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.
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!
EARLY MORNING WALK THROUGH MILAN
After breakfast we strolled through the streets, admiring the beautiful historic buildings along the way.
Some 45 minutes later we reached the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele with its famous architecture and luxury stores:
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!
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:
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:
Relaxing in the warm water felt like heaven after walking through the cold and rainy weather!
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.
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!
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.
Tip: Have a look at Eugenio Boer’s Instagram account for more food pictures!
BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL
The next morning, we slept in and enjoyed a late breakfast at the hotel:
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:
Tram is characterized by wooden furniture, lamps with decorated glasses and the typical noise of iron wheels along the tracks [read more].
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:
At the end of the park, there’s a beautiful castle called Castello Sforzesco:
I simply couldn’t resist taking lots of photos:
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!
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 😉
Lunch with a wonderful view on Naviglio Grande at Fabbrica Pizzeria:
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!
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!