Go to Venice! While in Milan (or anywhere in Northern Italy) you must visit Venezia! Even if you only have one day, it is enough time for an enjoyable experience. To get there you can simply book train tickets online through TrenItalia or in Milan at a travel agency called Zani Viaggi located at MM1 Cairoli by Castelo Sforzesco. The train ride is about two and a half hours long and costs about 28euro one way. Yes, the train is always a little pricey but the convenience is worth it. You depart from Centrale Stazione in Milan and arrive at the central station in Venice. When you walk out of the station you are directly on the grand canal and Venice is at your fingertips. From there you can hop on the water taxi to get to another region of Venice. If you do not have a specific destination in mind, then simply take the water taxi in order to experience the canals without spending your entire budget on a gondola. My family (who was visiting) and I actually rented a gondola. The cost is about 80euro for one hour. I think it was worth it, but definitely a one time kind of experience. If you plan to go on a gondola ride you might want to walk left of the central station and down a ways… the gondola rides nearest to the central station are more expensive (the same goes for food and souvenirs). Since you won’t find many souvenirs in Milan (being that it’s not a popular destination for tourists) you can buy all of your presents here, and for cheap! I do not have any suggestions where to eat other than a little café called Brek. It’s a small little place if you walk left from central station where you can find panini (sandwiches) for as little as 3euro. Other than taking a taxi or gondola ride (which you must do in order to see the house of the infamous lover Casanova and the adventurous Marco Polo), I recommend just walking around the tiny streets and soaking up the beautiful atmosphere of Venice.
One day trip to skip would be the bus trip to the Foxtown Outlet in Switzerland. It was a horrible experience. The bus costs about 20euro for round trip which isn’t bad considering it does take an hour to get there. Once there you realize that the Foxtown Outlet has been falsely advertised. It seems to be more of a run down indoor shopping center than a high class shopping center that carries designer names. The brand name outlet also does not mean a thing because a pair of Levi’s at their outlet price costs about 80-120euro which is about $120-$180 so you can forget about finding Italian brand names like Gucci and Prada at an affordable price. They also advertise that they have a casino, which I thought would’ve been fun, but it’s small and the entrance is difficult to find. If you’re looking to do some serious shopping you won’t find it here, unless you have an unlimited amount to spend. And if you are willing to spend that kind of money (as in $500-$3000 on a hand bag), then I suggest going to Via Montenapoleone (MM3 Montenapoleone) where at least the atmosphere shimmers. There are other outlets near Milan, so I would also suggest looking into them before even thinking about Foxtown. Serravalle Designer Outlet is one you can research. I would also divert from the small and hidden designer outlets in Milan. My one friend went to one and after hours of searching and being lead up to a tiny room from a sketchy stairwell with no one who spoke any English, she was quite disgusted. So save your money and do something worth while! Milan is expensive, and even though it is a fashion capital it is not a place to be shopping at unless you have an abundance of funds!
Well, I hope this information will guide you in the right direction. Until next time… Ciao!