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Milan City Guide
- How big is Milan?
- The total area of Milan is approximately 183.77 km2 (71 sq mi).
- How many people inhabit it?
- Roughly 1,317,882 people live in Milan.
- What are the language and the currency?
- The people of Milan speak Italian as their first language but many will have good English also. They spend the Euro in Milan.
- Enjoy Milan's wine
Things to see in Milan
- What is Milan's number one attraction?
- It would probably have to be one of Italy's most amazing cathedrals, Il Duomo. This amazing cathedral is made up of over 135 spires and over 3000 statues. This Gothic Duomo is the third largest of its kind in Europe.
- Anything else which shouldn't be missed in Milan?
There are lots of sights to see in Milan as it is packed full of historical architecture and culture. The Castello Sforzesco was once the home of the ruling families of Milan and today houses several museums.
La Scala Theatre is one of the most renowned opera houses in the world and dates back to 1778.
If science and technology are your thing do not miss out on a visit to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology.
- What about art and culture?
- There is plenty of art and culture in the city of Milan to choose from. Museums worth visiting include the Pinacoteca di Brera where you will find one of Italy's most important art collections. Poldi Pezzoli Museum houses one of the world's richest private art collections and Museo del Duomo is the Museum of the Cathedral. Art galleries worth noting include the Galleria Ponte Rosso and the Galleria d'Arte Moderna.
Going out in Milan
- Is it expensive to go out in Milan?
- You might think it would be but Milan is actually full of bars and clubs to suit all tastes and budgets.
- Where are most of the bars found?
- Probably the best place for bars is around the Navigli district just south of the city centre. Another great spot for nightlife is Corso Como in Girabaldi.
- Is there anything to do that doesn't include alcohol?
- Many of the bars in these areas are full of outdoor seating so it can be enjoyable to sit back and take it all in even if you are not drinking. You will also find some great live music around the Navigli district.
- Anything else I need to know?
- The bars and clubs of Milan are open all week long but usually the busy nights are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However, Wednesday night appears to be one of the coolest to go out in stylish VIP-frequented clubs.
Eating Out in Milan
- Is it expensive to eat out in Milan?
- It depends on where you go but if you avoid the touristy traps (particularly found around the Duomo) you can get good value for money.
- Are international cuisines well represented?
- Milan may be ahead of the times when it comes to fashion and trends, but when it comes to food it sticks to what it knows best – good traditional Italian cooking. You will find a great selection of Chinese restaurants around via Paolo Sarpi, the heart of Milan's Chinatown.
- What can I expect from the food in Milan?
- As mentioned earlier, Milan restaurants pride themselves on sticking to what they do best – traditional home cooked Italian food. The main types of eateries are trattorias, enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants. There are also cafes and chains around the city that are quite popular too. Milan's traditional food is based on dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese (chicken-broth risotto made with saffron). They also embrace pasta and pizza just like the rest of Italy too.
- Anything else I need to know?
- Times of dining out in Milan tend to be that little bit earlier than in other Italian cities with lunch generally served between 12:30PM and 2:30PM and dinner from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, are usually preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo—a glass of sparkling wine or a Campari soda.
Transport in Milan
- How many different modes of public transport are there in Milan?
There are six different types of public transport in Milan: Metro, Trams, Buses, S –lines, Taxis and Radiobus.
The Metro has 3 lines and you will find stations by looking out for a big white M on a red background. The metro is probably the best way to get around and you can use either line depending on where you want to go. They are: MM1, red (rossa); MM2, green (verde); MM3, yellow (gialla).
Trams or streetcars as they are also known run above ground through the streets. These are very convienient for shorter trips.
Buses are also a good means of public transport and are comfortable and reliable.
S –lines is the suburban railway system and connects metro area towns with the city. Taxis are also used around Milan but can be expensive.
Radiobus is often used as a cheap alternative to taxis. It is a shuttle-bus run by the cities transport authority – ATM. They operate between 8pm and 2am and can be booked over the phone.
- Can I buy a ticket that covers all modes of transport?
- Yes, well most of them. A single ticket costs €1 and is valid for 75 minutes once validated for use on as many trams and buses as you like, but only for one ride on the metro and one of the urban part of the suburban train. You can also buy a 24 hour ticket for €3 and 48 hour tickets €5.50. Books of 10 single tickets can be purchased for €9.
- Will I need to use public transport at all?
- It depends. Milan is a very pleasant city to walk around but if you do want to save your feet then its public transport is a good alternative.
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