Famous vintage tram in Milan, Lombardia, Italy

Milan Travel Guide

By Julia Buckley
July 07, 2021

It's one of the world's fashion capitals, of course, and Milan certainly does style like few other places. Locals walk around impeccably dressed; visitors prance between the shops in the Quadrilatero d'Oro, or 'Golden Rectangle' – the streets around Via Montenapoleone which are home to all the best known brands.

Sometimes, this feels like the most modern city in Italy. The fashion houses are responsible for a new crop of contemporary art galleries in repurposed industrial spaces: the Fondazione Prada, Armani Silos and Pirelli Hangarbicocca for starters. Then there's the design scene – the Triennale hosts a permanent exhibition on Italian design, and every April, the Salone del Mobile, or Milan Design Week, fills the city with pop-up boutiques and galleries. Even the nightlife is forward-looking – some of the most inventive cocktail bars in Europe are located here.Of course, Milan has history, too. The Duomo – the vast wedding cake of a building that is Europe's second largest church – was started in 1386 (but only completed in 1965, so intricate was the design). The Brera is one of Italy's finest art galleries, showing works from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. And of course, this is the city of Leonardo da Vinci, who worked in the Castello Sforzesco and painted his famous "Last Supper" in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Past, present, and – over in the Porta Garibaldi neighborhood – the future. Few cities are as energizing as Milan.

Time Zone

Central European Standard Time

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Best Time to Go

Milan is led less by seasons, more by events. Fashion Week and the Salone del Mobile send prices rocketing, but go right after the events — MFW is usually in late February to early March, and again in September, while the Salone del Mobile is in April — and you'll find the city still buzzing, with special events and exhibits, although hotel prices are down and restaurants are taking reservations again. 

Things to Know

Currency: Euro 
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Italian
I don't speak Italian: Non parlo italiano
I'm lost: Mi sono perso/a
How much is…: Quanto costa...
I would like…: Vorrei… 
How do I get to…: Per andare a...
Learn more Italian phrases

Calling Code: +39

Capital City: Rome

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How to Get Around

Trains: Along with Rome's Termini, Milano Centrale is the country's main railway station. From here, high-speed trains will whisk you across northern Italy to places like Venice, Turin and Genoa, and take you down through Bologna and Florence to Rome. 

Buses: Milan does have buses, but the quintessential method of public transport is the tram, some of which date back to the 1920s. It also has an excellent metro system.

Taxis: Taxis are plentiful, with stands at major sites — though you can also use the MiT hailing app. There's a fixed rate from Malpensa airport but fares are metered from closer Linate.

Car service: Most hotels can arrange transfers to and from the airports and out to the lakes.

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Best Hotels

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Galleria Vik Milano
Credit: Courtesy of Galleria Vik Milano

Galleria Vik 

Address: Via Silvio Pellico, 8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8905 8297
Website

It's not every day you get to sleep inside a global icon. The first European outpost of the luxury South American Vik mini-chain, this is right on brand – and you can't top the location, inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. A Rodin sculpture greets you in the lobby, street artists have frescoed the corridors, and the restaurant and rooms open onto the Galleria (pick one with a balcony if you're planning to Instagram).

Antica Locanda dei Mercanti

Address: Via S. Tomaso, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 4801 4197
Website

This understated and discreet hotel sprawls across three floors of an 18th-century palazzo. Back in the day this was an inn for traveling merchants; now it houses everyone from city-breakers to fashionistas. Rooms are contemporary with billowy white furniture and modern art on the walls. Book the top floor for terraces and walls of glass.

Hotel Milano Scala 

Address: Via dell'Orso, 7, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 870 961
Website

Green can be chic, too. That's the philosophy of the Milano Scala, located behind the opera house. There's a living wall, a vegetable garden, an electric house car and it runs on zero emissions; but it's also an elegant boutique hotel, with photographs from the La Scala archives blown up on room walls.

Palazzo Parigi

Address: Corso di Porta Nuova, 1, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 625 625
Website

This only opened in 2013 but has already established itself as one of Milan's grandest dames, with a sumptuous lobby where everything is coated in marble: the columns, the staircase, even the banisters. The theme is Milan meets Paris (contemporary masculine meets more frou-frou feminine). All rooms have balconies – get one overlooking the tranquil garden.

Mandarin Oriental Milan Hotel in Europe
Credit: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Milan

Mandarin Oriental 

Address: Via Andegari, 9, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8731 8888
Website

Location is everything at the Mandarin — you're five minutes from Via Montenapoleone, La Scala, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Brera. Inside, the feng shui-designed rooms offer everything you'd expect from the luxury brand, and then some, with high, wide-backed beds clad in textiles for a Milanese look. Sit outside in the tranquil, secret courtyard for an aperitivo or a classic risotto alla milanese — you'd never guess you're in the city center — or take a high-backed, curved banquette in the humbug-striped, marble-ceilinged bar. On a semi-private road, with exceptional soundproofing, it's a top notch urban retreat.

Four Seasons Milan
Credit: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons

Address: Via Gesù, 6/8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 77 088
Website

You know what you're getting with Four Seasons service-wise; but few of the brand's hotels are as lovely as this, occupying a 15th-century convent in the heart of the Quadrilatero d'Oro. Original frescoes, vaulted ceilings, and grand columns dot the public areas, the rooms are unstated elegance, while the cloister borders an idyllic garden.

Costanza Milano 

Address: Via Lazzaro Spallanzani, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 393 564 3501
Website

Will it be the Greenhouse Loft, the Wooden Atelier, or the Pastel Home? This clutch of three apartments around Porta Venezia, northeast of the fashion district, have been beautifully themed. The Greenhouse Loft is a light-flooded former garage, the Wooden Atelier blends a 21st-century, slightly urban aesthetic with a 19th-century beamed building; and the two-bed Pastel Home is a retro heaven.

Best New Small Hotels in Italy: Hotel Magna Pars Suites Milano
Credit: Annie Schlechter

Magna Pars Suites 

Address: Via Vincenzo Forcella, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 833 8371
Website

When is a hotel not a hotel? When it doubles as a perfumery. In fact, this used to be a perfume factory, back when the Via Tortona area was a hub of industry; today it's been transformed into a sprawling 28-room hotel, complete with a boutique perfumery on the ground floor and set around the tree-filled courtyard.

The Yard

Address: Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio, 820123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 894 15901
Website

This is one of Milan's most sceney hotels – evenings see locals lining up for entry to its no-reservations, semi-secret bar, and there's a cult pizza joint on the street, too. Beyond the mishmash of antiques and curiosities that only hipsters could pull off, are super-chic rooms. Each is different from the next, though all have something attention-grabbing – like polo mallets hanging over the bed.

Hotel nhow Milano

Address: Via Tortona, 35, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 489 8861
Website

Via Tortona has gone from industrial hinterland to one of the city's most cutting edge areas. Some of that is down to the hotel, which attracts the design crowd to its outré lobby (think rabbit-shaped seating under orange chandeliers). Rooms are chic, if not so boundary pushing, with feature walls and crisp white furniture.

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Best Restaurants

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Osteria con Vista dining tables in Milan
Credit: Courtesy of Osteria con Vista

Osteria con Vista

Address: Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 3664 4340
Website

Dinner doesn't get more romantic than this "Restaurant with a View" – a glass box on top of the Triennale museum in Parco Sempione. Sit outside on the herb-fringed terrace, cantilevered over the park, for views of the Duomo spire, the Castello Sforzesco, and the Bosco Verticale. Reservations recommended.

Nerino 10 Trattoria

Address: Via Nerino, 10, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 3983 1019
Website

The suits all around you are here for the set business lunch, but you're here for the a la carte menu and its signature dish: turanici al pomodorino fresco in forma di grano. You'll gasp as the server wheels out a stove-topped trolley, sautées baby tomatoes, pasta and basil leaves in front of you, and serves it in a wheel of grana padano cheese. Reservations recommended.

Cocktail at The Botanical Club in Milan
Credit: Courtesy of The Botanical Club

Botanical Club

Address: Via Tortona, 33, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 3652 3846, +39 02 423 2890, +39 02 2951 9342
Website

From the chrome-topped, plant-drenched bar to the fiery house-distilled gin, you're in for a treat. But this is a bar where you come to eat as much as to drink – come in the evening for a raw fish menu (try the mezcal- and yuzu-marinated yellowtail). There are two other locations in the city but this, on trendy Via Tortona, draws a great after-work crowd.

Ceresio 7

Address: Via Ceresio, 7, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 3103 9221
Website

The rooftop of a nondescript office block is the setting for this restaurant belonging to the founders of Dsquared2. Sip craft cocktails by the pool (swimming not allowed) and then move to the restaurant, where you'll eat modernized Milanese classics on sexy red-lacquered tables. Reservations recommended.

Ratanà

Address: Via Gaetano de Castillia, 28, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8712 8855
Website

If you're in town for the famous risotto Milanese – swirled with parmesan, saffron, wine, and butter – this converted cinema is the place to try it, with some bone marrow on the side. Chef Cesare Battisti is a master of the Lombardy classics; the business lunch is very popular with locals. Reservations recommended.

Marchesi 1824

Address: Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/a, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 862 770, +39 02 9418 1710
Website

This historic pasticceria is such a Milanese icon that it was bought by the Prada Group. The original is a beautiful wood-lined bar on the way to the Last Supper, where little has changed since its 1824 opening. It's great for breakfast; but for lunch, you need the outlet above the Prada store in the Galleria Emanuele II, where you can nibble on delicate tramezzini (sandwiches) while observing the crowds on the mosaicked floor below.

Osteria del Treno

Address: Via S. Gregorio, 46, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 670 0479
Website

Before it was a fashion capital, Milan was an industrial city. This is a snapshot of its past: an osteria near the Stazione Centrale, which was originally the place for railway workers' lunches. Today, it's part of the Slow Food movement, serving modern Lombardy dishes sourced from small producers. Reservations recommended.

La Ravioleria Sarpi

Address: Via Paolo Sarpi, 27, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 331 887 0596
Website

Milan has perhaps Italy's most multicultural restaurant scene. While it sounds like a pasta shop, Ravioleria Sarpi is part of that – it's a hole-in-the-wall for dumplings (ravioli, as the Italians call them), in Italy's largest Chinatown. There's a slow food approach, too – the top-notch meat is sourced from a local butcher.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffé

Address: Via Montebello, 7, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 2901 4390
Website

You wouldn't necessarily put a florist and a restaurant together, but once you've been here you'll wonder why nobody's done it before. The menu is classic Milanese with a focus on seafood. Or come for aperitivo – the free buffet with your drink is top notch and easily stands in for dinner. Reservations recommended.

Joia

Address: Via Panfilo Castaldi, 18, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 2952 2124
Website

There aren't many Michelin-starred vegan joints around, so enjoy this one while you have the chance. Taking inspiration from the time he spent in Asia, owner and chef Pietro Leeman plays with the food, producing different dishes from the same ingredient. Go for the tasting menus, if budget allows – the 11-course Zenith shows you what the restaurant is all about. Reservations recommended.

Cantine Isola

Address: Via Paolo Sarpi, 30 angolo, Via Arnolfo di Cambio, 1A, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 33 15 249
Website

The most important thing to know about this wine bar and shop is that it's been going strong since 1896. Do a DIY wine-tasting at the counter, washing it down with the tasty bar snacks. On Tuesdays it's poetry night, and every month there's a special event to toast the opening of a new arrival.

Carlo e Camilla in Segheria

Address: Via Giuseppe Meda, 24, 20141 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 837 3963
Website

This could be a stage set – an old sawmill, its concrete skeleton left almost as it was abandoned, only with grand chandeliers slung from the ceiling and designer chairs around a gigantic communal table which seats 70. Celeb chef Carlo Cracco is at the helm – try the meat slow-roasted in the Josper oven. Reservations recommended.

Wes Anderson designed bar
Credit: Foto Attilio Maranzano/ Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Bar Luce

Address: L.go Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 5666 2611
Website

You don't just come to the Fondazione Prada for the art; you come for Bar Luce, the in-house café designed by none other than Wes Anderson. The setting's his signature style – a 1950s mix of mint green counters, Liberty-style lighting, and out-there wallpaper. Order one of the dozens of gourmet panini.

1930

Address: Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 3956 2875
Website

This is a secret bar – but a genuinely secret one. The location is strictly underwraps, and there's no password – the only way in is to score an invite from the staff at sister bar MAG Café. Once you do, you're in for a treat, with cocktails so inventive that the outfit feels like a theatrical production.

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Things to Do

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Tourists visit the roof of the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano).
Credit: Viacheslav Lopatin/Getty Images

Duomo di Milano

Address: P.za del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 361 691
Website

Milan's gothic Duomo – the largest church in Italy after St Peter's – is such an enormous, intricate project that it took 600 years to complete. Take the elevator to the rooftop terraces, where you'll not only have prime city views but also get a close up of the hundreds of sculptures that dot the wedding cake-like structure.

Brera Gallery

Address: Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 72263 230
Website

This is one of Italy's big-hitter galleries, up there with the Vatican Museums and Florence's Uffizi. Part of a world-famous academy for up and coming artists, which gave its name to the surrounding area, it includes works by Mantegna, Tintoretto, and Raphael.

Teatro alla Scala
Credit: Google

Teatro alla Scala

Address: Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8879 2473
Website

Whirl back the centuries at one of the world's most famous opera houses. During the day, you can get a guided tour of the opulent interiors; or to dig a little deeper, take a guided visit to the Ansaldo Workshops, where sets and costumes are designed and built.

The Last Supper or Cenacolo, 1495-1497, by Leonardo da Vinci
Credit: DEA/M. RANZANI/Getty

Cenacolo/Last Supper

Address: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 9280 0360
Website

This is it, perhaps Italy's most famous single work of art: Leonardo da Vinci's "Cenacolo", also known as the "Last Supper", frescoed on the refectory wall in Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Try to disentangle yourself from its reputation, and forget "The Da Vinci Code"; instead, spend time soaking up the extraordinary atmosphere.

Old medieval Sforza Castle Castello Sforzesco, green lawn of courtyard, blue sky white clouds background.
Credit: Getty Images

Castello Sforzesco

Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8846 3700
Website

Da Vinci came to Milan to work for ruler Ludovico il Moro, whose HQ was this imposing moated castle in the city center. Don't miss the Sala delle Asse, frescoed as a trompe l'oeil forest by Leonardo himself.

Navigli canals in Milan at dusk
Credit: Andrea Pistolesi/Getty Images

Navigli nightlife

It's no Venice, but Milan's network of canals – the Navigli – is a tranquil haven in the city center. The waterfronts are famous for their bars – and since they're pedestrianized, with plenty of outdoor seating, this is one of the best places in the world for a bar crawl. Stroll along and take your pick – we like MAG Café and Rita & Cocktails.

Milano Grand Tour

Phone: +39 02 3676 5705
Website

Elesta Travel's mission is to draw you away from the "Last Supper" and Duomo, and show you some of the lesser known highlights of this city of hidden beauty. Their exceptional Milano Grand Tour private itineraries revolve around art, artisans, jewelry, or leather – they'll craft you a tour that blends ancient and modern.

Fondazione Prada museum in Milan, Italy
Credit: Luca Ponti/Getty Images

Fondazione Prada

Address: L.go Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 5666 2611
Website

Miuccia Prada has taken an old distillery on the edge of the center, got Rem Koolhaas to renovate it, and filled it with her personal collection of contemporary art. The main complex hosts boundary-pushing temporary exhibitions, while the glass-walled Tower contains works by artists from Damien Hurst to Jeff Koons.

Ride a Tram

Rarely is public transport as fun as it is in Milan, where the rattling tram network has rolling stock dating back to 1927 as well as retro trams from the 1950s onwards. The routes cut through the historical center and then circle it.

Pirelli Hangarbicocca

Address: Via Chiese, 2, 20126 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 6611 1573
Website

It's worth the 30-minute metro ride out to this breathtaking modern art space owned by the Pirelli tire company. The enormous former train sheds have incredible rotating installations which interact with the space itself, but there's nothing quite like the permanent installation, Anselm Kiefer's "Seven Celestial Palaces": hulking concrete towers with biblical names, which were designed especially for the hangar.

Triennale

Address: Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 7243 4244
Website

This sleek 1930s building in the middle of Parco Sempione now hosts Milan's Triennale – a once-every-three-years exhibition on design and art, exploring themes such as man's relationship with a changing planet. The ground floor also has a permanent exhibition on the history of Italian design.

Vigna di Leonardo

Address: Corso Magenta, 65, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 481 6150
Website

After you finish at the "Last Supper", pop across the road to Leonardo's Vineyard, which was gifted to him by the Sforza family as he was working on the famous fresco. Step through the ancient Casa degli Atellani to the peaceful garden, and, beyond it, a small vineyard planted with Leonardo's grape, the Malvasia di Candia – found through genetic research on the roots.

Forest Towers
Credit: castenoid/Getty Images

Bosco Verticale and Piazza Gae Aulenti

Address: Piazza Gae Aulenti, 20124 Milano MI, Italy

The Bosco Verticale, architect Stefano Boeri's two 'living' apartment blocks covered in trees and foliage, is one of Milan's most famous buildings. It's the heart of the ultra-modern Porta Garibaldi district – view it from Piazza Gae Aulenti, a modern, circular square stuffed with public art and high-end stores.

Parco Sempione (Simplon Park), Milano
Credit: Alessandro Perazzoli/Getty Images

Parco Sempione

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

This is one of Europe's great city parks, starting at the Castello Sforzesco, running past the Triennale and ending at a triumphal arch that'll make you wonder if you're in Paris – only this pseudo Roman arch celebrates peace, not war. There are sculptures by the likes of Arman and Giorgio de Chirico.

Cocktail bar crawl

Milan has one of Europe's most inventive cocktail scenes. Start with the zany Nottingham Forest, which kicked it all off; go on to Bamboo Bar in the Armani Hotel for brand-themed drinks; take in "wunderkammer" Tencitt, headed up by master mixologist Morris Maramaldi; and finish at The Doping Club, the semi-secret bar at The Yard Hotel.

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Best Shopping

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Quadrilatero d'Oro

Address: 20121 Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Website

For many, this is Milan. The city's Quadrilatero d'Oro, or 'Golden Rectangle,' is one of the world's most famous fashion districts. Stroll Via Montenapoleone (or Monte Napoleone) and the streets that feed off it for world-class window shopping. Don't miss the Bottega Veneta Home store, which sits in a frescoed 18th-century palazzo.

Famous Bull Mosaic in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan
Credit: Getty Images

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Address: P.za del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Website

Only in Italy can a shopping mall be a historical monument. The 19th-century mall in the form of a cross is a bombastic glass-roofed, mosaic-floored and sculpture-laden building, with smart bars and designer brands (though the Quadrilatero d'Oro is a more rarefied atmosphere if you're wanting to shop).

Fratelli Bonvini

Address: Via Tagliamento, 1, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 53 92 151
Website

This historic printing shop near the Fondazione Prada was rescued from closure by a group of Milanese (including the founder of Moleskine) who couldn't bear to see it go. You'll find everything from vintage Olivetti typewriters to small-press books, handmade stationery and fancy fountain pens.

Via Tortona

Address: Via Tortona

On the southwest outskirts of the city, this was once an industrial area, then abandoned – and today has been rejuvenated by creatives drawn to its warehouses. Amongst the factories-turned-office blocks converted by the likes of Matteo Thun for businesses including Armani, you'll find the odd designer outlet and local designer – but come during Fashion Week or the Salone del Mobile when it becomes a pop-up hub.

Il Meneghello

Address: Corso di Porta Ticinese, 53, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 339 739 7608
Website

Osvaldo Meneghazzo reckons he's the last artisan tarot card maker left on the planet – which is fitting, because they were said to be invented in Milan in the 15th century. As well as creating his own decks – the cat-themed one is particularly good – he recreates historic sets from the Renaissance, which noble families would commission.

Corso Como 10 Milan
Credit: WireImage

10 Corso Como

Address: Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 2900 2674
Website

Fashion editor Carla Sozzani's store-café-hotel almost single-handedly made the Porta Garibaldi neighbourhood trendy. Through the leafy entrance and pretty courtyard, you'll find a whole cultural complex, with a ground-floor shop selling carefully curated designers, plus an exhibition space, bookshop, café, and pretty terrace.

Merzaghi Rino Di Merzaghi Marco

Address: Via dei Piatti, 11, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 875 455
Website

Since goldsmith Rino Merzaghi founded his workshop in 1870, four generations of the family have continued his legacy, kitting out the Milanese elite with their beautifully understated, but ultra-luxurious jewelry. Siblings Marco and Paola, and Marco's son Mauro, work from an apartment block in the city center.

NonostanteMarras

Address: Via Cola di Rienzo, 8, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 7628 0991
Website

No, you haven't got the address wrong; ring the bell of this residential block and you'll be buzzed into a beautiful courtyard filled with trees and flowery bowers. Antonio Marras' flagship store is on the other side – as well as his clothes you'll find ceramics made in collaboration with Pugliese artisans.

Peck

Address: Via Spadari, 9, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 80 23 161
Website

Make sure to come here before your journey home, because this is a superb high-end food shop where you'll find all of Italy's best ingredients. You can eat in store, but make sure you get some top-quality rice, or crumbly biscotti to take home.

Cavalli e Nastri

Address: Mora 3 Uomo, Via Gian Giacomo Mora, 12, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 4945 1174
Website

Milan isn't just about new fashion, as this landmark store in the arty Brera district shows. It stocks clothes and accessories from the 19th century to the modern period – most of which are brilliantly bright, colorful, and more eye-catching than Milan's standard understated look.

Rossana Orlandi

Address: Via Matteo Bandello, 14, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 467 4471
Website

Through the vine-wreathed courtyard you'll find a temple to design, presided over by Rossana Orlandi, who swapped the fashion industry for design in 2002. She's single handedly made the careers of up-and-coming designers by featuring them in her curation – you'll find everything from outré rugs to deconstructed chandeliers.

Biffi Boutique

Address: Corso Genova, 6, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8311 6052
Website

Forget going from shop to shop; this landmark store curates all the brands a Milanese fashionista would need this season. As well as all the biggest brands, highlights include Stella Jean's stunningly colorful dresses, shirts and wide-leg pants, and Distretto 12 Uomo's sustainable menswear.

N.H. Sartoria

Address: Via Andrea Appiani, 1, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 6556 0920
Website

Britain meets Milan at this intriguing made-to-measure tailor in the heart of the fashion district. The textiles come from England and Italy, while the styling follows Pugliese tradition – lighter fabrics and less tight fits. Oh and the N.H.? It means "Nobil Homo," or gentleman.

L'Artigiano di Brera

Address: Via Solferino, 1, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 02 8058 1910
Website

Stock up on post-pandemic ballerina flats in a rainbow of colors at this lovely shoe shop on fashion hub Via Solferino. Want something a little more taxing? There are pumps and booties as well as comfy moccasins – all made in Italy.

Shopping in Milan, Italy
Credit: Getty Images

Art Mall Milano

Address: Via Torino, 64, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Phone: +39 320 895 5221
Website

Like the chair you're sitting on? You can buy it – since everything in this bar-slash-gallery is for sale, right down to the upcycled furniture by artisan Simone Volpin. The bar does a mean aperitivo – sit back with your spritz and work out what artwork you'd like to take home.

Neighborhoods to Know

Brera: The cobbled streets of Brera have always had a boho feel, thanks to its most famous resident, the Brera art gallery. Things are rather less louche and rather more chic these days, but it's still a languid, almost Parisian area, with tables lined up outside bistros, little boutiques, and the city's botanical gardens.

Quadrilatero d'Oro: The 'Golden Rectangle' – also known as the Fashion Rectangle – is one of the world's greatest style districts. Via Montenapoleone is its spine; the roads fanning off it, such as Via della Spiga, Via Borgospesso, and Via Gesù are equally glam. If the most you can stretch to is a coffee, settle down to people-watch at Pasticceria Cova.

Porta Garibaldi: This jagged, gem-shaped area north of Brera, looks firmly to the future – its glass-fronted skyscrapers jostle with the famous Duomo to dominate the city skyline. This is a big shopping area, taking in upmarket high street labels, plus niche brands such as influencer Chiara Ferragni's store, and fashion hub 10 Corso Como. Past the famous Bosco Verticale is Isola, once a quiet working class district known for its jazz clubs, now getting ever trendier.

Porta Genova: The area behind the Porta Genova station is Milan's classic nightlife zone. Young people crowd the waterfront bars of the Navigli canals; beyond that, and a little hipper and quieter, is the Via Tortona neighborhood, whose former factories now hold bars and boutiques catering to the design-led offices in the area.

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Weather

Milan springs start crisp and end warm, with May temperatures nudging up to the 70s. Summers are sweltering – although temperatures in the mid 80s don't sound much, add in the humidity and closeness of the Po Valley, and you'll be suffering. Fall is still warm, but temperatures drop sharply in November, with temperatures above freezing in winter, though feeling colder thanks to the humidity.

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Apps to Download

BikeMi: City bike scheme
iOs | Android

MiT (Milan in Taxi): Taxi-hailing app
iOs | Android

ATM Official: Public transport routes, timetables and tickets
iOs | Android

WiFi Lombardia: Single access to the region's public wifi connections
iOs | Android