Although we often talk about going abroad, taking a holiday or even a city trip, for a long time it just didn’t progress past the talking stage. Our last trip was in May 2016 when we went to Vienna, Prague and Berlin. That was a great city trip experience, so we decided to book another city trip. To Milan this time! Italy has been on my bucket list forever, so I’m very excited to go to the land of pizza, pasta and Italian ice cream.
After we came back from our Big Adventure we specifically chose to work less and spend more time with our little world traveler. So it’s taking time to build up our depleted finances again. I feel ‘stuck’ in The Netherlands and would love to leave again, but because of family obligations we can’t travel long term at the moment and short-term travel is just so expensive. So even though I’ve been looking at plane tickets and hotels almost every day for the past year, it has taken us a long time to decide to even take this short trip.
Milan Malpensa Airport
We booked return tickets Amsterdam – Milan Malpensa for about €160 for the three of us. The Malpensa Express takes you into the city in 30 minutes. Tickets cost €13 for a single fare (if you buy online you can get a return ticket for €20, so it pays to be prepared) and kids under 4 travel for free. Linate Airport is much closer to the city, so if the price difference is less than €20 per ticket, you could consider traveling to Linate. From Linate Airport you can take local bus 73 to Piazza San Babila, where you can transfer to the subway. Or you can take the new airbus service to Milan Stazione Centrale for €5 single journey or €9 return.
Airbnb in Milan
We looked at various hotels, but decided that with our toddler it would be better to rent an apartment. We stayed in a lot of hotel rooms during our 10 months away, but the prospect of whispering for 6 nights so we wouldn’t wake our son wasn’t very appealing. He hasn’t been sleeping well the past 7 months, unlike when he was younger. Of course, being a major city, apartments in Milan aren’t cheap. But we managed to find a nice place with a separate bedroom for €53 a night. It’s not big, but it has a kitchen so we can save on breakfast. I even cooked us dinner a few times, which took a bit of improvising but worked anyway. There’s a large supermarket around the corner. So overall we’re happy.
The only downside is that the bedroom only has one huge light and no bedside lamps or anything. And our son is afraid of the dark. So we end up whispering anyway because we have to keep the door to the living room and the bedroom open so he has some light. Next time we’ll bring his own bedside lamp!
Public transport in Milan
Our Airbnb apartment is right next to the Pasteur M1 subway station and tram line 1 is around the corner. There are some restaurants in the area (most either a weird mix of Chinese and Italian or Turkish and Italian) and it’s easy to reach the city center. Overall public transport in Milan is pretty good. You pay €1,50 for a one-way ticket (valid for 90 minutes) or €4,50 for a day pass (which is a great price, compared to the €7,50 you pay for a day pass in Amsterdam). Public transport takes you just about anywhere in the city, there are 4 metro lines and numerous bus and tram lines. It’s fast and easy. Check out the ATM Milano website for more info.
Discovering Milan by bike
Milan has an awesome bike sharing service called BikeMi. You can either get a daily, weekly or annual subscription. Maximum consecutive bicycle use is two hours, but you can always switch bikes (allow for 5 minutes in between) and continue exploring. They even have Junior BikeMi where you can rent children’s bikes (for ages 6-10) at certain points in the city. Find out more details on the BikeMi website.
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