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Where to Stay in Milan in 2024 – 8 Best Areas

Uncover Milan's top neighborhoods for travelers in our concise guide. From the stylish Brera to lively Navigli, find the ideal area for your stay in Italy's fashion capital.
Where to Stay in Milan

If you’re planning a trip to Milan, let me give you the inside scoop on the best places to stay! Personally, I’m all for soaking up the rich history and vibrant culture, and what better way to do that than by staying in the city’s heart? The Centro Storico is a must; it’s like stepping into a living, breathing postcard of Milanese charm.

But hey, don’t just stop there. Brera is another gem. It’s artsy, chic, and full of character – exactly what you’d want for an authentic Italian experience. And if you’re into modern vibes, Porta Nuova is your go-to area. It’s like the cool, trendy cousin in the family of Milan neighborhoods. For a more academic and youthful energy, Cittá Studi is a great pick, bustling with students and innovative spirit.

1. Centro Storico, best area to stay in MIlan for first time

Duomo di Milano
Duomo di Milano

If it is your first time in MIlan, there’s a spot in the city you absolutely must see first – and it’s the area surrounding the majestic Duomo Di Milano and the imposing Sforzesco Castle

This area is also a shopper’s paradise. Think bustling streets lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants that offer a taste of Milanese life. The famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, along with other shopping streets, makes this place a retail heaven.

Just a short stroll from the Duomo, you’ll find the Golden Quadrangle. I love this part – it’s a network of narrow streets, with Via Montenapoleone at its heart, boasting the most luxurious shops in Milan. It’s like walking through a fashionista’s dream!

You can also see the Madonnina statue, a symbol of Milan. Don’t miss out on the iconic Teatro de La Scala, Piazza dei Mercanti, Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, Palazzo della Ragione, Loggia degli Osii and Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine.

A mere ten-minute walk will lead you to another historic gem, the Castello Sforzesco. This colossal fortress houses ten museums and is backed by the beautiful Sempione Park – a perfect spot for a leisurely walk.

Best Hotels in Centro Storico

2. Porta Nuova, a cool area to stay in Milan

Porta Nuova
Porta Nuova Milan / photo: wikipedia

Porta Nuova is my favorite place! It was my first ever stay in this city, and let me tell you, it’s my go-to area for all my future visits. Once you’ve marveled at the Centro Storico, you’ll find yourself drawn to the charm and convenience of Porta Nuova.

Imagine a place that’s the modern face of Milan – bustling with business, residential life, and shopping. That’s Porta Nuova for you. It’s vibrant and lively, offering a perfect mix of work and play.

Let’s divide this area into two: the streets stretching from the Central Station to Citta Studi, and the vicinity around Porta Nuova and Gae Aulenti Square

In contrast, the area is densely populated and packed with shops, cafes, and restaurants. You won’t miss anything here; it’s a neighborhood that caters to every need.

But for me, the real draw is around Porta Nuova and Gae Aulenti Square. This area is the economic and business heart of Milan, but it’s also a bustling commercial zone and one of the best places for a night out.

Famous skyscrapers like the Pirelli, with its amazing observatory, and the Unicredit Tower – the tallest in Italy – dominate the skyline here. If you’re after a view, this is the place to be.

For shopping, dining, and partying, Corso Como and its surroundings are unbeatable. This street is one of the liveliest, with a plethora of shops, bars, restaurants, and clubs.

This area is a hub for hotels, guesthouses, and apartments, offering more budget-friendly options compared to other parts of the city. If you’re looking for a place that combines style, convenience, and affordability in Milan, Porta Nuova is your answer.

Best Hotels in Porta Nuova

3. Brera, best area to stay in Milan for families

Brera
Brera

Brera is also one of my all-time favorite neighborhoods to stay in! Picture a chic, bohemian quarter where culture, gastronomy, and nightlife blend seamlessly. It’s perfectly located too, just a stone’s throw from the Centro Storico and Porta Nuova.

The streets of Brera are charming and well-kept, brimming with fine dining options, art galleries, trendy fashion boutiques, and artisan shops. The crown jewel here is the Pinacoteca de Brera, housed in the Palazzo di Brera, one of Italy’s most prestigious art galleries.

But there’s more! The Brera Library, the Observatory, and the Botanical Garden are just a few of the other treasures this neighborhood offers.

Come evening, Brera transforms into a bustling hub for dinner and drinks. The array of bars here is impressive, and who knows, you might even stumble upon a chic disco.

Despite its small size and quaint narrow streets, Brera is incredibly accessible. It may lack a metro station, but it’s close to three major stops: Lanza, Montenapoleone, and Cairoli.

In terms of accommodation, Brera mainly offers quaint boutique hotels and apartments for rent.

Best Hotels in Brera

4. Città Studi, best place to stay in Milan on a budget

Città Studi
Città Studi

Città Studi in Milan is like a bustling academic village, teeming with educational institutions like the renowned Politecnico di Milano and major hospitals. It’s a great spot, especially if you’re traveling with family and kids. Here, you can enjoy a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.

While Città Studi might not boast the usual tourist attractions, its charm lies in its affordability. The area offers a variety of hotels and tourist apartments at wallet-friendly prices.

The neighborhood is well-connected by metro, making it a breeze to explore the rest of Milan. Plus, it’s conveniently close to the central station. And, of course, you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants right at your doorstep.

If you’re looking for a safe, family-friendly area that gives you more bang for your buck, Città Studi is a smart choice. It’s perfect for those who prefer a quieter stay while still being connected to the vibrant heart of Milan.

Best Hotels in Città Studi

5. Porta Vittoria, a cool area to stay in Milan

Piazza Cinque Giornate
Piazza Cinque Giornate / photo: wikipedia

Porta Vittoria, nestled right next to Cittá Studi, shares a border with Milan’s Centro Storico. It’s a residential area that’s surprisingly close to the Duomo – a leisurely 30-35 minute stroll will get you there, or you can hop on a tram or bus for a quicker journey.

In terms of landmarks, Porta Vittoria might not have the star-studded attractions of other areas, but it does hold its own unique spots. There’s the WOW Spazio Fumetto, a delightful comic book museum, the Muba Children’s Museum Milan for little explorers, the serene Vittorio Formentano Park, and the historic Monument of the Five Days of Milan.

What I love about Porta Vittoria is its great value for money. The area offers a wide range of hotels to suit various budgets. Keep in mind, though, as you inch closer to the historical center, the prices tend to climb a bit.

For those who appreciate a quieter, more residential setting without straying too far from the heart of Milan, Porta Vittoria is a solid choice. It’s a balance of tranquility, accessibility, and affordability, making it a smart pick for travelers.

Best Hotels in Porta Vittoria

6. Navigli, best area to stay in Milan for nightlife

Navigli
Navigli

Navigli, with its enchanting canals, is hands down one of the most intriguing neighborhoods in Milan, especially during the summer months. It’s like stepping into a different world, where the hustle and bustle of the city give way to the serene flow of water.

The area is defined by its two main canals: Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese, remnants of the city’s ancient canal network dating back to the 12th century. Strolling along these waterways is like walking through history.

The banks of Naviglio Pavese, in particular, are lined with restaurants, bars, and cafes, boasting lovely terraces when the weather is nice. It’s the perfect spot if you enjoy quirky, character-filled neighborhoods with a distinct charm.

Navigli is ideal for a leisurely meal, a delightful dinner, or a drink, thanks to its vibrant nightlife. The atmosphere here in the evening is simply unmatched.

Some of the local highlights include the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, the picturesque Alley of the Washerwomen, the Mercatone dell’Antiquariato sul Naviglio Grande (an antique market held on the last Sunday of each month), and the lively Fiera di Sinigaglia every Saturday.

Though a bit removed from the city center – about a 30-minute walk to the Duomo – Navigli is well connected by tram and metro, making it easily accessible.

And while it’s not overflowing with hotels, there are several fantastic options across various price ranges. For a truly unique Milan experience, Navigli is a neighborhood that should definitely be on your radar.

Best Hotels in Navigli

7. Fiera Milano – CityLife , best area to stay in Milan for exhibitions and conferences

CityLife Milano
CityLife Milano / photo: wikipedia

Fiera Milano – CityLife  is a slice of modern elegance in Milan, tucked away just behind the serene Sempione Park. It’s the heartbeat of Fiera Milano, hosting all the major exhibitions and conferences that grace Milan.

If your visit to Milan is for an expo or conference, this area is spot-on. But even if you’re not there for an event, it’s worth exploring.

The neighborhood is superbly connected by metro, meaning getting around is a breeze. Plus, there’s a fantastic array of hotels, often with some pretty sweet deals.

While it’s not brimming with tourist hotspots, the proximity to Sempione Park is a bonus. A leisurely stroll through the park leads you to the majestic Sforzesco Castle and the historic center. And a hop, skip, and a jump away is the vibrant Chinatown, followed by the charming Brera district.

In a nutshell, Fiera Milano – City Life is a smart choice for convenience and style, especially if you’re in town for a big event. And even if you’re not, it’s a gateway to some of Milan’s most delightful areas.

Best Hotels in Fiera Milano - CityLife

8. San Siro, where to stay in Milan near to San Siro Stadium

San Siro Stadium
San Siro Stadium

This particular area wouldn’t be my first pick for a stay in Milan. It’s a residential zone, most notable for housing some key sports facilities.

The standout feature here is the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, home to both AC Milan and Inter Milan. Other sports venues include the Hippodrome and the Lido Pools.

Although well-connected by metro, this area is a fair distance from the city center. It’s not bustling with tourist attractions, which might explain the lower accommodation prices. It’s a more subdued choice, ideal if you’re in town for a sporting event or seeking a quieter stay away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Best Hotels in San Siro

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