| || |
|−|[[Dmoz:Europe/Italy/Regions/Lombardy/Localities/Milan/]] | |
| || |
Latest revision as of 15:44, 25 November 2020
- For other places with the same name, see Milan (disambiguation).
Milan (Italian: Milano) is financially the first most important city in Italy. It has the most populous city proper in the country, but sits at the centre of Italy's largest urban and metropolitan area. While incorrectly not considered as beautiful as some Italian cities, having been partly destroyed by Second World War bomb raids, the city has rebuilt itself into a thriving cosmopolitan business capital. In essence, for a tourist, what makes Milan interesting compared to other places is that the city is truly more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures: a paradise for shopping, football, opera, and nightlife. Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion – fashion aficionados, supermodels and international paparazzi descend upon the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs. Don't get fooled by the modern aspect of the city, since it's one of the most ancient cities in Europe with more than 26 centuries of history and heritage!
Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights - the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world, La Scala, one of the best established opera houses in the globe, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery, the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe, the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture, the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium, or the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle and the UNESCO's World Heritage Site Santa Maria delle Grazie Basilica, containing one of the world's most famous paintings: Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. If you plan to visit it reserve a ticket online, as it is sold out for several months.
The Duomo di Milano, the city's stunning Gothic cathedral
If Rome represents the "old" Italy, Milan represents the "new" Italy. Milan is the most modern of all Italian cities, and it still keeps most of its past history intact.
At first sight, Milan looks like a bustling and relatively stylish (with its shiny display windows and elegant shops) metropolis, with a good number of grand palaces and fine churches in the centre, but might seem like a slightly prosaic, soulless and business-orientated place. It can be quite rainy, grey and foggy, and some of the buildings, ancient or modern, have quite a severe appearance. Whilst there are a lot of parks, Milan looks as if it has very little greenery, and apart from the very well-kept historic part, some outlying areas are a bit scruffy. However, Milan, unlike most usually historical European cities which throw the sights in your face, requires quite a lot of exploring - take it as it is, and you might enjoy its fashionable glitter and business-like modernity, but might find it not very "captivating". If you spend time, though, strolling through areas such as the pretty Navigli, the chic Brera district, the lively University quarter, or some of the smaller churches and buildings, you'll find a forward thinking, diverse city filled in every corner with history, and with a plethora of hidden gems. Plus, with such an established history in theatre, music, literature, sport, art and fashion, there's really not much you can miss.
Milan, as many have noticed, doesn't fully feel like a part of Italy. Despite the similarities between typical Italian cities such as Verona or Venice with the city, it does have a different atmosphere. Milan feels more like a bustling, busy, fashionable business capital - where in several cafes, lots of people only stop to have a quick espresso at the bar counter, and where tourists at times seem more laid back than the locals. Milan, unlike the traditionally red-terracotta roofed Italian cities, is quite grey, as many buildings are constructed using limestone or dark stones. Ancient buildings mainly have a sort of Austrian/Germanic neoclassical look with some slight French influences. However, with some cycling around in old fashioned bicycles, restaurant chairs and tables outside at summer filled with locals and tourists alike, and people strolling down the pedestrian avenues, licking an ice cream or carrying some heavy shopping bags, Milan does boast some "Italian flair".
These differences between Rome and Milan are evident from several proverbs, such as an Italian saying about the differences of the two cities which roughly translates, "Rome is a voluptuous woman whose gifts are very apparent, while Milan is the shy, demure girl whose treasures are plentiful, but discovered in time."
When to visit
Leonardo da Vinci's greatest masterpiece, the Last Supper, Milan
Milan, depending on how you want to tour the city, is a rewarding visit all the year. Keep in mind most places, including tourist destinations and museums, are closed on Mondays.
In autumn, the weather is warm/cool, and in later months can be quite rainy and foggy. At this time of the year, the city's inhabitants are very busy with work, so the only people you're likely to see wandering around are tourists. All the major venues and shops are open, since it is the working part of the year.
In winter, the city can become cold (often below or around zero degrees centigrade), and the weather is usually foggy and rainy if not snowy. However, the city, in the few weeks before Christmas, becomes delightful to visit - the main sights are all illuminated by stunning lights, a huge Christmas tree is set up in front of the Duomo, vendors and markets can be found everywhere, many shop and display windows are decorated and the streets become bustling with locals and tourists alike. However, the only downside is that it can become extremely crowded, noisy and busy.
In spring, the weather is similar to that of autumn. People go back to work, and the atmosphere becomes more quiet, yet serious unlike that of the winter. Parks become nice to visit, as trees blossom. The city is also quite nice to visit at Carnival, where people dress up and celebrate, and during Easter, where there are special services held in churches and some special events.
In summer, Milan can become extremely hot and humid, with the odd powerful rainstorm here and there. Whilst in July, apart from the weather, most shops remain open, in August, as many locals go off to take their summer holidays, many businesses and venues shut down (with the notice Chiuso per ferie, or shut down for vacation). The city may become quite empty with the odd tourist strolling around, and with several of the main sights shut down. Despite it not being the best time for shopping and the weather's not at all times very pleasant, it's good if you want to enjoy the city to yourself when it's quiet, and maybe want to stroll around, sipping at the odd open bar or at an ice cream, or walking in a silent park. This has begun to change in recent years, and though many businesses still shut down for a week or two in August, many larger ones now remain open.
Milan has two main international air gateways, Linate airport and Malpensa airport. Sometimes referred to as Milan's additional airports, Bergamo's Orio al Serio airport (45km East) and Parma airport (100km South) mostly host budget airlines.
The main international airport is Malpensa (Milan Malpensa, IATA: MXP). It's a large, modern, two-runway airport. The airport has two terminals, with Terminal 1 being the largest (international and intercontinental flights). Terminal 2 is the biggest continental base for Easyjet, which is the only carrier in the terminal, and it has grown consistently in the last few years.
The two terminals are connected by a free shuttle bus service (running approximately every 20 minutes). However, such shuttles are very small and the frequency is inadequate: long queues tend to form, which prompts several taxi drivers to station right next to the stop and pick up those passengers who don't want to or can't afford to wait. It is not uncommon for passengers to wait up to 40-45 minutes for the transfers: most shuttles are packed, forcing passengers to wait for the next one.
- Malpensa Express Trains. This is the only frequent railway link between Malpensa and central Milan. From December 2010 trains connect Malpensa airport terminal 1 to both Milano Cadorna and Milano Centrale.
- The Malpensa Express Trains between Malpensa and Milano Cadorna is recommended as the easiest and fastest connection if you travel from Malpensa airport to the city centre (or vice versa), though it may be crowded at rush hours. Trains to Milano Cadorna leave every 30 min from Terminal 1 and 2, arriving at Milan's Cadorna train station in less than 40 min (the Cadorna station is connected to Milan's subway network, at the intersection of the red M1 and green M2 lines). All trains stop at intermediate stations (usually Busto Arsizio, Saronno, Milano Bovisa). For full timetable see  The last train departs at approximately 11:20PM, so if you arrive on a late flight or are delayed then you will need to take a bus or taxi. (see below) After the last train there are both buses that connect to Milan Cadorna station and buses that connect to Milan Central station (for bus to Milan Central station see below).
- Fare: one-way €13, round trip €20 (to be carried out during the day if purchased at the ticket office, vending and in kiosks affiliated distributors; within 30 days if purchased online or via App Trenord). A new offer allows a family (or group) up to 2 adult and 2 children (up to 18 year old) to travel one-way for €25. Your ticket must be bought and validated in the station before boarding. It isn't possible anymore to buy tickets on board. The only option for a passenger without a ticket is to contact a ticket inspector when boarding or immediately after boarding (a surcharge of €5 will be added to the cost of a full rate single ticket in this case) You can buy tickets from  or from the self-service ticket machines at Cadorna Station.
- The Malpensa Express Trains between Malpensa and Milano Centrale connect Malpensa airport to Milano Centrale. These trains also connect to Milano Bovisa and Milano Porta Garibaldi. There are 2 trains each hour. These trains stop at Milano Bovisa, Milano Porta Garibaldi and Milano Centrale. Some trains also stop at Busto Arsizio, Saronno, and some trains also stop at some intermediate stations. Running time varies. You can buy tickets from  or from the self-service ticket machine located at the beginning of platform 3 in Centrale railway station
- Buses leave approximately every 20min for Centrale Station and Linate airport, costing about €10 and €13, respectively. Travel can take from 40 minutes (weekends) to 1 hour or more (during weekday mornings).
- From Malpensa Airport Terminal 2 directly to Milan, there are a number of stands for various bus companies. One tried-and-tested service is called Malpensa Shuttle. Buy your ticket at the stand in arrivals (card accepted) before boarding the gaudily coloured bus in the car park. There are 2-3 buses per hour, and the bus terminates next to the taxi rank by the east entrance of Milano Centrale. A single costs €10, or you can ask for a return ticket for €16. For the journey from Centrale to Malpensa, there is a ticket stand near the east exit of Centrale, and the bus is boarded at the adjacent bus stops.
- Using a taxi to get from Malpensa to the city center is expensive: €90 (fixed fee for a City-Airport trip, without further stops). Only taxis registered in Milan itself have signed up to the fixed fee agreement - taxis from outlying cities (which you will also find at Malpensa) have not signed on to the agreement, will still take you to Milan but will charge you the meter reading (generally €80+ in light traffic). If upon entering a taxi you do not see a card on the window or rear of the driver/passenger seats, then you are in a non-Milanese taxi. You can request the fixed fee if the driver refuses, then take the next taxi in the rank. You may find that if you take the fixed fee from a non-Milanese taxi then they take a slower non-toll road rather than the toll paying motorway (tolls are ALWAYS paid by the driver so are included in the meter or fixed fee).
- Avis and other car hire firms are available at Milan airport Terminal 1.
- You can reach Milan by Trenitalia trains departing from Gallarate train station. A bus service is available from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to Gallarate.
Some European or national flights arrive at Linate Airport (IATA: LIN). This small but rather efficient one-runway airport is very close to the city centre (7 km). It is mostly serviced by airlines to domestic destinations and some European destinations. After the bankruptcy of the 'old' Alitalia and its merger with AirOne, the new airline abandoned Malpensa in favour of Linate.
- Taking connecting flights in Linate might take much longer than elsewhere because there is no through passage: you get off the airplane, get out of the security area, go through security again together with those passengers who have just arrived from Milan and not with a connecting flight, and only then can you board the new plane. If you're taking a connection from abroad it doesn't make much difference, because in these cases you have to go through security again (say, London to Palermo via Rome Fiumicino), but if both flights are domestic then you don't have to go through security again if the airport has a through passage (e.g. Palermo to Genova via Rome Fiumicino). This is common in most countries: the rationale is that apparently no one seems to trust security checks performed by other countries!
- Since the airport is so close to the city, it is served by buses of the city public transport network: Bus no. 73 outside the terminal building goes to San Babila Square, in the city centre, which is served by metro line MM1. This bus is not a dedicated service but a city transportation network bus with many stops en route, may get crowded during peak hours. The bus runs every ten minutes and costs €2. This bus service is managed by ATM , the public transport company of Milan. Tickets can be purchased from the newsagent inside the airport terminal or by the ATM vending machines close to the bus stop. Remember to validate the ticket when boarding the bus. With the same ticket, you can transfer to the metro (subway) system once and unlimited buses or trams in a 90 minute period. You can also directly use a comprehensive ticket to many places in the suburbs. For more detail see #Get around. Information and timetables available from the ATM web site. To catch the right 73 bus from the airport to Milan, look for direction "SAN BABILA M1" and avoid Line 73 buses directed to "S.FELICINO" (be very careful not to take a bus to San Felicino, because not only you would go in the wrong direction, but you would also be considered without a valid ticket for that journey) . On the other direction, when going from the city centre to Linate airport, you can get both buses directed to Linate airport or to San Felicino. During daytime the frequency of the bus is one bus every 5 to 10 minutes.
- A new express service Bus no. X73, by ATM , connect the Linate airport and San Babila Square, in the city centre and vice versa, via a route similar to the bus 73, but with just one intermediate stop (at Dateo, where interchange with the Passante Ferroviario is possible). As it is a direct service it takes less time than the normal 73 bus and it is usually less crowded. The advertised journey time is 25 (but take into account more time than this, especially if you are travelling in peak time). This express service operates only weekdays 7AM-8PM and there is an express bus every 20 minutes. The ordinary ticket of €2 is accepted on this route, no supplement is needed, and you can transfer to the metro (subway) system and other bus (for more details about tickets see above and the Get around section).
- A dedicated bus service, called "Starfly", operated daily 06:00 to 23:30 by Autostradale, connects Linate airport to Milan central station running approximately every 30 minutes and tickets cost €5 per adult (ticket sold at local newsagent and on board). This bus also stops on route at Lambrate railway station. The journey takes approximately 27 min.  
- A bus service, operated by Malpensa Shuttle  connects Malpensa airport to Linate airport as well as Malpensa to Milan's Central train station (timetables, fares and ticket booking available online). The journey takes 30-60 min, depending on traffic conditions.
- Taxis from Linate to the city centre cost around €12-20 depending on traffic conditions. The minimum charge is €12. If you are going to the centre, ignore all the guys standing at the exit to the terminal saying "taxi"... they are for destinations outside central Milan (ie, outlying cities) and will charge a minimum of €70. Queues for regular taxis can get long during peak commuter hours (early evening) and are particularly bad during Fashion Week.
Orio al Serio airport (Bergamo)
Some budget airlines fly into Orio al Serio Airport (IATA: BGY) . About 45km north-east of Milan near the city of Bergamo. Ryanair refers to this as Milan Bergamo Airport. Public transport into Milan is slightly less convenient than Malpensa or Linate:
- Trains to Milan leave from Bergamo station, which you can get to by shuttle bus or taxi, but is quite far from the airport. Buses to Bergamo are run by ZANI and take 10 minutes, at a cost of around €1.50. Trains from Bergamo to Milan run every 30-60 minutes and take around 1 hour. Adult one-way fare approx €5.5.
- Bus Services — All buses leave for Milan from immediately outside the arrivals section of the airport and from Ferrante Aporti on the east side of Central Station in Milan for all the companies below.
- Autostradale run a direct bus  from Orio Airport to Milano Centrale station, which is probably the best choice. Departure times may vary, but buses generally run every half hour during the day, less often at night, and take about 1 hour or more. However, beware of cutting things too fine, because the highway to Milan is very crowded during weekdays. Adult one-way fare: €5.00. Tickets are sold in Orio Al Serio Airport in Bergamo and at the Central Train Station in Milan. Be at the Milan Bus stop at least 15 minutes before nominal departure time, or you may get left behind. Tickets can be purchased online, but sellers at the airport and train station will offer 3 tickets for price of 2.
- Zani Viaggi  also run a bus service from Bergamo Airport to Milano Centrale station with a stop at the Cascina Gobba MM2 station on the North Eastern outskirts of Milan. Adult fare: €9ish one way. Tickets sold at an office in the airport or online.
- There are several other bus shuttle companies, e.g. Orio shuttle  that offer direct bus services from Bergamo airport to Milan central, Malpensa and Linate airport. It is advisable to not buy the bus tickets online beforehand, because then the passenger has no choice but to wait for the bus the he/she has booked. Once you get out of the customs area, there are a lot of kiosks and agents, who will offer bus tickets to city center at €9 return, or €5 one-way. This gives flexibility to choose the first departing bus, instead of waiting at the airport.
- Taxis will set you back maybe €100 from Orio to Milan.
- The main railway station is the Central Station ('Milano Centrale'), which is served by Trenitalia , the State Railways. Regular express and fast trains serve all Italian cities (Turin, Venice, Rome, Naples, Florence and many others), and some European cities (Barcelona, Zurich, Geneva, Munich, Paris, Stuttgart, Vienna, etc.).
The station building is in itself worth a visit being a masterpiece of rationalist architecture.
The station area is not in a great part of town at night, though in the area there are a number of decent budget hotels (see "Sleep" below) and some business-oriented international brand hotels. In general the area south of the station (characterized by a few skyscrapers) is a business and local government center, pretty active during working hours but almost deserted at night. Should you need a few supplies for your trip, there is a supermarket in the west side of the station in the basement, as well as cafes and other small shops. Internet points in the main square overlooking the station. In 2008 the station is completing extensive renovation. At night, parts of the Central Station become a sleeping area for vagrants. Usually around the station there are children aggressively targeting tourist for pickpocketing, so pay attention to your bag.
The Central Station is served by MM2 and MM3 metro lines. Taxis stops directly in front of the station (on the sides during the renovation period), and ATM buses on the West side (IV November Square) and buses to Linate, Malpensa and Orio airports on the East side (Luigi di Savoia square).
- Another important railway station is Cadorna, served by Ferrovie Nord  (North Railways), where the Malpensa airport Express stops and which is also a stop for MM1 and MM2 metro lines. This is a good station if you are travelling to Como Lago station
- Garibaldi station is the terminus for most commuter railway lines and is served by the state railways. It is also the station served by TGV trains to and from Paris, operated by SNCF. It is also a stop for the MM2 metro and for the Passante suburban commuter train link (see #Get_around). Garibaldi station is divided into three parts - terminating platforms, through platforms, and the underground 'passante' platforms - and can be quite confusing to get around, so allow extra time for changing here.
- Other main train stations are Lambrate (connected to MM2 metro line), Greco-Pirelli, Rogoredo (connected to MM3 metro line) and Porta Genova (connected to MM2 metro line) for the FS Trenitalia railways and Bovisa (connected to the Passante suburban commuter train link) and Domodossola for the Ferrovie Nord railways. Domodossola station is very close to the city section of the Milan Exhibition Centre - fieramilanocity, also connected to the subway system by the MM1 metro line.
Although Ferrovie Nord (FNM) and Trenitalia (FS) are historically two separate railway networks, all railway tickets (except for some commuters' season passes) are valid on both of them, so you needn't worry about getting the wrong ticket!
The main motorways linking Milan to the rest of Italy are:
- A1, the Autostrada del Sole (Highway of the Sun), a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.
- A4 Westbound, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Turin, the Western Alps and France.
- A4 Eastbound, the Autostrada Serenissima, an eight-lane motorway linking Milan to Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Padua and Venice, and further to Trieste and Slovenia.
- A7, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Genoa, the Ligurian Riviera and the Cinque terre.
- A8, the Autostrada dei Laghi (Highway of the Lakes), an eight-lane motorway linking Milan to Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lugano and the rest of Switzerland.
- A9, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Varese and Western Ticino in Switzerland.
- A50, A51 and A52, respectively the West, East and North Ringroads (Tangenziale Ovest, Tangenziale Est, and Tangenziale Nord) connect the various motorways forming a six-lane ringroad around Milan.
- A53, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Pavia.
The main highway operating company is Società Autostrade per l'Italia .
Because of heavy traffic, it is strongly recommended not to drive in Milan during working days. Driving is much better during weekends. A recommendation is to leave your car in one of the well-marked, huge commuter car parks near several exits of Milan's motorway ringroad; they're managed by ATM and are easily connected with Milan's underground metro lines, but they close around midnight. They're near highway exits in Cascina Gobba (East), Lampugnano (North West), Molino Dorino (North West), Bonola (North West), Rho-Pero (North West), Bisceglie (South West), San Donato (South East), and Famagosta (South). If you must drive in Milan during weekdays, then make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the one-way system.
Traffic congestion fee - Since January 1 2008, cars entering Milan's central area within the former walls of the city (cerchia dei navigli) must pay a fee (€2,€3, €5 or €10 depending on the engine and age of the car): there are cameras in all entrances to this area and all registration plates are recorded. Payment can be made by purchasing entrance cards at newspaper stands, online or by sms (call 020202 for information). Failure to pay within 48 hours from entering the area implies a fine of €75.
Lampugnano coach station is Milan's main bus terminal. From here, you can take the MM1 (red underground line) to the centre or to the exhibition centre at Rho-Fiera.
The main national bus lines are operated by Autostradale , but there are many other small companies offering even international travel .
Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A. (ATM) operates a public transport network which is pretty efficient (especially the underground lines and the trams (streetcars)). Single tickets cost €2 and are available from automatic ticket machines in metro stations. 24 hr tickets cost €7, 3-days €12 (as of Aug 2019), as well as a "carnet" of 10 single trips for €18. Unfortunately unlike in Barcelona and Paris, the carnet is no longer transferable.
You must have a valid ticket before boarding a bus or tram. Tickets are not sold on board and you will not find a self-service ticket machine at bus and tram stop. You need to buy a valid ticket from one of the places listed above. Single tickets are valid for 90 min, during which you can use them on as many trams and buses as you like, for one metro ride and for one ride on the urban part of a suburban train. Your time starts once you validate it by inserting it into a box which prints the date and time on it. These are found inside trams and buses and at the turnstiles at the metro. If you've first used a single ticket on a bus or tram, you must also validate it when you enter the metro or before taking the urban part of the suburban train. There still exists three different types of ticket machines on trams and buses. To validate the new-style paper with magnetic strip tickets (these should be the only ones that you will ever be sold) you need to use the orange and yellow machines. If you have a new magnetic credit-card type ticket, you should validate it every time you board on a new bus or a tram as well.
The Metro (short for Metropolitana) has a big white M on a red background as a logo and has four lines, each commonly identified by a colour as shown below, and is the best way to get around Milan. The lines are: MM1, red (rossa); MM2, green (verde); MM3, yellow (gialla); MM5, violet (lilla). Line MM4 is under construction, as many other extension of existing lines. The subway network is rather extended (lines split into different sections and its 103 stations cover most areas of town). Trains run every 1-3 min, 06:00-23:59 (02:00 on Saturday nights).
Ticket machines at the more important metro stations will often have beggars standing around them, offering to 'help you' buy a ticket. If you accept their help, they will harass you for a tip or simply steal your change as it comes out of the machine.
One of the city's easily recognisable orange tramcars.
(Streetcars) run above-ground on rail lines running through the streets. Milan is par excellence the city of trams, and it's the second city in the world for tramway lines extension. They're everywhere, and they are a true symbol of Milan, just like red double decker bus is for London. Being above ground means you get a view of what you're passing, so if you don't need to go far, they're convenient and fun. Some tram lines are operated by the ultramodern 'jumbo' green tram, others are run by yellow or orange antique traditional carriages (similar to the ones in San Francisco) with wooden panelling inside and glass chandeliers. There is also a restaurant tram and a party tram with disco music. Many tram stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service. These are known as trams and an Italian (or non-American foreigner for that matter) will have no idea what you are talking about if you ask them where to find a 'streetcar'. Many trams are really museum pieces, which makes of Milan a sort of an open air transportation museum. The most important historical trams are the "serie 1500" type, dating back as far as 1929! They survived even to the WWII bombings and are still now in perfect conditions. Since their historical value, no retirement option is even considered for these tram types.
Buses should probably be your third public transport option. Equally comfortable, rather punctual and clean with many routes to choose from. ATM tram and bus services stop around 02:00. However, some lines end their service earlier and some do not have a night service at all. In any case check your route and timetable in advance if you want to travel late at night.
Several buses connect suburban cities and towns surrounding Milan. Some are managed by ATM. You can travel on most of them with an inter-urban ticket (biglietto interurbano) which are sold in two forms: including travel in Milan or without. In the without form you can only go to the end of the line, while with the cumulative version you can transfer to any ATM line. There are several rules and distance limits which apply, so be aware of them when you purchase your ticket.
Many bus stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service.
The Radiobus service has been cancelled and replaced by 'Radiobus di Quartiere', active between 10PM and 2AM every night. These buses pick you up from the terminus (usually a metro stop) and deliver you to any stop in a certain area of town. See here  for more details.
The Suburban Railway System or S-lines (the logo is a big green S on a blue background) includes a special line known as Passante ferroviario (railway link), considered Milan's fourth subway line (although trains run every 6-15 mins), and has eight more lines, each identified by a number (S1, S2, S5, S6, S10 trough Passante Ferroviario and S3, S4, S8, S9, S11 trough other railways), connecting metro area towns with Milan. Suburban trains run less often than Metro trains (depending on the line, they range from 1 to 4 per hour) but, as some lines share tracks and stations, you can expect as many as 10 trains per hour in central Milan between Lancetti and Porta Vittoria stations. Suburban Railway 'S' Lines are usually marked in blue on subway maps. The Passante is not heavily used by the Milanese and in non-peak hours stations can be deserted so would not be recommended for lone (and particularly female) travellers.
Taxis can be expensive and drivers are allowed to pick passengers up from designated taxi ranks, through phone bookings and directly from the street. The main taxi companies can be reached at 02.40.40, 02.69.69 or 02.80.80, or alternatively, from a land line dial 848.814.781 to be connected to the nearest taxi stand. If you book a taxi by phone you'll start paying from the moment the driver accepts the call and comes to pick you up. Local law define some fixed fee trips: Milan to Malpensa Airport €70, Malpensa Airport-Rho Fair €55, Malpensa Airport-Linate Airport €85, Linate Airport-Milan Fair €40. All fees are intended for a one-way, non-stop trip; taxi waiting time and booking are extras. A surcharge will apply in the evenings so don't be surprised if the meter has €6+ on it when you enter, even if at a taxi-stand.
Definitely not a good idea to get into the city centre. Like most major cities traffic is a considerable problem, not to mention the hassle of parking. During working hours traffic is often blocked, inside the city as well as on the highway ring surrounding it. It is much better at night, but you'll probably have problems finding a place to leave the car near enough to nightlife attractions. And a Congestion charge will be applied anywhere from €2 to €10 per day to enter the second city ring (i Bastioni) in accordance with how much your vehicle pollutes. The charge is only applied on weekdays, 07:30-19:30. Drivers will have to buy a ticket either on-line or from key points in the city.
Walking is definitely a possibility, and although Milan is a large city, many of the main tourist attractions are within an easy and pleasant walk from one another. In recent years, several tourist hot spots, such as the Corso Vittorio Emanuele or the Via Dante have been made pedestrian, so walking shouldn't be a problem. No matter how hot the day, one will see elegantly dressed people of both sexes in timeless fashion without a drop of sweat. There are many places to sit, apart from the ubiquitous cafes, especially in the parks. Get a decent map of the city before setting out though, as the roads do not always maintain a straight line, and the various piazza can be confusing to the newcomer. In the many parks, there are dog only areas, but one should always be careful when walking as the two things one will see on the ground in the streets are cigarette ends and dog faeces.
Bikes are available through the BikeMI bike sharing service. You can register for annual or temporary subscriptions at any BikeMi station. If you register for a temporary subscription (weekly or daily), a user code, along with your password, will be sent to the e-mail address, chosen during your registration. Your codes are active as soon as you receive them. BikeDistrict is a website that offers cycling directions to get around safely in the city. Entering the departure and destination addresses, BikeDistrict finds the best itinerary for bikes, avoiding as far as possible cobblestones, tram rails, busy streets and the routes which are potentially dangerous for cyclists. The suggested route is displayed on a map and colored according to the cycling level of every street, together with real-time information about bike sharing stations and with the location of cycling-related services, such as bike repair shops.
An official app that can help you navigate the city using public transportation is ATM Milano Official App Android iOS
San Maurizio Maggiore, Milan
There are a lot of things you can see in Milan - from fine churches, old palaces, excellent museums, world class theatres and opera houses, cultural gems, striking buildings, sleek modern architectural works and lovely streets and squares. But remember, not all of them are right in the absolute centre - some of the most wonderful gems can be found near the outskirts or even outside of Milan. Note too that most museums are closed on Mondays.
The iconic painting "The Kiss" by Francesco Hayez, in Brera museum
"The Fourth Estate" by Pellizza da Volpedo, in the Museo del Novecento in Duomo square, in the free visit area
Milan offers the visitor a large variety of art museums, mainly of Italian Renaissance and Baroque.
- Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera . Reach by subway MM2 Lanza - Piccolo Teatro Station, MM3 Montenapoleone Station, trams lines 1, 4, 8, 12, 14, 27 or buses 61 and 97. A world class museum with importance comparable with the Madrid's El Prado or the Paris' Louvre. One of Italy's most important art collections and one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings. Shows masterpiece and art Icon like "the Kiss" by Francesco Hayez, the "Lamentation of Christ" by Mantegna, the "Supper at Emmaus" by Caravaggio or the "Marriage of the Virgin" by Raphael. Full ticket: € 10,00 Reduced: € 7,00
- Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Piazza Pio XI, 2, 02 80692 1, (, Fax: 02 80692 210) . Historical library that also houses the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana art gallery. It is a must see and shows the world famous "Basket of fruits" of Caravaggio, along with the "Musician" by Leonardo da Vinci and the preparatory drawing of the School of Athens by Raphael.
- Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Via Manzoni . Reach by subway, MM3 Montenapoleone Station, or with many buses and trams. One of the world's richest private art collections.
- Museo del Novecento, in Duomo square, it is one of the most important art museum dedicated to the XX century. It shows the world icon "The Fourth Estate" by Giovanni Pellizza da Volpedo.
- Bagatti Valsecchi Museum  — A late 19th century aristocratic mansion with Italian Renaissance art collections located in via Gesù 5, between via della Spiga and via Montenapoleone; subway MM3 Montenapoleone Station, MM1 San Babila Station, trams lines 1 and 2, Montenapoleone stop.
- Galleria d'Arte Moderna Via Palestro 16: Mainly features 19th Century Italian art. It is located in one of the finest palaces of Milan, the Villa Reale or Villa Belgiojoso-Bonaparte, a late XVIII century neoclassical masterpiece from Leopold Pollack. Many frescoes and statues decorate the artsy interior of the palace, now used as a museum.
- Gallerie d'Italia piazza Scala— settled in three gorgeous palaces, Palazzo Anguissola Antona Traversi, Palazzo Brentani and Palazzo della Banca Commerciale d'Italia, well worth a visit on their own, this museum offers a very interesting collection of masterpieces from XIX and XX century. Located in Piazza Scala, this museum is very easy to visit and well enjoyable.
- Societa' per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, +39 02 6599803 (, Fax: +39 02 6590840) . Changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Walking distance to MM1 and MM2 Cadorna Station.
- The Sforzesco Castle  — Reach by subway, MM1 Cairoli - Castello Station and MM2 Lanza - Piccolo Teatro Station, or with many buses and trams. Houses several of the city's museums and art gallery collections. Home to the museums of applied arts, ancient art, historical musical instruments, prehistory, Egyptian art and fine arts. A must see is the Michelangelo statue of the Pietà Rondanini.
Basilica of Saint Ambrose, "Mother and Queen of all Romanesque architecture"
- Civico Museo Archeologico — Roman antiques from Milan and the surrounding area. Interesting collection of roman statues and glasses. This museum spans every single century of the 26 centuries of history of this city.
- Contemporary Arts Pavillion (PAC), Via Palestro 15, near Porta Venezia Gardens, . Reachable by subway, line MM1, Palestro Station, or with many buses and trams.
- Museo del Duomo (Museum of the Cathedral) . Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station. Displays the 700 year old history of construction of the cathedral, with impressive walk-in wooden models, façade designs originating from several centuries, sculptures and more.
- Museo d'Arte Paolo Pini  — Contemporary art gallery collection.
- Hangar Bicocca  — Contemporary art museum located in a giant hangar in the industrial district just north of Milano Bicocca university. They have a few permanent sculptural installations along with rotating temporary exhibits and events. Subway: MM1 Sesto Marelli station.
- Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology, Via San Vittore 21, . Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Sant'Ambrogio Station.
- Natural Science Museum, at 55, Corso Venezia, inside Porta Venezia Gardens. Subway: Line MM1, Porta Venezia or Palestro Stations. Has reduced and free entry (depends on person) after 16:30 most days or 14:30 Fridays.
- The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace): opposite the South side of Duomo, always hosts many exhibitions, usually very interesting. The palace itself it is definitely worth a visit. Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station.
- Triennale di Milano, Via Alemagna: Museum of Design and Architecture, always has 4-6 exhibits on the subject of design, photography or modern art, at least 1-2 of which are always free entry. Reach by bus 61 or subway, line MM2 Cadorna-Triennale Station, or by walking through Parco Sempione from Castello Sforzesco.
- Museo Teatrale alla Scala  — A museum dedicated to the world's most famous opera house. Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station.
Santa Maria alle Grazie basilica
Sant'Eustorgio, Portinari chapel
San Nazaro in Brolo, Marshall Trivulzio Mausoleum
Milan has the oldest churches in Italy (yes-- older than the ones in Rome because Milan was the capital of the Northern part of the late Roman Empire). Milan has more ancient and monumental churches than any other European city outside of Italy. You can see a very complete collection here.
Some of the most important and beautiful churches one "can't miss" in Milan are:
- The Duomo, in Duomo Square. Milan's main cathedral, a massive late Gothic church (started in 1386) in white marble, with hundreds of spires and thousands of statues on its exterior and a famous façade. Don't miss the chance to climb up onto the roof and enjoy the spectacular views of the city between the Gothic spires. Duomo is reachable by subway, lines MM1 or MM3, Duomo Station, or with many buses and trams. Roof open daily 09:00-17:30 (€7 for the stairs, €12 for the lift). Unless you are physically unfit, it is best recommended to take the stairs (250 steps only) and save €5. On an average, it should not take more than 5-6 minutes to climb the stairs. You may have your belongings searched by the Guardia before entering the Cathedral, so show up lightly packed.
- Saint Mary of the Graces (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie). Entry to the basilica is free. A Unesco World Heritage site, this basilica is one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance architect Donato Bramante. The dome is one of the most delightful creation of Renaissance era. The exterior is delicately carved, and the interior is filled with bright light and whimsical atmosphere, a triumph of harmony. The nave is from gothic period. The rectory is separate from Santa Maria alle Grazie and houses the famous Last Supper ('Cenacolo Vinciano') by Leonardo da Vinci (even though nothing remains of "His" painting, it is now 100% restoration). Although not becoming a "pop icon" like the Mona Lisa has perhaps become, the Last Supper fresco is arguably the lifetime masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci and his most influential work artistically. It is best to reserve tickets a few months before the visit and costs €8 as of 2014. Cancelled reservations are sold from 08:15 every morning (if there are any, best to show up in person). Tickets can be be reserved by phone (+39 2 8942-1146) or . Reachable by trams 20, 24, 29 or 30 or by subway, lines MM1 and MM2 Cadorna Station, or MM1 Conciliazione station.
- Saint Ambrose (Basilica di Sant' Ambrogio), in Piazza San Ambrogio. Free entrance. The most important example of the Lombard Romanesque style of architecture, built between 1080 and 1140. In this basilica structural and technical innovations like the groined cross vault lead to wider vaulted naves being made possible. Now it is the second church in the city right after the duomo. Partly damaged in World War II, it shows many masterpieces, like the Vuolvinious golden altar, a Carolingian goldsmith masterpiece, and the very important IV century mosaics of the chapel of San Vittore in Ciel d'oro. The magnificent marble pulpit dates back to X century, whilst the external Atrium preserves some of the best examples of Lombard Romanesque sculpture available. Reachable by subway: MM2 Sant'Ambrogio.
- Saint Maurice (Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore). Free entrance. A stunning UNESCO listed, fully frescoed Renaissance church. Most of the paintings are the work of Bernardino Luini. It's considered the "Sistine Chapel" of Milan, you can find it beside of the Archeological Museum in Corso Magenta MM2 - MM1 Cadorna station.
- Saint Lawrence (Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore). Preserved inside this church is a lovely 4th century rotunda, famous for its beautiful courtyard, with Roman-age columns and a statue of the emperor Constantine. The basilica has been built on an imperial palace of the Roman era and is one of the most ancient churches in the world, although baroque remodeling makes its age difficult to envisage. The Saint Aquilinus chapel (€4) is definitely worth a visit. The church can be reached by tram, or the Missori metro station.
- Sant'Eustorgio and the Portinari Chapel (Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio e Capelli Portinari). Deconsecrated church now a museum. Entry prices are €6 for the church and €12 for the museum and Portinari Chapel (As of 2014). Originally a IV century paleochristian basilica, it is now one of the most important monument of the city. Here you will find the gorgeous Sforza family monumental tombs and more importantly, the Portinari Chapel, one of the biggest achievement in Lombard Renaissance. It is located in the Navigli district, MM2 Porta Genova.
- San Nazaro (Basilica di San Nazaro in Brollo). Free entrance. Another IV century basilica preserved within a younger church complex. It is very important in history because it was the first western church ever built in a Latin Cross plant instead of a Greek Cross plant. Very interesting the Trivulzio mausoleum at the entrance, dedicated to the Marshall Trivulzio, who betrayed the Sforza family and gave Milan to the King of France (and therefore forced Leonardo da Vinci to move to France). The masterpiece of the Basilica is the Santa Caterina chapel, with gorgeous Renaissance frescoes by Bernardino Lanino. Very interesting is also the archaeological part. Very close you can find another beautiful church, the San Calimero basilica, with an amazing frescoed crypt.
Some other beautiful and important (and free) churches worth visiting in the city centre are:
- San Simpliciano basilica Contains the Shrine of the Martyrs dell'Anaunia, another important relic from the IV century, perhaps the best of all the paleochristian basilicas in Milan. Don't miss the frescoed apse.
- Santa Maria presso San Satiro church A hidden jewel, really a must see. It is a masterpiece by Donato Bramante, who created here the first trompe l'oeil in art history. Really important is also the San Satiro paleochristian chapel (IV century) and the mannerist baptistry by Bramante. It is located in via Torino, some 200 metres from the Duomo. MM1-MM3 Duomo metro station.
- Santa Maria della Passione basilica Huge temple built in mannerist style, this church is the city's second largest. Very important it the spectacular dome.
- Sant'Antonio Abate church A museum of mannerist art, completely filled with gorgeous frescoes from late Renaissance and early Baroque era. A most important heritage near to the Ca' Granda palace.
- Certosa di Garegnano charterhouse A little bit outside of city center you will find this most important church completely frescoed charter house, with loads of frescoes by Simone Peterzano (the teacher of the Caravaggio) and Daniele Crespi. It is perhaps the best church interior in the city along with San Maurizio church. The completely frescoed vault it just so inspiring. A must see, and take with you a good camera! You can reach it with tramway line 14 or with the Suburban railway station "Certosa".
- San Vittore al Corpo basilica Originally a IV century basilica and now a Mannerist monument, it is perhaps the finest baroque church in the city. The dome is just awesome with frescoes by Daniele Crespi, and the interior decorations are filled with frescoes and plaster works from XVI and XVII century. Very close to the Science and Technology "Leonardo da Vinci". It is one of the biggest basilicas in the city.
- Sant'Alessandro Basilica A very baroque church, interestingly scenographic. It reminds one of sicilian Baroque. Very rich decoration. Located near via Torino, some 350 meters away from the Duomo. Near, in piazza Missori, you'll find the remains of what used to be the church of San Giovanni in Conca. The crypt is one of the most ancient in Milan, and it shows huge roman imperial era ruins.
- Sant'Eufemia Basilica From piazza Missori MM3, following corso Italia, you'll find the gorgeous Sant'Eufemia basilica, probably the finest neo-romanesque church in Milan. Beside you'll find the San Paolo Converso church, twin church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. The amazing facade is from Galeazzo Alessi and the Cerano, while the absolutely gorgeous interiors are frescoed by Giulio Campi. Amazing is the painted vault, resembling the one in San Maurizio.
- San Bernardino alle Ossa One of the most frightful churches in the world! The walls of this little church are completely filled with...bones and skulls! A must visit church in Halloween time, it is said to be haunted. Very spectacular! Beside it you will also find the Santo Stefano basilica, where the painter Caravaggio were baptized.
- San Cristoforo church. Little cosy ancient gothic church, it is settled beside of the Naviglio Grande. It is one of the most picturesque sights of the city. Take a picture with the yellow ancient tramway passing by. The interiors are filled with medieval and early Renaissance frescoes and the intense blue stained glass windows are just so poetic.
- San Francesco da Paola. An elegant baroque church in the central via Manzoni. Great frescoes on the inside. Incredible vault and interesting side chapels.
- San Marco Basilica. It shows the city's second longest nave after the Duomo cathedral. Spectacular and huge interiors, a must see it is definitely the frescoes on the choir and and the apse. You can find here a lot of interesting painting of excellent quality, a free-entrance ancient art gallery.
- Santa Maria dei Miracoli presso San Celso basilica. The facade and the narthex of this basilica are most interesting, realized in mannerist style by the great architect Galeazzo Alessi. The interior in built in a rich baroque style.
- San Fedele church. Very elegant church built in the counter-reformation era. Full of lights and noble materials, it stands near the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
- Santa Maria del Carmine. An ancient gothic church from XIV century. The neo-gothic facade by architect Maciachini shows the best rose window in the city. Don't miss the spectacular Carmine chapel on the right side of the apse! Absolutely gorgeous!
- San Giuseppe in via Verdi The first baroque church in Milan, from great architect Carlo Maria Richini, the floor decoration is just awesome.
- Santa Maria Incoronata Twin church, contains an ancient fresco by Bergognone. Magical ancient gothic atmosphere.
- Sant'Angelo church very rich interiors decorated with baroque frescoes. It contains paintings from finest baroque milanese painters.thic
- San Pietro in Gessate ancient gothic church, don't miss the Grifi chapel, with renaissance frescoes by Zenale. All the church is pretty full of renaissance precious frescoes and statues.
- San Gottardo in corte Small jewel, this church used to be the Royal Palace chapel and it shows neoclassical interiors and Azzone Visconti's tomb by great sculptor Giovanni di Balduccio (XIV century) and frescoes by the school of Giotto itself.
The bell tower is considered to be the most beautiful in the city, and was planned by Francesco Pecorari.
- San Vincenzo in Prato basilica The only church in Milan to have conserved a plain paleochristian style. Don't miss the whimsey crypt. It dates back to the IX century.
- San Giorgio al Palazzo church Located where once there were the imperial palace of Milan, when the city was roman empire's capital. It shows Luini's lifetime masterpiece: the chapel of the passion.
- Santa Maria Podone church A church from IX century, it contains very important XIV century frescoes, the Renaissance apse frescoes is from Michelino da Besozzo. In front of the church you can find Palazzo Borromeo, from XIV century, one of the oldest in the city.
- San Carlo al Corso church A Neoclassical jewel built in early XIX century. Built as a Rotunda with a marble portico as an entrance, it is one of the biggest dome in Milan. On the inside you'll find a gorgeous coffered dome inspired by the one of the roman Pantheon and very similar to the church of San Francesco da Paola in Naples. The bell tower, 84 meters high, is the tallest in Milan.
Outside of Milan, but well worth the effort to get to are:
- Chiaravalle Abbey A must see! The cloisters and the vault frescoes are just incredibly precious. A beautifully-preserved medieval abbey still run by monks today, 7 km South of Milan, get off at MM3 subway line Rogoredo Station and take a local bus for 3 stops or just simply walk the 1.2km down Via Arialdo (another option is to get off at MM3 subway line Corvetto Station and take local bus number 77 for 8 stops).
- Viboldone Abbey Incredibly beautiful abbey built in gothic style with lots of Giottesque frescoes from XIV century. It is located in San Giuliano Milanese, few km away from Chiaravalle Abbey and accessed by the San Giuliano Metro station, get off and walk directly west 500m along Strada Communale Viboldone.
Castello Sforzesco courtyard
The main chapel of the Cimitero Monumentale
Tiepolo's frescoes on Palazzo Clerici
The Hall of Mirrors in Palazzo Litta
Sala Alessi in Palazzo Marino
main portal of Renaissance Ca' Granda
the Neoclassical Arco della Pace
the Milanese Liberty style Casa Galimberti
- The Castello Sforzesco: Where the Sforza-Visconti ruling families of Milan resided. Later it was the Austrian governor's residence, when Lombardy was part of the Hapsburg empire. It houses several museums. Reachable by subway: MM1 Cairoli - castello Station.
- La Scala Theatre, Via Filodrammatici 2, , +39 02 88 79 1. One of the most renowned opera houses in the world. It first opened in 1778 and re-opened in 2004 after extensive renovation. It has seen performances by stars such as Maria Callas and Pavarotti. Reachable by subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station. Tip: There are cheap tickets (10 EUR in 2011) that can be bought for many of the performances. Go latest by noon to the ticket office and ask about them. You will be given a number and noted on a list, and you'll have to go back later to get the tickets.
- Cimitero Monumentale — Milan's old cemetery in Art Nouveau/Liberty style. It is definitely a must see. 250000 square meters of monumental tombs and sculpture makes of it the biggest Art Nouveau museum in the World. It is arguably the most beautiful cemetery in the Planet. It is filled with lavish sculptures, impressive mausoleums and monuments. Well worth a visit. Always visit it with a good camera, remember: the trip's best pictures may be taken here.
- Ca' Granda Old Hospital— now the Public University, once it was a Renaissance hospital built by the Renaissance genius Filarete. It is one of the most interesting renaissance public building in Europe. Don't miss a visit to the gorgeous cloisters.
- La Rotonda della Besana — An 18th Century Neoclassical complex. It is now an exhibition space.
- Palazzo Clerici— one of the finest "palazzo Gentilizio" in Milan, it shows the amazing "mirror gallery" with a vault painted by the great artist Tiepolo.
- Palazzo Litta— very elegant baroque palace filled with frescoes. Interesting sculptured main portal you can corso Magenta near San Maurizio church.
- Palazzo Marino— the finest courtyard in the city. Built in mannerist style, it is perhaps the city's most amazing palace.
- Palazzo Serbelloni— one of the most beautiful neoclassical palaces of Milan, settled in Corso Venezia.
- Palazzo Rocca Saporiti— another huge neoclassical palace along Corso Venezia neoclassical district.
- Palazzo Bolagnos— Known also as Palazzo Visconti da Grazzano or Palazzo Visconti di Modrone, is considered to be the most beautiful Rococo palace in Milan, very beautiful is the elliptical courtyard.
- Palazzo Borromeo one of the most ancient palaces in Milan and dateing back to the XIII century. The Gothic courtyard and main portal are very important. It also contains medieval frescoes.
- Palazzo Fontana Silvestri built between XII and XIV century, it used to show decorations on the facade by Donato Bramante. Very beautiful are the Renaissance main portal and the elegant courtyard.
- Palazzo Dugnani Rococò palazzo containing many frescoes, two of them painted by Tiepolo.
- Palazzo Durini built in XVII century by architect Richini. The portal is a masterpiece.
- Villa Simonetta— A renaissance palace with a very harmonical facade composed by three orders of columnades
- Palazzo Cusani— Roman baroque palace in Milan, dating back to the XVII century
- Palazzo Arcivescovile— One of the most imposing courtyard of Milan. Inside you'll find the marvelous San Carlo's frescoed chapel and a very huge collection of paintings. It has been built by Pellegrino Tibaldi and Giuseppe Piermarini.
- Palazzo Sormani— Probably the most beautiful baroque facade of Milan. The back facade is even better.
- Bicocca degli Arcimboldi— Once a rural Renaissance villa built in XV century, now it shows a very important collection of early Renaissance frescoes.
- Arco della Pace— one of the finest neoclassical triumphal arch in Europe, it has been projected by Luigi Cagnola in the early XIX century to celebrate Napoleon's victory. It is located in Sempione park, at the opposite side of the castle.
- Porta Ticinese— another neoclassical City Gate projected by Luigi Cagnola.
- Porta Romana— the original XVI century Gate of the city walls.
- Arena Civica— neoclassical arena built by great architect Luigi Cagnola in 1807. It is located in Sempione park.
- Casa Campanini— one of the best palazzo built in Milan according the Art Nouveau/Stile Liberty fashon of early XX century. The portal is a masterpiece.
- Casa Galimberti— Very decorated exterior, with painted ceramic panels and ironwork balconies.
- Casa Laugier— an elegant attempt to unify exuberant Stile Liberty with the classicist issue of the Milanese Tradition. Very interesting the carvings and the chromatic effect.
- Casa Guazzoni— the most exhuberant Stile Liberty building in Milan. The ironwork balconies are just extraordinary.
- Villa Necchi Campiglio— one of Piero Portaluppi's masterpieces. A manifesto of the Novecento architectural style. Really a must see XX century monumental house rich of contemporary paintings.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele — The mother of all shopping malls: upscale shops in a splendid 19th century palace of a mall, with a stunning mosaic floor, and wonderful glass roof and cupola. Contains boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, a silverware store called Bernasconi, and eating places such as the Zucca in Galleria, Biffi or a Gucci cafe (and loads more, notably art galleries, fashion boutiques, bookstores and restaurants). At Christmas time, it becomes an enchanting place, with beautiful lights and glitzy decorations. For real Milanese cheap food, go to Luini for a Panzerotti on nearby Via San Radegonda. Get off at the Duomo station.
- Piazza del Duomo — the grandest square in the city, the Piazza del Duomo is the cultural and social heart of Milan, and contains several of its most famous sights. Of course, the majestic cathedral and classy Galleria are there, but there also is the Royal Palace, a fine 18th century building which is currently an art exhibition centre, and several big, austere, old buildings. The street, with its huge lights, enormous statue of King Victor, huge buildings, and dark floor does at first sight seem quite overwhelming and overly majestic, but with its lovely cafes, top-quality restaurants and shops, constant flow of pigeons, and the presence of people make it an extremely appealing and interesting place. Since lots of the main streets and sights are or are routed from this place, you can't really miss it. It is reached by the Duomo metro station.
- Piazza Mercanti — a truly enchanting and tiny medieval square, hidden by the grand palaces in the central part of Milan. Here, in "Merchants' Square" you get lovely Gothic and Renaissance-porticoed houses, and a well right in the middle. At Christmas time, it fills up with markets selling local produce, including mouth-watering panettone, sweets, bonbons and souvenirs. Reachable easily via Duomo or Cordusio subway stations.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
- Cinque Vie historical district Really a must see! It is the most ancient part of Milan, enclosed by via Meravigli, piazza Cordusio, via Orefici, via del Torchio, via Circo, via Cappuccio and via Luini. the Cinque Vie it's a five street crossing: via Sant'Orsola, via Santa Marta, via del Bollo, via Bocchetto and via Santa Maria Fulcorina. This crossing it is at the center of this district that it is the best preserved in the city. It is where the original Roman Imperial era Milan was settled, with the ancient located in piazza San Sepolcro. In this area you'll find lots of roman archeological sites, like the one dedicated to the circus, the theater, the imperial palace and the imperial coin. In this area you'll find lots of ancient churches, like Santa Maria alla Porta (Baroque jewel, facade by Richini), San Sebastiano civic temple, San Giorgio al Palazzo, Santa Maria Podone, San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, the Archeological Museum and its ancient roman wall tower, San Sepolcro and San Sisto.
- Piazza Belgiojoso — a small, yet very impressive square, which hosts the magnificent neoclassical Belgiojoso Palace, built by Milanese noblemen in the late 1700s, and the House of Manzoni, where notable Italian writer and literary figure Alessandro Manzoni lived, and which today hosts a library and the Centro Nazionale di Studi Manzoniani (National Centre of Manzoni-related studies). Reachable via Montenapoleone station.
- Biblioteca Ambrosiana — Historical library with treasures such as Leonardo Atlantic Codex.
- Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense  — A library established in 1770 by the Austrian governor. It has since acquired other historical collections and the archives of RAI (Italy's state television). It is very active in organising workshops and debates on new media and new technologies.
- Via della Spiga is a lovely and classy little cobblestone street, with some beautiful ancient buildings. The street and its neighborhood are more famous for the center of high-class shopping, where almost every luxury brand can be found. A short walk from the MM1 San Babila metro stop.
The magnificent roof of the Duomo (it has truly breathtaking views of Milan).
- Corso Vittorio Emanuele — near to the Duomo, this is one of the most popular high street shopping arteries in the city. It has a very elegant modern appearance, but too has some well-preserved grand 18th and 19th century buildings, including the wonderful rotunda-like neoclassical church of San Carlo al Corso. The Corso contains some great retail stores, including big shopping centres, fashionable outlets, and youthful, sporty designer boutiques. Can be reached relatively closely either by Duomo metro station or that of San Babila. It is pedestrian.
- Via Montenapoleone is Milan's top high fashion shopping street. It contains many of the biggest names in fashion, and some of the trendiest and famous emporia and designer stores in the world. Today, despite containing mainly fashion boutiques, there are also a some jewellery shops and cafes scattered here and there. Reachable via Montenapoleone or San Babila metro stations.
- Via Dante — one of the grandest and most frequented fashionable high streets in Milan. The Via Dante, named after the poet, is a beautiful and debonair pedestrian avenue which goes from the busy Piazzale Cordusio, all the way to the Largo Cairoli, just in front of the city castle. With loads of street vendors, restaurant and cafe tables, and oftenly, street art, glamorous boutiques and often bustling with people, it's great for anyone who wants to get to the Sforzesco Castle, but who also wants to do some high-class shopping, observe at some glorious Milanese palaces, and possibly sip at a coffee in one of the many open-air bars. It also contains the Piccolo Teatro, a renowned local theatre. Via Dante can be reached by the "Cordusio" metro station, or that of "Cairoli", at either side of the street. At times, especially Christmas and some of the holidays, it can be chokingly filled with locals, shoppers and tourists.
- Via Manzoni is an impressive refined-air street lined with aristocratic apartment blocks and opulent churches. It also hosts the Poldi Pezzoldi museum. Today, it is also one of the city's premier shopping streets, and is noted for containing the Armani Megastore. It is very close to La Scala opera house. Reachable via Montenapoleone metro station. The street can also be reached via tram.
Impressive Piazza del Duomo.
- Corso di Porta Venezia is considered one of the finest and most beautiful streets in the city. Right near the glitzy Montenapoleone area, it is flanked by a series of beautiful villas, museums and palazzi, from all eras. It also contains parts of the Giardini Pubblici, an old and leafy garden and park. On addition to being an aristocratic-aired place, today, several elegant boutiques have opened up here, so it's great for both sight-seeing and designer shopping. Best station to reach it is that of Palestro right in the middle, but San Babila and P.ta Venezia are within decent walking distance.
- Corso Magenta is an elegant and aristocratic street in the north-western part of Milan. It contains sophisticated cafes and shops, and also some fine, mainly Baroque, palaces, notably the Palazzo Litta, one of the best examples of 18th century Milanese architecture, and also a place in which Napoleon I spent some time. Metro stations Conciliazione, Cadorna, Cairoli and Cordusio are the closest to the avenue. The famous Santa Maria delle Grazie church and convent, where Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper can be found, is very close to the Corso.
- Piazza Cadorna is a medium-sized, normal square in central Milan with the funky modern North Station and some fine buildings, but notably a set of peculiar modern sculptures in the middle. Reachable via the Cadorna FN station
- Piazza Duca d'Aosta is a very big, relatively modern and busy square in the north-east of Milan, famous for hosting the city's majestic central station, and the Pirelli skyscraper. The Piazza is generally bustling with people, and is at the heart of Milan's economic and business district. It is where you'll end up if you need to go to the central station, but it is also a good place to go because it boasts some excellent examples of post-Second World War modern architecture, such as the Pirelli building, and some elegant hotels, such as the Hotel Excelsior Gallia. To go here, hop off the Centrale F.S metro station, which is the closest (Caiazzo and Zara are relatively close too).
The Pirelli building, one of the most interesting and elegant skyscraper in Europe, by architect Giò Ponti.
The Porta Nuova, a city gate which marks the end of the fashionable Via Manzoni.
- Piazza della Repubblica is a modern and very busy square north-west of Milan. It contains some of the most important office blocks and company buildings in the country, and boasts some good examples of 1950s and 60s Italian architecture. The square in itself is an important one for transportation, and contains some grand hotels. It is also close to the Piazza Duca d'Aosta and the city Central station. Hop off at the Repubblica metro station, right in the middle of the square. Close stations include P.ta Venezia, Turati and Centrale F.S., which are, within a mediumly long walking distance.
Milan skyline, one of the finest in Europe. The downtown is located very near to the historical centre, between Garibaldi, Repubblica and Porta Nuova districts.
- Torre Velasca is a tall, huge, castle-like skyscraper built in the 1950s, and one of the first in Italy. Stunning modern architecture. Closest metro stations in order are Missori and Crocetta.
- Piazzale Cordusio is a central and busy square in Milan, right near the Duomo. It boasts some grand and beautiful late-19th century architecture. Once, and to some extent still today, it was an economic hub of the city, with the headquarters of several companies, and big banks and postal offices. To be reached via Cordusio station, or, the slightly further Duomo.
- Corso Buenos Aires is one of the longest shopping streets in Italy and Europe. It is a large avenue, who, at first, is quite old, but the buildings gradually become newer further along. Today, it contains loads, loads and loads of shops, such as Swarovsky, H&M, Milano House of Cashmere, Calzedonia, Outlet, United Colors of Benetton, Adidas, Nike, Calvin Klein, Zara, Luisa Spagnoli, and a good number more. Since the Corso Buenos Aires is so long, you have the P.ta Venezia and Loreto stations at either side, and the Lima one more or less in the middle.
- Porta Ticinese and the surrounding area is a very old-fashioned quarter nearly untouched by WWII bombings. At night Milanese people like to have a walk near Colonne di San Lorenzo (S.Lawrence's columns).
- Piazza San Babila is a busy and modern square just north of the cathedral and near the city's fashion district. Architecturally, Piazza San Babila's buildings are virtually all Art-Deco office blocks from the 1930s, but it has a trendy business and cosmopolitan feel to it, and despite being very modern, boasts a very old sight, San Babila, a tiny, pretty, Romanesque church standing shadowed away by the huge modern skyscrapers. Piazza San Babila also contains numerous banks, post offices, fast-food restaurants and today also a touch of some funky designer stores too. Conveniance wise, it's a great place to go, because it connects the Montenapoleone shopping area, with the more central Duomo zone. It can be reached via the Via Montenapoleone, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele or the Corso di Porta Venezia. To visit it, one may stop at the San Babila metro station, right in the middle of the piazza.
- Piazza del Liberty is a small square, which however, is noted for a stunning Art Nouveau palace today called the Hotel del Corso, but once the Trianon. You reach it just off a tiny opening at the beginning of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The closest station is Duomo, but San Babila is a decent distance too.
- Piazza Della Scala — The location of the Statue of Leonardo Da Vinci and La Scala theatre. It is a small, but grand square flanked by fine palaces, such as the city hall and the commercial and the bank. Great place for a photograph and right next to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Ticket office is underground in the Duomo Metropolitana stop.
Leonardo da Vinci's statue in the charming and impressive Piazza della Scala.
- I Navigli — Once the hubs of the city's commercial life (the industrial canals), after years of abandonment, these pretty and "quintessentially Milanese" places are currently the location where many night spots are open until late, and today, there is a nice mix of old-world ancient shops and cafes, and funky bars and fashion boutiques. I Navigli (or The Canals) consist of Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. On the last Sunday of every month there is an antiques market along the Naviglio Grande.
- San Siro Stadium  — The famous stadium of Milan, home to AC Milan and Internazionale, two of the most famous and successful football(soccer) clubs in Italy. Terminal point of tram 16 or a 20 min walk from M1 Lotto metro stop.
- Leonardo's Horse  — A bronze sculpture realised according to an original project of Leonardo da Vinci. It is on the courtyard of the race-track of San Siro, just behind the Stadium. The race-track is open on race days but the courtyard is open everyday.
Parks and gardens
Despite not having as much greenery as some cities, Milan offers several parks and gardens, scattered all over the city.
- Sempione park is a big space of green land right behind the Sforzesco castle, and one of the most famous and popular in the city. Designed in like a neoclassical landscape garden, there are loads of features - such as a lake, an arch called the Arco della pace (arch of peace), a Roman-style sports' amphitheatre, a tower (which today hosts the Just Cavalli Hollywood), and several interesting features. It's a lovely leafy place to enjoy a walk at any time of the year. Reachable via Cairoli, Lanza, Cadorna or Moscova metro stations depending on what side of the park one refers to.
- Giardini pubblici (public gardens) is an old 18th century park complex in the Montenapoleone/Porta Venezia district, designed in an English Romantic garden style. Inside, you can find rockeries, water features, fountains, statues and monuments, and other interesting features. You also get a planetarium, a natural history museum, and on the other side of the Palestro street, you can also find an opulent Royal villa which today hosts a contemporary art collection within grand ornate halls. Reachable via P.ta Venezia, Turati or Palestro metro stations. The gardens are in an excellent position since they're quie near to the Duomo and Brera district, and extremely close to the Montenapoleone street and the glamorous shopping area around it.
- Giardini della Guastalla (gardens of the Guastalla) are amongst Milan's oldest (founded in the 16th century), but quite small gardens, and are very close to the University district. The parks, however, were only opened to the public in the early 20th century. You can have a nice walk inside, and you also have a classical Temple-like structure and also a sort of pond with a Baroque railing surrounding it. Reachable via Crocetta, P.ta Romana, Missori or even San Babila metro stations. It's also not that far from the Duomo.
Milan is a great city to walk around and see the sights and people.
- Football — Watch AC Milan  or FC Internazionale  at the famous Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, also known as San Siro, which is shared as a home stadium by both clubs. Tickets for most matches are available in advance or on the day. The rivalry between the two sides is very bitter, and considered to be one of the biggest in Italy, and matches between both sides, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are particularly charged affairs which always attract sell-out crowds. Watch out for the scalpers at the stadium as they sell the tickets for much more than the official ticket offices. As many as 60 matches per year are played in San Siro from late August until late May. MM1 Lotto Station or tram 16.
- Exhibition Fairs — Many exhibitions are held during the year, ranging from wines to computers, industrial equipment and chocolate. The old exhibitions area is in central Milan (MM1 Amendola Fiera or MM1 Lotto - Fiera 2 Stations), the new one is in Rho (North West Milan, MM1 Rho Fiera Station, A4 highway Pero exit). For more information, visit the Fiera Milano website .
- If you want to see Milan from above you can go on Duomo roof (by stairs or lift), between spires and statues. Its a great experience for a stunning, panoramic view of the city. Another choice is the Branca Tower (Camoens street, near Triennale, inside Sempione Park), built in 1933 by architect Giò Ponti. The tower is 108 m high.
- City Pass. Milan is full of attractions. Art with museums and design. Food with typical cuisine. Made in Italy products that you can find in many different stores. Green with the latest developments of Milan as smart city. You can rent electric car sharing and visit the city with bike rental services. You can get all these activites at a discount price with Visitalia Tourist Card - Milano is Yellow! A full city pass with public transportation ticket included. There are also other useful city cards like TheMilanPass that costs more but includes lots of ticket entrances. MilanPass allows you to get the ticket for 8 museums and discount on restaurants, shopping and citysightseeing.
Milan has 8 universities and the largest number of students in Italy.
- Università degli Studi di Milano , commonly known as La Statale — Established in 1924 in a 14th-century building named Ca' Granda with a marvellous internal courtyard. The University is on Festa del Perdono Street, very close to the Duomo. Reach by bus or subway, line MM1 MM3 Duomo Station. It also has other facilities around the city, the most important in Celoria Street.
- Politecnico di Milano  — A Technical University established in 1863 and is now one of Europe's most outstanding centres for engineering, architecture and industrial design. The main building is on Leonardo da Vinci Square, reach by bus, tram or subway, line MM2 Piola Station or Lambrate Station. The other main (and newest) facilities are around Bovisa FNM Station.
- Università Bocconi  — Established in 1902 as a private college, its one of the leading universities in Italy for economics and is renowed internationally. The central buildings are in Roentigen and Sarfatti Street and other facilities are in the surrounding area. Reachable by bus 79 and trams 9, 29 and 30.
- Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore , commonly known as Cattolica — Established in 1921 in the XV century Saint Ambrose Monastery, it has two very beautiful cloisters designed by Bramante. Università Cattolica is on Gemelli Street, right behind Saint Ambrose Basilica. Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Sant'Ambrogio Station.
- Università di Milano - Bicocca  — A new university born as a spin-off from Università Statale. Situated between Milan and the once-industrial small town of Sesto S.Giovanni, in a recently restructured area of former old tire factory grounds. Reachable by bus, tram of railway, FS Greco-Pirelli Station.
- LIUC  — Established in 1991 north-west of Milan, in the small town of Castellanza, half way between Milan and Malpensa Airport, is a young yet very active university. Reachable by commuter train, FNM Castellanza Station.
- IULM  — A communication-oriented university, established in 1968. Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Romolo station.
- Università Vita Salute - San Raffaele  — Established in 1996 around San Raffaele Hospital, one of Italy's top research centres in biotechnology and medicine. Reachable by subway, MM2 Cascina Gobba station, then light railway service to San Raffaele.
Almost every Milan university has several facilities around the city and some of them also have secondary centres in other areas of Lombardy and Italy, so if you need something specific you'd better ask before getting there. Every university has its own students' residences, which are much smaller than they should be, so they can satisfy only a small portion of demand for them. If you're not able to get a room in a residence, every university has an ISU, a Studying Right Institute, that can help you find a room or an apartment for rent. Renting a room or an apartment can be very expensive, starting at €400-500 /month for a room. MeglioMilano  is an association that is now experimenting a project to help non-Milanese students find a home and retired old people find somebody to help them in everyday life. The project is called Prendi in casa uno studente (Bring a student home), you can ask for information by email (mailto:[email protected]) or by phone on (+39) 02 76020589.
Additionally, if you are looking to learn the language and mingle in the culture, there are various linguistic events held around the city, such as the Scrambled Egg Language Exchange where you sit down with a person of the opposite language (English, Italian) for a quarter of an hour and practice.
The huge Corso Buenos Aires may not be the top street in Milan's fashion, but it's the longest and most popular shopping area in the city and one of the longest in the world, and contains a huge variety of shops - from designer boutiques, trendy outlets and funky furniture stores, to second-hand bargain sales, old antique dealers and newsagents.
Milan, being a worldwide trendsetter, is a fashion shoppers' paradise.
There is pretty much every form of shopping in this city that one can imagine: from the designer's prestigious emporia, retail giants' outlets, small entrepreneur's tiny and funky boutiques, to second-hand average shops.
The main shopping area is the so-called Fashion Quadrangle (quadrilatero della moda), a set of neoclassical blocks roughly between Duomo Square (Piazza Duomo), Cavour Square (Piazza Cavour) and San Babila Square (Piazza San Babila). Here in Montenapoleone Street (with prime brand shops), Della Spiga Street, Vittorio Emanuele Street, Sant' Andrea Street, Porta Venezia avenue and Manzoni Street, it contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world. Everything reeks of ostentation and the splendor of a chic, fashionable lifestyle. Shop windows shine, exhibiting the trendiest shoes, coolest glasses, funkiest dresses, most glamorous clothes, and most luxurious crystal chandeliers.* Via Montenapoleone has a dedicated site, (Metro: Via Montenapoleone), ([email protected]), . Shop Directory and Shop infos available edit
Located near MM1 San Babila or MM3 Montenapoleone subway stations.
- Armani Megastore, Via Manzoni 31, near La Scala (Metro: Montenapoleone), ☎ 02-7231-8630. Giorgio Armani's flagship store. Covering over 8,000 square feet with outlets for his high-fashion creations, the Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans lines, plus the new Armani Casa selection of home furnishings as well as flower, book, and art shops; a high-tech Sony electronics boutique/play center in the basement; and an Emporio Café and branch of New York's Nobu sushi bar. edit
- Dolce e Gabbana, Via della Spiga no. 2 (Metro: San Babila), ☎ 02-7600-1155, . High end designer store dedicated to womens wear. edit
- Gucci Flagship, Via Montenapoleone, no. 5-7 (Metro: San Babila [Montenapoleone is not to far]), ☎ 02-771-271, . This is Gucci's flagship store in the city, opened in 2002, which has haute couture (high fashion) clothing and accessories. There are also some other Gucci stores in Milan, including the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and even in Milan's Malpensa airport. edit
- Prada, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, no. 63 (Metro: Duomo). One of Prada's several boutiques in the city, the one in the Galleria is the closest to the Duomo and the central square. It sells a variety of high-fashion items, such as shoes, perfume, handbags, accessories etc, both classical and modern, in a chandelier-filled, multi-floored shop (it is bigger than it looks from the outside). edit
- Ralph Lauren Flagship Store, Via Montenapoleone, 4 (Metro: Montenapoleone), . The Milan flagship opened its doors at 4 via Montenapoleone in 2004. Fashioned in the Italian Neoclassical style, the spacious four-story 12,000-square-foot space evokes all the grandeur of a 19th-century palazzo. Offers: Men's Purple Label, Made to Measure, Polo Ralph Lauren and Accessories. Women's Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Blue Label and accessories. edit
- Krizia, Via Sant' Andrea, no. 15 (Metro: San Babila). Popular ever since the 1960s, Krizia is a trendy boutique with funky clothes and swanky designs. Found in Sant' Andrea street, right in the heart of the top shopping district of the city. edit
- Etro, Via Montenapoleone 5 (Metro: Montenapoleone), ☎ 02-7600-5450, . Boutique store carrying the mens and womenswear line from high end label Etro. edit
- Ermenegildo Zegna, Via P. Verri 3 (Metro: Montenapoleone or San Babila), ☎ 02-7600-6437, . Luxurious boutique stocking elegant, ready-to-wear men's suits that look custom-tailored. edit
- 10 Corso Como, Corso Como 10 (Metro: P.ta Garibaldi), ☎ 02-2901-3581, . Found in the early 1990s, this sort of "multi-functional" shopping complex is found in the same place as its name. Considered a lifestyle emporium and 13,000 square feet big, it contains some fashion shops, design, photography and art gallery, luxury goods, a bookshop, accessories, a cafe and a restaurant. Situated in the Garibaldi district, near the Centro Direzionale (Milan's business district), it has a courtyard, and a European/Oriental inspired interior design. edit
- La Rinascente, Piazza Duomo (Metro: Duomo), ☎ 02-88521, . M-Th: 9:30AM - 9PM; F-Sa: 9:30AM - 10PM; Sunday: 10AM - 9PM. A big department store in Milan, right in the centre of the city near the Cathedral and Galleria, and very close to the chic Montenapoleone shopping zone. Here you can get houseware, design and appliances, male, female and children's fashion, youthful sports' clothes, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics, watches, perfumes, glasses, socks, underwear, lingerie, gifts, table decor, a hair stylist, a restaurant, sushi bar, food market, sandwhich, drink and chocolate bar, an enoteca (wine bar) and several other things. Good place to do some shopping of all kinds in a very central location and then stop for a drink, snack or meal at the cafe or restaurant. Also you can find almost all brands in one location instead of visiting all of their shops all over the city. However, the size of the brand shops are of course smaller which limits the product selection available. edit
- D Magazine, Via Manzoni 44 (Metro: Montenapoleone or San Babila), ☎ 02-7600-6027, . Located in Milan on one of the world's most exclusive shopping streets, the D Magazine is an outlet where you can find a lot of designer clothes. Names such as Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Prada or Fendi can be found here. edit
- Bernasconi Milano 1872, Via Manzoni, 44 (Metro: Montenapoleone), ☎ 02-86460923, . Monday: 15,00 - 19,00 - From Tuesday to Saturday: 10,00 - 19,00. Historical silverware store, since 1872 it proposes luxury handicraft creations of natural precious materials. In 2014 it has changed its location from Galleria Vittorio Emanuele to via Manzoni. edit
- Basement, Via Senato, 15 (Metro: Montenapoleone). This small hidden shopping outlet called Basement cannot be seen from the street above. To reach it, you have to go to the Via Senato no. 15 parking lot, go down a staircase, go to your right, and then you'll see a purple sign, which shows that you've arrived. It contains a lot of designer clothes, including that from Moschino, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, to D&G and La Perla with huge discounts. Unfortunately this shop is now closed. edit
- Serravalle Scrivia, Via della Moda, no. 1 (Serravalle Scrivia exit in the A7 Milan - Genoa autostrada. Reachable by A26/7 autostrada link or Arquata Scrivia railway station (Milan - Genoa)), . All days: 10:00-20:00. One of the biggest shopping outlets in Europe, containing 180 stores, despite being 1 hours' drive from the city and in the Piedmont region, it is definitely worth a visit if you're a shopping fan. And it has a very pleasant feel because it is more like a mini-town than an actual outlet, with Italian-style piazzas and pretty alleyways, surrounded by rolling hills and a lovely local countryside, and absent of cars. With over 20 million visitors having come ever since its opening in 2000, you can find luxurious designer names, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Diesel, Roberto Cavalli, Ferragamo, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, Geox, Swatch, Bulgari, Swarovski, and several more (at bargain prices)! Then, if you want to have a meal, you can stop for some fast-foods at Burger King or the Italian Spizzico, have an ice-cream or sip at a drink in a café. Despite the slightly long trip, it makes a truly great day out, and is heaven for any fashionista or passionate shopper! (,01-4360-9000) edit
For people wanting to spend a bit less while still buying beautiful pieces, other areas are better. One of these is Vercelli Avenue (MM1 Pagano, MM1 Conciliazione subway stations), another one is Buenos Aires Avenue (MM1 Porta Venezia, MM1 Lima, MM1/MM2 Loreto subway stations), reputed as being the longest shopping street of Europe.
Corso Buenos Aires connects Porta Venezia to Piazzale Loreto, and is even more commercial: here you can find Calzedonia, Alex Fashion, Luisa Spagnoli, Furla, Brian & Barry and Nara Camice.
The Brera district (Lanza, or Montenapoleone metro stops) is also not to be missed for trendy and young, yet stylish, boutiques. The Brera district is great for other things, such as browsing through ancient rare art stores and galleries, sipping a hot drink at a refined-air cafe, attending a funky disco, or looking for exotic furniture. However, today, there are a lot of young designers who have up-and coming boutiques, which are slightly less expensive than their Montenapoleone counterparts, but are quite fashionable and of high quality. The Brera district is great because it combines chic, old-air shops, with zeitgeist, modernist and youthful ones. Jewelry stores include Papic oro e argento or Alcozer & J. Bijoux, fashion shops include Accessori or Laura Ashley, and furniture stores include Zohar or Lucitalia.
Let us not forget, the Piazza del Duomo, Via Dante, Piazza San Babila, Galleria Victor Emanuel and the Corso Giacomo Matteoti, which are excellent shopping places. In the Galleria, you get brand fashion stores, two bookstores (Rizzoli and Libreria Bocca) and a sliverware store called Bernasconi plus a Gucci cafe (and many, many more!). In the Corso Giacomo, you can find Abercrombie & Fitch, in Piazza del Duomo you have Grimoldi, Ruggeri, Donna and La Rinascente department store, in Piazza San Babila you can find Upim, Eddy Monetti, Guess and Valextra, and there are loads of shops in the Via Dante, so there are really heaps of shopping opportunities in this area.
For hipsters, there's the elongated Porta Ticinese area, especially on Saturday, when the flea market Fiera di Senigallia takes place near the Darsena (2008: currently that area is closed and Fiera di Senigallia has been moved to a place near Porta Genova MM2 subway and train station). This is a great place to wander and browse, and save money if you've somehow survived Milan's high end boutiques. Sort through new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, fake art nouveau lamps, perfumed candles and every kind of essence, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs. In the Corso Ticense, several shops, such as Diesel, RVM Orologi, Dress, Energie, Colors & Beauty, Tintoria La Boutique, Blu Max, Le Jean Marie, Brazilian, Ethic, L'Uomo outlet, Les Tropezziennes, Atelier cucine e ..., Panca's Show Room, or Cinius (and loads more) are present. There are also several banks and post offices, such as the Banca Popolare and Poste Italiane, and a CTS Viaggi travel agency. Thus, with so many shops, you can keep your shopping bags full, and browse even further.
The other market in Milan is the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande. This takes place along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande on the last Sunday of each month. Dedicated to antiques, the market has over 400 exhibitors, so you're certain to find something that catches your eye.
If outlet shopping is your thing, the shopping outlet in Serravalle Scrivia (a town roughly an hour's drive from Milan  is a good bet. Tour company-operated buses, including one that leaves from near the Castle, will take you there and back (roughly €20 for the round-trip as of early 2008). Reputed to be the first designer outlet in Italy and the biggest in Europe. Over 180 stores stock clothing, footwear and accessories, and it has a parking with 3,000 parking lots, a children's playground, bars and restaurants. In central Milan, you also get some good outlets too, such as Vestistock, D Magazine, or 10 Corso Como (and several more) which all have designer clothes and other interesting features. Corso Buenos Aires is the best street in the city for outlet shopping, since it contains many of the big shopping centres or department stores.
Although Milan is a city that changes its mind as quickly as fashion trends come and go, it remains one of the strongest bastions of traditional Italian cooking, where homemade elements are still very much praised and appreciated. There are trattorias, enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese and Italian dishes to eat. This city's traditional cooking is based on filling dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese (chicken-broth risotto made with saffron).
Dining times tend to be a shade earlier than in Rome or Florence, with lunch generally served between 12:30PM and 2:30PM and dinner from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, are often preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo—a glass of sparkling wine or a Campari soda.
Chinese restaurants are mainly located around via Paolo Sarpi, the heart of Milan's Chinatown. Long Chang and Jubin are two popular choices.
Avoid the restaurants around the Duomo, they tend to be tourist-only spots, with low quality food at inflated prices. Be aware that most restaurants charge an extra "serving tax", approximate 2 Euros per consumer. Also avoid restaurants or cafes around the central station, where it has been reported that hidden serving tax can be up to 5 euros per person with cheap quality food.
For authentic local dining options, try dining with the locals themselves. BonAppetour is a great way to discover local Milanese chefs who would love to have you over for an evening dinner. It's a great way to make friends over home-made food, and company.
The city also features an excellent cafe called Brek with several locations throughout Milan, including one near Piazza San Babila. The food is very good, the prices are fair, and it's a good place to stop for a quick bite.
For an artistic dining experience, try Lacerba on via Orti, 4, which serves dishes inspired by the early 20th century art movement, Futurism.
In the last several years, Milan has established a local version of the Aperitivo or Happy Hour. Italians drink very moderately and "happy hour" is not a drinking, but a social event.
Roughly from 7PM to 9PM, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (€5-8 each), accompanied by free all-you-can-eat buffets with snacks, pastas, and many other small appetizers. But be careful not to confuse "aperitivo" with "free dinner". It's a snack to be enjoyed with a drink. Italians will immediately see you as a buffoon- and it's seen as tacky to fill up on finger food for dinner, although it's common to spot them doing so.
A great place to go is the Straf Hotel  near the Duomo. A whole lot of these places can be found in the area near the Colonne di san Lorenzo and Corso di porta Ticinese, or close by in the Navigli area (subway: MM2 Porta Genova Station). You can also take the #3 tram to "Ventiquattro" stop. From Porta Ticinese (the large archway), head west into the canal area of Navigli. There are great restaurants for aperitivo in this area, including:
La Ringhiera: Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 5
Slice: Via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza, 9
Mas: Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 11
Another great area for aperitivo, not far from Duomo, is Corso Buenos Aires.
Around this area you can find cool cocktail bars like:
b:free cocktail bar : Via Lecco, 21 (close to Porta Venezia metro stop)
The Eat-Mi guide available on www.eatmi.it is useful for tourists that want to taste typical Italian cuisine.
At the Osteria del Gnocco Fritto, the €4.50 cover charge includes baskets of fried hand-size pastries (similar to sopapillas) accompanied by meats, cheeses, or jams (€8 to €11). Osteria del Gnocco Fritto has two locations: at Via Pestalozzi, 16, 02 8912.2631 and off the Grand Canal at Via Pasquale Paoli, 2, 02 5810.0216.
The Osteria dei Formaggi on the Grand Canal (Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 54, 02 8940 9415) serves all manner of excellent cheese dishes in an intimate dining room heavily decorated with cows.
- Peck, Via Victor Hugo 4, +39 02 861040. Foodies in the Duomo area should not miss this place. It is the Dean and Deluca of Milan, a gorgeous food shop that stocks the finest of just about everything. The prices are high, but since everything is counter service, you can graze a wide variety of delicacies for your money. Speaking of counter service, there is a special way to buy things at Peck. First, you order from the counter. They give you a little receipt. Once you have collected all your receipts, you pay at one of two registers. Then, you return to each of the counters you visited, where the staff have wrapped your treats exquisitely. To save 10%, go to the side-store of Peck 11:30-12:00. The restaurant is called Italian Bar which can be found by asking inside original Peck store, or go outside of Peck and walk left, turn right at the first small ally and the entrance is under the red tent.
- Chandelier, Via Giuseppe Broggi, no. 17 (Metro: Lima/P.ta Venezia), ☎ 02-2024-0458, . 6PM - 2AM. It is closed on Sundays. Chandelier is an eclectic, artsy restaurant, decorated with ornate Neoclassical and Baroque chandeliers (including cascading crystal ones), Rococo-style mirrors, swanky elaborate sofas, 1950s art, and generally colourful décor, which serves international, European, but mainly Mediterranean foods. Dishes such as spaghetti and gnocchi, risotto, scampi, salmon, steak, beef, and for dessert, different fruits, Tiramisu, mousse, and chocolate cake can be found on the menu. If you want to, you can also be brought to the Chandelier in a specifically designed limousine. edit
- Savini, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Metro: Duomo), ☎ 02-7200-3433, . Opened in 1867, the Savini is a fancy and well-established restaurant inside the magnificent Galleria, serving meals such as Milanese-style risotto, spaghetti and ravioli, meat cutlet, lamb and beef, different forms of fish, warmly-made Tirmisu, and other forms of desserts including chocolate cake and tart with strawberries. edit
- Boeucc', Piazza Belgioioso 2, Scala, Milan, tel 02/76020224. Milan's oldest restaurant is still traditional homemade cooking that is as fresh and tasty as the day it opened. Great for a special occasion, dessert is served on a special tea cart where they are shown to you before you decide, now try get out of having dessert! Even though the dessert are splendid, they are a bit pricy, so keep that in mind before you pick your dessert.
- Da Abele, Via Temperanza 5, Loreto, Milan. Renowned for its risottos, which change seasonally, Da Abele has a relaxed atmosphere and place that is always packed with locals.
- Il Brellin, Vicolo dei Lavandai, Navigli, Milan, tel 02/89402700. For a classic take on Milanese cooking, try Ill Brellin, where you can choose from homey classics such as rigatoni sautéed with pancetta, to modern interpretations on typical ingredients -- a pumpkin tart as an appetizer. Outdoor seating makes this a perfect choice on a sunny day, although it is closed for dinner on Sundays.
- Just Cavalli Hollywood, Via Luigi Camoens (inside the Torre Branca, Parco Sempione) (Metro: Cadorna [Lanza is relatively close too]), ☎ 02-311-817, . Found inside the Torre Branca in the big, leafy Sempione park, the Just Cavalli Hollywood was the brainchild of Roberto Cavalli, the fashion designer. It was recently rennovated in 2009-10. For beginners, one can find cheese, tuna tartar, Parma ham, and caviar, and for the main course, you can eat dishes of spaghetti, risotto, small gnocchi with crab, different forms of seafood, veal, steak, and different forms of salads. It also contains some dance floors and three bars. edit
- La Terraza, Via Palestro 2, Quadrilatero, Milan, tel 02/76002277. For a Meditteranean take on Japanese cuisine, head to La Terraza which serves fusion food amongst a contemporary decor. During the summer months, everyone heads to the terrace, where you can see the treetops of the nearby Giardini Pubblici. There's a "happy hour" every day except Sunday; on Sunday, brunch is served.
- Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala, Piazza della Scala, no. 5 (Metro: Duomo/Cordusio or even Montenapoelone is quite close), ☎ 02-8068-8201, . Lunch (M-F): 12:30AM - 2PM; Dinner (M-Sa): 8PM - 10:30PM. A 2 Michelin-star rated restaurant near the famous La Scala theatre, themed and owned by the well-known Italian fashion house, Il Trussardi Alla Scala has a spacious modern interior, and serves several interesting dishes. It is very close to the Café Trussardi. edit
- Biffi, Passaggio Duomo, no. 2 (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II) (Metro: Duomo), ☎ 028057961, . 12:00 - 24:00 (you can have breakfast at 07:30). Opened in 1867, it is an old fashioned restaurant/cafe in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, surrounded by a plethora of interesting shops, which serves drinks, and foods such as spaghetti, veal, steak, fish, and desserts such as chocolate Sacher, Tiramisu, ice cream and fruit salads. The waiters serve in the formal white gloves. edit
- Armani/Nobu, Via Pisoni, no. 1 (Metro: Montenapoleone, also accessible via tram), ☎ 02-6231-2645, . Lunch noon-2:30PM, dinner 6:30PM-9:30PM. Part of Japanese restaurant chain serving sushi with South American influences in Armani-themed surroundings. Apart from sushi, dishes such as ceviche, spicy tuna, different soups, lobster, seaweed, salmon, or different forms of vegetables and meat (and several others) are on the menu, and you can find desserts such as carrot cakes, tea ice creams, chocolates, exotic fruits, or different, both European and oriental plates. You also get sake and champagne. edit
- Giannino, Via Vittor Pisani, no. 6 (Metro: Repubblica), ☎ 02-6698-6698, . A refined restaurant from 1899 serving meals such as mozzarella, Parma ham, mussels, salad, Milanese-style risotto, spaghetti, soup, beef, chicken, scampi. edit
- Ristorante Stop, Piazzale Loreto, Viale Abruzzi 93 (Metro: Loreto), ☎ +39 02 2052 0673. A very good and decent priced italian food restaurant 50m from the Loreto metro station. Very good pizza and pasta, prices start from 7 euros. £. edit
On the budget
If you would like to eat something on the budget perfect places you can fine in I Navigli. One of the places is Antica Osteria Briosca Via Ascanio Sforza,13 Milan. They do Buffet every night 18.00-22.00 for 8 euro inc. 1 drink (bottle of water, glass of wine, beer). Food is realy good and they have choice of vegetarian options.
In bars you can enjoy great caffè espresso, cappuccino and a brioche for as little as €2. At bars in the Duomo and San Babila areas, breakfast can be very expensive if you sit down. If in doubt go to the bar and eat there, you'll pay what the Italians do- and they will admire your audacity too.
Milan, as a big city, is filled with several different forms of fast-foods, from the foreign giants and national chains, to independantly-owned take-aways and sandwich bars. Most fast-food restaurants are found in the Duomo, Buenos Aires and central station areas, as these are the most crowded and busy ones in the city. In the Piazza Duomo and Galleria, one can find international fast-foods such as McDonald's and Burger King, but Italian chains such as Autogrill are found too. Such Italian fast-food chains, such as Spizzico, Ciao and Autogrill can be found all over the city. There are several Ciao outlets in places such as no. 12 Corso Europa or no. 54 Via Montebianco, and for McDonald's, you get a restaurant in the Piazza del Duomo and Galleria, and also some in the Corso Buenos Aires, plus some others in places such as Corso Vercelli or Piazzale Lotto. Other fast-foods which can be found in Milan include Garbagnati (Cordusio metro station) which is a self-service restaurant and bakery, which has several vegeterian courses, or the Luini (Duomo metro station, on Via Santa Radegonda - throughout the same metro exit) which is a restaurant which is famous for making Southern Italian-style pieces of dough with mozzarella and tomatoes inside.
Although Milan cannot claim to be the birthplace of pizza, (that claim belongs to Naples), you can still find good pizzas in Milan. The best areas for pizza are near Marghera street, at the end of Vercelli Avenue, and on the Navigli, on Brera. Expect to pay €8-15 for a pizza and a beer.
If you are in the Northeast area, there are many little pizzerias on viale Fulvio Testi (the northern extension of viale Zara) in the Greco area, of which an excellent choice is Pizzeria De Pino. Ask for John Luca, and don't miss the lasagne. Here you may also get homemade Mirto (as you can at many other places). The prices are very reasonable in these establishments; expect to pay about €4-5 for pizza and €3-4 for beer. These places are where the locals eat, they are very friendly and helpful but few speak anything but Italian. Take the phrase book with you.
Another restaurant on the viale Fulvio Testi that is a real recommendation is Pizzeria De Bassié. They offer really good homemade pizzas and especially their special "Adriano" pizza is a really good option!
In Milan, pizza is often eaten with a knife and fork, but of course eating with one's hands is possible and welcome. Most people do both.
Watch out for frozen pizza in Milan (it usually states it on the menu). Always check the restaurant has a wood burning oven and that they are using it.
Pizza Fashion near the Centrale train station is good choice and they also do takeaway dessert if you're running to catch your train.
- Pizzeria Da Giuliano, Via Paolo Sarpi 60 (In westmost part of the street), ☎ 02 341630. Nice and cozy pizzeria with great, quite thick and large pizza slices. You can choose your toppings and after a few minutes you'll get your slice. Wood burning oven and loads of Mozzarella. edit
- Pizzeria Spontini, Corso Buenos Aires, 60 corner of Via Spontini, ☎ 02.2047444, . 18.00 - 23.00 for Dinner , 11.45 - 14.15 for lunch. Nice pizza in a small restaurant with very economic prices. edit
In summer enjoy gelato, an excellent Italian ice cream. The quality mark "gelato artigianale" indicates gelaterias that produce their own ice creams, without industrial processing.
Bakeries are open every day, you can enjoy great and inexpensive bread-related food, such as pizza and focaccia. You can find a bakery almost everywhere in Milan, even in the Duomo area, and is a good alternative to bars for a fast lunch.
There is much confusion regarding tipping in Italy. Italians do not typically leave tips any more at restaurants. In touristy locations there will often be a line (a recent trend) left blank for a tip to be added. Just draw a line through it and leave a few Euros. Never leave tips at bar counters.
The simplest and plainest place to have a drink in Milan is a drinking fountain - there are loads of them around the city! Put your finger in the dragon faucet's mouth to make the water fountain out a special hole in the head.
There are plenty of bars and cafés in Milan of all kinds - from fancy old-fashioned ones, where you can enjoy a formal hot drink, to avant-garde modern places, and youthful spots for a happy hour/late-night drink. Some also offer some food too. These are only a few of the places where you can stop for a drink:
- Mono, tel +39 02 2940 9330, Via Lecco 6, just one street west of Porta Venezia Metro Station (line M1). At night all drinks (beer, wine, all cocktails) for 7€ until 9.30pm. Including good all you can eat dinner buffet. A steal at this price. Customers are mostly gay, but not all of them.
- b:free cocktailbar, tel 0236707972, via Lecco, 21, near Corso Bueno Aires, in Porta Venezia (metro line M1). If you want to visit a real Aperitivo bar in true Italian fashion, this is a worthy hot spot.
- Exploit Café, near the San Lorenzo Columns, in Porta Ticinese Avenue. If you want to visit a real bar in true Italian fashion, this is a worthy hot spot.
- Bar Bianco, # Viale Enrico Ibsen (Parco Sempione), tel 3336323027, inside the Sempione Park. It's cash only at this bar, but with Gucci clad clubbers and their well suited companions, money seems easy to come by. The life of a party can always be detected in here.
- Roialto, Via Piero della Francesca 55, 20154 Milan, tel +39 02 3493 6616. It's bland facade conceals a real gem of a cocktail bar/restaurant. It is a very popular spot for after-work drinks, or perhaps a pre-club drink if you're going dancing somewhere like the Gattopardo.
- Honky Tonks, Via Fratelli Induno, 10 Fiera (near Sempione Avenue), ☎ 00 39 023452562. M-Sa 6PM-2AM. Not exactly a country cowboy bar as the name might imply, a more accurate description would include the smoky lounge feel and the jazz music being played. The drinks are well made and they also serve Tex-Mex style food. edit
- Bar Magenta, in Via Carducci. This popular bar is best visited with a bunch of friends during apperitivo, a time when free appetizers are given out, usually around 7PM. It was said that Bar Magenta coined the now very popular “aperitivo”, and having a drink in here is a classic experience.
- Dom Cafè, in Corso Como.
- Il Saloon, in Niccolini St, Chinatown area.
- Frescobar, in Bramante St, Chinatown area.
- Birrificio Lambrate, in Adelchi St, near Lambrate Station, . Features with its own branded beers.
- Cicco Simonetta  — A bohemian pub hosting comics, musicians, and €3 beer on Mondays.
- Brasserie Bruxelles, Viale Abruzzi,33 near Buenos Aires Ave, ☎ +39 2 2941 9148, . Open daily 6PM - 02AM. Is a bar specialising in beer from Belgium. 5 beer on draught and 50 in the bottle. edit
- Rita, Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1, ☎ 02 8372865. It is the perfect place for a cocktail and Edo, the barman and the owner together with the chief Luca, is the grandmaster. They have strict code for preparing cocktails: no syrups are admitted, only fresh fruit. It is also a perfect place to eat. edit
- Fashion Café, Via San Marco ((Brera district)). Fashionable Armani-style place for aperitivo and drinks. edit
- Caffè Cova, Via Montenapoleone 8 (Metro: San Babila/Montenapoleone), ☎ 02-7600-5599, . Founded in 1817, this pasticceria (pastry shop) relocated to its current place in the exclusive Montenapoleone street 1950, and is a good place for a cake/tart with a hot drink, such as coffee. At Christmas, enjoy the traditional Panettone cake. edit
- Emporio Armani Caffè, Via Croce Rossa, no. 2 (Metro: Montenapoleone). Found on the ground floor of the Armani Megastore, this café is all Armani themed. It's a good place to stop for a drink after a day of shopping, since it is really close to the ritzy Via Manzoni and Via Monte Napoleone. edit
- Dolce & Gabbana Martini Bar, Corso Venezia, no. 15 (Metro: San Babila). A Dolce & Gabbana themed bar, it is situated in the posh Venezia avenue, right in the top fashion district. Good place to enjoy a Martini cocktail in Dolce & Gabbana surroundings after some shopping or sightseeing. edit
- Zucca, Piazza Duomo, no. 21 (Metro: Duomo), . An Art Deco/Liberty bar right at the entrance of the Galleria Vittorio, which serves several forms of drinks. It's right in the heart of all the major sights, being right next to the Duomo and Galleria, and also close to the Montenapoleone shopping district and the Castle quarter. edit
- Bar Jamaica, Via Brera, no. 32 (Metro: Lanza), ☎ 02-876723, . A small, trendy and artsy bar in the bohemian Brera district, which in summer times uses its verandah for open-air drinks. edit
- Shu, Via Molino delle Armi ((Metro: Missori)), . A trendy café in the funky Porta Ticinese area, which serves cocktails, and also a notable happy hour (with many different plates). Go there for a swanky, hi-tech feeling and drink + snack. edit
- Gucci café, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Metro: Duomo). If you enjoy cafés where you can sip fashionably at a coffee in the city's stunning glass Galleria, right in the heart of Milan, after some sightseeing or general shopping, then the Gucci café is the place to go. edit
- Café Trussardi, Piazza della Scala, no. 5 (Metro: Duomo/Cordusio/Montenapoleone), ☎ 02-8068-8295, . M-F: 07:30 - 22:00; Saturday: 12:00 - 22:00. Located very close to the Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala, the café is a better place for a more casual drink or less formal meal. The menu includes some salads, sandwiches, meat, fish, cheese and vegetable plates (and many more dishes), and also fresh fruit juices, and desserts such as Zuppa inglese (Italian form of trifle), Tiramisu and ice cream. Right in the centre of the city, it is near to the famous La Scala opera house, the Duomo, the Sforzesco Castle, and also to the fashion quadrilateral streets (i.e. Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, etc.) It is owned and named after Trussardi, the fashion label. Remember that it is not open on Sundays! Prices range from €10 to €28 (according to the official menu). edit
Milan by night
Milan has a great variety of places where you can have fun. A great starting point is Como Avenue (Corso Como), near Garibaldi Station, full of bars and glamorous clubs. In the summertime, this street is packed with young and attractive people.
Another place where you can go is Navigli quarter, near Porta Ticinese Avenue and XXIV Maggio Square, where you can find a lot of small pubs, open air cafes and restaurants by the water canals (navigli). In many pubs and bars you can find a free booklet named Zero2 which is a guide to Milan Nightlife: if you don't know what to do or where to go, do grab one!
Other popular night spots with bars and people are viale Monte Nero (on Wednesday it's packed with people in the piazza in front of a bar called "Momo"), Piazzale Susa (and Citta' Studi area). Nights are overwhelmingly crowded at the Colonne di San Lorenzo (not far from Navigli quarter), and in the cozy Latin-quarter of Brera. Another good spot is the pedestrian part of Corso Sempione near the "Peace Arch" (Arco della Pace).
There are bars and clubs open all week long but usually few people go out at night on Mondays or Tuesdays, the vast majority prefer to have fun on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However, Wednesday night appears to be one of the coolest to go out in stylish VIP-frequented clubs.
Milan has an alternative club scene, with a few crews making electronic music parties outside clubs. Ultracheap, every time in a different location (lofts, warehouses, farms, pools, city parks) those kind of parties attract people aged 20-28. The biggest one is called RESET! and attracts 1500-2000 people once a month
Gay and Lesbian Travellers
Although Milan has a variety of bars, clubs, restaurants and venues for gay and lesbian travellers, many only operate one night a week. Choosing from one of the "mainstays" below and asking anyone where to go should lead you in the right direction.
Also, venues are not concentrated in one area of town, but rather spread throughout the city.
Foreign travelers are often confused by the ARCI card regime that is required for entry into many clubs. It's a relic from the times of police raids that has now conferred tax benefits on these private club owners. No need to fear-- just show up and purchase one at any of the clubs. You MUST bring some ID or you cannot purchase one.
- Wednesday and Thursday nights hosts a gay crowd at L'Elephant (Via Lecco, subway: MM1 Porta Venezia Station).
- Thursdays aperitivo at Hotel Straf near Duomo is well worth a look.
- Saturday nights at Billy or Amnesia (viale Forlanini near Linate airport, reachable by taxi or #73 bus) or BinarioUno disco (via Plezzo, subway: MM2 Lambrate) or Black Hole (former lesbian club).
- On Sunday nights, hundreds flock to the largest and classiest spot in town, the Borgo del Tempo Perso (via Fabio Massimo, subway: MM3 Porto di Mare) (open year-round although outdoor area open May-Sept only).
Cruising clubs such as the "Flexo" and "Depot" are hugely popular in Italy, perhaps even more so than saunas.
The best saunas in 2008 include Metro (via Schiaparelli near the Central Station, subway: MM2 and MM3 Centrale Station) and Royal Hammam (near BinarioUno club, via Plezzo, subway: MM2 Lambrate Station), mostly packed during the weekend especially at night as they are open 24 hours.
Open air meeting places such as Parco Nord, the gardens behind Cadorna station or Ortomercato are not recommended (criminals and hustlers). The safest way to cruise is to take the late night metro and get into the second-last coach, which is usually occupied by the gays and lesbians.
- Città di Milano, located in Quinto Romano, Via Gaetano Airaghi 61, 02 48200134, (Fax 02 48202999). It is located way on the outskirts of the city. If you arrive by car, take the tangenziale Ovest and exit at San Siro/ Fiera. If by public transport, take the subway (the M1 line to De Angeli) and then a bus (bus no 80). However keep an eye out for signs pointing to the campsite. Don't be afraid to ask locals on the bus where it is. Be aware that it's next to a rather smelly farm. However, the campsite itself has a bar, a restaurant and very good shower facilities. This is definitely an option for students or people who would rather spend money in Milan, instead of accommodation.
- Piero Rotta Youth Hostel, Via Salmoiraghi 1, +39-02-39267095, (, Fax: +39-02-33000191), . Follow the signs from QT8 stop on the red line to Molino Dorino. Very relaxed curfew compared to most in Italy. Look out for the night walkers you pass on the way to the hostel. €19-23. 5km from Duomo.
- Ostello Olinda, Via Ippocrate 45, 0264445219, (), . Hostel converted from an old psychiatric ward, though other buildings on the grounds are still used for psychiatric treatment. Reception desk is only open from noon to 8PM, and the staff only speak enough English to keep the place functioning. Entry after dark requires checking in with the gate guard. No curfew, but remember that the guard-gate is closed from 1:30AM to 6AM. It is located out in the suburbs near the Affori Train Station. Easily reached from the city centre by commuter trains, or bus 70. The yellow-line of the subway is currently being extended and will eventually reach this location. Price begins at €18/night, includes free wifi.
- Boston Hotel Milan – Via Roberto Lepetit, 7 - 20124 Milan, Italy . Telephone +39 02 6692636 • Fax +39 02 66981802. The Boston is a cheap and elegant two star hotel of Milan conveniently located close to the train Central Station of the city. 25 single, double and triple bedrooms with private bath, shower, wi-fi connection and air conditioning. 75 Euros for a double room.
- Dover Hotel Milan – Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 8 - 20129 Milan Italy . Telephone +39 02 7601 2789 • Fax +39 02 780103. The Dover is a budget hotel of Milan. Thirteen single, double/twin and triple accommodations with en-suites services, internet connections, TV and telephone. Single 51 Euros. Double 61 Euros. Rates include breakfast.
- Hotel De Albertis, Via De Albertis, 7, 20100, +39 02 7383409, (, Fax: +39 02 7383409), . 2 star hotel located in the Cinque Giornate area (2km east of Milan centre). Run by a very pleasant family.
- Hotel Delle Nazioni, Via Cappellini, 18, 20124, +39 0266981221, (, Fax: +39 026701804), . 3 star hotel located 400 metres from the main railway station. Singles with bathroom from €84.
- Hotel Delizia, Via Archimede, 86/88, 20124, +39 02 740544, (Fax: +39 02 733638), . A recently restored 2 star hotel with comfortable access to the tangenziale and the splendid Piazza del Duomo. 14 rooms each with shower, bidet, toilet, free WiFi, TV, ADSL, breakfast. Double room single use €60. Two persons €120.
- Hotel Garda, Via Napo Torriani, 21, 20124, +39 02 66982626, (Fax: +39 02 66982576), . Hotel Garda, 200m from Milan Central Station. Singles from €45 to €150. Doubles from €75 to €225.
- Le Moran Hotel Milan – Viale Europa, 90 - 20090 Cusago - Milan, Italy . Telephone +39 02 90119894 • Fax +39 02 9016207. Le Moran is a four star hotel of Milan. The 80 bedrooms can be booked as single, double, triple and quadruple. Services available include the en-suite bath, shower, Jacuzzi, satellite TV, internet connection, conference facilities and restaurant. Double room: 99 Euros.
- London Hotel Milan, Via Rovello 3, 20121, +39 02 72020166, (Fax: +39 02 8057037), . 400m from Duomo. Singles from €90 to €130, doubles €120 to €170.
All these have ensuite facilities, shower, bath, WC, TV in room, 24 hour lobby.
- Ambrogio Hotels Milan – Via Mazzini, 8 - 20123 Milan, Italy  Telephone +39 06 4828374 • Fax +39 06 4828374. The Ambrogio hotels is a group of three star accommodations located in the centre of Milan. Large choice of bedrooms with private bath, shower, free wi-fi and breakfast included. Double rooms from 55 Euros.
- Ariston Hotel Milan – Largo Carrobbio, 2 - Cap: 20123, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 72000556 • Fax +39 02 72000914. The Ariston is a three star hotel with 52 bedrooms (single, double and triple), private parking, a wine bar, a breakfast hall and a conference room able to host up to 25 people. Among the other services, the Hotel Ariston Milan also offers private bath, satellite TV, free internet access and a bike service, since the Ariston Hotel of Milan is an ecological accommodation. Average rates: singles €160, doubles €230.
- Admiral Hotel, Via Domodossola, 16, 20131, +39 02 3492151, (Fax: +39 02 33106660). 3 km northwest of Duomo, in front of Fiera Milano City exhibition centre. Singles from €130. Doubles from €180.
- Ambasciatori Hotel Milan, Galleria del Corso 3, 20122, 0039 02 76020241, (, Fax: 0039 02 782700), . 300 metres from the Duomo. Singles from €190, doubles from €260.
- Hotel Cristallo Milan – Via Domenico Scarlatti, 22 - 20124 Milan, Italy  Telephone +39 02 29517555 • Fax +39 02 29526129. The Cristallo is a 3 star hotel of Milan with a wide selection of double and triple guest rooms and services, including private bath, TV, direct telephone, Wi-Fi internet access, toiletries, air conditioning and breakfast buffet included. Doubles: from 50 Euros.
- Berna Swiss Quality Hotel, Via Napo Torriani 18, I-20124 Milano, ([email protected], fax: +39 (0)2 669 38 92). Four star hotel situated 100m away from the station, 2km from the duomo. Single room from 89EUR, double room from 116EUR(low season of 2009). edit
- Brunelleschi Hotel Milan, Via Baracchini, 12, 20123, +39 02 88431, (Fax: +39 02 804924), . The Hotel Brunelleschi Milan is a reputable 4 Star in the centre of Milan close to the Duomo and La Scala Theatre. Prices range from €100 upwards.
- Dieci Hotel Milan – Largo Rio de Janeiro, 12 - 20133 Milan, Italy . Telephone +39 02 70608180 • Fax +39 02 26684206. The Dieci is a four star hotel of Milan located close to the Piola Metro stop, in the north-east part of the city. The 29 guest rooms are divided in single, double and triple, with en-suite services, satellite TV, internet connection and mini bar. 150 Euros for a double room, breakfast included.
- Hotel Amadeus, Via Vitruvio, 48, 02 6692141, (Fax: 02 66713291), . Really close to the Centrale station. The average rates are €80 but weekend rates for a single room can drop to as low as €42.
- Hotel Ariston, Largo Carrobbio 2, +39 02 7200055, (Fax: +39 02 72000914), . In Milan, at 5 minutes from the Duomo and from Navigli, Hotel Ariston is a great welcoming place. Designed with bio-architectural principles in mind. Average rates: singles €160, doubles €230.
- Hotel Auriga Milan – Via Pirelli 7 - Cap: 20124, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 66985851 • Fax +39 02 66980698. The Auriga is a four star hotel located right in front of the central train station of Milan. This accommodation presents 52 bedrooms divided in single (76 euros), double/twin (89 euros) and triple (119 euros). All with private bath, shower, TV and internet connection.
- Hotel Bonola, Via Torrazza 15, +39 02 381 017 46, (Fax: +39 02 381 017 86), . Hotel Bonola is close to the freeway exits (the Tangenziale Ovest exit "Viale Certosa" is 1 km away), "Rho-Pero", the new trade show centre and Mazdapalace the historical trade show centre. Singles from €40, Double from €60.
- Hotel Canova, Via Napo Torriani 15, 0266988181, (Fax: 0266713433), . Singles €51 doubles €68 cheapest booked via an intermediary, more expensive direct. Parking €20 per night, or use cheaper local garage. Excellent location near Stazione Centrale and low price.
- Hotel Casa Mia, Viale Vittorio Veneto, 30 (corner P.zza Repubblica), +39.02.6575249, (Fax: +39 02 6552228), . Just 15 minutes walk to the Duomo and 10 minutes to Via Montenapoleone, small and attentive. Average prices: single rooms €65, doubles €90, triples €120.
- Hotel Fenice, Corso Buenos Aires, 2, +39 02 29525541, (Fax: +39 02 29523942), . The Hotel Fenice is in a perfect location: just a short distance from Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and the fashion stronghold with its famous boutiques. Singles from €65, Double from €100 night.
- Hotel Florence, Piazza Aspromonte, 22, 20100, +39 02 2361125, (Fax: +39 02 26680911) . The Hotel Florence is in a central area of Milan, easily reached from the Centrale station, with excellent public transport services (subway, street cars and buses) and full of attractions. Single rooms from €45, Doubles from €75.
- Hotel Galles, Piazza Lima, 2, +39 02 204841, (Fax: +39 02 2048422), . The Hotel Galles is the ideal solution for a business or pleasure trip in the heart of Milan. Singles from €75, Queen size bed from €92, parking €21 per night.
- Hotel Galileo Milan – Corso Europa 9 - Cap: 20122, . Telephone +39 02 7743 • Fax +39 02 76020584. A four star hotel with a choice of 89 single, double, triple and VIP rooms, all with private bath. Among the public areas are a bar, restaurant, lounge and reception with free internet connection. Rates include breakfast. 130 euros for single and 140 for a double.
- Hotel Genius Milan – Via Porlezza, 4 - Cap: 20123, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 72094644 • Fax +39 02 72006950. The Genius Hotel is a three star accommodation which presents 38 bedrooms with private en-suite service. Milan is the Italian fashion and business capital, so the rooms of the Genius also present Wi-Fi Internet connection. The hotel is located between Castello Sforzesco and the Duomo. The rates change according to the season and go from Euros 88 to 99 for a single, and from Euros 120 to 155 for a double.
- Hotel Giulio Cesare Milan – Via Rovello, 10 - 20121 Milan, Italy  Telephone +39 02 72003915 • Fax +39 02 72003915. The Giulio Cesare offers 20 bedrooms divided in single, double and triple. All with private en-suite services, shower, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi connection. Great central location between the Sforza Castle and Duomo. Double room rates start from 55 Euros, breakfast included.
- Hotel La Residenza, Via Scialoia 3, +39 02 6461646, (Fax: +39 02 6464268), . Single rooms €55, doubles €88, triples €100, quadruples €120.
- Hotel Romana Residence Milan – Corso di Porta Romana 64, 20122, Milan, Italy . Telephone +39 02 583421 • Fax +39 02 58309748. The Romana Residence modern hotel of the historic centre of Milan, located only 250 metres away from the Duomo. All the 66 bedrooms of the Romana Residence Hotel, divided in double, twin, triple, family, junior suite and suite, come with private bath and modern facilities. Some also have a small kitchen, and many face the garden of the hotel. Double and twin rooms: 159 Euros. Breakfast included.
- NH Milano Touring, Via Ugo Tarchetti, 2. 20121 Milan, . This hotel is surrounded by many famous monuments and has plenty of activities available. This 4* hotel offers 282 rooms, a restaurant, parking, WiFi and a bar. Rooms start at 103€. edit
- Napoleon Hotel (hotel milan near main train station), Via Ozanam, 12 - 20129 Milan Italy, . This hotel is close to Corso Buenos Aires and to the central train station. This 4* hotel is pet-friendly and it offers business services, free buffet breakfast, free wifi. edit
- Mercure Milan Corso Genova , Via Conca Del Naviglio 20, 02 643 50 03. Singles €60, doubles €70, parking €20 per night.
- The Milan Suite Hotel – Via Varesina 124 - Cap: 20156, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 33431807. Modern four star hotel located in the north district, well connected to the city centre and Fiera Milano. 40 bedrooms divided in double for single use, suite and junior suite. All the rooms come with en-suite service and the breakfast included. Facilities include two meeting halls, private parking and limousine service. From €80.
- Hotel Catalani e Madrid, Via Catalani 71, +39 02 2846361, (Fax: +39 02 2824930), . Single rooms €40, doubles €50, triples €70, quadruples €85.
- Hotel Bagliori – Via Boscovich, 43 20124, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02.29526884 . Nearby to Hotel Bagliori in Milan, you can find the metro, buses and trams which easily take you to the Central Station (which can also be reached on foot at a distance of just 650m), the Cathedral and every other part of the city of Milan. Double room from €80.
- Santa Marta Suites, Via Santa Marta, 4, 20123 - Milano (MI), ☎ +39 02 45373369 ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Charme Boutique Hotel with Restaurant and Panoramic Terrace. Near the Duomo. (45.463139,9.18364) edit
- Hotel Ascot, Via Lentasio, 3, 20122, +39 02 58303300, (Fax: +39 02 58303203), . In the center of Milan, just a few meters from Corso di Porta Romana and 10 minutes walk from the Duomo and the National University. Single from €83, Double from €124.
- Hotel De La Ville, Via Hoepli n.6, ☎ +39 02 879 1311, . Near Via Montenapoleone, rooftop pool offers views of the Duomo. €100-€200. edit
- Hotel Lloyd, Corso di Porta Romana, 48 20122, +39 02.58303332, (Fax: +39 02 58303365), . Offers large meeting rooms and a well-being program. Local business, shopping and culture just 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Single rooms from €85, Double from €116.
- Hotel Pierre Milano, Via de Amicis, ☎ +39 02 72000581, . Close to La Scala and the Duomo. Each of the 52 rooms has WiFi access and satellite television. €105-€215. edit
Unless you venture into the dangerous suburbs, Milan is a rather safe city. Certain areas near Loreto, Central station, and Porto di Mare (Southern end of the yellow metro line) can be unsafe in the night. At the station, do not seek help from any random person offering to help with the booking machines / ATMs or under any other pretext. After they have helped, they will pursue you to get as much money as possible for their "help". Or they can pretend to be helpful, cheating instead. A possible scenario: they guide you through the interface of the ticket machine in a metro station, and advice you to pay using notes instead of coins (allegedly the ticket machine wouldn't accept coins). If you insert a 20 euro note, the machine would give it back after a few moments. However, before it happens, they will grab your attention saying that the ticket should appear in the bottom of the machine, and simultaneously an old beggar with body odour will appear begging for money. You wouldn't notice it but the beggar will collect the 20 euro note that the machine would give back to you. The "helper" would then show to you that the maximum amount of change given by the machine is less than 10 euros.
Do NOT leave your cell phone or any valuables on a restaurant table. My friend today had his iPhone stolen by a very crafty woman with a map who inched closer and closer to our table. As we yelled at her to move away, she subtly stole my friend's iPhone. While this might seem obvious not to keep valuables in public view, everyone around us had their phones publicly displayed on the table.
Beware of the migrant vendors in the streets: most of the merchandise they sell is imitation/fake luxury goods. Even at a fraction of the cost of the original merchandise, the quality is spotty, and the goods are not well maintained in storage.
They may also try giving you "free" friendship bracelets (sometimes calling them 'a gift'). After you take the bracelet, a coloured piece of string, they will hit you up for money and relentlessly pursue you until they get as much as they can. They will be forceful, physically tying the bracelet to your wrist, or laying it on your shoulder as you try and walk away. This is especially true in the tourist areas around the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco. They usually first ask "Where are you from?". Just ignore them.
In empty places, watch for strangers directly approaching you. Try to be with other people like in a bus station or a shopping mall.
Beware of people hanging around the square outside Duomo: they will walk up to you and forcefully give you corn on the hands to feed the pigeons on the pretence that they are free. All the pigeons in the surrounding area will then fly to you. The people will then relentlessly pursue you and ask you for money.
Be careful crossing the street: drivers don't usually respect pedestrian crossings unless there is a red light for them to stop.
Around Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, there are some women who would approach you to ask you for petition signatures for an "anti-drug, anti-AIDS for youth" organization. They would ask which country you're from and try to small-talk you to their booth with the signature sheets. A story from them is that the women are from Slovenia and have been working with the troubled youths for 8 years. Then they will ask you to make a 40 euro donation to "save a life". If you refuse, they will ask for 20 euros etc. Do not sign their petition sheet; the names and donated amount on the papers are likely made up. Advice is to ignore them.
- Lake Como— A huge, impressive, beautiful lake in the foothills of the Alps. See the villages of Como, Menaggio, Bellagio & Varenna. The town of Como, at the southern end of Lake Como, can be reached by regular trains (50 minutes from Cadorna station) and buses. The gothic cathedral is very beautiful. Varenna, in the middle of Lake Como, nestled in the Italian Alps, can be reached by regular trains (1 hour and 3 minutes journey) from Milano Centrale train station. Tickets can be bought from automated ticket machines at the Milano Centrale station for 6.10 Euros each way (May 2015). Be sure to buy round-trip tickets as tickets cannot be purchased at the Varenna station! From Varenna, regular and inexpensive ferries are available to Bellagio and Menaggio.
- Certosa di Pavia charter house— Really a must see monument! It is as beautiful as the Duomo cathedral, built with the same pink marble and carved by the best renaissance sculpture. The interiors are majestic and elegant, which makes the Certosa of Pavia one of the finest church monument of Lombardy.
- Monza— Medium-size town with a beautiful pedestrian-only centre,a really beautiful cathedral (local museum housing the medieval crown of the Longobard kings, the first crown ever built to crown a king! It is said to have been realized with the thorn of Christ's Cross), and a marvellous park, the Parco di Monza, the largest enclosed park in Europe. Inside the park you can find the Villa Reale of Monza, one of the finest royal palaces of Italy, built in Neoclassical style by Leopold Pollack in the late XVIII century. Beside of that, inside the park there is the Autodromo Nazionale  where the Formula 1 GP, Superbike and other minor races take place. Accessible by regular trains (15 minutes from Centrale or Porta Garibaldi stations) and buses.
Villa Reale di Monza Royal Palace
- Bergamo— Elegant walled hilltop Renaissance university town. Bergamo is serviced by regular trains (from Centrale, Porta Garibaldi and Lambrate stations, about 1 hour trip time) and buses.
- Crespi d'Adda  — A planned industrial city between Bergamo and Milan. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Lake Garda— Beautiful lake with a lot of beautiful small cities, the best is Sirmione. Two big theme parks are nearby: Gardaland , the best in Italy, and Canevaworld Resort , home of Movieland (a movie theme park) and a water park. Accessible by way of regular trains (65-85 minutes from Centrale station) and buses. Very crowded during summer and weekends.
- Oltrepò Pavese — Wine region of Lombardy, about 70 km to the south of Milan, worth a day or weekend trip to relax, walk or cycle and have the Italian Sunday brunch at one of the excellent local restaurants.
- Cremona— a really beautiful historic city centre with the most beautiful cathedral in Lombardy after the Duomo cathedral of Milan. Filled of most important frescoes, it is definately worth a visit.
- Excursions without a car: You don't need a car to escape from the business, the traffic, the congestion, the fog in wintertime, and the afa (humid heat in summer), of the city of Milan to a wonderful world of lakes, mountains, castles and good food: just take the train and, sometimes, the boat.
- Biking Trips: Beginning at the 24th May Square (Piazza 24 Maggio) there is a excellent and very long bike road on the right (northern) bank of the canal. Be aware to take the Naviglio Grande (going west on the northern bank of the canal) and follow it as long as you want. After few kilometers you'll reach the nice Chiesetta di San Cristoforo, a popular spot for marriages. If you are well trained, proceed through the countryside. About 10 km to Gaggiano, a very nice and tiny village, and 20 km to Abbiategrasso. If you are still in the mood for riding, follow the canal on the right and reach Robecco sul Naviglio.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!