A shopaholic’s guide to Milan
Milan might be filled with beautiful architecture and fascinating history, but it’s no secret that many people flock here because of the city’s undeniable influence on the fashion industry.
The streets themselves look like something straight out of Italian Vogue. Those wacky catwalk fashions you see at Fashion Week? You might look ridiculous wearing them in the UK but in fashion-centric Milan, it is the norm.
While you might assume you need to re-mortgage your house to shop here, savvy shoppers know how to find a designer bargain. You just need to know where to look.
So grab your shopping bags, we’re going to Milan.
If you really want to buy the latest high-end threads and don’t mind dropping a few grand, then visit the beating heart of the fashion industry. Roughly translating to the highly apt 'rectangle of gold’, you’ll spot all the big brand names such as Prada, Versace, Valentino, Tiffany & Co, Roberto Cavalli, and Fendi. Keep an eye out for the flagship Gucci store and the Armani Megastore.
Even if you aren’t planning on dropping some serious cash, it’s still an impressive place. The window displays are works of art and the atmosphere is energetic.
Corso Buenos Aires
If you’re looking to pick up some familiar high-street names, then head to Corso Buenos Aires in north-east Milan. It boasts the largest concentration of clothing stores in Europe, most of which are mainstream and recognisable. H&M, Zara, Nike, Adidas, and Guess all make an appearance.
After you’re finished shopping, take a breather in the nearby Indro Montanelli Public Gardens where you’ll find the Planetarium and the Civic Museum of Natural History.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
Similar to Corso Buenos Aires, this is a great place to pick up some high-street favourites. But it is also home to one of the city’s biggest department stores, La Rinascente. Boasting eight floors, you’ll find everything from clothing to perfume.
Serravalle Designer Outlet
There’s a joke amongst locals that only tourists shop in the expensive city centre. Experienced shoppers know that you can find top designer labels for much less in the many outlets found around the city – especially the ones you have to make more effort to get to.
Serravalle is the city’s biggest outlet and lies 50 miles outside of the city centre (a convenient shuttle bus service runs 3 times a day from Milan Foro Bonaparte and once a day from Piazza Duomo). Here you’ll find 300 designer brands all with a price tag of 30-70% off. The shopping centre also had free WiFi, multilingual staff, a children’s playground and restaurants.
Not far from the city centre, you’ll find this unbelievable gem. While outlet stores have a reputation for being sweaty and a fight-for-all, Basement has a more boutique feel. Hidden beneath street level in a basement (hence the name) you’ll find some well-known designer labels for 30-70% off.
Top tips for shopping in Milan:
- Sale season is the same as the UK: January and August.
- Most shops in Milan operate from 9:00 till 19:30 (13:00 – 15:30 is usually lunch break).
- Only shop in the designer stores if you really want this season’s top fashions and have the money to spare
- You can still own designer threads for half the price if you know where to look
- Don’t get hung up on shopping – Milan is a lot more than just fashion!
Edited by Morag@BarrheadTravel