Milan, a metropolis in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, is a global capital of fashion and design. The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” testify to centuries of art and culture.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 113
- Language: Italian
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: IT
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 1,350,000
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
For the Emergency services just dial 113 from any phone.
The dispatcher/operator may or may not speak English.
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Milan’s public transport options include the subway, bus and tram. Prices for tickets and passes valid for the subway, bus and tram include €1.50 one way, €4.50 for an unlimited day pass, €11.30 for a weekly pass and €35 for a monthly pass, with further discounts for children, students and senior citizens.
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What are the areas to take extra care?
Take extra care around the train stations, as they are known hangouts for opportunists and pickpockets.
What are the top safety tips?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situation. Park the car in well lit areas and car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals and drive with the car door locked all times.
When withdrawing cash from ATM try to go inside the bank. Beware of withdrawing cash from cash points on pedestrian walkways. Try to withdraw small sums and don’t flash your cash around even in the bank.
Where can I keep up with the news?
What are the common crimes?
Beware of pickpockets as they tend to operate in tourist areas, keep your belongings secure at all times and be careful if strangers try to make conversation or distract you as it could be an attempt to steal your valuables.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situations where rental cars have been broken in to. Park the car in well lit areas and use car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals, drive with the car door locked all times.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud, cloning cards can be an issue be careful where you use your cards. Also if you are withdrawing money from cash machines make sure you cover your pin and be discreet about the amount of cash you withdraw.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Milan is known as the fashion capital of the world, hosting 2 annual fashion weeks in February/March and September/October. With over 150 events taking place Milan fashion week is now known to last longer than the traditional week. The events take place at five prestigious locations; Giureconsulti Palace, head office of the Fashion Hub, Castello Sforzesco, Circolo Filologico and Palazzo della Ragione. If you are not interested in fashion week avoid the city at this time as it is crowded and prices increase.
The Milano Film Festival is organised every year in September and includes other interesting initiatives such as the “Festivalino” (dedicated to young people) and the Music Film Festival. Distinguished from other festivals for its thorough research, selection and distribution of works coming from all over the world.
December 7th is a celebration of Milan’s patron saint; Saint Ambrose. The festival takes place on the streets in the area surrounding the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in the centre of Milan and is traditionally celebrated with stalls of local food and crafts. The festivity starts two days earlier on December 5th and culminates with the fair on December 7th.
The first Saturday of lent is celebrated in Milan with the world’s longest carnival. The main celebration is a traditional parade of floats culminating in a procession to the duomo cathedral. The traditional costume ‘meneghino’ is worn by many locals and participants of the parade. Other activities include street performances, concerts, face painting workshops, and lots of free games and activities; an all-round family event!
The annual jazz festival starts in the first week of November and can last for up to 1 month. Various venues host the festival where famous Italian and European jazz musicians play different styles of jazz music.
Usually occurs in the first week of June (dates can vary). The streets near Naviglio canal host an array of entertainment from dance shows to handmade craft stalls. Night-time torch parades are the highlight of this festival. Many visitors flock to the city during this time so it is best to book accommodation in advance!
Takes place annually in September; situated approximately 9 miles north of the centre of Milan. The Monza Formula One Grand Prix is said to be one of the fastest tracks in the world set in a tranquil former royal park. Over a quarter of a million people attend during the F1 season thus driving is discouraged in the city during this time. Special buses run every 15 minutes from designated stops in and around Milan while train schedules are posted everywhere.
Held every April this event attracts more than 10,000 people from over 50 countries and is an extremely busy time in the city. As well as the individual and relay marathons, events are held all over the city. Entertainment is provided in the form of free music concerts, artist performances and cheer leading.
Are there any nice parks?
Giardini Pubblici/Public Gardens
These beautiful park gardens are situated in the heart of the city, providing breath taking views. The park includes a historic villa and museum, refreshments, miniature trains, and bumper cars for entertainment with free admission!
The IdroPark Fila is a water park and sports venue nicknamed ‘Milan’s beach’ by the locals. The park hosts sports, cultural, musical and theatrical events and is always bustling with activity. Here you can partake in activities such as swimming, canoeing, rock wall climbing, and in-line skating.
What are some of the best places to visit?
Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Quadrilateral)
An area bound by four main streets; Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via del Corso, and Via Senato. Top of the list for fashion lovers, this shopping district is one of the most up-market areas in the world and is home to the likes of Armani and Versace. The area is pedestrianized and hosts many shopping centres, boutiques and cafes.
Milan Duomo Cathedral
An elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest catholic cathedral in the world. Entry is free but you will not be allowed to enter the building if you are not dressed appropriately; legs and shoulders must be covered! The cathedral allows entrance to the roof for a small fee (7 euros via the stairs or 12 euros via the lift) and is definitely worth the money for the panoramic views of the city as well as seeing the beautiful architecture of the spires and gargoyles up close.
The church of Santa Maria Della Grazie
Built between 1466 and 1490 the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is one of the most striking monuments of Lombard Renaissance. The church is famous for the mural of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. 15 minute time slots can be reserved to view the masterpiece, advanced booking is recommended.
The 15th century sforzesco castle is one of Milan’s most important landmarks. Saved from demolition at the beginning of the 20th century the castle now houses a number of civic museums and holds one of the richest art collections in the city. Boasting Michelangelo’s last work; the unfinished Pietà Rondanina as well as a large collection of paintings from the likes of Mantegna, Antonello da Messina and Leonardo da Vinci. There is an admission fee for the museums but entry to the castle and grounds is free of charge.
Museo Nazionale Della Scienza e Della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci
This family friendly science and technology museum is the largest of its kind in Italy. Featuring a 10,000 piece collection and interactive labs where children can learn about the background and application of cutting-edge advancements in science and technology. The museum’s biggest draw is the Enrico Toti; the first submarine constructed in Italy after World War II. Viewings of this are strictly in groups no larger than 6 and can be reserved in advance or on the day.
What are the highlight attractions?
Leonardo da Vinci tours
A must for art lovers! These tours will take you round the many gems of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan including the Last Supper at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Ambrosiana Museum and the Sforza Castle. A variety of tours are available to book online from a number of reputable companies, it is worth researching and booking well in advance of your trip as these tours are in high demand.
Full of character and life the busy markets in Milan provide a great place to find bargains. Milan’s bustling markets are held in many districts of Milan selling a variety of products from antiques and furniture to clothes and shoes. The Mercato di vivale papinano market is Milan’s largest market; held every Tuesday and Saturday morning it is well known for its amazing fashions.
Milan hosts a huge variety of festivals; the festival of Sant’Ambrogio, Corteo dei Re Magi, Tredesin de mars, the fair of flowers, Milano film festival, festa del Naviglio and the very popular Milan jazz festival to name a few! The list is endless, Milanese people are great at putting together a celebration. Different events run throughout the year so check out what’s going on during your stay; lots of information available online and through Milan’s tourist offices.
(Learn more in our ‘Events’ tab on the left of the page.)