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Mainly famous for being one of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan is not among Italy’s most popular travel choices. However, it has a unique vibe you won’t find anywhere else in the country.

A cosmopolitan and vibrant city with a centuries-old history, Milan is also close to other beautiful destinations, such as Lake Como, making it a perfect North Italy gateway. Deciding where to stay in Milan is one of the most important things you will have to face when planning your trip.

To help you plan your stay in this wonderful Italian city with little to envy the more famous Rome, we prepared this guide to help you narrow down the best areas to stay in Milan for your vacation. We will also share tips and the best things to see in each neighborhood.

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Where to stay in Milan?

  • For the best prices on accommodations and the most choices, Booking.com has been my go-to choice especially once you reach Genius tier and you can find an additional 10-20% off places to stay.

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Where To Stay In Milan 

where to stay in milan with cathedral statue overlooking the citywhere to stay in milan with cathedral statue overlooking the city
Image via Unsplash by Federico Lancellotti

Milan is one of Italy’s bigger cities, with many neighborhoods characterized by diverse vibes and attractions. From innovative modern districts to artsy areas to ethnic hubs, choosing where to stay in Milan is a task in itself. This breakdown of the city’s neighborhoods will help you find the best area to stay in Milan for your travel needs. 

The main neighborhoods of Milan 

Following are Milan’s best neighborhoods to stay in for a wonderful holiday.

1. Centro Storico – Known for the iconic Duomo di Milano and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, this neighborhood is the city’s unmissable district.

2. Zona Sempione – Defined by the discrete charm of the higher class, the area hosts the stunning Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione, one of the city’s major hang-out spots.  

3. Brera – This neighborhood is a popular hot spot for art lovers and younger locals, which creates a lively atmosphere, and it also boasts one of Milan’s top attractions, the Pinacoteca di Brera. 

4. Porta Venezia – The ethnic and LGBTQ+ neighborhood of Milan, Porta Venezia is where to be for feeding the shopaholic in you and for partying until dawn.  

5. Porta Magenta – This neighborhood is home to the tourist hot spot of Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses Da Vinci’s masterpiece Last Supper

6. Navigli – Milan’s bohemian neighborhood, the Navigli is among the locals’ beloved areas for enjoying the aperitivo and walking along the unique canals. 

Milan travel tips 

How to get around

Milan has excellent public transportation, including metro, trams, and buses. 

While taxi companies and Uber are also available, relying on public transport will get you where you want to go faster and cheaper. 

Metro

The fastest way to get around Milan is by metro. You will find four metro lines that cover pretty much the entire city and with many stops near the major tourist destinations. 

Milan’s metro system is fairly easy to navigate. The lines are designated both by numbers (M1, M2, M3, and M5) and colors (red, green, yellow, and purple), so you will just need to remember one of these two features to understand which line to take. The metro service starts around 5:40 am and stops a little after midnight. 

You can purchase tickets at the kiosks inside most stations or by the ATM Milano transport app that you can download through the ATM Milano official website.  We suggest you buy multiple-day passes instead of single tickets to save money. 

Tram

Another great way to move around Milan is by taking a tram. Although trams only cover certain sections of the city, they are strategically located close to each other and operate in the areas the metro doesn’t reach. The tram is a good option if you are not much of a walker but still want to explore the city as much as possible. 

Milan’s streetcars have been in service for nearly 140 years, and some older ones are still operating. 

Trams run from 4:30 am to 2:30 am, and you can pay as you go by contactless bank card. Each tram stop has a sign that indicates all the other stops on that line with time, so it’s easy not to get lost. 

Bus

Buses cover a broader area than trams. However, they are less reliable regarding departure timing because of the heavy city traffic. Since the metro and tram already travel through all the tourist spots, it’s unlikely that you will need to catch a bus to get around the city. Nonetheless, if you find yourself so, note that also on buses you can pay as you go. 

Neighborhood map 

As you decide on your accommodation in Milan, this map might come in handy in orienting yourself in the city. There are many neighborhoods in Milan but we’ll be focusing on the most central ones.

neighborhood map of milanneighborhood map of milan
Image via Urbanfile

Plan your trip 

Get a city pass – Since you will likely explore Milan far and wide, consider purchasing the Milan City Pass which will give you discounts to the top attractions and free public transportation. You can get your city pass at the MilanoCard official website

Be aware of pickpocketing – While Milan is a safe city to travel to, pickpocketing is widespread inside the metro and in specific areas of the city. Be vigilant around Stazione Centrale, Piazza Duca D’Aosta, and if you are in Parco Sempione at night. 

Avoid the taxis – Milan is one of the Italian cities where taxi base fare costs the most. If you are in need or prefer to take a private transfer, opt for an Uber instead. 

Bring a reusable water bottle – As everywhere else in Italy, tap water is safe to drink, and Milan’s water quality is above the country’s average. So it’s a good idea to bring with you a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce plastic use.

Bring a light rain jacket or umbrella – Its location in North Italy makes Milan prone to rainfall, so we advise you to pack an umbrella or light rain jacket to avoid going around soaking wet. The summer months hardly see any rain, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

#1 Centro Storico

centro storico duomo di milanocentro storico duomo di milano
Image via Unsplash by Ouael Ben Salah

What’s there and why visit

The Zona Duomo is the best area to stay in Milan for first-time travelers. This neighborhood is one of the busiest in the city, with locals meeting up in front of the Duomo di Milano or attending a show at the Teatro alla Scala. The overwhelming number of things to do and places to see in the area also make it packed with tourists.

If you are looking for a quieter getaway, this might not be the ideal place to stay in Milan. However, you are within reach of others of the city’s main areas and within walking distance to the famous Quadrilatero della Moda, the Fashion District where all the big brands have their flagship stores. The area is also where the best hotels in Milan are, so it’s a win-win!

Suggested hotels near Centro Storico

BUDGET

where to stay milan hotel gran duca di york main lobbywhere to stay milan hotel gran duca di york main lobby

Gran Duca di York

This smaller hotel is set in an 18th-century palace, where free breakfast is included in your stay. It’s within walking distance to the Duomo Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, as well as transport systems to get to other attractions. With recent renovations, you’re sure to enjoy a relaxing stay here.

MID-RANGE

the street milano duomo standard room viewthe street milano duomo standard room view

The Street Milano Duomo, a Design Boutique Hotel

“Our room was huge, cool and super comfortable. Location is fantastic as is the staff. Bed was amazing; felt like a PosturPedic. The staff went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect. And it was. From breakfast on the terrace to the ride they arranged to the airport. First class all the way.”

MID-RANGE

where to stay milan hotel spadari al duomo room viewwhere to stay milan hotel spadari al duomo room view

Hotel Spadari Al Duomo

This hotel is close to Piazza del Duomo and Milan Cathedral and just steps away from some of Milan’s most popular shops. Rooms offer free mineral water, fruit, slippers and Wi-Fi. An American style buffet is offered every morning, free to guests. This hotel is highly rated for it’s excellent service and comfort!

LUXURY

grand hotel et de milan room viewgrand hotel et de milan room view

Grand Hotel et de Milan

Known to be the choice hotel of celebrities, this luxury hotel is located in Milan’s exclusive shopping district and close by the La Scala opera house. The hotel features a high-tech fitness center, restaurants and bars. Rooms are furnished with furnished with 18th-century furniture to really give that “luxury” feel.

Things to see near Centro Storico 

Duomo di Milano – The city’s most iconic monument, the Duomo di Milano stands at the center of the namesake square. The largest church in Italy and the second-largest in Europe, Milan’s Gothic cathedral has features that will leave you speechless: 135 spires, 3,400 statues, and a walkable rooftop terrace with vistas over the whole city. 

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – The famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a paradise for shopaholics as it is packed with high-end boutiques and luxury brands, fine restaurants, and historic cafes. Even if you are not into shopping, make sure not to miss the Galleria as the building is rather impressive with its glass-dome roof and the beautiful mosaic at the center of its floor. 

Museo del Novecento – One of the best museums in the city, the Museo del Novecento displays a huge collection of over four thousand works from the 20th century. If you are curious to learn all about the development of Italian arts during this century, you are in for a treat at Museo del Novecento. Besides, the building hosting the museum is worth the visit per se, as it boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with direct views over the Duomo.

Teatro alla Scala – The beloved Teatro alla Scala is one of the temples of Italian opera music. The gorgeous theater was almost completely rebuilt after World War II due to severe damage, and it keeps hosting the world’s greatest musicians. The Teatro alla Scala also houses a museum and the unmissable Ansaldo Workshops, where stage costumes and scenery are crafted.

Getting there 

Duomo di Milano – Taking the metro lines M1, M2, and M3, get off at Duomo stop, right in front of the cathedral.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Facing the Duomo di Milano, the Galleria is on the left side of the square. 

Museo del Novecento – Facing the Duomo di Milano, the Museo del Novecento is on the right side of the square. 

Teatro alla Scala – From Piazza Duomo, walk through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and at the end, turn left and then right on Piazza della Scala. The theater will be on your left after 50 meters. 

Suggested activities in Centro Storico 

Milan: Duomo and La Scala Guided Tour – This 2-hour guided tour will lead you on a journey to discover all the secrets of Teatro alla Scala and the Duomo di Milano by seeing both from inside.  

Milan Duomo and Rooftop 2-Hour Guided Tour – Alongside a licensed tour guide, skip the line to get to the Duomo’s rooftop to admire stunning views of the Milanese skyline and learn about the cathedral’s history. 

#2 Zona Sempione

zona sempione fountain in front of churchzona sempione fountain in front of church
Image via Unsplash by Joel Rohland

What’s there and why visit 

This area is locals’ favorite for to the presence of Milan’s major park, Parco Sempione, the city’s green lung, which is also an event venue all year round. 

This neighborhood is dotted with gorgeous historical buildings that allow you to experience the “Milano bene”, the city’s high-class.

The Zona Sempione houses two of Milan’s top attractions, the Castello Sforzesco and Arco della Pace. 

Suggested hotels near Zona Sempione

BUDGET

where to stay milan hotel sempione front building entrancewhere to stay milan hotel sempione front building entrance

Hotel Sempione

This family-friendly hotel features rooms that include a flat screen TV, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and a minibar. It’s close to many popular Milan attractions. An Italian style breakfast is offered every morning to guests, free of charge.

BUDGET

cadorna luxury hotel room and jacuzzi viewcadorna luxury hotel room and jacuzzi view

Cadorna Luxury Hotel

“The rooms were very bright and clean. It has a high ceiling and very wide as well. Extremely spacious! The location is near bus, subway and trains while being in the center of Milan. The staff is very kind and helpful.”

MID-RANGE

where to stay milan lancaster hotel main entrancewhere to stay milan lancaster hotel main entrance

Lancaster Hotel

This hotel is just outside the city center, giving it more of a quiet appeal. The hotel is few steps from the Arch of Peace and Sempione Park, and not much further from other attractions. Free breakfast is offered to guests every morning, and a bar is located on-site for guests.

GUEST HOUSE

castello guest house view of living areacastello guest house view of living area

Castello Guest House

“Perfectly located property with an exquisite view of the castle and park. Elegantly decorated suite with absolute quiet. A very friendly and accommodating staff. Minutes walk from everything you need from shopping, dining, tourist sights to bars. Will definitely make this my go to place to stay in Milan.”

Things to see near Zona Sempione

Arco della Pace – This 25-meter-high Neoclassical arch was one of the five entrance gates to the city. Located at the northwest end of Parco Sempione, the Arco della Pace is dedicated to the peace signed among the European nations at the Vienna Congress of 1815. Eechoing Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, the Arco della Pace is a must-see. 

Parco Sempione – Parco Sempione is Milan’s largest park, covering 38 acres. The park is locals’ beloved spot for a wide range of activities like sunbathing, doing a picnic, and jogging. Parco Sempione features several cultural landmarks besides the Arco della Pace: the Castello Sforzesco and the Acquario Civico di Milano, a wonderful, free-to-entrance aquarium.

Castello Sforzesco – The Castello Sforzesco is a 15-century building at the border of Parco Sempione. Conceived as a military stronghold, the Castello Sforzesco is one of Europe’s largest castles and houses a museum and an art gallery. Already stunning from the outside, enter the castle’s rooms to marvel at wonderful art pieces. Don’t miss visiting Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini stored inside the Castello Sforzesco.

Corso Sempione – Right after the exit of Arco della Pace starts the unmissable Corso Sempione. On this fantastic street, locals love to spend their late afternoons. Corso Sempione is filled with bars offering the traditional aperitivo, but many locals prefer instead the apericena, during which you can enjoy several meal courses buffet-style alongside delicious cocktails.

Getting there

Arco della Pace – In the very close vicinity of the arch arrives the historic tram number 1. You can also opt for the metro, getting off at Carioli stop (M1 line), Cadorna stop (M1 and M2), and Lanza (M2 line), all around Parco Sempione.  

Parco Sempione – The nearest metro stops are Lanza (M2 line), Cairoli Castello (M1 line) and Cadorna FN (M1 and M2 lines). The three stops are all around the park, within walking distance. 

Castello Sforzesco – Carioli stop (M1 line) is right in front of the castle, so you just need to cross the street and head straight to Piazza Castello. 

Corso Sempione – Corso Sempione is the street that starts right from Parco della Pace, at the far end of Parco Sempione. 

Suggested activities in Zona Sempione 

Milan: Sforza Castle Guided Tour – This guided tour of the Castello Sforzesco is among the best ways to explore this extraordinary site, learn about its transformations over the centuries, and see Michaelangelo’s famous Pietà Rondanini.

Milan by night walking experience – Milan is Italy’s most lively city at night, so join this 2-hour guided walking experience to discover the city’s history and secrets by night.

#3 Brera

where to stay in milan center of pinacoteca di brerawhere to stay in milan center of pinacoteca di brera
Image via Wikipedia by Jean-Christophe Benoist

What’s there and why visit 

Impossibly stylish, Brera is known as the artists’ quarter of Milan for the presence of the art school, art galleries, and the city’s most important museum, the Pinocoteca di Brera. 

Boasting some of Milan’s classy dining options and a wide range of boutiques and specialty shops, the neighborhood has a lively and quirky vibe that makes it particularly interesting to visit.

Brera is also just a short walk from Piazza del Duomo and Castello Sforzesco, but without the crowds you will find in the heart of Centro Storico, making it perfect for a romantic stay.

Suggested hotels near Brera

HOSTEL

new generation hostel milan garden center new generation hostel milan garden center

New Generation Hostel Milan Center

This hostel is set in a wing of a Franciscan Friars’ convent, just a couple of minutes walk from Milan’s Turati Metro Station. The hostel features a market, a lounge area with board games and HD TV and a fully equipped kitchen free for guests to use. The rooms and dorms offer an in-suite bathroom and secure lockers for each guest, as well as free Wi-Fi.

MID-RANGE

where to stay milan hotel ritter bedroom viewwhere to stay milan hotel ritter bedroom view

Hotel Ritter

This hotel comfortable and convenient choice, being that it is close to a metro station, as well as other well known attractions of Milan. Free breakfast is offered daily for guests. Rooms feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV and fridge. Many of the rooms overlook the peaceful courtyard at the center of the hotel’s grounds.

APARTMENT

where to stay milan brera apartments view of living quarterswhere to stay milan brera apartments view of living quarters

Brera Apartments

“The apartment we stayed in was modern, spacious and only a short walk away from Moscova Metro Station and the classy Brera neighbourhood, made it a great location for exploring Milan. The staff were always available and made check-in etc. very easy and straight forward. Would highly recommend Brera Apartments for anyone who is looking for a nice place to stay with all the amenities when visiting Milan.”

LUXURY

palazzo parigi hotel & grand spa view of room sitting area palazzo parigi hotel & grand spa view of room sitting area

Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa

This hotel not only offers a Grand Spa, but also features a highly rated restaurant, a Lounge Bar & Bistro, a café and a secluded garden where you can relax and enjoy your beverages. All rooms offer a balcony or terrace, flat-screen TV, minibar and parquet or marble floors. The spacious suites include a seating area.

Things to see near Brera 

Pinacoteca di Brera – Whether you are an art lover or not, visiting the Pinacoteca di Brera is a must. This renowned art gallery hosts an impressive collection of ancient and modern. The Pinacoteca highlights include The Kiss of Hayez and the Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael. We recommend you dedicate a few hours to the Pinacoteca to enjoy it.

Triennale di Milano – Another great art-centered spot in Milan, the Triennale di Milano is an institution and a museum dedicated to design. Boasting avant-garde and modern temporary exhibitions, the Triennale is also the venue of many events and festivals. 

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera – The wonderful Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera is a special museum inside the 17th-century Palazzo di Brera. It displays instruments used to observe the sky through the centuries, including the telescope used by Schiaparelli, Italy’s most famous astronomer.

Orto Botanico di Brera – A secret gem in the heart of Brera is the Orto Botanico. In this 14th-century botanical garden, Jesuits used to grow plants and medicinal herbs. The garden was enriched with more plants and flowers in 1774 by following the will of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. 

Getting there 

Pinacoteca di Brera – The Pinacoteca is served by the M2 line (get off at Lanza stop), the M3 line (Montenapoleone stop), and the M1 line (Cairoli stop), and you will need to walk around 10 minutes from each metro stop.

Triennale di Milano – From Cadorna stop (M1 line), proceed in a northerly direction on Piazzale Luigi Cadorna, turn on the first left, and keep walking straight. At the intersection, turn slightly to the right and take Viale Emilio Alemagna until you reach the Triennale after 130 meters. 

Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera – Montenapoleone stop (M3 line) is the closest metro station. Reach Via dei Giardini, head left for around 350 meters, and then turn right on Via Brera. The Osservatorio is right behind the Pinacoteca.

Orto Botanico di Brera – The Orto Botanico is right next to the Osservatorio Astronomico. 

Suggested activities in Brera 

Milan ART Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting – Explore the best of the Brera neighborhood with this 2-hour walking tour, including a wine-tasting experience and sampling of delicious Milanese food.

Milan: Brera District & Pinacoteca Guided Experience – Enjoy a guided tour of the Pinacoteca di Brera to discover some of the world’s most famous artworks, followed by a stroll through the district’s captivating streets.

#4 Porta Venezia

front of palazzo dugnani in porta veneziafront of palazzo dugnani in porta venezia
Image via Wikipedia by Steffen Schmitz

What’s there and why visit 

This vibrant and ethnically diverse neighborhood develops around Porta Venezia, one of the historical gates that used to be the entrance to the city. 

Centrally located in the north-eastern section of Millan, the affordable prices make it one of the best places to stay in Milan.

Porta Venezia offers a wide array of experiences and attractions, from museums, to exciting night clubs, to one of the city’s major shopping avenues, Corso Buenos Aires. If you are looking to shop-till-you-drop and have a good nighttime, you’ll love Porta Venezia! The area is also a hotspot for the LGBTQ+ community and boasts ancient architecture.

Suggested hotels near Porta Venezia

BUDGET

where to stay milan hotel aurora room viewwhere to stay milan hotel aurora room view

Aurora Hotel

Located right in the middle of Milan’s city center and close to the metro station, this hotel is the ideal place to stay for those looking to experience Milan’s most well-known attractions. With free Wi-Fi, 24-hour front desk services, and free breakfast offered for guests, this hotel is a top choice.

GUEST HOUSE

where to stay dimora claudia room viewwhere to stay dimora claudia room view

Dimora Claudia

This guest house offers private rooms that you self check-in to. The rooms include a private bathroom with a bidet, a minibar and a coffee machine, a TV and some rooms include a balcony. Close by you can find the Villa Necchi Campiglio, San Babila Metro Station and Centrale Metro Station.

MID-RANGE

hotel fenice street view of entrancehotel fenice street view of entrance

Hotel Fenice

“Hotel is in a great location near to trams and the subway stop. Very central for walking around Milan too. Staff were brilliant, really helpful. Room was clean and spacious, I would highly recommend this hotel for couples or friends wanting to explore Milan.”

LUXURY

worldhotel cristoforo colombo room viewworldhotel cristoforo colombo room view

Worldhotel Cristoforo Colombo

This hotel features a spa and wellness center, and an Italian restaurant. It’s set within a historical building that was built in the 19th century. Rooms are classically furnished with smart TVs, a work desk and a bathrobe and slippers for guests to keep.

Things to see near Porta Venezia 

Corso Buenos Aires Starting from Porta Venezia gate, Corso Buenos Aires is one of Milan’s busiest shopping streets. With over 350 shops and outlets, Corso Buenos Aires has Europe’s highest concentration of clothing stores!

Housed in gorgeous Neoclassical buildings, most shops sell affordable clothing brands so that everyone can enjoy a shopping spree in one of the world capitals of fashion.

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano –Take a fantastic journey through Earth’s evolution and the organisms that inhabited it at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. Inspired by London’s British Natural History Museum, this museum displays 23 exhibition rooms with all sorts of plants, animals, and minerals. The thrilling part of the museum? The dinosaur room, which will surely be loved but the whole family. 

Galleria d’Arte Moderna – Housed inside the elegant Villa Reale, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna delights visitors with 1900s masterpieces and international avant-garde works, making it one of the most extensive collections of modern art in Italy.

Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli – The aforementioned Museo Civico di Storia Naturale is set in the beautiful Giardini Pubblici, a public park named after journalist Indro Montanelli. The Giardini Pubblici used to house Milano’s zoo until it was closed in the 1980s. Today is the perfect spot in the city to enjoy outdoor leisure time.

Getting there 

Corso Buenos Aires – To reach it, you can get off at Lima stop (M1 line), located halfway along the Corso, or at either of its ends, Porta Venezia stop (M1 line) and Loreto stop (M1 and M2 lines).

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano – From Porta Venezia station (M1 line), reach Corso Venezia along Giardini Pubblici. The museum is inside the park, in the left corner. 

Galleria d’Arte Moderna – From Palestro station (M1 line), walk northwesterly on Via Palestro toward Via Marina for 200 meters, and your destination will be on the left. 

Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli – Get off at either Porta Venezia station or Palestro station and walk for a few minutes to reach one of the park’s entrance gates. 

Suggested activities in Porta Venezia 

Milan: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket – explore the stunning architecture of the Porta Venezia neighborhood, as well as other popular attractions of Milan, at your own pace. 

Milan: Royal Highlights City Exploration Game – This outdoor escape game starts in Porta Venezia, from where you’ll embark on a treasure hunt to discover Milan’s royal locations by solving clues.

#5 Porta Magenta

outside of chiesa di santa maria delle grazieoutside of chiesa di santa maria delle grazie
Image via Cenacolo Vinciano

What’s there and why visit 

Lined with 19th-century palazzos housing bars, cafés, restaurants, and shops, Porta Magenta is one of the best areas to stay in Milan if you prefer to be surrounded by history. Stroll up and down the elegant streets for relaxing moments and to get to the neighborhood churches and historical museums.

Porta Magenta’s highlight is the unmissable Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci’s mural. This artwork makes Porta Magenta one of the most visited areas in Milan. However, tourists tend not to stay here, so the neighborhood is pretty residential and characterized by a distinctly suburban feel.

Suggested hotels near Porta Magenta

BED & BREAKFAST

where to stay milan b&b magenta entrance to private roomwhere to stay milan b&b magenta entrance to private room

B&B Magenta

This bed and breakfast offers free private parking and an Italian style breakfast in the mornings. The rooms include a private bathroom with bidet, a microwave, free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. Enjoy one of the many walking or cycling tours nearby with the free bikes provided for your pleasure.

BED & BREAKFAST

b&b da mary kitchen and dining areab&b da mary kitchen and dining area

B&B da Mary

“The location of the hotel is great. It is near the train station so it is easy to reach the hotel. The owner of the hotel is very polite and helpful. The room was clean and tidy. The breakfast was fine. You can start a day with a good breakfast. I would like to stay there in my next visit. There are some restaurant near the hotel and cafes as well.”

BED & BREAKFAST

where to stay milan la gare bed and breakfast main sitting areawhere to stay milan la gare bed and breakfast main sitting area

La Gare Bed and Breakfast

This B&B is right across from the train station, making it easy to travel wherever you’d like to go. There is a gym on site, and rooms include a private bathroom, TV and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is buffet-style and a welcome package is provided to guests that book their stay on a weekend.

MID-RANGE

hotel excelsior magenta view of entrance to buildinghotel excelsior magenta view of entrance to building

Hotel Excelsior Magenta

“Lovely staff willing to help, food is also excellent. Hotel rooms are clean and well appointed. Restaurant is a little quiet, but the more than delightful food makes up for that. Has a room safe and mini fridge and rooms are large with blackout curtains. Bed was extremely comfortable.”

Things to see near Porta Magenta 

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie – This UNESCO-listed church is famous worldwide for containing an exceptional art piece, Leonardo Da Vinci’s L’Ultima Cena (Last Supper). The 4-meter-high mural is located on the northern wall of the church and is so masterfully painted that you’ll have the sensation the characters are moving. 

Museo Civico Archeologico – Housed in the former convent of the Monastero Maggiore di San Maurizio, the Museo Civico Archeologico is an incredibly diverse museum that displays artworks of various cultures across the world and through the centuries. From the Etruscan section to the one dedicated to Ancient Milan, this museum is one of the most interesting activities to do in the neighborhood. 

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio – One of the many churches in the city, the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is not even close to being as famous as the Duomo, but it’s one that you shouldn’t miss. Built between 379–386 AD, the Basilica’s structure is rather impressive, and it is linked to a legend according to which on one of the columns are visible the horns’ marks of the Devil himself. 

Getting there 

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie – The trams 16-18 stop in front of the church. You can reach the church with metro M1 and M2 lines, getting off at Cadorna station and walking for around 10 minutes. 

Museo Civico Archeologico – From Cadorna station, proceed on Piazzale Luigi Cadorna, then take the first street on the right. Keep following it until you are at the intersection with Corso Magenta, where you will need to keep the left, and the museum will be reached in 130 meters.

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio – From Cadorna station, walk on Via Giosuè Carducci for 450 meters, turn left on Galleria Giuseppe Borella, and immediately right on Piazza Sant’Ambrogio: the Basilica is 2 minutes away.

Suggested activities in Porta Magenta 

Milan: Guided Tour of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – Discover the history of Da Vinci’s famous mural and the church it is housed in with this skip-the-line tour guided by a professional art historian. 

Milan: Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci Museum Entry – Explore the largest permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci while discovering extraordinary objects and the space area, where there is a real moon fragment.

#6 Navigli

night life view of naviglinight life view of navigli
Image via Unsplash by Daniel Kirby

What’s there and why visit 

With the unique feature of the canals, Navigli is a young and lively neighborhood that retains a charming bohemian vibe. With streets lined with bookshops, designer boutiques and bars, the neighborhood has endless things to do. So hop on a boat for a cruise along the canals or go to the bar for a classic Milanese aperitivo, to experience the Navigli as a local would.

This picturesque neighborhood is also dotted with historical corners and churches for you to discover.

Suggested hotels near Navigli

HOSTEL

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New Generation Hostel Milan Center Navigli

This location is only a short walk from the busy area of Navigli. The property offers free private parking and Wi-Fi. There’s a lounge area, bar and shared kitchen where guests are able to prepare their own meals. Rooms are spacious and include a shared internal or external bathroom with shower.

MID-RANGE

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Art Hotel Navigli

This hotel lives up to its name, being filled with sculptures and paintings. It’s surrounded by many restaurants, pubs and boutiques, and just a short walk away from the metro station. The hotel features a terrace, gym and wellness center and bar, and an American-style breakfast buffet offered every morning.

MID-RANGE

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Hotel Milano Navigli

“Very handy location near the Navigli canals. Lots of buzzy bars and restaurants within walking distance. Duomo/Central region twenty minute walk or accessible by tram. New metro line under construction as well which will make access from Linate airport slightly easier. Staff were exceptionally attentive and lovely to deal with. Breakfast was good-continental buffet with lots of options.”

LUXURY

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Aethos Milan

This luxury boutique hotel is located in Milan’s most popular nightlife district. You can either book a suite or apartment at this hotel, which all are decorated uniquely with a sports theme and offer free Wi-Fi and Nespresso coffee machines. There is a restaurant on-site, which offers breakfast every morning.

Things to see near Navigli 

Vicolo dei Lavandai – At the start of Naviglio Grande, there is the charming Vicolo dei Lavandai (“Washing Alley” in English). This is the perfect spot to step back in time admiring the thatched roof where people used to do their washing by hand. The Vicolo dei Lavandai is a corner frozen in time that will make you appreciate Milan’s past and understand how much the neighborhood has changed. 

Mercatone Antiquario di Navigli – A fun thing to do if you happen to be in Milan on the last Sunday of the month is strolling around the Mercatone Antiquario di Navigli. This flea market with over 400 stalls selling everything from antique furniture to second-hand clothes. Get ready to discover some rare objects or shop for a special souvenir for a loved one back home. 

Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio – A complex of two churches, one next to the other, the Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio is a must if you visit the neighborhood. The Romanesque-style church on the left was built in the 13th century and is the oldest, while the church on the right dates back to the 15th century and is a Gothic church through and through. The complex was dedicated to Saint Christopher, praised for ending a virulent epidemic that claimed the lives of 20,000 Milanese residents. 

Getting there 

Vicolo dei Lavandai – From Porta Genova station (M2 line), walk on Via Vigevano, turn right to take Via Corsico, and at its end, turn left on Alzaia Naviglio Grande. Walk for 100 meters to reach your destination on the left.

Mercatone Antiquario di Navigli – Pass by the Vicolo dei Lavandai and proceed for another 100 meters until you see the huge market on your left. 

Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio – From Prorta Gevova station (M2 line)  walk to Piazzale Stazione Genova and follow straight to Alzaia Naviglio Grande until you reach Passerella San Cristoforo. At this bridge you need to turn right on Via S. Cristoforo, and the church is right on your right. 

Suggested activities in Navigli

Milan: Navigli District Guided Canal Cruise – Go on a cruise to the Navigli Canals while listening to your guide explaining the canals’ history and all about the daily life and customs of the Navigli neighborhood. 

Milan: Aperitivo Tour with Street Food – The Navigli is one of Milanesi’s favorite areas for apertivo, so join this street-food tour to try local dishes and stop by five different locations for aperitivo.

Final Thoughts

Milan is a gateway for vacation everywhere in North Italy, and tourists often overlook it. However, this cosmopolitan city offers many historical and art-centered sights, high-end shopping opportunities, and fine-dining experiences. The city is rather big, so deciding where to stay in Milan requires some planning. With this guide, we hope to have helped you figure out the neighborhood that best suits your travel needs so that you can have a wonderful time in beautiful Milan!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which is the best neighborhood to stay in Milan?

For the convenient location close to the city’s most popular attractions and for being within easy reach of Milano Centrale train station, Zona Sempione is the best area to stay in Milan. 

Where to stay in Milan on a budget?

While Milan is Italy’s most pricy city and traveling there on a budget is rather challenging, the best affordable accommodation options are in Porta Magenta. 

Which part of Milan is the most beautiful?

Each of the city’s neighborhoods has its own features, so it depends on your preference. If you are into artsy vibes, then you’ll find Brera the most beautiful, while if you are into luxury, Centro Storico will be your favorite. 

When is the best time to visit Milan?

May-June and September-October are the best times to visit Milan due to the mild weather. You should particularly avoid August because it’s too hot and you’ll find many places closed since Italians get the period off of work.

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.

Flights: Of all the booking search engines, Skyscanner is the most helpful and easy to use thanks to their Everywhere feature.

Car Rental: If you’re looking to save money, these car rental coupon codes will be a true game-changer. Otherwise, DiscoverCars and RentalCars are great places to start.

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Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.

Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.

Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.

Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.

Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.

  • Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
  • RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
  • SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
  • InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.



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