Milan: Explore Italy’s most fashionable city

Milan Airport Directory (MXP)
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Milan is a magnet for artists, photographers, designers, and models. It is, after all, the most fashionable city in Italy, where fashion combines with art, culture, and gastronomy. The architecture in this city is breath-taking; from the Duomo Cathedral to the opera house La Scala, Sforzesco Castle to the Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade. It is a city to soak in the beauty of history. Milan is the perfect place to come to experience first-hand Italy, with scrumptious food, extraordinary art galleries, extravagant fashion, and imposing cathedrals.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Milan is from April to June, and September to October. During this time of the year, the weather is mild and pleasant. 

How to Reach?

By Air: Being one of Italy’s most visited cities, Milan also has three international airports: Linate Airport, Orio al Serio Airport (Bergamo Airport) and Malpensa Airport. Linate Airport is the closest international airport in Milan. While the other two are almost an hour away from Milan. Amongst all three, Malpensa Airport is the largest international airport in Milan.

By Train: Piazza Duca d'Aosta, the city’s busiest square, has the most beautiful station, if not in Europe, at least in Italy, Milan Centrale. This terminal is connected to major cities in Italy, as well as other European cities across Austria, Germany, France, and the UK.

By Road: One of the most used modes of transport across Italy are buses. It is the most convenient way to reach Milan from any part of the country. The city has inter-city bus services that connect Milan to major cities in Italy, as well as other countries across Europe.

Getting Around

The best part about Milan is their easy transportation services; the city has metros, trams, buses, taxis, as well as BikeMi, an eco-friendly way to explore the city. The metro in Milan comprises four lines: M1 (red), M2 (green), M3 (yellow), and M5 (grey), each of which connects to major neighbourhoods. The metro ticket allows travellers to use the city bus and tram. The tram system consists of 17 lines, offering connections to other parts of the city where metro does not go. The bus network in Milan is easy and convenient.

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Places to visit in Milan

  • Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper: We all know "The Last Supper Mural" by Leonardo da Vinci. It is one of the most popular artworks that can be seen at Santa Maria delle Grazie. Bramante designed this gothic brick church, with a fine touch of Early Renaissance style architecture. But make sure to get your entry tickets in advance, since people come to see this mural from across the globe. Oftentimes, this church is a top-listing in every itinerary of Milan.
  • Milan Cathedral: Also called Il Duomo, this majestic cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente is one of the largest churches in the country. It is believed that it can accommodate up to 40,000 people. With its flamboyant gothic style architecture, Milan Cathedral highlights several marble statues, carefully crafted carved stone pinnacles, a seven-branched bronze candelabrum, and the 16thcentury tomb of Gian Giacomo Medici, among others. While here, you need to experience walking on the roof of the cathedral. It is quite an impressive experience, and you get to see a breath-taking view of the city.
  • Castello Sforzesco: One of the city's most popular attractions is the 1368-built Castello Sforzesco, which was renovated in 1450. The 70m-tall Torre de Filarete is the main fortified tower and entrance to visit the castle grounds. Their in-house museum has several collections, like decorative art, prehistoric art, and Egyptian antiques. It also has a extensive collection displaying their musical history, alongside an armoury of weapons and medieval armour. You can definitely make a day out of exploring Castello Sforzesco.
  • Sant'Ambrogio: The beauty of historic churches is remarkable in Milan. Every church looks appealing in some form or another. Sant'Ambrogio, which was built in the 12thcentury, is no exception with Romanesque architecture and a captivating 19th-century large portico and atrium. Inside the church, make sure to see the pulpit (a raised stand for preachers to stand on) with its beautiful Romanesque carving, and a richly carved 4th-century Christian sarcophagus underneath.
  • Naviglio: To experience the Milan nightlife, you need to visit Naviglio. With the canal-side cafés, this is where the locals can hangout. This place is most active in the evenings, with music playing in every bar, and restaurants that offer delicious Italian and international cuisine. However, during the day, Naviglio throng the several boutiques there. During any festival, many events are held here. In April, the entire neighbourhood is filled with flowers for the Festa dei Fiori (Flower Festival).

Places to eat in Milan

  • Seta: One of Milan’s modern fine-dining cafés, Seta has a contemporary take on Italian cuisine. The café is a part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and it is inside the hotel's second courtyard. The interiors have turquoise accents, giving it a calming and luxurious vibe. With a deep connection to southern Italy’s Puglia region, you can find several influences from Tuscany and France.
  • Ristorante Berton: With tasting menus, elegantly plated pasta, and a minimalist setting, Ristorante Berton must definitely be on your list. The restaurant isn't tied to any particular Italian culinary tradition, making it an interesting place to sedate your palate. Their menu is innovative, putting together different regional foods, giving it an authentic food diversity.
  • Carlo Cracco: This café is owned by one of the most established Italian chefs in Milan, Carlo Cracco. It is located in a shopping arcade at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and consists of several floors, making it an all-inclusive food empire. With a star-studded client list, you may need reservations months in advance; and if you can make it, you are going to be floored by its chic interiors and a variety of Milanese classics.
  • Da Giannino l'Angolo d'Abruzzo: For a rather low-key and warm ambience, head to Da Giannino l'Angolo d'Abruzzo. Its calm atmosphere and friendly hospitality will catch your attention. This family-style restaurant is an excellent choice to experience an authentic Italian restaurant and the delicious food that you have been dreaming of.

Shopping in Milan

  • Via Monte Napoleone: An upscale shopping street in Milan, where you can find high-end brands, is Via Montenapoleone or Via Monte Napoleone. Boutiques and stores, that are stocked with designer brands like Gucci, Armani, Prada, and D&G, are located here. It is a must-visit during sunset, casting a beautiful light as the street lamps illuminate the road and stores.
  • Via Della Spiga: The best thing about shopping at Via Della Spiga is that the street is closed to traffic, making it less hectic while shopping. This shopping street in Milan is also home to some of the higher-end boutiques. This pretty street is guarded by beautiful Neoclassicist and Baroque influence buildings on both sides. So, along with shopping, you can admire these beautiful buildings.
  • Fiera di Sinigaglia: It is the oldest market in Milan, entertaining people with clothes and other items since the 19th century. This shopping street does not have elegant brands or boutique stores, but rather thrift shops and souvenir stores. Shopping here can save you a lot of money. From jackets to jewellery, designer cast-offs to used clothes, you can find first-copy of the latest fashion trends.
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II: Not every shopping district in Milan is expensive; there are a few places that offer wallet-friendly items, and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is one of them. Shopping may not be extremely cheap, but you can find many options. Like other markets, it is also a vehicle-free zone.

Where to stay in Milan? 

  • Vico Milano: Located in a prime neighbourhood in Milan, Porta Genova, this hotel gives a lavish yet calming appeal to guests. Vico Milano offers a lounge, gym, and bar that offers an array of organic Italian wines.
  • Mandarin Oriental: If you’ve got the thought of luxury on your mind, then you need to stay at the Mandarin Oriental. Not only does the hotel’s sleek and contemporary décor catches the spectator’s attention, but the classic building leaves them in awe. The hotel is located in an 18th century building, which provides a rustic and modern appeal. Within the hotel, there is a spa, an indoor pool, and a gym.
  • Hotel Principe di Savoia: To experience authentic Italian old-world glamour, you need to spend a night at the Principe di Savoia. This grand building dates back to 1927, with several Italian-styled decor elements and neutral-tone colours. Alongside its 300+ rooms, the hotel has a club, fitness centre, beauty salon, gym, swimming pool, and breath-taking city views.
  • Four Seasons Hotel: Among Milan's well-known hotel names, Four Seasons is unquestionably a good place to stay. This hotel is also convenient for travellers because it is situated near some of the shopping districts and tourist attractions. The hotel is located in a gorgeous 15th century building, that was formally a convent. Come here to soak in the beauty of the building's history, outdoor courtyard, and luxurious amenities.

More reasons to visit Milan

  • Mardi Gras: Mardi Gras, also known as "Carnevale" in Italy, is probably one of the many reasons to come to Milan. This is an important event in Italian culture, and although this festival is mostly celebrated in Venice, Milan has its own take. Similar to France, Mardi Gras in Milan is celebrated to mark the restrictions of Lent, which begin on Ash Wednesday. It is mostly celebrated during February (dates may vary). The celebration lasts from a day to a month, during which period, people can eat, drink, and dance. During the main event, jugglers and clowns’ parade down the street from I Giardini Publici to Palestro, Piazza San Babila, Corso Europa, Piazza Fontana, and finally Piazza Cesare Beccaria.
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