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Six essential apps that make life in Milan easier for foreign residents

From public transport to restaurant bookings, life in Milan might not exactly be a piece of cake at first. Here are six essential apps that’ll help you get properly settled in Italy's second-largest city.

A view of Milan's famous Galleria
A number of mobile apps can make life in Milan much easier. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Whether you’re totally new to Milan or have been living in the northern city for a while but are still finding it hard to adapt to the milanese lifestyle, there are some mobile apps that are guaranteed to make daily life easier. 

In no particular order, here are six of the most useful apps for navigating life in Milan. 

ATM Milano

Public transport in Milan is efficient and reliable, with a dense network of trams, buses and metro lines servicing the city’s entire urban area. But, figuring out the best way to get to your chosen destination might not be so easy, especially if you’ve just moved to the city.

Luckily, ATM Milano, the mobile app provided by Milan’s main public transport operator (ATM), offers newcomers some precious assistance. 

READ ALSO: What are the best Milan neighbourhoods for international residents?

The app will work out the quickest way to get to your destination, giving you all the relevant info regarding your journey as well as keeping you posted on potential delays or service suspensions on your route.

You can buy single tickets or manage your daily or monthly passes directly on the app. The app can be downloaded here.

SHARE NOW (from Car2Go)

Car-sharing services have become increasingly popular in Milan over the past few years and Car2Go is the most reliable provider in town.

Hiring a car through Car2Go’s app, SHARE NOW, is as easy as it gets: once you have uploaded your driving licence directly to the app, you’ll only need to locate a car in your area and book it with just a couple of taps on your screen.

There are five types of car available to users (you can see them here) and the operational zone has been recently extended to encompass some extra-urban areas (Baggio, Linate, San Donato and others).

A tram heading down a street in Milan

Public transport in Milan is very efficient but a number of car- and bike-sharing services are also available. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Rates go from six to eight euros an hour and parking within the urban area is free. Further info and app download links are available here.


If you’re not a fan of cars (or simply can’t stand traffic during peak hours), you’ll also have the option to quickly hop on a bike and cycle your way through the city.

There are countless bike-sharing services available to Milan residents but the BikeMi app is probably the most reliable one. 

There are as many as 325 BikeMi stations scattered across the city, with nearly 5,500 between regular bikes and e-bikes being available to users. 

BikeMi is also fairly cheap (around two euros an hour for regular bikes), though subscription to the service comes at a fee. The app can be downloaded here.

The Fork

Milan truly has no shortage of eateries and, as a resident, you’ll likely be dining out at least once a week.

But managing bookings over the phone can be a bit of a hassle at times, especially if you’re not very proficient in Italian. 

READ ALSO: Five things you’ll only know if you live in Milan

The Fork app allows you to book a table at your favourite restaurant directly from your phone. 

Boking through The Fork also gives you access to a number of generous discounts (20, 30 or even 50 percent) on your restaurant bill. You can download the app here.


Online food delivery service Glovo is a popular choice among hungry Milanese who don’t feel like going out.

Glovo services an extensive network of restaurants across the city and deliveries are usually bang on time. 

READ ALSO: Moving to Italy: How much does it really cost to live in Milan?

Aside from delivering food orders, the service will also bring anything from groceries to medicine to flowers right to your doorstep.

Download is available here

Glovo riders in Milan

Glovo is the most reliable food delivery service in Milan. Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP


Milan is the Italian capital of padel, a racket sport which is in many ways similar to tennis, with the main difference being that a padel court is enclosed by walls and balls can be played off them. 

Though you might not think much of it based on the above description, padel is a lot of fun and, besides keeping you fit, it’ll give you a chance to socialise with locals. 

The best way to get involved is through the Playtomic app

People playing padel

Playing padel is one of the best ways to make new friends in Milan. Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP

Far from being just a court-booking app, Playtomic gives users a chance to connect with other players, track their personal progress through match data and sign up for city-wide tournaments.

Bonus tip

If you’re a bit of a party animal and like to get home late on weekends, you might find yourself in need of a taxi at some point. 

Now, Uber is available in Milan but it is far more expensive than in other major European cities. As such, your best bet would be to order a local taxi through AppTaxi

Booking is easy and the app accepts a variety of payment methods.

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For members


Seven things to do in Milan on a rainy day

Weather in Milan isn’t always balmy, but that shouldn’t stop you from making the most of the city. Here are seven things to do in the northern capital when it’s raining.

Seven things to do in Milan on a rainy day

With its vast cultural and artistic heritage, world-famous fashion scene and bustling nightlife, Milan is one of the most popular Italian cities among foreign visitors. It’s also home to as many as 288,000 foreign nationals.

But weather in the northern metropolis isn’t always as favourable as in other cities across the boot, especially in spring, which is the rainiest time of the year sotto la Madonnina

So, whether you’re a resident or are just visiting, here are seven things to do in Milan in the event of inclement weather. 

Lose yourself inside a local museum

Milan has no shortage of fascinating museums and visiting one might just be the best antidote to a rainy afternoon. 

From the Pinacoteca di Brera to the Museo del Novecento to the Prada Foundation, the city is home to some of the greatest collections of both Italian and foreign art in the world. 

READ ALSO: Metro, bus or tram: Milan’s tickets, passes and apps explained 

A painting in Milan's Pinacoteca di Brera

Milan has museums for all tastes and preferences. Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

But don’t worry if art isn’t exactly your cup of tea as the northern capital offers plenty of alternatives. 

The Natural History Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the National Museum of Science and Technology, and the Alfa Romeo Museum are all top-notch options that won’t make you regret spending some time indoors.

Museum tickets in Milan are fairly affordable, with prices generally hovering between five and 15 euros. And access to some local museums is sometimes free of charge due to regional or national initiatives. 

For instance, access to the Pinacoteca di Brera is free on every first Sunday of the month as part of the national Domenica al Museo (Museum Sundays) scheme.

Eat at Mercato Centrale

Milan’s Mercato Centrale (Central Market) is somewhat of a heaven on earth for food lovers. 

It features 32 shops spread over two floors offering everything from classic Italian dishes to foreign cuisine staples to fusion creations. 

READ ALSO: What are the best Milan neighbourhoods for international residents?

No matter what type of food you choose, the overall experience will be a quick fix to your bad weather blues. 

We recommend Bambi’s panino al lampredotto (tripe sandwich), Agie’s ravioli and Sessa’s sfogliatella (shell-shaped pastry with ricotta filling).

Relax inside a caffè letterario

Reading a book while sipping on a hot beverage is an experience that has very few equals, especially so when raindrops are gently pattering against the windows.

Very conveniently, Milan has plenty of literary cafes that will allow you to do just that in the event of unfavourable weather conditions. 

Literary cafe

Milan has plenty of literary cafes that can make for safe havens on rainy days. Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP

Gogol & Company, Verso, Lapsus Caffè and LibrOsteria are all household names, but there are dozens of lesser-known cafès scattered across the city that are just waiting to be explored. 

Shop at a concept store 

Concept stores – shops that sell carefully curated selections of items connected by a common theme – abound in Milan and, if you’re a fan of shopping, they’re definitely worth a visit.

10 Corso Como, The Cloister and L’Arabesque are the most popular stores in town and their collections, which masterfully combine fashion, design, culture and art, are all guaranteed to give you a unique shopping experience.

READ ALSO: Moving to Italy: How much does it really cost to live in Milan?

Once again though, there are many hidden gems sprinkled across Milan’s urban area and you’re strongly advised to do some research to find the stores that may be best suited to your preferences.

Catch a movie

Milan is the most international city in Italy, with foreign nationals making up nearly 19 percent of residents.

That’s part of the reason why watching English-language movies in the northern city is a much easier task than it is anywhere else in the country. 

Numbered cinema seats in Italy

Finding non-dubbed movies in Milan is a much easier task than it is elsewhere in the country. Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash

A number of local cinemas regularly show films in their original language. You can find out how to best spot non-dubbed screenings HERE

Milan is also home to several prestigious film festivals every year and films are generally shown in their original language during such events.  

Play padel

If you’re a fitness enthusiast and you’re looking to work up a sweat while the rain pours outside, playing some padel might just be the right fit for you. 

Padel is a racket sport which is in many ways similar to tennis, with the main difference being that a padel court is enclosed by walls and balls can be played off them. 

Though you might not think much of it based on the above description, padel is a lot of fun and it doesn’t require exceptional technical skills, which makes it largely accessible to beginners.

Milan is by and large northern Italy’s padel capital, with an ever-growing number of residents playing the sport at an amateur level (weekend padel matches are somewhat of a solidified tradition in the city). 

The best way to book a court is through the Playtomic app.

Steam room in a hotel

Milan has no shortage of spas and wellness centres allowing you to get away from the stress of daily life. Photo by Huum Sauna on Unsplash

Wind down at a local spa

Milan residents have a reputation for being a bit short-fused, which might be the reason why the city has so much to offer when it comes to spas and wellness centres. 

From hotel facilities like the Armani spa or the Shiseido spa to day spas such as QC Termemilano near Porta Romana, you’ll find no shortage of venues giving you a chance to get away from the stress of daily life. 

READ ALSO: Five things you’ll only know if you live in Milan

Turkish steam baths are also popular in Milan, and many people say the city has the best in the country. You’ll just have to test out that claim for yourself.

Do you have any tips for enjoying Milan on a rainy day? Please share your recommendations with us in the comments section below.