The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Milan stands out for being a global fashion capital rich in art and history. Home to some of the most expensive artwork, like The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci (1495–1498), as well as fashion shows like Milan Fashion Week. However, there are pros and cons to visiting the city. Let’s get into it:
Tourist attractions like museums, art galleries (Armani/Silos museum) and other spots are usually less than ten euros for entry ($13 CAD). This is amazing, so check out the stunning architecture. The famous Duomo di Milano brings life to the city centre.
Day trips to other cities or regions are super easy, with trains leaving every hour. Lake Como, Florence and Switzerland are only an hour or two away and can be completed in the day.
Lines to visit some attractions can get very long, so try to go during the mornings or evenings.
Locals might deny helping you if you have an English tongue, so use phrases such as “ciao, scusi,” before speaking to politely lead into your question.
Most grocery stores and shops are closed on Sundays. Restaurants usually close at 11 pm, so I suggest finding places outside the center of Milan, where the party continues till late (like Navigli).
People tend to dress conservatively, unless headed to clubs and bars at night. Leggings and tight short clothes are a big no-no for daytime wear.
Locals have a habit of staring at tourists in Milan, which in North America is generally considered rude. But don’t take it personally! They might be interested in you and observing non-locals from their accent to fashion!
Dining is a steal here, with high quality and big portion meals for a fraction of the price. An average dinner at a nice restaurant for two costs around 50 euros (or 67 Canadian dollars). In North America, the average meal at a good restaurant comes to around 120 Canadian dollars.
Some servers get offended if you do not finish your meal at a restaurant, as the food is a big part of the culture here. Most places have an unsaid rule that each person orders their own main course and doesn’t share. This even goes for pizza, so if you have a small appetite, don’t worry! You can just ask the rest to go.
Even grocery stores are super cheap. If you want a bottle of wine, some snacks for the hotel or even toiletries, a week’s worth of stuff for two people only costs around 20 euros (or 26 dollars). Yes, you read that right. And alcohol is even cheaper. While a bottle of wine would cost around 14 Canadian dollars, be prepared to celebrate with a bottle worth 4 euros.
They have the best, most authentic Aperol spritz in the world! There is even a whole bar/patio dedicated to the drink.
The shopping here has a great variety of new collections, like Zara, Primark and Guess.
Designer brands definitely are worth buying in Milan. There are new and unreleased collections not found in North America, which can increase the value of a bag or wallet by a significant amount. Prices are also slightly less, and you also get VAT, which is tax back on designer purchases!
The salons are amazing here! I got my hair done for ⅓ of the price I pay in Canada with heatless methods and treatments to keep your locks healthy.
It is very easy to get around the city, with public transport like trains, trams and buses that come almost every four minutes. However, as timely as the transportation seems, all public transport stop at 12 am every day. Uber can rack up quite a bill, so learn how to call taxis.
Traffic can also get pretty heavy so prepare for your transportation ahead of time when going back to the airport to avoid missing your flight (we kind of had a close call on the way back).
Be alert at all times when using public transportation. Train stations can be very unsafe at night. Pickpocketing is a real threat, as well as human trafficking and scamming. Tourists are especially at risk, so be alert and observant.