Sunday, 22 May 2016

72 Hours in Milan

Okay guys, so if you know me well you probably already know I am a massive fan of travelling and if there is one kind of holiday I get excited about its visiting all of the beautiful European cities. I am constantly checking sky scanner and looking out for cheap flights in order to see a little bit more of the world. I'm currently saving up to be able to go to some of my slightly further afield bucket list destinations in 2017 so unfortunately I'm not sure whether I will have the luxury of a relaxing beach holiday this summer, but I'm hoping that my boyfriend will sort us out something super cheap and cheerful (I have my heart set on Croatia btw). Anyways I couldn't resist a short break to Milan this month with some of my family. I actually haven't been to Italy before AT ALL so I had no idea what to expect but I had such an enjoyable time! 

To be honest I can imagine that some would find Milan a bit of a meh city at first glance. It lacks the breathtaking beauty of places like Rome and Venice and is more of an industrial city. But those of you who are willing to take a closer look will discover just like me that it definitely has a kind of understated charm. The Milan Cathedral is definitely a sight to behold and is very much on a par with Barcelona's Sagrada Familia! The insane marble detail definitely had me gasping and staring in absolute awe. I also visited the nearby Sforza Castle which is completely free and placed within the beautiful Parko Sempion which of course stares onto the Arco Della. Milan reminded me a lot of Berlin in the sense that it is much more slower paced and relaxing than the busy hustle and bustle of a much more tourist focused city like Barcelona or Paris. Don't get me wrong I enjoy every place I visit normally but sometimes its nice to go somewhere where not every shop sells overpriced souvenirs and there's something also very charming about having a waiter speak to you in broken English and having to use a phrasebook just to be able to order your favourite coffee. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was the fact I didn't get to see Leonardo Da Vincis 'Last Supper' as I wasn't aware before my trip that booking your viewing had to be done months in advance.

Speaking of things which are overpriced if you are going to travel to a fashionable city like Milan I think it goes without saying that you will definitely be checking out the shops. Whilst I didn't have the funds necessary to splurge in the likes of Prada and Giorgio Armani (located in the beautiful Gallerio Vittorio Emanuelle II) I did find that the high street shops were really good and I remembered some of them from when I used to live in Portugal. I actually bought a few bits and pieces from the likes of Sephora, Yves Rocher and Bershka, and I found out literally the day we left that they also have a Victoria's Secrets so I was a little bit gutted I didn't manage to find that one! I wasn't surprised to find that the Milanese people all dress impeccably well, and I spotted many business types in sharp designer suits and polished shoes. I think also its something to think about if you are going to visit Milan as although the weather is pretty nice around this time you don't really want to stand out like a sore thumb in denim shorts and a crop top when everyone around you is so well dressed.

One of the best things about Milan was definitely how easy it is to get around and despite earlier concerns that this would be one of the more expensive city breaks I definitely did not find it to be expensive either for food or travel. Since we stayed in an apartment for 4 nights and a hotel only one night we had the luxury of our own cooking facilities which came in handy for making cooked breakfasts and having chilled wine and cheese evenings, which were definitely more expensive to go out for. I would definitely recommend to stay in an apartment as if you are a vegetarian like me you will find it hard to be able to eat anything in a restaurant other than the traditional pizza and pasta. If you are looking for a little variety then I would definitely recommend the canal side restaurants in the Navigli District as they tend to be cheaper, quirkier and offer a lot more choice.You can also take a boat out on the canals if you want to see more of Milan. Another thing to do is to check out the San Siro Stadium, which unfortunately was closed to visitors in preparation for The Champions League but we managed to see it by going into the stadium shop and viewing it through the glass.

As you might be able to tell I had the most wonderful time visiting a charming city. Far from what I expected I actually found loads to do and I definitely ran out of time towards the end of my trip as there are so many other sites and attractions which I'd love to go back and visit. If you enjoy immersing yourself in another culture and don't mind having to do a lot of walking and navigate your way to some of the main sites then Milan is definitely an enjoyable experience. It is also very easy to travel to other parts of Italy from the main train station Milano Centrale so if you fancy a visit to Venice or Napoli its very doable! Just make sure you take plenty of spending money though as it will cost you a bit!

Have you guys ever been to Milan? What is your favourite city to visit? 

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