Some friends and I had been talking about going on a trip together for a while and when we found a very inexpensive flight to Milan for only €43,- (including the return flight!) in the week before Christmas, we decided to just do it! Since I couldn’t get any extra time off from work, we booked an evening flight for Tuesday and a return flight for Thursday evening. That way we could take advantage of my scheduled free Wednesday and Thursday. That would give us around 36 hours of Milan adventures! Or something like that… for all intensive purposes I will just say 36 hours haha!
So I took my trolley to work on Tuesday and went straight to Schiphol airport after to catch our flight to Milan Malpensa. About one and a half hours later -around 22:30 pm-, we arrived at Malpensa airport. We were prepared for cold weather, but holy frack! It was SO MUCH colder than in The Netherlands! After asking directions to Milan Central Station, we decided to take a direct bus for €8,-. We arrived at our destination an hour later.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Hotel Aosta, which is very conveniently located right across from Milan Central Station! We had a room with three single beds and great view of the Station. The room was very well kept and clean and the beds were very comfortable! The en suit bathroom also had everything to suit our needs. The staff was very friendly as well. What more does one need when on a city trip?
What We Saw + Did
We woke up nice and early the next day, so we could see as much of the city as humanly possible. And we did just that! Here are some snapshots from the highlights.
Piazza del Duomo with Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the background
Piazza del Duomo
Statue of Saint Bartholomew inside the Duomo
Brera – the artistic heart of the city
Castello Sforzesco | Sforza Castle
The inhabitants of Sforza Castle
Parco Sempione | Sempione Park
Arco della Pace | Arch of Peace
Navigli – the heart of Milan’s nightlife
Botanical Gardens of the University of Milan
Library of the University of Milan
What We Ate + Drank
Brioche from a little bakery for breakfast
Coffee at Cioccolatitaliani – espresso with hazelnut cream and cappuccino with coconut
This was the first espresso I had in Milan and it was SO good! This place was actually recommended in one of the inflight magazines and we stumbled on it by accident while looking for a place to warm up while waiting for Luini to open.
Panzerotti from Luini for second breakfast
Ah yes, Luini…THE place to be for panzerotti (and other delicious treats)! I was so excited to try these! For second breakfast I had a sweet panzerotti with chestnut and almond filling, while my friends had a savory one with spinach and ricotta cheese and one with mozarella and tomato. We came back for more the next day haha!
Lunch at Taverna del Borgo Antico in Brera | Milan Travel Journal
After all that exploring we had worked up quite an appetite! We read that Brera was the place to be for good food, and after scouting some restaurants we decided to eat at Taverna del Borgo Antico. Despite it being very crowded, the staff was quick in serving out our dishes and was also very friendly. I tried the risotto alla Milanese, which I found…not that impressive (thankfully, I wasn’t the only one). It might just be my lack of enthusiasm for risottos in general, though…Still glad I tried it!
Dinner at Officina 12 in Navigli
For dinner we went to Officina 12, which has such a great atmosphere and really friendly staff! I had home-made black tagliolini with sea urchin, burrata (a fresh cheese from Apulia region) and cured tuna roe. For dessert I had an assortment of pastries with a shot of (much needed) espresso. Yum!
Drinks at Gino 12 in Navigli
After dinner we went to have a drink at Gino 12, which is actually in the same building as Officina 12. So convenient! My friends had a gin tonic mixed by the bartender while I enjoyed a warm cup of tea.
Hot chocolate with rum from the Christmas Fair around the Duomo
Minestrone for lunch at Hosteria Della Musica in Brera
My last meal in Milan was another classic: minestrone! It was absolutely delicious and chock full of veggies. I am definitely going to try to recreate this at home! I really liked the Hosteria too: great atmosphere and we had a very funny and charming waiter.
Milan Travel Vlog
Like I said in my 2018 goals post, this year I really want to learn the basics of video editing. So the last few weekends I’ve been messing around with Adobe Premiere Pro. I was a little intimidated at first, because it’s a pretty advanced program and the learning curve isn’t exactly shallow. But I’m glad I plunged myself into the deep and just went for it! I used the footage that I shot during my trip to Milan and made my first travel vlog, yay!
Like a n00b, I totally forgot to film an outro, so you’ll have to excuse me for that haha! But I actually really enjoyed filming and editing, so expect more videos this year 😉
Is 36 hours enough time to explore Milan?
“36 hours? Is it even worth it to go to Milan for only 36 hours?”, a question that I’ve been asked a couple of times after shouting over the rooftops that I was going to the capital of the Lombardy (I get really excited about trips). As you can probably tell from this very long blog post: YES! We saw and did so many things even in just a single day, so I’d say it’s the perfect amount of time to spend in Milan! Or for me at least.
I’ve noticed that while I do like to stroll around the capitals of the world, I enjoy visiting smaller cities and exploring the countryside more. I guess because it’s more off the beaten path and it’s were you really get in touch with the culture of a country. I first realized this during my trip to Ireland with my boyfriend two years ago. Don’t get met wrong, it was really cool to explore Dublin, but spending a day in beautiful Glendalough and walking from Greystones to Bray are the first things that I think about when I think of our trip Ireland.
So that was my trip to Milan! I had such a great time with my friends and I can’t wait for our next trip!
Have you ever been to Milan?