Milan offers a unique look into Italy. It is the media, fashion, financial, and design centre of Italy. Experience travellers love this destination because it is a part of Italy that is not defined by tourism. Which means that its excellent restaurants, art galleries, fashion, and design are great to experience minus the crowd.
Aside from being a fashion hub, Milan also features exquisite masterpieces such as Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, the Gothic Duomo cathedral, and La Scala, one of the world’s most famous opera houses.
How to Get There
Milan Malpensa Airport is the biggest international airport in the metropolitan area in Northern Italy. It serves the areas of Lombardy, Piedmont, and Liguria. One of the most common ways of getting to the city centre of the city is by bus. The permanent bus service that connects the Central Station of Milan with Malpensa’s two terminals is called Autostradale. A bus leaves every 20 minutes and it takes about an hour to get from the airport to the centre.
Another option would be taking the train. Two train routes connect Terminal 1 to Milan’s centre: the Malpensa Express and Trenitalia. Travel time is around 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can also get a transfer service. A chauffeur will wait for you and take you directly to the hotel. Book it in advance to have proper coordination. You may also opt to take a taxi, but this can be pricey since the airport is far from the centre.
Travellers going to Milan will be happy to know that the city has an easy-to-use and understand integrated public transportation system. It is run by Azienda Trasporti Milanes that includes four metro lines and a family of trams and buses.
Tramlines, on the other hand, connect the outer neighbourhoods of Milan to the historic centre. A stamped ticket allows you to ride the tram within 90 minutes. It can be purchased at the metro station or a tabacchi (tobacco shop).
Meanwhile, the Metro is the fastest way to get around town. Two of its four lines stop at the Duomo and connects to Milan Central Station and neighbourhoods like Porta Romana.
Top Things to Do
Milan is a true cultural mecca that provides a unique experience to its visitors. It has a wide array of restaurants, museums, and retail shops thanks to its booming fashion industry. travellers often visit Milan to see the Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, and the newly inspired UniCredit skyscraper.
Checking out the architecture in Milan is a must when planning your itinerary. Walk into the city’s stately palazzos and you will immediately be greeted by authentic Renaissance paintings. Looking into former industrial warehouses will lead you to thoughtfully curated exhibitions of contemporary art and design.
Duomo di Milano is Milan’s most famous landmark and is often described as magnificent. It is a 14th-century cathedral with airy marble interiors and exquisite stained-glass windows. You can purchase tickets online to skip the lines if you plan on entering.
In the meantime, Cimitero Monumentale is a massive complex that can only be defined as an ‘open-air’ art museum than a graveyard. It was built in the 19th century and is the final resting place of some of Milan’s most famous personalities. Another museum to explore is Pinacoteca di Brera. It holds masterpieces from Italy’s famous artists including Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, and the Bellini brothers.
Porta Nuova is a new neighbourhood that houses the popular UniCredit Tower which is Italy’s tallest skyscraper. Around it is the Bosco Verticale, a residential tower that is planted with 900 trees, buses, and other flora. It is an environmentally responsible approach to urban development.
Other places you can consider visiting is Hangar Bicocca, Triennale di Milano, Armani Silos, Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and Maurizio Cattelan’s L.O.V.E. sculpture.
What to Eat
There are many ways to eat like a local in Milan. One food to try is famous Risotto. Italy is the largest producer of rice in Europe and the crop is mainly grown in the flat Po Valley, which is in Milan. This is the reason why Risotto is a traditional Milanese dish. You can try this at Ratana which is on the edge of Isola.
Milan is also known for its meat dishes and one of its most iconic dishes is Ossobuco which translates to “bone with a hole”.
The yummy Ossobucco is available at Osteria dell’ Acquabella in Porta Romana.
Another must-try is the Piadina, which is Milan’s take on the quesadilla. The Piadina is stuffed to the brim with meat, cheese, and vegetables. One of the best can be found at Piadineria Artigianale Pascoli which is a bright shop near Milan Central railway station.
The nightlife in Milan is quite diverse. To start with, the typical Milanese evening is divided into different time slots. The first part is right after work which allows people to have cocktails and dinner. Happy hour usually lasts till 10 PM.
The real party time begins at 2 AM and ends at 5 or 6 AM! With this schedule, there are many to choose from including theater performances, concerts, and discos and nightclubs that are only happening after 1 AM.
Where to Stay
For first time travellers, the Centro Storico is the best place to find accommodation in Milan. Located at the very heart of the city, you will find yourself conveniently located near historical and cultural attractions like Duomo di Milana, La Scala Opera House, and the city’s main piazza. One of the most popular hotels in Milan is The Street Milano Duomo and is in Centro Storico.
If you are a young traveller and would like to meet local students, the best place to go is Citta Studi, which is a student quarter and offers many affordable hotels in Milan. Meanwhile, Navigli is for the history nut. Established in 1179, it is considered one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Milan. This neighbourhood is also known for its nightlife scene.
Looking for a fancier accommodation? Check out hotels in Brera. Located north of Centro Storico, it is a mecca for famous and fashionable residents. It also houses some of Milan's luxurious hotels.
Meanwhile, Fiera is in the northeast of the city centre right next to San Siro. These two neighbouring districts are the best place for families because of its suburb feel.
• Ordering cappuccino after lunch is a no-no. Italians believe that drinking anything with milk in the afternoon hamper digestion. Drinking anything with milk after noon will make you stand out.
• Discover discount fashion by heading over to DMAGAZINE outlet.
• Most tourists don’t use the bus because their routes are outside of the neighbourhood and do not have a tram or metro connection.