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Milan - Tips for your next visit to Italy's fashion and commerce capital

Posted on May 31 2023

Milan Hotels, Bars and more!

Louise Matson Founder of Louise M shoes tips on staying in Milan Italy

As Founder of Louise M shoes I have visited Milan in Italy on several occasions to attend the Milan shoe fair, known as MICAM, Friends, family and business associates often ask me where to stay and what to do there so I have decided to share this information to help you enjoy planning your stay in Milan too.

Realise when considering my choices that my stays are often 2-3 nights only and that I am often on my own exploring, eating, drinking, and sleeping. Choices may be different if travelling with others.

Although Milan is not the prettiest city in Europe it is worth 2-3 days of your full attention. Observe the architecture, fashion, and food and you will be sure to have a wonderful stay.

When booking a hotel my preference is to stay close to the Milan Duomo. The metro is below the Duomo so it is very easy to get anywhere from there no matter the weather. You can buy tickets at the news stand in the train station.

Booking.com is a good place to start your hotel search. Narrow down some hotels according to location and price point/star rating, then check the hotel direct for prices ensuring you achieve the best price before booking. I have used booking.com many times and have always received prompt responses when needed, with helpful outcomes.

Be aware that the prices of everything has increased since we were travelling a few years ago. I am very much about experience so I enjoy beautiful places although often this can mean choosing only one, okay maybe two stunning glasses of wine to sip and enjoy the ambience of the venue.  Being a solo traveller it means exploring, eating, drinking, and staying on my own so I do not venture too far from the Duomo where I am familiar with my surroundings and always have people around.

A great source of information for everything fabulous wherever you are travelling to is Conde Nast Traveller, in this case Milan.

Listed  below are hotels/apartments I have stayed in with varying price points and whether on my own or travelling with a friend or relative.

  • The Straf – very modern, very fancy. Dark rooms - although may have been just my room. A small bar next door is very popular with the locals and a lovely place, although it can be super busy, to sip a wine after a long day. A lovely breakfast area is located in the foyer area for that very important start to the day.
  • The Street - I highly recommend this place, a favourite of mine. A boutique hotel, with a little funk!  Situated on a tiny side street near the Duomo. Really comfortable, quiet and safe. Reception is up a couple of levels.
    • Tip: Next door to Luini Panzarotti– a local institution. order the spinach and ricotta panzerotti for a meal on the go.
  • Duomo Hotel and Apartments – I stayed here this year with my best friend and travel companion. A very clever wall of cupboards offers space for clothes and suitcase, a great mini kitchen if you did want to eat in or make a cuppa, and a safe. It has a small street level reception area with lovely helpful reception staff. I booked through Booking.com on this occasion. If you are travelling with your partner and want a romantic feel this is not the hotel for you, but if you are looking for a great location and clean, spacious room this is perfect.
  • The Westin – I stayed here with my two daughters when I first travelled to Milan several years ago. Although a luxury hotel I found it too far by foot from anywhere. If you have a car it would be great as it is situated between central station and the Duomo, so use the valet park and enjoy the luxury of Westin Hotels.
  • SCF Collection– I stayed here with my business partner several years ago. The main bedroom overlooked the Duomo di Milano so had an amazing view by day and night. Not a choice for on my own but definitely worth considering when travelling with a companion. There was two bedrooms in our apartment.
  • I have not stayed at Rosa Grand and it is usually booked out during the shoe fair far in advance. I believe it is lovely and remains on my list of places to consider staying during a future visit to Milan.

There are some places I love to re visit each time I visit Milan:

  • The Bulgari Hotel for appertivo hour. A lovely place to be. A little expensive but the experience is worth it. A little bit of fancy without having to dress too fancy 😊
  • Trussardi cafe located next to the Teatro La Scala Opera House – I sit here for a glass of Franciacorta, Italy’s version of Champagne, you can eat here too of course.
  • La Rinescente - a department store with top floor restaurants overlooking the Duomo. It is a casual place where locals and tourists dine with a great view of the Duomo.  The shopping is amazing too with luxury brands on every level. Be sure to see the shoe department!
  • https://www.theworlds50best.com/discovery/sitemap/italy/milan for more choices.
  • Restaurants in the Vittorio Emmanuelle and bars upstairs.

Additional tips:

  • Teatro La Scala - you can buy ticket to view the museum and theatre at the side door on the day. It would be gorgeous to attend a performance in session but you must book ahead. The last time I was there I was fortunate to view a rehearsal of the ballet, although only for a few minutes, it was wonderful to see.
  • Depending on your stay in Milan, a free walking tour is worth looking into when you first arrive. A local resident walks you to their favourite locations in Milan including tourist and local favourites. Although 'free' it is expected that you tip them at the end depending on the value you believe they offered. I would suggest at least 10 euro per person, however entirely up to you.
  • The Last Supper – an historically significant painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. If doing a paid tour some do include the Last Supper.
  • I Navagli – canals that were once transport waterways are now surrounded with restaurants and cafes.
  • Lake Como is only an hour away so if you have a car go there for lunch. 

There are so many hotels to choose from in Milan. Choose by location, price and vibe you want eg Romanic vs. a clean room to put your bag in. 

Hope all this information from my travels helps you have an amazing holiday. If you need further advice, I will be more than happy to go with you!

For comfortable heels and flats for your travels, visit louisemshoes.com

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