Milan wasn’t on my itinerary, but I managed to rejig my Eurolines (LINK) ticket which allowed me to travel from Florence to Zurich for free, via Milan. This meant staying one night in Milan so I thought I’d check it out and see what it’s about.
I had heard terrible things about Milan actually, it’s the financial centre of Italy so it’s supposedly really expensive. It was also due to be quite industrial and more European than Italian, a cardinal sin in the minds of Italians further south! Anyways, I had to visit by default but I only had 24 hours, time to hit up the big 5 then.
Here’s how I spent my day with the top 5 things to see in Milan:
The San Siro:
One for the football fans, I grew up with fat Ronaldo at Inter Milan and Paolo Maldini at AC, it’s a shame I never saw them play live. But the San Siro is sewn into the fabric of Italian football, so any fan who comes here should come and check it out. I just got a look from outside, on the way I spotted some quality football graffiti too!
Perhaps the most famous Opera house in the world, the building isn’t one that captures the imagination as much as the history of the place, so make sure you do check the museum inside. If you do visit its museum you can have a look inside. It’s all very impressive stuff. The Opera’s come in seasons so you have to be lucky to catch one, I wasn’t!
The icon of Milan and officially the world’s largest Gothic Cathedral, with a capacity of over 40, 000! It’s free to enter and wander around, but it’s from outside that the views are better. For the best views of all though, pay the 5 euro to climb the stairs and clamber on top of the Cathedral for views of the entire city.
The Last Supper:
This one is a bit of a heart breaker for me, I missed out on Da Vinci’s last supper because it’s so popular you have to book tickets in advance, at least 48 hours in advance. The church attached to his showroom is also a UNESCO world heritage site so you should come down here regardless, but my advice is to sort out tickets and see the main attraction (6 euro/$8).
This is 5th on the list with good reason, if you’ve been in Europe for long then this castle isn’t gonna rock your world. However, it’s home to an interesting museum and if you turn up on Tuesdays or Friday afternoons, you’ll get into the 500 year old castle for free. Bargain.
Not bad for 24 hours huh?! I was pretty tired after this day, also a word of warning – the hostels in Milan are awful, I mean atrocious! Try couchsurfing, or sharing a hotel with mates because you’re gonna be paying 30 euro for the worst hostel on your trip, almost guaranteed. Happy travels!