Milan, Italy

I flew from Barcelona to Milan for, again, at the price of just £10 with Ryan Air via Skyscanner. When we landed at the Bergamo Airport, we took a coach to the Milan Central station for €5 per person. The ticket for the coach can be purchased at the airport and there are numerous coach companies with the same rate. It took us about 30-40 mins to get to the central station, and immediately after we got off the coach, we booked it to find a restaurant.

We found Little Italy, a cute little restaurant just 10 mins walk away from the central station. It looked very cozy and the servers spoke decent English. We ordered a Margherita pizza and a risoni dish and a glass of wine each. I had very high expectation of eating Italian food in Italy, but I have to be honest and say that it tasted just like any other Italian food I can get in Canada or the UK. The pizza tasted amazing, though, other than that, it was a very average experience for me.

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Little Italy
Via Alessandro Tadino, 41, 20124 Milano MI, Italy

Our time in Milan is very short. We were literally leaving the day after we landed, so we only stayed for one night in Milan. The reason being so is due to how expensive Milan is. It was harder to find a reasonable and affordable hostel in Milan so we opted for Airbnb. We stayed with Heinz (see his Airbnb listing) in his apartment where it was about half an hour away from the central station. Heinz lives with his mother, sister and uncle in that apartment and they had a free room for the purpose of Airbnb. Despite it lacking privacy since his whole family lives there, I found myself enjoying the family’s company. We had all the privacy we needed when we were in our room and they set up the room like a hotel where there were water and towels provided. We also got to know Heinz personally and chatted with him over a cup of tea in the living room. Everyone in his family was super friendly and inviting. The family was very helpful in telling us how to get around the city because for some odd reason, Google Map was giving us a different route that was more complex and longer in general just to get to the Duomo di Milano. There was actually an easier and simpler method of getting to the cathedral and the main part of Milan and that was simply by taking either the #3 or the #15 tram that was directly in front of the apartment. The tram took us directly to the cathedral in under 20 mins–no transfers, no confusion. So in a way, we were very lucky to stay with Heinz because the location was perfect. We paid about $50 CAD for one night; although it was quite expensive compared to how much we’ve been paying for our previous trips in the hostels, staying with Heinz was actually cheaper than staying closer to the Duomo. In addition, his mother also provided us with breakfast in the morning and I thought that was very sweet of her.

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View from our Airbnb apartment.

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Breakfast provided by the host’s mother.

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Taking the Tram.

The only thing that was not expensive in Milan was the transportation fare. Just like Paris and Barcelona, Milan also lets you use one ticket for all types of transportation. In Milan, you have to buy your metro ticket at the convenient store that’s located underground in the subway. The ticket we bought was a pass that allows you to travel anywhere within Milan for 24 hours for just €4.50 per person. This was super convenient for us since we were only there for one night because when we purchased the ticket on the first night we landed in Milan, the ticket was activated after being stamped and thus we had enough time to use it during the next day until we got back to the airport.

Believe it or not, but we did all of our excursions of Milan on the same day we were flying back to London. It’s crazy but we managed, somehow! We woke up super early at 7AM (our flight was at 6PM) to allow us a lot of time to travel the city and to also beat the rush and the crowds at the Duomo di Milano just like what did at the Eiffel Tower. We took the tram that was only a 2 min walk away from our Airbnb and got off directly at the Duomo di Milano, which was also the terminal stop on the tram.

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Literally next to the Duomo was Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world’s oldest active shopping mall and a major landmark of Milan. Having these two attractions so close to each other was like killing two birds with one stone and thus this saved us even more time to travel. Of course, I did a little shopping in Milan, who wouldn’t want to buy something from the fashion city? I didn’t go crazy since I am travelling with a budget but I managed to buy leather boots and a nice sweater. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is probably the prettiest mall in the world, just look at the crazy details on everything that makes it look luxurious and stunning AF.

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We had our final meal in Milan at the Duomo Bar, which was right across of the cathedral. It was quite expensive, I paid almost €60 for the main and a drink. We went into the restaurant knowing that it was going to be expensive; however, we did it for the experience since we were quite disappointed in the meal we had at Little Italy. Despite paying so much for the meal at the Duomo Bar, I enjoyed every bite of my gnocchi and the strawberry cocktail I ordered–and hey, the view of the cathedral directly in front of me wasn’t so bad, either!

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Bar Duomo
Piazza del Duomo 17, 20121 Milano, Italia

Although my trip in Milan was short, I was glad that I did not stay longer. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Milan and all that it had to offer, but to be frank, Milan was just like any other cities I visited. The only main attractions that Milan had to offer were mainly the Duomo and the mall. Once you leave these attractions, Milan can be quite dirty and dull. There were a lot of people who were trying to sell you things or scam you near the Duomo and it was very frustrating to be a tourist because they were very persistent. Regardless of this incident, I still enjoyed my time in Milan because I took every moment of my travels as a journey and an experience. You will inevitably face scammers, be it in Milan or anywhere in the world, but I hope that you could also take it as a positive experience and understand why people do things the way they do– because at the end of the day, we are all just human beings.

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