There is no lack of high-octane fashion flagships in the centre of this Italian metropolis, shopping in Milan is a world-renowned activity and one of the best things to do in town, after all. Most major brands are well-represented in the so-called Quadrilatero d’Oro (“golden rectangle”) fashion district – bordered by Via Senato and Via Merone to the north and south and Corso Venezia and Via Manzoni to the east and west. You don’t even have to worry about the logistics involved in getting around the area: every shop, boasting show-stopping windows and perfectly curated store designs (often dreamed up by some of the interior design world's biggest names) is worth a visit – if only just to browse.
Aside from the obvious choices, which also function as top local attractions in some ways, Milan’s best shops are a bit harder to suss out. Many are hidden far from street level or down otherwise unassuming alleyways, by anonymous-looking bars and restaurants that are also certainly worth exploring. But don’t be put off by the off-the-beaten-track locations: these exactingly edited boutiques are the real gems. An added bonus, the best are often presided over by a charismatic owner, who has poured his/her hard-won sense of style into creating the perfect shopping experience.