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Over the years I have traveled to so many cities in Italy alone. My first solo trip ever was to Rome! And, recently I added Milan solo travel to my resume!
The trip to Milan on my own was a successful one, so I created this extensive guide to help solo female travelers get the most of out their time alone in Milan.
Ultimate Milan Solo Travel Guide For Female Travelers
In this guide, I will cover everything you need to know and plan for when visiting Milan by yourself.
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Female Solo Travel in Milan Resources
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Where is Milan Located?
Milan, located in Northern Italy, is well known for its history, fashion, famous Italian poets, and culture. More specifically, Milan can be found in the Lombardy region of Italy.
Its position in Northern Italy makes it not just a hub for Italian cities, but also a gateway to other European destinations perfect for solo travel.
How To Get to Milan
Getting to Milan, one of Northern Italy’s major cities has never been easier, thanks to its central location and comprehensive transportation networks.
Arriving In Milan via Flight
Milan has three main airports:
- Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP): Located about 50 km northwest of central Milan, this is the largest international airport serving the city and the second-busiest in Italy. It handles international and domestic flights. *This is the airport I flew into. Book airport transfer.
- Milano Linate Airport (LIN): Closer to the city center, approximately 7 km east, Linate primarily handles domestic and some European flights. If you can, fly into Milano Linate!
- Orio al Serio International Airport (BGY): While technically located closer to Bergamo, about 45 km northeast of Milan, this airport is often considered a “third Milan airport.” It’s particularly popular with low-cost carriers and handles both domestic and European flights.
Once you land, there are many options to reach the city center that we will go over. Milan is easily accessible by public transportation, including buses, trams, and an efficient metro system.
‼︎ If this is your first solo trip or you are a bit anxious to navigate public transit on your own. I 1000% recommend booking an airport pickup. Don’t start your trip off frustrated and stressed trying to get to your hotel.
How To Get To Milan City Center From Malpensa Airport
If you are landing at the main airport in Milan (MXP) have a couple of options to get to the city center.
Malpensa is further away and it can take over an hour to reach the city center. Not ideal, but what can you do?
I opted to take the shuttle bus that took me directly to Milano Central Train Station and from there I took the metro.
The shuttle bus costs 10€ for one way and roundtrips are 15€. These buses run every 20 minutes and can be found directly outside Terminal 2.
It was fairly easy, but if you have a lot of luggage it won’t be a good time, opt for the airport transfer.
How To Get To Milan City Center From Linate Airport
When arriving at Linate airport in Milan you could take the M4 metro train directly to the city center.
Research ahead of time depending on where you are staying in Milan.
The metro to the city center takes only 30 minutes! The cost of the train ticket is 2.20€.
Alternatively, you could book an airport transfer, especially if you have a lot of luggage.
How To Get To Milan City Center From Bergamo Airport
The longest journey to Milan from an airport will be if you fly into Milan Bergamo Airport.
Public transport will take you approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. An airport transfer will take you around 1 hour.
Arriving in Milan via Train
Perhaps you are traveling to Milan from nearby cities such as Verona or Florence? If so, take the train to Centrale FS, the main train station in Milan.
I book all my train tickets online at least a few months in advance. Sometimes you can’t book a train more than a few months out.
Depending on where your hotel is you might need to take the Metro or Tram to reach your final destination.
The Metro train ticket vending machines do take credit cards, but some of these machines were only for refilling a travel card, which I didn’t have. If this happens just check the next machine.
Arriving in Milan via Bus
I recommend booking in advance if you are traveling in the peak summer season.
No matter which way you find yourself traveling to Milan, by air, rail, or road, all I recommend for women traveling alone.
Now excited for all the rich history, bustling city life, and iconic fashion scene Milan has to offer.
Map of Milan
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Is Safety a Concern in Milan for Females Traveling Alone?
I will be honest, traveling solo can often be a mix of excitement and jitters. Milan was on my bucket list for years, and I finally decided to venture on my own.
One of the main concerns I had, like many other solo travelers, especially females, was safety. “Is Milan safe for solo female travellers?”
I researched the topic extensively before pulling that trigger and booking the trip. Every city has its nuances, and Milan was no exception.
To my relief, much of what I found suggested that Milan is safe to travel alone. I knew the city welcomed countless tourists every year and after reading stories of unforgettable experiences and encounters I felt ready to visit.
Full disclosure I still approach any new city, Milan included, with a bit of caution. I tell people to use their common sense when traveling alone.
Daytime exploring is never really a concern of mine, but I did find myself being more vigilant when night fell.
The question, “Is Milan safe at night?” was one I had asked many locals.
Most assured me it was, but also advised the general precautions any solo traveler should take in a new city.
Solo Female Travel Safety Gear
Emergency Number in Europe: Dial 112 & Emergency Number in the United States: Dial 911
How Safe is Milan
I heard Milan had a reputation for not being a safe city, so I did a lot of research before arriving.
While Milan is not as “reportedly safe” as other Italian cities I visited solo like Verona, I can still recommend Milan for women traveling alone.
But here is the thing regarding safety in Milan, you need to stay in a good neighborhood. Like most major cities there are neighborhoods that are not great for women traveling alone.
Spend the money to stay in the neighborhoods and areas that are frequented by tourists and you will feel comfortable.
Also, just leave things like designer bags and flashy jewelry at home. I used to want to show off my nice things, but I ended up just worrying about them.
Neighborhoods in Milan to Avoid
If you are visiting any city there is a good chance there is an area or two you should stay away from.
Milan like all cities has neighborhoods like this and needed to be included in my Milan solo travel guide.
The areas of town you want to avoid are:
Reportedly, the northern part of the Quarto neighborhood should be avoided. It is known to be an area in Milan common for pickpocketing and theft. Public drug use is more present in this area.
The southern area of Quarto is reported to be a lot safer and has more affordable accommodations.
The area near San Siro Stadium where the football stadium is located is an area that can feel unsafe. More alcohol-related crimes occur on game days.
Another area to just be a little more cautious in is Corvetto. Here minor crimes near the metro station and in the southern part of the district close to Piazzale Gabriele Rosa Park are reported.
Petty crimes like pickpocketing occur in this area near the metro stations.
I want to reiterate, that Milan is a safe city to visit as a solo female. Any of the concerns here are likely concerns of any city you visit, including cities closest to your own home.
Best Way to Get Around Milan
Public transport in Milan is great! I used the metro several times on my trip.
The city is well connected with the metro and trams as well as buses.
Both Uber & FreeNow apps are available in Milan! I personally stuck to using public transport, but I am a seasoned solo traveler.
If this is your first solo trip abroad, then you could consider using taxi apps instead.
Travel Tips for Female Solo Travelers in Milan
- Public Transportation: Known your route before you leave the hotel. Familiarize yourself with Milan’s public transportation system and download offline Google Maps. It’s an efficient way to move around the city and extends to the historic center and other major attractions.
- Accommodation Choices: My number 1 tip for solo female travelers is always to stay in central locations. Even if it means spending more than your travel budget allows. Staying close to the city center or popular spots like Piazza del Duomo can be both convenient and safer.
- Dress Smart: While Milan is the City of Fashion, it’s important to dress modestly when visiting religious sites like the Duomo di Milano or Santa Maria delle Grazie. Also, don’t wear your most expensive wardrobe when traveling. You will just end up worrying about it.
- Stay Connected: Get an E-SIM card, keep a charged phone with you, and bring a backup battery. Download local apps or maps for easy navigation. The entire city is full of sights, and using maps on your phone drains your battery.
- Be Aware of Common Scams: Like any major city, Milan has its share of scams. Stay informed and be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals or overly persistent street vendors. Be careful when using cash and try to have small bills using exact change when you can.
- Join Group Tours: Participate in walking tours or group activities. They offer a chance to meet fellow solo travelers, and it’s a great way to explore the city with a knowledgeable guide.
- Travel Insurance: I always recommend travel insurance that covers health, theft, and cancellations. It’s a crucial safety net when traveling alone.
How many days do you need in Milan?
If you are looking to get a good overview of Milan I recommend a 2-night stay in the city.
If you are staying less than 2 nights you could feel rushed and end up leaving without seeing some of the major attractions in Milan.
There are a lot of day trips from Milan that I would recommend if you are staying longer than 3 days.
Best Time to Visit Milan
The best time to visit any European city is typically the spring and the fall. The peak summer season is very crowded, expensive, and often hot!
I visited Milan in mid-September. While it was still pretty warm, the crowds were light, and I found that hotel prices were lower than when I was researching in the summer.
I am very curious about visiting Milan during the holiday season. If it is anything like visiting Verona at Christmas I would say it is a great time to visit.
Top Things To Do in Milan Alone
Whether you opt to explore Milan on a group walking tour or by yourself, here are the best places in Milan you don’t want to miss.
A List of Major Historic Attractions and Places of Interest
Duomo di Milano:
The Duomo Di Milano is undoubtedly the centerpiece of Milan’s historic center. One of the best places to visit when you are solo in Milan.
Tips for visiting the Duomo di Milano
- Dress Appropriately Or You Won’t Get In: Like many religious sites, the Duomo has a strict dress code. I honestly got lucky with this one, as I nearly wore something that didn’t cover my shoulders. The rule is your knees and shoulders are covered. I was told sleeveless tops, short skirts, and hats might not be allowed inside. It’s a good idea to bring a scarf or a shawl with you, which you can drape over your shoulders if needed. As a final resort, you can get a covering at the Museum. It looks like a poncho.
- Climb to the Rooftop: You don’t miss the opportunity to get an incredible view of Milan! Be sure to save time to climb up to the terraces of the Duomo, there line took me about 40 minutes to get to the top. There is an option for an elevator if you aren’t comfortable with stairs. From the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city and a close look at the intricate spires and statues that adorn the cathedral.
- Avoid Peak Times: The Duomo can get crowded, especially during the peak tourist season. If possible, try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid large crowds. Additionally, purchasing a ticket in advance (often available online) can save you time waiting in line.
The Last Supper: Leonardo da Vinci’s Masterpiece
Even if you don’t consider yourself an art lover, you don’t want to miss the Santa Maria delle Grazie, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”. It is said to be one of the most iconic and revered pieces of art in the world.
This mural, painted between 1495 and 1498, captures the moment when Jesus Christ announces that one of his disciples will betray him.
Visiting this masterpiece requires a bit of planning. Due to the fragile state of the fresco and efforts to preserve it, entry is limited to a specific number of visitors each day.
Tickets are released every three months. There are a few ways to obtain tickets directly through the official website.
A great way to spend an afternoon solo in Milan is by wandering around the Sforezesco Castle.
There is an option for a guided tour if you are interested in learning all about the history of this well-preserved castle.
Inside the castle, you will find a museum and works of art including Michelangelo’s Pieta Rondanini sculpture.
Behind the castle is a lovely park, Parco Sempione, that leads up to the Arco dell Pace (gate of peace). Also located in the park is the Torre Branca (a tower with a viewpoint).
Also located within the park is Triennale di Milano, an art museum. Renowned for its eclectic exhibitions and events that explore contemporary culture, design, art, and architecture.
You can expect a blend of innovative displays that offer a fresh perspective on the evolving world of design and its intersection with society.
Even if you don’t feel like going in, the building in Parco Sempione is an architectural gem.
Basilica di Sant Ambrogio
If you’re a solo female traveler exploring Milan, the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is a must-visit!
This ancient church was located only a 10-minute walk from where I was staying in the heart of the city. It has been around since 379 AD.
I wandered around and took a few pictures admiring the beautiful Romanesque design. On the outside, you will see the iconic red brick and twin bell towers, and inside the stunning gold altar.
If you are alone, don’t worry, the basilica is in a safe and accessible part of Milan.
I found it a great addition to fit into my itinerary. And if you appreciate a moment of quiet reflection, this is a perfect spot.
Don’t forget to dress modestly, and enjoy this piece of Milan’s rich tapestry!
Arco della Pace
If the weather is nice, make a point to swing by the Arco della Pace. It’s this stunning triumphal arch located in Parco Sempione, one of the city’s major green spaces.
Historically, it’s been around since the 19th century and was initially conceived as a gate for Napoleon’s “Foro Bonaparte.”
Today, it stands as a symbol of peace. Architecturally, its detailed sculptures and grand pillars are a visual treat!
I loved the surrounding area which is lively with cafes and places to relax.
It is a great itinerary item if you are looking for a safe spot for a lovely daytime or evening stroll. Put on your comfy shoes, grab a gelato nearby, and bask in the ambiance of this Milanese gem!
Santa Maria delle Grazie: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Santa Maria delle Grazie, a church and Dominican convent, is not just the home to “The Last Supper“, but also a masterpiece in its own right.
This incredible piece of art was also established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
The church’s architecture, designed by the celebrated architect Donato Bramante, showcases early Renaissance architectural designs with their grand arches and delicate detailing.
The church’s interiors are equally captivating with a myriad of frescoes, intricate carvings, and stained-glass windows.
If you have time, a visit to Santa Maria delle Grazie will not disappoint. It’s a testament to Milan’s enduring legacy as a center of art and culture.
Milan Solo Travel Modern Attractions:
Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II
Feeling fancy? If you want to shop and dine at one of Italy’s most expensive shopping malls, this is the place.
Even if you don’t plan to buy anything here it is worth a walk around to admire the building itself.
The Galleria Vittorio is also a good place to visit when you are hungry. For a quick bite or takeaway coffee and pastry, try Farini Rinascente.
Teatro alla Scala: Experience world-class opera
If you fancy yourself a music lover, then make a stop at the Opera House in Milan. It’s not just any opera house – it’s THE opera house!
Located right in the city’s center, La Scala has been the heart of Italian opera and ballet since the 18th century.
Think of all the stars and legends who’ve graced its stage! Even if opera isn’t usually your thing, the plush red and gold interiors alone are swoon-worthy.
I highly recommend catching a performance or simply taking a guided tour.
Navigli District: Canals and cafes
The canals and cafes are the perfect place to spend a solo day in Milan!
During the day you can expect a bunch of street art vendors selling unique and impressive art.
At night the area really comes alive with music and a bustling scene. Depending on your idea of a good time it could be more fun to visit during the day or night.
Tea & Dessert at Romanego 1780
If you are looking for the most decadent experience on your solo trip to Milano, then take yourself out for cake!
The desserts at Romanego 1780 are something you must experience if you have the slightest sweet tooth!
Pinacoteca di Brera: An art lover’s dream
Most Milan solo travel guides will include a visit to the Pinacoteca di Brera. If you are an art lover, then it’s a must.
I’m probably the only solo traveler who went to Milan for food, not the art. I appreciate art, I am just not a wildly enthusiast art lover.
Assuming you are, then let the allure of art lead you straight to the Pinacoteca di Brera. This isn’t just a gallery; it’s Milan’s art sanctuary!
You will find this art gallery located in the lively Brera district. At Pinacoteca di Brera you find the showcasing of masterpieces from the likes of Raphael, Caravaggio, and Bellini.
After your visit, hang around the charming Brera streets and check out the boutiques, and cozy cafes.
Where to Eat Solo in Milan
Here is a mini Solo Traveler’s Dining Guide to Milan!
MAG La Pusterla – Caffe con Cucina
I loved eating at MAG for the vibe and yummy bites. It is a great place to eat solo as it is so lively you won’t feel alone or out of place!
If you are looking for a classic Milanese restaurant, I highly recommend eating at Osteria Fianchetto!
Dining alone in restaurants used to be something that I dreaded, but now after doing it more and more I love it. The trick is to have photos to edit or people to text with.
Dining solo in Milan? Check out San Maurì! It’s right in the city’s center, mixing the best of classic Milanese flavors with a fresh twist.
The vibe here is friendly and modern, so you’ll instantly feel at ease, especially if you’re dining solo.
The dishes? Simply delish! And with a selection of wines to match, your Milan meal is sorted. Because of its charm and limited seats, it’s a good idea to book ahead.
Hands down best brunch in Milan! You should book in advance or you could end up waiting a while for a table, even if you are solo.
I can highly recommend the avocado toast and potatoes on this 3-course breakfast menu!
Best Areas to Stay Solo in Milan
I absolutely loved the area of Milan where my hotel was located. The neighborhood where I stayed is called Ticinese.
It is the perfect area to stay solo if you want to be ever so slightly removed from the tourist areas, but close enough that you can be there in under a 15-minute walk.
Best Area to Stay Solo in Milan for Sightseeing: Brera
Located in the heart of Milan, Brera is an exceptional option for solo travellers. This district boasts some of Milan’s finest sights, all within walking distance, making it a great option for those eager to explore.
The Pinacoteca di Brera, a treasure trove of art, is just a short walk away from many of the best hotels in the area.
Brera’s good location ensures easy access to cafes, boutiques, and historical landmarks. Prices may be higher, but it is the best option for those wanting a blend of culture, convenience, and a safe location.
Best Luxury Hotels in Brera
Best Boutique Hotels in Brera
Alternative Solo Travel Destinations From Milan
Looking for a day trip from Milan or perhaps another city to travel to? I can highly recommend Verona! Located just under 2 hours on the train!
Another incredibly cool destination from Milan is Lake Como! You can make a day trip from Milan and travel by train in under 2 hours!
Conclusion: Milan Solo Travel
Traveling to the Northern Italy city of Milan is great for solo female travelers looking to be entertained.
You won’t ever get bored or feel like you are amongst a bunch of honeymooners, like other parts of Italy.
Do your research and book ahead for the most successful trip!
When booking travel abroad I am always sure to purchase travel insurance!
I treat my trip like a precious investment that I want to protect. Even visiting the safest destinations theft and loss can occur.
And even though unlikely, there is always a chance you can get sick leaving you needing medical care.
Most home healthcare insurance policies don’t cover you when you are abroad!
Don’t take the risk and go unprotected, especially when travel insurance is so affordable.