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Ideas how to spend a weekend in Milan

Sightseeing during the day and candle-light dinner in the evening: Milan is perfect to spend a few days away from it all! Here’s our itinerary for two days in Milan, including restaurant and hotel tips.

Germanwings nach Mailand

On Friday morning, we took an early morning flight from Stuttgart to Milano Malpensa with Eurowings. Milano Malpensa is located about 50 Kilometres out of town in the middle of nowhere. Therefore the first question was: How to get from Malpensa to the city centre?

Of course you could always take a taxi, but… With taxi prices being rather expensive and the morning traffic situation, we went for the Malpensa Express instead. Malpensa Express is a local train that connects Malpensa Airport with Milano Centrale. There’s a train station in each terminal and the tickets can easily be bought at a ticket machine using a credit card.

DUE CAPPUCCINI E DUE CORNETTI PER FAVORE!

About 50 Minutes later, we arrived at our hotel, AC Marriott Milano near Porta Garibaldi, and dropped off our luggage. Time to have a typical Italian breakfast in one of Milan’s many beautiful cafés!

Milano Coffee

EARLY MORNING WALK THROUGH MILAN

After breakfast we strolled through the streets, admiring the beautiful historic buildings along the way.

Milano Weekend

Some 45 minutes later we reached the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele with its famous architecture and luxury stores:

Milano Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele

Beware ladies: Milan really is a shopping paradise! Apart from all the prestigious brands, there are a lot of small boutiques as well with great individual fashion! I could’ve easily spent a whole day exploring the different stores! But with Mr Grumbert by my side, I mostly limited myself to window shopping…

DUOMO DI MILANO

Stepping out of the Galleria Emmanuele, we admired the Duomo di Milano. Unfortunately only from the outside, as the queues in front of the entrance were huge! Considering we were there on a rainy Friday morning, I don’t even want to imagine how crowded it usually is on a sunny Saturday afternoon!

Milano Duomo

A LAZY AFTERNOON IN THE HOTEL

As the rain was getting worse, we returned to the hotel after lunch. Instead of walking all the way back to the hotel, we took the Metro to Porta Garibaldi. The AC Marriott Milano is located conveniently next to a Subway station so that we only had to walk a few more steps through the rain.

Tip: Milan’s transport company ATM offers a 2-day-ticket which I can highly recommend! The ticket is valid for 48 hours from the moment it is stamped, which gives you the freedom to use public transport in the city area whenever you like.  During our visit we paid 8.25 Euro, which is a fair rate compared to 1.50 Euro for a one-way ticket.

Our room on the 16th floor greeted us with a beautiful view on the city:

AC Hotel Milano

Tip: Ask for a room on one of the upper floors, as the view is blocked by surrounding buildings on the lower levels.

While Mr Grumbert had a short nap – I decided to treat myself with a bath:

AC Hotel Milano

AC Hotel Milano

Relaxing in the warm water felt like heaven after walking through the cold and rainy weather!

AC Hotel Milano

PASSING THE TIME UNTIL DINNER – A WALK THROUGH CENTRO DIREZIONALE

Later that afternoon, the rain stopped and we ventured out in the city again. This time heading in the other direction to Milano Centrale. As often when exploring a city, Mr Grumbert and I don’t push ourselves to visit as many tourist spots as possible but rather enjoy soaking in the atmosphere of a place.

Milano Sightseeing

On our way to Milano Centrale we passed through the Centro Direzionale, a modern neighbourhood with skyscrapers and a lot of new buildings. Such a contrast to the historic old buildings near the Duomo di Milano!

Milano Sightseeing

DINNER IN MILAN AT EUGENIO BOER’S ESSENZA RISTORANTE

On recommendation of Arianne, Mr Grumbert’s Instagram friend from ariannestraveljournal.com, we had dinner at Essenza Milano. Essenza is an upscale restaurant near the Metro station De Angeli which is owned by Eugenio Boer.

From the moment we entered the restaurant, we knew it was the right choice to have dinner there. From the seating arrangements up to the perfectly balanced background music and the light concept: It was obvious that Eugenio and his team had put in a lot of thoughts and effort to give this place a very unique feeling! The partly open kitchen which allowed glimpses of Eugenio at work added a special extra.

Still, all these details were insignificant compared to the outstanding food and service! We chose the Tradizione e Pensiero menu and were delighted by both the quality of the food and the individual stories behind each dish. Eugenio’s team did a great job in explaining the ingredients and the philosophy behind each dish, adding a well-placed anecdote here and there (in fluent English!). The accompanying wines were of a very good quality and introduced us to the variety of grapes of the Lombardy region.

To sum it up, we really had a wonderful evening at Essenza and can highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a nice place to have an upscale multi-course dinner in Milan! We found Essenza to be refreshingly different from the usual upscale restaurant without breaking with traditions.

Milano Essenza Ristorante

Tip: Have a look at Eugenio Boer’s Instagram account for more food pictures!

Milano Essenza Ristorante

BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL

The next morning, we slept in and enjoyed a late breakfast at the hotel:

Milano Breakfast

Apart from the typical chocolate cornetto, we really liked the sieved tomatoes with fresh olive oil and herbs!

SIGHTSEEING BY TRAM

Feeling still a bit lazy after our late dinner the night before, we decided to take it slow that morning. Therefore, our first sightseeing activity of the day was simply sitting into Milan’s historic Tram and watch the city pass by from the window:

Milano Tram

Tram is characterized by wooden furniture, lamps with decorated glasses and the typical noise of iron wheels along the tracks [read more].

Milano Tram

Important: Don’t forget to press the request stop button when you plan to get off at the next stop as the Tram won’t stop automatically!

ARCO DELLA PACE AND PARCO SEMPIONE

We left the Tram at Arco della Pace and continued walking through Parco Sempione:

Milano Sightseeing

At the end of the park, there’s a beautiful castle called Castello Sforzesco:

Milano Sightseeing

I simply couldn’t resist taking lots of photos:

Milano Sightseeing

AN UNEXPECTED HIGHLIGHT

Although we knew the Pope was visiting Milan, we didn’t want to mingle with the masses in front of the Duomo and stayed far away from that area. Funnily, we ended up seeing the Pope after all while he was on his way through the city. What a great surprise!

Milano Pope

MILANO NAVIGLI

Around noon we took the Metro to Naviglio Grande, a historic canal in the Southern Area of Milan. Once again, the atmosphere changed. Navigli is very different from the other parts of Milan we had seen so far and we really enjoyed strolling along the water! Almost felt like Amsterdam 😉

Milano Navigli

Lunch with a wonderful view on Naviglio Grande at Fabbrica Pizzeria:

Milano Food

DINNER IN MILANO PART II

In the evening it started raining again and so we were looking for a restaurant close to the hotel. We ended up in a restaurant Osteria del Gambero Rosso which served an excellent Tuna Sashimi!

Milano Food

CONCLUSION

Milan is a wonderful city and I would’ve loved to stay a bit longer than just for two days. I really liked the different neighbourhoods with their unique atmosphere and architecture! All that was rounded up by an overall relaxed atmosphere, friendly people and great food. What more to wish for in a city? Mr Grumbert and I are definitely going to return there!

4 thoughts on “Ideas how to spend a weekend in Milan

  • May 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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    Navigli is in my opinion the most wonderful place in Milan. I had a stroll there at new year day and is was so nice. Walking along the channel and just rest from the busy citycenter.

    Reply
    • May 12, 2017 at 7:46 am
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      Hello Lars, please excuse my late response. I didn’t log in to my blog regularly during our holiday. I agree with you, Navigli is really a beautiful area! The Mrs and I really liked it there! Greetings, Mr Grumbert

      Reply
  • May 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm
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    Wonderful place, I’ve always wanted to visit it! I love Italy but I’ve only been to Rome.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2017 at 9:08 pm
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    That looks like an amazing weekend! Never been to Milan, but your post just makes me want to go even more 🙂

    Reply

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