Whether you’re traveling full-time like us or just going on a two week vacation, cost is usually a factor.
We recently visited Milan, Italy and were determined to spend a day seeing the sights and eating well without spending boatloads of money. As it turns out, you can have a lot of fun in Milan without spending much at all!
Here’s our guide to spending one day in Milan on the cheap.
Rent a bike with BikeMI
Milan has an amazing bike sharing program. There are literally hundreds of bike stations all over the city so you’re almost always a block away from one. They have classic pedal powered bikes as well as electric bikes.
Before heading to the station, grab a daily subscription from BikeMI. The first 30 minutes of your bike rental is free, and only .5EUR after that. So it’s super cheap and well worth it! Not to mention, it’s an amazing way to see the city.
Total cost: €4.50
Breakfast at Pavé
There are tons of bakeries throughout Milan. You seriously can’t walk a few blocks without smelling the amazing aroma of baked pastries.
If you’re near the northern part of the city, we recommend Pavé, which is a quaint little place in North Milan that has a great atmosphere, a friendly staff and, of course, delicious coffee and pastries!
Total cost: €4.00
Bike to the Milan Cathedral
The Milan Cathedral is huge and absolutely stunning. It sits in the middle of Piazza del Duomo, which is a huge square that’s buzzing with people, street performers and about a thousand pigeons.
Tickets to go inside the Cathedral are only 2EUR. For that price, you can’t miss it! But if you’re coming on a weekend or during the summer months, be prepared to wait in a long line.
Milan Cathedral on Google Maps
Total cost: €2
Lunch at Luini
Right near the cathedral you’ll find a popular little place called Luini. They have the most amazing panzerotti which, if you’re not familiar with that term, are little pastry filled with sweet or savory goodness.
We opted to try the Spinach / Ricotta as well as the Onion / Olive / Marinara, both of which completely blew us away. If we lived in Milan we’d be eating these all the time!
Total cost: €2.5
Back on the bike to see the Sforza Castle
Hop back on your bikes and make the short journey over to the Sforza Castle. This huge mass of brick was originally built in the 15th century and it straight out of storybook.
When we visited, there were hundreds of birds constantly swarming the castle, which made it all the more epic.
Entrance is free and there’s a large park in the back. After a leisurely stroll through the castle, head out the back entrance and explore the park. It’s a great place to snap some nice Instagrams and, of course, do some great people watching.
Total cost: FREE
Have an Appertivo!
Italy is known for appertivo. If you’re not familiar with this concept, it’s basically a meal before the meal, meant to stimulate your appetite. For a flat price, you’re given a drink (usually a cocktail or a beer) and unlimited access to a buffet.
By 8PM, these appertivo restaurants are packed, and this is just the warm up for dinner around 10PM!
The quality of the food varies, but we were really impressed with the Appertivo at Maya which is near Navigli. For 10EUR we had unlimited access to their constantly changing buffet and 1 premium cocktail each. Needless to say, we were stuffed and opted out of the 10PM dinner.
Total cost: €10
Take a stroll along the canal
There's a canal that runs through Navigili with tons of shops, street vendors and amazing restaurants.
After your appertivo, take a leisurely stroll along the canal. The water is clear and you can see all the way to the bottom. As the sun sets you can get some great Instagrams of the canal from atop one of the many bridges that crosses it.
Total cost: FREE
Total per person cost for the day: €23
There you have it! With this guide, you can spend a day in Milan, Italy and have a lot of fun without breaking the bank. You’ll see the sights, eat well and have an amazing time touring the city by bike.
Thanks for reading!
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