A few months ago, a friend and I were sitting and having melave malka, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a tweet from Dans Deals with round trip tickets for $350 to Milan. After spitfire whatsapp messages, four of us bought the tickets thinking well, we can always cancel for free within 24 hours! I had traveled to Italy only a few weeks prior, and loved it so much that it didn’t even phase me to hesitate going back.
We flew Emirates from JFK -> MXP, and didn’t know what to expect, as none of us had known anyone who had ever flown this airline. We landed back in NY with giant smiles on our faces, literally proclaiming we won’t fly anything else besides Emirates. They were such enjoyable flights! The kosher food was on point, two free bags, and the stewards were a blast and a half. The flight also begins with all the kids receiving toys and teddy bears – complete silence the whole way there and back, even with the children that came onto the flight kicking and screaming. Well played Emirates 😉
Starting in JFK, we brought food from Carlos and Gabby’s and ate it in luxury in one of the lounges offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (we were allowed to bring 6 guests for free). The lounge offered free snacks, drinks, and alcohol, as well as couches, sitting areas, and clean restrooms.
We landed in Milan, and followed signs to the train, where we bought tickets to Milano Centrale Station. It cost about 16 euro one way, and the train ride was an hour. The bathrooms in the Milan Centrale Station cost money, so make sure to have a euro on you if needed. The train itself has outlets, so you can recharge your phone if needed. The Centrale Station also has a luggage storage station on the bottom floor (to the left) called KiPoint, where we dropped off our luggage for 6 euro a piece. Inside the station itself by track 21 there is a Holocaust Memorial which we didn’t have time to see, but it supposed to be a main site in Milan (under 6 years of age, free admission).
Google maps in Milan was a hot mess, so be very careful what you type into your phone. For instance, I thought we saw a free 360 degree from on top of Palazzo Lombardi, but it turns out it was some random beautiful hotel two blocks away from Centrale whose name I can’t find (overlooks famous towers Bosco Verticale, pictured below). It looks like this though:
We spent a lot of time walking in circles to a destination we found out was nowhere near where we needed to be. Also note, THERE IS NO UBER IN ITALY!!! There is an app called MyTaxi, but you can do just as well hailing a taxi off the street.
We took a cab to the main Jewish area, only to find the restaurants there don’t first open until 7 pm. There was one local eatery open though, My Kafe, that had pizza, bagels and gelato, so we camped out there – good prices, service, and food. We met the entire community there, as it was the only place open during daylight hours. On that block though there’s a kosher market called Eretz, a bakery Dolcevita, Kosher Paradise, and Carmel. A few blocks away is another restaurant called Denzel.
THINGS WE DID
- Sforza Castle (opened later than stated on website – closer to 9 a.m.)
- Navigili Lombardi – DON’T TYPE THOSE WORDS INTO GOOGLE MAPS! You’ll be nowhere where you want to be. Type in Naviglio Grande. Free city bikes to rent in the area, need the app though in order to rent BikeMi. Beautiful 15th century canal area, nicer at night. Subway (M2) stops right there. (Subway is 1.50 euro for 90 minutes, can use it to transfer on all transport in the area).
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II – Italy’s oldest shopping mall
- Biblioteca Ambrosiana – historic library, has a Leonardo Devinci museum inside
- Backdoor 43 speakeasy
- La Vigna Leonardo cafe
- Bronze ear of Casa Sola Busca
- Milan’s hidden bomb shelters
- Royal palace of Milan
- Colonne di San Lorenzo
- Fondazione Prada
- Mercante whispering gallery
- Branca tower (near Sforzo castle)
- Orto Bontanico di Brera
- Bulgari’s hotel garden
Please comment below for more future ideas! And let us know if we were of any help during your stay. Overall, Milan is a pretty dull city and a day there should suffice.