I have visited Milan twice before so when my better half suggested visiting again I jumped at the chance! My first trip to Milan was in 2006 (a whole decade ago) and different from my most recent trip. Let me share my tips with you on…
WHERE TO STAY
When you are looking for places to stay choose Piazza Duomo as your point of interest. Most of the sights and shops are located near here with the majority of the sights within walking distance. The Metro is superb for getting around if you want to venture further to Corso Como. The good news is the transportation in Italy is pretty cheap too.
We flew in to Bergamo with Ryanair and from there we got a bus (€5 one way) into Milan City Centre and the amazing Stazione Centrale. I love this station! It is such an impressive structure! Theres loads of shops here which are worth checking out. We arrived early morning so I recommend taking some time to relax, have a coffee and pastry (you are on holiday!) at the world famous Bottega cafe. The coffee is more reasonable and tastes better than anything Starbucks or Costa can muster. I recommend trying a Café Ginseng!
We stayed on Via Torino at Eva & Diaoblik’s Secret Room which is an Italian apartment. Anytime we visit Italy we love doing this as you get a more authentic experience of Italian life. The Secret Room is tastefully decorated with a nod to contemporary art and is perfectly located on the bustling shopping street of Via Torino. Don’t worry you can’t hear anything once you are in the room!
WHERE TO VISIT
Dominating the Milanese Skyline, Duomo Cathedral is the central location of the city. The Piazza is busy all the time, particularly on weekends with Italians meeting here mingling among tourists hoping to get the perfect picture for Instagram or their blog. The atmosphere is pleasant and friendly. Duomo is simply breathtaking and has to be to seen to truly appreciate how amazing it is. Pictures cannot convey the beauty of the Cathedral however I have to try. A trip is not complete without venturing up to the top of the Duomo and surveying the sights of Milan. Gorgeous!
GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II is one of the worlds oldest shopping arcades the Galleria is named after the Kingdom of Italy’s first King, Victor Emmanuel II. The Galleria is in fact a monument but you wouldn’t realise this when you stroll through the opulent interior. Its amazing! The shopping arcade contains some of Italy’s most famous designers including Prada, Versace, Gucci and Armani along with International fashion houses like Louis Vuitton. Safe to say we were window shopping! The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum is a must see and certainly worth the entrance fee. It is a treat for a fans of Renaissance Art and Da Vinci in Particular! (I love this period of history) Check out the website here.
Visit the World Famous La Scala Opera House. The magnificent interior of the Opera House along with its rich history are sights to behold. There are guided tours available, take one. Outside the Opera House there is a wonderful statue of Leonardo Da Vinci. I suggest visiting Sforza Castle too. Built in the 15th Century by Francesco Sforza, The Duke of Milan. The history of the castle is fascinating. During spells of good weather (most of the time in Milan) the locals go to Parco Sempione. The Arch of Peace is located at the end of the park and is an impressive structure!
THE LAST SUPPER
A trip to Milan is not complete without visiting Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper. Located in the Basilica Santa Maria delle Grazie the work, while not the original after years of restorations is mesmerising and captivating! A must see. Book ahead to ensure you are not left disappointed.
GIUSEPPE MEAZZA / THE SAN SIRO
One of the most iconic stadiums in the world and home to Italian giants A.C. Milan and FC Intenazionale (Inter Milan) this stadium tour is a treat for any football fans visiting Milan. The atmosphere when I watched Milan v Juventus was incredible! Try to catch a game if you can.
WHERE TO SHOP
Milan is a shoppers paradise. Whatever your budget there is something here for you. Head to Via Montenapoleone for luxurious Italian shopping expect, heavyweights like Gucci, Armani, Versace, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. Corso Venezia and La Rinascente has 8, YES E I G H T, floors of shopping! Vittorio Emanuele II along with Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is home to European high street superstars Zara, H&M and Mango along with a host of indigenous shops. Sports fans are catered for with Adidas, Nike, Juventus, FC Internazionale (Inter Milan) and A.C. Milan stores dotted around this area.
WHERE TO EAT
Nerino Dieci Trattoria on Via Nerino
Assuming you are staying on or near Via Torino eating here is a must! Boasting an impressive 4.5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor while it is ranked 11th best restaurant in Milan. The prices are reasonable and the house wine is delicious! Nerino is a very popular restaurant so get here early. We arrived when it opened at 7pm, they were turning people away at 7:20! It is very popular with the Milanese.
Eat Me and Go on Via Torino
Eat Me and Go is a great little café style deli bar. The prices are reasonable while the food absolutely delicious! The coffee counter is packed with amazing treats and pastries to accompany your coffee or Ginseng. Eat Me and Go is popular with tourists and locals alike with its convenient location. Be aware, it can be very busy during lunch and evening periods.
Il Mercato Del Duomo
Nice views of Piazza Duomo should you be lucky enough to get a window seat. Il Mercato does good tasty food at reasonable prices however it can get pretty busy. This is a shop also and there are loads of treats nearby too in particular a Lindt chocolate store nearby.
Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Emanuele
Vittorio Emanuele features a lot of coffee shops with the world famous Motta Café Bar located here (emember the great AC Milan team of the 90’s? Motta was emblazoned across those jerseys!). There is also Bar Sí and a Gucci Café to eat and drink at depending on your budget. Corso Emanuele features a lot of cafés and restaurants with something for everyone.
EATALY is a chain of stores and restaurants selling Italian produce. What makes EATALY unique is there are 2 restaurant sections located upstairs and are divided into pasta and fish dining areas. Downstairs is a supermarket selling everything you can think of from pasta to fresh fish to pastries and confectionary. Even if you did not eat here it worth visiting for the experience! You will need to get the metro if you are staying on Via Torino to near Corso Como.
WHERE TO DRINK
Dolce & Gabbana Bar
It isn’t cheap! However, it is a great experience! Its a beautiful and certainly worth checking out. Finger food is for free as well so if you hang around long enough you might get a 2nd helping like we did!
The heartbeat of the Milanese nightclub scene Corso Como is home to the World Famous Hollywood nightclub. Like its American namesake this place is a magnet for Celebrities while Milan and Inter Players are regular visitors too. There are loads of bars and clubs on this strip. Dress to impress because the beautiful people are in abundance!
Tastefully decorated with a 60’s vibe Andy Warhol would be proud of. The Terrazza boasts breathtaking views of Duomo Cathedral and Piazza Duomo. It is so popular there is a queue to have a sit on the Terrazza but it is worth the wait for your instagram moment!
We did not have the opportunity to drink at the Armani Hotel on this occasion. We passed it a couple of times and it looks absolutely incredible! Certainly due a visit next time I am in Milan.
That is all for now folks. I hope you enjoyed this whistle stop tour of Milan. It is a great idea for a city break. Have you been to Milan? Let me know your thoughts and experiences? If you have any questions on visiting Milan just fill out the contact form and I will try to help out!
I have been Fashionable Frank and you have been Fantastic!