In 2019 I was lucky enough to visit Milan! I found very cheap flights and stayed in an Airbnb just outside the centre. It was a really lovely trip, and I did it on a very low budget. If you’re looking to visit sometime soon, then follow this guide! I’ve even included a free walking tour map!
I arrived at Milan Malpensa Airport with flights costing only £60, including a return (find out how, here). I then bought a train ticket to Milano Centrale Station, which took around 40 minutes and cost €10. Then we bought a metro ticket to get to our Airbnb in the Dergano district. I met my host, got the keys and then went to the best pizza shop – Pizza Club No Limits. The Pizza was massive and only €12 for the entire thing!
The following day, I woke up early and bought a 2 day Milan City Pass for €17. I then got off at the Duomo stop. Instantly, as I walked out into the open – the Duomo was standing there in all its glory. I took some photos and then headed to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – basically a boujee shopping centre with everything WAY out of my price limits!
After the shopping centre, I then walked to San Bernardino alle Ossa – which is a church full of bones! If you like obscure things, then I thoroughly recommend you visit. Entry is free, although a donation is suggested. It was very quiet also, so if you want to get away from the crowds, this is a good choice.
From the church, I walked to find some lunch from a local shop and then strolled to Castello Sforzesco, which is a 14th-century castle. The grounds are free to walk around, and there are lovely fountains and a huge park behind them. There are a lot of ice cream vendors in the park, too – I’m biased, but you should definitely try the pistachio 😉
On the second day of exploring, I took the metro to the canals. From there, I spontaneously followed them and came across churches, hidden shops, and art pieces. I also listened to a man playing the guitar and singing in public whilst I ate Rustico Leccese, which is a puff pastry tart with tomato and mozzarella inside.
On our last full day, I walked around the centre and went into the shops. I also went and saw the Leonardo Da Vinci painting – The Last Supper. It was pretty pricey to go in – €15! I was fortunate and got walk-in tickets; however, it’s not guaranteed, so book online or over the phone if it’s something you want to visit. Personally, I don’t feel like it was worth the entry price as that was the only thing there, but I understand that it is priced that way to help revelations, etc.
I then took the metro back – randomly, there was a parrot on the train too! Then I got another pizza from Pizza Club No Limits and watched some Netflix, and packed for the flight back the following day.
- There are a few scams we ran into during the visit. The first one to be wary of is ‘the bracelet scam’. This happened to us as soon as we walked out of the metro, to see the Dumo. Instantly, someone grabbed my wrist and tied a bracelet on it, and asked for money. I tried to walk away, and he kept asking and asking, so I just gave him some coins to stop. I’m usually good at avoiding scams, however, I couldn’t have stopped him from grabbing my wrist as it happened so fast.
- Another scam we ran into was on the train back to the airport. At one of the stops, a woman came on and started handing around a piece of paper with writing on it. It was in Italian, so I don’t think it was aimed at tourists, but we figured out she was asking for money as she had a cup and was waving it in people’s faces. It’s a personal choice to give people money or not, but sometimes I feel bad because I feel as if they need it so badly that they are doing ‘scammy’ things to get it. Sometimes people are legitimate, but sometimes there are big gangs behind them.
- In summer, it gets HOT! Oftentimes, we just wanted to sit down and drink water every few minutes. If you don’t deal with heat well, try and go in before June or September time as these are the months when the weather is most manageable.
- Restaurants are VERY pricey in the centre. Try and get the metro a few stops away from the centre and you will find plenty of good quality, reasonably priced food.
Map of Milan:
Click here for a walking tour map of Milan. I recommend taking the metro and getting off at Dumo – unless you’re staying close to there!
Have you ever been to Milan? What did you do? Is there anything you recommend?