Six hours in Milan, Italy

What to do on a brief Milan stopover.

Milan, in northern Italy, is a major transport hub when travelling around Europe. It's well worth stopping in Milan for longer than a day, but I was passing through and here are my suggestions on what to do during a brief stopover.

Last year I was arriving in Milan by train and leaving the next day by plane to fly back to Australia. My gateway to the city was the Milano Centrale railway station so I arranged accomodation as close to the station as possible, and then made for the Piazza Duomo.

This was the view out of my hotel window, that's how close I was, coming off the train it was a matter of crossing the piazza infront of the station and then crossing the road and I had arrived at Glam Hotel Milano. I have also stayed at smaller hotel just to the right of the photo which is even closer to the station. To the left of the photo is Hotel Excelsior Gallia, for anyone who wants to treat themselves!

My recommendation for what to do on a quick stopover is to take the metro from the station to Piazza Duomo. Take the yellow metro line, it's only 4 stops to the Duomo station which takes you right into the piazza.

I like the coming out of the metro and gradually seeing the Duomo appear infront of you.

Once in the piazza there is the option of visiting the Duomo, to the left is the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II, the oldest shopping arcade in Italy.

The galleria is a walkway from the Piazza Duomo to the La Scala Opera House. The galleria houses high end retailers and coffee shops, nice to browse even if they are all quite expensive!

Under the central glass dome.

On the same side as the galleria walking towards the Duomo is the department store La Rinascente. The store now mainly has designer label departments but on the top floor there is a food section and a cafe that has a view over the roof of the Duomo. There's an indoor and outdoor area, great for a coffee or an ice-cream and you can enjoy it and the view as well!

I really loved these! There was a chocolate counter in the Food Hall with these chocolate shoes and handbag!

On the other side of the Duomo is the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace, parts of which now hold exhibitions. Last year when I dropped by there was a Toulouse Lautrec exhibition, on a previous visit there was a great impressionist exhibition. Next to the Palazzo Reale is the Museo del Novecento, art from the 20th century. Mainly Italian art, I've yet to visit this museum as I've tended to spend quite a long time in the Palazzo Reale!

The Piazza Duomo area has plenty to see and do for a short visit, then it's just a matter of taking the metro back to Stazione Centrale. From Stazione Centrale, there is either the Malpensa Express train to get you to Malpensa Airport or the buses to Linate or the Bergamo Airport. (There's also a bus for Malpensa which is cheaper than the Malpensa Express train)