Everything you need to know about low-cost shopping on the streets of Milan, the capital of Italian fashion where you can find good bargains: from vintage markets to large clothing chains.
Shopping in Milan on a budget is possible if you know where to look. Here are all the areas and main streets of the Italian fashion capital where you can give vent to your desire for shopping. And many more curiosities and news from the Milanese shopping world: from vintage markets to large clothing chains. Are you ready to fill your wardrobe without draining your bank account?
Low-cost shopping in Milan: the big chains stores
One way to find some great bargains (especially end of season fashion deals), is to enter the stores belonging to the most famous fashion chains like: H&M, Alcott, Zara, Intimissimi, Tezenis and many others. These shops are located in virtually all areas of Milan, but the main shopping streets of the big fashion chains wind their way from the heart of Milan, close to the Duomo, and branch out between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Torino.
To reach these two routes, just take the 1 red or 3 yellow metro line (underground/subway) and get off at the Duomo stop. It is worthwhile to go shopping here during the sales periods, where prices will be even cheaper and you can fully enjoy the atmosphere offered by the Italian fashion capital. There are two official Italian sales periods each year – winter and summer, which are in January and July. They usually last around 6 weeks. Unlike the UK for example that allows shops to hold sales anytime of year, in Italy sales periods are highly regulated and must be at set times in the year.
Shopping in Porta Ticinese and Chinatown
Corso di Porta Ticinese (link to map) is a street very popular with young Italian people from Milan. This is one of the main areas of the Milanese nightlife and young people usually gather at the Columns of San Lorenzo, where nearby, you can find several interesting places. As for shopping, here you can find numerous new and vintage clothing stores, as well as accessories and jewellery at very affordable prices.
The Porta Garibaldi (map) area is home to the Milanese Chinatown. In this area you can breathe a particular oriental atmosphere. The streets are decorated with Chinese lanterns and there are many food markets and shops where you can buy clothing, jewellery and much more at really low and affordable prices.
In China town, there are also numerous ethnic restaurants where you can experience the taste of many Asian specialties that are not offered in any other area of Milan.
Corso Buenos Aires
Not far from Via Paolo Sarpi is another Milanese shopping landmark, Corso Buenos Aires (map). This area of Milan is full of shops of the most famous clothing chains like Zara, OVS, Foot Locker, Calvin Klein Jeans, and low-cost shops where you can shop till you drop. The neighborhood can be reached in three ways:
- Railway at the Porta Venezia stop;
- Underground line 1 (red) Lima stop;
- Underground line 2 (green) Loreto stop.
Local market shopping
The places to go to spend little money are certainly the vintage markets, and Milan really has nothing to envy other cities, as there are many different ones.
The Chez Babette-Garage Sale
This market is set up in a working garage in Via Wildt 2 (map) and is located in the Lambrate area. In this market you can buy accessories and vintage clothing, but also handmade Italian accessories at very affordable prices (ideal for that unique special gift).
The East Market in Via Mecenate 84
This English-inspired market (map) was created from a former aeronautical factory with an area of six thousand square meters.
Here you can find numerous items of clothing, even Italian branded ones, at really competitive prices. There are 300 exhibitors and they are selected by the East Market staff.
The Frida Market is located in Via Pollaiuolo 3 (link to map) and is organized with the collaboration of Cortile 68, which is a craft co-working project that organizes events and helps young Italian creatives to be known in the artistic environment. Going to the Frida it will be possible to combine shopping with great local music, in an area famous for its aperitifs and live events in Milan.