Milan, arguably the fashion capital of the world, where heavyweights like Dolce & Gabanna, Prada and Armani were born. This lively city in the middle of Italy pays homage to its spectacular design and quality, found throughout every facet of its culture – food, clothing and architecture. Navigating through this beautiful city can be daunting, with millions of tourists visiting every year. Speak to any local and I can assure you, their recommendations won’t match up with those found on Trip Advisor or the like. As such, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite places, all recommended by our friends in Milan and tested by the Man of Style team.
So read on for our Insider’s Guide to Milan.
Where to eat
Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/a, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
One of the oldest pastry shops in Milan, where the best ‘panettone’ is made. It’s owned by the Prada group, so if you can’t afford one of their bags, pick up one of their branded pasty’s instead.
Via Felice Casati, 27, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
A cute artisan bakery serving proper coffee and sweet/ savoury pastries. This is our go-to for every time we visit Milan. The produce is baked entirely in-house, with top quality ingredients.
Via Manfredo Camperio, 6, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
A quirky restaurant which was easily one of our favourites experiences in this city. We were recommended by a cool local who knew whats up. The interior is amazing, just like your nonnas house, and the food is too. I won’t say anymore but be sure to check this one out!
Ristorante da Oscar
Via Lazzaro Palazzi, 4, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
A no-frills bustling Milanese restaurant serving ginormous portions of homemade pasta and meat dishes at very reasonable prices. The interior looks the same as it did 30 years ago, and we love it. Be sure to call at least a few hours before as it’s always busy.
Via Salasco, 17, 20136 Milano MI, Italy
A cute & trendy restaurant with a horde of flowers and indoor plants (could easily have mistaken this for a florist). The lunch special comprises of 1 a la carte dish, a glass of wine and an unlimited selection from the buffet.
Via Selvanesco, 36, 20141 Milano MI, Italy
This was one of our favourite dinners in Milan. Getting here is a little tricky as it’s quite a bit outside of the city. Once you arrive, you see exactly why it’s so special. Floral tablecloths, tassel curtains and candles throughout, with spectacular garden views. You really feel like you’ve left the hustle of Milan behind.
Via Conca del Naviglio, 7, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
A trendy restaurant serving tapas style dishes with a Milanese twist. Great ambience and vibe which spills out onto the streets later. There’s also a hidden speakeasy-style bar below, but you didn’t hear it from us!
Via Savona, 10, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
A super trendy restaurant serving the best seafood in Milan. This place fills out quick, especially during the busier months, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible.
Where to shop
Galleria del Corso, 4, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
A unique multi-brand luxury department store spanning several floors. Setting foot inside will have you feeling like you’ve entered in 2040, with numerous LED strips, eye-catching videos and art installations. You’ll find everything you need here to hit the streets of Milan Fashion Week.
Corso Genova, 6, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Situated on Corso Genova, one of the most vibrant and quintessential Milanese streets. Here you’ll find a carefully curated selection with designer brands like Alexander Mcqueen, Givenchy, Golden Goose and more. The interior is phenomenal, with marble countertops and squeaky polished floors, all spanning over two levels.
Corso di Porta Ticinese, 16, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
A small but cool boutique stocking innovative brands from all across Europe. Think Scandi-chic with brands like Acne Studios, CMMN SWDN and Drole de Monsieur.
Via Gesù, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
More than just a street, Via Gesu is arguably the most important point for menswear and tailoring. Here, you’ll find boutiques like Aqua Di Parma, Brioni, Rubinacci, all in one beautiful little side street.
Where to drink
Via Ceresio, 7, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
A trendy rooftop bar atop of Hotel Viu in the Chinatown district of Milan. Be sure to dress the part, as this venue is frequented by local and international models alike. It features a pool and 360-degree rooftop, so bring some swim shorts and soak in that afternoon heat.
Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
Designed by director Wes Anderson and owned by the Prada group, Bar Luce is definitely one to visit. It’s set inside Foundation Prada so be sure to enjoy a couple of Spritzes after exploring the numerous exhibitions available.
Armani Bamboo Bar
Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
A swanky bar owned and operated by the Armani Group. Groovy ambience thanks to the DJ’s playing downtempo house with delicious cocktails and food for all night long. It’s a tad on the expensive side, but worth it for the views and location alone. The perfect spot to kick start your night out. Dress sharp!
Where to dance
Social Music City
Via Giovanni Lorenzini, 3/A, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
This ginormous space hosts some of the best techno events across Europe. Be sure to check out the link above to find out who’s playing when you’re in town. They only run during the summer months so if you’re around, don’t miss out!
Via Circonvallazione Idroscalo, 41, 20090 Novegro-Tregarezzo MI, Italy
An awesome multi-genre venue hosting some huge artists across different forms of music. Some events play techno, some disco, some house and others live music. It’s best to follow their Facebook page here for live updates on what’s happening.
What to see & do
Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
Foundation Prada is an exceptionally well-designed building owned and operated by the Prada group, located in the southern part of Milan. It’s a multifaceted space design to challenge conventional exhibitions. Be sure to check it out, as well as the numerous works inside.
Via Bergognone, 40, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
Here you’ll find Giorgio Armani’s own museum, dedicated to all his designs over the last few decades. The building is in a renovated granary, built for the Nestle company in the 50’s. It’s an impressive museum, both architecturally, and the content inside.
Where to stay
Porta Venezia, in green, is a beautiful, upmarket area with trendy restaurants and bars on every corner street. As a tourist, I would have to say this is our favourite area to stay in. Naviglio, in red, however, is the ‘’hipster’’ area of Milan. It’s far less touristy, where trendy Milanese call home. It has plenty of restaurants and bars, however, we did find ourselves spending more time in Porta Venezia.
There’s only Uber black in Milan so it’s quite expensive. However, the tram network is pretty good, so download CityMapper and navigate like a local. Or alternatively, you can rent a Vespa and zip through the streets even quicker.
It’s always best to call up restaurants in advance to avoid disappointment. During the busier months, most places book out quickly, especially the trendier places.
The major international airport is Malpensa, which is quite far out of the city centre. Don’t get stung ordering a taxi or uber, simply, take the main train directly to Milano Centrale. It’s connected to the airport and only cost 10 Euros
This guide was last updated 20/08/2018.