Milan’s main sights are fantastic, and most of them can be visited on foot, but the city is big and if you want to get off your feet (or are traveling with kids), take advantage of some of these fun and unique modes of transport.
Milan by Bike
The BikeMi bike sharing program allows people to use bikes as part of the public transportation system, and return them to any designated BikeMi station, of which there are many. For about the same cost as a subway ticket, you can pick up a bike, ride to your destination, and then drop the bike off at a BikeMi station. For information on how the program works – in English – and a map of all the bike stations, here’s the BikeMi website.
Milan by Barge
Milan isn’t known for its canals, but a fairly extensive network of canals was built starting about 800 years ago to transport – among other things – marble for the building of the city’s iconic cathedral or Duomo. The canals are sometimes referred to as Da Vinci’s Canals because Leonardo Da Vinci designed their innovative system of dams. Most of the canals have since been covered, but locals and visitors still flock to the Navigli or Canals district of the city for nightlife. The city is resuscitating its barge system, and there are some great tours: do a 60 or 90 minute barge tour; book a barge with dinner on board; or just book a barge trip that takes you to and from a restaurant for dinner. If you’re shorter on time, go to the Navigli district and have a drink at one of the moored barges on the Naviglio Grande (pictured below).
Milan by Tram
The city has an extensive network of tram tracks, with trams from a few different eras running on them: everything from historic orange trams that look like they’ve been in use since WWII to ultra-modern sleek and shiny trams. The best way to get from point A to point B in Milan is often by tram, but my kids love riding the rickety orange historic trams, regardless of our destination. If you’re into historic trams, there’s a Facebook fan page for that. If you’re just interesting in sightseeing, combine a 2 hour city tram ride with dinner on the ATMosfera tram (pictured below), which serves tables of 2 or 4 diners at 65 Euros per head. And maybe my expectations are low for tram dinners but the food is surprisingly good.
Have you taken any of these Milan modes of transportation or do you have anything to add?
All photos by Madeline Jhawar
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