The Milan City Guide

Location: Milan, Italy 

Milan is well known as a fashion city, with the city holding Milan fashion week every year. Due to this the city is famous for breath-taking and shocking outfit choices and astonishing new clothes releases by designer brands. Along with its fabulous fashion statements Milan is also known for its delicious Italian food and beautiful architecture. This made us even more excited to visit the city and experience Milan for ourselves. We had no idea what to expect, as this was our first time visiting Italy we was excited to taste real Italian food and experience a new country.

Although Milan is not the capital of Italy it is still a large city with lots to see and do. From authentic Italian food to try to sightseeing breath-taking architecture. Whether you are visiting for the fashion, the food, the architecture or just for a relaxing break you'll be sure to find what you are looking for.

As our visit was for a relaxing break we decided to be spontaneous with the sights we saw and the food we ate . . .
Getting to Milan . . .

Flying from London to Milan is super easy and fast. With flights from all London airports daily you are able to choose a flight of your choice to suit your required date and time. And with a flight time of just under 2 hours you will be in Italy within no time at all.

When booking your fights to Milan you will notice that the city has three airports. You are able to get a flight into any of the three airports from London. It doesn't matter which airport you are flying into as they are all located outside of the city and will require further transport into the centre. Each airport has similar travel times into the centre, therefore it does not matter which airport you have flights into.

Find your flights to Milan: here
Where to stay . . . 

Although Milan is a large city the public transport is very efficient and easy to use to get around. Therefor the location of your accommodation is not a big issue for your stay. It doesn't matter whether you are staying in the centre of the city with all the hustle and bustle or near the outskirts where you can experience a more authentic experience. The location of your accommodation depends on how long you are in the city and what you are planning to do while you are here. 

Milan is divided into 9 zones:

The zones are often referred to by their zone number or a list of the districts inside that zone. 
  • Centro Storico - This is the centre zone within the city where you will find the Duomo cathedral and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping centre along with other churches, museums, squares and historical monuments. With the smallest population of all the zones this central zone is comprised by mainly tourist attractions and sights to see rather than residential or visitor accommodation. 

  • Zone 2, Station Centrale, Gorla, Turro, Greco, Crescenza - Located north east of the centre this zone would be the one required to pass through to get to other Italian city's such as Venice. The zone is home to the major shopping street Corso Buenos Aires, Milano Centrale railway station and Naviglio Martesana canal. 

  • Zone 3, Citta Studi, Lambrate, Porta, Venezia - This is another north-eastern zone within the city. Within this zone you will find Lambro park and Maserati park. Both the parks are compromised of green areas for picnics and paths for strolling along. This zone within the city has a more relaxed feel to it due to the tranquil and relaxing areas.

  • Zone 4, Porta Vittoria, Forlanini - This zone is located south-east of the centre. Home to the Alessandrini park, Forlanini park and Lambro river. The zone is another perfect zone if you are visiting the city for relaxation.  

  • Zone 5, Vigentino, Chiaravalle, Gratosoglio - This is one of the biggest zones within the city, located at the south of the city. With sights such as the Bocconi university and Chiaravalle abbey, the zone is perfect if you are planning to explore and sight see while you are visiting the city.

  • Zone 6, Barona, Lorenteggio - This zone is located south-west of the centre. The zone is home to Porta Ticinese which is a large architectural arch. This is a formal city gate for Milan which today still stands on the outskirts of the city. Photographed below when we came across the arch we was unaware what it was but was amazed by its size and beauty. Located in quite a residential area the arch is unexpected.

  • Zone 7, Baggio, De Angeli, San Siro - The most western zone of them all and the largest. This is the zone which has the San Siro football stadium. The stadium is home to the footballs teams AC Milan and Inter Milan. Although this is the biggest zone apart from the stadium there are few other tourist attractions to see.

  • Zone 8, Fiera, Gallaratese, Quarto Oggiaro - This zone is located north-west of the centre. Due to being one of the biggest zones you will find lots to see and do, including 6 parks; 9 metro stations and 3 railway stations. The large number of stations within the zone make it easy accessible to visit different districts within the zone.

  • Zone 9, Porta Garibaldi, Niguarda - The last zone within the city. Located north of the centre this zone is home to lots of exciting buildings and sights to see. The zone feels more modern than other zones due to its tall buildings which are mainly built of glass and metal.

What to eat . . .

Of course being in Italy you will definitely not be stuck on where to eat and what to eat. After all Italy is well known for its delicious Italian food. Whether you are looking for pizza, pasta or gelato you will be sure to find what you are looking for. Around every corner is a gelato shop with unimaginable new flavours; a pizza restaurant with the biggest pizzas you have ever seen and the most amazing smelling pasta dishes.

Due to our visit being in August the weather was very sunny and warm for the majority of our trip. This meant we could try gelato from a few different places during our trip:

  • Savini - This is the restaurant inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Next to the restaurant you will find the little gelato shop with its wide variety of gelato flavours. From pistachio to grape flavour you will be sure to find your favourite or a new exciting flavour to try out. You can have your gelato in either a little pot or a cone. We went for the little pot which came with a wafer; we chose pistachio and vanilla flavours.

  • Amorino - Also located within the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping centre this is the gelato shop which sells flower shaped gelatos in cones. With a variety of bright coloured flavours you are able to create a flower of your choice. With such a pretty gelato you are also in the perfect location to take your photos in front of the Duomo cathedral.

How to get around . . .

Getting around the city can be simple and easy if you know where you are heading. With the main tourist sights located within walking distance from each other the only time you will need to use transport if you are sightseeing would be initially get to and from the centre. If you however need to get around the city and don't fancy the walk then there are lots of transport options to choose from:

  • Metro - The metro map is very simple to read and follow. All you need to know is which stop you need to get off at and then you can work out which line you will need to get there. You are able to purchase day tickets for the metro which makes it easy to hop on and off at your own free will.

  • Tram - This is a great transport option if you want to get closer to your destination than you would if you was using the metro. This is due to the fact that the tram has more stops down smaller streets where you wouldn't find a metro. However the maps can be confusing to read so make sure you know what you are doing before hopping on.

Sights to see . . .

If you visiting Milan to explore and sight see then you are in luck because the city has lots of pretty architecture buildings and sights. Along with all the Italian looking bright coloured buildings you will find historical buildings and monuments which were built to represent the past of the city.

  • Duomo cathedral - Previously discussed in our 4 Instagram Spots in Milan post we outlined how breath-taking and astonishing the cathedral is upon first impressions. From the outside you are able to admire the size and beauty of the building and can continue to do this if you choose to purchase a ticket and venture inside.

  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele - This famous shopping centre is full of every designer shop you could wish for and a couple of amazing gelato parlours to grab a delicious treat (you can read about these in our what to eat section above).

  • Porta Ticinese - This was previously one of the gates into the city. Photographed below you can easily see why this was a welcoming gate. Due to the magnitude and beauty of the gate it is a breath-taking sight to see. The location which is also on the outskirts from the centre is peaceful and tranquil.

  • Arco Della Pace - This arch is another gate into the city, located at the edge of Sempione park again the arch sits in a peaceful location. The arch also matches the architecture of the Duomo cathedral.

We would love to know what your favourite thing about Milan is? What would you recommend seeing next time we visit?

You can also read our 4 Instagram Spots in Milan post: here

Love Chloe and Megan

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