Italy's second largest city is a global leader in fashion and design, as well as a major commercial and financial centre. Much of Milan was badly affected in the Second World War, but the city has since boomed. It has also become popular with tourists in recent years, with more than two million visitors arriving each year. It is certainly not a cheap destination, but those willing to forgo the traditional hotel experience can make significant savings by staying in a comfortable holiday apartment in Milan instead.
Milan is located in the north-west of Italy, with the great lakes of the Alps to the north. There is still evidence of the old network of canals or 'navigli' that connected different parts of the city in ancient times, although many of these have now been covered up. Today, about 1.3 million people live in Milan itself and the urban area is the fifth largest in the European Union.
Milan is undoubtedly a sophisticated and classy tourist destination, but the city has substance as well as style. High-end fashion boutiques compete with gothic architecture for attention, and few visitors will want to miss the city's museums and art galleries.
Here are some of the top attractions that visitors to Milan should endeavour not to miss:
Duomo - Milan's cathedral church is a large Gothic structure that took nearly six centuries to complete (1386 - 1965). It is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and visitors can pay to access the roof and see some of its spectacular sculptures up-close. Inside the church, there are several statues, organs and altars to be admired.
Parco Sempione - This peaceful and attractive park was established in 1888 and covers an area of 386,000 sq m. It also houses a historic Renaissance palace (Castello Sforzesco), an interesting design museum and several bars.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - No trip to Milan would be complete without a little window-shopping. This elegant shopping mall - with its impressive glass ceiling and artwork - was built in the 1870s and is located in the heart of the city.
La Scala Opera House - Milan's famous opera house is located near the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall and often welcomes world-class singers onto its stage. It was inaugurated in 1778 and underwent major renovation work between 2002 and 2004.
Milan is served by two international airports - Malpensa Airport and Linate Airport. It is also a major railway hub for those arriving from other European city break destinations.
Milan can be grey and foggy in the winter and unpleasantly hot in the summer. While a visit at any time of year is likely to be rewarding, the most comfortable seasons therefore tend to be spring and autumn.
If you're planning a trip to Italy, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in Milan? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All Milan apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation.