During the week, including Saturday, street markets in Milan are excellent occasion to wander and shop at convenient prices in its local markets, making familiar with live authentic atmospheres that characterize the Milanese daily life.
With over one hundred markets that take place in a week, either outdoors or covered markets (municipal market), is a great opportunity to get in touch with people of the place and will make you feel less tourist.
Street markets in Milan have different features and different personalities, depending on the area where they are located, but each of them have their own identity, characterized by different social and history evolution.
Although these markets aren’t just a peculiarity of Milan as in every settlements in Italy, no matter how big they are, you’ll find one. Street markets are one of the oldest forms of commerce and it’s not coincidence that one of the most famous squares (Piazza dei Mercanti) in the center of Milan (a few steps from Duomo), bears the name dedicated to the market and its sellers.
Save money, have more choice, possibility to bargain on price and compare different prices for the same products – these are the main reasons for going to a local market on a certain day of the week.
What’s special about street markets in Milan?
As I’ve already mentioned, street markets in Milan have different features and different individuality, depending on the area. Very often their position also affects prices on the market. It is not surprising that you will pay more for example on the market in Via San Marco than in Via Vespri Siciliani.
Milan’s markets are different from each other, by supply, atmosphere and customers. From the structural point of view, there are two types of markets in Milan. The most common are open-air markets with stalls lined up on one or both sides of the streets. These are usually open once or twice a week.
The second type are covered markets usually called ‘municipal market’. These markets are open every day except on Sundays. For ordinary tourist visiting Milan, these markets are usually unknown. They sell the high quality food fresh products from bread, fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables of all kinds.
The covered markets are not as numerous as outdoor ones. Milan has 26 covered markets, scattered over the 9 city zones while open-air markets are 95 including those in the hinterland. With 1 million 300 thousand inhabitants, there is one market on every 10 thousand inhabitants.
If you would like to know the complete list of weekly markets in Milan, here is the website that provides a list of main Milan markets (unfortunately it’s only in Italian).
Covered markets in Milan (municipal markets)
With 26 covered markets that covers 9 city zones, there are some of them that are more famous and where locals prefer to do shopping and sometimes where the restaurants owners go hunting for cheap fresh produces.
Market Piazza Wagner
This covered market is one of the oldest in Milan, active since 1929. This is a typical indoor market with about 25 family-owned stalls, considered gourmet food specialist.
On this market you’ll find variety of natural, Italian, international and per-prepared gastronome foods from fresh Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella to top quality packaged foods. It’s a true paradise for the cheese lover.
If you speak Italian these friendly vendors will be always ready to advise you some cooking tips and will give you free recommendation.
Opening hours: Every day including Saturday from 08.00 AM to 01:30 PM and from 04:00 PM to 07:30 PM. On Saturday it’s open all day. Here is this market on the map (Piazza Wagner 7).
Market del Suffragio
This is one of particular markets in Milan. Recently opened this market has also been baptized as Mercato con Cucina ( market with a kitchen). Besides that you can buy fresh products from fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, meat and fish, you can also taste exquisite food.
The market offers a self service, not standing at the counter but sitting both inside and outside exterior of the market. The seats are 120 and it’s usually difficult to find the empty seat.
Maybe it isn’t the cheapest place to eat but market is selling and serving bread, fish, pizza, fruit and vegetables and wine is also available. Here is served a famous Longoni family bread.
Market is open every day (closed on Sunday) from 07:30 AM to 23:00 PM. It’s located in Piazza Santa Maria del Suffragio a Milano and to get there take tram N°27 from Duomo.
Covered Municipal Market Darsena
If you decide to visit the Milan Navigli canal district, Darsena harbor, is at the point where the Naviglio Pavese and Naviglio Grande canals meet.
At Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio square that until a few years ago was called Piazza del Mercato, has been recently turned into a covered food market. It’s a kind of a miniature village. This small market sell fresh products from poultry and eggs, the tripe seller who offers three tasty recipes: Genoese tripe, tripe rolls and grandmother’s tripe.
There you can find small shops like Cattaneo and Romito bakery, Franchino Exotics fruits, Rosita food products of South America and in one small pavilion in front of the market there is one of the most supplied fishmongers in the city.
Darsena covered market is open every day from 08:30 AM to 07:30 PM (with a break between 01:30 PM to 04:30 AM). On Sunday is open up to 01:30 PM.
Municipal Market Via Zara
This is also one of the oldest covered markets in Milan opened in 1948. It’s located in Piazzale Lagosta close to Viale Zara metro M3 (yellow line) and belongs to Isola district.
The market has only 13 shops that all guarantee the excellent quality. Even if it’s small, you’ll find everything there, meat products, vegetables, fruits, cheese, dairy products, flowers. Particularly is famous the butcher (the historical one is the Equine).
Opening hours: every day from 08:30 AM to 13:00 PM and 16:00 AM to 19:30 PM. The market is closed on Sunday and Monday afternoon.
Open-air Markets in Milan
With over 95 open-air markets scattered over Milan city and its hinterland, it’s rather difficult to choose the best one. Local people are tied up with markets in their area and only occasionally they do shopping in other markets.
Open-air market in Via San Marco
This market that takes place on Monday and Thursday mornings on San Marco square in Brera is one of the most fashionable street markets in Milan.
Every Monday and Thursday this clothing-oriented market, where excellent deals are made on cashmere and footwear.
It’s rather small but excellent quality market. If you are interested in the clothes and knitwear ‘at good price’, this market offers footwear of known brands, in this case the prices are not low but if you are lucky you can buy an elegant pair of shoes or boots for less than 100 €.
San Marco market is open on Monday and Thursday from 07:30 AM to 14:00 PM. The nearest metro station is Lanza – M2 (green line).
Viale Papiniano open market
Not so far in the past this open street market was the best market to go to in Milan. It was the best place to buy the very best food and the fanciest fashion. Things has changed since the increasing presence of international stallholders like Chinese and Moroccans. It is famous for fashion, including vintage clothing, shoes and accessories of all kinds.
In spite of that, it’s still the most frequented market, particularly on Saturday when the whole Papiniano street is crowded almost all day. Green market is separated on Piazza Sant’Agostino.
This market takes place twice a week. On Tuesday is open from 07:00 Am to 14:00 PM while on Saturday it closes at 19:00 PM.
Via FauchÃ¨ Market – Fashionable street market
If you don’t know what to do on Saturday, my advise is to spend morning on this fashionable market. Check out the latest trends, go bargain hunting and pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables. When you are tired, take a walk to Parco Sempione (Milan castle).
If San Marco is famous for cashmere, via FauchÃ¨ is ‘to be there’ destination for designer clothes and shoes. It’s very appreciated by the fashionistas. You can find discounted clothes and shoes of the most prestigious Italian stylists.
It’s open on Tuesday mornings and all day on Saturday (Tuesday 08:30 to 13:00, Saturday from 08:30 to 18:00).The stalls here stock brands like Prada, Miu Miu and Fendi at a fraction of the normal retail cost. Come early on Saturday as vendors, stock one-size of the shoes or clothes on offer.
Fiera di Sinigaglia – Milan flea market
This is the oldest flea market in Milan. For your information from October 4th it will move on the banks of Ripa di Porta Ticinese, in the section that goes from Via Paoli to the end of Via Barsanti. See the map below!
It takes place every Saturday from 08:00 AM to 18:00 PM. Here you find everything from Indian, South American and African craft-work, new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, perfumes, candles, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs.
Mercatone dell’Antiquariato – Market of Antiques
It’s my favorite market and one of the most popular markets in Milan. It is a large specialized market that takes place on the last Sunday of every month along the entire section of the Naviglio Grande.
It hosts monthly more than 380 exhibitors, mainly antiques dedicated to quality vintage. Furniture, watches, porcelains, silverware, jewelry, dolls, games, collectibles, books, glasses, radio, modern art, sticks, bronzes, glasses, comics and prints are displayed carefully, available to locals and tourists.
During the event all the shopkeepers in the area, as well as all the numerous bars and restaurants and numerous art studios, remain open to make the day of visit a non-forgettable event.