Have you ever been surprised with something as spontaneous as a trip abroad?
Well I decided to surprise my girlfriend with exactly that by booking a random 1 DAY RETURN TRIP to Milan. (Managed to get all the way to the boarding gate before she figured out where we were going, good thing I got her passport, Phew!)
Sounds crazy right?
You’ve probably got a hundred questions racing through your mind right now, like, Why only one day? And what can you actually do in one day? Do you get the full experience? How much can you see? etc..
Let me explain the madness…
Flying to another country and returning on the same day? Sounds like a very long day right? What if I was to tell you, you could visit the historic city and all it has to offer for as little as £30 per person without having to book expensive hotels? Now you’re tempted right, if you wasn’t already curious? I mean thats less than a typical meal in London.
Admittedly this isnt going to be for everyone, as it does require an early start (approx 3am), a lot of walking (36,000 steps we accumulated) and mostly you’ve got to have the genuine appitite to explore! But it is possible to visit a number of cities all across the globe for a lot less money if you’re willing to be adventurous.
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What did we do in a day?
Milan in a day
Admittedly you can’t conquer Milan in a day as there are endless amounts of things to do, see and EAT, but you can definetly cram a lot of it in a day.
06:40 flight from Stansted, we arrived 10 mins earlier than expected (Unusual to be early, I know! This trip was full of surprises) at 09:20 Milan local time (1H 40M flight in total), which gave our one day adventure a great head start.
Travel in Italy
We decided to get on a train from the airport, which was the quickest route, to the city center. The train took approx 40mins to arrive at Milano Cadoma/ Cadorna FN from Milano Malpensa Airport and cost 20 euros per person for a return ticket. You are able to travel by bus to the city center which does work out cheaper at 16 euros return but it does take more than double the time 1H 30M, so for the extra 4 euro we thought it would be a no brainer to get the train. When arriving at Milano Cadoma/ Cadorna FN you will walk straight through this fascinating entrance to the beautiful city…
We started our day trip at Castello Sforzesco, (Full marks to you if you can pronouce that first time) which as you can probably guess is a castle and is within 5 minutes walking distance from the train station.
The Castle was built in the 15th Century by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. I’m going to speculate here and say the castle was named with elements of his first and last name “Sforz” & “esco”.
Once one of Europe’s largest castles (took us a while to walk around its walls alone), it is now home to many of the city’s museums and art collections. To see some of our own photograph collections, please see below.
Duomo di Milano
Next up (after we stopped for pasta of course) was the more famously known Milan Cathedral ‘Duomo di Milano’, only a 15 minute walk from the Castle (get your steps up).
You can’t come to Milan without seeing this beautiful momument, the 3rd largest cathedral in Europe and the 5th largest in the world. It is probably the most touristic place in Milan and a
fantastic spot for a Instagramable photo.
Although we chose not to do this, it’s worth noting that there is a viewing tower at the top of the cathedral, accessible either by stairs or a lift. For this birdseye view of Milan, tickets can be purchased in packages such as cathedral entrance, museum and rooftop with lift access for 20 euros or 16 euros with stair access. Alternatively, you can opt out of the extras and just enjoy the cathedral’s historical beauty for 3 euros, or 2 euros for reduced tickets.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
You haven’t got to walk too far for this one, I promise (about 1 min from the cathedral).
A beautifully constructed 19th century glass-vaulted shopping arcade filled with luxury designer shops and white-tablecloth establishments. Even if you don’t fancy spending all your money on Italy’s finest, I would urge you to walk around and admire, it’s a pretty cool place.
Via Monte Napoleone
Europe’s most expensive street in 2018.
As you may already know Milan is famous for its fashion designers, so it wouldn’t be right visiting Milan without seeing its ‘Oxford Street’ equivalent ‘Via Monte Napoleone’.
This street is littered with world famous designer shops and in return you’re likely to come across supercars parked along the street – you may even spot the occassional celebrity!
We spent a while walking along the street and window shopping the finest brands in the world. This brought us to this hidden gem called Zhor Parfum. It literally looks like a gem!
After a few hours of exploring every street corner of Milan, we sat down for some more pasta. There’s definitely no shortage of pasta in Milan, so all pasta lovers are in for a treat!
Our return flight departed from Milan Malpensa at 21.40 and to top off all the day’s surprises, we landed 10 minutes early again (unbelievable)! I think its fair to say we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, full of fun, spontaneousness and food, lots and lots of pasta to be precise – we had no disappointments. We saw a fair share of Milan and feel confident that we saw what others would see over the course of a few days. We look forward to visiting Milan again in April 2020 when we will be exploring the natural beauties of Lake Como and Lake Garda, stay tuned!
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