Milan travel tips
When going to Milan, decide why, in fact, you are going there. This will determine the best time to plan your trip.
For example, if your goal is shopping and entertainment, it is better to choose May-July, when the nightlife in Milan is in full swing. And in July, moreover, is the traditional season of discounts. But keep in mind that these are one of the hottest months: the temperature in May-June already rises to + 28-30 ° С, and even more in July.
If you do not strive to “light up” the night long, it is better to go to Milan in spring (March-April) or autumn (September-early October). The spring months are the best seasons for a leisurely exploration of the city. At this time, Milan is beautiful in its own way, surrounded by elegant greenery and fresh spring colors. True, the weather in Milan can be changeable, so be sure to bring an umbrella with you. Well, autumn will delight you with the absence of a stifling heat.
Milan is not a very big city, so you can easily explore it on foot (at least the city center). But if you still get tired, it is better to use public transport: buses, trams, metro and such familiar trolleybuses run regularly. A single trip ticket will cost you € 1.50. But you can also buy a day pass (valid for all types of transport within 24 hours from the date of purchase) for € 4.50 or a travel card for 48 hours (€ 8.25).
If you do not know where it is better to buy tickets – at the box office or a special machine – it is better to choose the ticket office. The thing is that if the machine suddenly turns out to be faulty, you will not only not receive the coveted ticket, but you will hardly be able to get your money back (the refund procedure is very tedious and can take about a month).
So it is better to save your nerves and money and stand in line at the cashier, or always have a supply of small change with you to buy tickets from vending machines.
For an inexpensive meal in Milan, there are some little tricks to keep in mind. For example, don’t be tempted to visit restaurants and cafes, especially those along the tourist routes. Even if the menu lists lunch for € 20, the final price could easily be higher. Also at noon the prices in such establishments are much higher.
But in Milan it is quite possible to have a hearty and tasty snack and at quite reasonable prices. For example, from 18:00 to 22:00 in many cafes, bars and restaurants, the “aperitivo” system (analogous to “happy hour”) operates. Its essence is that a visitor, having ordered a drink at the specified hours, gets free access to the establishment’s buffet. The presence of “aperitivo” is usually indicated in the menu at the entrance.
From budget establishments in Milan, it is worth looking into Slice (Via Ascanio Sforza, 9) or Exploit (Via Pioppette, 3). For sushi lovers, the Hu & Hu restaurant on Via Panfilo Castaldi is the perfect choice. At lunchtime, here you can make any choice from the menu for €11 (regardless of the number of dishes).
If you are in Milan not just passing through, but plan to stay at least a week, it makes sense to purchase the Milano Card. This is an urban analogue of the City Pass, which allows you to significantly save, if not on everything, then on a lot.
So, with the Milano Card, you will get free access to public transport, and also discounts when visiting museums and some cafes. For example, in the Museum of Science the discount will be 30%, in the Pinakothek – 35%, and in the Diocesano di Porta Ticinese – as much as 50%. Also, with this card, you can ride a sightseeing tram for free – an unusual Milanese analogue of the usual Hop on Hop off. Cost of Milano Card for online purchase:
for 24 hours – € 7
for 48 hours – € 13
for 72 hours – € 19
You can also purchase a card at the tourist office or at the airport. More information is available on the website (in English).
Although Milan has firmly established its reputation as an expensive city, you can still find here a lot of interesting things that will not cost you a cent.
- Lovers of architecture (and not only them) should visit Milan’s churches, for example, Santa Maria delle Grazie on the square of the same name. Please be aware that “The last supper“ Leonardo da Vinci, for which thousands of tourists come here, is not in the church itself, but in a small building of the National Museum next to it. We advise you to book your visit online in advance.
- Be sure to check out the Sforza Castle. You can walk through its territory and courtyard for free, but you will have to pay for the entrance to the museums. Or wait until Friday, when after 14:00 museums are open to everyone free of charge (by the way, this system works for the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Natural History).
- Milan’s parks are another must-see stop for travelers. In them you can not only escape from the heat, but also enjoy the beautiful landscapes. The most beautiful of them are Sempione Park (between the Sforza Castle and the Arch of Peace) and Giardini Pubblici (30 minutes walk from the central station). And in the Acquario Civico aquarium you can dive into the underwater world absolutely free.
Milan is the recognized world capital of fashion and, perhaps, the number 1 city, where most often people eat purposefully on a shopping tour. We have prepared some useful tips to help you not succumb to the general rush and really save on purchases during a shopping tour to Milan:
- The winter sale starts on the first Saturday in January, the summer sale on the first Saturday in July. They usually last one and a half to two months. But keep in mind that the “hottest” offers are snapped up in the first weeks. And then there are only dull models, which no one wants to buy even with discounts.
- The stated 80% discount is a bait bait gimmick. Yes, there really are such discounts, but they apply only to the remaining models in a single copy. And this specimen, as a rule, is of immense size. Discounts during sales in Milan are usually 30-40%.
- What is really profitable to buy in Milan is fur products (however, they are rather decorative there and are not at all designed for our frosts) and shoes in the so-called spatch – shops at factories.
- Milan has a myriad of shopping malls, boutiques and entire shopping streets, but if you want to save some money, go to the outlets. The best of them are Serravalle, Fidenza Village and Dmagazine.
- But Duty Free at the Milan airport is not worth the attention of shoppers. Moreover, most shops in the city have a Tax Free system, so VAT can be refunded even outside of Duty Free.
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