Milan holidays from
Cracking the DaVinci Code
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A city where style meets commerce with great panache – life is fast-paced and future-focussed. Not quite as steeped in history as some Italian cities, but Milan's awash with prized cultural sights. Michelin-starred chefs aren't afraid to add a dash of experimentation to the classic culinary cannon, and sharply attired locals aren’t afraid to match the glitzy marble-decked surroundings. Remember, this was the home turf of Leonardo da Vinci after all.
Start out by admiring the spectacular Gothic Duomo cathedral, a colossal confection complete with 3,500 statues and 135 spires. Take in the unrivalled views from the rooftop, but don’t overlook the fascinating maze of tunnels and crumbling ruins found within. Catch sight of the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie and feast your eyes on DaVinci’s Last Supper at The Pinacoteca di Brera. For a complete contrast to these historical treasures, peer up at Italy’s tallest skyscraper, the UniCredit building, and clock the modern street art around Porta Garibaldi.
To witness a shopping arcade on a grand scale, check out the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, known as ‘Milan’s drawing room'. Wander around the Golden Quadrilateral, one of the world’s most exclusive stretches of retail real estate home to countless fashion brands and upscale jewellers. Make time to call in at some of the city’s swish family-run ateliers too. At places like the legendary N.H Sartoria you can get every conceivable component of your wardrobe customised, from ties to shirt cuffs. Then pause for a spritz and a free snack at Aperitivo hour – this is an essential tradition the Milanese take particularly seriously, so who are we to argue? Book your flights to Milan and discover a city alive with possibilities.
Carefully selected Milan city breaks
En cours de chargement
Best hotels in Milan for all types of traveller
We have a great choice of hotels in Milan city centre. Located inside the Galfa Tower, just minutes away from the Porta Nuova district, lies the Innside Milano Torre Galfa. This modern design hotel features an all-day Italian restaurant and loft rooms with sweeping city views. Or stay at The Westin Palace Milan for its swish rooftop terrace and intimate authentic Italian restaurant the PanEVO. The Grand Hotel Et De Milan is steps from the Armani Building and within walking distance of the Scala Theatre. It was awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and offers a babysitting service for a small surcharge. For five-star luxury choose the Four Seasons Milan, set within a beautifully converted 15th Century convent with a cloistered courtyard in the heart of Milan’s prime fashion district. Amenities include a full service spa and marble bathrooms complete with deep European bathtubs and extravagant vanity units.
Best Western Hotel Blaise & Francis is just ten minutes from the Fiera Milano Exhibition Centre. Offering spacious rooms with stunning panoramic city views, this hotel is part of the 'Stay for the Planet' initiative which ensures sustainable practices are fully observed. Or try the Melia Milano, within easy striking distance of the Fiera Campionaria fairground. You can expect elegantly furnished rooms and the convenience of a parking garage if you plan on venturing further afield. If you're looking for cheap hotels in Milan the B&B Hotel Milano Cenisio Garibaldi is a solid budget option near Porta Garibaldi Train Station. It offers comfortable rooms with modern décor, high speed fibre optic Wi-Fi and free toiletries.
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Milan holiday FAQs
Make the most of your Milan holiday
Get lost in the city’s colourful neighbourhoods, each one has its unique charms. Wander around the cobblestone lanes of the art and foodie hotspot Brera and immerse yourself in the vibrant LGBTQ community around Porto Venezia.
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.
Where is the best place to visit on Italian lakes holidays?
You’ll soon see that Milan is ideally situated to explore this beautiful and varied region.
Nestled at the foot of the Alps, the dreamy shores of Lake Como lie just north of Milan. Lake Como’s idyllic lakeside villages, historic waterfront villas and sweeping alpine views have beckoned travellers for centuries, making it one of north Italy’s most prestigious holiday destinations. On Lake Como holidays, you can explore the pastel-hued towns by boat, hike the pine-swathed mountains and experience fine dining along the waterfront. Witness the enchanting beauty of Nesso, sip local wine on Menaggio’s pretty promenade, take in spectacular mountain vistas from Cadenabbia and visit Tremezzo, where you’ll find one of Lake Como’s loveliest villas and Mediterranean gardens bursting with colour.
Set between the cities of Milan and Venice, Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake. Its traditional towns and villages overlook crystal-clear waters, framed by the breathtaking peaks of the Dolomites. Sirmione sits on the southern shore of Lake Garda, famed for its thermal baths and medieval castle, as does Desenzano, which offers pebbly beaches and charming waterfront cafes. You can explore the smaller villages around the lake via boat or ferry or take up a plethora of water sports. To the north, you can hike dramatic snow-capped mountains and stay in the quieter towns of Limone Sul Garda, Malcesine and Torbole.
Lake Maggiore stretches along the southern side of the Italian alps, bordering Switzerland. Home to spectacular walking and mountain biking trails, Lake Maggiore is also a popular skiing destination in the winter. The serene shores here are dotted with bustling towns, including lively Stresa which attracts families, and neighbouring Baveno, which has a charming medieval centre. From Stresa, you can hop on a boat to the Borromean island of Isola Bella to explore the impressive baroque palace, terraced botanical gardens and traditional restaurants. The north shores of Lake Maggiore maintain a more authentic feel, especially in the peaceful lakeside villages of Cannero, Carmine and Cannobio.
The town of Livigno is a bustling ski resort nestled in the Italian Alps close to the Swiss border. It offers 62 square miles of skiable terrain spread across 71 miles of pristine slopes. All abilities are catered for here with 12 black, 27 red and 39 blue runs. Get around the resort with a free shuttle bus or make use of the well-maintained facilities including six gondolas, 12 ski lifts and 14 chair lifts. Its high altitude means you can rely on a long season here and with a third of its runs being blue it’s especially accommodating for learners. Livigno’s apres-ski scene is lively and a charming village-like atmosphere prevails. There are numerous bars, cafes, restaurants and shops where you can take advantage of duty free shopping.