Where: Milano, Italia
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust
When: April 2019
What: EU Trip Series Part 4: Milan, Italy
This is the 4th part of our trip series in Milan, Italy. If you want to back read you may click back to get to Venice.
How To Get There:
Being the metropolitan capital of Italy, there are many ways to get to Milan, but for us, coming from Venice, it is just a short train ride (2h 25m). Meaning, all we had to do was to get to our train in Venice station on time as we already had a pre booked ticket.
Getting around the city is easy as there is the cheap metro trains that can get you on most places you need to be in the city, but most of the time, since we don't have time to get lost and figure out the train, we try taxi.
Metro bus are also a nice way to get to other places, and you can buy tickets on many stores around town, just make sure you know which bus you need to get to.
Where To Stay
Arriving in Milan from Venice, we were unable to find a nice hotel in Milan that would fit within our budget, only to find out there that there is indeed a scheduled big citywide event called "Design Week" which includes all design from fashion to interiors and architecture, meaning all the hotels within the city are either fully booked or has doubled or tripled their room prices.
That being said, we were still lucky to have booked a hotel still within the area of Milan yet a bit away from the city centre that we have to ride a taxi to get to the Duomo area where all the action is at.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
Hotel Dateo (a 2 star Hotel)
+ Staff were all helpful and no language barrier as many Filipinos working
+ Easy check-in in their lobby, and their cafe/breakfast are is also located in the foyer
+ Clean room, comfortable bed with huge window for fresh air with view of courtyard
+ Room not so spacious but straight to the point and has all we need
+ Toilet has a washer but very tight shower
+ Breakfast has few choices but still able to provide sustinence
+ WiFi was working alright
+ Mini Cafe has refreshments and few stuff open 24/7 reception
- No elevator has to bring luggage up
- Location was not the best as it was almost outside of Milan
- Shower box was very tight barely able to move when scrubbing back. We are fairly smaller compared to other people so we curious how bigger people deal with that.
- Rates are totally up as we got trapped in Milan's fashion week
Price: €€ €130 - €150 / night for double room
Service: 4 Star - Service & staff were all very helpful and welcoming
Facilities & Amenities: 2 star - Basic room with everything you need, but really small shower
Restaurant (foods): 2 star -Free breakfast was really like 2 ham 2 bread and cheese and coffee
Bar: 2 star - Bar in the hotel is just the fridge with a few drinks you can buy 24/7
Overall: 2.5/5 Barely passed, meaning was able to survive 2 nights alright, location not so good
What To Do:
Milan, an old metropolitan city that has and still is a fashion capital, it is such a nice sight as the ancient mix with the modern in this metro, and is especially seen at night.
By day or night a lot of things to do, see and experience, from shopping (definitely a must for all Italian luxury fashion fans), food as Italy still pride being a culinary capital. Nightlife is also great in the city as still many places to go to late to eat antipasto and maybe grab a drink.
Most of all, it prides itself with is history still in tact and well preserved, taken care of and loved by its people both locals and tourists alike.
1. Walk around and see the Duomo Milano
The 5th largest Catholic church in the world, with the most statues than any cathedral - 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 170 figures) Started at 12th century and took 6 centuries to be completed.
2. (window) Shop till You Drop at the Fashion Capital
The mall where you see some celebrities as well as all those bloggers and influencers all fashione'd up posting on their social media on this mall. You might have probably wondered whu this mall. Not only the fact that it is one of the oldest active malls in the world, including its unique architecture really feels coming from the old world of the previous centuries, but still modernized interiors that complement with each other.
But the real reason why it is famous with famous people is that because this mall is like the center for all these Italian fashion brands if Fendi, Dolce, Prada, Verace, Bottega, Gucci, Valentino, Moschino are brands that ring a bell to you and tickle your fancy, that only means you are gonna enjoy shopping here, but yes, tread cautiously because they are luxury goods and may run expensive, but if you come prepared knowing what to buy and how much they are, you might actually find yourself a good deal, as items are cheaper at their headquarters compared to other countries with additional tariffs and all, you ought to get bigger savings.
3. Check out the Hotel and bar of a Local Designer
Right in the heart of Milan, along Brera which is also the city's design district is where the world famous local designer, Armani have their hotel and bar which is popular among the high class as their rates may be a bit expensive compared to others, guess you get to experience accommodation with a touch of Armani.
4. On Design: Check out the Latest and the Avant Garde
At the last minute we were able to get a local guide who showed us around Milano that are not the most popular ones. Showed us from Montenapoleone to Brera which is the design district, luckily (or not?) on the days of our stay in Milan was also the opening of their big event called Design Week so all hotels were fully booked and prices tripled, good thing we were still able to experience the event as the whole area of its design district are open for people showcasing each of their own concepts for people to see.
5. Something to Eat while around Milano
After long hours of walking, surely we have burned so much calorie that every now and then we need to refuel again, and in a country that prides itself with its culturia culinaria it is still lovely to taste a random pizzeria we see that is popular among locals.
6. A Peek at the Old Milan with its Churches
Milan has also quite some stories to share when it comes to its history, but let its buildings and churches do the talking and you'd discover and learn many things about Milan's past.
7. Experience Night Life in Milan
We are not getting young and so is the night, tired and beat from all day of walking (and a few shopping - hell yeah you are in Milan afterall) we were almost wanting to just go to our hotel to sleep, but after a cup of espresso, and the fact that it is our last day in Italy, as we will be going on our way to Switzerland, might as well enjoy the night and check out the scene, not really get wasted as we don't want to miss our train the next day.
Thanks to our local guide earlier, Armando who suggested a couple of places for us to cap our night in Milan, among his suggestions were the Armani bar with nice view of the city (meh too expensive and upscale) and this bar which has the view of Duomo. It is a no brainer that we picked this bar, because for just an entrance fee which includes unlimited appetizers and 1 drink with a view of the majestic church, we would definitely grab a seat, but since we don't have reservation we just waited a couple of minutes as we are earlier than others so we immediately got a seat.
Chilled out on the terrace of an evidently old building with its big pillars above us, and right across the terrace is the view of the wide plaza with the Duomo Milano as its main view. We ordered Aperol Spritz which is a local famous drink together with some fancy lounge music played by the DJ and each others company was great way to cap our Italian escapade,
Grazie Italia for the lovely pizza, pasta, formaggi, caffe, history, culture, fashion! We truly had fun! Arrivaderci and off to Luzern!
* $100 USD = €89 EUROS (as of April 2019)
Accommodation - High End - 1,000€+++
Accommodation - Mid - €150 - €200
Accommodation - Budget - €100 but may be lower depending on haw far area from center
Transport - Taxi - €20 from our hotel to city center / €50 from airport to city centre
Transport - Regional Rail tickets, €15/per person up to €60 depending on time, and trip etc.
Transport - Sightseeing Tour - €50 - €200 tour with private guide car and driver etc.
Food - Snacks - €5 - €10
Food - Restaurant (set meal for 2) - €30 - €50 per head
Food - Fastfood Meal - €10 - €15 per head
Drinks - Hotel Beer €5 - €10
Drinks - Bottled Water - €3 - €5
Drinks - Espresso Coffee - €1 - €3 (really depending on the place if touristy more expensive)
Drinks - Coffee Cappuccino - €2 - €5
Drinks - Nightlife Bars - €30 with 1 drink and antipasto buffet, with view of Duomo Milano
Others - Toilet Use / WC - €1 - €2
Misc. - Legal / Light Canna CBD - €16 / Gram ; €20 Packaged cookies
Souvenir - T-Shirt - €20 €50
Souvenir - Magnets / Keychain = €5 - €10
Souvenir - Premium items, Chocolates etc, - €20 - €50
Souvenir Football Jersey - €15 - €20 (Reproduction/Copy) €50 - €100 (Authentic)
*Note: Different rates for Seniors, and also for toddler
**Protip: book earlier online thru their websites, or thru official booking apps to avoid queue at ticket counter and sometimes even get discounts & better prices just show the barcode/qrcode on your phone, paperless!
**Protip: Have your local home currency exchanged to Euros through your local banks, and also fill your ATM, and ready your credit cards. We got used to having US Dollar as main currency that when we tried to exchange it to Foreign exchange shops, the commissions/fees are outrageous that USD $200 becomes around €120 - €140 instead of becoming €177 (which is the rate today April 2019)
Tips are generally not required however if you have truly enjoyed the service you are always welcome to share a tip to your server, cook, helper, guides, etc.
Off To the land of Peace, Clocks, Knives? and Cheese! Switzerland
NEXT: Lucerne, Switzerland
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