Milan is a city in Italy that needs no introduction. It’s the shopping capital of the world and a favorite destination for fashion lovers from all over. The city is home to some of the world’s most famous clothing brands and luxury retailers. But, there is so much more to this amazing city than just shopping. In this post, I will share with you how to spend the perfect weekend in Milan. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
I’m not usually one for naming cities as my favorite, but Milan has quickly become an exception. The city is so peaceful, yet bustling with activity at all times. The historic architecture is absolutely gorgeous making this a beautiful place to visit. The people are friendly and there is an elegant feel that makes you want to stay for a while, not just visit on your way through. The city feels safe and clean. Also, Milan is the 2nd largest city in Italy so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Word of Advice: It’s always a good idea to be ready and willing to walk around Milan. You might end up at some hidden gems or experience something new that would otherwise pass by without being seen. Wear a pair of your most fashionable, yet comfortable, shoes.
Where to Stay in Milan, Italy
With so many things to do, you’ll want a place that is where all the action is happening. The Duomo is where everything’s at, so I wanted a hotel within walking distance of the church. Why take a taxi, when you can have an awesome experience with your friends in town? You don’t want to waste time or money on taxis which can get pricy. The thought of not having to worry about getting tired during the day is really nice. I can just head back to the hotel at any time without having to inconvenience anyone else in the group. This makes for a stress-free weekend.
IH Hotels Milano Ambasciatori was the most cost-efficient hotel near the Duomo that I could find. You’ll have to pay a pretty penny for hotels in this area. Luckily, A free breakfast buffet along with coffee/tea is included with the stay. The room may not be updated, but it is clean.
What to do in Milan, Italy
Da Vinci’s Last Supper
This is my great grandmother’s, whom I adore, favorite painting and one of the most famous paintings in the world. Therefore, I was beyond excited to see this in person. This painting is a masterpiece of Renaissance art, and it portrays the moment when Christ reveals that one of his apostles would betray him. You must buy tickets in advance. I suggest buying them at least 2 to 3 months before your trip. They sell out almost immediately.
Explore the inside and outside of the Duomo
Head to Milan’s most famous landmark, The Duomo Cathedral. It is one of the most magnificent churches in all of Europe, second only to the largest in Italy, St. Peter’s in Vatican City. This massive church offers breathtaking views from every inch. You’ll need to climb up the stairs in order to soak it all in! Be mindful though- there is a dress code for entering this holy place, so make sure your attire matches accordingly or you risk being turned away at security. This was by far my husband’s favorite church in Italy. He was not able to fathom how incredible this church looked from the outside and even more so when he walked inside.
The archaeological area and crypt of the Duomo are free to visit. You should get there before 8:00 am before the lines start wrapping around the church. You are required to purchase tickets online and select a time for the duomo church, the duomo museum, the rooftop, and the duomo lift. Also, come to the square outside the church early in the morning, so you can get photos of this incredible place with just minimal people.
Where to Shop in Milan, Italy
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the ultimate destination for shoppers of all tastes, and it is next door to the Duomo. Whether you’re looking to buy your favorite designer bag or just window shop, there are plenty of options here with Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci stores all on-site as well. Who doesn’t want to go shopping at the world’s first mall? Ok, maybe my husband doesn’t care about going shopping in the first mall ever built. He hates to shop, but even his eyes were wide when we went inside. This mall is truly impressive.
Spinning on a Bull’s Testicles inside the Mall
Legend says that if you spin around three times with your heel on the testicles of a bull from Turin’s coat-of-arms, this will bring good luck. Of course, I had to give it a try.
When in Italy you can get the tax back on all purchases over $150. Make sure you ask for a voucher from the cashier when checking out, and then take it to any Italy customs office within three months of your trip, or else they will deduct the money back out of your account. The airport has a customs office on-site.
Where to Eat in Milan, Italy
Italy is one of my favorite countries to visit. The food there always tastes so fresh, but after trying it for myself I have been able to recognize why some people might not love Italian cuisine as much as others do- especially those who are from America. My experience with Italian food has been mixed. I’ve gone to all the recommended restaurants and tried many different dishes, but it mostly felt like the food was okay- nothing special or mind-blowing happened during any of our meals. I just want you to be mentally prepared if you are an American. Maybe you will love it, but maybe you won’t.
Keep in mind, dinner starts late in Italy. Most restaurants do not open until 7:30 pm or 8:00 pm.
Eat at a restaurant along Navigli aka Milan Canals
This is a unique area in Milan where you can find colorful bars and restaurants lining the canal water. There are many places to enjoy some delicious drinks or food with friends for dinner. At night, this is the hot and happening place to be. The bars along this waterway are always pumping out some good tunes, so you’ll never have a dull moment.
Have drinks and appetizers at La Rinascente Rooftop
You’ll be blown away by the breathtaking views of Duomo from this spot on the roof. Not to mention, you can enjoy a few drinks and appetizers while sitting back in comfort. If you are tired, step into our cozy little spot for one of those classic expresso drinks that will have your mood improving in no time.
What to Eat & Drink in Milan, Italy
Risotto Alla Milanese
Taste a traditional dish of Milano. This risotto is a classic Italian recipe made with rice, beef stock, and saffron. It’s flavored perfectly with onions, shallots, butter, white wine, and parmesan cheese. It is really good.
Ossobuco or ‘Osso Bottlo’ is a dish made of veal shanks that have been cooked in broth with vegetables. It’s often served with garnished gremolata and traditionally paired with either risotto alla milanese or polenta, depending on where you live.
Veal cutlets are cooked in butter and fried until they’re golden brown, then dipped into an egg mixture before being covered with crunchy breadcrumbs. The veal was yummy. However, we are from Texas, so it would have been nice to have some gravy.
Aperol Spritz Cocktail
This is my cocktail of choice when in Italy. The Aperol Spritz is a refreshing drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It’s made with just a few ingredients – Aperol, Prosecco, and Club Soda.
When you order an iced coffee in Italy, the result will be this delicious ice cream drink. It’s not like our usual iced coffee here in the United States, but it tastes great.
If you’re looking for a vacation in a city that offers something for everyone, Milan is the perfect destination. There’s plenty of history and culture to explore, amazing food to enjoy, and some of the best shopping in the world. And if you need any more convincing, just know that Glam Escapes can take care of all the details so you can relax and enjoy your time in this beautiful city. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Milan today. Click on the Glam Escapes tab at the top of the post.
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