Milan is an amazing city! It is not as outwardly stunning as Rome with its history or Florence with its art, but to me it has its own charm.
Fly- Milan has two major International airports (Milan-Malpensa and Milan- Linate) and one smaller one (Milan Bergamo – Orio al serio). Buses run regularly from Malpensa (MXP) and Bergamo – Orio al Serio (BGY) to Stazione Centrale (the giant central train station of Milan) and vice versa. From there you can easily take the metro, trams, buses etc. or a cab to anywhere in the city you need to go.
Train- Milan’s central station (Stazione Centrale) is a huge transportation hub for all of Europe. Take local, domestic and international trains from here. When you buy your ticket you STILL have to validate it at one of the machines before you board the train! Even if it says the time and date on your ticket!! You should see people sticking tickets into machines that will stamp the time and date on your ticket and you’ll see these scattered around the station. Centrale is very open so and there are a ton of tracks you might have to be proactive about finding a machine.
Bus- Flixbus is a cheap option to take the bus into town. It’ll drop you off pretty far from the center, though, so if you need to get to the airport or Centrale than I do not recommend this option.
Rideshare with BlaBlaCar: This is the couchsurfing of transportation. Split the costs of gas (and sometimes driving if it’s over a far distance) and get a ride with a local (or anyone with a car) who is headed in the same direction as you.
Unlike its neighbor France, hitchhiking is not very common in Italy and you may have a hard time flagging down a ride.
Once here, walk or take public transit around. Milan has a nice metro system, a tram system and buses. Buy your tickets BEFORE you get on the bus and tram. Italy does not always sell tickets on the bus and if you’re caught you’ll have to pay a hefty fine.
Sleeping: I haven’t stayed at a hostel in Milan, but Ostello Bello is an award winning hostel, being named the best hostel in Italy 3 years running and the world’s best large hostel for 2017.
Price- € 38.61 ($46 USD) for 5 bed mixed dorm Outrageously Expensive for Milan
Risotto alla Milanese:
If you want to stuff yourself and eat like a king, head to the restaurant Gnocco Fritto on Naviglio Grande. This restaurant will make you eat like it’s Thanksgiving. Get a Menu 1 and a Menu 2 between 4 people for the most variety. You’ll get a selections of different pastas and unlimited bowls of gnocco fritto.
It’s cuisine from Emilia Romanga rather than Lombardy, but if you won’t have time to make it to Emilia Romanga, then come here to stuff your face.
Doing: Walk around the center, go high-end shopping, see the Last Supper, have a night out on Navigli
Center- The center of Milan is bustling center with plenty to keep you busy. Piazza Duomo is absolutely breathtaking with the cathedral and La Galleria.
Eat lunch nearby at Luini’s Panzerotti. No matter what time you get there, there will be a line. Wait in it. It’s worth it. Get two. There’s also the castle to check out and behind it Parco Sempione which is a giant park great for walks, runs, picnics, naps and everything in between.
Shop- Milan is the fashion capital of Italy and arguably the world. Take a stroll down Via Montenapoleone, the most expensive street in Italy. Here you’ll find all the high end fashion brands and probably see some really nice cars as well.
Art- Despite the bombs dropped on Milan in WWII, the famous original work of Leonardo DaVinci from the late 1500’s still stands intact. You’re advised to make reservations pretty far in advance and is a little costly for something you’ll only be able to view it for 15 minutes- but it’s pretty cool. While the controversy surrounding the Last Supper may not be as prevalent as the Mona Lisa, it’s much more impressive. I do not understand nor care much for art, however, I found the Last Supper really interesting and worth the visit.
I navigli- The canals are a great spot to have an aperitivo. Starting at 7ish Euros and going up in price, aperitivo in Milan is synonymous with one word: buffet. Pay the price for your drink (try a Spritz!) and grab a plate. Or five. It’s not going to be high class food, but it’s still good and a great way to fill your belly on a budget. The vibe in this area is unbeatable. Afterwards, head to La Fontanella, which is right at the beginning of the canal and drink beer!
This is my favorite bar in maybe the whole world. Sunday-Thursday there are board games available to play and every night there is lots of beer to be consumed with fun vessels.
“Downtown”- Walk around the newer area of the city. There is interesting provides an different perspective to the older feel
Brera- A cute artsy neighborhood with some good places to eat and a ncie place to have a stroll.
Staying: If you’re just passing through, 1-2 days should do it
Going: Easily take the train to France or Switzerland. If you’re staying in Italy, Venice is around 3 hours by train while Florence is about 2 and Rome is 3.