How to go shopping in Milan

How to go shopping in Milan. This post is an excerpt from the book Milan, available in printed and digital formats. – The independent, unbiased, and accurate guide to the city.

Shop in via Montenapoleone
A shop window in Via Montenapoleone – Photo © Enrico Massetti

How to go shopping in Milan – Via Montenapoleone

Milan is internationally known as a city of fashion and shopping, definitely is the most important center of commerce and fashion in Italy.

The fashion district is a concentration of jewelers, boutiques and designer showrooms and furniture. The sides of the fashion district that compose the most elegant streets of Milan are Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni, and Corso Venezia.

Moreover, even the inner streets abound with high-class shops: via Borgospesso, Via Santo Spirito, Via del Gesù, Via Sant’Andrea and Via Bagutta. Among the notable prestigious brands of Milan’s fashion district are Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Fendi, Chanel, Gucci, Bulgari, Cartier, Valentino. Gianfranco Ferre is now a foundation in Via Tortona.

The most important artery of fashion is Via Montenapoleone, one of the 15 most expensive streets in the world.

Where do the Milanese go shopping?
How to go shopping in Milan
Corso Buenos Aires
Corso Buenos Aires – Photo NH Hotels Group

Around the world, almost everybody knows Via Montenapoleone and quadrilatero shopping venues. Unfortunately, they are expensive and appeal to wealthy tourists. You should go there to do some window-shopping.

The Milanese do their shopping in different areas that are more affordable but still satisfy their taste. On the East side of town, they go to Corso Buenos Aires, directly reachable with the metro from the MM1 stops of Porta Venezia, Lima, and Loreto (also for MM2). Porta Venezia is a stop of the suburban lines of the Passante. On the West side of town, they go to Corso Vercelli. You can easily reach it from the MM1 stops of Conciliazione, Pagano, and Wagner.

Corso Buenos Aires is the most popular destination in Milan for high street shopping. The best time to shop at Corso Buenos Aires is after Christmas and during summer when attractive ‘sale’ tags spring up all along the street. Throwaway prices for designer labels are hard to refuse, as witnessed by the frenetic activity along the avenue. During Christmas, Corso Buenos Aires resembles a fairyland of sorts, as shop windows are dressed up in twinkling lights, boughs of holly, and models of reindeer and Santa Claus. Step off the beaten track and into the side streets for an eclectic variety of restaurants, Turkish baths, gelato bars, and shisha cafés.

Corso Buenos Aires is a central artery that connects the city centre with the business and industrial districts in the north of Milan. It’s easy to locate as it runs close to the central square and the city’s famous cathedral. Line 1 of the metro has three stops along Corso Buenos Aires, Porta Venezia, Piazza Lima, and Piazzale Loreto.

As Corso Buenos Aires is a short walk from Milan Centrale station and the Airport bus terminal, visitors often stop by for some last-minute shopping and reasonably priced souvenirs on their way to the airport. Shoppers are advised to dress smartly as shop assistants tend to assess customers based on their appearance. Corso Buenos Aires is an enjoyable walking and shopping experience, don’t miss it during your visit to Milan!

One Milanese friend of mine that now lives in Luxembourg regularly visits Milan to go shopping in these areas.

How to go shopping in Milan: This post is an excerpt from the book Milan, available in printed and digital formats.