Milan 

The Duomo is a Milan landmark & rightfully so.....
What could be better than smooching under a portcullis in Castello Sforzesco, Milan
Castello Sforzesco as it is more usually viewed near Via Dante Milan
The Church of San Mauirizio - a Milanese masterpiece
Madesimo ski resort is a favorite with the good people of Milan
The Alagna sector of Monterosa Ski is the closest to Milan Malpensa airport
Mlano Centrale railway station has connections to all points ........ & an amazing roof
The stylish Galleria shopping area continues the Milan amazing roof theme
There are many sights one does not expect to see in Milan, not the least of which is a submarine
Classic Milano tram
The Chinatown district is a a lively precinct after dark
Spending time viewing the detail on the Duomo reveals much!
The gondola at Alagna is less than 2hr drive from Milan Malpensa airport
Skiing powder in the mountains north of Milan
Duomo di Milano
Parking in Milan may require specialist skills!
It doesn't snow often in Milan, but when it does, the motorways can be difficult
High speed train services to multiple destinations are available from Milan.
Santa Maria delle Grazie - the home of Da Vinci's Last Supper
Visit Mialn & find hidden treasures.....

Milan 

Readers Ratings

Milan

Milan5/51
Milan5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Tours
Wagner Custome Skis

Ski Resorts Near Milan

Macugnaga
Madesimo
Monterosa
San Domenico
Sestriere
Tonale
Via Lattea
    Milan Inner City Map
  • Milan Inner City Map

Milan

Milan is the stylish entry point for many journeys to ski & snowboard the Italian, Swiss & French Alps. Worthy of exploration for a few days before or after any ski trip to Italy, Milano will delight all visitors.

Central Milan is primed for walking. A do it yourself walking tour of Milan is a fascinating way to combine history, art, science, culture, shopping & booze. A fine castello complete with moat, the Duomo & Galleria are but the faintest whiff of what is on offer in this wonderful city.

Pros & Cons for Milan

Pros

  • Convenient, centrally located transport hub for all the Italian Alps plus some French & Swiss ski resorts.
  • Incredible history & culture.
  • Loads of sightseeing & non-snow related activities in the city centre & nearby lake districts.
  • Vast range of excellent shops, restaurants, bars, services & boutiques.
  • Useful local public transport infrastructure.

Cons

  • Travel times to & from ski resorts are too long for day trips (except if one has a car & then only maybe!).
  • Vehicle rentals from Milan are rarely winterised – tyres, fuel, windscreen washer (simple but important items).
  • If you have a fetish for shoes, bags or high fashion, your credit card limit will be in jeopardy.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • The airport is a long way from the city centre, but the train (or a bus) can get you there efficiently.
  • You may feel under-dressed in some inner-city districts – they do dress well here!
  • Low elevation in a winter rain shadow area so will most likely not have snow in the city.
  • A huge cosmopolitan city with several outer neighbourhoods that are ‘gritty’ & may not feel welcoming to tourists.(Just like all big cities of the world).

Skiing & Snowboarding from Milan

The city of Milan is front & centre to a mind-bending number of world class (& some not so world class) ski resorts. To the northwest, the Aosta Valley is blessed with a wealth of skiing riches & is best accessed by international visitors via Milan. West is the massive & affordable Via Lattea (Sestriere), plus Bardonecchia & the awesome French resorts of the Haute Maurienne like La Norma, Bonneval sur Arc & Val Cenis. North are lesser known (but not lesser) ski areas at Macugnaga, San Domenico, plus the Swiss Alps gem of Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun and the Valais resorts near Brig. Toward Tirano, the ski areas of Madesimo, Aprica, Bormio & Santa Caterina are just a taster for the likes of Diavolezza Lagalb & St Moritz. The Powderhounds have even utilised Milan as the starting point to the several Dolomites ski resorts, and those in the Brenta Dolomiti including Madonna di Campiglio.

Note that the closest ski resorts to Milan, including Bardonecchia & Madesimo, are extremely popular with locals & get very busy on weekends. Midweek trips are quite a different matter though. Enjoy some of the most affordable skiing in Western Europe from Milano.

Things to Do in Milan

Milan has a fascinating history & culture, providing the basis for many a journey of discovery through the city. Exploring the city on foot is recommended. Using the Milano Cadorna train station as a starting point, all of Milan's well known (& lesser known) attractions can be experienced. Along the way you will discover all manner of interesting diversions not mentioned below. Milano Centrale station can be used as a starting point, though it is 3km north of Cadorna station.

See the Milan inner city map here.

From Milano Cadorna train station, first head south through typical Milan streetscapes to the (wordy) Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci. It is true feast for the eyes & mind. In addition to the da Vinci technology displays, it incomprehensibly houses entire tall-ships, large aircraft, a submarine, plus the full forward wheelhouse & ballroom from a 1920s trans-Atlantic cruise liner, to name just a few. Why are ships displayed in landlocked Milan & how did they get there? Good question – go find out!

Whilst the Duomo is a common sightseeing stop in Milan (more on that later), it does cost to get in. Several smaller & arguably better churches can be viewed for free. One of the best is the exquisite Church of San Maurizio. Wander through the various sections taking in the fresco adorned walls & ceiling. Nearby, in the building previously the church’s cloister, is a section of old city wall from the 4th century that can be viewed from just inside what is now the Archaeological Museum.

Return toward Milano Cadorna station, but go past & on toward central Milan’s most obvious landmark - the looming Sforzesco Castle (Castello). The walls, turrets, moat & grounds make for a wonderful place to stroll. Four main gates complete with portcullis & a few drawbridges add to the scene.

From the castello, walk out the main gate, pass the fountain & go down the touristy Via Dante toward the Duomo.

The Duomo ( Milan's cathedral) is a sight to behold from the outside & worth close inspection. However, we are firmly of the belief one should never pay an entry fee to look inside a cathedral anywhere in the world! That’s a shame, because the access to the roof from inside the cathedral is a major city drawcard. So, the inside (and the rooftop) remain a mystery to us, but if half as impressive as the ground level exterior, it must be quite the spectacle.

From the Duomo, all shopaholics will be drawn to the Galleria; as beautiful an indoor shopping space as one will see anywhere in the world. A walk through is essential on any visit to Milano – shopaholic or not.

The Brera district follows to the north. Visit the Pinacoteca di Brera for some local art history, then head along Corso Garibaldi to check out the boutiques & eateries of the neighbourhood.

Link into Chinatown & wander down Via Paola Sarpi. The district is replete with hip bars like Otto, cool restaurants & delectable street food. At the western end, La Buttiga brewery is the place to finish the days walk with its magnificent beer selection, including the tasty “Blackshit Monster” Russian Imperial Stout.

From there a stroll to the Arco della Pace (a triumphal arch from the Napoleonic era) & then the gardens of the Sempione Park will see you at the rear of the Castello. Hopefully, by now the light is fading & the fortress is lit up, making for a fine finish to a fantastic day’s exploration.

Where is Milan Italy?

The city of Milano is in the centre of northern Italy within sight of the snow-capped Alps. About 575km by road north of Rome, Milan is only 43km as the crow flies south of the nearest border with Switzerland. Main international gateway airports are Milan Malpensa (MXP) (for most international visitors), plus the other Milan airports of Linate (LIN) & Bergamo Orio Al Serio (BGY) (for anyone arriving from a European or UK origin).

In a post COVID-19 world, private transfers may become more popular despite the oft-breathtaking cost. Search & book direct private transfers from the airports to Milan or any ski resorts here.

Milan is wonderfully served by train transport that links seamlessly into the Italian Alps plus Switzerland, France & even Austria. COVID-19 notwithstanding, we would usually recommend taking trains as far as possible to the ski areas. The impressive Milano Centrale station has the bulk of international & important local train connections. A train connection from the Malpensa airport goes directly to Milano Centrale. From there, trains go to the mountains in multiple directions: north to Brig & toward Andermatt, Switzerland; west to the Valle d'Aosta & Via Lattea, plus Modane (to the ski resorts of the Haute Maurienne) & beyond in France; north east to Tirano (which links to Madesimo, St Moritz & the Alta Valtellina); west to Verona & then up into the Dolomites & Austria via Trento & Bolzano.

Search & book train tickets from Milan to a railway station near a ski resort here.

The city itself has a superb metro train, tram & bus system, but as stated earlier, the centre of Milan is for walking.

Car hire & rental is available at convenient airport locations. We do not recommend renting a car from in the city centre as the traffic can be needlessly challenging. If renting a car from any of the airports in Milan, be careful to check the fine print before signing anything. We have been stung once (& never again) for a ridiculous insurance cover that we did not ask for but missed when signing (it was a long flight!). Be particularly wary of Avis & Budget at Milan Malpensa Airport. If you check the small print & get a good vehicle, Milan Malpensa is a very convenient car rental location. Ensure the rental is an all-wheel drive with snow tyres wherever possible. Most rental cars in Italy do not come winterised & it is worth reading our Travel to Italy page for more details & hints to avoid any issues.

Milan Accommodation

A city like Milan has a vast array of hotels, apartments & guesthouses to choose from. Staying in the sector near Stazione Centrale (Milano Centrale train station) makes sense for most ski travellers.

Search & book all Milan accommodation here.

Milan Malpensa Airport is a comfortable train ride from the centre of the city. Several excellent airport hotels are available for travellers staying for a couple of days to explore the city. Two of the best are near the airport terminals, the upscale Sheraton & the funky Moxy. The adjacent town to the airport (almost within the precinct) is called Casa Nuove. All airport accommodation falls under the mantle of Casa Nuove. Whilst its many hotels can be fine for a single night’s stay, we do not recommend staying there any longer. See our Milan review (via the review links) for more info on staying at Casa Nuove.

Search & book all Milan Malpensa airport & Casa Nuove accommodation here.

Review

The Powderhounds have visited Milan many times over the years. We love its central location near the Alps & convenience of the airport. More important is the fabulous city centre & nearby lake district. Read our review via the links in the left column (or top of page if on a mobile).

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Tours in or near Milan

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

SPECIAL Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
A special ski adventure set amongst the awe inspiring landscape of the Dolomites. Linking 9 ski resorts via groomed slopes by ski, taxi, helicopter & snowmobile, spend 5 nights in mountain rifugi under the guidance of your dedicated host. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
AUD 4,167
View Details
 
CLASSIC Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
The very best skiing in the Dolomites linking 6 ski resorts & spending 4 nights in mountain rifugi under the guidance of your dedicated host. Ski the best groomed trails in the Dolomites on this classic ski safari. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
AUD 3,242
View Details
 
VENTURE Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The Venture is for fast paced skiers who like to clock up vertical & do the most exciting ski slopes. Ski the best groomed runs in the Dolomites & spend 5 night in mountain rifugi. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
AUD 3,566
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Milan here
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