In honor of Milan Fashion Week, September 19-25, we've put together our top Milan luxury hotel picks. Now, unless you're a die-hard fashionista or buyer, we'd actually suggest not visiting Milan during Fashion Week, as prices simply skyrocket. Nor is August much fun, as most Italians (and Europeans, for that matter) are on holiday. Instead, try to time your visit for non fashion week dates in the Spring or Fall. Some may wonder–why Milan? Does it have much to offer other than being Italy's business and fashion capital? Emphatically yes. As chic and stylish as much of the population currently is, Milan is also worth a trip because it is preserving its more traditional side in the most tasteful way possible. From the gorgeous architecture of the Duomo to a view of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, Milan will prove that you don't have to head to Tuscany to have a rich cultural experience that shows off the best of the old Italian masters. And make sure to take an afternoon siesta so you energy for the nightlife. Just don't forget to dress up when you're going out at night if you want to get in–the Milanese pride themselves on being the best dressed in all of Italy.
Getting to Milan with miles or points
If you're hoping to fly to Milan first class or business class from the U.S., you can save significantly by using frequent flyer miles. Here are a few of our favorite options, and links to credit cards that enable you to earn the miles:
- First Class on Lufthansa (Last Minute): 135,000 United Miles roundtrip, or 67,500 miles one-way
Lufthansa’s new First Class offers a fantastic experience. You'll need to book this last minute, as Lufthansa no longer releases first class award space in advance. See How to Deal with No More Lufthansa Advance First Class Availability.
While there Lufthansa does fly nonstop EWR-MXP I haven't seen any first or business class award space recently on that route. Instead, you can transfer in Munich or Dusseldorf, which does often have last minute first class availability on the transatlantic, then business class for the short intra-Europe flight to Milan.
You can earn the miles from either 2 credit card applications plus credit card spend, or from 3 credit card applications. Apply for the Ink Bold or Ink Plus plus either the United MileagePlus Explorer or the Sapphire Preferred, then either earn the additional United miles through spend or by, in about 3 months, applying for the third card (the United MileagePlus Explorer if you already applied for the Sapphire Preferred, or the Sapphire Preferred if you already applied for the MileagePlus Explorer).
- Apply for the Ink Bold Business Card – 50,000 points (50,000 points transfer 1:1 to United miles)
- Apply for the Ink Plus Business Card – 50,000 points (50,000 points transfer 1:1 to United miles)
- Apply for the Sapphire Preferred Visa – 40,000 points (40,000 points transfer 1:1 to United miles)
- United MileagePlus Explorer – 30,000 miles (But possible to match to a 55,000 miles offer and $50 statement credit, with the same $1000 spend + adding an authorized user)
A more direct, if less exciting, award would be United BusinessFirst on the EWR-MXP nonstop.
- Business Class on Aer Lingus Boston to Dublin: 50,000 British Airways Avios points + cheap flight to Milan
- Coach on Aer Lingus to Dublin: 25,000 British Airways Avios points + cheap flight to Milan
Even if you missed getting the British Airways Visa, American Express is currently offering a 40% transfer bonus for AMEX Membership Rewards points to British Airways Avios
Other nonstops from the U.S. include:
- American Airlines (codeshare with British Airways and Iberia)
- Alitalia (codeshare with Delta): no First Class, but Alitalia's new flat bed business class product is quite good, and service is reportedly better since the airline's new owners took over
Check out and apply for the Best Travel Credit Cards.