Milan is the business and financial heart of Italy. Doesn't sound like an exciting city? Then you're wrong, because Milan is also the center of design for both graphic and industrial design as well as fashion. The latter can be seen on the streets: the Milanese are almost without exception perfectly dressed. Culture lovers are well catered for in one of the museums or the most famous opera building in the world, the Scala. Furthermore in Milan you can indulge yourself to great food, it happens to be the best shopper's paradise of Italy and it has an energetic nightlife.
The Duomo Santa Maria Nascente is one of the largest churches in the world. The imposing white marble building has more than a hundred ornamental turrets. You should definitely climb to the top. You have, between all those turrets, a beautiful view over the city center of Milan.
On the Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) is also a former convent. Here hangs the famous painting "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci was a versatile man. He didn't only paint, he was involved in science and technology too. The Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia has devoted an entire gallery to Da Vinci's ideas. There are hundreds of models, based on drawings and sketches by Da Vinci.
Milan is the best shopping city of Italy. The large shopping mall Vittorio Emanuele is located between the Cathedral Square and Piazza della Scala. In this gallery - shaped like a Latin cross - you will not only find shops but restaurants too. The latest fashion can be admired in a quadrangle which is referred to as Il Quadrilatero. The biggest designer brands have branches here. These are just two examples of malls, but actually you can go anywhere in Milan. In the center of town you find shops, shops and more shops.
If you want to attend an opera in the famous La Scala of Milan, you should reserve a seat well in advance. If that fails, you can always book a tour or visit the opera museum, where musical instruments, posters and costumes are on display.
During the day the Milanese shop, but during the night they go out. Fine dining in one of the exquisite restaurant and visit a bar or nightclub after. Dinner doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, by the way. The so-called trattorias often offer delicious dishes at reasonable prices. The most popular nightlife areas are around Garibaldi Station, the district of Navigli (named after the canals - navigli - in this quarter), near the Colonne di San Lorenzo and the artistic neighborhood of Brera.
In and around Milan
The two major soccer clubs of Milan, AC Milan and Internazionale, are bitter rivals, but yet they share a stadium: San Siro. For soccer fans a must to visit. Tickets for a soccer match are often still available one or two days before the game. Unless the two rivals play against each other, in that case the stadium is sold out weeks in advance.
Fans of motorsport go to the circuit of Monza, which is set in a beautiful and expansive park. So even if you do not like racing you can enjoy yourself here. Of go shopping in the big Monza shopping mall, located 15 kilometers northeast of Milan.
Milan's location is perfect for a visit to one of the great Italian lakes: Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Lugano and Lake Garda. At those lakes you can practice all kinds of watersports, but a car ride around one of the lakes is recommended too. On the way you will encounter atmospheric towns and villages, with old churches, castles and fortresses. Near Lake Garda you can find two major theme parks: Gardaland (a fairytale park with an aquarium), and Movieland, part of Canevaworld Resort which also has a large waterpark.
Finding a parking spot on the street in the center of Milan is difficult, if not impossible. Better and safer is it to store your rental car in one of the parking garages. There are many in and around the center. There are P+R sites located on the outskirts of the town where you can leave your car and continue to the center by metro.
Milan has two international airports, Milan Malpensa Airport and Milan Linate Airport. Malpensa is located about fifty kilometers from the city and is accessible via the A8 (Autostrada A8 Laghi). The exit to the airport is clearly signposted.
Linate is much closer to Milan, seven kilometers from the city, and is mostly used for domestic and European flights. The airport is accessible from the eastern ring road around Milan (Tangenziale Est), exit 'Linate'.
An alternative airport for Milan is the airport of Bergamo (Bergamo Airport), 45 kilometers northeast of Milan. This airport is used by budget airlines.