It’s not a secret that every country has its own peculiarities that usually only experienced travelers know. And, unfortunately, very often it happens that due to the ignorance of these peculiarities it is quite easy to get into unpleasant situations. In this case, knowing some practical tips will help you to avoid potential problems while being abroad and make your trip as comfortable as possible. Further in this article you will find the information that may be handy for each traveler going to Milan, especially if it’s the first visit there.
In general, Milan is relatively safe, but you’d better observe some precautions: in some areas women are not advised going alone at night; hold your bag firmly; be careful in public transport as professional pickpockets are everywhere; don’t leave your belongings off-hand.
It also stands to reason to have certified copies of the documents instead of the originals with you while traveling around the city.
As the locals say – “Milan is small”, so it’s easy to get around it by foot, at least, in the city center. But public transport is functioning quite well: the underground is represented by five lines, buses and trams are running regularly, and in the center you can still take a ride in the old trams with wooden seats that have become almost a symbol of the city.
A ticket for a single trip in the public transport costs 1.50€ (metro, tram, bus, trolleybus), day pass for all kinds of public transport costs 4.50€ and is valid for 24 hours; two days pass costs 8.25€.
You can buy tickets for public transport at any ATM point, in tobacco shops and newsstands. Also there are ticket vending machines at all the underground stations!
But if you decide to explore not only Milan, but also its suburbs, then avoid buses and trains. It is much better to use rentalcars24h.com car rental service to travel wherever you want. When you get your own car, try not to forget of closing the doors at the parking lot and don’t leave any valuables inside.
If you decide to rent a vehicle, you might have some problems with parking it. So, here is some useful information for you:
You can park your car only near the blue line (requiring payment) or the white line (it is free of charge, but there are only a few of them around the city). The parking area with the yellow line is meant for the local residents.
You will need to purchase a special ticket for parking near the blue line: it is available at newsstands or from the workers in the parking area. The cost varies depending on the zone – from 1.20€ to 2€ per hour. Besides, you can always use parking garages. The cost of the parking also varies. Many fares depend on the time required for parking (the longer parking time is required the lower hourly charge will be).
Like elsewhere in Europe, taxi in Milan is quite expensive: on average, a trip will cost at least € 10. In theory, the charge per one kilometer within the city is 0.71€, but still you will never understand how the final price was calculated: there is extra pricing for evening or night ride, for baggage, for call, for the fourth passenger and so on. In addition, normally you need to tip a taxi driver (from 0.5€ to 1€), especially if you have a heavy luggage. You may catch a taxi at the parking lot or call it by phone.
Before going to Milan think in advance of the health insurance, because the first aid will be provided only to those who have the insurance. If the first aid is required you need to call 118 (the call is free of charge).
It is forbidden to smoke in the city’s public places, such as stops, gardens, parks, and just in busy city streets. In case of the violation of the rule the penalty of 250€ is applied.
The banks in Milan are open Monday through Friday from 9am till 12pm and from 2.45pm till 4pm; closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Currency exchange offices are not common in Milan – there’s only the one at Piazza Duomo. You can change the currency at the airport or at the bank.
Almost all the shops, restaurants and hotels accept non-cash payments. So, you can always pay by credit card or withdraw some cash at ATM, which fortunately, are accessible round the clock.
If you go to the restaurant just to drink a cup of coffee or a glass of juice and don’t intend to stay for a long while there then don’t rush to take a sit. When you are served at the counter the price for coffee will be lower, since it does not include the cost for service. Tips are generally 5-10% of what was ordered. Some restaurants include tips to the bill.
Moderate prices for dinner (from 8€ to 12€) are available at the restaurants offering “menu fisso” (set meal).
Don’t forget that VAT may be partially refunded for the residents of non-EU countries. So, if you spend over 155€, you can save up to 14.5% of the price of your purchase.
Almost all the cathedrals in Italy are Catholic and there is a dress code for visitors: men and women are allowed in the cathedral in case their clothing covers the knees and shoulders.
The biggest museums of Milan are open in the summer time from 9am till 7pm, while the winter schedule is only from 4pm till 6pm.
Hopefully, the given above tips will help you to avoid any troubles in Milan and you will safely come back home full of positive impressions of the time spent there!