One of the world’s most prestigious fashion capitals, Milan is a seamless blend of historic architecture and glamorous city living. It's both a slick business center and a boiling cultural hotspot, and visitors are treated to decadent shopping, enviable dining, and some of the most fabulous entertainment and nightlife in Europe. With attractions on the grandest of scales too, the city lures many a trendy city breaker. Twice yearly, hordes of espresso-shot fueled fashionistas make their pilgrimage to the cosmopolitan center for Milan Fashion Week.
Things to see
Piazza del Duomo is Milan’s vast city center plaza, framed with Neo-Classical landmarks including the Carminati Palace and the Royal Palace of Milan. The square is also set with the city’s greatest architectural jewel – Duomo di Milano, the Cathedral of Milan. Having taken almost six centuries to complete, the extravagant Gothic cathedral is the fifth largest in the world. Atop its main spire glints the famous Baroque gilded statue, Madonnina. For shopaholics it doesn’t get much better than Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala, the palatial shopping arcade is home to cafés, restaurants, and a glitzy selection of haute couture and jewelry boutiques. For an evening of decadence, the glamorous Teatro alla Scala is a must-visit. This renowned opera house hosts some of the finest opera and ballet performances in the world, while football fanatics will want to visit the home of A.C. Milan, the 85,000-seater San Siro Stadium.
Hotels in Milan
A center of uber-rich business types and discerning followers of fashion, expect a vast choice when it comes to the upmarket hotels in Milan. La-di-da luxury can be experienced in the chic boutique pads as well as trendily minimalist hotel rooms. The mid-range options offer a little less glamour, but often wide-ranging amenities such as free WiFi, flat-screen televisions, and tea and coffee making facilities, making them ideal for business travelers and families alike.
Where to stay
A hotel in the Duomo and city center area puts you in the very heart of the action, close to all of Milan’s major attractions, dining and shopping. Just north, in the Brera district, you’ll find trendy bars and ritzy art galleries. North-east of the city, Corso Buenos Aires is a fabulous base for those on a shopping pilgrimage, with over 350 stores to take your pick from. For those looking to save, budget hotels in Milan can be found around the Stazione Centrale area, north of the city center. With the central station’s metro links, it makes a particularly handy base to explore the city from too.
How to get to
Milan has two main airports, Malpensa International Airport, and the smaller Linate Airport. The former will be the gateway into the metropolitan area for most people. The city center can be reached with direct trains leaving from Malpensa’s Terminal 1, calling at Milano Cadorna and Milano Centrale (the central station). Journeys to Milano Centrale typically take 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of stops. From there, connections can be made all over the city via the metro. Regular buses into the city center also leave from both Malpensa and Linate airports, taking up to an hour to reach the city center.