MILAN.

Milan has a fascinating history with a strong direction towards modernity. Often called Italy’s city of the future, it’s a bustling metropolis, unlike any other in Italy. While it doesn’t deny that it’s strongly rooted in history, it is not afraid to move forward, and that drive is visible around every corner. The cultural legacy of Milan can be admired and explored in dozens of museums all around the city – with the history of being ruled by Caesar, Napoléon, the Austro-Hungarians and Mussolini, Milan certainly has a lot to say. The sights of Milan are no less impressive than the museums, with the famous Duomo being the most iconic of them. Art connoisseurs from all over the world come to Milan to admire The Last Supper, and food buffs can’t get enough of the cucina povera, poor man’s cuisine, with cotoletta and saffron risotto being its most iconic examples. After a tiresome day spent exploring the museums, admiring the art and visiting the sights, one can’t wait to unwind in one of the many pubs and clubs, which can easily compete with those in other European metropolises.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Milan

Best Period to Visit Milan

Accomodation Tips for Milan

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Milan

Getting Around Milan

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Milan

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Milan

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Visit during the spring

If you want to save some money right from the get-go, plan your vacation during the spring. Winters are too cold to visit, with the Alps only a short distance away, and summer months, while not as hot as in southern Italy, still bring a lot of tourists and wind up the prices of attractions and accommodation.

Try to land in the Linate airport

There are three airports near Milan: the Malpensa, which is the largest airport but is quite far from the city, the Linate airport, which is the closest to the city, but is a small airport that serves only a small amount of planes, and Orio al Serio, which has the best connection to the city centre.

Eat pizza for lunch

As in most of Italy, pizza makes for a tasty and affordable meal. You can find a lot of low-cost pizza options around the city centre, but also in the outskirts. There are also a lot of budget eateries, offering a wide variety of cuisine both local and international, and most establishments provide samplings.

Stay away from the railroad stations

When looking for budget accommodation, make sure to search for places that are away from the railroad stations and airports, as those are generally more expensive than the rest. Moreover, you could try going to the Citta Studi neighbourhood, located northeast of the city centre, which features a lot of cheap establishments.

Try couchsurfing

With a lot of options for accommodation in Milan, there are also plenty of offers for couchsurfing, allowing you to crash down for a couple of nights on a couch in somebody’s apartment for an affordable price. Make sure to make reservations before coming, especially during the more popular months.

Use the subway

The subway in Milan has some of the best prices in all of Europe, and definitely among other towns of Italy. The subway in Milan, known as Metropolitana, even has its own mobile app which you can download onto your smartphone, and it will allow you to purchase and validate the tickets on the go.

Take a walk along the streets

There are many picturesque streets in Milan, and if you want to have a peaceful, tranquil evening, they are the place to go for a walk. The streets are often adorned with old fortifications, which are clearly visible from the streets, and are usually free to look at as long as you stay outside of their gates.

Visit the rest of Lombardy

While staying in Milan, it is a good idea to visit the rest of the Lombardy region of Italy while you’re at it. Milan makes for an excellent travel hub, with many guided tours starting from the city centre and a lot of trains and buses circling between Milan and the surrounding small cities and villages.

Get a Milano Card

Designed to give you a number of discounts on both public transport and local attractions, the Milano Card is a good choice if you’re planning on a lot of sightseeing. You purchase the card by days spent, and the time starts to be counted from the moment you buy the pass, so make sure every minute counts.

Take a walking tour

As in most of the other tourist-oriented cities in Europe, Milan also provides some free walking tours around the city. Such a tour is a good way to start your visit to Milan, as a local guide will provide you with tips and historical facts about the city. Make sure to tip the guide if the tour was good, as is customary in Milan.

Best Period to Visit Milan

Tourism

April to May and September to October are the best periods to visit Milan, as it is during spring and fall when crowds subside, and prices get lowered. Summer is the peak season and brings wild crowds, which is surely a plus for the party-goers.

Weather

Between June and August, Milan is not only full of tourists but also full of sun. Temperatures reach 29°C highs, which can be a bit too much for some. Due to that, April and May and September to October are generally safer months for visiting Milan. Winter brings around -2°C lows.

Money

Summer is when Milan is the most expensive, with fall and spring being reasonably cheaper. For those looking to scoop some serious discounts, winter is the time for your city break to Milan, as prices can get as much as 30% lower.

Events

Milan Fashion Week (women’s) (February)
Furniture Fair (April)
Art on the Naviglio (May)
Milano Food Week (June)
Milan Fashion Week (men’s) (June)
Milano Film Festival (September-October)
Milan Fashion Week (women’s) (September)
Milano Musica (October-November)
Festival of Sant'Ambrogio (December)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Serviced apartments provide a nice alternative to hotels. Especially large families and groups of friends should consider this form of accommodation when in Milan, mainly due to the cost-efficiency of this solution when the fees are shared across a larger group of people.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

If you're trying to explore Milan on a tight budget, then booking cheap hotels is a perfect way to do so. Of course, these do not offer the same degree of comfort as luxury hotels, but they provide you with a roof over your head and some substantial savings.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Standard hotels in Milan will please mostly anyone. They aren't exactly cheap, but they are not overly expensive either, and they offer a satisfying degree of comfort and convenience. Their attractive location is an additional advantage over cheaper counterparts. Prices start at around €50 per night.

Luxury hotels in Milan

Luxury hotels in Milan are the most sophisticated form of accommodation available. For some additional cost, as nightly rates start around €200, you get to spend your city break right in the thick of things, with accommodation within walking distance from the best attractions of Milan.

Getting Around Milan

Bicycle

Milan is a great city to traverse with a bicycle thanks to many dedicated bike routes, narrow alleyways, and picturesque parks. There is also a dock-less bike sharing programme in the city, operated through smartphone apps, as well as a public bicycle system with stops all over the town.
There is also a traditional bike-renting establishment, Rossignoli, where you can get an old-fashioned bike to get around the city in style.

Car and Motorcycle

You better stay out of the streets of Milan if you plan on using your own vehicle, as many streets have restricted access and you are almost sure not to find a parking spot. There is a zone called Area C, which is enforced between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays, and you need daily passes to enter it.

Metro

There are four major metro lines which might be useful: M1, which connects Duomo with Porta Venezia, the castle, Corso Magenta and the Fiera; M2, which connects Porta Garibaldi with Berar and Navigli; M3, which connects the Quad with Porta Romana; and, M5, which connects San Siro and Isola. The fourth line of the metro is currently under construction and will connect the city with Linate Airport.
The metro trains service between 5:40 a.m. and 12:20 a.m. and a ticket costs €1.50 and is valid for one ride without transitions.

Train

There is an additional suburban rail network, separate from the metro and trams, which serves a larger area than the city and connects it with the surrounding cities. The main hubs of the trains are Porta Garibaldi and Cadorna, and those are connected with Rho, Pavia, Saronno, and more.

Tram and Bus

While the buses are a good way to quickly traverse the city, you might want to stick to the trams for a more picturesque experience. Tram 1 cuts through the centre of the city and is filled with retro trams in yellow colours, furnished with wooden benches and old-fashioned decorations. The other tram lines use normal, more contemporary wagons, and can take you around the centre with ease.

Taxi

Taxis cannot be hailed in Milan and will not stop when you shout. Instead, you have to get to a taxi stand, located in front of some hotels, train stations, and major piazzas. Keep in mind that if you happen to call for a cab, the meter starts running from the moment you make the call, and not from the time they pick you up.

Tickets and Passes

• 24-hour ticket – A regular ticket for all methods of transportation, excluding trains, valid for one day. Costs €4.50.
• 48-hour ticket – This ticket is just the same as the one-day ticket, but is valid for two days instead. Costs €8.25.
• 10 ticket carnet – Each of the tickets on the carnet is valid for 90 minutes, and the whole set costs €13.80.
• Evening ticket – Useful when going back from sightseeing during the evening, this ticket is valid from 8 p.m. all the way to the end of service and costs only €3.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Milan

Swiss Alps Bernina Express

While visiting Milan, you might as well get to see the Swiss Alps, which are close-by. This tour will take you along a UNESCO-listed Bernina Express route, as you will be able to see some gorgeous views of Northern Italy and the Swiss Alps. You will return through a different route to see even more sights.

Lake Como Day Trip

This day trip will show you Lake Como and its surroundings, showcasing some of the highlights of the local landscape. You will be able to enjoy some free time at the lake, after a tour provided by a local guide. Afterwards, you will be able to visit Bellagio or Brunate, depending on the season.

Milan Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

A tour which cramps up most of the highlights of Milan in just half a day, as you get skip-the-line admission to many of the attractions of the city. The most famous of them is Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and you will be able to take a look yourself at the masterpiece while a guide tells you its cultural significance.

Skip the Line Small Group Milan Walking Tour

Along with the access to The Last Supper by Da Vinci, you will also be taken along the most prominent attraction of the city within a few hours of the walking tour. You will be able to get personal attention as the tour is limited to twenty-five people, allowing the guide to pay personal attention to your every question.

Historic Milan Tour

This three-hour walking tour of Milan will focus on the rich history of the city and the region of Lombardy. A knowledgeable guide will take you through such landmarks like Sforza Castle, Piazza della Scala, and the famous Via Dante, as well as the original The Last Supper by Da Vinci.

Skip the Line Essential Milan Tour

If you only have a couple of hours to spend on sightseeing, this tour will show you the essential spots of Milan in only three hours. A guide will take you to Duomo, one of the largest cathedrals in the world, as well as to the birthplace of classic Italian opera – the Scala Theatre.

Full-Day Milan tour

Providing excellent value for the money, cramping up many attractions in one day with skip-the-line tickets to all of them, this trip is a great informative trip for first-timers. A professional and friendly guide will take you along such sights as Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà, and the Church of San Maurizio, among others.

Duomo - Milan Super Saver Rooftop Tour

After you explore the massive cathedral of Duomo and its artwork, you will be taken to its roof terraces. Not only will you be able to enjoy one of the best views on Milan, but you will also surely notice the beautiful sculptures adorning the rooftops and terraces of the cathedral.

Italy and Switzerland in One Day

This tour will take a whole day to show you some of the most beautiful sights of the Lombardy region and Switzerland. You will be taken on a cruise on Lake Como, as well as through the lakeside towns of the region. All of the transportation is provided and departs from the city centre of Milan for your convenience.

Cinque Terre Day Trip

See the gorgeous landscape of the Cinque Terre coastal region of Italy. You will be able to discover five of the cliff-side villages and their scenery, as the whole region is UNESCO-listed. A boat will be provided for you as you cruise from Monterosso to La Spezia, admiring the seaside of the region.

Other Things to See and Do

Acquario

While getting inside of the Acquario will require you to get a ticket (which is not that expensive by the way), you can still admire the Acquario from the outside. You can see its gorgeous architecture, with sculptures adorning its walls, as well as the famous hippo fountain and fish-like carvings.

Parco Sempione

While Milan does not have as many parks as cities like London, it has a few that are gorgeous and worth visiting. One of them is the Parco Sempione, which is located in the centre near the Acquario, and it extends north from the back of Castello Sforzesco and is a perfect spot for a picnic.

Vintage Tram

While not exactly a tourist attraction but a normal means of public transport, the old-fashioned trams of Milan are an experience in itself. Try to stick to the trams when you are traversing the city, as they are some of the oldest transport vehicles in the world, serving non-stop since 1928.

Duomo

While there are many who want you to believe that Duomo requires a guided tour to enter, trying to sell you their offer, you can, in fact, enter the Duomo for free. While there is a charge of €3 for general tourists, worshippers can enter for free, so make sure to come during mass if you want to avoid paying admission.

Duomo from the outside

If you do not want to spend money on entering the Duomo and you do not want to attend the mass, you can still enjoy the gorgeous façade of the Duomo from the outside. There are hundreds of statues adorning the walls of the cathedral, presenting saints, monsters, and gargoyles alike.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

Filled with gorgeous frescoes that are comparable with those of the Sistine Chapel, the church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is definitely worthy of visiting. It used to be the most important all-female chapel of the city, under the supervision of Benedictines, and it has been rebuilt during the 16th century.

Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

Being one of the most ancient churches in Milan, the Basilica was built during the 4th century by St Ambrose. The Basilica is located in an area which used to be where martyrs of the Roman persecutions were buried. While the Allied bombings damaged the basilica, it has been reconstructed and is still available to see for free.

San Bernardino alle Ossa

Best known for its unique ossuary, the church dates back to 1145, and acted as a hospital and a cemetery built in front of the basilica of Santo Stefano Maggiore. The morbid chamber of the cemetery, for which the church is famous, houses bones and skulls which you can see for yourself.

Street Art

If you want to see some street art for free, head on to the Isola district, which is close to the Garibaldi station. The Isola district of Milan is famous for its vibrant street art, but you may also spot some works along the Corso di Porta Ticinese and the Colonne di San Lorenza – all of that for free.

The Navigli

Milan is a very bike-friendly city, and as such has many cosy spots which are perfect for an afternoon ride. One of them is the Navigli, which is a network of artificial canals in Milan. Not only is the Navigli a unique place to visit with a bike, but it is also free to traverse at all times.

Street Dancing

A good way to spend an evening in Milan is to get out on the streets and participate in, or at least watch, one of the many street dance performances. The dance performers started dancing in the streets as a protest to the pricey club scene of Milan. While the locations are kept secret, they are most often at Piazza Affari or at Palazzo della Regione.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Take a trip to the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II where you will be able to see the famous graphic of a bull on the ground. There is a legend among the locals that good fortune will come into your life because of the bull. All you have to do is… spin around on the nether regions of the bull graphic.

Cimitero Monumentale

Take a hike to the famous cemetery of Milan, which is unique in itself. The Cimitero Monumentale is often referred to as the “city of the dead”, and contains a number of interesting places for you to visit. It also rests graves and monuments of some of the great persons who contributed to the history of Milan.

Chinatown

Being the first multicultural district of Milan, Chinatown is worth a visit if you want to see some unusual sights. There is a large number of Chinese restaurants, where you can taste some of the foreign cuisine, as well as shops with ceramics and other hand-crafted souvenirs made by the local population.

Porta Nuova

In contrast to some of the more antique attractions of Milan, lies Porta Nuova, which is a new district of the city, located near Garibaldi station. The district hosts some of the modern steel and glass skyscrapers of the city and is definitely a place to go if you want to admire some contemporary architecture.

Ospedale Maggiore

Also known more widely by the locals as Ca Granda, the building is five centuries old and is a part of the historic State University of Milan. It used to be a hospital of the city, as it was made by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, and nowadays it hosts a few pieces of original art and architecture from the region.

Brera

Take a hike to the streets of Brera, one of the distinct districts of Milan. Bera feels as if it was a detached town right in the middle of Milan, with numerous narrow alleyways, small-time clubs, and traditional architecture, creating an alluring atmosphere. The place is also filled with a lot of attractions if you look closely.

Pinacoteca di Brera

If you are an art enthusiast, make sure to step into the Pinacoteca di Brera, one of the famous art galleries of the Bera district. The gallery houses some of the masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Raphael, and Caravaggio, and while there is normally a fee to enter, the gallery is free on the first Sunday of the month.

Vicolo dei Lavandai

A great way to spend an afternoon in Milan is to take a walk through one of the many old alleys of the city. One of such valleys, the Alley of Lavandai, dates back to the 18th century. The alley served as a popular site to do laundry for the local population, and you can still see some of the devices people used back then.

Piazza dei Mercanti

Considered by many as the most beautiful square in the city, the Piazza dei Mercanti presents a unique, medieval style. The architecture of the square remained mostly intact from its middle age state, and you can even experience a unique phenomenon – you can whisper into a column with someone listening on the other side, and he will be able to hear it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Milan city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Milan are: Hotel Berna Milan, Barcelo Milan, Worldhotel Cristoforo Colombo, Starhotels Anderson and NH Collection Milano President. Discover the full list of best hotels in Milan.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Milan?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Milan include Best Western Plus Hotel Galles, Uptown Palace Milan, Hotel Dei Cavalieri, Starhotels Ritz, Hilton Milan, The Square Milano Duomo and NH Milano Touring. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Milan.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Milan?

    Those trying to visit Milan on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Hotel Canada Milan, B&B Hotel Milano Cenisio Garibaldi, Best Western Hotel City Milan, Hotel San Francisco Milan, Boutique Hotel Borgo Nuovo, and Hotel San Guido. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Milan.

  • What is the best period to visit Milan for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Milan for a city break are April, May, August and September.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Milan?

    Milan offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Milan include: Swiss Alps Bernina Express, Lake Como Day Trip, Milan Half-Day Sightseeing Tour, Milan Walking Tour and Historic Milan Tour.

  • How much does an Milan city pass cost?

    A city pass in Milan costs around €69.

  • How much does public transport in Milan cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Milan costs around €11.

  • What are the best night clubs in Milan?

    The best night clubs in Milan include: Pescaria, Dongiò, Langosteria, Ratanà and Erba Brusca.

  • What are the best bars in Milan?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Milan are: Bar Basso, Rita & Cocktails, Radetzky, Pasticceria Massimo and Perditempoteca.

  • What are the best places to eat in Milan?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Milan may vary depending on your taste, however, Perditempoteca, Trattoria Mirta, Berberé and Ratanà are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Milan?

    Top 5 restaurants in Milan include: Il Massimo del Gelato, Ristorante Ribot, Pescaria, Michetta's Panini Milano and Cantine Isola.