Milano. A place where da Vinci doodled on some buildings, and your clothes go out of fashion simply by existing for longer than a Dolce & Gabbana sneeze.
In short: Milan is an art student’s bath time fantasy.
Alas, baths can be dangerous, and especially in this fantasy, you may face drowning in the bafflement of urban navigation. Finding that perfect edgy crib can be a tiring cross to carry.
Hence, my EPIC guide to where to stay in Milan, whose cup overfloweth with insider knowledge, fantastically springy berths, and half-hearted quips. There’s probably a stable for the backpackers too.
Let’s jump into the magic of Milan!
Where to Stay in Milan
Have you finally reached the point in your life when backpacking Italy is suddenly doable, but you are 35 years too old to stay in a hostel?
Never. Here are the top 3 places to stay in Milan, all of which are sensational options…
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Best Airbnb in Milan: Duomo Getaway (with stunning roof terrace)
There is often nothing better than chilling out on your gorgeous roof terrace in central Milan. So why do anything else? This apartment comes with a unique design, a modern kitchen, a living room, and rooftop space. With room for just two guests, it makes the perfect romantic escape for the lovers amongst us. You will be personally welcomed by the host, who will make sure you know everything about the apartment before you’re left to it!
Happy living folks. Xxx.
Best Hostel in Milan: Babila Hostel
Babila Hostel is one of the best hostels in Milan. Located a short ten-minute walk from the Piazza Del Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ii and Milan city centre. This hostel is comfortable, clean and boasts a lively atmosphere and convenient location.
As an ex-catholic school, it has a distinct atmosphere, and even comes equipped with a bar and yoga studio! There are events being organised on the regular too, which puts this hostel at the top of the list 😉
Best Hotel in Milan: Park Hyatt Milano
Literally facing the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ii, the Park Hyatt has the best location in the entire historic centre. Try the All Day dining offer of La Cupola, get a luxurious treatment at the spa or relax with a beverage of choice at the Mio Lab. This hotel offers spacious rooms with excellent wifi, marble bathrooms, and some of the best service in the city. The Duomo Metro is just a short walk from this excellent luxury hotel, meaning it has great connections with Milan’s central station!
This hotel is big, bougie, and looks the part…
Located in the very heart of Milan is Centro Storico, the best place to stay in Milan for fist-timers. Here you will find Milan’s most famous historical and cultural attractions, including the Duomo di Milano, La Scala Opera House, and the city’s main piazza.
Citta Studi is Milan’s student quarter and one of the most affordable neighbourhoods in the city. This is hands down the best place to stay in Milan for those on a budget.
Navigli is one of the oldest and best place to stay in Milan to party. It dates all the way back to 1179 and used to be home to a network of canals used to transport goods throughout the city.
Located north of Centro Storico, Brera is one of Milan’s coolest and most luxurious districts. What was once the city’s artsy and bohemian district, Brera today attracts Milan’s most famous and fashionable residents.
Northwest of the city centre is Fiera/San Siro. These two neighbouring districts are the ideal place to stay if you’re travelling with a family or want to feel like you’re staying in the suburbs. This is our recommendation for where to stay in Milan for families.
Covering more than 180 square kilometres, Milan is a massive city divided into nine administrative zones which are further divided into diverse neighbourhoods and boroughs. There are plenty of things to do in Milan so you’ll want to stay somewhere close to public transport or pretty central.
Each neighbourhood of Milan offers visitors something different and unique. We recommend that every visit to Milan include at least three neighbourhoods, depending on the purpose of your visit.
To help you better plan your time in Milan, we’ve broken down the top five areas in Milan by interest.
Milan’s most renowned neighbourhood is Centro Storico (or historic centre). Here you will find the city’s most famous and popular tourist attractions. This is the best area to stay in Milan if you’re visiting for the first time. It’s also the most convenient area for public transport as you can get from the central station to Milan Malpensa airport.
South you’ll find the fun, lively, and atmospheric neighbourhood of Navigli. Famous for its trendy bars and clubs, Navigli is where to stay in Milan for nightlife.
North of the city centre is where you’ll find Brera and Fiera/San Siro neighbourhoods. With lush parks and luxury shopping, these two neighbourhoods are where you can experience an authentic Milanese way of life.
Travel east of central Milan and you’ll find yourself at the heart of Citta Studi, Milan’s student quarter, and home to a myriad of affordable cafes, bars, and accommodations. Enjoy an afternoon cappuccino in this lively and eclectic part of the city. When backpacking Milan, this is an area you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
Still not sure where to stay in Milan? Keep reading!
5 Best Areas to Stay in Milan
Milan is a massive, sprawling expensive city. Massive. Thankfully, most of the city’s main attractions, top luxury hotels and historic buildings are located within Zone 1. Milan boasts an extensive and efficient public transit system, although (just like everywhere else) is best explored on foot.
Are you looking to enjoy Milan’s high-end luxury scene? Do you want to dance the night away at one of Italy’s most famous clubs? Maybe you want to see if anyone will notice if you commit a horrible crime against fashion, like Crocs with socks, or wearing a gilet over a vest?
No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a neighbourhood in Milan that’s perfect for you. Here are the best neighbourhoods in Milan.
Located in the very heart of Milan is Centro Storico. Here you will find Milan’s most famous historical and cultural attractions, including the Duomo Cathedral, La Scala Opera House, and the city’s main piazza.
Home to a wide range of boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and museums, Centro Storico is the best area to stay in Milan for first-time visitors.
This central area of Milan is mainly a walking district, which means you won’t need to rely too much on public transportation to get around. However, it is well connected to other parts of the city, thanks to the M1 and M3 metro lines.
Best Airbnb in Centro Storico: Elegant and Modern Apartment
Modern and minimalist, this one-bedroom flat is located in the heart of Milan. Less than a one-minute walk to the Piazza and Duomo di Milano, you won’t find a better Airbnb in Italy. Enjoy a well-equipped kitchen and space for four people in this charming, safe and comfortable Italian flat. In case you want to stay longer, there’s also a washing machine and a dryer waiting for you!
Best Hostel in Centro Storico: Babila Hostel
Babila Hostel is one of the most unique hostels anywhere. Built out of one of the most bizarre buildings you will see, it has four floors, a roof terrace, a fantastic living and dining space, and a bar. If you want to make the most of your time in Milan, make some friends, and just generally cause some havoc, booking a spot here will get you exactly where you need to go.
Breakfast is another $5. But it is large.
Best Hotel in Centro Storico: The Street Duomo
So you fancy a boutique hotel that is both centrally located and offering mega service? Welcome to The Street Duomo, one of the best luxury hotels around. Equipped with a greenhouse-style restaurant, a furnished terrace, and saunas in the bathroom, this is one of the top places to stay in Milan, without a doubt. The decor is modern but tasteful, and the rooms are spacious and extremely comfortable.
7/8. There is no laser skincare, or Michelin-star restaurant on-site.
Things to Do in Centro Storico
- See the Duomo di Milano, one of the grandest Gothic cathedrals in all of Europe.
- Head up to the roof of the Duomo and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
- Improve your style with a personal shopping assistant!
- Take in the sights and sounds of Milan at the centre of Piazza del Duomo, the grandest square in the city.
- Listen to awe-inspiring opera at Teatro Alla Scala, one of the world’s most renowned opera houses.
- Shop until you drop at Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle, an elegant shopping arcade housed in well-preserved 18th and 19th-century buildings.
- Visit Poldi Pezzoli Museum and see one of the world’s richest collections of private art.
- Unlock the secrets of Milan with a very Milanese walking tour!
- Go window shopping along Via della Spiga, one of the city’s most famous high-end shipping centres, located on a lovely and charming cobblestone street.
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Citta Studi is Milan’s student quarter and one of the most affordable neighbourhoods in the city.
You’ll definitely want to make your base in this lively and energetic neighbourhood if you are travelling to Milan on a budget. Enjoy a range of accommodations types, restaurants, pubs and cafes, and a number of cultural attractions in this vibrant district.
Best Airbnb in Citta Studi: The Greenhouse Loft
This amazing studio loft is one of the best apartment rentals in Citta Studi. Located in a more residential part of the district, this flat is well-situated for exploring the city. Enjoy modern furnishings, a full kitchen, and a bright and cheerful atmosphere in this charming neighbourhood. With the pullout sofa, you can even fit an extra two people, however, it might get a bit cramped!
Best Hostel in Citta Studi: Ostello Bello Grande
This hostel is another of the very best in Milan. With loads of events running, excellent amenities, and some of the very finest locals around to help you out, you can’t go wrong with a stay at Ostello Bello Grande. There are no less than 3 outdoor terraces, a movie room, free tours, and many musical instruments on hand. I should probably put it as number one.
There’s also a well-stocked kitchen, and you can check out the board games selection too!
Best Hotel in Citta Studi: Hotel Aurelia
Hotel Aurelia is the best hotel in Milan for budget travellers and is centrally located and of great value. Enjoy private bathrooms and free wifi at this cosy and charming hotel.
This hotel is just a few minutes walk from the centre of the city and is situated next to the Loreto Metro station.
Things to Do in Citta Studi
- See the impressive Porta Venezia, one of Milan’s few remaining historical gates.
- Wander along Corso Buenos Aires, the city’s longest and busiest shopping streets.
- Snap up a spot at a wine tasting with the most Italian sommelier.
- Enjoy a rustic and delicious sandwich made on Michetta, a traditional Milanese bread, at Michetta’s.
- Visit Mr Panozzo to indulge in a cheap and delicious slice of pizza.
- Relax in Giardini Pubblici, a lush green space in the heart of Citta Studi.
- Engage with the best street food tour in Milan, tasting some tasty Italian dishes.
- Marvel at the works of art at the Modern Art Gallery.
- Enjoy an artisanal beer at one of the area’s well-known craft breweries.
- Sip on a glass of wine or Grappa at the quaint and charming bistro, Hic Enoteche – Spallanzani
- Enjoy the works of street artist PAO that can frequently be found in the main square.
Navigli is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Milan, and it dates all the way back to 1179. This neighbourhood used to be home to a network of canals used to transport goods throughout the city.
Today, only two of the canals remain, you’ll find Milan’s hottest neighbourhood where these two canals intersect.
By day, Navigli is home to art galleries, artisan shops, vintage boutiques, and design studios. The area is relatively quiet, attracting students, artists, and tourists out and about to enjoy a good cup of coffee.
By night, the area comes alive! As the sun sets, Navigli starts to burst with excitement and energy. People descend upon the area to enjoy its many cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs. Whether you want to dance until dawn or enjoy a glass of wine, Navigli is the neighbourhood for you.
Milan has something for everyone; hole-in-the-walls and craft brews, here are Milan’s most interesting bars!
Best Airbnb in Navigli: Compact Navigli Hideaway
The name says it all! If you’re looking to stay at the centre of Milan’s nightlife district, then this Airbnb is for you. This one-bedroom, cosy apartment is modern and impeccably clean.
Fully furnished and equipped with a kitchen, this apartment is perfect for up to four adults looking to experience a night out in Milan.
Best Hostel in Navigli: New Generation Hostel Urban Navigli
In the heart of Milan’s nightlife district is New Generation Hostel Urban Navigli. It’s a fun and exciting place to stay in Milan! With a fully furnished kitchen and comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, you won’t find a better hostel in Navigli.
Best Hotel in Navigli: Aethos Milan
Hotels in Milano don’t get much cooler than Aethos Milan. Situated right next to the Naviglio Canal, this hotel is within walking distance of Milan’s most popular nightlife spots.
Enjoy unique designs and a delicious Italian breakfast at this boutique hotel.
Things to Do in Navigli
- Dance to the hottest music and Latin rhythms at Puerto Alegre.
- People watch as you sit canal-side sipping on a glass of wine or an aperitif.
- Leave Milan and head out for a day trip to Lake Como. It’s pretty nice up there.
- Browse for antiques at the Navilio Pacese, an open-air antique market that takes place the last Sunday of each month.
- Sample unique and sometimes strange flavours of gelato at Gusto 17.
- Visit La Corte dei Miarcoli, a historic cabaret bar and one of the most popular spots in Milan.
- Shop for souvenirs at the Fiera di Senigallia, a weekly open-air flea market.
- Explore the art galleries and design studios that line the canal.
- Take a boat tour along the Naviglio Grande, the oldest canal in Milan.
- Visit one of Milan’s oldest churches, the Basilica Sant Eustorgio or Basilica di San Lorenzo, both of which date back to the 4th century.
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Located north of Centro Storico, Brera is one of Milan’s coolest and most luxurious districts. What was once the city’s artsy and bohemian district, Brera today attracts Milan’s most famous and fashionable residents.
Brera is the best area to stay in Milan if you want to see and be seen and is safe, sophisticated and very central.
Brera is also the place to go if you’re looking for a great mix of history and modernity. It’s where high-end boutiques and stylish bars mesh seamlessly with historical heritage. Enjoy world-class art and high-end fashion in this lavish and historic quarter of the city.
Best Airbnb in Brera: Sweet Inn
Enjoy this modern and stylish accommodation in the heart of Milan’s luxurious Brera district. This studio apartment is conveniently located and perfect for couples looking to explore Milan’s top sights.
Within walking distance to many of Milan’s major tourist attractions, you won’t find a more comfortable or chic Airbnb in the city.
Best Hostel in Brera: New Generation Hostel Urban Brera
Enjoy all the luxury of Brera at a fraction of the price by staying at New Generation Hostel Urban Brera. Right at the heart of the fashion district, this hostel offers guests a clean, comfortable and friendly atmosphere.
Enjoy free internet, an on-site supermarket, and an unbeatable location at this fun hostel.
Best Hotel in Brera: The Teco Hotel
The Teco Hotel is the best place to stay in Milan’s Brera district. Enjoy the city’s exclusive shopping districts and trendiest restaurants just a step away from your hotel.
Close to world-class attractions and historical sights, you won’t find a better hotel in Brera. It’s also got air conditioning for those hot Italian summers!
Things to Do in Brera
- Explore the Pinacoteca de Brera museum, home to world-class art by Italian masters, including Raphael, Caravaggio and Piero della Francesca.
- Wander aimlessly through Brera’s winding streets, taking in the area’s stunning sights.
- Browse the local Sunday market for a mix of art, fashion, and lifestyle goods.
- Take in magic of the Swiss mountains by joining the Bernina Express mountain train!
- Enjoy one of the best coffees in the city at Princi.
- Take in the impressive Orto Botanico di Brera botanical garden, a historic garden that dates back to 1774.
- Walk along Via Madonnina to admire the impressive architecture and stunning building facades.
- Visit Galleria Civica d’Arte Modern to see an original Gaugin and other masterpieces.
- Indulge in a great cocktail and delicious pizza at Dry, one of Brera’s hottest restaurants.
- Enjoy an afternoon of aperitif and people-watching at the trendy Fashion Café.
Northwest of the city centre is Fiera/San Siro. These two neighbouring districts are the ideal place to stay if you’re travelling with a family or want to feel like you’re staying in the suburbs.
This lovely and quiet area is full of beautiful shops, café lined streets, and lush parks, perfect for children to run and play in.
Although outside of Milan’s central Zone 1, these districts are well connected to downtown and other areas of the city. Head to the nearest metro station and in just a few minutes later you’ll find yourself enjoying all of Milan’s top tourist attractions.
Best Airbnb in Fiera/San Siro: Stunning Family Apartment
This stylish one-bedroom flat is located in a quiet area of San Siro. A short 15-minute drive to CityLife and Fiera, this flat is conveniently located near San Siro Ippodromo underground station.
Enjoy a full kitchen, free coffee, and access to a swimming pool in the garden, a beautiful terrace and a tennis court throughout your stay. Suitable for couples or a family of six, this Airbnb offers all the luxuries of a hotel with the comforts of home. There are a total of three bedrooms, so everyone will have plenty of privacy as well.
Another Great Airbnb in Fiera/San Siro: Amazing Designer Flat
This brand new apartment is the ideal home for a small family that’s visiting Milan. Located in a very strategic neighbourhood, close to a metro station and heaps of attractions. You’ll get the best of Milan without having to stress about the busy streets, loud nightlife or tourists. The flat is fully equipped with everything you might need – a Smart TV, air conditioning, a kitchen and you even get a private balcony.
Best Hotel in Fiera/San Siro: B&B Hotel Milano San Siro
Quiet and clean, B&B Hotel Milano San Siro is a great choice for families visiting Milano. This hotel has spacious rooms with modern décor, hi-speed WiFi, air conditioning, and contemporary amenities.
Close to the stadium and a metro station, this hotel is conveniently located for trips in and around the city.
Things to do in Fiera/San Siro
- Perfect for sports fans, this district is home to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, home of A.C. Milan and Inter football clubs.
- Head over for a little lesson in Italian cuisine and make a great pasta dish!
- Take in a game or go on a tour and explore this impressive sports facility.
- Take a nice walk through the expansive Parco delle Cave. Your little ones will love running through the grass and interacting with the animals.
- Enjoy delicious Italian cuisine at Trattoria Pizzeria dei Platani.
- Visit the nearby Santa Maria delle Grazie to see Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous painting, the Last Supper.
- Get a guided tour of the San Siro stadium, complete with a museum and other football stuff.
- Place a few bets and spend a day at the races at Ippodromo del Galoppo di San Siro.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Milan
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Milan and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Milan
And there you have it, folks, our guide to the best places to stay in Milan. I hope it has been ultra useful, and has given you some good pointers!
Want to stay near the action? The best museums? Among the fashion district in the fashion capital of the world? Look no further than our neighbourhood breakdown on the best areas to stay in Milan!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!