My Ultimate Solo Female Travel Guide to Milan, Italy
Gucci, Valentino, Prada, Armani, Versace. Do these names ring a bell? I am not going to take no for an answer.
Well, this article is about my solo travel to the city of fashion, the city of greenery and the city of finance—Milan.
Fly to Milan Airport
You have fixed Milan as your next solo travel destination. So, without delay, book flight tickets to Milan airport. You may get confused at this point, as there are three airports in Milan. The airport of Malpensa, Bergamo and Linate.
Malpensa and Bergamo are the two international airports. You can easily pick one of them because both the airports are at an equal distance from the central city, and different modes of transport are available at the exit point. Malpensa is the oldest and the busiest airport next to Rome.
If you’re looking to explore Milan on a rented vespa, check out my blog post on how to rent a vespa in Milan.
The fusion of local and gothic architecture: Duomo Milan Cathedral
Duomo Milan Cathedral is the grand entrance into the art and beauty of Milan. You must visit this specular beauty of Milan on your very first day of solo travel. The cathedral is a fusion of local Lombardy and Romanesque gothic architecture. It will be open from 8.30 in the morning till 7 in the evening.
I love the lined-up pinnacles of the cathedral, each holding a tall and lean statue. And I loved the interiors of the church as well. Oh! The windows are pretty, painted with narrations from the bible.
Hop into the red train for a fairy tale adventure
My favourite travel experience in Milan as a solo traveller is boarding the Bernina express. Yes, Bernina express is the red train I referred to in the title. The train boards from Bernina station to St. Moritz, covering the amazing landscape of the Swiss Alps. I mean it. It was my breath-taking experience!
If you are trying to save money, I suggest you buy the second-class tickets alone. The best part of this trip is everyone inside the train will be excited travellers like you. It, even more, pushes your excitement!
I can still hear the mountains, forests, rivers calling to me like the sound of the siren from the frozen movie. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.
If you want to travel solo in Milan on a budget, you can read my blog post on how to save money during your solo trip to Milan.
Visit the L.O.V.E and F***k statue
Got any ideas on what L.O.V.E and F***k? I know the title is capturing and confusing at the same time. That was how I literally felt on my solo travel to Piazza Affari, Milan.
Piazza Affari is Milan’s financial centre. The Milan stock exchange building has become popular since 2010 for displaying a statue of a hand of about 4 meters showing off the middle finger.
Wait! Even more interesting part of the statue is the word L.O.V.E engraved on it. L.O.V.E stands for Liberta (freedom), Odio (hate), Vendetta (feud), Eternita (eternity). Just an unusually nice place to visit and take snaps on your solo travel to Milan.
Look at the star and take a pilgrim stop at the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio
Sant’Eustorgio is the oldest cathedral situated at the centre of the city. Aesthetically pleasing with its simple bricky construction in elegant Roman structure, the bell of the cathedral bears the symbol of a star indicating the three magi.
The cathedral will open from 10 in the morning. Yes, you have entry fees. You will have to pay 6 dollars to visit the cathedral and their museum. While you are there, don’t forget to see,
- The Ancona of the Passion
- The Brivio chapel
- The Magi chapel
- The Torriani chapel
- The Visconti chapel
- The crucifix of the master of the Dotto chapel
Beautiful fresco, murals, sculptures are awaiting you at these spots of the cathedral.
Want to know other important landmarks in Italy? Please read my blog post on 25 must-visit landmarks in Italy as a solo traveller.
Take a look at the chest box of skull remains at San Bernardino Alle Ossa church
Catacombs must be a burned-out place to you, as I have discussed some in my previous blogs. But these are rare places considering their availability globally. Of course, Italy is home to many catacombs.
One such catacomb in Milan you must visit on your solo travel is San Bernardino Alle Ossa church, located at Giuseppe Merlo that is so close to the Milan Cathedral. It will be open from 7:30 am to 6 pm. Also, no visitors are allowed between 12 pm to 1 pm.
Walk a little from the Sant’Eustorgio cathedral to reach the chapel of Portinari. The Portinari chapel serves visitors for three of its attractions,
- The painting of Mary and Jesus with horns
- The shrine of St. Peter of Verona
- The 14th-century renaissance architecture
I don’t need to give an explanation of Italian architecture. No wonder the chapel is a wonder. A typical Italian chapel of Milan to amuse you on your solo travel. The painting of Mary and Jesus with horns indeed creeps us all.
The house of The Last Supper painting: Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie
How refreshing it is to see the original mural of the last supper by Leonardo da Vinci? A fantastic feeling, without any doubt! Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie is the graceful host of the last supper painting. I thought the place would be crowded. Fortunately, they permit only 20 to 25 at a time to see the painting.
Taste the grapes of Leonardo da Vinci’s garden
Speaking of Leonardo da Vinci, the next place to visit on your solo travel to Milan is the vineyard of Leonardo da Vinci. Duke Ludovico Sforza presented the vineyard to Leonardo da Vinci for his wonderful painting, The Last Supper. The vineyard is gifted to have the world-renowned artist as its owner!
The vineyard includes a Milanese-style huge bungalow that is now old but still beautiful. The bungalow called the Casa degli Atellani is another footprint of Leonardo da Vinci as it was his residence in Milan. Casa degli Atellani is open for public tours costing around 10 dollars for an adult individual.
Read my blog post on 25 Italian Useful Words/Phrases for a Solo Female Traveller in Italy to learn simple and basic Italian words.
Chill at Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the next solo travel destination in Milan. Though Lake Garda is not situated in Milan, it is never missed by its travellers. To pin it on the map, it flows between Venice and Milan, touching the foot of the Dolomite mountains in Trentino. Travellers visiting Lake Garda usually stay in Verona, the nearest town in the area.
So, you can take a boat ride, sunbathe or breathe the fresh air of the surroundings. Of course, you can have all fun participating in the adventure activities presented by the Dolomites. The Dolomites is the top location to take part in the adventure activities of Italy—all in one place.
Dine at Caffe Cova
Caffe Cova is one of the oldest cafes in Milan. So, it is always on the bucket list of travellers visiting Milan. Before going to this cafe, you must know two things. First things first, the Caffe Cova Tiramisu, Espresso, and Pastries taste appetising. The second information is since its popularity the Caffe is always busy and crowded.
Sometimes you may lose your patience either because one has not taken your order or in cases when your food is taking longer to reach the table. Be mindful of this before visiting, and their price is moderate. Caffe Cova will be open from 8:30 in the morning till 8:30 in the evening.
To know the best cafes in Milan, you can check out my blog post on the ten best cafes for solo travellers in Milan.
Eat your tummy full at these three towns: Como, Bellagio, Varenna
For your next day’s trip, head to the nearest Trenitalia and book a ticket to Lake Como. Okay! Lake Como is an interesting place to visit on your solo travel to Milan. The refreshing scenery makes it a better place to get relaxed. The lake touches three towns, namely Como, Bellagio, and Varenna. These three towns are ordinary with unpopular places.
However, they can still amuse you if you like the ancient structures, pathways, and tiny other noticeable things. I visited these towns because they are super cheap to stay in and eat delicious food. They sell craving gelatos that you must try on your visit. Not only gelatos, but all the Italian foods are also comparatively cheap here.
If you’d like to explore Italy’s local food, read my blog post on 20 Italian Dishes You Must Try on Your Solo Trip to Italy.
Window shop in Quadrilatero della Moda
Are you ready to take a walk into the fashion streets of Milan?
Quadrilatero della Moda is a street with shops and defines Milan as the fashion capital. Yes, you can see your favourite and expensive brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Prada, Armani, Versace in this street.
Name a fashion icon, and you will find replicas of dresses, handbags, shoes like them in the shops. But, they are all on the high end. So, Quadrilatero della Moda is the most satisfactory place for window shopping. Definitely not a place to plan your souvenir collection.
Grab a seat in Scala Theatre
The theatre of Scala is as stunning as the Fenice theatre in Venice! I feel operas are the go-to place for a solo traveller in Milan. Even if you are not a musical person and not so excited about concerts, I can tell you that once you grab a seat, you will eventually enjoy it.
You can have your time in the stirring background of the orchestra, chorus, and ballet. And, still brag to your friends about your classic experience in the concert while you have no clue what happened there!
To know more about offbeat things you can do in Milan, you can check out my blog post on 15 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Milan, Italy.
Get amazed by the green space: Bosco Verticale
Bosco Verticale is a unique place to visit on your solo travel to Italy. You may not have heard about this place, but I will say it displays the contemporary architecture of Italy. The building stands upright, nearly touching the skyline with 800 trees, 5000 herbs, and 1500 perennial plants.
The vertical building situated in the metropolitan city of Milan, Porta Nuova, takes a step forward in urban eco-space and eco-tech. Get stunned by the vertical forest in the resident space. Take amazing green pictures.
When you travel to Milan, taste their traditional pastry Chiacchiere as you walk past the pastries stalls as a solo traveller. This Italian dish is known by various names around Italy. Chiacchiere, the name given by the people of Sicily, is the most popular one.
The recipe is simple. You have to fry the rectangle-shaped pastries. Then season it with iced sugar. You can add chocolate cream on top of it. Simple and tasty!
Walk like a queen into the castle of Sforzesco
Sforza is an acclaimed family of Milan. The castle of Sforzesco belonging to this family dates back to the 13th century. The castle is the pride of Milan as it is also a museum of ancient collections. The castle hosts the
- The Museum of Ancient Art
- The Museum of Musical Instruments
- The Egyptian Museum
- The Archaeological Museum of Milan
- The Antique Furniture and Wooden Sculpture Museum
- The Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco
The castle is open for visitors from Monday to Sunday, while the museum is closed on Mondays.
Take a nap at Parco Sempione
Parco Sempione is at a walkable distance from the castle of Sforzesco.The urban park is fresh as green. Particularly, I love their lawn! You can have this place reserved for naptime after a long day’s walk visiting places.
To know all the hidden gems in Milan, you can check out my blog post on 15 Must-Visit Offbeat Places to Visit in Milan, Italy.
Enjoy the nightlife at Piazza Gae Aulenti
Piazza Gae Aulenti is the metropolitical centre of Milan. It is the hub of modernity in its prime. The complex building, Piazza Gae Aulenti, is a standing example of modern life in Milan.
Piazza Gae Aulenti puts on a different outfit at night. The city lights, jammed streets, and busy people mark the nightlife there.
Click here to book your flight tickets to Milan.
You can also read my post on 2-Day Itinerary for Your Solo Trip to Milan.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.