Hi there! A few weekends ago I visited Milan for a day and had the best time! If you’re interested in arts, good food & Christmas markets then this is the Milan Day Trip guide for you!
Getting to Milan
Train: I took the train from Genova to Milan Central and it cost around €30 return (taking the longer trains, on a Sunday). It’s a 1h 45 – 2h journey and it doesn’t make that many stops. It’s quite pricey but I think if you really want to visit, it’s worth it over any other transport options as you save the most time. There are a bunch of stations in Milan so it might just depend where you’re coming from as to which one you go! We went to Milan central and found it really easy to get to the centre via the metro.
Bus: I’m a huge fan of Flixbus [Affiliate Link] as it’s generally the cheapest option and you can carbon offset when buying your ticket. This time it was just easier to take the train but
Inner City Travel: Milan has a really easy to navigate metro system. You can buy tickets from the stations or you can just pay by contactless. The Moovit app is the simplest way to plan your bus/metro travel (works in every region in Italy but also in a bunch of other countries).
The Cathedral is the most iconic landmark of the City. I didn’t go inside due to queues, lack of time, wanting to save money and really I just wasn’t that interested in it but It’s definitely a site to behold from the outside. You can easily reach the Duomo with the Metro (we took the yellow line to San Donato from Milan Central station). There are so many things nearby that it’s a no-brainer to visit and use as a starting point.
Close to the Duomo, Novecento gallery & many restaurants and cafes is Humana Vintage. Humana is a great second-hand shop that sells a wide range of items that are quirky, cool and great quality. Part of their ethos is affordability as they do a lot of charity work and want to make sure that those they help on low-incomes could shop there too. Their website is in Italian but if you want to check it out you can find it here.
Location: Corso Giuseppe Mazzini, 2, 27100 Pavia PV. Opening Times: 10:30-19:30. Sundays 11:30-13:30 then 14:00-19:00.
This museum is a celebration of Italian art from the 20th Century. We spent a few hours here and it really was such a great collection: something for everyone! There was also a fab exhibition showcasing Filippo de Pisis which I’d 100% reccomend.
Location: The gallery is less than 2 minutes from the Cathedral. Just go to the small square slightly behind and to the right of the Duomo. Opening Hours: 09:30-19:30. It’s open until 22:30 on Thursdays & Saturdays. Monday’s opening times are 14:30-19:30. Admission: €5 (full price), €3 (reduced for those 18-25, 65+), Free (under 18). The Exhibition is €12 (full price), €10 (reduced for 14-26, 65+).
For lunch we went quite close to the Duomo (about a 5 minute walk) and found this really fun Japanese – Brazillian fusion restaurant and we had some yakisoba with more tropical additions like mango & pineapple. I would definitely recommend for something a little different, it tasted really good! The interiors are so funky and it was pretty affordable.
I loved their sustainability aspect too. Their seafood is certified which means it’s sourced responsibly & they’re also taking steps to reduce plastic waste and use corn alternatives.
As we had limited time, we prioritied the Green Christmas market (only runs for one weekend each December) over some of the more traditional ones. I am so glad we did because we had an amazing time. It was a little far out of the city centre so we took the yellow line to Zara and then had a 5 minute walk to Fonderia Napoleonica Eugenia where the market was held. The location was actually amazing and the district had lots of cafes, restaurants and artisan/vintage shops to explore too. Inside the market, there were a lot of vendors selling a wide variety of products. There was some amazing & ethical jewellery, art, clothing, beauty, loose leaf tea & food to be found!
You can view a comprehensive list of Christmas Markets in Milan here. I would’ve also liked to visit Bej! Bej! if time had permitted.
Before heading back to the train station, we took a break at Deus Ex Machina for a coffee and it was such a nice place. They do food there too and had a lot of outdoor seating which would be lovely in the summer so I guess we’ll just have to go back and visit again!
I hope you got some inspiration for a Milan Day Trip! I’m hoping to visit again and stay for a bit longer next time so if you have any recommendations then please do let me know!