How many days?
I would not stay more than 1-2 days here. Use Milan for a “recoop from jetlag” spot right as you fly in. Outside of the city center isn’t very pretty.
Milan IS a great spot to fly in though because it’s cheap. You can find flights round trip to and from LAX for instance for $500 sometimes even less. LITERALLY CHEAPER OR THE SAME PRICE AS FLYING LAX TO NYC OR MIAMI... Love a good bargain 🙂
More tricks on finding cheap flights in the another post in the Tricks section. Get after it.
Where to Stay:
Back to Milan: We stayed at the Madama Hostel. It has free dinner AND free breakfast, which what more could you ask for as a broke backpacker needing to eat. The staff at the hostel is also AMAZING. Lots of cool things going on, happy hours and parties every night downstairs at the bar if that’s your vibe. We were exhausted so we just went upstairs to bed, which was great because you couldn’t hear anything that was happening downstairs.
Another plus: around the corner from the hostel you can get INCREDIBLE kebabs for only 1.50 euro. It’s on Corso Lodi next to Re Artu Café. A little walk in place – unreal.
The hostel runs about $30-40/person for a bunk bed in a dorm per night. There is also private bathroom in suite, which is incredible. I hate community bathrooms. A LITTLE pricey, we typical like to keep our hostels in Europe 20-25/person nightly but this was the best we found, and it’s got great reviews. 4.3/5 stars; 1300 reviews. PRETTY good.
If you are traveling with a friend sometimes it’s even more cost effective to look into private rooms. Practically staying in a hotel with all the hostel perks. At Madama, the private will run you about $130/night with breakfast and dinner included. In the “SNAPSHOT” below I gave you a coupon code so you can go a little cheaper on the rate.
Things to Do:
Other than the hostel being great and stuffing my face with 5 unreal kebabs per day for less than a Starbucks, the area isn’t great. Nothing astonishing.
The cool and touristy part of Milan is very small and in the city center. There is an underground like pretty much every European city so it’s easy to get around. Ubers are UNREAL PRICEY; DO NOT TAKE UBERS. We saved so much money by just walking and taking the underground; plus it’s a better way to see the city anyways.
In the city center is the iconic Duomo. It’s cool; smaller than expected. It’s expensive to get in too! 17 euro to go inside. WTF. To be honest, it was a little underwhelming. It’s pretty bare inside. Not like the other incredible European cathedrals you would think of. Although there is a cool downstairs area that is an archeological site that made it worth it. Other than that I would say save your money and observe from the outside; it’s much prettier.
Milan is known to be a city of fashion so of course there is shopping EVERYWHERE in the city center. We had a shopping spree while we were there. If you want to shop, you go to Milan. If you are looking for a cultural experience and to see some sites then skip it.
Great place for shopping is the Galleria Vittorio in Milan. You can’t miss it; literally directly left of the Duomo if you are looking at the Duomo head on.
Cocktails with a VIEW:
If you want a good place to have a nice little cocktail and look at the Duomo then Terrazza Aperol is the place to go. It’s a cool rooftop/lounge bar where you can drink and eat with a great view of the city center and the Duomo. I’d recommend going here at sunset.
Lake Como is close to Milan. Milan is a good access point to get here if this is something that interests you; however, I would definitely recommend staying a night or two here if you are going to go. 1.5 hours by car from Milan or 2:45-3 hours by train.
Overall, Milan is a great city that is slightly overrated. I recommend using Milan as a port to fly into since it’s cheap if you plan to see the north of Italy like Venice, Florence, Lake Como, or Cinque Terre. Or even better, if you have some time and plan to travel north to south.
- WHERE TO STAY: Madama Hostel & Bistrot. Visit https://www.madamahostel.com/ and use Code: Haley2020 for a discount in the coupon code box
- TIME SPENT: 1-2 days honestly. You can see Milan in one day.
- Nottingham Forest – Looks like you stepped into the Rainforest featuring quirky cocktails. Really cool vibes here.
- Bar Basso – hipster vibes; been around forever
- Terrazza Aperol – a bit pricey for a spritz but the view of city center and Duomo makes it worth it.
- Kebabs for 1.50 euro around the corner from Madama Hostel. FIRE. It’s on Corso Lodi next to Re Artu Café. Small little hole in the wall.
- Other than this we had the free food at the Madama Hostel. Free breakfast and dinner was great since Milan isn’t the cheapest city in the world
- MUST SEE:
- The Duomo (from the outside)
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – HUGE shopping area
- Louis Vuitton Museum – I didn’t find this to be the most incredible thing ever, but then again I’m not a big art-type museum gal.
- Lake Como *OPTIONAL* if you are going to go here I recommend staying a few days. However, it’s close to Milan only 1.5 hours by rental car or 2:45 by train.
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