BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MILAN: AN OVERVIEW OF THE BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS IN MILAN + SUGGESTIONS OF HOTELS TO STAY AT
Travelling to the fashion metropolis and wondering where to stay in Milan? No worries. With so many places on offer, it can be both overwhelming and time consuming to find the perfect Milan neighbourhood for your stay. I have experienced it many times!
So, I have researched, and taken time to consider the ratings of the accommodations in question before compiling this list for you, just as I would for my own travels.
The City of Milan is no stranger to me and it never fails to fascinate me on my every visit. An iconic fashion hub, as also a cultural and financial hub of Italy. Steeped in history, Gothic architecture and piazzas, sits modern skyscrapers that will blow you away! A lively city with plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs.
In addition, the city is surrounded by picturesque mountains and so many lakes and valleys that makes Milan a perfect destination for history buffs, fashionistas, hiking enthusiasts or for “just because getaways.”
For the many reasons you may wish to visit this incredible and energetic city, choosing the right hotel or apartments is important for a memorable stay. In this guide, I hope to guide you to discover the best neighbourhoods in Milan for a short-break vacation, longer stays and family, couples or solo travellers. I’ve included some suggestions on accommodations, just in case you are not an Airb&b person. I hope you will find the perfect place to stay in Milan from this curated post.
YOUR GUIDE TO WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN
In this post. I cover the top 5 neighbourhoods in Milan and highlight which ones are popular with families, couples and solo travellers. I include suggestions on where to stay in Milan for first timers or even if you are wondering where to stay in Milan for one or a couple of nights. This post has all the answers for you along with added timeless memories.
Here is an overview:
- Transportation in Milan;
- About Milan and its Neighbourhoods;
- Centro Storico;
- Fiera/San Siro;
- Porto Nuovo;
- Stay Connected;
- What’s New.
TRANSPORT IN MILAN
Milan is massive and thankfully most of the attractions are centrally located, namely in Zone 1. While the city is best explored on foot, Milan’s public transport is extensive and runs an efficient service for you to hop onto when need be. The system is convenient and easy to navigate — from trams, metro and buses to taxis and Uber, one can get around Milan like a local if you familiarise yourself with the basics. To be able to get around Milan confidently, read the informative guide I wrote about Public Transportation in Milan. This guide has all the information about the type of tickets and how best to buy these tickets as well as a map.
ABOUT MILAN & ITS NEIGHBOURHOODS
There are a number of districts and neighbourhoods in Milan that cater specifically for certain interests. Milan is divided into nine administrative districts covering about 180 square kilometres. These districts are further divided into neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood offers every visitor something unique to experience. In this guide on where to stay in Milan, you will find the ideal neighbourhoods along with conveniently located attractions you might want to visit.
CENTRO STORICO, MILAN
At the very heart of Milan is Centro Storico, home to the most famous cultural and historical attractions as well as the city’s main piazza. It is a bustling area with tourists and locals alike. An area that is busy all day, all night, all seasons and all year round! If you are heading for a quiet vacation or a crowd-free vacation, then this is not the neighbourhood you might want to be at.
On the other hand, if you are looking for where to stay in Milan for 2 nights, Centro Storico is the best place to be. An ideal neighbourhood to stay at as you’ll be close enough to all the landmarks, highlights and the best of the beaten path in Milan. So, a visit over a weekend or a short-break stay, Centro Storico is absolutely the place to be!
Where to Stay in Milan at Centro Storico
NH COLLECTION MILANO PRESIDENT
Located just 550 yards from the Duomo and a stone’s throw from Milan’s famous shopping streets, NH Collection Milano President is a stylish modern hotel featuring five star accommodation. Some rooms have balconies and views of the cathedral. The restaurant offers typical Milan-style dishes, as well as a complete menu that includes Italian and international cuisine. A generous breakfast buffet is served daily.
Particularly suitable for couples and 2 people stays.
DUOMO HOTEL & APARTMENTS
This aparthotel boasts a central location — just 250 yards from Milan Cathedral and in the heart of the historic and financial district of Milan. It’s location is ideal for exploring the city — 400 yards from La Scala and the fashion district of Milan. It features modern accommodation and city views. Has self-catering options. Suitable for solo travellers, couples and families.
THE SQUARE MILANO DUOMO
The Square Milano Duomo is conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from Milan Cathedral and the Vittorio Emanuele Galleria shopping centre. Beautifully set within a historical building, The Square offers a restaurant, a bar and free WiFi throughout. Particularly suitable for a two person trip.
Things to do in Centro Storico
Most of Milan’s highlights such as the Milan Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and La Scala Opera theatre are all situated on and around the city’s main piazza, Piazza del Duomo.
The cathedral is the most popular tourist attraction in Milan and for good reason. It is one of the grandest Gothic Cathedral in all of Europe and the second largest Catholic church after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome . A tour of the Cathedral will reveal much of its history and it is a must for history buffs and art lovers.
If you’re visiting the Milan Cathedral, I’d highly recommend a visit to the rooftop. The Best of Milan — Sunset on the Rooftop of the Duomo is mesmerising and you will thoroughly enjoy the evening experiences.
The Galleria is located just steps away from the Duomo and is a stunning 19th century shopping arcade. This fascinating Milanese ‘drawing room’ with its high-end labels along with the great choices in restaurants and bars is a destination in Milan not to miss.
North of the Galleria Vittorio in Piazza della Scala is the historical opera theatre that dates back to 1778. Renowned for its opulence and acoustic qualities, it should firmly make Milan’s bucket list.
Window shop and shop till you drop when you visit Via della Spiga, one of Milan’s most famous and charming high-end shopping areas, located on a cobblestone street.
Parco Sempione, Sforza Castle, Poldi Pezzoli and the Leonardo’s The Last Supper painting at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie make splendid additions to your itinerary and are located well within walking distance in Centro Storico.
If you are planning on seeing The Last Supper painting, read this guide first for information on how to get your tickets so you are not disappointed.
Places to Eat in Centro Storico
Centro Storico is the best place to eat and drink There are great many choices here from high-end dining to simple cafes. For an easy authentic meal without the fuss, you could try Pizza Am. Their thin crispy pizza goes well with any bottled beer!
A visit to Milan and a traditional Italian aperitive is a must try. Visit Bar Camparino where the tradition of the Campari has been kept alive since 1897. Try the iconic Campari and soda or Negroni cocktail.
If you want to experience the Milanese specialities at a landmark cafe, I would highly recommend a visit to Ristorante Biffi for a true traditional Italian cuisine.
Cafe Biffi is the oldest cafe at the Galleria. Biffi’s main specialities are Ossobucco with Milanese risotto and the Milanese cutlet. Although there are many choices, the menu has remained largely unchanged for the last twenty-five years.Georgina in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Why you should visit
*I’d recommend the risotto, creamy and absolutely delicious.
Located northwest of Centro Storico, amidst a tangle of narrow streets is the trendy neighbourhood of Brera. If you want to be close enough to the heart of Milan, but escape the immediate city buzz, then this is the best place to stay for longer than an overnigh stay.
Brera has some of the prettiest looking buildings and is home to the famous Pinacoteca de Brera. Fashion boutiques and antique stores line the pedestrianised streets. A good mix of both tourists and locals enjoy the restaurants, bars and the shops. It is relatively a traffic-free area. Safe, sophisticated and a place to be seen.
GRAND HOTEL ET DE MILAN
The historic Grand Hotel et de Milan was once home to the composer, Giuseppe Verdi for 27 years. Built in 1860s, the unique architecture of this landmark structure reflects the charm and allure of an old Milanese mansion. Sitting next to Montenapoleone Metro and conveniently located within 5 minutes walk of La Scala Theatre, and 10 minutes to the Duomo, the Grand Hotel et de Milan is a favourite amongst solo travellers, couples, and family.
BULGARI HOTEL MILANO
This impeccable and refined 18th century palace boasts a 4,000 sq m garden. Conveniently located within a 6-minute walk to La Scala and 15 minutes to the Duomo, the Bulgari Hotel Milano is a favourite for solo, 2 people and family travellers.
Book Bulgari Hotel Milano
For the ultimate fusion in Milanese style and Asian luxury, stay at the Mandarin Hotel Milan. Conveniently located near La Scala and Via Montenapoleone, Mandarin Hotel Milan offers luxurious rooms and suites, fine dining, as well as private spa. Perfectly curated for all occasions including weddings.
Book Mandarin Hotel Milan
Things to do in Brera Milan
Wander aimlessly in the winding streets of this picturesque neighbourhood that has been home to the most influential artists, writers, composers and intellectuals.
Visit the world class art centre, Pinacoteca de Brera showcasing masterpieces of Raphael, Caravaggio and Piero della Francesca.
Don’t miss the Biblioteca Braidense, one of Italy’s largest and most beautiful libraries, housed within the same walls of Pinacoteca de Brera.
Visit San Marco Church which was built in 1254. Enjoy the impressive Orto Botanico di Brera, a historic botanical garden that dates back to 1774.
Go along to the local Sunday market which has plenty to offer on art, fashion and lifestyle goods.
Places to Eat in Brera
- Nabucco — for an authentic Milanese dinner;
- Fishbar de Milano — a perfect lunch option;
- Princi — for best coffees!
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Milan, Navigli dates back to 1179. It is perfect for nightlife, markets, and for those who want to experience Milanese drinking culture. Navigli is the best area to stay in Milan for travellers who want to experience Milanese nightlife.
By day, Navigli is quiet, attracting tourists and families for a good cup of coffee and snacks. It is also a great place to people watch. There are artisan shops, vintage boutiques, bars and cafes.
This bustling area is built around two canals, Navigli Grande and Navigli Pavese. These remains from what used to be a network of canals, an important part of Milan’s transport system.
Navigli boasts a good selection of accommodation to suit everyone.
MAGNA PARS l’HOTEL à PARFUM
This affordable luxury hotel features elegant suites in soothing colours, comfort and style. Wooden furniture and leather sofas adds to the luxury of this hotel. Breakfast is available each morning.
Maison Borella is an 18th century building located along the banks of Navigli Grande. Accommodation is simple, yet elegant with all rooms air conditioned. Buffet breakfast comes with homemade cakes and fresh fruits while also offering both Milanese as well as Italian cuisines.
People watch as you sip on an aperitivo or opt for one the unique flavours of gelato at Gusto 17. Explore art galleries and design studios that line the canal.
Take a boat tour of Navigli Grande, the oldest canal in Milan. The Happy Boat Ride of 75-minutes on a Friday or Saturday evening at 7:30 includes aperitivo (Alzaia Naviglio Grande 4).
Visit the open air antique market that takes place on the last Sunday of each month;
Visit one of the oldest churches in Milan, Basilica di San Lorenzo that dates back to 4th century.
- Erba Brusca — embraces farm to table philosoply;
- Osteria del Binari — traditional Milanese choices.
FIERA / SAN SIRO
The two neighbours, Fiera and San Siro are located not too far out of Zone 1 of the City of Milan, on the west of the city. Fiera is little closer to Milan than San Siro. This makes it a highly favourable neighbourhood to stay as the accommodations are less expensive than Centro Storico. With a short ride into Milan City centre, you can easily access the main attractions.
The main attraction here is the football stadium. Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is home to AC Milan and Inter Milan which sees a flood of visitors during footbal match season. If you’d like to stay here, ensure you book early to secure the cheaper price.
Fiera and San Siro is an area that is suitable and favoured by families with kids. The area is quiet, lovely with lush parks for children to run around. Fiera/San Siro boasts beautiful shops and cafe lined streets.
Best places to stay in Fiera/San Siro
Here are my selections for you:
ENTERPRISE HOTEL DESIGN & BOUTIQUE
A luxurious 5-star hotel with a 7th floor spa that offers panoramic views. The Enterprise Hotel is located less than a 10-minute walk from Domodossola metro stop and 950 yards from Fiera Milano City.
Rooms are elegantly designed with customised furniture, along with free WiFi and tea/coffee making facilities. Breakfast is an American buffet that includes a natural and wellbeing section, with gluten and sugar free products. The tram stops 100 yards away, giving easy access to Milan Cathedral. San Siro Stadium is 2.5 miles from the hotel.
Compare prices, check reviews and Book Enterprise Hotel Design & Boutique
Conveniently located within 650 yards of Lotto Fiera Metro Station is Hotel Portello. This modern accommodation is within the residential area between Fiera Milano and San Siro Stadium. Offers a buffet breakfast, organic food and gluten-free products.
Compare prices, check reviews and Book Hotel Portello-Gruppo
Melia is elegantly decorated and is located within a 2-minute walk to Lotto Metro stop. The accommodation offers 24-hour gym, a buffet breakfast, air conditioned and luxurious bedlinens and furniture.
Things to do in Fiera/San Siro, Milan
Take a lovely walk through the beautiful Parco delle Cave – perfect for children to run around and to explore;
Watch a game at the infamous sports stadium, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, for timeless memories.
Places to Eat in Fiera/San Siro
- Trattoria Pizzeria dei Platani — Delicious Italian cuisines.
PORTA NUOVO, MILAN
Porto Nuovo is the modern face of Milan. With newly built skyscrapers and contemporary plazas, Porto Nuovo boasts some incredible futuristic looking buildings such as the mirrored Unicredit Tower on Corso Garibaldi. Further down on Corso Como, there is the fabulous Gae Aulenti, home to attractive shops, and buzzing eateries. Porto Nuovo is where the past, present and the future mix with fluidity and elegance. Porto Nuovo is one of the best areas to stay in Milan.
Best places to stay in Porta Nuovo, Milan
The NH Collection in Porto Nuovo is a modern and elegantly designed air conditioned accommodation featuring an American bar. Conveniently located about 1.2 miles from Milan Cathedral, this hotel is a favourite amongst tourists.
Things to do in Porta Nuovo, Milan
Visit Cargo & High Tech for some memorable souvenirs. The Galleria Carla Sozzani is a great place to go to for their latest art exhibitions.
Places to Eat in Porta Nuova
- Guyot — for mouthwatering risotto;
- 10 Corso Como — for light lunch or tea.
So, there you go — a selection of beautiful places to stay in the City of Milan no matter what your interests. Wherever you choose to stay, you are sure to have an awesome time in this beautiful city.
My sincere wish is that this has given you a better idea of where to stay and help you choose a place to stay when you visit Milan.
If you are looking for what it is like to experience the highlights in Milan, take a look at some of my guides and experienced tips which will give you an idea of what to expect during your visit.
You can visit my Milan travel page that has lots more articles about the city which you may like to peruse before you go.
Don’t just stay in Milan…
Depending on how long your trip is for, and if it is for more than a couple of days, you don’t have to stay in Milan all the time. You could visit the surrounding areas such as Lake Como, Lake Garda, Verona or Venice which are easily reached by train in an hour or so. If you want to maximise your experience visiting any of these destinations, go on a day trip. The day trips cover a few places at a time so you really get to see and experience the culture of the Lombardy region.
Take a look at my article about the best areas around Milan which you could go to. This is a comprehensive guide to a selection of twelve destinations and includes experienced and practical tips so you can select the best ones for you.
You may want to check some of my articles about the Italian Lakes. You surely wouldn’t want to miss seeing these towns around Lake Garda or these gorgeous towns in Lake Como. The best way to visit these lakeside gems is to take the boat. Here, you can find my best read article about how to travel around Lake Como without a car which gives a complete guide to the best options available to you. You can find more info and experienced tips along with a 5-day itinerary in my Lake Como travel page.
Are you planning a trip around Europe?
If so, go here, you may like to visit our fabulous city London and our amazing English countryside or Scotland which is truly amazing to its core. I have lots more tips in my Europe page about Barcelona, Budapest, Montserrat, Seville, and the liberal city of Amsterdam which is highly regarded for its stance on responsible tourism.
I guess that is all I have for you on this article about where to stay in this incredible city. Have a fabulous time in Milan xx.