Milan is all about design and high fashion, so the range of shops and trendy bars can be almost overwhelming. But Milan also boasts the impressive Duomo cathedral, da Vinci’s "Last Supper" and the simple neighbourhood restaurants where no long lunch is complete without ossobuco and risotto alla Milanese. Take a lesson in elegance from the city's fashion-conscious citizens, and let the glitz and glamour of Milan overwhelm your senses.
1 Euro, € = 100 cents
Fire brigade: 115
Shops in Milan are usually open 9am-1pm and 3pm-8pm, with some variations depending on the time of year. Large department stores and some of the famous fashion houses are usually open all day.
Ufficio del Turismo - Provincia di Milano
Piazza Castello, 1, Milano
+39 02 7740 4343
Milan was founded by Celtic tribes around 600 B.C. When the Romans conquered the city, it was renamed "Mediolanum"—the land in the middle. Thanks to Milan’s strategic location in the middle of the fertile Po River valley, it quickly became an important centre for trade in the Roman Empire. Later, it also became its western capital.
Today, Milan is the second largest city in Italy. Almost everything in Milan revolves around the fashion industry. Most famous designers and fashion houses tend to be located in the city—the area around Via Monte Napoleone and Via Della Spiga is the heart and home to many fashion industry flagship stores. Centro Storico is where many of the city’s famous sights are located, including the Duomo and La Scala Opera. Navigli, by the canals, is another exciting neighbourhood famous for its nightlife, while Brera is an artsy enclave.
The best way to understand how Milan is laid out is to take a ride on one of the trams. Route 1 runs from the main train station, via Piazza Cairoli to Castello Sforzesco and is probably the best choice. But many other routes also offer good views of the city, so jump on and let it take you on a tour of the city's best sights and attractions.
Pinacoteca di Brera
Teatro alla Scala Museum
Civico Planetario "Ulrico Hoepli"
Milan Cooking Lessons
Galleria Carla Sozzani
Milan has a large selection of restaurants, from strict sushi eateries to top-class establishments, where the corporate credit card reigns supreme. As is often the case in Italy, the best dining experience is usually at less extravagant restaurants and trattorias serving local and national specialities.
L'Immagine Ristorante Bistrot
Nerino Dieci Trattoria
Alhambra Risto Veg
The Small Milano
La Maniera di Carlo
In Italy, gelato is eaten just as religiously as pasta. It’s not only Italy’s delicious answer to ice cream—it is a way of life. Accompany yours with a strong espresso or cappuccino for the full Milan cafe experience.
Zucca (Caffe Miani)
Creperia Caffe Vecchia Brera
The Brera and Navigli neighbourhoods have the most bars and offer bustling nightlife. For a more trendy option, try the area around Corso Como. Do it the Milanese way and mingle at a selection of bars between 19:00 and 21:00, when filling snacks can sometimes be had for free with your drinks.
Martini Bar at Dolce & Gabbana
Marino Alla Scala
Sio Cafe Disco
Milan is the capital of fashion, and there is plenty to choose from when it comes to shopping. Even those less interested in fashion (or who can’t afford the often high prices) will find exploring Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga and the surrounding streets rewarding. This is where all the fashion houses have their impressive flagship stores. Armani’s department store on Via Manzoni 31 is a good example, or Gucci’s store on Via Monte Napoleone (this one covers an entire city block). Dolce & Gabbana’s impressive store on Corso Venezia is housed in the former palace of a Sicilian nobleman.
Rossi & Grassi
10 Corso Como
Spazio Rossana Orlandi
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Corso Vittorio Emanuele
Malpensa lies approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles) from downtown Milan and can be reached by bus, train and taxi (these can easily be hired at the airport).
The Malpensa Express trains stop at terminals 1 and 2, depart frequently and run until late. Multiple buses and shuttles run between the airport and city centre, too. These might be a slightly cheaper option, and the only one if your time of arrival falls between after midnight and before 5am.
Linate Airport is situated eight kilometres from the Milan city centre. Buses and taxis are available to transport you to and from the airport. This airport is mainly used for domestic and short-haul international flights. (www.milanolinate.eu)
Orio al Serio Airport lies 50 kilometres northeast of Milan, just outside of Bergamo. Buses depart from here for Milan city centre, and the journey takes one hour.
Address: Malpensa Airport
Phone: +39 22 32 323
Italy can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Best Time to Visit
Summer temperatures tend to rise very high, so unless you are not one to be disturbed by the smouldering heat, aim for late spring (April-May) or early fall, when temperatures are still comfortable.
Milan’s local transport is called ATM and includes underground, buses, and trains. Single fare tickets and day passes can be purchased from ATM ticket offices, newsstands and ticket machines. All tickets have to be stamped on board at the beginning of every journey.
Taxis are usually white and can be hailed in the street or at taxi stands. These are often located outside train and underground stations. The final fare depends on the number of suitcases you have, the day of the week, and the time of day.
Stamps can be bought at tobacconists that carry either the blue and white “Tabacchi” sign or are simply marked with a ”T”.
Milano Centrale, Piazza Duca d'Aosta
+39 02 6707 2150
Mon-Fri 8.20-19.05, Sat 8.20-12.35
Address: Via Antonio Stradivari 1, Milano
Phone: +39 02 2952 6966
Country code: +39
Area code: 02 (also dialled in Milan). If you call Italy from abroad, you must always dial zero in the area code (do not omit it, as it is the general practice when making international telephone calls), e.g. +39 02 + the number.