old postcard of the Beatles visiting Milan

Milan quick guide

Milan at a glance

Milano

Milan is not as beautiful as Florence or Venice and the weather is nice and enjoyable only for few months a year, as in winter and summer is too cold or too hot. But Milan has got a cool vibe. It’s a small city compared to London, New York or Rome, this will make it easy to visit, it’s rich in things to do during by day and night. Milan it’s a perfect base to visit Lombardy. But if you decide to hang around the city you won’t get bored.

Milan cheat sheet

Become expert of Milan in a few minutes

  1. Churches: Duomo, you can visit the Duomo inside and you can also visit the roof. If you want a good look at it without actually going on the roof of the Duomo, you can go to the restaurant of the Rinascente shopping center right across from the duomo. Santa Maria Delle Grazie, is where the last supper by Leonardo da Vinci is loc
  2. Where to stay in Milan? The two best areas to stay in Milan are the neighbourhoods Brera and the Navigli. They are both very close to the center and they have a good choice of restaurants and nightlife. In the Navigli area I’d recommend the Art Hotel Navigli.

Drinking in Milan cocktail bars and aperos

Eating well and drinking well in Milan is not so simple. There are some iconic places that are worth a visit such as “al less” for boiled meet and “trattoria toscana” for aperitivo followed by a plate of pasta. Pizza is generally very good in Milan. Try to avoid the touristic bits.

Aperitivo at Diana Majestic Hotel in Porta Venezia Milan
Aperitivo at Diana Majestic Hotel in Porta Venezia Milan

What to eat in Milan? The typical food from Milan is the risotto alla milanese, i.e. with saffron and grana padano cheese (like parmesan cheese), you can taste it at Osteria Conchetta in the Navigli area. The fish is really good in Milan as the city has the Italian central fish market where all the fish comes to before it is distributed in other regions. Pizza is also very good in Milan. Tip: avoid the restaurants in corso Vittorio Emanuele unless you want just a quick bite. It is not mandatory to tip in Italy.

The shopping experience

Shopping in Milan can be expensive but also extremely rewarding. Head to via della Spiga or via Monte Napoleone to find the high-end Milanese brands Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Armani. Or walk from porta venezia to piazzale loreto for the more affordable brands.

Milan at night

Milan is best enjoyable when it’s not cold and it’s not too hot neither. At night from may until june you can enjoy drinks along the busy area of the navigli canals or head to an open air disco bar or club around the park of the castello sforzesco. If you are looking for a romantic walk you can start from piazza duomo, walk through the galleria, pass piazza della scala and then dive into the alleys of Brera

Getting to Milan

There are three airports that are easily connected to Milan: Linate is the city airport, it’s really close to the city and that makes it so convenient, Malpensa is the new airport with bigger capacity but it’s 50 minutes drive from Milan and finally Bergamo – Orio al Serio which is the airport where ryan air and other low cost flights fly to..

Art in Milan

In Milan you can visit one of the most popular pieces of art of all times: the last supper, you will find it in Santa Maria delle Grazie. Recently open, right in the centre of Milan, Piazza del duomo is the ‘museo del 900’. Another not to be missed spot is the bronze sculputre of a giaiant rampant horse designed by Leonardo da Vinci and recently crafted in the United states and flew over to Milan.

Art & design in Milan

One of Milan’s greatest attractions is the salone del mobile (furniture exposition) and the fuori salone (outside exposition), which takes place in the area of via Savona. The fuori salone in particular is an occasion for every design related company in Milan to organize parties and free exibitions. Make sure you book far in advance your hotel room, because it’s almost impossible to find any close to the date of the exibition.

In the header photo: By ParsonsPhotographyNL – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86675008

By Marcin Białek – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28012972

By Jiuguang Wang – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11566236

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