Milan is perfect for a 48 hour break: there are plenty of top sights at good prices, the compact city centre is quick to cover, and of course, as one of the world’s fashion capitals, there are great places for retail therapy. It’s also really easy to get to, with flights regularly running at low fares to the main airport, Malpensa; shuttle and transfer services can then get you into the city in no time at all. So what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking! Here is my recommended itinerary for getting the most out of your stay.
First thing‘s first: the Duomo cathedral, the city’s landmark, with its stunning façade, is your key holiday snap. Take a trip up to its rooftop terraces (€9 by stairs, €13 by lift) to absorb the views of the city and the land beyond, looking out towards the Alps.
While in the city centre, catch some Panzerotti (folded pizzas) from Luini, located just off from the Piazza del Duomo on Via Santa Radegonda. Great for taking on the go, but with prices as low as €2.50, it’s worth getting there early to beat the queues.
From the Piazza del Duomo, head next up the Via dei Mercanti in the direction of the vast Castello Sforzesco, formerly the home of the powerful Visconti family but now Milan’s foremost museum (entry €5). If you’re not into art, marvel instead at its fantastic walls and turrets, and take a walk into the luscious Park Sempione and up to the Arco della Pace, the Arch of Peace, constructed in 1807 during Napoleon’s rule of the city.
If your feet are still going strong, head down to the Navigli district for evening aperitivo (cocktails from around €8, accompanied by free antipasti dishes at the bar), a Milanese tradition. Bars such as El Brellin and Mag Cafe, both on Alzaia Naviglio Grande, are always buzzing from 6.30pm through to the early hours of morning, and great places to soak up the city’s vibes.
After brunch at Cova (on Viale Monza), serving teas, pastries and incredible custard desserts (the Coppa Cova, from €12), you will be suitably fuelled up for some window-shopping along the city’s renowned Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a spectacular glassed arcade dating from 1877. From here, also detour off to explore one of the world’s most famous opera houses, the Teatro alla Scala (Via Filodrammatici) and the monument to Milan’s most famous resident, Leonardo da Vinci.
To cap off your time in Milan in real style and combine sight-seeing with top-quality dining, why not join the Atmosfera Milan vintage tram, serving four-course meals as it winds through the city streets? Set menus cost €70 and the tram leaves at 8pm from Piazza Castello. Alternatively, return to Piazza del Duomo and try Alla Collina Pistoiese (Via Amedei) for hearty family fare and Tuscan dishes from around €16.
How to Get There
Shuttle Direct’s Malpensa shuttle service is ideal for getting you from the main Milan Malpensa airport into the city in super-quick time and at low fares, meaning you can make the most of your set store of hours to lap up the city’s sights, shops and bars. If you book a Malpensa shuttle in advance, you can also let our drivers know where you’re heading, allowing them to drop you off at the door of your hotel at no extra expense. Shuttle Direct can also pick you up from the city’s train station if you’re travelling by rail, and bring you back to the airport or train station at the end of your stay. Perfect for giving those worn feet a deserved rest!
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Malpensa shuttle , Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.