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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Diaz

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Milan, Italy

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

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Hey there, fellow travelers! Are you ready to embark on an adventure to one of Italy's most captivating cities? Milan awaits, and trust me, it's more than just fashion and finance. Get ready to immerse yourself in a perfect blend of historical grandeur and modern vibrancy. In this ultimate travel guide, we'll unveil the hidden gems, share the must-visit landmarks, and spill the beans on the best local secrets. So grab your gelato, put on your stylish shades, and let's dive into the fascinating world of Milan. Get ready for an exhilarating journey filled with delicious cuisine, breathtaking art, and a whole lot of fun. Let's explore Milan like never before and create memories that will have you saying "Ciao, Milano!" with a big smile on your face. Let's make this trip the adventure of a lifetime!


Getting to Milan

Looking for the best way to reach Milan? If you're planning to fly, the most convenient option is to arrive at Malpensa International Airport (MPX), located approximately an hour away from the city center. Once you touch down, you can easily catch a train or bus that will transport you into town. Alternatively, if you're arriving by train or bus instead of by air, fret not! There are several ways to reach your hotel from the terminal. You can opt for a taxi service, arrange a private transfer through providers like TransferWise, or simply take advantage of Milan's efficient subway network, known as the Metropolitana di Milano.


For those who prefer the freedom of driving themselves around Italy, parking near major attractions and hotels in Milan is readily available. Keep an eye out for public parking lots indicated by signs, particularly in areas away from heavy traffic, such as shopping districts and popular tourist spots like La Scala Theatre and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Shopping Mall.


Things to Do in Milan, Italy


Sforzesco Castle

Immerse yourself in history by visiting the magnificent Sforzesco Castle. This iconic fortress houses various museums, including the Museo d'Arte Antica and the Museum of Ancient Art, displaying an impressive collection of artwork and historical artifacts.




Duomo di Milano

No trip to Milan is complete without a visit to the remarkable Duomo di Milano, the city's grand cathedral. Admire its breathtaking Gothic architecture, explore the interior adorned with stunning stained glass windows, and perhaps take an elevator to the rooftop for a panoramic view of Milan.




Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Immerse yourself in the world of luxury shopping and marvel at the magnificent architecture of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This sophisticated shopping arcade is a haven for high-end fashion boutiques, inviting cafes, and delightful restaurants. And here's an intriguing little secret: there's a superstition that may add an extra touch of luck to your experience. As the story goes, you can take a moment to place your right heel firmly on the mosaic bull's testicles and gracefully spin around three times, all while maintaining your balance, of course. Some believe this act brings good fortune, while others view it as a way to make a heartfelt wish or even ensure a future return to Milan. Whatever your personal belief, why not give it a whirl and see what destiny has in store for you?


Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale di Milano)

Experience the grandeur of the Royal Palace of Milan, a former residence of the ruling families. Explore its opulent rooms, admire the art collection at the Museo del Duomo, and wander through the serene Royal Gardens.



La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala)

For music enthusiasts, a visit to Teatro alla Scala, one of the world's most prestigious opera houses, is a must. Catch a captivating performance or take a guided tour to learn about the theater's rich history and witness its lavish interiors.



Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie)

Discover one of Milan's UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Santa Maria delle Grazie. This church houses the renowned fresco painting "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. Advanced reservations are required to view this iconic masterpiece.




Museo del Novecento

Delve into modern and contemporary art at the Museo del Novecento. Located in Piazza del Duomo, this museum showcases an extensive collection of artworks from the 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.


Parco Sempione

Take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic in the picturesque Parco Sempione, located behind the Sforzesco Castle. This green oasis offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city, with beautiful gardens, winding paths, and a stunning view of the Arch of Peace.


Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace)

Don't miss the majestic Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) during your visit to Milan. This monumental arch, located at the entrance of Parco Sempione, stands as a symbol of peace and commemorates the Napoleonic victories. Marvel at its neoclassical design and intricate details as you pass through it. The Arco della Pace is a popular gathering spot and a great starting point for exploring the vibrant Porta Sempione neighborhood. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the park, take in the stunning views, and immerse yourself in Milan's rich history and beauty.


Navigli District

Explore the charming Navigli district, known for its picturesque canals and lively atmosphere. Take a stroll along the canal banks, browse through art galleries and boutiques, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the area.


Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

Make sure to include the remarkable Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio on your itinerary while exploring Milan. This ancient church, dedicated to Saint Ambrose, is one of the city's oldest and most significant religious sites. With its origins dating back to the 4th century, the basilica showcases a stunning blend of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.


Step inside to admire the grandeur of the interior, adorned with intricate mosaics, beautiful frescoes, and ancient relics. Don't miss the Chapel of San Vittore in Ciel d'Oro, which houses the tomb of Saint Ambrose and other notable figures. Take a moment to wander through the peaceful cloisters, featuring lush gardens and tranquil courtyards. The Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio holds great historical and cultural importance and is an essential stop for those seeking to delve into Milan's rich heritage.



San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

Step into the hidden gem of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. This lesser-known church is often referred to as the "Sistine Chapel of Milan" due to its stunning frescoes and intricate decorations that adorn its interior.



These recommendations provide a wide array of things to do and see that will truly enhance your time in Milan. Immerse yourself in the city's fascinating history, soak up its vibrant atmosphere, and dive into its rich cultural heritage. Whether you're admiring the stunning architecture, indulging in luxury shopping, exploring art galleries, or simply strolling through the charming streets and parks, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Milan. So go ahead and make the most of your visit by experiencing all that this captivating city has to offer!


Where to Eat in Milan, Italy

When it comes to dining in Milan, you'll find an abundance of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. Here are a couple of noteworthy restaurants to consider:


Signorvino

If you're looking for a fantastic dining experience in the heart of Milan, I highly recommend checking out Signorvino. This charming restaurant is all about celebrating Italian cuisine and boasts an impressive selection of wines to complement your meal. The menu features a range of traditional dishes, crafted with top-notch ingredients that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.


When you visit Signorvino, make sure to try their carbonara and bolognese dishes. Both are prepared with the utmost care, using fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. You can trust that every bite will be bursting with flavor and that you're getting the finest quality. The inviting atmosphere of Signorvino adds to the overall dining experience. It's the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a memorable meal with friends or loved ones. The attentive service provided by the staff ensures that you'll feel well taken care of throughout your visit.


Oh, and don't forget to explore their extensive collection of wines. They have an impressive variety that will complement your meal perfectly, allowing you to savor the flavors to the fullest.

So, if you're craving delicious Italian cuisine, paired with excellent wines, make sure to put Signorvino on your list of must-visit restaurants in Milan. You won't be disappointed!


Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia

This renowned Michelin-starred restaurant showcases innovative Italian cuisine with a creative twist. Led by talented chefs, the menu features dishes prepared with the finest seasonal ingredients, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors. Immerse yourself in the elegant ambiance and savor the culinary artistry at this gastronomic gem.


Trattoria Toscana da Nilo

For a taste of Tuscan cuisine in the heart of Milan, head to Trattoria Toscana da Nilo. This charming trattoria specializes in traditional Tuscan dishes, such as hearty ribollita, succulent bistecca alla fiorentina, and delicate pici pasta. The rustic atmosphere and friendly service create a warm and inviting dining experience.


Da Puccini

Experience the essence of traditional Milanese cuisine at Da Puccini. This family-run trattoria has been serving classic dishes for over a century. Feast on comforting favorites like risotto alla Milanese, ossobuco, and cotoletta alla Milanese, all prepared with authentic flavors and time-honored techniques. The warm and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel right at home.


Ratana

For a modern and innovative dining experience, Ratana offers a contemporary approach to Italian cuisine. The menu features a fusion of traditional and international flavors, prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients. With its stylish interior and creative dishes, Ratana is a popular choice for food enthusiasts looking for a unique culinary experience.


Remember, Milan is a city renowned for its culinary scene, and these suggestions are just a glimpse of the diverse dining options available. Whether you're seeking traditional Italian flavors or experimental gastronomy, the city has something to satisfy every palate. Bon appétit!


Coffee Shops in Milan, Italy

When it comes to coffee, Milan boasts a vibrant café culture. Here are a couple of notable coffee shops in the city:


Caffè Cova

With a history dating back to 1817, Caffè Cova is a legendary coffee house situated in the heart of Milan. Known for its refined ambiance and exceptional coffee, this historic café offers a memorable experience. Sip on their signature blends and relish delectable pastries and desserts, immersing yourself in the rich heritage of Milan's café culture.


Pasticceria Marchesi

Established in 1824, Pasticceria Marchesi is not just a renowned pastry shop but also a delightful destination for coffee lovers. This iconic café presents a diverse selection of coffee options, including espresso and cappuccino, crafted with expertise and precision. Enjoy your cup of coffee alongside their exquisite pastries or treat yourself to a leisurely breakfast in their elegant establishment.


Taglio

For a contemporary and trendy coffee experience, Taglio is a must-visit. This stylish coffee shop focuses on specialty coffee, offering various brewing methods to satisfy discerning palates. Whether you prefer pour-over or cold brew, Taglio showcases a commitment to quality and an unwavering passion for the art of coffee. Take in the modern ambiance and savor your favorite brew in this welcoming space.


Pavé

Combining a bakery with a coffee shop, Pavé is a beloved spot for both coffee and pastry enthusiasts. This cozy café takes pride in roasting their own coffee beans, ensuring freshness and delivering excellent flavor. Whether you're seeking a perfectly brewed espresso or a meticulously crafted latte, Pavé impresses with its dedication to quality and attention to detail.


Panzera Milano

Panzera Milano is a coffee shop that offers a unique and inviting experience. Known for its specialty coffees and warm atmosphere, Panzera Milano delights visitors with its expertly crafted brews. Enjoy their diverse coffee selection, expertly prepared by skilled baristas, and immerse yourself in the relaxed and friendly ambiance of this charming café.


When in Milan, these coffee shops provide a range of options to satisfy your coffee cravings. Whether you prefer a classic and elegant setting or a contemporary and trendy vibe, these establishments showcase the city's vibrant café culture and ensure a delightful coffee experience.


Where to Stay in Milan, Italy

When it comes to choosing accommodation in Milan, you have a variety of options to suit your preferences and needs. Here are a few noteworthy places to stay:


Four Seasons Hotel Milano

Immerse yourself in luxury at the Four Seasons Hotel Milano, located in the heart of the city. This five-star hotel offers beautifully appointed rooms, top-notch amenities, and impeccable service. Indulge in fine dining experiences, relax in the spa, and enjoy the convenient location near Milan's renowned fashion district.


Hotel Principe di Savoia

Experience timeless elegance at Hotel Principe di Savoia, a prestigious five-star hotel that has been a Milanese landmark for decades. This luxurious hotel combines classic grandeur with modern comforts. From spacious rooms to exceptional dining options and a lavish spa, Hotel Principe di Savoia promises an unforgettable stay.


NH Collection Milano President

Situated in Milan's city center, NH Collection Milano President offers a contemporary and stylish accommodation experience. The hotel features modern rooms with sleek design, a fitness center to stay active, and a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. Its central location provides easy access to Milan's attractions and shopping districts.

During my last visit to Milan, I opted to stay in an Airbnb. Airbnb offers a wide range of apartments, lofts, and houses in various neighborhoods across the city. It provides a unique opportunity to experience Milan like a local, with the freedom and comfort of having your own space. Staying in an Airbnb can offer a more personalized and authentic experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and neighborhoods of Milan.


Whether you choose a luxurious hotel or an Airbnb, Milan offers a wealth of accommodation options to suit every traveler's preferences and provide a comfortable base for your exploration of this vibrant city.

Best Time to Visit Milan, Italy

Based on my personal experience, the best time to visit Milan, Italy is during spring or fall. I went in December, and it was magical with all the festive decorations, although quite chilly. In spring (April to June), temperatures range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), with blooming flowers and cozy outdoor cafes. In fall (September to November), temperatures average around 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), and the city is less crowded. Both seasons offer pleasant weather for exploring Milan's cultural heritage, fashion districts, and enjoying Italian cuisine while potentially finding more affordable accommodation.


Milan is a city that combines historical charm with modern vibrancy, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every traveler. Marvel at architectural wonders, indulge in a shopping spree, and immerse yourself in art and culture. Let Milanese cuisine delight your taste buds, and embrace the city's year-round excitement. Pack your bags, embrace the Italian way of life, and get ready for an unforgettable journey. Milan is more than a destination; it's a playground of experiences that will create lifelong memories. Explore, indulge, and write your own unforgettable story in the wonderful city of Milan!


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Hi, Thanks for stopping by!

I'm Samantha! A photographer and I believe that every picture has a story. As a blogger, I share my travel stories with everyone. I think it's important to document my travels and share my experiences with others. I've been to some amazing places and I've seen some incredible things. I want to share my stories and photos with the world.

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