Where to Stay in Milan: Advice from a writer and former Milanese about the best neighborhoods to stay in Milan, Italy! (Plus 31 hotel listings)
We created this guide in collaboration with Ilse van den Berg writer, and editor and blogger who lived in Milan for 2 years. We’re thrilled she agreed to share her knowledge of Milan as our city expert for this Where to Stay in Milan guide!
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Even though people are drawn to Milan for the shopping, most are pleasantly surprised to find a city full of unexpected sights and experiences that go far beyond hitting the shops. Breathtaking historical buildings, centuries-old churches, and an impressive collection of galleries and renaissance art, Milan is sure to keep you busy, shopaholic or not.
Milan’s main attraction is undoubtedly the gothic-inspired Duomo (cathedral), which is slap-bang in the city centre, with streets radiating out from it. The city’s neighbourhoods are split into different zones arranged in a circle around the city centre and Duomo, with the city gates (e.g Porta Romana, Porta Ticinese) and their eponymous metro stations serving as convenient landmarks when you’re trying to navigate.
The city is a wonderful one to explore and, even though it can feel overwhelming on the first day, once you get a hang of the circular roads and public transport routes (4 metro lines, plus plenty of buses and trams), is pretty easy to navigate as well. The public transport system works really well, and most areas are well connected, making it fairly easy to find your way to the main attractions, such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the Pinacoteca di Brera, and the Da Vinci models at the National Museum of Science and Technology, among others.
Where to Stay in Milan: An Overview of Milan’s Coolest Neighborhoods
- Centro Storico – For convenience and sightseeing, it’s hard to beat Milan’s historical centre. This is where you’ll find the jaw-dropping Duomo and the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade. From here, it’s easy to get to other parts of the city.
- Brera – Upscale, ritzy, and popular with affluent locals and luxury hotel lovers, Brera is just north of the Duomo, and a good bet if you love the finer things in life. A walkable neighborhood, you won’t have to rely much on public transportation or cabs here.
- Porta Venezia / Citta Studi – Milan’s student quarter, this area is lively and affordable, and a good option if you’re looking for ‘bang for buck’ accomodation. This area is also home to Milan’s longest shopping street, Corso Buenos Aires.
- Ticinese / San Vittore – One of Milan’s hippest neighborhoods, this is the place to stay if you want to live like a (cool) local. Filled with restaurants, bars and shops, there are plenty of international food options here too. About a 20-minute walk from the centre, or you can grab a metro, tram or bus.
- Navigli / Porta Genova – Another one of Milan’s coolest neighborhoods, this is the canal area of Milan, particularly popular in the summer, when you’ll find locals and tourists enjoying dinner or drinks along the canals. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the Duomo to this part of the city.
- Porta Romana – A quiet and laid-back suburban neighborhood, those who are looking for a peaceful stay might consider staying in this area. You can walk to the Duomo in under 30 minutes, or take the metro 2 to 4 stops.
Milan Travel Tips & Further Info
- Popular Milan Tours & Activities
- So….Where Should You Stay in Milan (A Summary)?
- How to Get Around Milan
- How to Get From Milan Airport to the City Center
- A Note About the Hotels in This Guide
- More Resources: More Free Guides to Plan Your Trip
Best Areas of Milan to Stay
- Best Place to Stay in Milan For A First-Time Visitor: Centro Storico
- Best Place to Stay in Milan for Luxury Hotels: Brera
- Best Place to Stay in Milan For a Hip, Up-and-Coming Vibe: Navigli / Porta Genova
- Best Place to Stay in Milan on a Budget: Porta Venezia / Citta Studi
- Best Place to Stay in Milan For A Local Vibe: Ticinese / San Vittore
- Best Place to Stay in Milan for Calm and Quiet: Porta Romana
10 Best Milan Hotels (Based on Reviews)
- Hotel Milano Castello (3 star)
9.8 / 10 based on 20 reviews
- Excelsior Hotel Gallia – Luxury Collection Hotel (5 star)
9.3 / 10 based on 1300+ reviews
- Room Mate Giulia (4 star)
9.3 / 10 based on 2300+ reviews
- Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa Milano (5 star)
9.3 / 10 based on 500+ reviews
- Hotel Spadari Al Duomo (4 star)
9.3 / 10 based on 730+ reviews
- UNA Maison Milano (4 star)
9.3 / 10 based on 1100+ reviews
- Mandarin Oriental Milan (5 star)
9.3 / 10 based on 200+ reviews
- Hotel Gran Duca Di York (3 star)
9.2 / 10 based on 750+ reviews
- Hotel Teco (3 star)
9.2 / 10 based on 1100+ reviews
- Hotel Manzoni (4 star)
9.2 / 10 based on 950+ reviews
The Milan Pass is perfect for a weekend of sightseeing, available as a 48-hours pass that gets you into 8 of Milan’s best attractions for free, AND includes a hop-on hop-off tour or free public transport. It also includes some discounts around the city, and map/city guide to help you plan your trip.
Where to Stay in Milan: Centro Storico (Historical Center)
Great area for: ✓ City Centre ✓ Visiting the Duomo ✓ Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II ✓ Teatro alla Scala ✓ Shopping & Dining
Centro Storico, or the historical center, is where most people will start their search for the best place to stay in Milan….and quite probably where many people will end up staying, as well! Endless piazzas, amazing architectural landmarks, centuries-old churches, and a labyrinth of charming old streets and alleyways to get lost in make Centro Storico a charming and convenient choice when choosing a hotel in Milan.
Technically part of Zona 1, the historical center includes some of the neighborhoods listed separately in this guide, but for the purpose of finding the best neighborhood to stay in Milan, we’ll focus on the area around the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade, one of the oldest in the world; both are quintessential Milan must-sees, and well-located in the city centre.
When in the Centro Storico, we recommend grabbing a gelato, finding a bench, and soaking up the sights and sounds of Italy’s fashion capital. Explore the rooftop views of the Duomo, a building that took more than 600 years to complete, and then recharge over an espresso, enjoyed standing at an espresso bar, Italian-style! Also check out Teatro alla Scala opera house, and try some of the cute restaurants serving fine Northern Italian cuisine. It’s tradition in this part of Italy to serve aperitivo in the late afternoons/early evenings: if you order a drink, most places will load you up with bar snacks, and the portions are often large enough they can sub as an early dinner, if you’re on a budget.
Park Hyatt Milano
Park Hyatt Milano – A gorgeous hotel with a Michelin star restaurant, this property offers well-sized rooms with marble bathrooms, soaker tubs, and rain showers in addition to standard 5-star amenities, such as satellite TVs, minibars, safes, and in-room coffee/tea facilities. In addition to the restaurant, there are two lounges on site as well as a spa, hammam, and fitness facility. Located directly across from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, it’s a 4-minute walk to the Duomo/Duomo metro station, and a 3-minute walk to Teatro alla Scala. All the piazzas, bars and restaurants, and museums within the historical center are an easy walk away.
Room Mate Giulia
Room Mate Giulia – This hip 4-star is one of the best-rated hotels in Milan according to Trip Advisor. Rooms are unique and artsy, with AC and high-end designer furnishings, minibars, safes, flat screen TVs, hairdryers and designer toiletries. The hotel features a hammam, sauna, spa and fitness facility, and a bar on site. The location doesn’t get any better, with just about every shop imaginable within a 5-minute walk. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Duomo are almost right out the front door, the Royal Palace and Teatro alla Scala are a 5-minute walk, and the metro station is 3-minutes away with connections to central station.
Hotel Gran Duca Di York
Hotel Gran Duca Di York – Located within an 18th-century former palace, this 3-star offers bright, air-conditioned rooms with minibars (containing complimentary soft drinks), satellite TVs, hairdryers and complimentary toiletries in modern bathrooms. The hotel offers a daily buffet breakfast and a bar onsite. All central attractions are walkable: the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II are 6 minutes on foot, Teatro alla Scala is an 8-minute walk, Sforzesco Castle is 10 minutes, and two different metro lines are within a 5-minute walk. Due to its central location, many bars, restaurants, cafes and shops are all very close to the hotel.
Where to Stay in Milan: Brera
Great area for: ✓ Upscale Shopping ✓ Fine Dining ✓ Central & Convenient ✓ Luxury Hotels
In Brera, a ritzy and beautiful area just north of the Duomo, you can often hear the sound of wealthy travellers’ trolley suitcases clacking away over the cobblestones. Certainly, one of the higher-end and most touristy neighbourhoods, many affluent locals also call this charming area home.
Brera is popular for being a large pedestrian area, with endless little streets, artsy shops, and classy cafes and restaurants to try. There are also many art galleries for those who appreciate the finer things in life. While most of Milan has a certain “hustle and bustle” to it, Brera is a bit more relaxed, and perfect for a strolling and window shopping.
My favourite restaurant in Brera is without a doubt N’ombra de Vin (Via S. Marco, 2), where it’s all about the wine. On street level, expect to see patrons hanging out around the restaurant’s bar, spilling into the street if it gets too crowded. The restaurant is on the basement level – an old wine cellar of sorts. The crowd is usually classy young working people, and the men always look like they’ve just walked out of the office, loosened their ties, and are ready to come and relax after a long day’s hustle.
Bulgari Hotel Milano
Bulgari Hotel Milano – A sleek and modern luxury property from the eponymous luxury fashion brand (BVLGARI), this hotel offers gorgeous rooms and a sophisticated, relaxed atmosphere. Rooms are fitted with espresso machines, TVs, hardwood floors, very cozy beds, modern marble bathrooms, and toiletries. The hotel has an indoor pool, fitness facility, spa and an onsite restaurant and bar. Conveniently located just a 4-minute walk to the Montenapoleone metro station and a 10-minute walk to the Duomo, there are plenty of bars, restaurants, cafés and shops nearby.
Mandarin Oriental Milan
Mandarin Oriental Milan – A 5-star property from a trusted luxury brand, this property is well-located within the fashion district. Rooms in this exquisite hotel are well appointed, with high ceilings, large comfortable beds with quality linens, minibars, electric kettles and modern bathrooms and brand-name toiletries. An award-winning restaurant on site, as well as a bistro, bar, spa, swimming pool and fitness center, gives you access to all sorts of amenities without leaving the hotel. Located just steps from Montenapoleone metro station, and a 10-minute walk to the Duomo; plenty of shopping and dining nearby.
Hotel Milano Scala
Hotel Milano Scala – A beautiful 4-star ‘green’ hotel with a stunning rooftop bar and terrace, this property has a gorgeous, luxury vibe to it, and you’d never know it’s carbon neutral. Immaculate rooms feature hardwood floors, safes, minibars, flatscreen satellite TVs, and modern bathrooms, and the décor in each reflects a famous opera (reflecting it’s close proximity to La Scala Opera House). The onsite restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walk to the Duomo in less than 10 minutes, and the metro in just 5 minutes. You’ll find lots of shopping, and restaurants very close by.
Via Dante, Photo Credit: IgorSaveliev via Pixabay, CC0 licence
Where to Stay in Milan: Porta Venezia / Citta Studi
Great area for: ✓ Corso Buenos Aires Shopping Street ✓ Affordable ✓ Well Connected Via Public Transport
In Milan, the further you move from the inner ring, the more affordable prices become.
Situated northwest of the Duomo, on the second ring road around the city, the Porta Venezia and Citta Studi offers some great affordable Milan hotel options, while still being conveniently located. It’s also quite close to the main train station, Stazione Centrale, making it a good option if you’re arriving by train late at night, or departing early in the morning.
Thanks to the large population of university students, this area has struck a perfect combo of great location and affordable prices. And if shopping is your thing, best to base yourself here: Porta Venezia boasts the longest shopping street in Milan, Corso Buenos Aires.
It’s not all shopping though, and it’s here you’ll find the massive Giardini Pubblici (a large city park) located right next to the metro station, and the Natural History Museum and Modern Art Gallery are also found in this area.
Hotel Mercure Milano Centro
Hotel Mercure Milano Centro – Housed in a charming building dating back to the early 1800s, this 4-star offers AC-rooms with nice beds, flat screen TVs, safes and minibars, and modern bathrooms with toiletries and hairdryers. The hotel also has an onsite restaurant. Past guests have that the elevator only goes up to the 3rd floor, but there are rooms on the 4th, worth knowing if you have mobility issues. The hotel is well-located right at the Porta Venezia and metro stop. Corso Buenos Aires shopping street is right out the front door, and the Duomo is either a 20 to 25 minute walk or three metro stops.
Ai Suma Hotel
Ai Suma Hotel – A well-liked 3-star with bright pops of color and a cozy-funky vibe, this boutique offers clean and modern rooms with minibars, safes, comfortable beds, satellite TVs and nice bathrooms with toiletries. There is an onsite café/snack bar, which serves a daily continental breakfast. Past guests mention the cozy and modern feel to the place, and super helpful staff. It’s also extremely well-located just a 2-minute walk to Porta Venezia and metro station. The Corso Buenos Aires shopping street is just out the door, and the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II can be reached in about 20 minutes on foot, or three metro stops.
Worldhotel Cristoforo Colombo
Worldhotel Cristoforo Colombo – A compact, neat and tidy 4-star option with an onsite bar, lovely garden area and daily breakfast, plus an amazing spa! Rooms have coffee- and tea-making facilities, complimentary minibars restocked daily, satellite TVs, and nice touches in the modern bathrooms, like bathrobes and slippers. Just two minutes from the front door you’ll find Porta Venezia and the metro, and loads of shopping up and down Corso Buenos Aires. It’s a 10 to 15 minute walk into the historical center, and about 20 minutes walk to the Duomo, or just three metro stops.
Hotel Teco – A well-reviewed and well-priced 3-star option, this property offers decently-sized, air-conditioned rooms with TVs, laptop safes and minibars, and modern bathrooms with slippers, toiletries and a hairdryer. The hotel offers a daily breakfast buffet, and fresh coffee and tea from reception at any time (no kettles in the rooms). Located on a quiet side street facing away from the busy Corso Buenos Aires (just a one-minute walk away), it’s a five-minute walk to the metro. Lots of restaurants, bars, cafés, and shopping nearby. About 15 minutes to the historical center, and 20 minutes on foot (or 3 metro stops) to the Duomo.
LHP Hotel Napoleon
LHP Hotel Napoleon – A smart, modern hotel with sleek, clean rooms with satellite TVs, minibars, safes and comfortable furnishings. Past guests say the bathrooms are nice and modern, but a bit small, and appreciate the value for money offered and friendly staff. No coffee/tea facilities in the room, but there is a continental breakfast available and plenty of cafés and restaurants immediately around the hotel. Located just a two-minute walk to the Lima metro station and Corso Buenos Airies, where you’ll find lots of shopping and restaurants as well. Just 4 metro stops to the Duomo, or a pleasant 20-minute walk through old town.
Hotel Dorè – A budget friendly 3-star offering single, double, triple and family rooms. Air-conditioned rooms have flat screen satellite TVs, fridges, safes, tile floors, and modern bathrooms with toiletries and hair dryers. No coffee/tea making facilities in the room, but the owner/manager is said to be very accommodating to guests’ needs. The hotel has a bar on site and serves a small, but adequate daily breakfast. Lots of shopping. restaurants, cafés, and bars on Corso Buenos Aires, less than a 1-walk from the hotel. One-minute walk to Loreto metro, which serves both the M1 and M2. Central station is just 2 stops, and the Duomo is 5.
Where to Stay in Milan: Ticinese / San Vittore
Great area for: ✓ Trendy shops ✓ Dining and Nightlife ✓ Walking distance to Historical Center
When I lived in Milan, I stayed in one of the most buzzing neighbourhoods: Ticinese. Our apartment was on the fourth floor of a building that walked out onto Corso di Porta Ticinese, also quite popular for shopping; the infamous Colonne di San Lorenzo (the piazza is a go-to spot for students and silent discos) was to the right, and the popular Navigli district was down the road to the left. There is always something happening on this long street – except early mornings, of course. Italians don’t do early mornings.
Ticinese is a hip and happening hood, and for sure my favourite area to stay in Milan. Restaurants, bars, and shops abound. It’s also one of the most convenient places to stay in Milan, with a couple of grocery stores, great clothing stores, and the Duomo and Navigli both within walking distance.
I definitely recommend you hit up Le Colonne Gelateria gelato shop on Corso di Porta Ticinese; it will make you come crawling back for more. Their chocolate, pistachio, and hazelnut ice cream flavours are a MUST. You won’t struggle to find it of you simply follow your nose – the smell of their Nutella crepes travels for a good couple of metres!
For a divine dinner, just a couple of metres from the Colonne and the church is Rugantino. Another reason many love Ticinese is the plethora of takeaway restaurants. This is the one area in Miland where you’ll easily find burgers, Mexican, sushi, bagels and a whole range of other takeaway food stores close by.
For those wanting something off the beaten track, head to Fonderie Milanesi for brunch or aperitivo – it’s hidden in a courtyard behind a big white gate, simply press the button for them to open it for you.
The Yard Milano – A hip and cool stylish boutique hotel decorated in a vintage/retro fashion, with individually-themed rooms. Each room is modern, well designed and well appointed with flat screen TVs, coffee makers, complimentary toiletries, and minibars, but this hotel is all about the atmosphere. Two restaurants on site, a pizza joint and an Italian restaurant, and a lively bar promoting a casual, social vibe. Excellently located at the junction of Ticinese, San Vittore and Navigli, it’s easy to explore the canals and visit all the shops and restaurants in the area. A 20-minute walk to the Duomo, 25 minutes to Santa Maria delle Grazie (Da Vinci’s The Last Supper), or just a 7-minute walk to the metro station Porta Genova (M2).
Hotel Milano Navigli
Hotel Milano Navigli – A well-priced and well-located 3-star with different room options for solo travelers, couples, or groups. The modest but clean and cozy rooms are air conditioned, and have mini bars, safes, and flat screen satellite TVs, and complimentary toiletries and hair dryers in the bathrooms. Nicely located a short walk into the Navigli canal district with many nice bars and restaurants. Lots to explore in Ticinese, and an easy stroll to get around the city: it’s a 25-minute walk to Sforzesco Castle, a 10- minute walk to the historical center, and 20-minute walk to the Duomo. There are plenty of buses nearby and the metro is about a 12-minute walk from the hotel.
Uptown Palace – A modern hotel with a restaurant and bar on site, and a plentiful daily breakfast buffet. The well-appointed rooms are well designed, with satellite TVs, electric kettles, minibars, safes, and complimentary toiletries. Past guests have noted that, although mostly quiet, it’s best to request a room that’s not street facing due to sirens and traffic noise. The hotel is just a 7-minute walk into the historical center and 15 minutes to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, with lots of bars and restaurants along the way. Tram 16 runs along adjacent Corso di Porta Romana, which goes straight to the Santa Maria Delle Grazie where you can see Da Vinci’s Last Supper (7 stops, about 15 min).
Where to Stay in Milan: Navigli / Porta Genova
Great area for: ✓ Vintage Cool ✓ Craft Beer ✓ Food Carts ✓ Laid-Back Portland Cool
The Navigli (canals) district has only recently become extremely popular, blowing up in the past couple of years as a popular spot for dinner and drinks. In the summer, evenings are crowded here with young people stop in for dinner and drinks next to the canals. In the day time, there are a number of cute bookshops and boutiques to browse in. It’s a mixture of boho-hipster residents and tourists, but feels cooler and more off-the-path than the historical centre.
Originally constructed in the 16th century, Milan’s canals were built to allow small boats access to the city centre, for deliveries. Now, they create some sort of magic at night, and are a fun place to hang out, even if you choose to stay elsewhere during your holiday in Milan.
For a delicious cocktail and aperitivo, I’d suggest you head to MAG cafe. And if you’re craving something other than Italian food, the sushi is unbeatable at the chic Temakinho, which serves up fresh Japanese-Brazilian fusion flavors.
Maison Borella Hotel
Maison Borella Hotel – Another beautiful 4-star housed in an 18th-century building, this hotel overlooks theing Naviglio Grande canal. Much of the hotel’s design concept includes that old world charm. The modernized rooms have safes, satellite TVs, very comfortable beds and high-quality bedding, great showers, air conditioning, bathrobes and toiletries. The hotel has a restaurant onsite, but there are many bars, restaurants and cafés immediately surrounding the hotel worth exploring. The hotel is a 5-minute walk to the tram (#3) that takes you straight up to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a 2-minute walk to the tram (#10) that takes to see the Last Supper, and a 7- minute walk to the Porta Genova metro station.
Art Hotel Navigli
Art Hotel Navigli – One of the biggest draws to this hotel is its location for exploring the Navigli area. In your room you’ll find Nespresso coffee machines, electric kettles, satellite TVs, and free toiletries. The hotel offers an extensive and well-reviewed breakfast buffet, a fitness facility, steam room, and free bicycle rental. Past guests have noted that the hotel has central air conditioning, not controlled individually. Located a 5-minute walk to the Porta Genova metro station where both tram and metro options are available. Many bars, restaurants, cafés, and boutique shops in the immediate area. If you choose to walk, its 20 minutes into the historical center, 30 minutes to the Duomo, and about 25 minutes to Santa Maria delle Grazie (Last Supper).
Nhow Milan – A trendy 4-star with an emphasis on contemporary art and creative design inspired by an ‘American loft’ theme. The onsite restaurant serves an international menu and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there is also a fitness room and spa available onsite. Rooms are individually designed, bright, comfortable and quiet, with minibars, satellite TVs and complimentary designer toiletries in the ultra modern bathrooms. Located across the street from MUDEC (museum of culture), it’s a 5-minute walk to Via Andrea Solari, with many tram and bus options, 15-minute walk to the metro station Porta Genova and the canal area. For the walkers, it’s 30 minutes to the historical center or 25 minutes to see The Last Supper.
Where to Stay in Milan: Porta Romana
Great area for: ✓ Family friendly ✓ Giardini della Guastalla ✓ Laid-back & quiet
Porta Romana is a pretty and laid back suburban area. Families and those who aren’t in the mood for the noise of the Navigli or prices of Brera can often find a good, quiet spot to stay in this neighbourhood.
There are also two hospitals in the area as well as the oldest public park in the city, Giardini della Guastalla.
Grand Visconti Palace
Grand Visconti Palace – A charming 4-star with a lovely indoor swimming pool, spa and steam rooms, fitness facility and a restaurant serving traditional Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Classy rooms have tea and coffee making facilities, minibars, flat screen TVs, safes, and wonderful showers in the bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. Located a 4-minute walk to the Lodi metro stop (M3), which is just 4 stops (6 minutes) to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Corso Lodi also has plenty of bars, shops, and restaurants, and also makes a pleasant 25 to 30 minute walk into the historical center if you’re so inclined.
Hotel Five – Everything you’d expect from a modern three star: clean rooms, flat screen TVs, comfortable beds, air conditioning, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer, minibars, and safes. The hotel offers a decent daily buffet breakfast, has a bar on site, and there are lots of bars, restaurants, shops, and cafés immediately surrounding the hotel. Trattoria de la Trebia is a favorite local restaurant, just a 7-minute walk from the hotel. Lodi metro station (M3) is less than a minute from the hotel, and 3 stops to the Duomo. The historical center is a pleasant 20 to 25 minute walk.
Best Western Hotel Major
Best Western Hotel Major – A safe and familiar choice for chain hotel, with clean and modest rooms. You’ll find TVs, minibars, air conditioning, safes and complimentary toiletries. Some reviewers said there were no coffee/tea making facilities in the room, but were available upon request. The hotel offers a daily breakfast but does not have a restaurant on site. We suspect the hotel would be rated higher by past guests if it was a 3 star as opposed to a 4 star, which raises expectations. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, bars and cafés nearby , and the metro stop Lodi (M3) is a 2-minute walk from the hotel. The historical center is reachable in 2 or 3 stops, depending on where you want to go.
Popular Milan Tours & Activities
Duomo Entrance & Terrace Tickets
Da Vinci’s Last Supper Ticket and Tour
The Best of Milan in One Day Tour
Lake Como Day Trip From Milan
So Where Should You Stay in Milan?
Depending on your age, travel style, and budget, the answer to this question will certainly differ. Milan is a beautiful mix of people from all walks of life. It’s really one of the most unique cities I’ve lived in, and I’m confident you’ll be able to find something to suit your taste and style.
- For a first-time visit to Milan, Centro Storico (the historical centre) is a good bet, as you’ll have the most popular attractions at your fingertips.
- Those in Brera are there to see and be seen. If you’re looking for the typical Italian-feel of cobblestone streets and beautiful old architecture, fancy dinners, delicious wines, and glamorous people, your best bet is Brera. Also, if money is not an issue for you: Brera is on the pricey side of things!
- If, on the other hand, you’re looking for affordable accomodation and food, that’s still close to the historical centre, we’d suggest checking out the student favourite of Porta Venezia / Citta Studi. This is also a great option if you want to spend your time shopping!
- If you’re all about art and architecture, and want to be in a hip neighborhood while still having easy access to Da Vinci’s Last Supper and the Duomo, San Vittore and Ticinese is for you. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, and a lively vibe to keep you happy!
- If you’re young, hip, and looking for pumping nightlife the Italian way, the Navigli district (canal area) will tickle your fancy. Since it’s all the more up and coming, accommodation prices are on the rise.
- Porta Romana is for the easy-going, and perhaps families. You’re close to shops, hospitals and also parks to take the little ones out to play, but it’s a bit far out for a quick sightseeing trip.
How to Get Around Milan
Public transportation in Milan consists of 4 lines of underground metro, plus buses, trams, and suburban trains. Tickets must be validated at the start of travel, children under 5 years travel for free.
- 90-minute single-journey tickets are €1.50
- Package of 10 single-journey tickets is €13.80
- 24-hour metro pass is €4.50
- 48-hour metro pass is €8.25
You can buy tickets at any metro station vending machine, or more than 2000 outlets across the city including tobacco shops and newspaper stands. Alternatively, you can download the ATM Milano Official App and buy and manage tickets on your phone.
How to Get From Milan Airport to the City Centre?
There are two airports serving Milan. If you have traveled on a flagship airline from overseas, you’ll land at Milan Malpensa Airport. If you have travelled from another city in Italy, or a discount airline from within Europe, you’ll probably land at Milan Linate.
From Milan Malpensa (MXP):
- Private Transfer: Learn about booking a private transfer from Malpensa Airport.
- Train: Malpensa Express trains go twice an hour at :25, and :55 to the central train station. It also goes to Porta Garibaldi train station, and Cadorna train station, with a handful of stops in between so check to make sure another station might not be more convenient for you. Tickets are €13.00 per person, and take approximately 52 minutes. Family tickets are €33.00 (2 adults, 2 children under 18) passengers under 4 do not need a ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or vending machines near the train platforms at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
- Taxi: A flat rate for a taxi to the center is €95.00. Available at either terminal.
- Bus: A couple of companies offer Airport express coaches which run every 20 minutes to Milan Central train station. €8.00 per person, children under 4 are free, and children between 5-12 years are €5.00. Tickets available at the booths at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
From Milan Linate (LIN):
- Private Transfer: Learn about booking a private transfer from Linate airport.
- Bus: Bus line #73 will take you straight into the center and stops at the Duomo metro station, which connects to both the M1 and M3 metro lines, as well as buses and trams. A single journey 90-minute ticket is sufficient. It runs every 10 minutes.
- Taxi: A flat rate for a taxi to the center is €55.00.
More Reading To Help Plan Your Trip
A Note About Our Hotel Recommendations In This Milan Neighbourhood Guide
Our hope with this Where to Stay in Milan guide (and our Where to Stay in Rome, Where to Stay in Florence…you get the idea) is to make it easy to find the best area to stay in Milan for your particular travel style, goals and budget. Milan is a city of many attractions, and it’s worth figuring out where you want to base yourself and what you want to see or visit!
As we hired a former local (Ilse) to write this guide and impart her expertise about Milan, we’re a bit limited in terms of hotel knowledge…because, of course, locals don’t live in hotels! So, what we’ve done is go through and choose some of the highest rated hotels in each neighborhood, and when we couldn’t find a hotel, we listed a holiday rental. Basically, we put in the research for you, and chose the places we personally would want to stay, and the places we felt we’d be comfortable recommending to a friend or family member, across different budget ranges.
Really, we want to help you have a fantastic visit to Milan, be it a larger Italian tour, or a shorter Milan city break. And, we want you to be able to do so without spending hours on the internet, reading reviews and cross-checking locations on a map. Hopefully we’ve succeeded…but please don’t blame us if we haven’t – at the end of the day, we expect you’ll check the most recent reviews and specific conditions in the city, using our listings as a starting point and framework, and choosing then selecting the best hotel and area to stay in Milan for your own trip!
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