At a Glance
When to Go
Two airports lie astride Milan: Malpensa to the northwest, and Linate to the east. Choose which one based on where you are staying. A city-mandated fare of €90 (about US$120) gets you from Malpensa to anywhere in the city center, while the cost from Linate is based on a metered rate. Trains also run from Malpensa to Milan’s Stazione Centrale (central station) via Malpensa Express. And coach bus travel is available from both airports to the city center. Additionally, Milan is well-connected by rail regionally, nationally, and internationally. Stazione Centrale is the main hub and serves TreniItalia and TrenoNord railways, while the newly renovated Piazza Garibaldi is hub to Italo railways as well as Trenitalia and TrenoNord.
Milan has a comprehensive public transit system of buses, trams, and metro lines, and the city center is easily walkable. Taxis are prevalent and can often be hailed, but your best bet is to reserve one via taxi stand or phone.
Food and Drink
Milan is the discreet sister to gritty Rome, and it's a city fully immersed in culture. Whether the art of the aperitivo, the spectacular art scene, or an amazing panorama of architecture that spans styles and milennia, Milan is an oasis of style, art, and architecture. Depending on the time of year, Milanese life can be found indoors at cafés, restaurants, and cultural centers, or outdoors in an interactive catwalk of design and fashion.
The city celebrates its patron Saint Ambrogio on December 7, and then adds a week to carnival for Carnevale Ambrosiano. In fall and winter, the city holds court as fashion capital for its women’s and men’s fashion weeks (held at separate times). For two days in both spring and fall, Milan’s amazing “museum homes” are open to the public for Giornate FAI (Italian National Trust). The mid-April Salone del Mobile turns the entire city into an indoor/outdoor party dedicated to design, and this is perhaps one of the loveliest times to visit Milan, if you can get a hotel room.
What the Locals Know
Erica Firpo is a journalist with a passion for art, culture, travel, and lifestyle. She has written and edited more than 20 books and her travel writing has appeared in Yahoo Travel, Discovery Magazine, BBC Travel, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Fathom, Forbes Travel, and Huffington Post. She is a contributing editor to Fathom and European correspondent for Forbes Travel. Her photography has been featured in CCN, SFGate, Mashable and Instagram. Her website is ericafirpo.com.