The second biggest city in Italy has a variety of experiences to offer, and no matter the purpose of the visit, it is definitely worth it. Milan has the power to make you enjoy the dynamic balance between modernity and history, spiced up with the attribute of the wealthiest city. The first skyscraper in Italy, the Pirelli Tower, created its nickname – the highest Italian city.
Since it is an untimed metropolis, very strong and fearless, but still welcoming, it is a place where even Armani came to become “someone” little by little. You have to be very careful and choose the right accommodation and area to stay. The paradise gardens are hiding behind old houses, you can be met by galleries and brand boutiques just around the most unexpected corner or in a glamorous and antique indoor shopping centre. So, become an explorer even before you start the journey and dig into my suggestions of where to stay in Milan.
We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. In this guide includes the best areas for
the first time visitor
Luxury & Design
on a budget
Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?
Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.
Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Milan.
(This guide is always up to date, the last updated March 2024.)
But, first things first:
Here is the question: Where to stay in Milan for a first-time visit?
The answer is simple: City Centre (Duomo Cathedral Area)
The city centre is the most vibrant place to stay in Milan. Almost all the streets radiate from or circle the Duomo Cathedral. Speaking of, Duomo holds the magic in its own syllables and that is a touch of impression you can get from the view of the biggest church in Italy. The Piazza del Duomo thrills with a rectangular shape and is literally the foremost tourist attraction. But, nothing can be compared to the charm of Centro Historico. Tourists flock there to immerse themselves in the culture and history.
Some of these areas include:
Centro Storico (Historic Center)
The Piazza del Duomo
Discovering the city centre of Milan and walking through the squares which are in the shade of the magnificent Duomo is an amazing experience. Accompanied by the locals and many tourists alike you sense the diversity and balance of the place. It is a mesmerising set up of architecture, culture, social and fashion scenery.
Piazza del Duomo, the grandest square in Italy, is the perfect start of your discovery. If you are interested in shopping then the nearby fashion hotspot, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, will offer you some trendy stores, Michelin star restaurants and a few period coffee shops, even the famous Caffè Biffi, which dates from 1867.
Since everybody plans their travels with lots of dedication, we have curated a list of accommodations for where to stay in Milan that will meet your particular needs with whatever traveller you may be!
Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:
Family travel should by no means be relaxing and calm. Reaching the important attractions from the place you stay is of great importance, while a quiet neighbourhood is also a privilege for a family trip. The districts of Fiera and San Siro are the perfect match for this, because of their calm atmosphere and closeness to the city centre.
Fiera is a quiet city-life district where you can feel safe and find the open space tranquillity and still feel the authentic imprint between neighbouring shopping districts.
San Siro, on the other hand, is a diverse small district with wide green areas, only 7 km away from the centre. It is the most prominent for the famous Giussepe Meazza football stadium, Milanese Hippodrome and Palasport di San Siro arena. That said, if your little ones are avid football fans, this is the place to be!
Handpicked accommodations for families
Magna Pars l’Hôtel à Parfum, Navigli
Magna Pars l’Hôtel à Parfum can be a superb choice, because it offers family rooms with very cosy comfortable beds. The bright and well-equipped rooms, together with the Turkish bath are a perfect end of a busy sightseeing day for all family members.
If you like traveling abroad and having home-like commodities, Milano Fiera City – Apartments is perfect! Located in Fiera, this place to stay in Milan is set on a quiet street, boasting a well-equipped kitchen, as well as plenty of space for the little ones to play in.
A Romantic visit to the city of Milan won’t be complete if you do not enjoy and feel the vibes of Milan’s Navigli district, located within the first ring in the real city centre. The delightful views of Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese and the grand green district in the middle are breathtaking. If by any chance you go there on Sunday, do not forget to pop to the vintage market Merctino dell’Usato di Porta Genova and treat yourself to a new antique.
Besides the countless spots to visit, there is one with special importance in the Navigli district – The famous Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore which is one of the oldest churches in the city.
Handpicked accommodations for couples
NYX Hotel Milan, Stazione Centrale
Couples looking for where to stay in Milan will find great pleasure in the NYX Hotel. In fact, this establishment is very much appreciated by lovebirds such as yourselves! It has a perfect location, just a 3-minute walk from Milano Centrale Stazione. Featuring an inner garden and offering cosy rooms, as well as a restaurant and a lounge bar, it is a great place to be settled in.
If you are a modern couple fond of art, then the sculptures and paintings inside Art Hotel Navigli will make your stay as pleasant as ever. Additionally, the Milan hotel boasts an excellent American-style breakfast buffet, a romantic terrace on the top floor, and a lush garden, designed with couples in mind.
The city of Milan with its diversity in life can offer almost everything for everybody including the most demanding luxury travellers. The Brera district exceeds all of these expectations – and more! This place is the heart of Milan’s artistic district. Because of its timeless charm, it has been considered the most beautiful area in Milan. Do not miss to visit Pinacoteca di Brera, the Astronomical Observatory, The Botanical Garden, the L’osteria di Brera Restaurant, Caffè Fernanda and Moleskine Cafè.
Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler
Armani Hotel Milano, Milan City Centre
In Armani Hotel Milano, located in the Quadrilatero della Moda district, guests are taken to their elegant modern rooms by personal lifestyle managers. This may be enough to say, and the rest is to experience. But, just a few luxurious facts about this fabulous hotel. This is one of the best properties in the world. Its aesthetics are similar to that of Signor Armani. An impeccable property offering everything a man of style can ask for.
The Bulgari Hotel, noted as one of the best places to stay in Milan, is the most refined and exclusive place located in the shopping street and will be the most special that you can experience in the city. It is a secluded small indulging oasis offering a good bar, pleasant staff, a small gym and countless spa treatments.
A design traveller will make a perfect choice of where to stay in Milan if they visit the Centro Storico and Porta Venezia which definitely match its character. The first one has all the history and architecture on the site and the second is the historical gate of the city since the 19th century.
Handpicked accommodations for the design lover
Sheraton Diana Majestic, Porta Nuova
This is a really classic Milan hotel with a rich history and a great central location in the Porta Nuova district. Sheraton Diana Majestic is a charming Art-Nouveau building with beautiful gardens. Additionally, the classically furnished rooms, in combination with the Diana Garden Bar, make the guest enjoy the stay.
A superb apartment with a bar and fully equipped kitchen, Brera Luxury Suite features a simplistic yet contemporary design, ideal for travelers who want to experience the modern side of the city. On top of that, La Scala is a few meters away, so try to catch a show while you’re staying there.
Groups are more than welcome in Milan, due to the variety of diverse neighbourhoods. The Isola neighbourhood is north of the city centre and an area with amazing boutiques and specialty stores. It has lately become a hipster hangout, so social butterflies usually hang out here, looking to expand their friend groups.
Handpicked accommodations for groups
Combo Milano, Navigli
The Combo Milano is an excellent option if you’re wondering where to stay in Milan for the first time as a group. Apart from the spacious rooms, this establishment frequently hosts parties, meaning it’s the perfect place to meet some new people and have fun!
Located close to Naviglio Grande Canal, Aethos Milano is great for 4-person groups who like to have a little luxury in their travels. Despite its sophistication, the people who hang out at the bar are quite laid back, and will make you feel right at home!
It must be a great experience to be a “ lonely cowboy” wandering different destinations. So, if your choice is to travel alone, the best places to stay in Milan are Citta Studi where the technical faculties are located or in the most chic district of Brera.
Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler
Hotel Palladio, Ticinese
Hotel Palladio is nestled in a historic building, located close to a Ripamonti Tram Stop, so you can count on good links to the centre. The rooms have a private bathroom, and there are restaurants and bars near the hotel. The area is also quite safe, especially for female solo travelers, and because the faculties are in its vicinity, you’re bound to run into young friendly crowds.
This is a very simple hotel, Hotel Nizza, close to the Loreto Metro Station. The rooms are functional with a private bathroom, and although historic, the place has a very urban vibe. Travelers who are wondering where to stay in Milan, away from the heaps of crowds in a peaceful and serene environment, should look no further than this homey establishment.
Partygoers can count on great nightlife in Milan due to the sheer variety of clubs and discotheques. Nivali and Brera are the trendiest nightlife districts, and you might even catch some underground parties if you mingle.
Handpicked accommodations for nightlife
Hotel Zara Milano, Zara – Brera
This hidden gem of Milan, Hotel Zara Milano, sets you in the eye of the nightlife of the city. People who enjoy going to invite-only raves have reported that a lot of parties are happening around the area of the hotel, so keep an eye out on social media. After you’re done partying, return to this highly comfortable Milan hotel for some rest.
Spending a fortune to travel is not necessary if you make the right decisions and pick cheap and nice accommodation. Although people call it a rich city, we can suggest hotels or hostels that can save you some of the budget.
Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler
The area close to Porta Romana offers accommodation for a reasonable amount of money and enables you to stay in a good neighbourhood with great connections. Such places can be found even in the city centre.
Cà Bèla – Porta Romana, Porta Romana
An air-conditioned room with a shared lounge is not a bad idea, is it? Cà Bèla – Porta Romana, within walking distance of a maximum of 3 km to the city centre, offers every room with a private bathroom, and some even have balconies. The best part? For a 3-star Milan hotel, their rates at Cà Bèla – Porta Romana are a steal!
Babila Hostel offers rooms and beds in dormitories, all of which are air-conditioned. Additionally, there’s a breakfast buffet, and metro lines are really close by, meaning you can easily hop from one place to another.
Now that you know where to stay in Milan, let’s take a moment to highlight some of the best neighbourhoods of the city!
It is named as the safest district in Milan. The galleries, boutiques, fashion houses, the Pinacoteca, Orto Botanico di Brera and the picturesque streets are probably, among many others, the spots that are being well preserved from any kind of criminal. Navigli, San Lorenzo and Isola are also pretty safe to stay in Milan. But, besides all that, you must take good care of your personal stuff.
It is one of the best places to stay in Milan, especially if you love nightlife. And it is much cheaper, too, because it is a bit further than the centre.
A very famous Basilica located within the Navigli district is one of the nicest places to stay in Milan if you are travelling as a couple or in a group. It is a quiet and well-organised neighbourhood.
Overlooked in the past, is now a trendy and up-and-coming Milan neighbourhood which transformed from a former working-class district into a vibrant hipster area. Cool and welcoming, mainly for families and travellers who like alternative city sites.
What is the best neighborhood to stay in Milan?
The best neighborhood to stay in Milan depends on your preferences and the purpose of your visit. However, the City Centre (Duomo Cathedral Area), particularly around Duomo Cathedral, Centro Storico, and the Piazza del Duomo, is recommended for a vibrant and central experience. Brera is also highlighted as a safe and beautiful district, while Navigli is suggested for those who love nightlife.
Where should you not stay in Milan?
While Milan is generally a safe city, it's advised to exercise caution in certain areas. These areas may include the outskirts or neighborhoods that are less known for tourism. It's always recommended to research and choose accommodations in well-known and central districts to ensure a safer and more enjoyable stay.
What should I avoid in Milan?
To make your stay in Milan more enjoyable, it's advisable to avoid pickpocket-prone areas, especially crowded public transportation. Be cautious with your belongings in touristy spots. Additionally, it's recommended to respect local customs and follow basic travel safety guidelines. It's always beneficial to stay informed about the local culture and any potential areas with higher crime rates.
Where should I stay in Milan for the first time?
For a first-time visit to Milan, the City Centre (Duomo Cathedral Area) is recommended. The areas around Duomo Cathedral, Centro Storico, and the Piazza del Duomo offer a vibrant atmosphere, iconic landmarks, and a mix of modernity and history. This central location provides easy access to major attractions, shopping, and cultural experiences, making it an ideal choice for newcomers to the city.
Map + All Sights
Explore Milan with ease using our interactive map, featuring a range of accommodations catering to families, groups, and more. Find your ideal stay amidst the beauty of Milan, ensuring a memorable experience for every traveler. Your personalized island retreat begins with the perfect accommodation.
Summary where to stay in Milan
Depending on the purpose of the visit and on how much you can invest in your trip, there is always a solution for where to stay in Milan. This city is of dynamic balance and sheer variety of accommodation, so you’ll surely have a fantastic time!
If you’re looking for some more destination recommendations, check out the rest of my blogs!
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