Whittling down the top sites to see in any place can be difficult, so I’ve started the Super Six Series! In these articles, you’ll be able to read all about the best places to visit in some of the best locations around the world! Super Six indeed! This month we’re looking at the best of Milan – so let’s dive in!
Milan is the glamorous fashion capital of Italy and while it seems too expensive, real people actually live there and there’re lots of places to visit without getting broke. From shopping to eating Italian pizza and visiting the most popular museum for your art and culture dose, Milan has a variety of things to do both on a budget and if you want to splurge!
#1 The Duomo
When you think of what to do in Milan, everyone will tell you that first and the most important landmark in Milan is the enormous white Gothic cathedral in the heart of Milan – the Duomo. Every visit starts there and though sometimes it could get a bit overcrowded it is definitely worth the visit. Standing in front of it could make you feel so small but at the same time inspired and stunned, contemplating the wonder of architecture. Entrance is free but you have to be dressed properly. Another thing to do is to climb to the rooftop where you will get a closer look at the construction of the cathedral and will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the city from above.
#2 Glamorous shopping or alternative shopping
Shopping is one of the main activities and best things to do in Milan! But don’t get discouraged, you can have a fun shopping experience even if you are not ready to pay hundreds of dollars for a simple wallet. Next to the Duomo you will the find the famous Vittorio Emanuele Gallery with one of the most expensive brand. What makes it a great sight is the elaborate architecture and of the most amazing domes you can see. So just walking around it is an experience. Close to it is the La Rinascente department store with 7 floors of designer goods, product design, and decoration, makeup and a food hall. The “Golden Quadrilateral” consists of four streets full of high-end fashion brands with the most exclusive items.
If you are just like me, not aiming at the Prada bags, then keep reading because Milan is also full of small independent designers, hipster places, and second-hand finds. Your first stop should be the Porta Ticinese area. There you can find a lot of young spirit, alternative shops with good prices, tattoo parlours, and grunge designers. In the small streets of picturesque Brera, a variety of small independent stores is waiting for you for truly one of a kind gift. The Navigli canal has not only bars and restaurants but some great vintage stores for second-hand finds. It also holds a monthly flea market.
#3 Aperitivo & gelato
What’s a visit to Italy without indulging in a dose of ice cream or gelato as they call it there? Nice, creamy and (supposedly) homemade! After your visit to the Duomo, check the Cioccolati Italiani Gelateria – you will spot it from afar because of the huge queue and the people wandering around with a cone of ice cream each. Trust me, the waiting is definitely worth it. Another popular gelato parlor is Grom that even has its very own store outside of Italy – in Paris.
A very traditional activity is to get an aperitivo in the evening. Almost every restaurant has a special happy hour deal. Usually, from 5 to 9 you can get any drink for around 8-10 euro. The best thing is that you also get a “complimentary” buffet dining. This is a great budget option to try many different things from the Italian cuisine.
#4 The Last Supper (La Ultima Cena)
The mural painting of Leonardo Da Vinci is an exquisite experience for every art lover and is definitely not to be missed if you want to get everything from your visit to Milan. This masterpiece of great importance is located in the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. A word of advice, you really have to plan this and buy the tickets in advance because they get booked pretty fast.
#5 The Navigli Canal
One of the places in Milan where you can really feel the spirit of the city. Every night the streets along the canal are full of people having fun. Tourists, young people or older couples having a relaxed stroll. You can drink a beer while casually chilling at one of the bridges, sit along the canal or head to one of the numerous bars for an aperitivo. During the day, go back to scout for cool shopping finds or get a pizza in one of the traditional restaurants.
#6 Castello Sforzesco
Built in the 15th century, this castle belonged to one of the most famous Italian families – the Sforzas. This impressive building is a landmark that could be seen from the outside but also gives you the chance to visit some of the art collections on the inside as well. Step outside and you will find the laid back park Sempione where you can relax during your day of sightseeing or even have your morning jog.
This month’s Super Six Series was written by the lovely Sianna from EoStories Blog. If you’re looking for some beautiful photos and posts about Europe; head on over to her blog, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for more.