How to Travel Solo to Milan on a Budget

It’s no big deal to travel solo to Milan on a Budget. You just need to do a little homework about the Italian culture, lifestyle, and facilities to know their way of life and, thereby, ways to save money. To help you in this matter, let me tell you eight tips that will help you travel solo to Milan on a budget.

1. Drink water for free

Carrying a water bottle can save your budget tremendously in Milan. Wondering how? Practically we can’t carry water for the entire day of travel. That results in us buying packed water bottles in the streets. So, carrying a water bottle is a pretty good idea to save money. But is it feasible for solo travellers? Yes, it is, in Milan. You can find nearly 400 public water fountains that provide unlimited water for free for the public. And don’t worry. The water source is the same whether you drink from the public fountain or buy a sealed water bottle.

2. Opt for a hostel

Choice of accommodation plays a major role in determining the budget for travel. In light of that, find cheap hotels or hostels for your stay in Milan. It is easy to find a budget-friendly hostel in Milan compared to hotels. As I have already mentioned in my blog post, “Top 20 Hostels/Dorms for Solo Female Travellers in Italy,” Madama hostel and Combo Milano are the best budget-friendly hostels to stay in Milan. Travelling during the off-season also lessens the money spent on accommodation. If they don’t work out, you can try Couchsurfing or camping to save money on travel.

3. Be aware of coperto charges.

Before your solo trip to Italy, you must know about Pane e coperto. Pane e coperto translates to “bread and cups” in Italian. It is a service charge that eateries tack onto every customer’s check. It can range from 50 cents to 3 or 4 euros, depending on the restaurant’s outlook. Although it is a part of Italian culture, it can be a little frustrating for travellers who are, in a way, forced to pay for uneaten bread in the name of service tax. The price is always disclosed on the menu. So, be mindful of that while visiting restaurants in Italy on the whole. No complaints. Let’s respect their culture and still be wise in our decisions.

4. Choose your food like an Italian

To save budget on solo travel in Milan, one must not let his mind wander off to non-Italian foods. Non-Italian foods will cost higher. So, go for authentic Italian flavours that are budget-friendly and stomach-filling. The best Italian dish at the best price is, without any doubt, sandwiches and pizzas.

Adding to it, if you have noticed the Italian lifestyle, you know they swear by coffee and pastries. A cup of coffee with one pastry is enough to suffice their hunger. If you follow their diet, you can save a lot of money. Hence, local cafes are the best place to eat on a budget in Milan. You can get an espresso for one euro and a pastry (croissant) for two euros. For more details on the top local cafes in Milan, check out my blog post “10 must-visit cafes in Milan“. Another pro tip is that food places where you see locals and hear Italian conversations are cheaper than places packed with the tourist crowd.

5. Get a travel pass or card.

Getting a Milan travel pass or Milano travel card pass is an effective remedy for solo travel to Milan on a budget. As a traveller, you must know about the existence of this money saver. Let me first tell you about the Milan travel pass. A Milan travel pass is a ticket generated from the booking machine in transit. You can buy a pass for a minimum of one day (24 hrs) to three days. For 24 hours, it amounts to 4.50 euros. The best part of this pass is you can travel unlimited times on public transport like the metro, bus, and trams without tickets. The tickets allow free access to common tourist locations as well.

Likewise, a Milano travel card is a travel card that needs to be bought online or offline. Without the physical card, you cannot enjoy its various benefits. For one day that is 24 hrs usage, the travel card amounts to 7 euros. This card holds benefits like

  • Travel free by public transportation.
  • Two free rides in private transportation.
  • Free access to Milan attractions such as the Poldi Pezzoli museum, Navigli boat tour, and Rickshaw tour.
  • Concessions in hotels, restaurants, museums, and tour activities.

6. Take a Radiobus instead of a taxi. 

Taking a taxi in Milan is not a good idea. Not only are they expensive, taxi drivers sometimes take advantage of the tourists and charge them more than the usual price. So, one should think twice before hiring a taxi. Thinking about it—travellers could take the liberty of discovering Milan via public transit while traveling during the day, but at night we can’t depend on public transport.

That’s when Radiobus comes to your rescue. Radiobus or the minibus runs from 10 PM to 2 PM. Of course, there will be ticket charges which are much more affordable. It comes below 3 euros. Radiobus is a cheap and safe way to travel on a budget in Milan at night. 

7. Explore the tourist’s destination free of cost

solo travel in milan on budget

The wonder of all is Milan has many popular tourist attractions that are free of cost. I am not talking about some random unpopular destinations. Top tourist destinations of Milan, such as 

  • Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)
  • Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria d’Arte Moderna)
  • Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico)
  • Milan Aquarium (Acquario Civico)
  • Natural History Museum (Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano)

Duomo Cathedral

Every trip to Milan starts with the Duomo cathedral, which is one of Italy’s must-visit landmarks. That said, the best part is Milan Cathedral is completely free to visit on all days of the week. You are free to admire the exquisite beauty and complex details of its medieval interior and be amazed by its stunning architecture. That said, entry to the cathedral’s rooftop is not free. You need to pay around 10 euros to enter the rooftop. The rooftop is another beautiful segment of the cathedral with a panoramic view of the city.

Milan Aquarium 

Milan Aquarium is a wonderful place in Milan to solo travel for free. The aquarium houses more than 100 marine species. All these habitats are native to the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Having said that, the Milan Aquarium is free to visit only on the first Sunday of every month.

Gallery of Modern Art

The Gallery of Modern Art may seem uninteresting for some travellers. But, it is a beautiful place to witness the tremendous history and awe-striking creativity of the Milanese. The museum contains more than 2700 paintings and sculptures. In addition, you can find archaic jewellery, weaponry, glass items, and old furniture on display. The museum stays open for free of entry on Tuesdays.

Solo Travel in Milan on a Budget

I hope you know how to save your budget when travelling solo in Milan. For more details on exploring the city of top-notch coffee, unique cuisine, rustic architecture, and fashion legacy, read my blog post, “My Ultimate Solo Female Travel Guide to Milan.”


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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