Flick through the glossy pages of a fashion or design magazine in any corner of the world and one city will dominate the column inches like no other. Milan, the internationally renowned leader in style and a mecca for any fashionista worth her salt, has been setting trends before trend-setting even began. Many imitators have nipped at Milan’s well-shod heels in an attempt to claim the Fashion Capital’s crown, but no other city can really compare when it comes to the vibrant and diverse shopping scene available here. From high-concept furniture design spaces and independently run boutiques selling custom jewellery, to vintage markets and the usual high-street favourites, the quality and choice on offer is second to none. And in spite of being the home of fashion powerhouses like Prada and Gucci, Milan has something to offer everyone - even to those without a Gucci budget.
For the most part, Milan is a pedestrian-friendly city and the main shopping thoroughfares can be found in the centre of town. Choose your shoes wisely though! As tempting as it is to don a pair of stilettos and sashay around the city in true suave Italian style, navigating some of the cobbled streets might prove difficult for even the most seasoned shopper! If you’re looking to splurge on designer brands, don’t miss the Quadrilatero d’Oro. This area plays host to Dolce and Gabbana, Versace and many more high-end stores. For high-street fashion brands like Gap and Zara, try corso Vittorio Emanuele II or via Torino, both found right beside the Duomo. Bargain hunters should head to corso Buenos Aires, located just northeast of the centre. There you’ll be able to find great deals in the hundreds of shops lining the bustling 3km street. The Brera district offers design-lovers the chance to explore a number of artisan boutiques selling hand-crafted furniture and accessories. A haven for hipsters can be found on corso di Porta Ticinese.
Most shops in the city centre stay open until 19:00, but remember that if you venture outside of town, you might find some places closed for lunch. But don’t worry, they reopen again at 15:00.