Don’t underestimate Milan’s style. The fashion capital of Italy welcomes fashion moguls, supermodels and paparazzi when the city rolls out the catwalk for the spring and fall fashion shows. Italy’s richest city certainly has a soft-spot for drama – just ask Valentino, Versace or Armani, who, among others, board flights to Milan to debut the upcoming season’s new trend. But there’s more to Milan than star-studded stilettos.
Rich in wealth and in culture, visitors booking cheap flights to Milan will get a lot more than they paid for. The city’s historical value is priceless. Visit the resting place of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, which survived a direct hit in WWII. Explore Milan’s central Cathedral and take a walk through Mussolini’s central station. Whether your flight to Milan is pre-empted by a history lecture or a fashion lesson, there’s nothing more marvelous than Italy’s stylish city.
Summers are hot and muggy, especially in July and August with temperatures reaching the upper 80s. Milan is damp and cold in winter with temperatures below freezing, but the mountains protect the city from the Northern European winters. Spring and fall temperatures are in the 60s and 70s. October and November typically get the most rain.
The Italians and foreign visitors descend on the lakes in July and August, especially on weekends, although August usually sees many of the local Milanese venture off on their own holidays. Lake Como is the most popular, and most crowded, destination. Many Milanese are on vacation for the month of August, but the city is filled with foreign visitors booking flights to Milan as part of their Italy tour. If you’re visiting Milan during the semi-annual fashion week (held in Spring and Fall), book Milan flights early and plan your accommodations months in advance to ensure your reservation.
Spring into early summer and fall are the best times to see Milan and the lakes while the weather is comfortable and there are few crowds. To avoid the crowds, plan your visit around March to May when springtime comes into play and the weather starts to warm up. You’ll find cheap flights to Milan a lot more easily around then, as well as cheaper accommodation. Autumn is similar, although sometimes slightly more expensive as the Milan Fashion Week takes place. September also sees the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix, so this will increase the price of flight tickets. Due to this, make sure you book your flights to Milan in advance to avoid overpaying.
If you book your flight to Milan in advance, you can find some great deals. Aim to have booked your flight tickets at least 2 months before you plan to fly to ensure you make the greatest savings. If you can be flexible with your dates, you’ll find the cheapest flights to Milan a lot more easily than if you’re set on a particular week. With a bit of luck and comparison, you can find return flights to Milan for less, so it’s definitely worth booking in advance and doing a bit of research beforehand. Try to avoid sitting next to a wing as you’ll have your view obscured as you fly over the Alps. The view is absolutely stunning as you see deep pools of blue river intertwined with the white peaks of the mountains.
Flights from New York City typically keep you in the air for just over 8-1/2 hours, while flights from Los Angeles usually last over 12-1/2 hours. If you leave from Dallas or Denver, expect your flight to last just over 11 hours.
Many U.S. airlines offer direct flights to Milan, Italy, including Delta, United and American Airlines. Some international carriers also provide direct flights from the U.S. to Milan, such as Alitalia and Emirates airlines. Some other carriers that can get you to Milan include jetBlue, Lufthansa, British Airways and Air Canada.
When packing for a trip to Milan, be sure to include copies of all your key identification, travel documents and itineraries, and required prescriptions. Also, it’s a good idea to take along some cash for emergency cases just in case you find something you want at an establishment that doesn’t take credit or debit cards.
When packing clothing, keep in mind that many consider Milan a world-class fashion capital, so simple yet stylish clothing designed for functionality and easy mixing and matching works best. Shoot for classic color selections that make it simple to coordinate your look. Exactly what types of clothing to pack depends on the season in which you plan to travel.
Italy’s climate tends toward mild and pleasant weather year-round, but Milan typically experiences light to moderate springtime rain. If traveling during this season, be sure to pack water-resistant shoes and a light rain jacket. Also, the temperatures tend to rise and fall throughout the day, so layering your clothing lets you add and subtract pieces for improved comfort levels. Men typically wear tailored jackets for outerwear, while women often stick to light trench coats.
Warm weather in Milan might tempt you to take along shorts, but the city’s cultural vibe frowns upon this type of clothing, especially if you plan on exploring the many cathedrals and churches that dot the urban streets. When visiting these religious sites, women should keep their knees covered with skirts or pants, while men should wear slacks that cover their legs. Slim, classic-cut pants work best for men, while most women wear light and comfortable dresses with lots of travel friendliness.
Avoid khakis, golf shirts, and floral-print sundresses if you want to blend in with the local crowds as most Italians tend toward darker clothing colors. When it comes to footwear, opt for leather loafers or walking shoes and leave your sneakers at home. If you plan on patronizing some of the city’s renowned restaurants or taking in the nightlife, men should bring a fashionable suit, while women should pack a traditionally styled cocktail dress or evening gown.
There are three different airports near Milan, and although you’ll usually find cheap flights for Malpensa, you could also end up at Linate or Bergamo.
The most frequently-used option is to take one of the buses that go from the airport to the city center, however it is best not to pre-purchase your ticket for this, as even when certain ‘discounts’ are applied, you’ll still be paying more than necessary. There is usually a seller at the door of the bus who will sell you tickets for a lower price, although they only take cash so make sure you have some on you before you land. You could also opt for the train which is cheap and runs regularly. The train is definitely more suited if you don’t have too much baggage with you and want to arrive quickly. Lastly, you can opt for a taxi, however you could be looking at around 70 to 80 euros for a one-way trip, making it extremely expensive.
There is no train service, so your best bet would be to hop onto one of the many buses that arrive here. Purchase a ticket from the bus directly for the best prices and don’t expect to wait around longer than 20 to 30 minutes or so. There aren’t any baggage restrictions either, so the only inconvenience for taking too much will be your own ability to carry it all. You could hail a taxi but it is very expensive. You can negotiate with the driver but the price will vary, depending on with whom you’re dealing. Avoid taxis unless you want to give away your money.
There are frequent buses around every half an hour that pull up directly outside of the arrivals terminal. From here, you can stay on the bus all the way to the center of the city for a fraction of the price of a taxi. If you do decide you don’t want to get a bus, a taxi is the only other option unless you have arranged transport when you first booked your flights to Milan. Taxis can charge more depending on the time of day and the driver, although some might try and charge more than this.
Between walking and using the city’s efficient public transportation, you won’t have any trouble getting around Milan. The buses and trams run all night long and the metro stops at midnight. Buy tickets at Metropolitana Milanese (MM) stations and some newspaper stands, but be aware that the tickets expire. Stamp your ticket when you board; failure to do so can cost you a huge fine. Taxis have to be picked up at stands, and you will be charged extra for luggage, late night trips and Sunday rides. Driving is not recommended. There are many one-way streets and reckless drivers and few parking spots. If you must drive, leave the car at an MM station outside the city.
Settled by the Celtic Insubres around 400 BC, Milan has a long, rich history from its conquering by Rome in in 222 BC to its current status as a world-class metropolitan area that holds more Michelin stars than any other Italian city. This, of course, makes it a leading destination for foodies who come from far and wide to sample dishes at such restaurants as Rebelot, Ratana and Dry Milano.
The city also hosts Milan Fashion Week, which draws in fashionistas from all over the world. Many of these visitors come just for the shopping, with such establishments as the Gucci shop proving a huge boon to the city’s economy. Milan also plays host to the Italian Stock Exchange, making the city an important destination for financial conferences and other business gatherings.
One of the first things most visitors to Milan do is take a stroll to the Duomo in the Piazza del Duomo, which is the third-largest church in Europe. This world-famous church offers free admission, which provides you with access to its 3,500 statues, but to view the Treasury and Crypt or enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city from the roof, where you can also take a close look at its 135 spires, you must pay individual admission fees.
When you’re ready to go, be sure to head next door to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Situated within a four-story arcade, this glass-domed building connects the Duomo to Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala.Opened in 1778, La Scala has hosted a top-notch variety of performers over its years of operation, including most of Italy’s top operatic artists and singers from all over the world. Also a theater and school for the arts, this building boasts stunning architecture and a rich history worth exploring.
For more modern architectural elements and art, visit the Zone of Silence. This area hosts a number of interesting pieces, including the Casa Sola-Busca piece that sits at the entrance, which was crafted by sculptor Adolfo Wildt. The Palazzo Berri-Meregalli designed by Giulio Ulisse Arata in 1913 combines an array of design themes from Gothic to Liberty to create a visually interesting building, and from inside, you can take a peek at the private garden, which plays host to numerous pink flamingos.
When you depart from Milan, you typically leave via the Milan Malpensa airport. The most trafficked international airport in norther Italy, Milan Malpensa sits about 20 minutes from downtown Milan. If you’re leaving from the city, it’s typically extremely easy to get to the airport by bus, car or train, and many area hotels provide free shuttle service. If you need to transfer between terminals when you arrive, the airport offers a free shuttle that runs 24/7, with minutes between runs sitting at roughly every 7 minutes from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and every 30 minutes between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Airlines that offer flights back to the U.S. include Delta, United, American Airlines and jetBlue, among others.