What’s a tourist in Milan to do with a minimalist budget and trust fund wanderlust? Well, that was me last December, on the last end of my 4 country holiday eurotrip. Don’t worry, you can definitely enjoy Milan on even the tightest budget!
Italy has some of the best cuisine in Europe, so it was pretty hard to not go to every restaurant in sight. A delightful alternative, I quickly learned, was to get meals from the deli/butcher at grocery stores! Fresh pastas, desserts, pizzas, etc. were just as tasty as the restaurants, at less than half the price.
Of course, there are also great restaurants that won’t break the bank. My #1 recommendation is Luini Panzerotti, it’s a famous Milano staple! The place is small, there are no seats/tables, and the line is usually down the block. But trust me, like most hole-in-the-walls, the food is some of the best you can get in the city!
My friends and I made the mistake of catching a taxi in Milan and paid almost 16 euros to go no more than a few blocks. Learn from our mistakes, people – avoid cabs and rideshares if you can! Public transportation in Milan is very reasonably priced. My recommendation is to buy a 1+ day pass, they cost about 4 euros and some change (each). The fare gets you access to the buses and the subway, but the tram is the real treasure here. You can orchestrate a self-guided hop-on/hop-off tour for a fraction of the tourist company price! The historic cars are freaking adorable, and the views they offer across the city are incomparable.
DO IT FOR THE GRAM
You will likely find locals at tourist attractions offering to photograph you for about 5+ euros a pop. Outside the Duomo di Milano it’s like the floor of the stock exchange. My advice is to get to your destination before all the crowd shows up. You won’t have to shoo others out of your shot or dodge offers from pushy photographers. On the other hand, you can watch the photographers and have a friend/stranger duplicate their placements and poses. For example, lots of people like those God awful pigeons in their shot. You can take your own little bag of birdseed and get the exact same look!
PICK A STRUGGLE
Or should I say pick a splurge? This basically means even though you’re on a budget, have at least ONE thing you can spend without shame on. You don’t want to restrict your spending so much that you don’t even enjoy your vacation! For me, the splurge was gelato. Yes, I am grown ass woman who prioritizes frozen treats over souvenirs. I probably had gelato 3 times a day, and had 0 shame about it. Even though I was on a tight budget, I forgot all about it when indulging in the creamy treat.
Check out my travel vlog for more info on how to save money in Milan!