Living in Milan as a Student Tips

Useful tips from mainly US students, that we interviewed, who mostly studied in Bocconi University. Usually it’s their first time they are in Milan and stay for many months for full semester, some for full year and few also for full 3 years.

Living in Milan Italy, good to know

Everything is closed on Sunday. There’s only a few things open.

And then there are also still weird hours on Mondays. Some things aren’t open in the mornings. Some restaurants aren’t open at night. That was one thing that they ran into.

Also usually you can’t find anything easily to eat from around 14:30 – 18:30 that restaurants are closed, but luckily some of them are still open. You can always use delivery apps like Deliveroo, Glovo and Uber Eats to let them to bring your lunch (or dinner) for just a little extra costs.

The whole concept of tipping at restaurants.

In the United States, we tip around 20% usually on the bill, but here it’s included ’cause there’s a service fee just for sitting down at restaurants “coperta”, which was very different for us.

And also, it would sometimes take a while to get the check at the end of a meal, you just need to ask “il conto per favore“, but that was okay. You got used to it. Milao is quite different from our country, especially for these two aspects.


Another interesting habit of people living in Milan Italy is to have an “aperitivo” that is quite also useful for students. So aperitivo is… It takes place around happy hour, and basically what it is is it’s kind of a special that almost every restaurant puts on, or every bar, where you go, buy a drink, and with that drink you get an assortment of the restaurant’s appetizers. So it could be anything from breads and olives, to lasagna and pizza, or chips, anything, and it’s really good, quite cheap, and they just keep bringing you the food while you stay there and enjoy your drink.

When you want to travel from Milan

It’s easy to get in some other European cities or abroad because it is a really good travel hub, it’s actually super well-connected. So if you want to go anywhere here in Italy or in the countries that are nearby, you can get there by train or by flight, because of its 3 airports near the city (and it’s not expensive at all), that are:

Malpensa (MXP)

the biggest airport, also easyJet base (that we recommend, Terminal 2), 1 hour bus ride € 7/ 30-40 minutes train trip from main train stations every 30 minutes (Cadorna FN, Garibaldi and Stazione Centrale) € 13. (€ 20 two ways when you manage to buy ticked online but its not easy), you can also reach Malpensa with the bus from Stazione Centrale,

Linate (LIN)

nearest of the airports, 30 minutes trip with Bus nr. 73 from Duomo (center) every 30 minutes and in near future also directly with the new metro line, nearest to the city  but from there you can easily get to many cities in Europe. But to get there, it’s not so easy, so it would be useful to tell it to others,

Bergamo (BGY)

Ryanair base (that we don’t recommend, you need to pay extra for the luggage and seat, so the price that at first look seems very cheap, adds up after all the extra charges, neither carry on luggage is included in the price, just very small bag, is a joke!), busses from Central Station for € 13, euros every 20 minutes.

As an alternative to transfer to airports is taxi

specially if you have lot of luggages, there is an app called “”mytaxi which is essentially like Uber and allows you to pay for the cabs with credit card. Most of the cabs, if you’re just hailing them on the side of the road, you’ll have to pay in cash.

But for example, if transportation is not running at 5 a.m. in the morning but you need to be at the airport for a flight somewhere, you can call a mytaxi the night before and order it, say, I want it to come at 5:00 AM, and then you can pay directly on the app when you get to your destination. So that’s the easiest.

Malpensa is fixed price € 95 euros, 1 hour trip. Bergamo can be little bit more, also around € 120-130 euros and Linate € 20-30, depending from the traffic. They don’t have UberPop in Italy, only UberBlack, so its was more expensive, but its worthwhile to check the price, when you need a transport example early in the morning (not rush hour), can be much cheaper. There is also an alternative app, something in the middle of taxi and Uber, that is called Heetch.

It’s really convenient to travel from Milan just cause the flights are much cheaper out of Milan (easyJet and Ryanair, they’re some low-cost airlines that are only in Europe, to my knowledge, and you can fly for like € 20- 30 if you book at the right time). It’s really easy to travel ;), is what we found.

But the airports are far away and it just makes for a much longer travel day than we’re used to, I guess, for the length of the flight, ’cause usually they’re pretty short. But, I mean, it’s a process, but it’s still cheap and you still get there, it’s just definitely longer than we thought, so you just have to commit more time than you think.

Its still something positive about Milan that you couldn’t expect, that traveling, it’s quite easy. Because Italy is very small, and Milan even smaller. Milan is a great place to travel. I’m very happy I chose to study in Milan because there’s three airports makes international travel very easy. I’ve been to Greece, Amsterdam, Vienna, Prague.

Within Italy, Milan is really connected, so I went to Venice, Florence and I was able to go to Rome for a few days, just taking the train. It was very easy and straightforward to use. I was also able to go up to Switzerland from Milan, also on a train, which once again was very easy and straightforward to do. So I highly recommend staying in Milan. I enjoyed living in Milan Italy, it was great. I’m not happy I’m gonna be leaving so soon!

Theres lots of bike sharing, one called BikeMi (there are also ofo and other plus electric scooter one, miMoto, actually there is an app where you an search all transportation options nearby, that is called Urbi) and that is about 50 cents for half an hour so it is really good value. Also Glovo when it comes to food deliveries or just anything from anywhere. Deliveroo is just for food.

It’s actually a friendly city. You can move around easily. You will find trams, subway, buses everywhere. And naturally, if you would like to walk, it’s a city that it’s easy to do so. So I would recommend everyone that loves fashion or that are into friendly Italian cities to come to living in Milan Italy.

Quick tips on the transportation in Milan

so when you just arrived, and you need to use the metro, tram or the bus, you need to buy a ticket in a Tobacco shop or at a kiosk: “Un biglietto per favore”
One time ticked (valid for 90 minutes) € 1,50 (will be € 2,00 soon because of the new metro line costs that the city is building).

And then when you buy your ticket, you just need to validate it. You can validate it at the machines (red color) when already on board, just metro as gates, then you can enter just one time, still possible to change metro with the same ticket, so you can get around the whole Milan with just one ticket.

There are also 1 day tickets € 4,50 “Giornaliero per favore” and 10 times tickets “Carnet per favore” € 13,80 available .

And also, when you will have an Italian number already, it may be easier for you to buy your ticket by sending an SMS.
Then you just need to send an sms to nr. 48444 with text “atm” and ticket arrives in few seconds with the same cost of € 1,50.
Just works with Italian number tough.

Few extra tips from Rental Milan:

Some Useful infos when you have already arrived

Garbage separation

In the city of Milan, as probably it’s your city too, we have to separate carefully he garbage, if you don’t want to incur expensive fines.

Here you are the “instructions” how to separate the waste:

You should separate the “leftover” food too, or in general what is organic, the “compost”, we call it also “humid” (umido).
For it, you should please use some special recycling begs – not made by plastic! – you can buy them in every supermarket and put them in the small brown bin you have at home.


In Milan there are a lot of supermarkets, with more or less the same products and prices.

The only ones where you could save some money, are the “discounts”. The main are LIDL, LD and iN’s.

Even if they usually don’t have the most famous Italian brands (probably you don’t need them ;)) and fresh fish, they have quite good quality and a large selection of products.

You can always use the credit card and the bancomat, excepted for some discounts where you can use just the bancomat (debit card, not credit card).

On products labels, sometimes there is just the Italian text.

While you buy not packaged fruits and vegetables, you should put the plastic glove and bags you find near these products.

At the same time you fill the bag with the fruits/vegetables, close it with a knot,  put it on the scale, push the number on the scale you can find on the label on the basket with the name of the product, get the sticker with the price and apply it on the plastic bag.

When you are paying at the check-out, if you didn’t put a sticker on the plastic bag with some fruits/vegetables, you have to come back to put it on the scale… but you could hamper the other people after you at the check-out, so at the end you don’t take anymore those products ;(

How to get local cell nr.?

We reccommend Vodafone Shop, they are used with english speaking clients!
And Vodafone has best 4G / 4.5G coverage.

Corso San Gottardo, 5 – 20136 Milano (they have lunch break)
You just bring your passport!

Ask for rechargeable SIM, normally just €5 and you need to add some credit, like € 15 (that is also the monthly price that you need to make sure to have credit for), you don’t need any contract. You’ll be able to use your SIM card right the next day!

Paying / Withdrawing whit your debit or credit card

Only American Express might have problems in some places.

Local Bank Cards

I suggest Prepayd card with UniCredit or Intesa Sanpaolo, biggest banks here in Italy. For under 30 years old it should be free and you can get them in an instant. Just banks in Italy are open or public in the morning.

Local Bank Account

FINECO, just online bank but they have few offices near Bocconi  (part of UniCredit). You just need to have your “permesso di soggiorno” before. There is no extra cost to open a bank account but it takes up to 3 weeks (15 business days).

Original Video interviews

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