6 things not to be missed in Milan

By: Nofar Ronen

I arrived in Milan with my siblings after a four-day trip to Lake Maggiore. We had had an amazing time on a quiet trip in a small village by the lake and suddenly we arrived in a big and busy city and it felt a little strange at first. Just an hour passed before I realized that I fell in love with the Milan and itโ€™s a shame that we only got to be there for two days. I am sure I will visit again and explore more. I decided to write a post with my recommendations for things to do in Milan. In this post you wonโ€™t find the usual recommendations youโ€™ll find elsewhere, but special things you can do in Milan. I would appreciate it if you responded to me at the end of the post if you liked the recommendations ๐Ÿ™‚

Unique things to do in Milan - Traveling outside the box

Summary of our trip in Milan

Who? Four adults
When? End of May, beginning of June 2024
How long? Two days
Where did we stay? MagVille Boutique Hotel. A lovely boutique hotel in a quiet location but close to decent cafes and good restaurants.
Mobility? We rented an electric car through Hertz from the Malpensa Airport. Equivalent prices can be found through Papam Papam, the search engine for car rentals. There is no need for a car in the city itself, but because we had also gone to Lake Maggiore, we already had one we had rented at the airport. In the city we parked in the parking lot next to the hotel at a cost of 18 euros per day.

Secrets of Milan Tour

I will actually start with something I did on my second day in Milan, because in my opinion it is a really special tour. On this day, which was the last day of the whole trip, my siblings had to leave in the morning for their flight and I had a few hours alone in the city. Because I really like tours, I booked one to hidden places in Milan the day before through the Airbnb experiences website. Link to the tour.

There were five people on the tour (me and two other couples) and our guideโ€™s name was Daniel. He and his partner are tourism journalists and they travel all over the world when they are not in Milan (about five months a year). They conduct these tours for fun and the truth is that I fell for Daniel. He is funny and full of interesting stories and aside from that, he really knows special places in Milan and gave us a lot of worthwhile tips. During the tour we visited a church that had been closed since World War II and was only reopened in 2017.

What is special about this church is that there is an entire area behind it that was only intended for nuns and is now also open to the general public. One of the artists who painted there did not think that these paintings would ever be revealed to anyone other than the nuns, so he felt free to also paint strange things, for example in the painting of Noahโ€™s Ark, he added unicorns:) And there are also three dogs instead of two because one of the dogs is actually the dog that belonged to him. Daniel told many more funny and witty stories in this church.

After that, Daniel took us to the oldest coffee shop in the world, which it turns out the Ferda company bought a few years ago but left it as it is. We had a coffee there called Marocino, which is a cappuccino with some foamed milk and cocoa powder on top.

We also went to a statue that, when you see it, itโ€™s hard not to smile and wonder how there is such a statue in Milan. Itโ€™s a sculpture of a triangular finger built by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan 11 years ago during the design and art week in Milan. The statue was built in front of the stock exchange and the artist created it as a symbol against fascism.

Of course, we went to other places and there were many more stories, so I really recommend joining their tour if it is available when you visit Milan.

The tour lasted about two hours, suitable even for those who are not in good shape because they donโ€™t walk much.
The cost of the tour was 35 euros per person.
The tour starts at 11 am.

The coolest street there is

I only discovered this street thanks to the guide, Daniel, on the walking tour I recommended above. When he showed pictures of this street, I knew I had to take a taxi to it immediately after the tour.

The art on the houses was painted by the artist Maurizio Cattelan, who also built the statue of the triangular finger in front of the stock exchange. (Arrival instructions).

On this street is the Toilet Paper Magazine store, where you can buy magazines created by Cattelan.

Unfortunately, I was alone on the street and without a tripod, so the photos didnโ€™t turn out well enough, but this is definitely an excellent spot for worthwhile Instagram photos. I also didnโ€™t have time to enter the store itself, which Iโ€™m sure is really cool. I only got to jump to this street very briefly because I had to make it to my flight, but Iโ€™m sure Iโ€™ll return to it for a return visit.

Thai spa that is especially worth it

Iโ€™ve been to a lot of Thai massage places, but Iโ€™ve never been to a spa with such a design that really feels like a Thai palace. This spa is called One Season. Arrival instructions.

In addition to the fact that the design of the place is amazing, there were a few other advantages:

  • We were four people who arrived with an hourโ€™s notice and they had a spot for us.
  • The place is huge and each one of us had their own massage room.
  • The prices were really reasonable, about 60 euros for an hour of massage or 35 euros for half an hour.
  • The massage was amazing! We all left satisfied.
  • The service was great and it was fun to sit down for tea at the end of the massage.

In short, if you are looking for a treat after all the walking in Italy, this is the place I recommend for a massage.

Matching tattoo

After years of planning between me and my siblings, the idea for a joint tattoo finally came to fruition. This is an idea that my sister came up with five years ago and on our previous trips we hadnโ€™t managed to do it, but this time it finally happened. Two weeks before our arrival, I looked for a tattoo parlor for us to coordinate our date. I found the institute IL CIRCO NERO TATTOO Milano (their Instagram). I contacted them on Instagram and there was a quick and professional response. We decided to arrive at 4 oโ€™clock and they prepared the sketches we requested in advance. The place was sterile and the girl there gave us one tattoo after another, quickly and professionally. The cost of the tattoo was 120 euros per person.

If you are taking a trip as a couple or as a family and you want to do something a little crazy, then here is an idea that will leave you with a lifetime souvenir ๐Ÿ™‚

A perfect cafe

Wow, wow, what an excellent cafe. A must-visit if you are in Milan. This is a cafe with such delicious pastries and such good coffee that you simply cannot miss it. We went there twice and if I had stayed in Milan for a few more days, there is no doubt that every day I would have gone there again. Cafe Loste directions. This cafe has fresh pastries that are baked on the premises and excellent coffee. We tried the chocolate pastry, the cinnamon pastry, bread pudding, and a cherry tomato savory pastry and everything was great. Keep in mind that there is a queue on Saturday morning.

An unforgettable restaurant

For our last evening of the trip we wanted a special restaurant that would have Italian food but something more modern and lighter, and my brother found us the Remulass restaurant just for this. Directions. Itโ€™s a modern bistro with a limited and precise menu. We booked a place for four people for half past seven in the evening. The menu had four starters, four first courses, three main courses, and two desserts. 

How many dishes do you think we ordered? We ordered the whole menu, so I can tell you for sure that everything there is delicious. Every dish was flavorful and surprising. There were special combinations of different raw materials and the wine was also great. 

In short, if you are looking for a good restaurant, this is definitely the recommendation for you. In addition, the prices were not too expensive and we ended up with a bill of 170 euros for four people for the whole menu including a glass of wine per person. 

It is recommended to reserve a place in advance because there are not many tables and the restaurant is in demand. Link to book a place.

Both the restaurant and the Loste cafe were a few minutesโ€™ walk from the hotel where the MagVille boutique hotel was located.

Questions and answers about Milan

How do you get from the Malpensa Airport to the city?

There are several options either to rent a car or take a taxi (around 120 euros for a taxi to the city center) or a train. If you are going as a group, then the taxi or car option is excellent; if you are just a couple or alone, then the train option is definitely the most convenient. 

On the way back, I returned alone, so I chose to return by train. I took a taxi from the hotel to the central train station for 15 euros and from there I took a train to the airport (get off at a five-minute walk to terminal 1 or 2 โ€“ check in advance which terminal you need). Make sure to check which airport you need. I needed to go to the Malpensa Airport. You can purchase tickets in advance online or at a machine at a train station or at the ticket office of the train company. The cost of a one-way trip is 13 euros per person. Buying tickets online for the train to the Malpensa Airport.

How are taxis in Milan?

From what we got to experience, there is not a high availability of taxis in Milan, so you have to take into account that it may take a little longer to get from one place to another. We used the Uber app several times, and in central places there are taxi signs. Even if there is no taxi at those locations, go stand there and a taxi will arrive relatively quickly. Taxis are required to accept credit cards, but it is recommended to say in advance if you want to pay with this method.

Where is it recommended to stay in Milan?

The central area of โ€‹โ€‹Milan is the area of the โ€‹โ€‹Milan Cathedral (Directions). This is a lively area of โ€‹โ€‹bars, restaurants and shops. We stayed at the MagVille boutique hotel in a quieter but charming area at a 35-minutesโ€™ walk from the central area (you can also get there by metro, bus and taxi). There is a beautiful park a quarter of an hourโ€™s walk away. A delicious breakfast is served in the hotel itself and if you happen to have nice weather, it is recommended to sit and have breakfast outside. The rooms are spacious and clean, with a comfortable bed and a coffee machine.

Where is it recommended to shop in Milan?

If you are into luxury brands, you can find all the brand stores such as Freda, Chanel, Versace and more, on Via Santโ€™Andrea MI street.

If you are looking for brand stores at more popular prices, then close to the cathedral you will find Zara, Bershka, H&M and moreโ€ฆ Directions

In addition there is an impressive childrenโ€™s play store called Hamleys ๐Ÿ™‚ Directions

How do you know if the ice cream is of high quality in an ice cream parlor in Milan?

Our guide on the trip explained that there are two ways to see that the ice cream is of high quality ๐Ÿ™‚

According to the color of the pistachio flavor, if it is green, it means that it is not a good ice cream; the color of pistachio ice cream should be more of a brown tone.

If the ice cream looks like a high hill, it is also a bad sign. This shows that the ice cream has chemicals and is not of high quality; good ice cream should be concave and low.

Other recommended attractions in Milan

The guide for the tour I was on strongly recommended going up to the roof of the Duomo di Milano cathedral and watching the view there

Buying tickets to the roof of the cathedral without entering the cathedral itself

Buying tickets for a guided tour of the cathedral and going up to the roof of the cathedral

A hop-on-off bus is an excellent way to explore a big city for 24/48/72 hours

Buying tickets for a hop-on-off bus

Additional walking tours

Buying tickets for a two-hour evening walking tour
Buying tickets for a walking tour of the city including the cathedral
Buying tickets for a city tour on an electric bike

In conclusion, Milan is a city of fashion, architecture, excellent restaurants, shopping, nightlife and a lot of beauty, and in addition to all this, it can be a combination of a trip between an urban experience and an experience in nature by combining it with lakes such as Lake Como or Lake Maggiore.

Hope my post helped you. If so, I would very much like you to respond here in the comments, and if you have any more questions, you are also welcome to ask them there or write to me on the blogโ€™s social networks: Facebook and Instagram.

Looking for more information about Italy? I have more posts about Italy on my blog.

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