Milan is actually a great place to relax or entertain yourself and the long-awaited after work moment of the day starts early in Milan. Happy hour - or the aperitivo as it is more traditionally called - kicks off officially at six and by seven the party is in full swing.
This is not just a quick pre-dinner drink; it is probably the single most important social event of the evening. Milan has plenty of places in which to party with and also bars and discos located around all the city districts. The sheer variety of venues guarantees the perfect evening to suit all tastes and budgets: for the young and not so young, students and hipsters, VIPs andmanagers, there is something for everyone. Hundreds of bars, pubs, restaurants and discos from the Navigli area to Isola, Brera and the Columns of San Lorenzo offer entertainment to suit all tastes and all palates - from tiny backstreet bars and chic, sleek cocktail lounges to trendy rave clubs. Each district stands out for its own characteristics, each has its own mood and the in- crowd follows word of mouth recommendations.
Brera: pointing our finger at the center of the city map we find ourselves in Brera the artsy neighborhood home to the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and the Brera Art Gallery. This area has always been the meeting place for celebrities from the world of culture, fashion and entertainment and, still today, you can come across historic and hip venues with an international vibe.
Corso Como e Garibaldi: only ten minutes from Sempione and here we are in Corso Como and in the new Garibaldi area.
Jaw dropping skyscrapers designed by ‘archistars’ (the most famous is the Vertical Forest), plus, illuminations and piazzas completely transformed in style, such as the famous Piazza Gae Aulenti. Here the venues are eye-wateringly trendy and the nightclubs welcome celebs, supermodels, soccer players, entertainers and television starlets who all hang out in the same area. Glam and chic are the adjectives that best describe this part of Milan.
Isola: from Piazza Gae Aulenti we descend into the Isola district: the old working-class neighborhood that has undergone a smart revamp which has turned it into an alternative and very attractive environment whilst keeping its Milanese character intact. The venues in this neighborhood manage to balance tradition and ethnicity and the district is known for listening to excellent jazz. The Blue Note venue is even called the Temple of Jazz, with an extensive program that features most prestigious national and international artists
Porta Romana: heading slightly south from the center we reach the attractive Porta Romana district to spend the evening in the company of other musical genres such as classical music, rock, ambient and sounds from the 1980s. Lots of themed venues with attractive interiors and exclusive ambients for those who want to experience more of a romantic evening. Lots of good restaurants in the area will satisfy your taste buds and the district is also known for bars that are icons of the Milano da Bere vibe where you pay at the bar and take the drinks outside to chat with pals.
Navigli: let’s move along on our map and just one metro stop later we reach the legendary Navigli area, the Milan movida’s stomping ground par excellence. Crowds of young, and not-so-young, revellers flock to the bars, pubs and discos that offer their patrons year-round fun and partying with cocktails, food and music.
Colonne di San Lorenzo: a few meters further on and ‘See you at the columns..’ means get ready for a night of outdoor drinking and chatting with a beer in your hand, standing or sitting on the ground between Piazza Vetra and via Molino delle Armi. An awesome selection of diverse venues caters for a young, alternative and lively crowd. Over time one venue in the area has also become something of an institution. Bar Rattazzo was famous for being a meeting place for left wing Milanese intellectuals and has now became one of the most popular bars in the Colonne area famous for its excellent polpette meatball.