Having the opportunity to do your uni education in Milan is simply AMAZING! Who wouldn’t want to spend their student life exploring and partying in the global capital of fashion, glamour and pure awesomeness! Milan is a bustling metropolitan city with world-famous beautiful attractions, cathedrals, museums, castles, art galleries and much more. You can find an architectural wonder at practically every corner, and the city is full of rich heritage, art, culture, fashion and history. It has a vibrant crowd with people from all over the world, and the music scene is pretty lit!
However, there is no denying that living in Milan can become quite expensive. It is easy to lose track of your budget. Things can rack up quickly and burn a hole in your wallet. With a little bit of scouring, you can find an affordable housing option amongst all the student accommodation Milan nestles. The real trick to having the best possible time with a broke student budget is to find dirt cheap places and things to do. Or, better yet, free! Cuz who doesn’t love a good bargain and free stuff. Scroll on to have a look at a few of them.
#1 Hit up the free entry (or Lil entry fee) places
There are several museums and other tourist attractions, which are either free of cost all the time or have free entries at particular timings. Castle Museums is one of them. It features seven museums, ranging from archaeology to art and has free admission every Tuesday from 2–5:30 pm; Wednesday–Friday from 4:30–5 pm. All the churches except for Duomo cathedral are free of cost. And, even that ticket, you can get at a low price, as a student. In fact, most activities and tickets are either free or discounted for students in Milan. Just remember to carry your student ID!
Another unmissable free activity is sight-seeing the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Acquario tickets are not too expensive, and all parks and gardens are totally free!
#2 Make the best of the aperitivo
Milan is covered with aperitivo places, and it is one of the best things in the city for those on a budget. It takes place around happy hour and is essentially a special, where you can buy a drink, and with it, you also get to enjoy an assortment of appetizers for free. For every step or two, ta-da, you’ll find a restaurant or bar attracting the crowd with aperitivo. You can find pretty much anything, from breads, nachos, fries, olives, to lasagna and pizza, depending on the place. Be on the lookout for ‘em! You can nurse one drink for a good while and enjoy the free food.
#3 Check out the flea market at Navigli canal
Navigli is one of the most budget-friendly districts in the city, where you can haggle like a grandma to drop the price down. You can find a colourful, picturesque flea market taking place on the last Sunday of every month, called the Mercatone of Antiques. It is located along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande river, giving the market a lovely seaside-like atmosphere. There are hundreds of people and stalls, selling tons of vintage items, clothes, food and lots of bits and baubles. Exploring the market is free, duh, but even shopping there won’t break your wallet if you bargain.
Another famous market you can hit up in the area is Fiera di Senigallia. The market is open only on Saturdays and is full of second-hand items and hidden gems waiting to be bargained away.
#4 Transportation hack
Milan is not that big of a city and is well-connected with public transportation. So, walking is the way to go if you wanna save your bucks. There are lots of bike-sharing systems as well, like BikeMi, ofo and miMoto, which is a good way to make your money last. There are also 1-day metro tickets for € 4.50, which gets you around the whole of Milan with a single ticket! You can buy the tickets from kiosks.
#5 Buy local food and drinks (don’t forget to look for deals)
The local stuff is usually way cheaper and is a great option if you like to experiment or try new things. Milan also has excellent bargains when it comes to food and drinks. Google a little for some of them before you head out, instead of visiting tourist traps, and you’ll end up saving a lot of bucks. G.B. Bar is a budget-friendly sandwich bar serving delicious food and snacks at a low price. You can head to The Mayflower Pub, a cosy, homey restaurant with an exceptional selection of food and drinks for only 8 euros. You can completely pig out on Japanese sushi, traditional Chinese and Thai dishes at the all-you-can-eat Sanya Ayce restaurant for about 13 euros.
you can do a lot even when you don’t have a ton of money in your pocket.