Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, is full of lovely little cobblestone streets, amazing churches, basilicas and cathedrals, great restaurants and a stunning canal area. It’s an ideal city for a romantic weekend or for a fun getaway with friends.
I went to Milan mid-June for the first time and I was positively surprised. I had heard mixed reviews of the city by friends but I must say that Milan is not a place to miss out on if you have the opportunity to go.
I stayed at the MyBed Colonne .This charming little hotel is next to the beautiful Colonne di San Lorenzo and not far from Navigli. The rooms are nice with the basic amenities. They don't serve breakfast but you can get 10% off at a Cioccolati Italiani which is a 5mins walk from the hotel. I would definitely recommend this hotel in terms of price and location. They also have another one in Montenapoleone.
Here is my list of the best things to do in Milan:
Wander around the streets of Milan
I’m a big fan of visiting cities by foot as I always want to see as much as possible and take in all of the surroundings. Milan is a walkable city and you will not want to turn down all of its charming little cobblestone streets and its trams going in all directions.
Go up to the top of the Duomo
You cannot go to Milan without climbing up the stairs to reach the top of this magnificent cathedral (don't worry, there is also a lift). The 360° panoramic views are spectacular and its’s very impressive to walk on the rooftop of such an important monument. You must then visit the inside so that you can appreciate its immensity and beautiful patterned floor. The queue is definitely worthwhile.
Entrance by foot: Adult - 9€ / Child (ages 6-12) - 4.50€ / Entrance by lift: Adult - 13€ / Child (ages 6-12) - 7€ Read more
Visit Leonardo da Vinci's Vineyard
I stumbled across this place which I was not aware of and I must say it was one of the best parts of my trip to Milan. This beautiful private residence used to be owned by a notable Duke of Milan and he gave the vineyard to Da Vinci back in the 15th century as payment for the famous Last Supper painting which he had commissioned. There will always be a lot of people queuing to see the original Last Supper mural painting by Da Vinci so for me his vineyard is a good alternative.
Entrance: Adult - 10€ / Child (ages 6-18), Senior (over 65), Student - 8€ Read more
Admire the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
This has to be one of the most beautiful shopping centres in the world. A golden lighted paradise with all the top luxury Italian shops - Prada, Gucci, Armani...
Have a stroll in the Parco Sempione & visit the Sforza Castle
Every city has its main park and they're always worth a visit, especially on a nice sunny day. On one side of the park you will find the famous Arco della Pace and on the other, the wonderful Sforza Castle.
Castle entrance: Adult - 5€ / Senior (over 65), Student - 3€ Read more
Eat a gelato
There is no way of escaping gelatos in Milan as there are ice-cream parlours everywhere, so treat yourself to one, two or as many as you wish! They are delicious! The most famous place is Cioccolati Italiani, everyone goes there so do expect to be patient for your ice-cream... I wasn't so I went to a place just opposite...
Pass by Milan Central Station
You will undoubtedly pass by the Central Station when you arrive in Milan from the airport or elsewhere but do take your time to appreciate its wonderful architecture.
Marvel at the Colonne di San Lorenzo
This beautiful colonnade is one of the best kept Roman ruins in Milan so do make sure to visit it. On the weekend it gets rather busy with all the locals having drinks on the square which I guess explains all the bins...
Go shopping in the Quadrilatero della Moda
The "Fashion Square" is the high-end shopping area of Milan where most of the major Italian fashion houses are based and it's considered to be one of the most important shopping districts in the world.
Have an Aperitivo in Navigli
Milan is all about the Aperitivo, a tradition that is engraved in the Milanese culture. My favourite area is the canal district of Navigli. At first you may feel as though you've got lost in Amsterdam but you will soon be reassured that you're in Milan when you hear Italian and see all the wonderful food passing by. There are so many bars and restaurants so it’s for you to choose your preferred place based on your instinct and depending on availability (it gets extremely busy after 8pm).
Visit the Casa del Manzoni
Whilst visiting a church in Milan, I was advised to visit the Casa del Manzoni (free entrance) and I was glad I did so. It’s a charming palace in the heart of Milan owned by the renowned Manzoni family. I just love visiting the unheard places of a city...
Enter all the churches you pass by
Like everywhere in Italy, Milan has some wonderful churches to visit (free entrance). Go inside each one you pass by and let yourself be amazed by their wonderful architecture, fabulous frescoes and beautiful patterned tiled floors.
Are you going to Milan soon?
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English and French wanderer. Based in Paris. Tasting the world through one escape to another...