The streets of Milan, Italy
It was November 10th 2014, and I had just left New York from the JFK airport to visit Milan, Italy by myself. If you haven’t already, check out my itinerary for my solo 2014 trip from USA -> Europe -> Asia. As previously mentioned, I was on this flight because of an amazing Priceline flight price mistake – I got to take flights from New York to Milan and Prague to Hong Kong for only $150.
I took another red-eye for this 8-hour flight, but unfortunately I couldn’t fall asleep. I ended up sitting next to three girls who were, humorously enough, partaking in the same flight deal as I was. They were also from San Francisco, but unfortunately our itineraries didn’t match. (Funny thing was I randomly bumped into one of the girls later on in SF after I came back. What a small world!)
Navigating from Malpensa Airport in Milan
My insomnia wouldn’t let me sleep on the plane, so I was completely exhausted landing in Milan. And of course, the journey from the airport to the hostel WOULD be a nightmare…
To get out of the airport:
If you’re trying to travel cheap, I advise you NOT to take a taxi to the City Centre which can cost over 100 Euros. Instead…
1. Get cash from the ATM machine. There are specific debit cards that allow you to take cash out without a fee. Fees can add up tremendously and make your trip more expensive than it should be, so make sure to carry the correct card on your trip.
2. Take the Malpensa shuttle to the Central subway station. There is a shuttle bus that takes you to the subway station, which is necessary to get to your place of stay. Ask the worker there for directions and show him the hostel address in case you need help. 1 ticket to the station costs 10 Euros.
Purchase your ticket at Malpensa airport for the shuttle bus to the Milan Central Station!
It took about 1 hour to get to the train station on the shuttle bus, and I believe there were 2 stops in between time. I tried asking around but ultimately I waited until I saw everyone leave the bus to know that this was my stop.
Something to note: not many people speak English in Italy.
Milan Central Station
Once you get to Milan Central Station, you would THINK that you’d walk in through the front entrance to access the Metro. Instead the entrance to the Metro station is to the left of the building. I remember being extremely confused about the ticket vending machines and seeking help. I ended up buying a single journey pass but later realized the 48-hour ticket was a better deal. From Central Station, I took the green station line to Piola to get to the hostel.
Make sure you’re buying the right ticket!
- A single journey costs 1.50 € and is valid for 90 minutes.
- 24-hour day ticket: 4,50 €
- 48-hour ticket: 8,25 €
- Weekly ticket: €11.30
- Monthly ticket: €35
Pretty affordable Metro tickets if you ask me.
If you don’t want to deal with ticket machines, ask a station worker for “un biglietto” (pronounced, “oon bee-lee-ETT-toh”) which will get you a single ticket journey. For an image of the Metro Map, download it on the Milan Central Station website.
New Generation Hostel Urban
I was tired, and it was rainy. I arrived at Piola and scoured around to find Wi-Fi for my Google Maps, but I think I had the wrong address cause it still took me about an hour of searching to get to New Generation Hostel Urban.
Me at New Generation Hostel Urban
I found the hostel to be a bit mediocre due to the following reasons:
- Gloomy feel: I don’t know if it were because it was raining when I visited, but I felt like the hostel had this depressing vibe due to the dark halls and lack of social interaction.
- Lack of international travelers: I realized I was basically the only international person at the hostel. The other people around my age were all visiting from other cities in Italy. Furthermore each of them had their own purpose out there- nobody was around for vacation. As a solo traveler, I wanted to meet new people but I couldn’t really do that there.
- No railings for the top bunk beds: I didn’t have to worry about this because I was sleeping on the bottom bunk. However, if I slept on the top bunk and there were absolutely no handle bars that could prevent me from falling to my death (j/k) I’m pretty sure I would have been scared.
- Small showers: There was no place to put my clothes or toiletries so showering in such a tight space was very awkward. Since the hostel wasn’t well lit, I couldn’t feel completely comfortable and safe showering either.
The journey from airport to hostel was a trek in itself. To read on about my uncomfortable experience first at a hostel, click on the link…