It’s time to put on your biggest sunglasses, dust off your best glamorous outfit and hit Milan! Frequented by the chic and famous, Italy’s stylish business capital is wall to wall designer shops, cultural hot spots and the world famous Italian cuisine.
When to visit?
As a one of Italy’s major cities and home to Italian fashion, Milan has a steady stream of tourists all year round. If you can’t stand the heat, than avoid the summer months of July and August when temperatures can soar. Fashion lovers should go in September for autumn product and March for spring product. Both months host the leading trade shows MICAM, MIPEL (accessories) and MIDO (eyewear), with textiles trade fair Milan Unica in February and September.
If you’re looking to snap up a bargain, winter sales generally run from early January to early March and summer sales take place from late June/early July for about two months. If interior design is more your thing, take a trip in April for Milan’s world-famous furniture week.
Best way to get there?
Flying is the simplest and fastest way to get there and there are a few airports to choose from…
- Linate is the closest airport to the centre (about a 25-minute drive). A bus service runs directly to Piazza Luigi di Savoia, next to Stazione Centrale, evry 30 minutes during the day and costs €2, or you can just take a taxi.
- Malpensa is the principl airport for Milan but is further out. A fast rail service, the half-hourly Malpensa Express train, connects the airport to Cadorna Stazione Nord in Milan. A tickets costs €11 and the journey take 50 minutes. Taxis take around one hour and will cost around €80.
- There is also a direct shuttle bus service every 20 minutes from Malpensa to Stazione Centrale (Piazza Luigi di Savoia). the journey takes around one hour, and costs €7.50.
- Language: Italian
- Currency: Euro €
- Time zone: GMT +1
- Dialling code: +39
- General opening times are:
Monday (afternoon only) 3pm-7.30pm,
Tuesday-Friday 10am-2pm / 3pm-7.30pm,
Saturday 10am-1pm / 3pm-7.30pm
- Most of the larger stores do not close for lunch, but many smaller boutiques do
- A few of the main designer shops are open Sundays
- Many smaller stores close during August
- Like many major cities, the quickest and easiest way to get around is by walking. The centre of Milan is surprisingly small and walking through it’s streets means you won’t miss any hidden gems.
- If you fancy exerting yourself slight more, another great option is to take advantage of Milan’s bike-sharing scheme BikeMi, whose terminal have been set up throughout the city.
- For longer distances, travelling by Metro is best. A single Metro ticket costs €1.50, but the 24-hour and 48-hour tickets are useful.
- There are taxi stands throughout the city, but you can also book one to come and pick you up. To do this call: 8585, 4040 or 6969. You may not get an immediate response in rush hour or in bad weather.
Neighbourhoods of Note
- Duomo: Visit the Duomo area and Via Torino to shop mid-market flagships and international brands.
- Navigli & Ticinese: The long street of Corso di Porta Ticinese and the canal-side area Navigli are packed with a wide range of mid-market, vintage, street, skate, youth fashion, and cutting-edge designers
- Brera: This central area is a great spot for interiors, independent boutiques, young designers and established brands, galleries, antique shops and cafes
- Montenapoleone: Also known as the Quadrilatero d’Oro, Montenapolone, it is packed with designer flagships and high-end boutiques if you fancy treating yourself.
Where to stay?
Via San Raffaele 6, Duomo, 20121 Milan Tel: +39 2 720 8951
Just a stone’s throw from the Duomo, Galleria and La Scala, The Gray offers 21 rooms, each with their own individual decor, layout and facilities. Perfect for experienceing luxurious design, dining in the fabulous resturant in a great central location.
Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7/b, Montenapoleone, 20121 Milan, Tel: +39 2 8058 051
The Italian luxury jeweller has triumphed with this luxury, beautifully designed hotel. Featuring a spa, meditation garden, contemporary resturant and overlooking the tranquil ancient botanical gardens, it is a slice of calm amongst the hustle and bustle of the city.
Carlton Hotel Baglioni
Via Senato 5, Montenapoleone, 20121 Milan, Tel: +39 2 7707 7
If you’re looking for first-class service on one of the best shopping streets in Milan, you can’t find a better than the Carlton Hotel Baglioni. Sitting above Via della Spiga, with its own private side entrance opening directly onto the designer-boutique-laden street, the Carlton Baglioni offers classic style as well as five-star charm, luxury and service to its international clientele.
BB Hotels Navigli
Via Gentilino 7, Navigli, 20136 Milan, Tel: +39 02 8738 1614
For those on a budget and looking for a simple base for your sightseeing, try this hotel in the Navigli canal district, one of the city’s most charming stretches. It’s lined with lovely restaurants and once a month, a bustling antique market takes place.
Sheraton Diana Majestic
Viale Piave 42, Porta Venezia, 20129 Milan, Tel: +39 2 205 81
Situated on a historial landmark and close to all the cities key attractions, the Diana Majestic attracts Milan’s fashion crowd. In the summer months, the well-know bar HClub is the only place to be seen for pre-dinner drink.
Where to eat & drink?
Via Montenapoleone 8, 20123 Milan, Tel: +39 02 7600 5599
Founded in 1817, Cova is undoubtedly Milan’s most established pasticceria. Offering divine coffee, cakes and pastries, Cova’s high-end treats have been enjoyed by locals and passers-by for the last two centuries.
Via Cadore/Via Giacomo Pinaroli, Montenapoleone, 20135 Milan ,Tel: +39 02 5519 1781
Formerly an electrics garage, Elettrauto Cadore is a cool cafe and bar offering breakfast, lunch and aperitivo. Tasty sandwiches, salads and sushi can all be found if you’re looking for a quick lunch, but be warned, it can often be very busy.
Via Radegonda 16, Duomo, 20121 Milan, Tel: +39 02 8646 1917
Don’t leave the city without indulging in Luini’s celebrated panzerotti. A Puglian delicacy, it is simply pizza dough folded in two, and filled with mozzarella cheese and tomato, then fried or baked. You can find it everywhere across the city, but Luini’s is considered to best and the queue will be worth it!
Corso Venezia 15, Montenapoleone, Milan 20121, Tel: +39 02 76011154
Situated within the menswear boutique on Corso Venezia, this stylish cocktail bar by design duo Stefano Dolce and Domenico Gabbana, offers skillfully prepared martinis surronded by well-heeled folks and cocktail-lovers. Check out the lovely courtyard for summer days.
Le Cantine Isola
Via Paolo Sarpi 30, Isola, 20154 Milan, Tel: +39 02 3315 249
This is one of Milan’s most favoured yet smallest wine emporiums, tucked away in the backstreets of the up-and-coming district of Isola. Its cellar holds a vast selection of wines alongside the more typical aperitivos. Arrive early to make sure you secure one of their few tables.
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