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Plan Your Trip to Milan: Best of Milan Tourism

What is Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travellers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
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Explore Milan

Milan sits right at the heart of Italy's fashion, design, and architecture scenes—so much so, in fact, that creatives from all over the world come every year for events like Salone del Mobile (the Milan Furniture Fair) and Milan Fashion Week. And the scenery and sights truly live up to the hype. There's the iconic Duomo di Milano, the world's largest Gothic Cathedral; the amazing mosaics and glass vaults of the Scala Opera House and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; not to mention museums and galleries like Pinacoteca di Brera. And as an added bonus: Milan's food scene has really grown over the last decade. Now, you can not only find regional classics, but you can also explore a variety of solid international flavours, including Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Ethiopian fare. (Milan is also the birthplace of the negroni sbagliato—so don't skip a chance to get one straight from the source.) We've got even more Milan recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Milan

How to do Milan in 1 day

From art to fashion to the best pizza
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Toasting Milan’s aperitivo culture

One of my favourite rituals in Milan is gathering with friends for a pre-dinner cocktail— called l’aperitivo—and the little tapas-like snacks, stuzzichini, that bars offer as a complimentary perk. These free bites are offered roughly 6 to 9 p.m. nightly, and while almost every bar serves an Aperol spritz and a salty snack, some are definitely more fun than others. Here are seven not to miss.
  • Bar Basso
    Bar Basso claims to be the first place to serve aperitivo in Milan. It’s also famous as the birthplace of the Negroni Sbagliato, or “mistaken” negroni, created when the owner accidentally made the iconic cocktail with prosecco instead of gin. Wood-paneled and unabashedly old fashioned, Bar Basso is loved by locals, but it can get a little too popular during the city’s Fashion and Design weeks. Plan accordingly.
  • Escobrillo
    Off the beaten path, this neighbourhood enoteca (wine bar) specialises in lesser-known wines from small producers, and has a knowledgeable staff that always points me to a new favourite. You won’t find cocktails here, but if you’re wine-lover looking for a local spot with generous outdoor seating, complimentary charcuterie plates with classic Italian salamis and cheese, and wine varietals you may not have tried before, this is a solid choice.
  • Living Liqueurs & Delights
    A good place to see upper class Milanese in action, this sleek, marble-lined restaurant near Parco Sempione offers something for everyone. The bar’s well stocked with wines and the bartenders are quick to mix up aperol spritzes (a classic aperitivo option) and negronis. The food menu includes reliable club sandwiches, salads, and pastas. Plus Living’s hours are unusually generous for Milan: 7 a.m. until 2 a.m.
  • The Botanical Club
    Gin aficionados, follow me to the Botanical Club, which has locations in two gentrifying neighbourhoods of the city: Via Pastrengo in Isola and Via Tortona in Porta Genova. The bars offer fun snacks like edamame and fish burgers, but are best known for their tweaks of classic cocktails. The “Stranger Mule” uses the club’s own brand of gin and purple bitters; their “Jackson Five”, a reimagined negroni, gets a kick from kaffir lime leaves.
  • Ceresio 7 Pools & Restaurant
    This is the bar for when you want a view of the city, and, on a warm day, a swim. Located in a landmarked 1930s building, the bar offers poolside seating, immensely Instagrammable views, and a long list of wine, cocktails, and a few mocktails. The bar snacks aren’t particularly compelling, but if you’re hungry after the aperitivo, the building also has a restaurant with great views.
  • 10_11
    Owned by the famed Ferragamo fashion family, this bar in the Portrait Hotel has become a magnet for Milan’s most glamourous residents. The people watching is first rate, as are the drinks, elevated with aromatic ingredients like juniper sprigs and caper flowers. Appealing to the ladies who lunch (known locally as sciure), the bar also has a good selection of alcohol-free options.
  • BackDoor43
    This miniscule bar–just four tables–is worth the squeeze for a singular, bespoke cocktail experience. Bookings are required and include exclusive use of the space for one hour, during which the bartender will ask about your taste preferences and create cocktails to suit them. Protip: If you can’t get a booking, or are claustrophobic, knock on the bar window and get a cocktail to go.