Nightlife in Italy is extremely different compared to the UK, in many different ways! Drinks are typically very expensive in the UK, so we usually drink at home before hitting the town. Everybody knows Britain for the pubs, but nightclubs are also a huge part of our culture. I’ve noticed that in Italy everyone tends to drink wine, but in the UK we drink a lot more spirits than anything. This is probably why most of our nightclubs are focused around dancing! In my opinion, Milan is one of the best cities in the world for nightlife, so here are my personal top 5…
One of the main reasons I love this bar is because of the music, but the atmosphere is also amazing. Tom. is a restaurant/aperitivo bar during the day and evening, and becomes a nightclub later on. The only downside to this place is the fact that there is always a huge queue to get in. I would recommend going relatively early if you want to avoid the queue, but sometimes they hold events/parties; on these nights there is a queue from when it opens to when it closes! On Fridays and Saturdays the music is mostly English and Italian pop. They play very mainstream music which is perfect for dancing, and there’s always something to appeal to everyone’s tastes. The drinks are pretty cheap compared to other bars in that area – around €7 for a cocktail – and the service is extremely fast.
- Chinese Box
Even though this area of Milan (Brera/Moscova) is usually very expensive, Chinese Box is a not so hidden gem with amazing cocktails for reasonable prices. Their gin list is very extensive, with gins from all around the world, and the average price for a gin & tonic is around €6, with wine/prosecco at €5. This bar is situated under the famous Gucci art wall, and although there are some seats inside, everyone tends to stay standing outside. There is the option of table service and an aperitivo outside, but you have to move quickly to find a free space! In the winter they provide really good quality heaters, but the best time to go is spring/summer when the streets are full of people. This area is also very good for celebrity spotting, as many of them frequent the bar opposite (Radetzky).
It wouldn’t be a complete list of the best clubs in Milan without a special mention of Club Plastic. Arguably the most famous nightclub in the city, Plastic is always full and always a good time! Many people preferred the old location, but the new location on Viale Gargano is just as good in my opinion! Andy Warhol described it as ‘one of the best clubs in the world’, and he’s definitely not wrong. The atmosphere is electric, and the music and people are eccentric; Plastic is the perfect place for anyone who is bored of the typical nightclub and who wants to experience something a bit stranger. Not to mention one of my favourite things – every Friday is British night!
- Red Café
Definitely the cheapest bar on the list, Red Café is located in the Porta Venezia area of Milan and they do cocktails for €4! The area itself is mostly full of gay bars and is full of fun and relaxed people. The bar gets pretty crowded the later it gets as the drinks are so cheap and the people who work there are so nice, so make sure you arrive early if you want to grab a table. The décor is fantastic – the walls and sofas are all completely red (hence the name), and the artwork is strange yet fascinating. If you’re looking to have a crazier night, their shots are only €2! And although there is usually a queue, it goes down very quickly due to the speedy bartenders.
- La Hora Feliz
As an international resident of Milan, I just had to mention this place. La Hora Feliz is always packed full of international students and workers, and their aperitivo is extremely hard to beat! They provide mountains of pasta and pizza and meats/cheeses, as well as many desserts and snacks. It’s extremely easy to access from all over the city, as it’s located near Carrobbio – next to the Colonne. The standard aperitivo price is €10, but outside of this time the prices vary. However, as the bar is primarily for students, it stays pretty cheap all day and all night. If you have an aperitivo here then you definitely don’t need dinner, so make sure you go with an empty stomach!