Milan Nightlife

Young, cosmopolitan Milan has a vibrant, lively nightlife and cultural scene. Most bars and restaurants serve aperitivo (a buffet of antipasti, free with drinks) between 1800 and 2100, which is a Milanese institution. They stay open until late (0100), after which the energetic move on to the nightclubs (discoteca), which stay open till 0400 (most shut Mondays). Milan's cultural scene boasts excellent music and theatre performances all year round. Top venues include the prestigious, world-famous La Scala and Piccolo Teatro.

Entertainment and cultural listings in Milan can be found in the weekly Corriere della Sera (, the free monthly Milano Mese (available from the tourist office and hotels) and the free English-language HelloMilano ( (available from hotels, bars and the Duomo tourist office). Tickets are available from Ticketone (tel: 892 101;

Bars in Milan

10 Corso Como Café

10 Corso Como Café, with its slightly oriental slant to decorations, is one of the hottest bars in Milan. Its innovative use of design means it will appeal to those who like to drink in quirky watering holes. Expect pages of cocktails, a bit of a shop thrown in, part cafe and boutique. In the evenings, it really comes into its own.

Corso Como, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 2901 3581.
Bar Magenta

Bar Magenta's wooden interiors and extensive beer list make this a hit with young Milanese.

Via Carducci 13, Milan, Italy
Telephone: 02 4229 2194.
Le Biciclette

In the Navigali district, Le Biciclette, with its monthly changing display of artwork, attracts an extremely varied crowd and has legendary aperitivo. Clad in silk tapestries and minimalist furniture, it offers a slice or rustic chic, and combines an American style bar with a restaurant and art gallery. On Sundays, it's said to be one of the best places in Milan to enjoy brunch.

Via Conca del Naviglio, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 839 4177.

Clubs in Milan

Il Gattopardo Café

Il Gattopardo Café, in a deconsecrated church in the upwardly mobile northwest of Milan, is a beautiful people haunt - dress to impress to get in.

Via Piero della Francesca, 47, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 3453 7699.

Plastic is one of the most popular nightclubs in Milan and plays Italian house and techno music. Among those who have graced its interiors are apparently Grace Jones and Andy Warhol. There are selective at the door - wear the right clothes and smile, and you'll get in. Glamour is key - drag queens, vintage wear and chic couture all rock. Open until the early hours.

Viale Umbria, 120, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 733 996.
Shocking Club

The Shocking Club has minimalist décor and lives up to its name with outrageous theme nights. With two dance floors and the capacity to hold 1,000 party-goers, it is hugely popular with students and young professionals.

Bastioni di Porta Nuova, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 6269 0045.

Live Music in Milan

Blue Note

Blue Note is the place for live jazz in Milan. It has an international pedigree and draws artists from around the globe. You can eat refined Italian cuisine as you enjoy the performances; this place is well recommended for jazz lovers.

Via Pietro Borsieri, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 6901 6888.
Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone is Milan's temple of rock during the week (dancing on Fridays and Saturdays; dinner/nightclub on Tuesdays). It offers an impressive line-up of acts.

Corso 22 Marzo, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 733 172.

Classical Music in Milan

Auditorium di Milano

Milan's respected symphony orchestra, the Orchestra Verdi, founded in 1993 and conducted by Riccardo Chailly, frequently performs concerts in the Auditorium di Milano. Performances usually take place Monday, Thursday and some Tuesday nights, with big events on Saturdays and matinees on Sunday.

Corso San Gottardo, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 8338 9401.
Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi

Another illustrious venue for classical concerts in Milan is the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi, where the Cantelli Orchestra performs. The conservatory was founded in 1808 in a former Lateran convent. Many key Italian musicians studied here - although, oddly enough, the young Giuseppe Verdi was rejected. There are two concert halls: the smaller Sala Puccini for chamber music, and the bigger Sala Verdi for symphonic and choral music.

Via Conservatorio, 12, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 762 110.

Theatre in Milan

Piccolo Teatro di Milano

Milan has become a driving force behind Italian drama since the foundation of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano by Giorgio Strehler and Paolo Grassi in 1947. The company puts on a wide repertory of international, classical and experimental drama in three different theatres. Audiences can choose between programmes for the Teatro Grassi, Via Rovello, the experimental theatre Teatro Studio, Via Rivoli, and the Teatro Strehler, Largo Greppi.

Largo Antonio Greppi, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 4241 1889.
Teatro alla Scala

Opera lovers know the Teatro alla Scala, La Scala for short, the world over. The main ticket office remains under the Piazza Duomo, admittance from the stairs of the Duomo Metro. The home of classical ballet in Milan is also at La Scala, which is also the base for its renowned ballet school, the Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala, Via Verdi 1.

Via Filodrammatici, 2, Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Telephone: 02 88791.