Is Milan Worth Visiting? (Yes! Here Is a Detailed Review!)

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Milan is well-known as the fashion capital of the world.

But for many of us that don’t follow fashion, you might wonder is Milan worth visiting?

The answer is most definitely yes! Fashion aside, Milan has so much to offer.

As Italy’s second city after Rome, it boasts something for everyone.

Why the Hesitance to Visit Milan?

When people want to visit Italy, many tourists avoid Milan.

This is because it can be expensive, doesn’t often seem typically Italian, and doesn’t have a lot of green space.

visiting Milan in Italy
Visiting Milan Italy

However, don’t let this put you off.

Though there is, of course, a swathe of high-end hotels and restaurants, Milan is also home to:

  • affordable accommodation
  • amazing cheap food
  • and excellent transport systems

Most of Milan’s architecture is pretty modern though there is a smattering of Neoclassical, Renaissance, and medieval places to see.

Milan doesn’t have a homogenous historic center like Rome, for example, but its charm is built on other things.

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Let’s explore all of the reasons Milan is worth visiting.

Why Milan Is Worth Visiting

Though people choose their travel destinations according to their interests and tastes, Milan has lots to offer and has something for everyone.

1. Design and Fashion

Even if fashion isn’t your thing, we have to address this first.

After all, this is what Milan is best known for.

Milan fashion city
Milan fashion

Visiting this trend-setting location can feel a little daunting if you’re not a fashionista but rest assured that not everyone in Milan is walking around in avant-garde, designer attire.

Sure, pack some nice outfits and a pair of designer sunglasses if you wish, but plenty of people wear ordinary clothes in this city.

2. Art

If you’re into art Milan is a destination of choice.

Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci

Here is a selection of magnificent works of art on display in Milan:

  • Madonna del Roseto (Madonna of the Rose Bush) by Bernardino Luini c.1510
  • Madonna of the Book by Sandro Botticelli c.1480-1481
  • Il Quarto Stato (The Fourth State) by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo 1898-1901
  • The Lamentations over the Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna c.1480-1490
  • The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci c. 1495-1498

3. The Food

Everyone knows that the food in Italy is to die for and the city of Milan certainly lives up to expectations.

Milan is the birthplace of many Italian favorites, including gorgonzola cheese and panettone.

Milan worth visiting for food
Looking for street food in Milan

There is a huge variety of different cafes, bars, and restaurants to choose from.

You’ll find traditional Italian restaurants as well as cocktail bars, bicycle-friendly coffee shops, international fusion bars, and a massive fifteen Michelin-starred restaurants.

4. The happy hour

Milan has a unique (and fantastic) happy hour culture.

Throughout Italy, you’ll get some chips or peanuts with your wine or cocktail.

After work food and drink in Milan
Happy hour in Milan

However, in Milan, you’ll get much more of a feast presented to you. You can expect buffets with up to ten dishes you can try.

This tradition reportedly started because Milan is obsessed with being productive.

As such, workers would go to a bar for an after-hours meeting.

In Italy – 6 pm would be too early for their evening meal and so little snack buffets were set up specifically for this happy hour!

5. It isn’t overly “touristy”

When you go to a place like Rome or Venice, most people you see are tourists.

In Milan, it isn’t like this.

Sure, there are tourists but not overwhelmingly so. You can generally get out and about without being in a crowd.

However, if you do want to visit The Last Supper, you will need to book well in advance.

6. It’s close to other good destinations

If you’re doing a long trip, Milan is an ideal base for visiting other places in Europe.

Milan is near Lugano Switzerland
Lugano Switzerland

You’ve got France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria all within easy reach.

It’s also easy to reach the beautiful Italian lakes and national parks like the Parco delle Orobie Begamasche near Bergamo.

By air, Milan is easily accessible to all major European destinations too.

7. It’s multicultural

Everyone will feel at home in Milan.

Around 20% of the population of this city is foreign-born. This is one of Europe’s highest rates of expats.

Milan is also the only city in Italy to have its very own Chinatown, which you’ll find on Via Paolo Sarpi.

Multicultural city Milan in Italy
Multicultural city Milan

The largest expat group are Filipinos but there is also a large number of other Southeast Asians, South Americans, Middle Easterners, Americans, and Eastern Europeans too.

Along with its tourists, Milan certainly feels multicultural and cosmopolitan.

This multicultural element of the city also means you get an abundance of authentic international food options too – should you want to try something other than pasta and pizza, of course!

8. You can walk everywhere

Unlike many European cities, Milan is extremely walkable.

It’s very flat everywhere and isn’t huge. The longest stretch you might walk is around 5 km (3 miles).

Walking Milan in Italy
Milan is extremely walkable

This is the stretch from the nightlife district (near the Naviglio Grande canal) and the central train station.

If you do walk this, you’ll go through the fashion district of Montenapoleone as well as Piazza del Duomo.

If you like cycling, Milan is a dream city (unless you hate cobbles!).

9. The trams are charming

The yellow streetcars add a real touch of romance and elegance to the city.

The best ones have been around for almost 100 years and have exquisite wooden interiors.

Trams in Milan Italy
Trams in Milan

Unlike many European cities that lost their trams after WWII when cars took off, Milan has kept its tramways.

This is largely due to the fact that Milan didn’t really grow huge like many cities, which meant the tram was still an efficient way of connecting the neighborhoods.

10. The canals are great

Milan boats a deep-rooted connection with its Navigli or canals.

Romantic canals in Milan Italy
Romantic canals in Milan

These were used to bring marble blocks into the center from Candoglia to build Milan’s fantastic Duomo.

Keep In Mind – Sailing on the canals is a romantic and comfortable way of getting to know all aspects of Milan – and they’re even central to the nightlife in the city too!

Final thoughts

If you were wondering is Milan worth visiting, we hope we’ve now answered your question!

We think it’s certainly worth a visit as we’ve shown you with our ten reasons!

So, get checking out your flights and accommodation to plan your perfect trip – and don’t forget to book your visit to see Da Vinci’s The Last Supper too!

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