Where to Stay in Milan (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

Wondering where to stay in Milan? Look no further than our neighborhood breakdown on the best areas to stay and top things to do in Milan...

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Milan is known for its cultural attractions, financial hub, iconic fashion, and historical significance. More than 6 million people visit this Northern Italian city each year!

It is also at the gateway of some of Italy’s most beautiful nature, like Lake Como and the rest of the Italian Alps. The outdoors is never too far away from Milan.

Milan’s neighborhoods can feel a little inaccessible sometimes though – many don’t know where to begin or where to hang out.

That’s precisely why we wrote this guide – to help you find where to stay in Milan! We’re going to make sure you know about the best areas in Milan and what they can offer you. You’ll get to choose between the Centro Storico, the Naviligi, Brera, and many more.

Whether you are interested in the monuments, the runways, the Last Supper, trendy shops, or café culture, there is a place to stay in Milan just for you.

 

Quick Tips – These are the Best Places to Stay in Milan

  • Centro Storico – Where to stay in Milan first time

  • Citta Studi – Where to stay in Milan on a budget

  • Navigli – Best area to stay in Milan for nightlife

  • Brera – Coolest place to stay in Milan

  • Fiera/San Siro – Best neighbourhood in Milan for families

 

Milan Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Milan

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Centro Storico

  • 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 di Milano, La Scala Opera House, and the city’s main piazza.
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Citta Studi

  • Citta Studi is Milan’s student quarter and one of the most affordable neighbourhoods in the city.
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Navigli

  • 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.
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Brera

  • 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.
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Fiera

  • 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.
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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.

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. 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.

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 the centre 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 accommodation. Enjoy an afternoon cappuccino in this lively and eclectic part of the city.

Still not sure where to stay in Milan? Keep reading!

 

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5 Best Areas to Stay in Milan

Milan is a massive and sprawling city. Thankfully, most of the city’s main attractions are located within Zone 1. Although best explored on foot, Milan does boast an extensive and efficient public transit system. Whether you choose to travel by tram, bus, or metro, you’re never very far away from where you want to go.

As with any big city, certain neighbourhoods cater more to specific interests. 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?

Perhaps you’re interested in spending your time exploring Milan’s major tourist attractions or Milan’s many museums and art galleries. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a neighborhood in Milan that’s perfect for you.

Here are the best neighbourhoods in Milan broken down by interest for your stay.

Where to Stay Milan

 

1. Centro Storico Neighborhood: Where to Stay in Milan for First Time

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 di Milano, 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 neighbourhood for first-time visitors to Milano.

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.

Centro Storico, Milan

image source: Flickr

 

Things to see and 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.

– 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.

– 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.

 

Best Hostel in Centro Storico: Babila Hostel

Babila Hostel is the best hostel in Centro Storico. A short ten-minute walk to the Duomo di Milano and the city centre, this hostel is comfortable, clean and boasts a lively atmosphere.

Spread over four floors, this hostel is well-equipped with a common kitchen and lounge, perfect for your stay in Milan.

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Best Hotel in Centro Storico: TH Street Duomo

Stay right in the heart of Milan at TH Street Duomo Hotel. Stylish and contemporary, this hotel is within walking distance of Milan’s major tourist attractions. With great restaurants and top shopping nearby, there isn’t a most fabulous place to stay in Centro Storico.

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Best AirBnB in Centro Storico: Entire Flat – Duomo Square

Modern and minimalist, this one-bedroom flat is located right in the city centre. Less than one minute walk to the Piazza del Duomo, you won’t find an Airbnb closer to Milan’s major attractions. Enjoy a well-equipped kitchen and space for four people in this charming Italian flat.

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2. Citta Studi Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Milan on a Budget

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 traveling 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.

Citta Studi, Milan

image source: Flickr

 

Things to see and do in Citta Studi

– See the impressive Porta Venezia, one of the Milan’s few remain historical gates.

– Wander along Corso Buenos Aires, the city’s longest and busiest shopping streets.

– 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 Citta Studi.

– 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.

 

Best Hostel in Citta Studi: Hostel Colours

Fun, friendly and conveniently located near public transportation, Hostel Colours is the best hostel in Citta Studi. It offers guests a free hot breakfast and spacious dorms, as well as a clean, safe and comfortable environment. It’s close to supermarkets, restaurants, and many of Citta Studi’s main attractions.

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Best Hotel in Citta Studi: Hotel Aurelia

Centrally located and of great value, Hotel Aurelia is the best hotel in Milan for budget travellers. Enjoy private bathrooms and free wifi at this cosy and charming hotel.

Situated close to public transit, Curso Buenos Aires, and many of Milan’s top attractions, this hotel is just a few minutes walk from the centre of the city.

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Best AirBnB in Citta Studi: Amazing STUDIO 18 Città Studi

This amazing studio apartment 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.

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3. Navigli Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Milan for Nightlife

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 top 10 bars!

Navigli, Milan

 

Things to see and 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.

– 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 church, the Basilica Sant Eustorgio or Basilica di San Lorenzo, both of which date back to the 4th century.

 

Best Hostel in Navigli: New Generation Hostel Urban Navigli

In the heart of Milan’s nightlife district is New Generation Hostel Urban Navigli, 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.

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Best Hotel in Navigli: The Yard Milano

Hotels in Milano don’t get much cooler than The Yard Milano. Situated right next to the Naviglio Canal, this hotel is within walking distance of Milan’s most popular nightlife spots.

Enjoy unique designs and delicious Italian breakfast at this boutique hotel.

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Best AirBnB in Navigli: Apartment in the Hear of Navigli

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.

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4. Brera Neighborhood – Trendiest Place to Stay in Milan

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.

Safe, sophisticated and very central, Brera is the neighbourhood to stay in if you want to see and be seen in Milan.

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.

Brera, Milan

 

Things to see and 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 areas stunning sights.

– Browse the local Sunday market for a mix of art, fashion, and lifestyle goods.

– 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.

 

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 bougie hostel.

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Best Hotel in Brera: The Teco Hotel

Classic and comfortable, The Teco Hotel is the perfect place to stay in Milan’s Brera district. Enjoy the city’s exclusive shopping districts and trendiest restaurants just step away from your hotel.

Close to world-class attractions and historical sights, you won’t find a better hotel in Brera.

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Best AirBnB in Brera: Luxury Studio in Brera’s Heart

Enjoy modern and stylish accommodations 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.

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5. Fiera/San Siro Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Milan for Families

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. Hop on the subway and just a few minutes later you’ll find yourself enjoying all of Milan’s top tourist attractions.

Fiera San Siro, Milan

 

Things to see and 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.

– 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 Il Csnacolo to see Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous painting, the Last Supper.

– Place a few bets and spend a day at the races at Ippodromo del Galoppo di San Siro.

 

Best Hostel in Fiera/San Siro: The Youth Hostel Piero Rotta

With more than 330 beds, this is the biggest hostel in Milan. Spacious and well lit, enjoy clean and comfortable surroundings just a stone’s throw from the city.

Close to public transportation, enjoy all the perks of the city without the hefty price tag.

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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, and contemporary amenities.

Close to the stadium and public transportation, this hotel is conveniently located for trips in and around the city.

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Best AirBnB in Fiera/San Siro: Stylish flat

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 an XBOX/DVD player throughout your stay. Suitable for couples or a family of four, this Airbnb offers all the luxuries of a hotel with the comforts of home.

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Review of the Best Places to Stay in Milan

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the best places to stay in Milan. If you plan to stay in a hostel, make sure to check out our Milan hostel guide!

If you are traveling with a group and book an apartment, check out our Airbnb post for a 35% discount!

 

Best Hostel in Milan: Babila Hostel

Babila Hostel is the best hostel in Milan. Located a short ten-minute walk to the Duomo di Milano and the city centre, this hostel is comfortable, clean and boasting a lively atmosphere.

Spread over four floors, this hostel is well-equipped with a common kitchen and lounge, perfect for your stay in Milan.

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Best Hotel in Milan: The Teco Hotel

Classic and comfortable, The Teco Hotel is the perfect place to stay in Milan’s Brera district. Enjoy the city’s exclusive shopping district and trendiest restaurants just steps from your hotel. Close to world-class attractions and historical sights, you won’t find a better hotel in Milan.

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Best Airbnb in Milan: Entire Flat – Duomo Square

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 Milan. Enjoy a well-equipped kitchen and space for four people in this charming, safe and comfortable Italian flat.

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Neighborhood Milan

 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, folks, our guide for where to stay in Milan, no matter what your interests are.

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 neighborhood breakdown on the best areas to stay in Milan!

Still not sure which neighborhood is best for you? In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with the lively Babila Hostel, located a short ten-minute walk to the Duomo di Milano and the city centre. The Teco Hotel is our top pick for hotels in Milan, thanks to its incredible location.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email hostels@thebrokebackpacker.com to find out how.

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