Well known for shopping, fashion shows and aperitifs, Milan is sometimes an underrated travel destination, even for Italians. But with good maps at hand from HERE and some planning, you can easily find your way to interesting sites around town and in the countryside.
Whether you’re getting to Milan by plane, train, bus or car, chances are that you’ll first set foot into the city around Stazione Centrale, the main train station. It’s not only a central transit hub, but also an architectural landmark that deserves to be admired.
From there, you can easily get to the most obvious sights with the affordable metro. Just take the yellow line to Duomo and in few minutes, you’ll be in front of Milan’s gothic cathedral, the third largest church in the world. You’ll probably want to climb up to the roof for an exhilarating view of the city.
If you love fashion, you’ll probably want to explore the Quadrilatero della moda (fashion square), formed by Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia.
If history is more your cup of tea, you can walk from Duomo to the Sforza Castle, passing via the beautiful Piazza Mercanti. Of course, if you have limited time, you can always jump back on the metro — this time the red line — and get closer to the castle in a couple of minutes.
No matter how you spend your day, it’s what you do after around 6:30pm that really counts in Milan. No day can end properly if you don’t have an aperitivo. You can enjoy the Italian version of happy hour everywhere in the city, but the most traditional places where you can taste an Aperol Spritz or a Negroni Sbagliato are Bar Basso and Camparino.
If you’re visiting Milan for the first time, perhaps the best way to spend the night is by walking along the poetically named Via Fiori Chiari and Via Fiori Oscuri (streets of the Light Flowers and Dark Flowers respectively). Easily reached by taking the metro green line to Lanza, they’re some of the most well-known streets in the beautiful Brera district. At night, dozens of fortune tellers will offer their services to passers-by in exchange for few Euros.
Milan certainly offers much more than these very touristic sights, enough to keep you busy for a couple of days. Jumping on one of the four metro lines (1, 2, 3 and… 5, but better known by the colours red, green, yellow and purple) will help you get around very easily, but because it mainly operates underground you may miss the beauty of the city. As an alternative, you can use one of the many streetcars and if you’re lucky, you’ll travel with one of the old-timers (psst, one of Milan’s oldest streetcars also operates on San Francisco’s F Market & Wharves line). Just make sure you download the map of Italy or the Lombardy region on your smartphone with HERE WeGo.
As an added bonus, HERE WeGo doesn’t only include transit directions within the city of Milan, but also all the Trenitalia trains to travel around Italy.
Or go to Bergamo, once part of the Republic of Venice, to admire its newly UNESCO-listed Venetian Walls.