A very characteristic local experience in Milan is visiting the big open air markets with fruit, vegetables. cheese, fish, charcuteri and good bargains in shoes and clothes, there are several every day except on Sundays. There’s life, commotion, genuine Italian atmosphere and competitive prices. We have chosen the most central ones for you.
See Milan from a different perspective with bike tour rentals. You can also rent a bike for the entire time you spend here.
We have already spoken of the city’s Bike sharing system BikeMI elsewhere but if you’d like to have your “own” bike during your stay you can rent it at the historical bike shop Rossignoli which you find here:
71, Corso Garibaldi.(find on map) open Monday 2.30-7 pm Tuesday-Saurday 9 am.-12.30 pm/2.30 -7 pm
40, Via Solari (find on map) open Monday 3.-7.30 pm Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-12.30 p.m./3-7.30 pm Saturday 9-12.30 p.m.
Cost 1 day €12 2 days €24 3 days €34
4 days €43
5 days €52
6 days €59 1 week €65 Deposit €100,00
Rossignoli also organize tours of the city on bicycle in Italian and English and to book and get information call +3902804960 some days in advance.
Mobike (on the left in the photo) and OFO.
2 operators in the dockless or free flow bike sharing service, also called Uber for bicycles, have arrived in Milan, you need to download the apps for the services in order to begin to use it. Find the links for the app download here.
The first one is Mobike, the orange and black bicycles you have probably seen around the city, The price is €0.30 for every half hour.
The second is OFO with the characteristic yellow bicycles that technically are of a slightly better quality and at the moment they are free of charge probably until the beginning of October where the price will be revealed.
BikeMi is a bike sharing service a bit like Boris-bikes in London. It’s a great feature in public transport, but beware Italian traffic habits.
BikeMi is part of the public transport system, you must register at ATM (Milan’s municipal transport agency) and to do that you need to have a valid credit card (so they have security for the bike and possible damages) read about the legal and practical issues here. You can get a card for either 1 week, it’s €6, or for a single day, €2,50.
Cycling Italian Style Cycling in Milan is a risky business. Milan is a car city, and cyclists are not respected as equals in the traffic.
So remember to signal your intentions in the traffic clearly, so the drivers have time to give you space. Take it easy and don’t insist too much.
Two important tips: Keep an extra eye on the tram rails (believe you us; it is the voice of experience telling you this) and remember that the cobble stones get extra slippery when it rains.
Short trips are the cheapest BikeMi is meant to be used for short trips and it becomes proportionally more expensive the longer you use them If you change bicycles frequently the trips can end up being totally free of charge. If you forget to deliver the bike within 24 hours, there’s a stiff fee.
0 – ½ hour: €0,00
½ – 2 hours: €0,50 every half hour.
2 – 24 hours: €2,00 every started hour
Over 24 hours: €150 fee
Summer operating hours. April 1st-November 2nd the service will run
Sunday-Thursday 7 am.-2 a.m.
Friday and Saturday the service will operate 24 hrs a day.
Junior BikeMi. The municipality of Milan has now added a bicycle service for kids aged 6-10, you’ll find the junior bikes near some of Milan’s parks Parco Sempione/Piazza Castello (find on map), Giardini pubblici Indro Montenelli (find on map), Parco delle Basiliche (find on map),Parco Don Giussani (find on map) and Parco Ravizza (find on map) the bicycles are available between 7 a.m.-1 p.m. and helmets are mandatory. Read more here.
2 bike sharing services Mobike (orange bikes) og OFO (gule bikes) – also known as Uber for bikes – have come to Milan as an alternative to the municipal bicycles. It is a dockless or free flow system where you need to download their apps in order to set up an account and then find the bike nearest your position Mobike charges €0.30 for every half hour and OFO is free to use until the beginning of October when they are going to reveal the charge. Find the links for the app downloads here.
Guida Milano A classic city-guide full of all the normal tourist attractions and it links text and maps. Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese (Download for Android | iPhone)
Duomo di Milano The official app for the museum “Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano” so you can be your own guide.
(Download for Android | iPhone)
VisitMilano A great app for visiting Milan with information on Public transport, exhibitions, concerts etc, a little simpler than Guida Milano above (Download for Android ! iPhone)
Car2Go the popular international car sharing service is also present in Milan.
(Download til Android | iPhone)
DriveNow The new car sharing service is now also in Milan. Languages: English, German and Italian (Download til Android |iPhone)
Milano Gay Life All the bars, restaurants, clubs, shops and special events for the LGBT visitors.
Languages: English and Italian. (Download for Android | iPhone)
ATM Milano Official App This is a great app for public transport, it tells you which bus and metro stops are near you, you can plan your trips and you can also use it to find the BikeMi hubs (See the article on public transport). (Download for Android | iPhone)
ATM City Tour Milano. The app for the sightseeing services provided by the city´s public trasnport agency ATM. It gives your the departure times for the trams and doubledecker buses. (Download for Android | iPhone)
MyTaxi If you need to call for a taxi and don’t speak Italian the easiest thing is to use the official app myTaxi. (Download Android | iPhone)
Uber The worldùs msot famous ride sharing service is legal in Milan and works fine so if you cannot get a taxi or you have to wait too ling this is a good alternative. (Download Android | iPhone)
Mobike A bike sharing service, where you can find a bicycle near you. The price is €0,30 for every half hour. (Download Android | iPhone)
OFO A bike sharing service, where you can find a bicycle near you. At the moment free of charge, in October the price will be revealed. (Download Android | iPhone)
Orange wine is going to be all the rage this autumn so what is it and which Italian labels produce them?
They are the new rosé but rosé wine gets its colour from the skins of black grapes left to macerate for some time and then removed, so the wine doesn’t become red, whereas orange wines are made from white grapes and the macerating of the skins give them their spectacular colour, it is not a new process but a very old tradition indigenous to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. They are perfect with raw fish, meat and venison.
It may be hard to find in the wine bars right now but we assure you it is going to be a lot easier this autumn.
Here is list of the producers in Italy:
Abbazia San Giorgio Costadilà Draga-Miklus Dario Prinčič Gravner Il Carpino La Castellada Paraschos Porta del Vento
The Milanese love going on day trips outside the gates of the city as they say and there are lots of wonderful places nearby. Here is the Insider Guide to the greatest places
50 km north of Milan is Como by the beautiful Lake Como surrounded by mountains.It takes about 1 hour from Cadorna station to Como lake and a return ticket is a little under €10. It’s a cosy and very beautiful small town with antique town walls and a great shopping area in the historical center and actually also the place where our personal love affair with Italy began many years ago.
When we were there last we had lunch at the super neat Ristorante Sociale, 6, Via Rodari (find on map) – prices are reasonable and and the food is local and solid – but next time we are planning on trying out the much more sophisticated restaurant with all the great reviews The Market Place, 21/A, Via Borsieri (find on map) – closed on Sundays.
Another fantastic thing to do here is to take the ferry from Como (just by Piazza Cavour) for e.g.Bellaggio or out to see the incredibly beautiful villas, located in the area. Here the app Navigazione Laghi is a really good tool – Download for Android | iPhone
You can go from Como with the funicular up to Brunate where on a clear day you get an amazing view of Lake Como and the Alps
There are several antique markets in Como: On the first Sunday every month 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Piazza San Fedele (find on map) On the second Wednesday every month (Except January and August) 8.30 a.m.-7 p.m. in Porto Torre, Viale Carlo Cattaneo (find on map) On the last Saturday every month (except January and August) in Via Muratto og Piazza Ferretta (find on map) On the third Sunday every month. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (except January and August) in Via Spallino (find on map)
Bergamo is one of the few towns in Italy whose historical center is still located within the original town walls which have maintained their original aspect.
Bergamo is divided into two parts Bergamo Bassa (low Begamo) and Berrgamo Alta (high Begamo), Bergamo Alta is the historical part of the town which you can get to either by the city funicular or by taking the 45-minute hike up.
There are monasteries, historical buildings and an ancient botanical garden.
A villlage built by the Crespi family for the workers on their factory. It was very advanced for its time (late 1800s) with free education for the children of the employees, a free indoor swimming pool and the first village in Italy to have modern public lighting. In 1995 the village was entered nto the UNESCO World Heritage List. The directions on how to get there can be found here.
Isole Borromee and Stresa.
The Isolee Borromee (the Borromean Islands) are located in the Maggiore Lake and can be reached from Stresa by boat, they are lovely at all times of the year but are paricularly stunning during springtime, They are famous for their amazing palaces and gardens. There are three islands: Isola Bella with the Borromean Palace and gardens, Isola Superiore (Fishmerman’s Island) a tiny island with a beautiful fishing village and Isola Madre with a botanical garden and Palace.
If you feel like pampering yourself go for a day to the San Pellegrino spa (terme) (find on map), you need a car to get up there. Prices and opening hours here. A small piece of advice; go on a weekday.
Lodiis another town that is very near Milan, it takes about 35 minutes with the train going to Bologna, and you can catch it from both Stazione Centrale and Cadorna. Lodi is a lovely little town whose interesting archtecture dates all the way back to 1160.
There is an antique market in Lodi on the first Sunday of every month (except January and August) 8 a.m.7 p.m. on Piazza Castello (find on map)
A couple of good places to have lunch in Lodi are: Antica Trattoria il Gattino, 71, Corso Mazzini (find on map) Il Pomodoro Pelato, 48, Via Cavour (find on map)
And please don’t miss Vigevano in the province of Pavia. It takes about an hour to get there and we recommend taking the train from Porta Genova railway station (find on map)
Vigevano is an incredibly beautiful art town with an amazing renaissance square Piazza Ducale, considered one of Italy’s finest. There is also a castle, Vigevano’s own Castello Sforzesco which was transformed from a fortress to the residence of a prince in 1492-94 by Ludovio Sforza. Furthermore Vigevano is famous for making shoes and there is a shoe museum inside the Castello Sforzesco with no admission.
There’s an antique market in Vigevanoon the thrid Sunday of every month (except August) in the area between Piazza Piazza Martiri della Liberazione, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via S. Croce (find on map).
Good places to have lunch in Vigevano: Cappuccetto Rosso Bistrot, 4, Via Carrobbio (find on map) Cafe del Mar, 34, Via Leonardo da Vinci (find on map)
Wine and Food.
If you love wine and great food there are some areas we recommend you visit and you could spend the night in one of the many agrotourisms. Some great areas are Franciacorta, Asti and Langhe (where, among other towns, Alba is located).
There are many food and wine festivals in both Piedmont and Lombardia. These festivals are great for getting an insight into small communities and their seasonal products (wine, truffles, cheeses, chestnuts, mushrooms, pumpkins etc.)
Star-studded restaurants outside Milan.
If you came to Milan by car there are lots of great restaurants in Lombardy. We want to mention:
D’O Davide Oldani’s wonderful restaurant with 1 Michelin star, located in San Pietro all’Olmo, Cornaredo (find on map). Davide Oldani is the chef who invented the concept Pop Cuisine (Cucina Pop). Remember to book well in advance.
Cannavacciuolo Bistrot. 1, Piazza Martiri della Libertà in Novara (find on map) which belongs to Antonino Cannavacciulo, one of the new judges in the Italian edition of Masterchef.
Antonino Cannavacciuolo also runs the restaurant (with 2 Michelin stars) and hotel Villa Crespi at the beautiful Lago d’Orta.
You can find the Michelin guide’s other suggestions here.
One of the best things during a holiday is brunch at the weekend. We have selected some of the best Milan has to offer divided by area. Prices are € – €15-20, €€ – 20-40, €€€ – 40-60. One of the peculiarities of brunch places in Milan is a rotation system so you won’t be able to hang out for the entire duration, it is necessary to book if you want to be sure to get a table (we have included their phone numbers).
Milan is a metropolis with a great number of fairs and as a consequence many hotels at all price ranges.
Find the hotels others recommend. Websites based on users’ own experiences, where you can read what they think . Ratings are based on what they thought was good and bad. Remember that you cannot be sure of the authenticity of the reviews, neither positive nor negative – so read it all with your critical radar on. \ The most popular ones are:Tripadvisor and Yelp.
Find the cheapest and best hotels. Then we’ve got websites that compare prices and find the best deals for the period when you visit. Remember to check out our shopping guide to find the area you’d rather stay in. \ The best in the this category are: Trivago, Kayak and hotels.com
Live a little more privately If you are out for an alternative experience, you can either get a room in an apartment or rent an entire apartment. This will give you a completely different experience of Milan. \ You must absolutely check out: Airbnb
Stay in the countryside. The Agritourism Cascina Madonnina is located in beautiful surroundings outside Milan but is still so close to the city that you can go there by metro at just €2,50. The perfect solution if you’re travelling with your children.
When you are abroad you want to get close to the locals.. So why not do a cooking course with the Italians?
When you’ve been traveling a lot you begin to look for experiences that get you closer to the local population, because who wants to sit at the hotel and have dinner when you could be out meeting people and getting some fun anecdotes to tell.
It may take some courage, but isn’t it the courageous decisions you never regret? So if you feel like a slightly different evening in the company of Italians, try a cooking course in Italian. Nothing beats “I learned how to make this sauce from a chef in Milan” when your friends come over.
You can choose the very personal experience with a course in English at a private home,Clara opens the doors to her home in the center of Milan for morning courses between September and June and on market days she takes you to the local open air food market to pick the fresh seasonal products for your cooking class.
Aurora holds both morning and evening classes with a professional chef and she lves by the yellow metro line 4 stops from Duomo. If you can’t make it to her courses (or for some reason don’t feel like participating) you can still come and have dinner with the paticipants.
Both Clara and Aurora put emphasis on the fact that their courses aren’t just about cooking but also about socializing.
Another possibilty is the cooking school Teatro7(Find on map) where they teach in Italian but you can be certain that they will try anything with a combination of gestures and English to make you understand. And if Italians have bad English skills their gesturing is formidable.
You are guaranteed to have an entertaining evening and you will learn to make some great food. At Teatro7 you get the course including dinner from €75 to €150. Check out our Right now in Milan (in the menu) for courses.
Important instructions for booking a course online as the course calendar only exists in Italian: first close the pop-up window by clicking on the red CHIUDI in the upper right corner, then go to your course, here click on “acquista” (purchase) and then follow the instructions on the screen for paying by either credit card or paypal, if you don’t receive a confirmation via email within 24 hours, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – you won’t be able to attend if you don’t have the email. The course calendar is here.
For those of you who are only in town for a short visit we have made a mini route where you get all the best Milan has to offer in terms of both shopping, food, architecture and culture. For our first express shopping route we have chosen the area from Piazza Gae Aulenti to Piazza della Scala, from the new and modern to the old and traditional.
Start on Piazza Gae Aulenti; Milan’s newest area, where you should see “Bosco verticale (the vertical forest))
On the piazza you find the famous Muji,
Grom ice cream,
Replay store with Italian denim and a nice bar where you can have your morning coffee,
and Illy café – the world’s best espresso.
Located under the square is the supermarket Esselunga if you want to shop for specialties.
From there continue down Corso Como and check out the famous design store and art gallery at no. 10 – good place for lunch.
at the end of Corso Como turn left and check out High Tech with all you can desire for your home and on the square (Piazza XXV Aprile) is food temple Eataly
Continue into the Brera area (Via Solferino, Via San Marco and Corso Garibaldi) which is the old artistic neighbourhood of Milan with lots of quirky and chic stores and galleries.
If you’re here on either a Monday or a Thursday it is worth your while to visit the open air market in Via San Marco.
Continue down to Piazza della Scala with Milan’s famous Scala theater.
If you still have energy and time to spare you are now directly behind Piazza Duomo just walk thorugh the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele which links Piazza della Scala and Piazza Duomo and you have Milan’s cathedral right in front of you.
Now you are probably starving and you are close to several good restaurants e.g. Langosteria Cafè,4, Galleria del Corso (find on map) excellent seafood €€€, Piz, 34, Via Torino (find n map) genuine Neapolitan pizza €, I 12 Gatti,11/12, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on the corner of Piazza della Scala (find on map) with a fantasic terrace on the top of Milan €€ and Mama Burger,18, Via Agnello (find on map) good quality burgers €.
In Milan there are flea markets every Sunday and besides them there are little markets in the city both on weekdays and at weekends. Here you can find those unique objects you won’t find anywhere else.
The flea market in the Navigli area every last Sunday of the month
If you like antiques, flea market bargains or vintage there are various possibilities in Milan and surroundings.We have chosen the best ones and comment on them.
The flea markets in the surroundings of the city are easier to get to if you’ve got a car. Here you can really find many unique Italian things for your home at very good prices – remember to haggle!
It’s a good idea to be polite and cheeky when haggling. Italians love negotiating!
If you are tired of having the same IKEA objects at home as everybody else, then take advantage of your trip to Milan to find some unique pieces.
You’ll find everything you find at a normal flea market: Jewellery, toys, hats, chandeliers,vases, lamps, mirrors, cupboards, furniture, vintage – at all price levels.
“Mercatino di Brera” (find on map) the third Sunday of every month from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.this market is located in one of the most beautiful areas in Milan and you should expect pricy objects.
“Artigianato e Collezionismo” every second, third and fourth Tuesday + every first Sunday of every month from 8 am to 7 pm in front of Pinacoteca di Brera in Via Brera (find on map).
“Mercatino del antiquariato” in the Navigli area, one of the city’s most interesting markets. the last Sunday of every month 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (find on map)
“Mostra mercato di antiquariato” in Piazza Diaz (find on map) on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Thursdays + 3rd Sunday of every month from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. – just behind Piazza Duomo.
“Little Market” products of craftmanship and collectors’ items, in Piazza Sant’Eustorgio (find on map) every 1st Friday and Saturday of every month.
“Mercatino” vintage and collectors’ items every 2nd and 4th Friday and the last Sauturday of every month close to Porta Venzia/Corso Buenos Aires in Via Spallanzari (find on map).
“Fiera di Senigaglia”: in the Navigli area, every Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.in Ripa di Porta Ticinese (find on map) along the wharf. Here you find everything Indian, South American and African craftwork, new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, perfumes, candles, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs.
“Festivalpark”: Every Saturday and Sunday at. 7 a.m.-3 p.m., here you find clothes, shoes, watches, toys, kitchenware, bicycles etc. This market is in Via Sacile (find on map) near Milan’s wholesale vegetable market.
Brera flea market
Flea markets in the outskirts of Milan.
First Sunday of the month Corsico on Via Togliatti (find on map)
Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m
Second Sunday of the month Buccinasco on Via Emilia (find on map)
Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m
Third Sunday of the month Corsico on Via Togliatti (find on map)
Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m
Every third Sunday of the month at the flea market in Corsico, there’s a flea market for children. Here you can find games, books, clothes and lots of other stuff.. Time: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Fourth Sunday of the month San Donato Milanese Snam parking place on via Emilia (find on map)
Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m
Fifth Sunday of the month; San Donato Milanese Snam parking place on via Emilia (find on map)
In most countries we go directly to the restaurant and have a drink while we study the menu. In Milan you start with an aperitivo.
The aperitivo is an appetizer: a glass of wine or a cocktail with snacks, that you have before going out for dinner – at around 6-8 p.m..
Over the last couple of years the Milanese aperitivo, or as they call it happy hour, has evolved from being a quick cocktail into becoming an event that sometimes stretches over the entire night and the snacks have become a buffet, that doesn’t wake your appetite but stills your hunger.’
Via Tortona/Via Savona area:
Via Tortona /Via Savona (find on map) is an area with many cool brunch/lunch places and small boutiques and in the evening it’s a great place to have an aperitivo.
Gogol & Company 101, Via Savona (find on map) is a charming bookstore/art gallery/café/bar with a great aperitivo in unusual surroundings.Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Outside the beaten track but relatively close to MUDEC and Corso Vercelli:
Tagiura ristorante, 5,Via Tagiura (find on map) – not extremely central but an absolute must for aperitivo and lunch.
That’s Vapore, 3, Via Michelangelo Buonarotti (find on map) #DifferentlyInteresting.
Another good area to have an aperitivo together with the Milanese in is the super cozy Isola area (find on map). The best street is Via P. Borsieri (find on map) where the legendary jazz place Blue Note is too.
Here you also find super cool and beautiful Café Gorille, 20, Via Gaetano de Castillia (find on map) which is rich on atmosphere.
The Navigli area is also rich on aperitivo places such as Manhattan Navigli at 13, Ripa di Porta Ticinese (find on map).
Swami Cafë (find on map) – near Porta Romana, 12, Viale Montenero.
Lacerba Cocktail bar, 4, Via Orti (find on map) in the Porta Romana area. This place is fast becoming one of the favourites with the choosy Milanese.
God save the food, 1, Piazza del Carmine (find on map) high quality buffet and cocktails right in the center of Milan in Brera.
Terrazza di Maison Moschino, Hotel Moschino,(find on map) it is a little pricier than most places (10-15€). It’s on 12, Viale Monte Grappa , super chic and very fashion.
Radetzky €€ 105, Corso Garibaldi (find on map) 8-1.30 am Monday to Thursday, 8-2 am Friday and Saturday and 10-1.30 am Sunday, not the cheapest place in Milan but great location and service.
On your way back from a shopping tour Tramè is a great place to have an aperitivo, in the middle of Brera and very lively (find on map) you may already know the place from a lunch! You won’t get any snacks here, just an excellent drink but you can try some of their delicious sandwiches with it, but you have to buy those on the side..
Porta Vittoria area:
That’s Vapore 5, Corso di Porta Vittoria (find on map).
Pandenus,15, Via Alessandro Tadino (find on mapt) has great cocktails, a fantastic buffet and a super cozy atmosphere.
Nottingham Forest, 1, Viale Piave (find on map) it has made it to the prestigious list of 50 Great Bars of the World published by the English Class Magazine. Very international crowd and their cocktails are pure molecular science.
Bar Basso, 39, Via Plinio (find on map) One of Milan’s historical cocktailbars, Inventors of the drink Negroni Sbagliato. Close to shopping area Corso Buenos Aires.
In the same area you’ll find Settimo Senso, 19, Viale Abruzzi (find on map) – Good and cheap, super service!
And then there is Mimmo very close to Porta Venezia at 34, Via Sirtori (find on map)
If you want a gourmet experience, then use the Michelin guide and these amazing alternatives at reasonable prices. We have also selcted the best vegan restaurants in Milan – look for VEGAN in the list.
If you do choose to dine at a restaurant with Michelin stars (1-2) you should expect to spend around €130 per person.
Italian restaurants generally have very high standards and one thing Italians are really into, is quality food. So it’s a good idea to follow the locals around lunch and dinner time.
Food is one of the most important aspects of life in this country; Italians discuss what they’ll have for dinner while they’re having lunch, So if a restaurant has a lot of Italian guests you are sure to eat well.
Besides the names you can find in the Michelin guide we recommend the following places. The price levels are varied – € 20-30, €€ 30-50, €€€ >50 – but note that it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune to eat well.
Langosteria Café 4, Galleria del Corso (find on map) right in the center of the city
Pizzeria Sibilla, 14, Via Mercato (find on map) great pizza but come early, you cannot make reservations here. €