Milan is the second largest city in the country and its financial and economical center. For decades, Milan has been holding the title of the world’s capital of fashion and design. This fact allowed Milan to successfully fight for a place in the top of most popular European cities. People from around the world willingly spend thousands in Milan’s malls just to purchase desirable clothing and accessories by widely promoted Italian brands.
Connoisseurs of art won’t be disappointed, either, since Milan can boast of many architectural landmarks, interesting museums and galleries. Pompous Milan Cathedral alone is worth a lot! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at main things you should know about vacation in Milan.
5 must-see attractions
No matter what people say about Milan’s commonness, homeliness and characterless, please just don’t believe them. Yes, Milan is a large city with its own boring business centers and residential areas. But in its grayness, the light of architectural and art masterpieces of Milan is even brighter!
Being built of white marble, the Milan Cathedral amazes with its enormous size and unique mixture of architecture styles. It’s considered the fourth largest cathedral in Europe and is inferior in size only to cathedrals in Rome, London and Sevilla.
La Scala Theatre
Las Scala has unremarkable and a little bit disappointing facade, but inside you’ll be pleasantly surprised by pompous concert hall with the perfect acoustics. At the moment, the Las Scala Theatre can fit up to 2030 people at once!
It’s a former residence of Milan’s rules built in the mid 15th century. Currently, there are a few museums operating inside the castle. It’s interesting to know that Leonardo da Vinci himself hold his hands to decorate the castle.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Although the Santa Maria delle Grazie is interesting by itself from architectural point of view, it has become famous firstly thanks to the mural painting The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci that stored here.
Brera Art Gallery
Brera Art Gallery has the European largest collection of paintings by famous artists such as Rubens, Bellini, Picasso, Caravaggio, Raphael and others. Visitors can also watch the process of restoration of old paintings.
Ins and outs of shopping in MIlan
First of all, you should know that it’s a popular misconception that it is possible to find branded qualitative clothing for low price in Milan. Those looking for economic shopping should better visit Rimini or San Marino.
On the other hand, there are really nice discounts during sales or in the large malls. But it’s like to participate in lottery: you can find the clothing you like, but there is no guarantee it will be of your size. In addition, most popular shopping outlets are located quite far from the city itself.
In general, Milan is perfect for luxury shopping. If you follow the latest fashion trends and don’t mind to spend a few thousands Euros on renewal of wardrobe, then Milan will suit you best. Here you can find exclusive boutiques of all famous Italian designers.
Traditionally, Milan shopping starts from visiting the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and so-called Golden Triangle consisting of the following streets: Via della Spiga, Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni and Via Sant’Andrea. It will be enough for you for the whole day. Next day you can dedicate to the visiting of outlets located in Milan surroundings. The most famous ones are Serravalle and FoxTown.
Interesting places nearby
Milan is a large transport hub and it’s not a problem to take a train even to the distant cities such as Genova, Florence, Rome, Venice or Bologna. But why travel through the whole country if there are so many interesting places within 100 km from Milan? Beautiful alpine lakes and cozy medieval cities!
Bergamo (60 km from Milan)
Bergamo is a lovely and cozy city located on the top of the hill. It’s well-known for its diverse and beautiful architecture as well as rich and ancient culinary traditions. Historical center is very compact and all major attractions are located very close to each other.
Pavia (44 km from MIlan)
Being founded by Romans in the 6th century, nowadays Pavia is a small town with one of the oldest universities in Europe. Among other attractions of the city, you’ll see huge Pavia Cathedral, Visconti Castle and two tall medieval towers.
Lake Como (60 km from Milan)
It’s the third largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest ones in Europe. In some places, the lake has a depth of 410 meters. Lake Como is very popular resort due to the mild climate, pristine nature and breathtaking sceneries.
Monza (25 km from Milan)
Monza Cathedral keeps an important relic – the Iron Crown of Lombardy. It’s believed that inner part of the crown was made of a nail used in the Crucifixion of Christ.
All fans of racing also know Monza as a city, where the Italian oldest, largest and the most famous Autodrome is located.
Solving transportation problem
Milan public transport system is considered one of the most convenient in Italy. It includes buses, trams and four lines of subway. Travel tickets are universal and allow using all kinds of public transport. One hour trip will cost you 1 EUR, ticket for the whole day costs 3 EUR, for two days – 5.50 EUR and for ten trips – 9.20 EUR.
Although public transport in Milan is quite cheap, it can be hard for tourist, especially non-Italians to follow directions and find out what bus to take. Situation is even more confusing if you plan to visit nearest cities or natural landmarks. That’s why all those willing to explore Milan neighborhood or do shopping in outlets located out of the city, should think about renting a car. Nowadays, there are a lot of companies offering affordable rental vehicles.
Lily Berns is a travel writer. She uses every chance she gets to travel around the world with her family and friends. Experiencing new places and cultures, meeting new people and learning something new every day – are her life aims.