That being said, let’s see what Milan has prepared for us! I started with a glass of prosecco! Cheers!
- HOW TO ARRIVE
Milan is the capital of Lombardy Region and it is located in the North of the Italian Peninsula. It is also the second most populous city in Italy, well known for fashion industry. Tons of girls will kill for an invite to Milan Fashion Week.
The easiest and comfortable way to reach this capital city is by plane, but if you are coming from Europe, you can also find some good train connections.
If you arrive to Milan by airplane, you are going to land at one of the following airports: Malpensa International Airport, Linate Airport and Bergamo Orio Al Serio Airport, so three options, probably being one of the reasons you can find such cheap flights. I once bought return tickets Bucharest-Milan for less than 25 Eur.
- Malpensa International Airport is one of the two hubs of Alitalia, the Italian national flag carrier and the most important international airport in Italy, along with Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (Rome). It is situated 50 km from the city center and it operates both international and domestic flights.
From Malpensa to Milan Central Station or Centrale FS, you can get:
– the express train situated in Terminal 1 on level -1 for 13 Eur one way and 20 Eur return ticket;
– a shuttle bus for 8 Eur one way and 14 Eur for the return ticket;
– a taxi which will cost your around 90 Eur.
- Bergamo Orio al Serio is an airport located in Bergamo, near Milan, and it serves the low-cost traffic of Milan. That being said, it also has numerous flights due to cheaper tickets. As you can see on the map above, this airport is situated approximately 45 kilometers from the center of Milan.
From Bergamo to Milan Central Station, you can get a bus for only 5 Eur one way and 9 Eur for the return ticket.
- Linate Airport is the smallest one and also the closest to the city center, only 7 kilometers away. It is used for domestic and short-haul international flights.
The centre of Milan can be reached by bus line 73, the final stop is Piazza San Babila. This square is located in the centre of Milan and has a metro station (Piazza San Babila – metro line M1) that can be used if you want to travel to other places within the city limits. Given the fact that the airport is so close to the city center, you can also get a taxi that will cost your around 15-20 Eur.
- WHERE TO STAY
Well, being the most cosmopolitan city in Italy, you sure have plenty of choices when it comes to accommodation. As you probably got used already, I always search for best prices on central hotels, so I can explore as much as I can on my holiday.
For Milan, I recommend staying near the Central Station for many reasons:
- This is the place where the buses from the airport leave you so you do not need to carry your luggage around the city in order to get to your hotel;
- The area is cleaner than before and I did not feel unsafe at all by staying here (and I did stay for four times, so I guess I can have an opinion);
- You have a long list to choose from for any preferences;
- Prices are way cheaper than in any other central locations;
- You have metro right in front of Stazione Centrale so you can easily get to any place you want. For example, you have a direct line to the Duomo and only 4 stations, meaning around 10 minutes;
- If you decide to stay in the city till late, a taxi will cost you around 12-15 Eur from the Duomo, so you won’t get ripped off.
- HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY
Milan itself can be visited in two days if you are eager to explore. That does not mean you have nothing to do here after that. If you have visited Rome before coming to Milan, there is a slight chance you will be disappointed. It surely depends on what you like to do most on your travel days.
If you are into Italian cuisine or you are a dying to drink a cup of Italian coffee, you won’t get enough of Milan. I can never say no to a couple of days here just to enjoy “la dolce vita”.
- WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT
To be honest, it was really easy for me to decide how to call this blog post, since “My Lasagna Heaven – Milan” kept popping up in my head <3
I am such an Italian cuisine lover that I always find a reason to come back. Of course, Italy does have amazing places to visit, but food is definitely a plus!
That being said, I have some RECOMMENDATIONS for you:
- Bar Madonnina – on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II just 3 minutes away from the Duomo – where you can find the best lasagna ever or, at least, my favorite one. I always pay a visit to this place and it never disappoints me. As a plus, a portion of lasagna is less than 10 Eur so it won’t affect your pockets either.
PS: I also recommend trying a glass of Berlucchi rose wine!
- Bar Duomo – this place offers the best view of the Duomo so it is a must even though I tend not to recommend such touristy places. It is the perfect spot for breakfast or “colazione” (as the Italians use to call it). Great coffee accompanied by a croissant or the traditional cannoli.
But, if you are hungry, do not worry: they also have such a tasty pizza to enjoy with this perfect view.
PS: They also have outdoor heaters for the cold season.
- Galleria Ristorante – staying in the heart of the city, this place is situated right in the well known Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the main attractions in Milan. Prices are a bit higher, but not to worry: one pizza is between 9-13 Eur so you have what to choose.
PS: Try their yummy desserts <3
- Ristorante Pizzeria Il Kaimano – a gem in Brera, where you can actually find so many tinny Italian restaurants. We chose this one for dinner and had a lovely time.
- Terrazza Aperol– which I totally recommend for a enjoying an Aperol with a view of the magical Duomo. As a plus, their potatoes are to die for!
- Il Bar Rinascente Milano – Since I started talking about restaurants with a view, you should definitely dry Il Bar which is on top of Rinascente Store. Offering an astonishing view of the Duomo, this is the perfect place to enjoy some lovely Milan evenings.
- Emporio Armani Caffe – Shopping is one of the most important activities in Milan and Via Montenapoleone is an upscale shopping street, famous for its ready-to-wear fashion and jewelry shops. When you need to take a break, stop at Emporio Armani Caffe and enjoy the perfect Italian cup of coffee and their lovely tiramisu <3
- Armani Nobu – Since I am a sushi addict, I could not leave sushi lovers without giving them a tip! Nobu is the most famous place in town and also one of the fanciest! Enjoy!
To be honest, every time I visited Milan I used the bus to arrive to the Central Station, then the metro to arrive in the center and from there I explored everything by foot! I did this even in winter because tourist attractions are pretty close one to another so it would be harder by car or even by public transportation.
- WHEN TO GO
I tend to say this a lot, there is not bad time to visit Milan. After all, shopping sounds good in every season, right? Summer days have their magic since you can enjoy late evenings on the Duomo stairs and eat as much gelato italiano as you can.
But, as I said, December in Milan looks a lot like a fairytale. The huge Christmas tree from Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II stole my heart for good and I would love to be back and admire it a little longer. Via Manzoni, Via Montenapoleone, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II offer such a lovely winter décor when the evening comes.
So I recommend with all my heart giving it a try also in winter time!
- HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED
I must start by saying there is never enough money in Milan. Hahaha, just joking. Or, not! If your only purpose of the visit is shopping, you will need plenty of it. But, if you want to explore Milan and do the touristy things, you should be just fine. There are a lot of free tourist attractions. Food and drinks are not expensive if you know where to look. As a plus, you always have the take away option: slices of delicious pizza, panini or piadinas.
- WHAT TO SEE & DO
Let’s see what you should not miss:
- Milan Cathedral, also known as Duomo di Milano, needs no more presentation. You can see it on every article or blog/vlog post about this city. It is the largest church in Italy (the larger St. Peter’s Basilica in the State of Vatican City) and the third largest in the world.
More info on tickets and timetable:
- Climb on the Duomo Rooftop for the best panorama of the city. Here you can also observe the stunning architecture of the cathedral. Tickets can be quite pricey, but the view is worth it: 9 Eur on foot and 13 Eur by lift.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – is the world’s oldest shopping mall and contains the Town House Galleria, a five-star hotel. It was named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. Visiting the Galleria is free and you can also drink a coffee and enjoy some exquisite Italian cuisine in one of the restaurants there. Unfortunately, shopping in the designer shops is not free. You might even need to sell your house.
- Sforza Castle – also known as Castello Sforzesco, was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan. It is now home to several museums that can be visited for an admission fee of 5 Eur. Visiting the castle is free, you just need to pay for the museums. Free entry: every Tuesday from 14; Wednesday-Sunday one hour before closing; the first Sunday of the month until Sunday 3th December 2017.
More info: https://www.milanocastello.it/en
- Sempione Park – probably the most beautiful park in Milan, located just in the back of Sforza Castle. A real gem for spring and summer days to explore, nature in the middle of the cosmopolitan city. Here you can also find the Ark of Peace or Porta Sempione.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and Santa Maria delle Grazie – As I said it in my previous post about Milan, a visit to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church to see “The Last Supper” is definitely a must, even if you are not such an art lover. Be aware though, getting tickets to see the famous fresco can be incredibly difficult since they strictly limit the number of people in the room at the same time, which limits the number of tickets they can sell each day. Be sure to book months in advance to be sure!
- Teatro alla Scalla – it is an Opera House in Milan inaugurated in 1778 where most of Italy’s greatest operatic artists and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared. The season begins in early December and runs through May, but tickets are often difficult to come by.
The museum can be visited for 9 Eur/person and, if you are lucky, they may even let you see the inside of the opera house itself.
More info on opera tickets:
More info on museum tickets:
- Pinoteca di Brera – One of Italy’s finest art museum, where you can find paintings by northern Italian masters: Raphael, Canova, Mantenga, Giovanni Bellini or Lorenzo Lotto , but also foreign artists such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens and El Greco. You will also find works here by Picasso, Braque and Modigliani, too. It can be visited for 10 Eur.
More info: http://pinacotecabrera.org/en/visit/tickets/
- Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio – The present church is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, built in the 12th century that can be visited for free.
- Navigli Canal – The Navigli neighborhood, named after the Naviglio Grande canal, is an up-and-coming neighborhood in the city where visitors can find small shops alongside excellent restaurants serving authentic Milanese cuisine. Be sure to pay a visit in the evening.
- Royal Palace of Milan – It was the seat of government of the Italian city of Milan for many centuries. Today it serves as a cultural centre and home to expositions and exhibitions. The palace is located to the right of the facade of the cathedral, opposite the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
- Shopping streets of Milan – Milan is known all over the world as the fashion capital of Europe. Via Montenapoleone, Corso Venezia, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Corso Como are the most popular shopping streets where you can find designer stores and luxury shops.
That being said, I guess you now have everything you need for the best Milan city break.
Blonde around the World ❤
*** All pictures without the Blonde around the World watermark from this travel blog are from Google. All the credit goes to the rightful owners.