Milan: a city famous for its cutting-edge style, magnificent architecture, and beautiful people. Millions of travellers make a stop in this northern Italian city, but very few know about its hidden gem, just 60km from its city centre (12€ by train). Aeroporto Milano Malpensa is Milan’s biggest airport, with two terminals serving both national and international flights. It used to be Milan’s greatest kept secret, but after this post you’ll realize why it’s the best day trip from Milan!
Very few tourists make the stop at the Milan Airport due to many reasons: it is quite far from the city centre and is expensive to get there on a budget. Nevertheless, it is still worth the day trip.
The Aeroporto can easily be covered in 12 hours, but I’d recommend staying overnight to get the full experience. I slept on the floor on the right side of the EasyJet counter in Terminal 2, right before you pass through security. I would recommend bringing several blankets and (if you have room in your backpack) an inflatible air mattress. There are a few armchairs to sit on, but they present a challenge because like all armchairs, they have arms, which prevents you from sprawling out on all four seats.
Shops and restaurants don’t actually open until 6am, so if you arrive past midnight like I did it’s best you pack snacks. Otherwise, there’s a vending machine where you can buy highly questionable tuna sandwiches (TONO in Italian) for 3€.
The Aeroporto has two terminals that are connected by a free shuttle service, so you can easily ride stress-free between the two to optimize your sightseeing options, as well as heighten your people-watching chances.
Once you are in Terminal 1 and have proved you are capable of putting liquids into little bottles, I would recommend going for brunch at Caffe Milano. This isn’t as chic as other options, like the first class lounges, but it guarantees overpriced food with an unparalleled view of the Ferrari boutique. I got the smoked salmon bagel for 9€, which I would highly encourage. As you feel the cream cheese melt in your mouth you will realize that overpriced Milan airport food is still cheaper than a regular Parisian cafe, and suddenly the salmon will taste that much more smoked.
After eating, take a stroll towards Gate B where you will pass by numerous chic Italian boutiques like Zara Home or H&M. There is this great locally-sourced concept store on the way to the international departures where you can buy magazines, travel pillows, gum, or paperback romances. I’d recommend picking up some chips maybe so you can snack on them loudly on the airplane as everyone around you tries to sleep.
What’s a day trip without a little wanderlust? Aeroporto Milano Malpensa has these great little electric screens that name various cities around the world. This is one of the must-dos of the Aeroporto: stand in front of the screen, and think a city you’d like to go next! The world really is your oyster. Maybe next time you’re at Aeroporto Milano Malpensa you can actually take a flight there.
For those high-rollers on a bigger budget than exchange students such as myself, you can take a stroll by the Lufthansa Lounge or the Emirates Lounge. Getting in the actual lounge might be the most difficult part of the day trip, as it will involve strenuously impersonating one of the rich Italians in suits and heels you passed at the chic boutiques.
Depending on how much shopping and eating you want to do, I would recommend budgeting at least 100€ for this day trip. I’d recommend this for couples, families, and solo travelers especially, such as myself. I really learned a lot about myself on this journey and saw how Vueling Airlines tested the limits of my patience, but I persevered in the end and thus was able to share my experiences with you.
I would like to thank my friends for being able to board their flight eight hours earlier than me, leaving me all alone on this journey of self-discovery. But most importantly, I’d like to thank France’s airstrike. I couldn’t have embarked upon this wonderful day trip without you. CIAO 4 NOW!