Chic and Stylish Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday in Milan
The definitive guide of where to go, from Michelin-starred restaurants and designer cafés, to world famous works of art.
Milan is so stylish and fashion-forward that even one day spotted walking around this economic and financial capital can lead to social stardom. Ok so we’re stretching the truth there, but that’s what people do on your birthday - “sorry I left your card at home” (lie), “You don’t look a day over 35” (lie).
But one thing we certainly won’t lie to you about is excellent buildings and great things for you to see and do (we are experts in travel and accommodation remember). Truth is, everything and everyone looks good in Milan. Even the modern day king of cinematography and visual perfectionism Wes Anderson designed a café here. It’s the home of Prada, the backdrop of countless fast-paced fashion weeks, and of course a vast selection of luxury Plum Guide Milan apartments. Here’s our early present to you: the definitive guide of where to go, from cute drinking courtyards, designer cafes to world famous works of art.
Celebrated designer Tom Dixon’s Milan showroom doubles as a restaurant where everything is for sale. If that isn’t the kind of big birthday energy you need on your special day, we don’t know what is. There’s a certain thrill to walking in somewhere you could technically own everything if you wanted. Did you like the chair you sat on? Buy it. Or just don’t like the thought of anyone else sitting on it ever again? Buy it. It is your birthday after all. We can’t guarantee they will gift you anything, but you can always guilt trip your restaurant companion into buying you that unnecessary but stunning napkin holder. Manzoni? Show me.
You can’t really go wrong with an institution like Nobu for your birthday in Milan. There’s one in several continents and it has never wavered in its delivery of fresh, delicious seafood. The Milan menu blends traditional Japanese cuisine with Peruvian and Italian influences, which has earnt it a spot in the Michelin 2020 guide. If this restaurant couldn't get any more painfully chic, it’s also located in the Armani Hotel. So actually maybe we weren’t joking when we said a trip to Milan would improve your style credentials.
“I'm always thinking about the next thing. So I don't enjoy anything.” said Muccia Prada famously. At the risk of ruining your trip enjoyment, this is the next thing we’re going to make you think about, but it’s well worth it - it would be a travesty not to visit here. Not only because quite literally Milan is Prada, and Prada is Milan (the founder and current heiress owner are from here), but also because one of the century’s greatest directors, Wes Anderson, designed the café.
The Prada Foundation institution is dedicated to contemporary art and culture and in general is just a fascinating building - one of its ten buildings is painted head to toe in 24-carat gold leaf.
The Last Supper
Arguably one of, if not the most famous painting in the world. Depicting Jesus and his 13 disciples sitting at a dinner table, this symmetrical artistic marvel can be viewed at the Milan Museum. Push the birthday boat out and request a visit with a private guide - this includes a visit to the nearby Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie too. If you’re one of those people who gets bashful on your birthday, just come take one look at JC for a visual pep talk. Poor guy has a pretty big portion of the world celebrating his birthday every year.
Feeling hungry? Thought so: here's our ultimate food tour of Milan to whet your appetite.
Villa Necchi Campiglio
If, like us, you love a Hollywood worthy building (we have a very keen expert eye for aesthetically pleasing premises) then you will love Villa Necchi. This super central spot is nestled in a private garden and has a swimming pool and tennis court, providing an oasis of calm in the centre of often hectic Milan. The house has a starring role in Luca Guadagnino’s 2009 love story “Lo Sono Amore” (I Am Love). It’s a larger than life building that’s as charismatic on screen as Tilda Swinton, making it the ideal backdrop for that photo shoot to celebrate your birthday in Milan.
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Ever been in a steam room and just really, really wished it was shaped like a tram? Well then, you my friend are in luck, as this is the kind of unusual quirk you can find in Milan. QC Termemilano is a heavenly wellness centre located in a former tram depot. It’s the city’s most famous thermal bath complex, boasting an underground labyrinth of sauna rooms too. Whether you want to wash away your sins or give that aging body a little boost (admit it, you are getting older, that’s why you’re reading this article) this is just the
tram ticket. Top off your visit with the spas renowned evening aperitivo and refuel before facing the outside world again.
Bulgari Il Bar
If you have a penchant to splurge every time you add another digit to your age, a visit to Bulgari Hotel Milano’s cocktail bar for an aperitivo is an excellent place to start for your birthday in Milan. Situated in an 18th century milanese palazzo and looking out onto a leafy garden, inside or outside provides a bellisimo setting to wish yourself a ‘happy birthday’ in Milan. Order the signature Bulgari cocktail or three.
Radio Rooftop Bar
What is it about roofs? There’s something powerful about drinking or dining on top of a building surveying the kingdom in front of you. Kind of like you’re Mufasa and you’re showing Simba (your wife, child, waiter) everything the light touches.
This sister bar and restaurant to the UK Radio Rooftop Bar offers spectacular sunset views across the city. Famed for delicious cocktails and whimsical snacks, the venue also has fresh takes on traditional Italian dishes (Cacio e pepe with prawns and lime we are looking hungrily at you).
Looking for the ultimate itinerary for your Milan trip? Here's our guide to spending three perfect days in the city.