Road Trip Guide: Milan

Milan may not be as sentimental, religious or sunny as the central and southern parts of Italy, but it is home to the biggest business districts and the most influential fashion shows in the world. Unknown to many travelers, Milan actually has the oldest churches in Italy, with Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper located in the city's very own St. Mary of Graces church.


The best way to get from the Malpensa Airport (main airport in Milan) to the Milano Centrale is by taking the Malpensa Express Trains. The next best is the Malpensa Shuttle.

If you want to get to the Milan city center, you can rent a car with Avis (and other car rental companies), but forget taking a taxi because most of them have expensive and fixed fares. In fact, you start paying a taxi from the time you book it on the phone. A surcharge is also added in the evening.

Avoid pickpockets at the Metro ticket vending machines by buying tickets in advance or at the ticket office.


Many hotels in Milan cater to business travelers. The general rule is that the closer to the main attractions, the more expensive the hotel is. Some recommended lodging: Hotel Giulio Cesare, Hotel Galileo and Hotel Florence.


A meal in Milan is never complete without first ordering for aperitivo (happy hour drink) in the form of either a sparkling wine or a Campari soda.

As is in most places in the world, the best way to save money on food in Milan is to eat like the locals.

Cocktail bars in Milan offer all-you-can-eat snack buffets with aperitivo during Happy Hour. Some of the best places to get aperitivo in a true Italian fashion: Bar Magenta, Porto Venezia, Exploit Cafe, and the designer store bars and cafes in the fashion districts.

If you want to save money on breakfast, avoid the sit-down restaurants and go straight to the breakfast bar with a quick cappuccino and pastry.

In Milan, there still reasonably-priced pizzerias but be prepared to speak in Italian when ordering. And most people eat pizza con coltello e forchetta (with knife and fork)!

Milanese and tourists alike can spend summers eating gelato – Italian ice cream – at gelaterias.

Since a service charge is already added to restaurant bill, tipping in Milan is not required.


Milan has countless churches that are older than even those in Rome's, many of which travelers can visit for free. Some of them are: The Duomo, Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Basilica di Sant' Ambrogio, Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, San Nazaro, and San Lorenzo Maggiore, among a few.

Shopping in Milan is all about high fashion and some of the best places to see and be seen: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Via Montenapoleone, Via Dante and Corso Buenos Aires.

Football remains to be the biggest sport and the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium is the place to go for a Milan match.


Partying at night? Milan's nightlife can be found in bars and clubs in Corso Como, the Navigli quarter, Le Monte Nero, Brera quarter and Corso Sempione.


If you're looking for day trips outside of Milan, some of the most recommended places to check out are: Lake Como, Certosa di Pavia, Bergamo, Lake Garda, and the Lombardy wine regions south of Milan.

Marie Puddu is a Contributing WikiTravel Editor. She's on Twitter @WeTravelConnect

Photo: Planet Den

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Marie Puddu
We like the freedom of open road travel. Whether it's in the streets of London to the outback of Australia, nothing beats driving your vehicle and enjoying your trip -- your way. Join us in sharing ideas on where to go, where to stay, and fun things to do on roadtrip stopovers all over the world.

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