I have been to Milan several times for different kind of reasons but this is the first time I arranged it myself at the very last minute for Milan Fashion Week. Ok, last minute sounds a bit too much but I literally booked my accommodation just the night before the departure and with a tight budget too. From this last minute experience, I would like to share with you about what should and should not do. The first one is don’t wait until last minute!! But if you really have to do it so last minute and have no time to even do research for the trip, then here are my very personal Do’s and Don’ts list (in random order). Hope they will be helpful to you and also to those first time visitors whether last minute or not.
- spend an evening, have some seafood in Naviglio Grande. It is really yummy and local.
- go to Duomo and take photos in front of Milan Cathedral and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It will be a great memory for you in the future and very instagramable.
- do go up to the rooftop of Cathedral, I have been to so many rooftop. Most of them are just another city view but this one really worth it.
- visit Prada in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II if you are into Visual Merchandising.
- walk more. There are so many hidden historical and beautiful architectures in the street. The best way to discover them is through walking than following a guide book.
- try restaurants which are in the hidden streets. Italy is a place where I can say majority of the restaurants are not bad. Why not try your luck and have your very own personal experience.
- pay attention to street fashionistas. There are so many inspirations in the street.
- bring enough clothes. When people think about Italy, the impression is a warmer country in Europe but Milan is a surprisingly cold city to me.
- bring a small umbrella or wear a cap. It is raining quite a lot.
- Pay cover charge (whatever what that is) when eating with seats. Apart from Rome region, it is a common practice to have few euros pre person of this charge added into your bills. It is explained as the charge of the towels, forks, table clothes or breads. Everyone says different thing but basically whatever you need in order to have a meal served. It is weird but just few euros and it won’t make difference if you try to understand or refuse paying it. But the good news is you don’t have to pay tips. It is included.
- of course you can get much better price from bnb then hotel. But for the last minute travellers with budgets, don’t wait for the confirmation from bnb. It is quite unlikely the good ones with low price are still available at the last minute. It might be showing “available” on bnb website but it is very likely because the host is not able to host anyone during that time, that is why they stay available.
- don’t get distracted by sales person in Duomo especially those who encourage you to take photos with pigeons. I did and learn the lesson. You will be asked for a big amount of money after. I did pay part of it as I was quite pleased with my photos result but if you really want to have similar experience, you can easily get those pigeons foods in much cheaper price yourself.
- don’t order a latte or coffee or even coffee latte if you are expecting a regular cup of white coffee or coffee with milk. If you order a latte, a cup of milk will come to you. If you order a coffee, you will probably get an expresso instead. If you order a coffee latte, you might get a regular cup of coffee with milk or a mini cup of expresso with milk inside depending on luck and the communication in between you and the waiters. Order a latte macchiato instead to get what you really want.
- Milan is known for fashion and I do mention to get inspirations from street fashionistas on my Do’s list but fashionistas are not everywhere, don’t need to pack your most fashionable but might not be the most comfortable “Prada” for the trip unless that’s what you wear daily.
- don’t wear skinny heels. Even though Milan is a city and for a city tour, it is no problem at all to wear heels but it is still an older city with the flooring not exactly designed for skinny heels.
- don’t think you are going to get a very healthy and light
breakfast ex. cereals, all bran etc easily in Italy. Me and my friend are quite particular about breakfast. I like all brans and fruits for breakfast, she likes to have eggs but at the end, we had something like croissants even with hem and cheese inside everyday instead. If you would like to have what we usually eat, you can get them probably only from hotel breakfast.
- even though not all Italians speak English but for the places you would probably go to as a tourist especially the cafe or restaurants, you can easily find people who speak ok english. Don’t waste your time speaking your “nobody understand” Italian while the person you are speaking to actually speak english well.
- don’t use taxi or even uber if you don’t have to, they are very expensive. If you do use uber, you might can negotiate a better rate outside uber system. It sounds “dodgy” but well, you are in Italy!
These are what I can think of for now. Do share yours too!
Beautiful architectures in Milan.
Fashionistas in the street.
Milan hotel photos.
Milan Cathedrale in spring.