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Events Guide Milan
Milan is crazy. Everybody is running somewhere, it’s loud, and it’s big. And you know what? It’s amazing. The people are friendly and, quite rightly, proud of their city. Milan isn’t just a fashion capital. It’s also a major city for international business events. And there’s fantastic food and culture to boot. In short, the question of what to do in Milan is a question that requires an exhaustingly long answer. This Milan travel guide will put you on the right footing to plan and execute a trip in this historical and modern city.
Getting Around MilanMilan’s public transport system is simple. Just look for the acronym ‘ATM’. The various transport modes require one singular ticket system. A single ticket on the metro, tram or bus will cost you €1.50 and is valid for 90 minutes. You can ride as many different journeys as you want within that time frame. If you anticipate that you’re going to make good use of the ATM, we recommend buying a carnet. It’s 10 single tickets for the price of €13.80. However, it’s one carnet per person so you can’t buy one single carnet for a group of ten! Alternatively, you can buy a 24-hour pass for €4.50 or a 48-hour pass for €8.25. There is also a Week Pass, which is a little bit more confusing. It costs €10 for 6 days and can only be used twice a day. Getting From the Airport We’re all aware of the convenience of a taxi. But taking one from Milan’s airport to your accommodation can set you back around €100. So perhaps you’d prefer to take advantage of the faster, and cheaper public transport options? Firstly you’ve got the Malpensa Express train. It will take you from Milan’s primary airport to the Cadorna FN, Stazione Centrale (Central Station), and the Porta Garibaldi subway stops. A one-way ticket will only cost you €11 and takes around 40 minutes. Secondly, you’ve got the shuttle buses. There’s the Malpensa Shuttle: it takes you to the Malpensa and Linate airports for a €16 round trip. Then you’ve got the AirBus Linate: it will take you from Linate to Stazione Centrale for a €9 round trip. Finally, you have the Orio Shuttle. It will take you from the Orio al Serio airport to the city’s centre for a €5 single ticket. Milan by Bus The bus network in Milan covers the whole city and, importantly, ventures where the metro and tram cannot. It’s a substantial network with 80 different lines to navigate. You might need to keep your eyes peeled though because the bus stops are usually just poles in the ground. You should also know that the buses will not stop unless someone requests to get off, or if you flag it down. Milan by Metro or Tram The metro has three lines and runs from 6 AM to 12:30 AM. You’ll recognise the metro stations by their distinctive MM signs. After that, you’re at the mercy of the night buses. The tram system shares a numbering system with the bus network. Taking the S-trains The S-trains are the fastest way to get out into the suburbs. Which is handy, because unlike other cities, the Milanese suburbs are exciting places to visit. Especially for fashion factory outlets and textile conventions. Walking the City Milan is a very walk-friendly city. For example, you can walk between two of the city’s most celebrated attractions – the Duomo and the Cathedral – in just 15 minutes. And what’s more, there’s plenty to see and do along the way! Taxis in Milan Taxis in Milan operate a little differently. Firstly, you can’t hail them on the street. There are designated taxi stands. In quieter areas, there is a phone that connects you to a dispatch service. You should also know that the fare rate increases in the evening. You should also know that the meter starts running when the driver leaves to pick you up. So don’t be too alarmed when you see the meter has already started.
Where to Stay in MilanCentro Storico and the Fashion District The centre of Milan is defined by the cathedral, known locally as the Duomo. It’s the largest church in Italy and the 5th largest in the world. The centre isn’t the coolest part of the city, but it is packed full of great attractions. Visit places like the Galleria Vittorio, Italy’s oldest shopping mall; The Royal Palace, the Museo del Novecento, an awe-inspiring art gallery, or the 15th century Castello Sforzesco. When you’ve exhausted the main attractions, you’ve got the fashion district: Quadrilatero della Moda. Tortona Tortona is Milan’s creative hub. Historically this was the city’s factory district, which fell into decline during the economic crisis of the 1960’s. It got its new lease of life in the 1980’s; innovative, creative businesses began to make the abandoned lofts their home. And the gamble paid off in a big way! You’ll find major fashion names here, like Giorgio Armani’s headquarters. A hidden treasure of this area is LabSolue, a perfume laboratory. If you can get there in April, you’ll be there for Design week. The streets transform into giant pop-ups. It’s a formative, cultural, and festive occasion not seen anywhere else in the world. Porta Romana Porta Romana is perhaps the most affluent of Milan’s neighbourhoods. Despite this, the area carries a rustic charm. It’s less refined than the likes of Berra but no less impressive. You’ll find the swankiest restaurants, cocktail bars, and designer shops here. You’ll also find Milan’s most famous nightclub here too, known as Plastic. If you’re looking for an edgier night out, the area’s industrial grounds is home to the edgy Magazzini Generali area. Porta Venezia Porta Venezia is the artistic and proverbial melting pot area of Milan. There are several top art galleries and a distinguished bar scene to dive into. The large Eritrean community makes the area all the better. The Eritrean restaurants and bakeries have become city favourites. You’ll also find a vocal and fun-loving LGBTQ community here with several gay bars and clubs that are great fun, and very welcoming. Porta Venezia is also very popular with the city’s student population, as well as young families. A testament to the areas enduring affordability. Oh, and while you’re in Porta Venezia, be sure to check out the Art Nouveau wonder Casa Galimberti. Isola and Porta Nuova In the north of the city, you have the somewhat secluded areas of Isola and Porta Nuova. They are a tale of changing fortunes. Isola was once a dangerous and forgotten neighbourhood with a significant crime problem. But, as other parts of the city became overly expensive, it has become increasingly gentrified since the 2000s. Isola is worth visiting for the trendy boutiques, vibrant nightlife, and exceptional dining options. Porta Nuova is the face of the new Milan. Full of new skyscrapers, and plazas, they reside amongst old buildings of the 19th century. The contrast is dramatic in the extreme and worth exploring. Brera In Brera, you’ll see Milan’s cultural prowess in full swing. This is best represented in the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum, and its celebrated shopping and cafe scene. The streets are overloaded with artisanal and boutique shops where you’ll find everything from bespoke wine, to stunning art, and all the authentic souvenirs you can stuff into your suitcase. It’s also a living museum of superb architecture. With iconic masterpieces like the Accademia di Belle Arti and the Museo Astronomico, Brera is worth visiting just to stroll through the streets and take it all in. The only thing we can say against it is that it’s often quite busy. But no matter, the Botanic Garden – dating back to 1775 – is a good place to recharge your batteries.
When to Visit MilanAlthough Italy is a Mediterranean country, we have to remind you that Milan is in the north. So it is known to have chilly winters. You might get lucky and be there on the rare snow day. But it’s mostly just wet. The Christmas Markets are very nice though, as well as the Men’s Fashion Week in January and Women’s Fashion Week in February. It’s also the cheapest time to visit the city too! July and August are, without a doubt, the busiest months for tourists. The city also has a mosquito problem in the summer as it is built on swampland. We recommend going to Milan from April to May or from September to October.
What to eat in MilanNo Milan city guide would be complete without a lengthy and indulgent discussion of Italian cuisine. Italians are proud and protective of their cuisine; each region has a unique sense of style and way of doing things. And Milanese cuisine is a treasure right enough. A little known but undeniable fact is that Italy is the largest producer of rice in Europe. It’s primarily grown in the Po Valley, also known affectionately as the rice bowl of Italy. Milan lives in this Valley as it happens. So it’s no surprise that one of their specialities is a risotto. Risotto alla Milanese is particularly legendary. The myth dictates that this dish was created in the 16th century, when an apprentice working on the stained glass windows, randomly decided to add saffron – which was used to add colour to the glass – to the white rice. The saffron adds a welcome burst of yellow to the historically bland looking dish. The dish’s distinctive flavour is credited to its high cheese and bone marrow content. Meat eaters are very well taken care of in Milan. The city staples padded with meat, that’s for sure. Take Osso Bucco, for example. It translates to a bone with a hole. It’s braised in a mirepoix of onions, carrots, celery with white wine and stock. It’s as tender as meat can be, and is usually served with risotto or polenta. Cotoletta is a staple you’ll find all over the city. It’s a breaded veal cutlet, cooked in butter. It’s similar to schnitzel. But there is a fierce debate on how it’s best served: boneless or bone-in? Try both for yourself to find out which side you’re on. Although Piadina has its roots in the Emilia-Romagna region, it’s a go-to for lunch in Milan. It’s similar to a quesadilla but flakier and thicker than a flour tortilla. Served stuffed with meats, cheeses and vegetables, you can find them all over the city, from street vendors to refined eateries. The Milanese are crazy about them. Remember when we said the weather gets chilly in Milan during the winter? Well, the locals have a medicine: Cassoeula. It’s a stew with pork, sweet verzini sausages, and soft cabbage. Make sure to pair it with a bold red wine. Michetta is a side bread that is well-loved with a main meal. It’s a puffy, hollowed-out bread derived from the Latin word ‘mica’, meaning crumb. Mondeghili is what was known as a ‘poor man’s dish’. This is a legacy of the 150-year Spanish rule in the 16th century. In essence, they are succulent meatballs made with leftover beef. In more recent times, various meats are added to the mixture. The mince is mixed with bread, milk, eggs, cheese, garlic, onion and nutmeg then coated in breadcrumbs and fried in butter until golden brown. Bad for the diet, stupendous for the soul.
Wrapping upAs we said, Milan is a fantastic place. Its size is initially daunting, but that just means there are lots to do on your next visit. Any Milan travel guide can only paint so much of a picture. But we hope we’ve done it some justice.
FAQ for event venues in Milan
Most certainly! The beauty of the city is found in its architecture as well as its event venues. Regarding the annual number of meetings, the city ranked 33rd on the worldwide ranking list. One major event is ‘The Milan Fashion Week’, which takes place biannually in February/March and September/October. The country’s diverse culinary aspects mix well with international cuisine. Aside from the culinary and fashion flavours, Milan is also well-known as the financial city of Italy. All kinds of industries thrive here.
Hotels cost between €83 and €123 for an overnight stay in the middle of July. These costs are basic and do not include any additional charges.
Yes. Most of the partners we work with speak English. Next to that, our City Experts speak the local language and will be able to translate anything with/for you. We are here to help wherever we can.
Yes, aside from Milan we have venue partners in Rome, Venice, Genoa, Naples, and others. Feel free to ask, and we will help you find the perfect venue for your event.