walk away.
Pets can stay at this hotel for free, but the weight limit is 22 pounds, and there can be no more than one pet per room.
NH Milano Touring (****)
This hotel is within walking distance of the city center and Via della Spiga shopping street. For walking your dog, the Giardini Pubblici park is very close.
The rooms have a classic modern style. There is air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a TV.
An excellent breakfast is prepared every morning in the onsite restaurant. For lunch and dinner, there is always something new to try, whether it be from classic Italian or international cuisines.
No more than two dogs are allowed per room, and no pet can weigh more than 55 pounds. There is a flat fee of 25 euros per pet for the entire stay.
Hotel Manin (****)
Hotel Manin is located next to the La Scala Opera House and the Milan Cathedral. The hotel offers wonderful panoramic views of Indro Montanelli park.
The elegant rooms here feature a high-quality TV and a marble bathroom. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, and Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. There is also a free fitness center.
On hot nights, you and your pet can relax on the terrace or in the beautiful garden. When it’s warm out, the restaurant also serves lunch and dinner outside.
Accommodation for dogs is free (up to 25 pounds, and only one per room).
Rosa Grand Milano (****)
This dog-friendly hotel is located in central Milan, a short walk from Milan Cathedral. The hotel overlooks Piazza Fontana. It offers two cozy restaurants, a modern wellness center, stylish rooms, and free Wi-Fi.
All rooms have a TV, minibar, work desk and very comfortable beds. The hotel also features a wellness center, fitness area, lounge, and a sun room.
All of Milan’s most popular sights are just a stone’s throw away, so getting out with your pet to admire the architecture is quite convenient.
Staying with your pet is free (weight should not exceed 22 pounds). Food and water bowls are available upon request.
Armani Hotel Milano (*****)
The Armani Hotel Milano is housed within an early 20th-century building designed by architect E. Griffini. The rooms have coffee machines, branded furniture, and natural stone bathrooms.
Not only can you revel in new experiences at this hotel, but you can also take care of your health, as you will have a fitness center, sauna, and Turkish bath at your disposal.
The walk from the hotel to La Scala Theater and the Milan Cathedral takes about ten minutes, and just a little farther is Sempione Park, where you can walk your dog.
Accommodation for your pet is free (maximum weight - 25 lbs). Food and water bowls are available upon request.
Milan is a great place to shop, relax and have memorable experiences. As a prominent center of Italian culture, famous for its timeless art by world-famous masters, the city is sure to inspire your creative side.
Come to Milan with your dog and admire a city that will feed your passion to fulfill your dreams. Take a walk along its ancient streets and remember that nothing is impossible!