Low-cost budget in Milan
January 1, 1970
On 12th February 2017, I and my boyfriend, Gabi, started our journey to Italy, precisely, to Milan. We planned this trip a long time ago, and it finally happened. We didn’t stay too long there, but it was enough to visit a few attractions and have a taste of Italy. This trip costs us approximately 500 Euro in 3 days for both of us.
What I want to appoint here is that to be careful to make your check-in before that day you will leave! We forgot to do that and we didn’t know that at the airport you need to pay your check-in with 45 Euro per person, or depends on the airport. It could be much more or less, but you have to pay anyway so it is not convenient to spend so much money at the beginning of your trip.
Due to the airport, it’s outside the city of Milan, we needed to take a bus from Bergamo to the Central Station in Milan. This costs about 10 euros round trip. Again, be careful to search at home when the buses leave and when you get at Central Station, to check the hour you supposed to be there to take the bus to the airport. Be there earlier, because it is possible to have a delay and it will be inconvenient to miss your flight because of that.
Where should you stay in Milan?
Well, that’s a good question actually. We stayed at Hotel Brasil, at 2 km from the center of Milan. It was nice, clean and cheap and it was 42 Euro per night. The only disadvantage was that it was too far from tourist attractions and we spent a lot on public transport to reach our accommodation and also the city center. First, we walked all the way through, from the city center to hotel, but it was awful. After a long day of walking and visiting with our backpacks on shoulders, it was difficult to keep up with the long distance.
My advice would be that, even if it was cheaper than the rest of the hotels, it is good to take into consideration that it would be better to pay more for the accommodation and stay close to the city center, so you can walk a decent distance, than pay a lot on public transport and lose some precious time.
What should you visit?
When you reach Piazza del Duomo, the first thing you should do is to stop and admire the grand Duomo. With its Gothic architecture and giant size, you will feel that you are living those centuries. A Duomo pass that includes everything you need to see in this Cathedral is 16 Euro by lift and 12 Euro by foot. This means that you can reach Duomo Rooftops by lift or go by stairs. This is up to you.
I recommend you that, before entering in Duomo, if you travel with your backpack, first go to your accommodation and leave there all the clothes and all the personal care things. The guard from the Duomo will search your bag and if they find aftershaves, blades, sprays or things that can be inflammable or sharp they will throw them away and also will do the same with water and food.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
After visiting the Duomo, don’t miss the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. You will be welcomed by all the designer’s and expensive shops and also by the rooftop paintings. It is so nice walking there and sees all the beautiful details, and it’s free to admire.
While walking through Milan streets we decided to visit Sforza Castel. It’s an imposing castle with a great history and great inside yard. The fountain in the front of the castle gives a relaxing effect and it’s great for pictures and a short break. The Sforza’s walls are unique from my point of view because we were so curious why there are so many holes in it. The curiosity continued after we listened to the whole audio guide through the museum until I asked a lady working there and she told us that those holes were used to help workers to climb and finish the construction of the castle. Back then there were no such things as machines or anything they could help them in their work. And it all made sense.
The prices here are 5 euro per person to see the museum and 10 euro per person if you want an audio guide.
Porta Sempione or Sempione Gate
The next stop was the park in the back of Sforza Castle. There is a large park where you can enjoy the nature and relax your feet after a long day of walking. At the end of the park, you can see the Porta Sempione or Sempione Gate, another beautiful attraction.
The taste of food
We know that anywhere we go, we need to eat, taste new food and also stick to the budget. A great way to save some money and at the same time to eat great and plentiful food is to have discounts at restaurants. I discovered a great site, The Fork, where you can make a reservation at restaurants at some hours, and get 20%, 30% or 50% discount on your bill on a la carte menu.
Due to this site, I found Pavarotti Milano Restaurant Museum, a tremendous place. It’s placed in Duomo square, at 4th floor and as soon as you entered you are welcomed by lovely staff, Pavarotti’s music, pictures, his suit and a piano. We had the reservation at this exclusive restaurant with 50% on the bill. So we ate 2 meal courses and a big bottle of craftsmanship beer. We tried their traditional prosciutto, salami, parmesan, bread with olive oil and herbs. Then we took lasagna and pasta with ricotta and spinach. It was a delicious meal and we were full. This dinner costs us 60 euro plus tips, so with 50% discount, 30 euro for both of us. It was a great experience and I recommend everyone.
Another food experience was with the famous gelato. We took some cups from Vittorio Emanuele galleries, and it was delicious!
The last dinner we took was at Caffé Sforzesco, is near the castle and they have great lasagna and Prosecco. What I loved the most, as a fan of cheese, was that I could put extra parmesan over the lasagna for free! Parmesan there is like salt and pepper on the table. It was fantastic! This dinner costs us a little much more than Pavarotti because we didn’t have a reservation, but as the last dinner in Milan it worth every cent.