What are the best things to do in Milan?
1. Take in the fever pitch excitement of an Italian football match at the San Siro Stadium. Italy’s largest stadium is shared by both of the city’s topflight clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan. It’s a fine way to mix it with the passionate locals. On non-match days you can take a tour of the stadium and its museum which celebrates both clubs’ accolades at national and international level.
2. Play around in the laboratories of the Leonardo DaVinci National Museum of Science and Technology, Italy’s largest science museum. The exhibits here are fun and interactive, encompassing some 15,000 items covering DaVinci’s inventions, alongside vast hangars housing steam trains, planes and Italy’s first submarine, the Enrico Toti.
3. Be wowed at the Prada Foundation. This ground-breaking museum is housed in an old gin distillery reimagined by architect Rem Koolhaas, in collaboration with Miuccia Prada. The gallery showcases works by Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Francesco Vezzoli and Nathalie Djurberg across ten buildings that make the most of their visual impact. Make time also for an espresso in the retro-themed café Bar Luce, which was designed by none other than filmmaker Wes Anderson.
4. Sprawling Monumental Cemetery is packed with so many remarkable sculptures, obelisks and temples that it’s widely considered an open-air museum. Look out for the sobering steel and marble monument to Milan’s victims of WWII concentration camps. The great and the good are buried here, including the likes of writer Alessandro Manzoni, artist Francesco Hayez and footballer Giuseppe Meazza.
5. Experience a quirkier side to Milan with a guided tour of the Silent Quadrilateral. This quiet neighbourhood is home to some stunning Liberty buildings with mosaics, spooky statues, secret gardens swarming with flamingos and intriguing architecture that includes a giant, ear-shaped doorbell and a mansion that resembles a bizarre hybrid of a castle and a space shuttle.
Which holiday type in Milan is right for me?
Milan is not exactly known for its pocket pleasing prowess but there are a few good value hotels to uncover in the city if you know where to look. The Grand Barone Di Sassj is a reliable budget option a few blocks from the Sesto Rondo Metro stop. Facilities here include a terrace bar and a choice of two restaurants. The centrally located Novotel Milano Nord Ca Granda near Ca Grande Metro Station is another good bet. Guests here can make good use of the swimming pool and fitness centre after a busy day’s sightseeing.
Right next door to the Duomo the Art Deco hotel the Gray offers a pleasing mix of high tech in-room gadgetry and inviting ambience. Indulge in design-led cuisine in its cool restaurant Le Noir and then cosy up on a canopied sofa with a cocktail on its swish roof terrace. Or just a few minutes away, the calming Armani Hotel Milano awaits, with rooms and suites personally overseen by Giorgio Armani himself. The entire eighth floor is dedicated to wellness and beauty at the panoramic Armani/Spa, while the seventh is devoted to fine dining and relaxed imbibing. Located near the exclusive boutiques of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II the NH Collection Milano President offers rooms complete with Italian designer furniture and upscale silver and white décor. The buffet breakfast here is extensive and dinner in the Verziere Restaurant is not to be missed. Hotel Viu Milan does not stint on style. This sleek contemporary luxury hotel comes with rooms kitted out by leading designer Molteni&C. Hang out in the softly-lit bar and sample the divine creations of chef Giancarlo Morelli in either of its wood-panelled restaurants. You can also splash about in Milan’s first rooftop pool.