• Lifestyle

A day out in milan on a shoestring

A few cheap suggestions for not to forgo the pleasures of the city

Considered one of the most expensive cities in Italy, Milan is best known for its fashionable, up-market shopping streets such as Via Montenapoleone.

But visitors who make the effort to look beyond the glitzy, fashion-conscious image will find they can in fact spend a whole day exploring the city without it costing a fortune.

So off we go, ready for our cheap day out in Milan!

First stop, breakfast… If you're looking for a place where you can savour the historic atmosphere of old-time Milan, listen to locals chatting away in dialect and enjoy an espresso for just € 0.80, head over to Torrefazione Colombia in Corso San Gottardo 21.

On emerging from this small corner of Milanese history, be sure to take a stroll along the city's famous canals, the Navigli, where you can explore the many vintage shops selling all kinds of curiosities. If you're looking for a truly original shopping experience, this is the place for you!

From here, what better way to explore Milan than to pick up a bike from the city's bike sharing service BikeMi and head into the city centre? On the way be sure to stop off at the Open bookstore in Viale Montenero, where you can relax, make use of the free Wi-Fi connection, read a newspaper and even catch up with work.

If by this time you're beginning to feel a little peckish, the best option is to pick up a light lunch at one of the many weekly markets. A few of the most famous are those of Via Fauchè (Corso Sempione), Viale Papiniano, Via B.Marcello (Porta Venezia) and Via Calvi (Porta Vittoria).

Suitably refreshed, you'll now be ready to explore Milan's cultural side with a visit to a museum… free of charge! The Castle, the Natural History Museum and the Archaeological Museum all offer free admission after 2 p.m. on Fridays and for the last hour of each day. Modern art enthusiasts will also be delighted to know that admission to the Modern Art Gallery (GAM) is always free and that the Novecento (Twentieth Century) Museum offers free admission for the last two hours of each day and after 3.30 p.m. on Fridays.

To round off your day in style, head over to Balera dell'Ortica to enjoy an evening meal for about €15 plus the chance to try your hand at swing dancing or a game of bowls.

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