Tips For Planning An Inexpensive Trip To Milan

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Although Milan is mostly associated with luxury brands and high prices, there are ways to spend your vacation there at a lower cost than you think. Here are a few tips for future Milan visitors on how to get the most for their money.

Accommodation

An important thing to know when coming up with a budget for your trip to Milan is the tourist tax. The tourist tax, which can range between €2 and € 5, will be added to the price of your hotel room for each night you stay.

Transport

Just like in many other European cities popular with travelers, in Milan you have the option of taking the bus from the airport to the center of town. Bus stops can be found very close to the exit from the terminal and are signposted. A ticket will normally cost you €5, but prices may differ slightly depending on which of the three airports you are departing from. Most buses go straight to Milano Centrale, the main central station of Milan, which can be a great starting point to explore the city and is surrounded by many (not too expensive) hotels. To return back to the airport, simply buy a ticket at one of the kiosks around Centrale and head to the busses, which will be standing right behind the central station building.

If the distances between the sites you wish to see strike you as too long to be mastered on foot, you can easily purchase a ticket for Milan public transport at one of the machines in the metro. A single ticket costs € 1.50. Alternatively, you can get a ticket for ten rides for € 13, 50. With it you can enter the metro 10 times and switch between the lines as much as you need to for 90 minutes.

Food

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In a place where pizza and pasta are a must to try during your stay, McDonald’s and Burger King don’t have to be your only options for cheap food. For those of you who would like to try some delicious, authentic Italian pizza but can’t eat a whole one on their own, Spontini, a small restaurant that can be found not far from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, might be just the right solution. There you can have a generous slice of freshly made pizza for about €4 or a pizza menu with a drink for € 5.

Right across from Spontini you will find Luini, a bakery that sells panzerotti, a traditional turnover originating in Central and Southern Italy. From the big menu at Luini you can choose between sweet and savory panzerotti. Prices start at about € 2 apiece and vary depending on your choice of filling. Definitely a must try in Milan!

Sometimes you may come across small vans parked in the streets, like around the Milan Cathedral or in parks, like the Parco Sempione. At those snack vans you can buy sandwiches, candy, water, and grilled chestnuts.

The further you get away from very crowded, touristic places, the more likely you are to find restaurants where you can get pasta for €8 or pizza for € 10. The streets around Milano Centrale might be a good start to look for such restaurants. If you watch closely, you may find a place that offers a daily menu or menù del giorno.

A useful thing to know about drinking coffee in Italy is that a coffee at the counter is cheaper than ordering it while sitting at a table. You are expected to finish it more quickly at the counter than at the table, which is why the prices are lower.

Attractions

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With its buildings from different times and its nostalgic, narrow streets, Milan is a great place to get an impression of through walking. Take in your surroundings as you walk from the piazza del Duomo to the Navigli district, known for canals dating back to the 12th century, developed and improved by none other than Leonardo da Vinci himself.

During one of your strolls, make sure to pay a visit to the Milan Cathedral and especially its roof terrace. If you don’t want to buy a combination ticket for the cathedral, the rooftop, and the museum, you can save money on the rooftop ticket by choosing the stairs over the lift. Beware that the line in front of the ticket office can get very long. It might be a good idea to book your ticket online before or during your trip to Milan.

One of the greatest although not free must- sees in Milan is the Renaissance church, Santa Maria delle Grazie, known for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper. Tickets must be booked in advance online or by phone. A regular ticket costs € 8 and a reduced one € 6.

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The Basilica of Sant’ Ambrogio is one of the oldest basilicas in Milan, and the great part about it is that it can be visited for free. Some parts of the basilica date back to the 9th century.

The Museo Del Novecento is located right on the piazza del Duomo across from the Milan Cathedral. In this museum you can see various pieces of 20th century Italian art. The regular ticket price is € 5, but university students can be admitted for only €3.

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