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Citytrip Milan – the capital of Lombardy is a perfect destination for a short city break. Milan equals fashion, design and football. But the city has much more to offer besides shopping and cheering at a AC Milan or Inter Milan match. Milan is the perfect destination for a city trip! Wander through the city, take in its beauty and go shopping. Most sights and attractions are within walking distance of each other. You may have seen pictures of Milan Cathedral, but when you stand in front of this church in person you will have to admit that the real building is far more impressive than any photo can show. The cathedral is next to the shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele where you will find high-end shops like Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Drink Campari in the bar of the same name, the birthplace of this famous drink. Other must-see Milan highlights are The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci and Castello Sforzesco.
If you do not feel like walking, board the hop-on hop-off buses or simply catch the metro. Milan has the largest metro network in Italy which means there is always a metro station near to where you want to go. Finding a restaurant to your taste is no problem as there are 6,000(!) places in Milan where you can eat the most delicious meals. Head to the Navigli district and you are sure to find something to your taste and liking: from vegan Indian to an Argentinian steakhouse. Enjoy your meal al fresco with canal view. Afterwards enjoy Milan nightlife until early morning. Milan is also very suitable for a day trip from other destinations in northern Italy such as Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. They are not too far from Milan and public transport connections and roads are excellent.
City Passes and Cards for Milan
Purchase a Milan city pass if you want to enjoy Milan hassle-free and save money. These passes allow you free entry to the most important attractions and museums in Milan. They are often cheaper than buying single tickets for each attraction and museum besides these passes allow you fast-track entry. This way you avoid the long waiting lines at Milan Cathedral, The Last Supper and the San Siro football stadium. The Milan Pass also includes public transport or the hop-on hop-off bus. The choice is yours purchase either the Milan Pass or the Milan City Pass. Both are easily booked online in advance.
Milan passes compared:
- The Milan Pass is the most comprehensive city pass for Milan. It allows you free entry to 12 popular sights and museums in Milan. Choose between free public transport or the hop-on hop-off bus. In addition, you will get discounts on various tours, in restaurants and shops.
- The Milan City Pass is ideal for Milan visitors who do not need to see all the museums and sights but who want to profit from skip-the-line and free entry to much visited sights such as Milan Cathedral and Teatro alla Scala. A handy app with audioguide and discounts on other attractions and museums in Milan are also included in this digital pass.
Compare Milan citypasses and day passes:
The Milan Pass
- Valid for 48 hours
- Hop-on hop-off bus
- Or public transport
- City map
- Information booklet
Milan City Pass
- Milan Cathedral (including the roof)
- Museum for Science and Technology
- Teatro alla Scala
- Audio Guide App
- No time pressure
Flights to Milan
Many European low-cost airlines have direct flights to Milan. Ryanair, Transavia, Vueling and Easyjet are only some of the budget airlines that offer competitive prices so that a city trip to Milan will not break the bank. Milan has three airports: Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate en Milan Bergamo Orio al Serio. Malpensa is the international airport and fifty kilometers north-west of Milan. Low-cost airlines go to Bergamo Orio al Serio, also fifty kilometres from the city centre. Milano Linate is at a distance of only 10 kilometres from the Milan but a limited number of airlines among which KLM and Alitalia serve this airport.
From the airport to Milan Centre
The quickest way to get from Malpensa Airport to Milan centre is by bus or train. The Malpensa Express departs from Terminal T1 and takes you in 40 t0 50 minutes to the train stations Milano Cadonna or Milano Centrale. A single ticket costs 13 euro. The Malpensa shuttle bus to Milan central train station costs 8 euro and the journey time is about one hour. A taxi from Malpensa Airport to Milan is about 90 euro.
When you arrive at Orio al Serio airport in Bergamo, the easiest way to get to Milan is by Terravision bus, Orio shuttle or Autostradale. These buses leave in front of the Arrivals Hall and, depending on the traffic, journey time to Milan city centre is just one hour. The cost of a single ticket is about 5 euro. Buy your ticket in the arrivals hall or on board the bus. Alternatively, take a bus to Bergamo train station and then take the train to Milan. A taxi will cost about 100 euro.
When you arrive at Linate take bus 73 which goes straight to Piazza San Babila, in Milan centre. Buses run every ten minutes from 6 am to 1 am. Journey time is 30 minutes to Piazza San Babila and from here you take the metro to your final destination. A taxi to the centre costs 15 to 20 euro depending on where you want to go in the city and how much traffic there is.
Hotel or B&B Milan
Finding a hotel in Milan is no problem. However, take into account the dates of International Fairs such as the furniture fair (Salone del Mobile) or fashion fairs as prices may double or triple and almost all accommodation is booked during the period of the fair. Milan offers accommodation for every budget whether you want to stay in a 5-star hotel, a simple B&B or a budget hostel: Milan has it all. If you want to splash out and money is no problem, go to trendy Hotel Room Mate Giulia (Via Silvio Pellico 4) right in the centre of Milan. An airport transfer is included as is the gym. Go to Parck Hyatt Milan (Via Tommaso Grossi 1) if you want to be pampered. If you like to meet celebrities and want to stay in the buzzing centre of Milan, your places to be are: Bulgari Hotel Milano (Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7b) and Armani Hotel (via Manzoni 31). This hotel situated in the Golden Square has a sweeping view from the rooftop terrace.
If you are on a tighter budget, go to Hotel Ritter (Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi 68) right in the city centre. Modern and trendy Barceló Hotel (Via Giorgio Stephenson 55) with a swimming pool is away from the centre but certainly a good option to stay. Hotel Soperga (via Soperga 24), close to the central station, is recommended if you arrive by train. Mio Hostel (Via delle Rimembranze di Lambrate 14) and Star Hostel (Via Varesina 63 – close to San Siro-stadion) are good budget options.
Things to do in Milan
Milan is not only famous for shopping, fashion and design but has a lot more to offer. The imposing Milan cathedral, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, footbal Stadium San Siro home to AC en Inter Milaan and the impressive Castello Sforzesco are only a few highlights of the many sights and attractions Milan is famous for. There is something for everybody in Milan: from modern art to Roman excevations. Milan is not an old city and has no historic centre, yet you will find many imposing and historic buildings. The cathedral, Teatro alla Scala, Castello Sforzesco and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele are highlights within walking distance from each other. Be sure to visit the Brera district, an artists centre with lots of trendy fashion boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. The Navigli districts, the old harbour, and now the place to be for nightlife and clubbing.
How to get there
The Cathedral is located in Piazza del Duomo in the centre of Milan.
Take the the yellow or red metro line to Duomo metro station.
Milan Cathedral, dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity (Santa Maria Nascente) is the most photogenic building in Milan. Commissioned by the archbishop, construction started in 1386. The inauguration was in 1418 even though at that time the cathedral was still under construction. Milan Cahedral was finally completely in 1805 during the reign of Napoleon who was crowned King of Italy in this very cathedral. The Cathedral is speckled with 2,300 statues. With 150 metres long and 90 metres wide, this church is the third largest cathedral in the world, after St Peter’s in Rome and Seville Cathedral. Be sure to visit not only the interior but also the cathedral’s roof adorned by hundreds of turrets and pinnacles the oldest dating back to 1404. The four-metre tall, golden statue of Mary crowns the tallest pinnacle. The Milanese affectionately name it: “la Madonnina”, little Madonna. The view from the roof is breathtaking.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
How to get there
The Galleria is located between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala, in the centre of Milan.
The easiest way to get to the Galleria shoppig arcade is by the yellow or red metro line, get off at Duomo metro station.
Right next to the Cathedral is the entrance to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the most elegant and stylish shopping arcade in Milan. An impressive entrance gate, beautifully laid-out mosaic floors, a glass dome and a plethoria of shops make a visit to the Galleria one of the highlights during your city trip to Milan. Fashionable shops, cafes and restaurants are a pleasure for fashionistas and gourmets. Be sure to drink Campari concocted by Gaspare Campari in the bar named after him. The bull mosaic in the middle of the shopping arcade attracts superstitious people: stand on the animal’s genitals and you will be lucky and happy for the rest of your life. Tip: The roof of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele offers a sweeping view of the city as does the adjacent Cathedral. Be sure to walk the shopping arcade from the catwalk perched on the roof for a picture postcard view of the Cathedral and the city.
The Last Supper
How to get there
The artwork is located in the Santa Maria delle Grazie halfway the Corso Magenta.
Metro stations Cadorna (metro line red and green) or Conciliazione (metro line red). From Cadorna it is three-minute walk from Cadorna and two-minute walk from Conciliazione.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is one of Milan’s iconic landmarks. This mural is located in the refectory of the monastery at the Santa Maria delle Grazie and depicts the distress among the twelve apostles when Jezus told them that one of them would betray him. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, commissioned Da Vinci who painted the mural between 1495 and 1498. The mural is in a bad condition due to the humid condition in the monastry and bad restorations of which the first dates back to 1726 and the last to 1999. Visitors are allowed to view the artwork in groups of thirty during a 15-minute visit. Booking your ticket in advance is obligatory if you want to see this masterpiece.
Teatro alla Scala
How to get there
The Teatro alla Scala is located behind the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele on Piazza della Scala.
Take the red metro line, get off at metro station Duomo. Walk through the Galleria and within five minutes you arrive at Piazza della Scala. Alternatively, take the yellow metro line and then get off at the Montenapoleone metro station, a five-minute walk from the theater.
Teatro alla Scala in Milan is one of the most important and famous opera theaters in the world and designed by Giuseppe Piermarini. La Scala was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 with a performance of Antonio Salieri’s opera Europa Riconosciuta. Many operas by famous composers such as Verdi, Rossini and Puccini premiered in La Scala. The building was heavily damaged during a bombardment in the Second World War and openend again in 1948. In 2002, the Scala closed its doors for a two-year renovation to install the latest technology. In December 2004 it opened again with a performance of Antonio Salieri’s Europa Riconosciuta. Even if you are not an opera-lover going to a performance is an evening well-spent if only to admire the opulent interior: marble columns, crystal chandeliers and thick carpets adorn this beautiful theater. A visit to the small museum next to the theater is an interesting experience and if you are lucky you can listen to rehearsals from the balcony.
How to get there
Castello Sforzesco borders Parco Sempione and is at the end of Via Dante. When you walk from Piazza Duomo westward you cannot miss this imposing building.
Take the red metro line to Castello Sforzesco. Get off at the Cairoli Castello metro stop, from here it is only a one-minute walk to the castle.
Castello Sforzesco is one of the main attractions in Milan. Built in 1368 by the Visconti of Milan, the Sforza, Duke of Milan, embellished and converted it into a renaissance palace. Artists such as Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci were frequent visitors during the reign of Francesco Sforza and later his son Ludovico il Moro. Nowadays, several museums are located in the Castello; treasures from ancient Egypt, musical instruments, sarcophagi and an unfinished Pietà by Michelangelo, which he started at the age of eighty. Behind the castle is the Parco Sempione, a lively city park where you can admire the triumphal arch, Arco della Pace.
San Siro Stadium
How to get there
The San Siro stadium is located on the Piazzale Angelo Moratti in the west of Milan.
The football stadium is easily reached by the purple metro line. Get off at the San Siro metro station and walk to the stadium in 7 minutes.
Two famous Milan football clubs, AC Milan and Internazionale, share the grounds of the San Siro Stadium. Its official name is Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, named after a player who played for both clubs. With a capacity of 85,000 spectators, the stadium in Milan is one of the largest football stadiums in Europe. Football fans should attend the Milan Derby when the vibe in this stadium is unique. Get your tickets in advance because this event is very poupular and always sold out. Join a stadium tour and see the changing room, the players tunnel, the stands and the pitch. A visit to the San Siro Museum is included in the stadium tour. Here you can see the cups and prizes that both Italian top clubs have won as well as the shirts of Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard, legendary Dutch players.
How to get there
The Navigli district is located outside the city centre in the southwest of Milan.
Take the green metro line and get off at Porta Genova metro station, from here it is a four-minute walk to the nearest canal, Naviglio Grande.
Make sure you include in your Milan city trip a tour of the Navigli district which is criss-crossed by canals. Amble along canals, bridges, elegant shops, workshops, outdoor cafes and restaurants. Until the nineteenth century, this was the harbour district of Milan. The canal network was 150 kilometers and was used to transport the marble used to build the cathedral and also salt, coal and paper. Of the five canals only two are left: Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. Recently the old inner harbour, Darsena, has been restored to its former glory. Navigli is now a buzzing part of Milan with many restaurants, bars, special shops and workshops where artisans make the most beautiful crafts. Every last Sunday of the month, a large antiques market takes place along the Naviglio Grande.
How to get there
The church is located in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, just outside the centre of Milan.
Take the green metro line and get off at Sant’Ambrogio metro station, from here it is a two-minute walk to the church.
Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is one of the most beautiful churches in Milan and very important for the Milanese. This church is dedicated to Ambrosius, one of the three patron saints of the city. Ambrosius, bishop of Milan, died on 3 April 397 and was buried in the church built by himself between 379 and 386. All that remains of the church Ambrosius built are the triumphal arch and pillars that have been now been incorporated in the apse remain. Not only the exterior of the church is beautiful also the interior is very impressive. The Golden Altar dating back to the ninth century is a truly beautiful work of art, richly decorated with gold and precious stones.
Restaurants and bars in Milan
Italy and in particular Milan is a place for gourmets. Especially during weekend Milan restaurants are packed. It is therefore recommended to book a table in your favourite restaurant. When at home, Italians have their dinner quite early but when eating out they rarely start before 8 pm. Famous Milan dishes are Risotto alla Milanese and scaloppina alla Milanese (veal schnitzel). Start you meal with an “aperitivo”. Pre-dinner drinks at 6 pm are often accompanied by an all-you-can-eat buffet with snacks and delicious titbits. Drink your aperitivo at Duomo dal 1952 (Piazza Sempione 5), for 10 euro you can eat as much as you like what’s more the view of Arco della Pace and Parco Sempione is breahtaking. Go to ‘God Save the Food‘ (Piazza del Carmine 1) in the Brera district, when the weather is good you sit on the outdoor terrace and enjoy drink and food at the slightly lower price of 8 euro than you will have to pay in the city centre.
You can eat tasty meals everywhere in Milan. A very special restaurant is ‘Sapori Solari’ (Via A. Stoppani 11), here you can sample small portions of all the chef’s favourites. ‘BistroBio‘ (Via Valtellina 10) specializes in vegan and traditional dishes. Pasta lovers go to ‘Pasta fresca da Giovanni‘ (Piazza Giovine Italia), a small restaurant where the homemade pasta are most delicious. Recommended in the Navigli district is Ristorante 28 posti (Via Cirsico 1), a hip and trendy restaurant with seating for only 28. Finally, ‘Cibario‘ (Via Federico Confalonieri 11) serves traditional dishes with a modern twist: an experience you wil not easily forget.
Shopping in Milan
Milan is the fashion capital of Europe and the shopping dream of every fashionista who is on a city trip to Milan. The Golden Square and the famous Via della Spiga and Via Montenapoleone are the most important shopping areas. Here you will find international fashion houses and don’t be surprised if you meet some celebrity in these streets. More budget-friendly is the longest shopping street in Milan: Corso Buenos Aires. Here you will find H&M, Zara, Desigual and also Italian chain stores like Kiko, Intimissimi and Camicecamice. More shops are at Cathedral Square. Be sure to visit the department store Rinascente and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an impressive shopping arcade with shops, cafes and restaurants. South of Cathedral square is Via Torino, another shopping area.
Tip: be sure to go to Corso Como 10, a famous trendy concept store, located in the street with the same name, Via Corso Como 10.
Markets in Milan
Each neighbourhood in Mian has its own open-air market. Once or twice a week the vendors display their goods and locals come shopping here. Be sure to go to at least one of these open-air markets to get the special Milan feeling. These markets are outside the city centre, not on Saturday and Tuesday. Go to Via Benedetto Marcello, situated between Central Station and Corso Buenos Aires. Mercato Generale, open every Saturday morning, on Via Lombroso is the largest market in Milan. Every last Sunday of the month along the canals of Navigli, you can visit the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande with more than 400 stands.