A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Brussels vs. Milan for Food, Nightlife, Old Town, and Attractions

Should you visit Brussels or Milan?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Brussels and Milan. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Brussels

Brussels is a cosmopolitan, multicultural, and historic city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Milan

Milan is a cultural, trendy, and chic city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for live music, food, and shopping.

Brussels and Milan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Brussels different from Milan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Milan and Brussels. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Brussels or Milan better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Brussels and Milan have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Milan offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The Milan Cathedral is the most famous landmark in the city, but other sights include Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca di Brera, and Sant'Ambrogio.

Brussels
Milan


Is Brussels or Milan better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Brussels and Milan.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Brussels makes for a great culinary experience. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

For foodies, Milan is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a mix of traditional dishes combined with modernized, trendy restaurants. You can try a new dish by a groundbreaking chef, or sample a long running favorite like risotto alla Milanese.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will usually choose Milan over Brussels.

Milan is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city has a huge number of students and young professionals, which make it a fun place with an active nightlife. There are cocktail bars, trendy clubs, and relaxed pubs that you can chose from.

If you're looking for night time activities Brussels has a few options to choose from. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan better for its Old Town?

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Brussels and Milan.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Brussels. The old town in the city center is where you'll find the greatest concentration of historic sights. The area is surrounded by tree-lined boulevards and is easy to explore.

Milan offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. Known as the Centro Storic, this area is the most popular with tourists. It's where you'll find the most historic buildings and beautiful sights in the city.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan better for Shopping?

Shopping is a popular activity in both Milan and Brussels.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Known for shopping, Milan draws large crowds to its stores. Famous as the fashion capital of Italy, shopping is the thing to do here. There are many streets that are lined with the biggest designers in fashion. Make sure you check out Via Monte Napoleone, Via Della Spiga, and Corso Buenos Aires.

Brussels
Milan


Is Brussels or Milan better for Families?

Both Brussels and Milan are family-friendly destinations.

Brussels is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Milan offers lots of family activities. The city has a science museum and a children's museum, MuBa, that is great for the kids. There are also a number of parks to explore as well as playgrounds where the kids and get out their energy.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan better for Couples?

Brussels and Milan both fun destinations for a couple.

Couples visit Brussels frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

Milan is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. There are many beautiful buildings, excellent shopping, and romantic restaurants that make for a wonderful couple's getaway.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Brussels and Milan are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Many backpackers visit Milan. While not as popular with backpackers as some Italian city's, there are a number of hostels and great activities that are fun for visitors.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan better for Students?

Brussels and Milan are comparable places to visit for students.

Many students visit Brussels. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.

Many students frequent Milan. It is one of the more popular city's for international students in Italy. It is very livable with a lot of culture and a fun nightlife, so you're sure to have the experience of a lifetime.

Brussels
Milan


Is Brussels or Milan better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Brussels and Milan.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

Public transit in Milan is top-notch. Options include metro, bus, tram, and train lines.

Brussels
Milan

Is Brussels or Milan a more walkable city?

Brussels and Milan both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

Milan is a very easy city to get around on foot. In particular, the city center is walkable.

Brussels
Milan

Should I spend more time in Milan or Brussels?

How long in Brussels or Milan?

In either Brussels or Milan, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Milan is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Brussels or Milan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Brussels 1-5 
    Milan 1-5

One day in Brussels or Milan?

Each neighborhood in Brussels has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Lots of people come for the shopping. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

The beautiful city of Milan offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Brussels or Milan?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Brussels. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Milan is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Milan, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.


Five days in Brussels or Milan?

Brussels is a fun place to experience. Lots of people come for the shopping. Visiting the old town is also a must. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Milan is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Milan, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

A week in Brussels or Milan?

You'll find food and shopping around the historic big city of Brussels. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. Lots of people come for the shopping. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Milan is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Milan or Brussels?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Brussels is €109, while the average daily cost in Milan is €133. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Brussels and Milan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brussels 58
    Milan 76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brussels 116
    Milan 152

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brussels 13
    Milan 28
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Private Transfer from Bruxelles to Honfleur - Up to 7 people: $1,920
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Paris: $995
  • Private Transfer from Brussels to Zurich with Luxury car: $970
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Paris: $829
  • Group transfert Brussels To Paris CDG Airport: $807
  • Privat arrival transfer from brussels city or Airport to Paris: $796
  • Brussels To Paris Luxury Transfer: $790
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Brussels Airport to Paris by Business car: $766
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Amsterdam: $763
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Luxembourg: $763
  • First Class transfert BRUSSELS TO PARIS: $734
  • Private Transfer from Brussels to London By luxury car: $734

Typical Local Transportation prices in Milan

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Milan:


  • Train to Airport
    7.00
  • Malpensa Airport Train (for Two)
    22
  • Taxi From Airport
    90
  • Public Transit Day Pass
    4.50
  • Short Taxi Ride
    7.13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Milan

Also for Milan, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • 50 seats Coach transfer from Milan to Venice: $3,098
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Milan MXP Airport to Milan City by Luxury Car: $228
  • BERGAMO ORIO AL SERIO - MILANO airport transfer: $135
  • BERGAMO ORIO AL SERIO - Milano airport transfer with private Luxury Van: $161
  • BERGAMO ORIO AL SERIO-MILANO airport transfer with private Luxury Car: $269
  • Bergamo: Bus Transfer to/from Milan City Center: $9.07
  • Bus Transfer from Malpensa Airport and Milan Central Station: $11
  • Luxury Private Transfer From Milan Hotels to Airport: $56
  • Malpensa Airport to Milan VIP Transfers: $170
  • Milan - Como / Private Transfer (up to 3 pass.): $365
  • Milan - Como / Private Transfer (up to 8 pass.): $415
  • Milan - Florence / Private Transfer (up to 3 pass.): $1,079

Is it cheaper to fly into Brussels or Milan?

Prices for flights to both Milan and Brussels change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Brussels 31
    Milan 31
Typical Food prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Brussels.

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Typical Food prices in Milan

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Milan:


  • Snack at Train Station
    8.60
  • Restaurant Pizza
    6.60
  • Casual Cafe Lunch (for Two)
    27
  • Three Course Dinner (for Two)
    64
  • Cappuccino
    1.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Milan

For Milan, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Evening Food Tour: $90
  • Dining experience at a local's home in Milan with show cooking: $106
  • Food Tour of Brera: $110
  • Small-group Street food tour in Milan: $111
  • Pizza and Gelato-Making Class: $112
  • Gourmet Food Tour: $113
  • Private Italian cooking class & lunch in the woods outside Milan: $118
  • 3.5-Hour Traditional and Modern Food Tour: $130
  • Central Market Tour and Cooking Class: $135
  • Market Tour and Lunch or Dinner at a Cesarina's Home: $158
  • Small Group Market tour and Cooking class in Milan: $162
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Milan: $180

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brussels 18
    Milan 25

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2-Hours Private Sightseeing Trip in Brussels: $83
  • 3 hours Private walking tour of Brussels with ParisRio Local guide: $345
  • 3-Day Rail Tour - Brussels to Bruges & Amsterdam (Return): $683
  • 5 Day Rail Tour - Belgium & The Netherlands: $1,000
  • 5-Day Rail Tour - Brussels, Bruges & Amsterdam: $890
  • 7 Day Rail Tour - Belgium & The Netherlands: $1,207
  • 7 Day Rail Tour - Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam (Brussels Return): $1,166
  • Amsterdam Private City Tour from Brussels with licensed Guide and Limo Driver: $683
  • Antwerp Private City Tour Half-Day From Brussels +Licensed Guide and Limo Driver: $311
  • Antwerp Private Tour From Brussels: $450
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75
  • BEST Brussels Sightseeing Tour Including View of the City from the Basilica Dome: $386

Typical Entertainment prices in Milan

For Milan, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Stairs to Duomo Rooftop
    7.00

Tours and Activities in Milan

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Milan.

  • Santa Maria delle Grazie Self-Guided Tour App: $3.97
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Tour of Sforza Castle: $3.97
  • Santa Maria delle Grazie Reserved Entry Ticket & Tour: $14
  • Bagatti Valsecchi Museum Ticket Entrance: $14
  • Cathedral, Archeological Area and Museum Ticket: $14
  • Milan Cathedral: Rooftop Terraces Ticket (No Church Access): $15
  • Leonardo3 The World of Leonardo: Tickets for the Interactive Exhibition: $15
  • Leonardo's Vineyard with Guided Tour Option: $15
  • Leonardo3 - The World of Leonardo Museum Entrance Ticket: $16
  • Skip the Line: Milan Cathedral Rooftop Ticket: $17
  • Casa Milan Admission Ticket: $17
  • Walking Street Art Tour of Ticinese and Navigli: $17

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brussels 10
    Milan 19
Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14

Typical Alcohol prices in Milan

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Milan:


  • Cocktail at a Bar
    8.40
  • Beer
    3.35

Sample the Local Flavors in Milan

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Milan:

  • Wine Tasting Experience in the City Centre: $41
  • Wine Tastings with Chef Luigi Gandola: $93
  • From Wine Tasting Tour in the Countryside: $101
  • Food and Wine Tasting enjoying the New Milan: $127
  • Milan Countryside and Wine tasting Tour: $148
  • Wine Tour Barolo from Milan: $243
  • Day trip from Valtellina and wine tasting - private tour: $603
  • Food & Wine Tour on Lake Orta from Milan - Private Tour: $695
  • Wine Tour in Franciacorta from Milan: $821


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Brussels and Milan, we can see that Milan is more expensive. And not only is Brussels much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Brussels would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Brussels and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Milan would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Milan than you might in Brussels.


When is the best time to visit Brussels or Milan?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Brussels or Milan in the Summer?

Both Milan and Brussels during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Brussels for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Milan because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Brussels is generally cooler than Milan. Temperatures in Brussels average around 18°C (65°F), and Milan stays around 23°C (73°F).

In Milan, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the summer, Brussels often gets less sunshine than Milan. Brussels gets 186 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milan receives 250 hours of full sun.

Brussels usually gets more rain in July than Milan. Brussels gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Milan receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Brussels 18°C (65°F) 
    Milan 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Brussels or Milan in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Brussels and Milan. The autumn months attract visitors to Brussels because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Milan this time of year.

Brussels is cooler than Milan in the autumn. The temperature in Brussels is usually 12°C (54°F) in October, and Milan stays around 15°C (58°F).

Brussels usually receives less sunshine than Milan during autumn. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 114 hours of sunny skies, while Milan receives 152 hours of full sun.

Milan receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In October, Brussels usually receives less rain than Milan. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Milan receives 103 mm (4 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Brussels 12°C (54°F) 
    Milan 15°C (58°F)

Should I visit Brussels or Milan in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Brussels as well as Milan. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Brussels this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Milan for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Milan. It's quite cold in Brussels in the winter. In the winter, Brussels is much colder than Milan. Typically, the winter temperatures in Brussels in January are around 3°C (38°F), and Milan is about 5°C (41°F).

In the winter, Brussels often gets less sunshine than Milan. Brussels gets 49 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milan receives 119 hours of full sun.

Brussels usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Milan. Brussels gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Milan receives 68 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Brussels 3°C (38°F) 
    Milan 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Brussels or Milan in the Spring?

Both Milan and Brussels are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Brussels for the activities around the city. Also, many visitors come to Milan in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Brussels is generally cooler than Milan. Temperatures in Brussels average around 10°C (49°F), and Milan stays around 13°C (55°F).

Brussels usually receives less sunshine than Milan during spring. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 147 hours of sunny skies, while Milan receives 176 hours of full sun.

In April, Brussels usually receives less rain than Milan. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Milan receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Brussels 10°C (49°F) 
    Milan 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Milan and Brussels

Brussels Milan
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 5°C (41°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Feb 4°C (39°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 6°C (44°F) 60 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 10°C (49°F) 85 mm (3.4 in)
Apr 10°C (49°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 76 mm (3 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (62°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Jun 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in) 23°C (73°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Sep 16°C (60°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 19°C (67°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 15°C (58°F) 103 mm (4 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 76 mm (3 in) 9°C (49°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 76 mm (3 in) 6°C (42°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)


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Brussels vs. Milan Travel Comparison

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