A really informative travellers guide to Milan - the important places to see, where to stay and what eat! If you are in Europe this Summer, Milan is one of the cities you simply need to visit.
Destination: Milan, June 2017
Milan is elegance mixed with a pinch of the chaos and messiness that characterize Italy. It’s the second richest city in the European Union, the banking capital of Italy and one of the world’s fashion capitals. Don’t be surprised if you run into a photoshoot on the street! I found it to be quite unique when compared to other cities in Europe, and even very different from it’s national neighbor, Rome.
It may not be in the typical Italian itinerary, but even if just for a day, it should be. There indeed are less attractions than in Rome, Venice or Florence, but some very interesting. It’s majestic Duomo attracts millions of visitors every year, as does Da Vinci’s Last Supper, also in Milan.
Milan’s best experiences
This marvelous Gothic cathedral is undoubtedly the main attraction of the city. And I bet you’ll agree! Its intrinsic design is one of a kind. It’s also the third largest cathedral in the world.
One of the worlds oldest shopping malls, this beautiful gallery which is now the home for the most luxurious brands, is a few meters away from the Duomo. It’s seriously so beautiful! The windows of the luxury stores here are also a spectacle themselves.
One of the most well known painting of all times is here! However it’s not at all straightforward to see it. The official website sell tickets but they get sold really in advance. Book them as soon as possible.
The artistic heart of Milan. Its ancient streets are beautiful to walk through, eat, shop and photograph. The Pinacoteca di Brera is also here.
The main gallery in Milan, containing a wonderful collection of Italian paintings that will fascinate any art lover.
The beautiful Parco Sempione, is the main park in Milan and has lots to offer. It’s layout is beautiful and if you are lucky to go in summer as I am, you’ll enjoy seeing ducklings running around, turtles bathing in the sun, and musicians playing some tunes in the open air. Moreover on one side of the park you’ll find the beautiful Arco della Pace (or Peace Arch) and on the other extreme the Castello Sforzesco.
A 15 century castle now home to various art and history museums, including the Rondanini Pietà Museum, which contains Michelangelo’s last sculpture.
This won’t be present in any other guide, but in my opinion is totally worth looking at. It’s a building complex literally covered in trees. I saw it by chance, but I’m so glad I did. It’s not only super environmentally friendly but also very photogenic.
Milan also has canals! The main one is the Naviglio Grande which gives the name to this district. Sip on an aperitivo while you enjoy the sundown and take pictures of the canal. There is also great authentic Milanese cuisine here for a post aperitivo dinner.
Milan’s best food
For your pizza fix, try Maruzella, Piccola Ischia or Pizza AM for the napolitan version. For a thin crust version try S.P.I.B Pizza. You must also try panzerotto, a deep fried calzone, which you can do at Luini.
Last but not least, ice cream! Try La Gelateria della Musica and Gelato Giusto. For chocolate filled ice cream cones, try Cioccolatti Italiani. For organic and vegan flavors, try Ciacco. The vegan pistachio was a dream come true!
Where to stay in Milan and how to get around
Staying in the centre is recommended but not at all essential in my opinion. For instance, I stayed here, which is a bit north as I needed to be close to a concert venue and it worked out more than perfectly for me. It was cheaper, and getting to the centre using the metro was super quick and easy. You can search for highly rated cheap hotels in Milan here.
The metro is cheap and easy to get around. I found taxis (and also Uber) to be super expensive, so try to avoid them.