The 22 best things to do in Milan
Magnificent, marvellous Milan. Milano has an intangible quality that cannot be faked, an undeniable sense of style that permeates every (okay, most) neighbourhood and flows through the veins of those from here. Beautiful buildings and hotels are everywhere, the food is a triumph. Shopping? Oh, baby, get ready to splash the cash and flash the plastic because Milan is where people go to be seen. Oh and make sure you don't miss out on its incredible Airbnbs if you need somewhere to stay, too. The best thing to do in Milan is to look your best and feel more stylish than ever before, but the city also packs in a fabulous number of more traditional tourist activities to sink your teeth into. Follow our guide and Da Vinci’s canals, and you’re in for a darling of a time. RECOMMENDATION: ⏱ How to spend the perfect weekend in Milan🍴 The best restaurants in Milan🛏 The best hotels in Milan 🏠 The best Airbnbs in Milan
The 15 best restaurants in Milan
The Milanese look pretty darn good, so it stands to reason that they all happen to be eating pretty well, right? Right. Few cities do good food like this stylish spot in the north of Italy, and putting together a list of the best restaurants in Milan is one of the great joys of this job. Gastronomic greatness is found across the city, from neighbourhood trattorias to high-end Michelin magic. Eating a good meal is an integral part of the perfect day in Milan, every bit as important as the famous attractions and the world-beating shopping. The city kitchens are Milan’s great equalizer, where the celebrity chefs rub shoulders with homely history, and the results are delicious.RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Milan🏡 The best Airbnbs in Milan🛏 The best hotels in Milan
Public transportation in Milan
It might not sound like the sexiest travel tip, but we’re sticking with it regardless. If you want to experience the most authentic version of any modern city, get on public transport and see what the locals are up to. Walking around Milan is a delightful experience, but the chitter chatter of its trams, metro, and buses add another layer of intrigue to the city of fashion, food and fun. Italy’s fashion capital has an easy-to-use, well-integrated public transportation system covering four metro lines (M1, M2, M3 and M5, logically), trams and buses, with affordable tickets and passes available. Check out our guide to public transport in Milan and get ticking off the sights and sounds of this magnificent city.
The 10 most beautiful buildings in Milan
Milan is a fascinating mixture of style and industry, so what does that mean for its architecture? Well, a fascinating mix of style and industry, obviously, and the most beautiful buildings in Milan tick plenty of boxes. The northern powerhouse has seen it all. That veteran status is reflected in the architectural range of the city centre and beyond.Milan is booming. The city has a fabulous array of bars, restaurants, shops and attractions for the intrepid explorer to enjoy, and the gorgeous skyline is another string to this delightful bow. Milan has a brick-and-mortar reputation to some, but look a little closer, and you’ll find magic.
7 must-see attractions in Milan
Fashion-obsessed and packed with culture, Milan is a city that shows the power of being brave enough to combine style and substance in equal measure. The best attractions in Milan showcase what this place is all about, from forward-thinking galleries to grand old buildings of importance. Milan is a true cultural Mecca, packed with museums, restaurants and shopping. Milan is, in a word, marvellous.There is plenty to see and do here if you scratch below the surface, but ticking off the bucket list sites should be the first thing on the to-do list. These seven are where you should start.
The 13 best bars in Milan
Milan is a stunningly stylish city, and the sense of style finds its way into everything from the fantastic restaurants to the high-end shopping streets. The best bars in Milan? They follow the lead, albeit with the occasional layer of grit and character on top. Milan is all about ambition, hedonism and hustle, and such things can’t function without an energetic nightlife for blowing off steam. If you want to live like a local in Milan, hitting the right bars is vital.What to drink? Whatever you want, obviously, but trying Campari in Milan is a must. The city’s craft beer scene is blossoming, too. You can’t really go wrong, so slick back the eyebrows and hit up the best bars in Milan.
10 awesome day trips from Milan
You could easily spend a lifetime in Milan. Even the most cursory of glances at the best things to do there prove that, and that’s without really diving into the restaurants, shopping and more. Milan is magical, but it is also a fantastic base from which to explore the surrounding region. The best day trips from Milan showcase everything that makes the north of Italy so special, from shimmering lakes to famous old cities and beyond. We’ve chosen ten of the best, but you can’t go wrong no matter the direction you go. Italy is impressive, and these Milano day trips prove it.
How to eat like a local in Milan
Now, there is nothing wrong with a good hamburger and a mountain of fries, but you haven’t travelled to magnificent Milan for creature comforts, have you? There are masses of great things to do in Milan, but ‘eat as much local cuisine as you can find’ is right up there. The region has a gastronomical ethos that should be celebrated, and the best you can do is follow suit and eat like a local in Milan. What does that mean, exactly? Read on, and all will become clear. Certain dishes hold a special place in the heart of the Milanese, and we’ve brought them together to get that belly rumbling. Milan has plenty of traditional restaurants ready to dish it all up.
Os melhores restaurantes em Milão
Conhecida como a capital da moda, Milão tem sofrido uma grande transformação na última década. À medida que a cidade tem vindo a crescer, têm aumentado também os restaurantes de qualidade. Dos mais tradicionais e familiares aos mais modernos e inventivos. Em Milão, encontram-se alguns dos melhores ingredientes e também algumas técnicas muito particulares na cozinha. Eis os melhores restaurantes de Milão. Recomendado: 48 horas em Milão
The best time to visit Milan
Follow the lead of Milan’s trendsetters and visit the city in the spring or fall, which is when Milan Design Week and Milan Fashion Week, respectively, are held. Unlike summer, when the air becomes soupy and the mosquitoes come out to play, spring and fall offer bright sunny days without the excessive heat and humidity–perfect for exploring the city's attractions on foot and enjoying sidewalk seating at the city's top restaurants. There’s always the chance of rain, but like London, Milan has a charm of its own on wet days. Winters are usually foggy and gray, but not overly cold, making it a good time to get lost in the city’s many art museums, galleries and cozy bars. RECOMMENDED: Your essential Milan travel guide
Listings and reviews (41)
Un Posto a Milano
The seasonal menu at Un Posto a Milano is simple, fresh and elegant, much like its digs in a restored 18th-century farmhouse hidden among Porta Romana’s apartment blocks. Chef Nicola Cavallaro sources produce from local farms and crafts dishes that ooze an understated excellence. In the summer, grab a table on the outdoor patio or in the front dining room, a vaulted space with exposed red brick walls, outsized windows and muted color accents: sea green Formica tabletops, Eton blue chairs and apricot orange and straw yellow wall panels. In the winter, hunker down in the back room, where the low ceilings and a massive fireplace, when combined with one of the restaurant’s homemade pastas, make you feel as warm and snug as an oversized wool jacket. Time Out tip: Check out the events board at the entrance to the farmhouse, which is also home to a guesthouse, flower shop, farmers’ market and exhibition space. You just might find yourself spending an entire day there.
This takeout spot in Chinatown is a hole-in-the-wall, Milan-style: the sleek glass and metal counter is recessed into a clean white exterior wall. In Milan’s street food desert, Ravioleria Sarpi is an oasis. Owner Hujian Zouh (Agie to his friends), who partnered with local butcher Walter Sirtori to source high quality meat, oversees the minimal kitchen, which consists of three experienced home cooks. Their pork, beef and vegetable dumplings are delectable, but the oversized baozi (steamed bun) is the standout dish. The dough is pillowy and slightly sweet, which contrasts nicely with the fatty, juicy beef filling—you’ll see people munching on one as they walk up and down the pedestrian street. Other dishes are lighter, and with arguably more complex flavor profiles, but are not as easy to eat while strolling. Time Out tip: Milan’s Chinatown is home to the oldest and largest Chinese community in Italy and, as a result, if you prefer a sit-down meal, some excellent hot pot and dim sum spots can also be found in the area.
With only a few tables, this ramen joint in Isola is worth the inevitable wait if only to taste an Italian chef’s take on the Japanese noodle dish. While the rest of Milan is enamored with sushi, owner Luca Catalfamo fell in love with ramen, seeing a similarity between the Japanese staple and Italian cuisine. His broth is rich and certain versions, like Miso On Fire, have quite a kick to them. But ramen purists should be forewarned that Catalfamo likes to tinker with his ramen formula, evident in his decision to make his noodles with durum wheat flower, which is traditionally used to make pasta. Time Out tip: Isola has some funky street art, so while you’re waiting for your table, walk down Via Carmagnola and Via Angella della Pergola to take it all in, and then stop by Frida, a funky café, for a drink.
With its all-white interiors and fisherman-basket lampshades, seafood sandwich shop Pescaria looks like it was plucked from a small seaside town and dropped down in the middle of Milan, just steps away from the city’s shiny new high-rises. And that’s not too far from the truth—a much beloved eatery in Polignano a Mare, a picturesque town on Italy’s southern Adriatic coast, Pescaria launched its Milan outpost in 2016. The narrow eatery is crammed with fashionable locals who are willing to brave the long lines for a bite of the restaurant’s transcendent sandwiches, which combine the freshest seafood with an array of unexpected ingredients, like pesto, fried turnip greens and crunchy artichokes. Go for their signature octopus sandwich—the lightly fried octopus is the right balance of crispy and juicy and pairs beautifully with a rich ricotta cheese. Time Out tip: The line is long to put in your order, so by the time you get to the cashier you may already be hungry. If that’s the case, pick out a few seafood bites from the glass display case next to the till—they are served immediately and make for a nice appetizer while you wait for your food to arrive.
This old fashioned trattoria in Porta Romana serves Calabrian dishes to a perennially packed dining room full of locals who come to chatter away with friends over plates of hearty food. Family-run, Dongiò is a vanishing breed, one of those typical trattorias that you can count on for good food at reasonable prices. The kitchen specializes in southern home cooking, like the restaurant’s signature dish, spaghettoni alla tamarro, a fresh pasta dish with tomato sauce and n’duja sausage, a spicy spreadable sausage paste commonly found down south made of pig shoulder and belly, as well as organ meat. If you’re vegetarian, order their parmigiana di melanzane, the Italian precursor to the popular Italian-American dish eggplant Parmesan—it’s a gooey reminder that the original is almost always better. Time Out tip: To reach peak relaxation before your meal, head to the nearby QC Termemilano, a spa in Porta Romana where you can float in hot pools and steam yourself in a converted tram.
The original location of what has become a seafood empire, Langosteria’s restaurant in Porta Genova offers perhaps the city’s best fish and crustaceans in an upscale dining environment. But don’t expect stuffy formality here—the soft lighting, comfortable seating and charming sea-inspired decorations give Langosteria a warmth not often found in high-end seafood restaurants. Try the Catalan-style main courses, out of which the Catalan-style king crab gets top marks. If you prefer your seafood raw, take your pick from their impressive oyster collection or order one of their raw-fish platters, which feature some of Italy’s best seafood, like red shrimp fished from the deep Mediterranean waters off Sicily. Time Out tip: To make the experience even more fashionable, visit the nearby Armani Silos, Giorgio Armani’s own museum featuring around 600 of his designs, before dinner.
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo
Gino Sorbillo, the Milan outpost of one of Naples’ best pizzerias, is a stone’s throw from the Duomo and one of the few places in the area where you’re guaranteed to get quality food at a good price. It has the feel of a family-run pizza parlor, albeit one that’s incredibly efficient and operates with all the latest technology. There are around a dozen pizzas on the menu, and all of them are crafted with carefully chosen ingredients—some of which are even labeled as Slow Food “Ark of Taste,” a designation given to heritage products that are unique to a region. If you’re a pesto lover, be sure to order the Pesto di Basilico, a pie slathered in the bright green sauce. But be prepared to wait; the line for a table often stretches out the door, particularly during the lunch hour rush. Time Out tip: Pizzas are large, so you should share one if you don’t have a big appetite. This is especially true because the pizza, which is only in the oven for a short period of time, is best when eaten hot and fresh.
On the outskirts of the city, Erba Brusca is a rural retreat whose short and sweet menu features ingredients from the adjoining garden, bringing diners closer in tune with the land. Run by the French-American chef Alice Delcourt, whose partner Danilo Ingannamorte is the sommelier and maître d’, this informal spot is particularly popular on weekends, when the Milanese escape to the countryside and mountains that ring the city. Although the menu changes regularly, a reliably delicious mainstay is the pasta with clams, truffles and wild sorrel (erba brusca). Pair it with a natural wine from their expertly curated wine list. Time Out tip: You can take a taxi to Erba Brusca, but it’s more charming to rent a bike through a bike-sharing app and ride down the Naviglio Pavese.
Trippa’s punchy interior—mustard-yellow walls and dark wood chairs and tables—matches the striking dishes coming out of the kitchen. One of the most popular chefs in town, Diego Rossi has set out to honor offal, creating unfussy renditions of tripe, kidneys, liver, heart, lung and sweetbreads; the menu changes daily depending on what’s at the market. He does, however, also cater to less-adventurous diners and vegetarians with more standard dishes. Besides the bold interiors and flavors, what makes Trippa so special is the warm atmosphere, which is cultivated by Rossi’s business partner and front of the house expert Pietro Caroli. Time Out tip: It can be a bit difficult getting a reservation over the phone, so trying shooting them a message over WhatsApp, using the above phone number, to book your table.
The Botanical Club
Although The Botanical Club in increasingly hip Isola is technically both a bar and restaurant, don’t bother with the back dining room; instead, hunker down at the retro green and metal bar in the front of the house, where you can spend a night in cocktail heaven. Owners Alessandro Longhin and Davide Martelli, who opened The Botanical Club in 2015, are serious about their spirits, opening Italy’s first gin micro-distillery on the premises. Their signature cocktail menu changes every month, but be sure that whatever you try is made with one of their limited edition gins. And come early if you want a seat, as the small bar fills up fast. Time Out tip: If you have a bigger crew, go to The Botanical Garden outpost on Via Tortona, which has a much larger bar and seating area. As a bonus, you can order from their raw bar—talk about rarefied bar snacks!
With its chandeliers, ornate bar and wooden wainscoting, Bar Basso is an impeccable example of Milan’s old world glamour, a place where an eclectic mix of students and professionals, designers and neighbourhood locals go to drink in style. The negroni sbagliato (a “wrong” negroni where spumante instead of gin is mixed with Campari and vermouth) was first created at this classic Milanese cocktail bar and is still served today in an enormous glass. Located in Città Studi, an area buzzing with students, Bar Basso fills up during Salone del Mobile, the annual design week, when it becomes the after-party venue of choice. Time Out tip: The close connection between Bar Basso and the global design community dates to the 1980s when Maurizio Stocchetto, the bar’s owner, befriended a group of English designers. The normally packed bar is even more difficult to navigate during Salone del Mobile, so be sure to check the calendar before you go (unless literally rubbing elbows with designers strikes your fancy).
Occupying a small, den-like space in Chinatown, Cantine Isola has an interior that’s more cozy than cramped, with a narrow bar along one wall and floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves packed tightly with wine bottles grouped according to region and country. Below most of the bottles are handwritten notes describing the contents’ origins and flavor profile. One has the sense that there’s a unique bottle of wine that perfectly suits each guest’s tastes and personality. Best of all, the barmen speak English and can guide you to that perfect glass or bottle based on your stated preferences (and no need to be a wine connoisseur—they will listen patiently as you fumble for words to describe the wines you like). Even though foreigners are welcomed with open arms, the crowd is an equal mix of regulars and visitors, more proof that this spot is the real deal. Time Out tip: If the small selection of nibbles on offer at Cantine Isola doesn’t sate your hunger, pop across the street for steamed pork buns at takeout stand Ravioleria Sarpi. They make for a rather unexpected but tasty accompaniment to a bottle of vino.