Milan earns its worldwide renown for being an international fashion hot spot thanks to a wide range of designer boutiques, semi-annual Fashion Weeks and it’s reputation for being at the cutting edge of the latest styles.
Of course, not everyone can afford major labels and designs; here’s a guide to Milan’s top shopping spots, from high end to high street, with some discount destinations in between.
Milan for Fashion
For label queens
In the heart of Milan’s fashion quarter, Quadrilaterodella Moda on Via Montenapoleone is considered by many to be one of Europe’s most prestigious retail destinations and is home to the big names of fashion. With its tight rectangle of streets lined by dramatic show windows, label savvy fashionistas will find the likes of Armani, Chanel, Prada, Valentino, Gucci and Versace nestled amongst other names that may be less familiar but are no less impressive. Each of these stores are showrooms in their own right, often created by top interior designers.
Considered by some to be Italy’s version of Harvey Nichols, La Rinascente on Via Santa Radegonda is the country’s oldest department store, filled with designer brands from around the world. Don’t miss a trip to the top floor – the terrace here offers a fantastic view over the city’s Duomo and piazza and is a great spot for a drink or a short shopping break.
For street wear and high street enthusiasts
If head-to-toe Valentino isn’t your thing or if you’re keen to explore more of Milan’s independent fashion scene, head to Corso di PortaTicinese, which offers more alternative and unique clothing options. This pedestrianised street is the perfect spot for finding quirky street wear and cute vintage offerings, intermingled with the likes of popular brands like American Apparel and Vans.
Corso Buenos Aires is best for those seeking high street labels and familiar brands; this is Europe’s longest shopping street, so there’s plenty there to keep fashionistas busy! Situated near the Duomo is Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II, a popular street offering international chains like H&M and Zara.
If you venture from the main road into the little gallerias you can discover independent boutiques and antique stores for some one-of-a-kind finds. Another popular spot is Via Dante, a street that stretches from the Duomo to the city’s castle, offering plenty of high street shops as well as unique market stalls.
For Discount Divas
If the designer brands suit your taste but not your bank balance, Milan offers a range of outlet stores throughout the city selling leftovers, over runs and seconds from many of the major labels. If you’re happy to don last season’s designs, then head to Il Salvagente, an outlet store just near the high street of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II which offers three stories of designer gear at wallet-friendly prices. Meanwhile the Dmagazine Outlet is in the heart of the fashion quarter on Via Montenapoleone and offers outlet prices on last season labels from Armani to YSL.
On the outskirts of the city are eight large outlet shopping malls offering discounts of around 30-70%, often with regular bus routes from the city centre. The largest of these is Serravelle Designer Outlet, which offers a huge range of around 180 designer boutiques like Prada, Armani and Hugo Boss as well as some lower priced brands like Puma and United Colours of Benetton. Situated around an hour from the city, fashion-savvy travellers can easily spend a whole day or more wandering the aisles and splashing their cash.
Milan is only a short journey from the UK – at just under two hours flying time it’s the perfect spot for spoiling yourself with a weekend of fashion-forward shopping. Flights to Milan are available from the major UK airports, including:
Find more information on the city’s attractions with this Milan 24 hour guide.