MILAN FAQ`S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Milan is serviced by two airports: Milan Malpensa Airport and Milan Linate Airport (used for European and domestic flights).

If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options. From Malpensa, you can take the Malpensa Express train (www.malpensaexpress.it), €13 one-way (or about €20 roundtrip) for the 30 minute journey to Cadorna station. Buses run five trips per hour, for about €10 one-way or €16 round-trip to Milan`s Central Station, the journey takes 50-minutes and is operated by Malpensa Shuttle (www.malpensashuttle.it). By taxi, the trip can cost a staggering €100, but it`s the best choice when you are running late or it`s after midnight.

If you`re arriving in Milan Linate you can take a bus. Air Bus(ww.atm-mi.it) makes the 25-minute trip by bus every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight to Stazione Centrale for about €5 (roundtrip is about €9). City bus no. 73 leaves every 10 minutes. The express no x73 is faster and departs every 20 minutes between 7 am and 8pm. Tickets for both are €1.50. A trip into town by taxi costs about €20.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Stazione Centrale in Milan is one of Europe`s busiest rail hubs, with connections to all major cities on the Continent, and throughout the region to Como, Bergamo, Brescia, Sirmione, Pavia, Cremona, and Mantua. As Italy`s version of Grand Central Station, its size requires considerable walking and patience. If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you will find it is well connected by Metro, tram and bus.

Most trains will arrive at Stazione Centrale, but some trains serve Milan's other stations: Cadorna (with service to and from Malpensa airport), Stazione Lambrate and Porta Garibaldi. Conveniently, all train stations in Milan are on the same Metro line: Linea 2, the green line.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

Milan`s extensive subway system (Metropolitana Milanese), trams and buses make it very easy to move around the city. The Metro closes at midnight (1am on Saturdays); buses and trams run all night. Tickets cost €1.50 for one Metro ride (or 1 hour and 15 minutes of tram/bus transportation). You can also purchase a ticket for unlimited travel for 1 day (€4.50) or 2 days (€8.25). Tickets are available at Metro stations and at newsstands.

Lines 1 (red, with stops at Cairoli for Castello Sforzesco and Duomo for Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Duomo) and 3 (yellow, with a stop at Via Montenapoleone) are the most useful for sightseeing.

Word of warning! Stamp your ticket when you board a bus or tram. You can be charged an expensive fine if you don`t.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

To get a taxi in Milan, you must walk to the nearest taxi stand, usually located near major piazze and major Metro stops. In the city center, there are taxi stands at Piazza Duomo and Piazza della Scala. Taxi meters start at about €3.30 with a nighttime and Sunday surcharge; and a Sunday surcharge.

I will have a car in Milan, where can I park?

We don`t recommend driving a car in Milan due to heavy traffic and the convenience of public transportation. Also, there are heavy fines for driving in restricted traffic zones and special permits are required for street parking.

If you must have a car while in the city then your hotel may offer a car park (for a fee), but the best bet is to park your car at Cascina Gobba, South Milan metro station (green line) or at Sesto San Giovanni, North Milan metro station (red line) where there are large parking lots (parking garages can be recognized by a square blue sign with a white P), then take the metro into the center.

If you are renting a car we suggest you pick it up as you depart the city to avoid excessive rental/parking expenses.

I am staying in the lake district. Where can I park my car for the day?

The most convenient parking lot is the Lampugnano multi-story parking lot in the city outskirts. You can park your car there and take the metro into the city. However, we recommend parking at the nearest local train station and taking the train into Milan.

Is Milan a walking city?

Walking is definitely a possibility, and although Milan is a large city, many of the main tourist attractions are within an easy walk from one another. In recent years, several tourist hot spots, such as the Corso Vittorio Emanuele or the Via Dante have been made pedestrian, so walking shouldn`t be a problem. Get a decent map of the city before setting out though, as the roads do not always maintain a straight line, and the various piazza can be confusing if you`re unfamiliar with the layout of the city.

Is Milan a dangerous city? Are there certain areas I should avoid?

Milan is generally safe, with some exceptions (especially at night), including the public gardens, Parco Sempione and the area to the west of Stazione Centrale. For police emergencies, dial 113 (a free call) or you can reach the English-speaking staff of the tourist police at tel. 02-863-701. There is a police station in Stazione Centrale.

Beware of the migrant vendors in the streets: most of the merchandise they sell is imitation/fake luxury goods. Even at a fraction of the cost of the original merchandise, the quality is lacking, and the goods are not well maintained in storage.

They may also try giving you "free" friendship bracelets (sometimes calling them 'a gift'). After you take the bracelet, a colored piece of string, they will hit you up for money and relentlessly pursue you until they get as much as they can. This is especially true in the tourist areas around the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco. They usually first ask `Where are you from?`. Just ignore them.

Beware of people hanging around the square outside Duomo: they will walk up to you and forcefully give you corn on the hands to feed the pigeons on the pretense that they are free. All the pigeons in the surrounding area will then fly to you. The people will then relentlessly pursue you and ask you for money.

Be careful crossing the street: drivers don`t usually respect pedestrian crossings unless there is a red light for them to stop.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency of Italy is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in Italy by clicking here.

I don't speak Italian. Will many people speak English?

English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. We suggest you get a good English-Italian dictionary and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

Where can I store my luggage in Milan?

The luggage storage office in Stazione Centrale is open daily from 6am to 11:50pm. The fee is €6 per piece for the first 5 hours with an additional €0.90 per hour for the next 6 hours and then an additional €0.40 per hour after that.

What are the best areas for shopping?

Milan is one of the world`s fashion capitals and home to the flagship stores of numerous designers: Armani, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna, Missoni, and Moschino to name a few. The best shopping is along four adjoining streets north of the Duomo known as the Quadrilatero d`Oro (Golden Quadrilateral): Via Montenapoleone, Della Spiga, Via Borgospesso and Via Sant`Andrea, which are lined with Milan`s most expensive high-fashion boutiques.

For more Milanese shopping, stroll Corso Buenos Aires. As it crosses Piazza Oberdan/Piazza Venezia heading south, it becomes Corso Venezia and the stores move up the scale very quickly.

Where can I rent a bicycle in Milan?

Bikes are available through the BikeMI bike sharing service that provides an excellent way for tourists to see the city. You pick up a bike in one of the many racks around town and leave it at another. You can register for annual or temporary subscriptions at any BikeMi station. If you register for a temporary subscription (weekly or daily), a user code, along with your password, will be sent to the e-mail address, chosen during your registration. Your codes are active as soon as you receive them. BikeDistrict is a website that offers cycling directions to get around safely in the city. Entering the departure and destination addresses, BikeDistrict finds the best itinerary for bikes, avoiding as far as possible cobblestones, tram rails, busy streets and the routes which are potentially dangerous for cyclists. The suggested route is displayed on a map and colored according to the cycling level of every street, together with real-time information about bike sharing stations and with the location of cycling-related services, such as bike repair shops.

What is the weather like and when is the best time to visit Milan?

The best times to visit Milan are April to May or September to October. These spring and fall months straddle the city`s busy peak tourism season, and they also escape the summer`s high temperatures. The months between November and March constitute the off season and are characterized by high average temps in the 40s and 50s, fog and an emptied-out city. Check out Best Time to Visit Italy for more information on when to go.

What is the food like?

Milan` cuisine may look more German at times than Italian – this is not a region where tomatoes or pasta take center stage. Instead you`ll find the focus is on meat, stews, rice, cheese and butter. This city`s traditional cooking is based on filling dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese (chicken-broth risotto made with saffron).

The city has become increasingly international, thanks in large part to its status as Italy`s capital of banking and industry, and the restaurant scene reflects that. You`re more apt to find sushi bars in Milan than you are in many other Italian cities, for instance. Still, if you want to taste something truly Milanese, then there`s plenty of restaurants to choose from.

There are trattorias (casual Italian style eateries), enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese and Italian dishes to eat. Dining times tend to be slightly earlier than in Rome or Florence, with lunch generally served between 12:30pm and 2:30pm and dinner from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, are usually preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo - a glass of sparkling wine or a Campari soda in a sophisticated hotel bar.

The restaurants located around the Duomo tend to be touristy spots, with lower quality food at inflated prices. Be aware that most restaurants charge an extra `serving tax`, approximate 2 Euros per costumer. For authentic local dining options check out the restaurants located off the beaten track.

Aperitivo: In the last several years, Milan has established a local version of the Aperitivo or Happy Hour. Italians drink very moderately and `happy hour` is not a drinking, but a social event. Generally, from 7pm to 9pm, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (around €5 - 8 each), accompanied by free all-you-can-eat buffets with snacks, pastas, and many other small appetizers. But be careful not to confuse `aperitivo` with free dinner. It`s a snack to be enjoyed with a drink. Italians will immediately see you as a buffoon- and it`s seen as tacky to fill up on finger food for dinner, although it`s common to spot them doing so.

What are the best areas for nightlife?

Milan has a great variety of places where you can have fun at night. A great starting point is Como Avenue (Corso Como), near Garibaldi Station, full of bars and glamorous clubs. In the summertime, this street is packed with young and attractive people.

Another place where you can go is Navigli quarter, near Porta Ticinese Avenue and XXIV Maggio Square, where you can find a lot of small pubs, open air cafes and restaurants by the water canals (navigli). In many pubs and bars you can find a free booklet named Zero2 which is a guide to Milan Nightlife: if you don't know what to do or where to go, make sure to grab one!

Other popular night spots with bars and people are viale Monte Nero, Piazzale Susa (and Citta` Studi area). Nights are overwhelmingly crowded at the Colonne di San Lorenzo (not far from Navigli quarter), and in the cozy Latin-quarter of Brera. Another good spot is the pedestrian part of Corso Sempione near the `Peace Arch` (Arco della Pace).

What are the general business hours in Milan?

Most stores in central Milan are open Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30am to 7.30pm, with a half-day Monday (3:30–7:30pm). Most shops close on Sundays and some still close for lunch between 12:30pm and 3:30pm.

How can I access internet throughout the city?

The free Open Wi-Fi Milano network has hundreds of hotspots all over the city, with Internet access for phones, tablets, and laptops. In addition, most Milanese hotels, bars, and cafes offer free Wi-Fi. Thoughout the city, branches of the Arnold Coffee chain (www.arnoldcoffee.it) American-style coffee bars offer free Wi-Fi.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or have an emergency?

The Centro Medico Santagostino has a series of reasonably priced clinics throughout the city and a team of doctors and dentists with many different specialties. Appointments can be made online or by calling (www.cmsantagostino.it/en; (tel) 02/8970-1701).

All emergency numbers are free. Call (tel) 112 for a general emergency; this connects to the Carabinieri, who will transfer your call as needed; for the police, dial (tel) 113; for a medical emergency or an ambulance, call (tel) 118.

Hospitals and Doctors: The Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico (tel) 02-55-031) is centrally located, a 5-minute walk southeast of the Duomo at Via Francesco Sforza 35 (Metro: Duomo or Missori). Most of the medical personnel speak some English.