Sightseeing on a Budget in Milan
Hailed as the fashion and commerce capital of Italy, Milan combines masterpieces of medieval art and architecture with the hip energy of a trendsetting city. It’s also an ideal hub for exploring the landscapes of northern Italy. Here's how to make the most of your visit to this sprawling, stylish hub without paying luxury prices.
Visit Treasure-Filled Churches
You don't have to buy museum tickets to see some of Milan's best art. The city’s most prized piece—The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci—is on display at the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church, and the enormous Milan Cathedral (Duomo) is filled with thousands of sculptures. Both have only a small entrance fee to step inside, while guided tours and skip-the-line tickets can help you save time and delve deeper into the artwork.
Take a Walk
Much of Milan’s historic center is best explored on foot, and it doesn't cost a thing to soak up the magnificence of Cathedral Square (Piazza Duomo) or the glitzy ambiance of boutique-lined Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Bike and Segway tours are other options for covering even more ground in a wallet-friendly way.
Catch a Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus Tour
If you're not keen on navigating Milan's public transit system, there are other ways to get around while still avoiding pricey taxi rides. Hop-on-hop-off-bus tours are a flexible and user-friendly option to access top sites on your own schedule, while affordable group city tours offer a bit more structure and commentary.
Shop the Outlets
Milan is one of the world’s most fashionable cities, so if you don't want to head home without some made-in-Italy products, score quality name brands for less at suburban outlets such as Serravalle or FoxTown across the border in Switzerland. Outlets and factory stores are an Italian open secret for dressing well at discounts of up to 70 percent.
Visit Lake Como for Less
If a lakeside villa isn't in your budget, you can still experience the serene beauty of Bellagio, Monterosso, and other coastal villages on an affordable day trip to Lake Como or the Cinque Terre. Shared coach tours are a great way to fit in these picturesque destinations without the expense of overnight hotels or private transport.