Things to do in Milan

Milan Travel Guide 2021: What To Do | Budget Tips | Day Trips & More

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Situated in northern Italy, Milan is the capital of Lombardy, the second-most populous city in Italy and the financial heart of the country. A city steeped in history and a cultural legacy that is as much ancient as it is modern, Milan is an Italian city unlike any other. Come experience the elegance and sophistication that Milan has to offer.


Rich Cultural Heritage
Milan's history is grand. Having spent large portions of its history under different rulers, including the Caesars, Napoléon and the Austro-Hungarians to name a few, Milan has a fascinating culture that has manifested itself beautifully. The contributions of each historical period still stand to this day, equally admired by those who live here and those who see it only once. There are ancient churches from the 4th century that still stand at the city gates, great Gothic architecture with the Duomo the greatest of them all, Sforza's grand palaces, splendid Renaissance buldings and boulevards and squares from Napolean's rule.

A Modern Metropolis
Milan may not be the Italian capital, but within its boundaries lies the center of the biggest establishments in Italy. Milan saw Italy's largest post-war development and transformed itself into a city with the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the third-largest economy among European cities (after Paris and London), becoming the wealthiest non-capital European city in the process. The skyline of the city has also seen a tremendous transformation with the Duomo's spires sharing the sky with stunning modern buildings designed by the best 21st-century architects – Daniel Libeskind, Massimiliano Fuksas, Norman Foster and Cesar Pelli to name a few.

Aesthetic Capital Of The World
Milan may not deserve the attention that the other romantic cities of Italy get. The streets of Milan may not be loaded with tourists like the canals of Venice or the roads of Rome do. But every year, the Milan Fashion week and the Furniture Fair ensure that all eyes chasing aesthetic beauty in these fields invariably turn to Milan. The city streets are lined with flagship fashion and design studios —CappelliniKartell, Versace, Armani, Valentino. Milan also boasts of many galleries & museums, including private establishments such as Fondazione Prada and Armani Silos.


Milan Travel Guide


Dotted with remarkable gothic architecture and gifted with a legacy of art and history, Milan is more than just a fast-paced metropolitan city waiting to be discovered. With its carefully preserved traditions and exemplary pieces of art, Milan is a vibrant city experience that has a lot to offer. Whether you’re someone who is an art enthusiast, or someone who appreciates fashion or food — there is something for everyone who wishes to explore the city’s treasure trove with passion. With as many as six million visitors every year, Milan continues to promise an experience that is unlike any other.

Why Visit Milan?


Apart from being the art and fashion capital of Europe, Milan paved its way through a painstaking past before it rose straight out of the Renaissance age. Today, Milan is a vibrant, modern city that flaunts its cutting-edge fashion, stellar architecture, and beautiful skyline. A walk down its cobbled-stone streets will brief you through its history. But Milan is definitely not all art. Explore its rich countryside, sample its authentic street food, or lounge around in the lap of nature.

Milan Travel Restrictions


Can I travel to Milan right now? Short answer - Yes. Long answer - there are a few things you should keep in mind before traveling to Italy. Here's all about the travel restrictions in Milan.

Top Things To Do in Milan


When we say there's something new that crops up in the city every week or so, we are not exaggerating! Milan never ceases to surprise and has something to keep everyone of all ages occupied. Here are the top picks you cannot miss out in Milan, regardless of whether you're in the city for a day or a week.

Milan Essentials


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LanguageItalian

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Time zoneGMT +2

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Country Code+39

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Socket Type C/F/L

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CurrencyEuro (€)

Milan Trip Planner


All you need before you book your tickets and zip your bag!

  • Weather

  • Budget

  • Visa

  • Travel Tips

Weather in Milan

Milan is blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year. Here’s what you should be looking out for before you book your tickets. You can check the weather here.

spring in london
Milan in Spring

Spring in Milan is a great time to visit if you’re looking for something that is placed right before the peak seasons kick in. While the day time during this season tends to get warm, it is occasionally chilly at night. If the fluctuation doesn’t bother you, spring is a great season to witness the city in all its glory.

summer in london
Milan in Summer

Brace yourself for months of sweltering heat and a flock of crowd at every attraction in Milan, because the peak season witnesses an upsurge in the number of tourists. Milan witnesses a lot of locals leaving for their holidays during this season, so don’t be surprised to run into more tourists than actual Italians!

autumn in london
Milan in Autumn

Just as spring, the temperatures get a little nippy but the overall experience of the city tends to remain enjoyable. Expect high to average fluctuation in temperature during the day before it gets cooler in the nighttime. Make sure you’re well armed with an umbrella if you plan to visit in September, as this season witnesses occasional showers as well!

winter in london
Milan in Winter

Pull out your overcoats an wrap yourself up tight if you plan to visit Milan during the wintertime. The temperatures plunge low during this season, so make sure you sign up for this only if you’re ready to brave the cold. However, despite that, Milan is not completely unbearable and one can make the most of the city comfortably even in this weather.

How to Save Money in Milan


It is a common myth to think that a foreign trip costs only a fortune. With a little bit of prudence and planning, it is possible to survive on a budget in Milan. Here’s how you can go about making the most of your trip without compromising on luxury:

1. Use Hop on Hop Off buses
Getting around the city can get expensive if you’re constantly falling back upon cars and cabs. A regular cab ride from the airport to Milan central can cost you as much as $100.

Renting a private vehicle can also turn out steep if you’re a smaller group. Get yourself a Hop on Hop off pass instead, which can take you through the best attractions in the city. The pass also allows you to pick your boarding points and allows you to hop on unlimited times based on your pass validity. Besides this, Milan is also home to five railroad stations and four subway lines, making it a hub for those looking for a budget travel.

2. Buy a City Pass
The Milan pass and the Milan card are two handy travel passes that can help you cut down on unnecessary expenditure during your trip.

Equipped with tickets to attractions, public transport, hop on hop off buses as well discounts, these passes are tailor-made not just to save money, but also time. Save yourself the trouble of standing in long queues with Milan Pass and Milan Card, which allow you to skip the lines and head straight into the striking monuments of the city. With discounts as much as €250 on dining, tours, and shopping, having a pass can help you club your favourite activities under a single umbrella.

4. Plan Your Trip Wisely
Refer to websites of museums and historical places to know more about their entry fee.

Group discounts are available for certain large groups if booked in advance. On some days, museums and other attractions also have days with a free entry. Try to revolve your trip around these days to curb expense on tickets. Also try to include places like churches, that have no entry fee, into your itinerary to have a balance.

5. Hostels versus Hotels
Sure, a hotel equals luxury, but luxury can cost a fortune. If you’re looking for ways to drastically cut down your expenses, picking a hostel instead of a hotel could do the trick.

Several backpacking hostels around Europe cater to travellers who are on a budget. Apart from cost cutting, staying in a hostel acquaints you to the culture of the city, allows you to meet like-minded people, and grants you the independence you require. In fact, a hostel can also cut down your expenses if you choose to pick a dormitory instead of a room of your own.

6. Eat cheap
The taste of Milan lies not in the gourmet food, but in the authentic street food that the city is best known for.

Spend the day sampling your favourite food off the streets and save on the moolah. Milan street food culture involves food trucks, delis, cafes as well as kiosks that promise to cut your expenses in half.

Day Trips from Milan


Milan, Italy’s fashion capital is teeming with options to do, see and eat ; pulling in millions of tourists from around the world year round. Once you've climbed the roof of Milan's Duomo, elbowed your way through to get a peek of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and tasted atleast 5 flavours of gelato from the umpteen street vendors around Milan, you can hop out of the city to experience a little more of the Italian country and culture. Milan is so beautifully located that you can visit the Swiss Alps or go to Venice from the city in just a day and be back by night! We have perfectly curated day trips from Milan that you can just plug and play, so choose your pick and waltz out of the city for a day.

Milan Itineraries


Milan has witnessed history no less than the next Mediterranean metropolis. However, it has made it a point to embrace the future and look good while doing it. The city also has a sweeping gustatory palate that will have you yearning for more.

One might wonder if it’s possible to sample the best of Milan in a day ot two. We assure you, with the help of our specially curated itineraries, one and two days in Milan can be magical!

24 Hours in Milan

Milan travel guide

Every city on the planet has it’s own “thing”, as we call it. New York has opportunities, Rome has romance, Paris has culture, Barcelona has warmth, and likewise, Milan has pizzazz. However, it has made it a point to embrace the future and look good while doing it. The city also has a sweeping gustatory palate that will have you yearning for more. One might wonder if it’s possible to sample the best of Milan in a day. We assure you, with the help of our specially curated itinerary, one day in Milan can be magical!
Since Milan is fairly popular among tourists, this guide will help you find your way to the best of Milan with minimal hassle. Fasten your seatbelts for this power-packed one day in Milan is going to be worth it all.

Here's how you can spend a day in Milan

2 Days in Milan

Milan travel guide

Charming, romantic and cosmopolitan, there’s much more to Milan than meets the eye. Tucked away in Northern Italy, the world’s fashion capital is often overlooked amidst the tourist-friendly Venice and Rome. The city is a true kaleidoscope -- brimming with stunning art and architecture, home to the world’s biggest fashion brands, an endless tirade of green spaces and of course, offers delectable food. If you’re wondering about what to do in Milan, look no further! Our 2 days in Milan itinerary is just what you need to navigate your way through this culture-filled city.
Our guide to spending 2 days in Milan brings to you important attractions, food and stay recommendations, travel tips and much more.

Here our handcrafted 2 Day Itinerary In Milan.

Milan Hop On Hop Off Tours


Milan Travel Guide

Often titled the fashion capital and design capital of the world, Milan is one of the most picturesque cities in the world. The confluence of art, history and culture makes it a popular tourist destination. There are several must-see locations in the town, including the Duomo di Milano, Sforza Castle, Sant’ Ambrogio and many world-famous restaurants and cafes. The legendary Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece, The Last Supper, can be seen housed in the Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. The best way to experience this gorgeous city is the Milan Hop on Hop off bus tour. This incredible bus route network will allow you to visit nearly every attraction that Milan has to offer. Witness the beauty of Milan from your vantage point on top of these eye-catching double-decker buses.

Milan Pass and Milano Card


But Milan is not all just art and history; it is a vibrant modern city with the best culinary experiences and entertainment venues. It also hosts two of the world’s most famous football teams ‘AC Milan’ and ‘Inter Milan’. The home of the biggest Fashion Houses in the world- Versace, Prada, Valentino and more, Milan is the ideal mix of the old and new. The best way to explore this large city is through travel passes.

The Milan Pass and the Milano Card are two great travel passes that will help you save on time and money as you explore Milan. The travel cards offer free tickets to attractions, free public transport, free hop-on hop-off bus tours and discounts on tickets and experiences. All these benefits help you save up to 30% on your travel costs in Milan.

These passes have been designed to help you keep the expenses down while you explore and experience Milan with ease. In this post, we will go through the details of each card, outline the difference between the cards and offer tips on how you can purchase these cards and get the most value for money.

Getting Around in Milan


Bus, trains, trams, or metro — public transport forms an integral part of Milan’s connectivity. Milan’s fantastic transportation system connects each and every corner of the city. However, it is only natural to find yourself intimidated with the system — so, here’s how you can get around Milan by its public transport:

  • Milan Subway: The subway in Milan has four lines. Each line has a different colour and numbers. You can make transfers between the following stops: Cadorna, Centrale, Duomo, Loreto, Porta Garibaldi, and Zara. The Subway trains in Milan run from 6 AM to 1 AM on a regular basis.
  • Milan Railways: With a scenic rail route by its side, Milan’s Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como are the two most easily accessible stations in the city. This train also takes you past smaller towns such as Cremona, Pavia, and several others during the course of its journey.
  • Bike rentals: Bike sharing is also one of the most important ways to traverse around Milan. Pick up and drop a bike as per your convenience. Affordable and economic, these bikes require a registration on BikeMi website before you can start riding as per your will.

Where to stay in Milan


milan travel guide

Choosing the right neighbourhood to stay in the city is necessary for several reasons. Whether it is to stay close to the culture, or to be accessible to the attractions — there should always a good reason before finalising your locality.

  • Pick Centro Storico if you don’t mind a lot of crowd or are looking for a glamorous experience.
  • Brera is for those who wish to experience fashion first hand.
  • Porta Nuova is perfect for those wishing to go through the wonders of ‘New Milan’.
  • Chinatown is perfect for those travellers who don’t mind walking and are looking for something on a budget.

Dining in Milan


Apart from being one of the most affluent cities of Europe, Milan has also been sought after for its iconic Milanese dishes that have been attracting tourists since centuries. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss out on during your trip to Milan:

1. Risotto alla Milanese
The delicious risotto finds it roots way back in Milan. Rice, cheese, beef, butter, white wine, and saffron are combined and baked together to form a delicious regional speciality. The staple risotto is often served alongside other Milanese food, and makes for an important part of their dinner.

2. Ossobuco
The word ‘ossobuco’ is Italian for ‘bone with a hole’; referring to the marrow hole of a cross-cut veal shank This particular delicacy combines meat, tomato, onion, greens, and carrots and is often eaten with a bread or risotto alongside. This sumptuous traditional dish is considered to be one of the regional favourites of the people.

3. Piadina
A distant cousin of the famous Quesadilla, the Piadina is a thin Italian flatbread that is enjoyed with meat and cheese. The bread, which is flaky as well as crunchy. is a local lunch time favourite that you simply shouldn’t miss out on!

4. Cotoletta alla Milanese
A signature dish of the city, Cotoletta alla Milanese is traditionally prepared with a veal cutlet, but you can find chicken variations of the same. The dish consists of a breaded "bone-in" veal cutlet, fried in butter, and cannot be missed when in Milan!

If you have pizza and pasta on your must-eat list on your trip to Milan, you’re going to be surprised at the variety the city has to offer. With a delectable spread unlike any other city in Italy, you can’t get around Milan without sampling from some of their innovative restaurants. If you’re wondering where to start, here are some of the most sought after restaurants that you should be heading to without further ado:

Pasticceria Marchesi

If breakfast and desserts make your day, consider giving Pasticceria Marchesi a shot if you’re around. The legendary Marchesi dates back to 1821 and is also one of the oldest pastry shops in Milan. Take their aromatic cappuccino or an espresso on the go, or munch on a sumptuous brioche — there’s a lot to pick from if you’re craving sweet or savoury!
Directions

Trussardi alla Scala

There’s nothing like a night of luxury, and if you’re a fan of caviar, head to Trussardi alla Scala for the best caviar in Milan. Relish high-end Italian as well as French cuisine presented with a twist and complemented with airy, contemporary interiors. Trussardi alla Scala promises an upscale dining fit for a king!
Directions

Trattoria Madonnina

Take a break from the trendy hotspots of Milan and hop into Trattoria Madonnina for a taste of tradition and culture. Feel at one with the Milanese way of living with their authentic Italian interiors and rustic decor.
Ask for a Milanese stew and their famous homemade desserts for an experience to cherish.
Directions

La Gelataria della Musica

What is a trip to Italy without tasting its famous gelato? Whether you’re wandering about on a hot day or not, grab a cone and take a stroll alongside the canals of Milan.
A unique feature about this restaurant is that it names all its ice cream after famous musicians!

Find the nearest one

Festivals in Milan


Milan hosts a plethora of festivals that are neither considered traditional, nor religious. With an interesting mix of cultures and celebrations, Milan has everything beginning from good food, to dancing as well as large parties. Not only is Milan one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world, it is also one of the four fashion capitals of Europe, making it the home of the thriving fashion industry. Here are a few festivals you should plan your trip around to get the most of this city:

  • Italian Grand Prix: An annual sporting event that is held in the first week of September, Italian Grand Prix attracts a huge deal of crowd every year and is perfect for adrenaline junkies. The event features a great deal of thrill coupled up with racing.
  • Milan Fashion Week: Although not a festival, people from around the world find themselves swarming around Milan for the iconic fashion week that is held in September. The event includes a nationwide celebration of the city’s textile and fashion industry. So, whether you bag a seat or not, make sure you visit around this time to experience the fashion capital at its best.
  • Carnival Ambrosiano: A funfair of night-long partying and pomp, Carnival Ambrosiano takes place on the first Saturday of Lent. The carnival is a real treat for the entire family with its parade of floats, workshops, concerts, and other interactive events.
  • Furniture Fair/Salone del Mobile Milano A quirky festival which is held in April, the Furniture Fair or Salone del Mobile Milano in Milan showcases one of the largest trade fair of its kind. Browse through contemporary furniture and its designs from around the world along with other home furnishing items.

Milan Culture


Italians are generally regarded friendly and helpful to tourists from around the world. However, it is always best to keep in mind certain etiquettes to avoid giving offence or avoiding the encounter of an unpleasant experience.

  • Try not to be loud and talk loudly in public as Italians dislike disruptive behaviour and expect the public to behave politely.
  • It is advisable to dress decently while wandering around the town. Try not to overdress or underdress and stay casual throughout your visit.
  • Acknowledge people as you enter into a shop or a bar. Say ‘buongiorno’ or ‘buona sera’ as a gesture of kindness. Despite that, Italians are not usually chatty and can get uncomfortable with long conversations.
  • While seated in a public place, do not put your feet up a chair. Italians consider this action as a rude and impolite. Walking barefoot in Milan is widely accepted in open spaces such as big parks as well as beaches.

All Milan Guides

Milan Travel Guide
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