Milan in Italy is one of the best destinations in Europe for a city break. Missing the lanes of many other Italian cities, Milan has a modern style and is a reflection of the city’s role as the commercial capital. Fashionistas, bankers, and designers head to Milan for both, work and play.
The Milanese take their fashion choices very seriously and this is why it is the fashion capital of Italy. Right from the layered looks to the 3-piece suits for a long day at work, you will notice varied fashion choices in Milan.
The city is known for world-renowned fashion designers including Miuccia Prada, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce amongst others. Milan is a versatile destination for lovers of fashion.
If you are wondering what to buy in Milan, you will be spoilt for choice. You will find picks that can cater to any style and budget. When it comes to shopping in Milan, it is business. It has everything from the best luxury brands to local markets.
The city center of Milan is a fashion Mecca and is home to flagship stores from the likes of Armani and Prada. It is also the headquarter of various Italian luxury brands.
If you want to experience the best of retail, follow this Milan shopping guide to know where to shop in Milan. Through this guide, you will know why is Milan the fashion capital of the World.
Best destinations for shopping in Milan, Italy
The best time to visit Milan is during Fashion Week when you will get to see edgy outfits. However, if you are planning a trip only for shopping in Milan, you should plan to in July and January- when the sales begin and you can find amazing deals.
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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Galleria was named for the first king of Italy and it is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. This shopping mall was designed in 1861 and it opened in 1867. The 4 story arcade is an architectural gem and is a major luxury brand destination. It is the only destination for the best shopping in Milan.
The first Prada store opened at the Galleria in 1913. The Galleria is a favorite for evening strolls and is a place of demonstrations. It has gained popularity across the world and is a famous monument, and home to the top shops and restaurants.
The Galleria will take your shopping in Milan experience to another level. After its inauguration, several elegant shops opened under its vaults. It is so much more than a shopping arcade and has an air of luxury. It is lined with boutiques, it has a seven-star hotel, several restaurants, and cafes.
You will find several luxurious stores in the mall. One of the first Prada stores is present in the Galleria and it opened in 1913. There are several other designer stores including Louis Vuitton, Armani, Versace, and Luisa Spagnoli to name a few.
The shopping arcade is an architectural delight. You will see beautiful arches and frescoes throughout. Some visit here only to admire the beauty of the building! But if you are here to splurge, you will have the best time ever!
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Quadrilatero d’Oro della moda
Known as the golden square of fashion, the Quadrilatero d’Oro della moda lies in the heart of the fashion district of Milan. The square is less touristy than the Galleria but it draws huge crowds and big spenders.
Via Monte Napoleone is famous for being one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world and it dates back to the 1950s. The street is lined with brands like Chanel and Fendi. There are eye-catching window displays that are worth a visit, even if the price tag is aspirational.
Also known as the Golden Rectangle, you will find it conveniently placed around the hotels, from which you can venture back and forth at your leisure. You will find Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Versace, and more here.
Giorgio Armani has a presence on all sides of the quad and it is the most luxurious shopping destination in the city. There are endless ways to empty your wallet here.
It is the place where the rich and the famous come to shop and if it’s your lucky day, you might spot a famous star walking around. There are busy shop assistants to help pick the right product for you.
Even if you are on a tight budget, spend time window shopping at this beautiful place.
If you are looking for something convenient in Milan, head to La Rinascente. It will give you a bit of everything. It is positioned as a showcase for Italian and International brands. The department store offers a one-stop shop for fashion and it carries home furnishings, fashion, books, jewelry, and more. It is suitable for Milan shopping for all budgets.
It spans eight stories and has enticing finds. On the third floor, you will sight everything from Prada to Gucci and Armani to Ralph Lauren.
It is Italy’s upmarket department store and has seven floors of shopping stores topped with a food market. You can enjoy exceptional views from the top floor. There is a three-story Youth Store Annexe which is accessed through a walkway from the first floor. It is located on the Northern side of Piazza del Duomo.
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Right from the high end to the high street at Via Torino
Milan is indeed known for the fancy designer brands but there is no shame in looking out for the High Street version of the couture looks.
If you are wondering what is the best shopping street in Milan, only a few steps from the shops of the Galleria, head to Via Torino. It offers a more accessible shopping option with Pinkie and Zara giving way to smaller shops and boutiques as the street curves towards the canal area.
The street is known for affordable fashion in Milan and it runs from Piazza del Duomo to Largo Carrobbio. It splits here and on the left, you will find Corso Genova while on the right is Corso di Porta Ticinese.
You will find that this entire street is lined with middle-of-the-road chain stores. There are plenty of shoe shops and several stylish independent boutiques. The Corso Genova, 6 is a huge design emporium that displays high-end lines.
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Corso Buenos Aires
The Corso Buenos Aires is a Milanese high street and it is also the longest shopping street in all of Europe. There are 350 shops spread over more than a kilometer.
This means you need to set aside adequate time if you intend to undertake a shopping spree. It has many affordable options like Benetton and H&M.
It lies opposite Via Torino and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The high street is one of the longest and is packed on both sides with several shops including some of the top brands like Guess, Furla, Liu Jo, and more.
It also has sportswear shops like Nike and Adidas. Corso Buenos Aires begins in Porta Venezia and ends in Piazzale Loreto. There are endless shopping streets in Milan for you to explore. Those who wish to take a breather after long hours of shopping in Milan, head to the beautiful Indro Montanelli Public Gardens.
There are two sidewalks and the one with odd numbers is more valuable as there are highly refined stores and they are attended by tourists and locals. Walk on this side but also give it a try on the opposite side.
There are about 350 stores at the Corso ranging from one type to another. There are books, clothes, shoes, decorative items, and pizza. L’antica Cappelleria Mutinelli is located in Corso Buenos Aires 5 and it was built in 1888. It is one of the oldest hat sellers in Milan.
If you are a lover of hats, you will not be disappointed here. There are caps and hats in different colors and shapes hanging from the shelves.
If you are someone who has never owned a hat, you can still drop by and take a good look. There is the history of Milan right here. The friendly staff will help you choose a hat that suits your personality.
Another important shop is La Stilografica, in Corso Buenos Aires 53. It is a historical shop with wood interiors and large windows. The shop is a treasure of pens. There are all types of pens available here. Visit the shop if you are a writing enthusiast.
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Hit the boutique shops in Brera
Head to the Brera, which is the cool and chic neighborhood of the Duomo. It is a paradise of galleries and boutiques on the quiet cobblestone lanes.
You will be able to find affordable and handmade shoes and classic home accessories here. One of the most essential fashion things to do in Milan is to head to the boutique shops.
Besides the one-of-a-kind shops, Brera is also home to the best open-air markets like the morning market which has stalled on Via San Marco on Thursday and Monday.
If you want to stroll through a more laid-back part of the town, Brera is the place to be. Shopping in Milan is incomplete without its boutique shops. The best way to explore Brera is without an itinerary. It will give you the best surprises and will delight you with beautiful finds.
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Outlet malls for affordable shopping in Milan
If you are looking to get your hands on a designer piece without the gut-wrenching price tag, Milan is the right place for it. The best-loved outlet is 10 Corso Como Outlet and it is the budget shopper’s version of a famed concept store carrying the same name.
You will see racks of Helmut Lang and Chloe at the outlets. Even the best designers occasionally have unsold pieces at the end of the season and the malls offer variety with quality.
Head to Il Salvagente to get your hands on designer pieces like Miu Miu, Armani, and Dolce and Gabbana.
There are dozens more that offer discounts of up to 60% and more. Another famous outlet, Dmagazine is ideal for those who do not mind a lengthy search to find the right pick.
If you are fortunate to find hot designer pieces, you can get them for as little as 20% of the original value. Approach the outlet malls with an open mind and you will find everything right from the hot designer trends to the latest runway pieces.
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There are more than curated shops for shopping in Milan. There are markets where you can get exciting finds. A popular flea market in Milan- Flern di Sinigaglia has second-hand clothes that are stylish, trendy and highly affordable.
You can also score designer cast-offs for a very small amount. It is open only on Saturday. The Mercato Dei Navigli is another market that is only open on the last Sunday of the month. It is an antique market that has more than 400 vendors.
A trip to Milan is incomplete without a shopping spree. Get your hands on some of the most stylish and latest designs while you are here!
No matter what your style preference or budget is, Milan is one destination that will never disappoint you. Besides Milan shopping, there are the best pizzas for all you pizza lovers!
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