Are you looking for accommodation in Milan and you are still not sure which are the best areas to stay in Don\’t worry, we recommend you the most interesting districts and we explain you how they are so that you can make the right choice.
The best areas to stay in Milan
Although the downtown area, and especially Brera , is the most interesting part to stay in Milan and is also the most expensive, there are other highly recommended options to consider.
1.Zona Centro (historic centre)
It is the ideal place to stay in Milan for a few days and its centre is Piazza del Duomo, where Duomo (dei) is the name of the Cathedral it houses, in Gothic style.Due to the huge number of historical buildings, shops and restaurants the area is very touristy and bustling.
The Milanese move around the area by bicycle and motorcycle except in the area around the cathedral where the streets are pedestrian.
The accommodation in Milan in this area is not exactly the cheapest, the number of four and five star hotels is high and the price of the cheapest hotels does not usually go below 100 euros per night.
The high price of accommodation can be compensated by the many attractions of the historical centre, the visit to the great Piazza del Duomo (almost 250 meters long) and the cathedral is a must.
But there are also other places of interest in the area such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, next to the Cathedral with its large glass domes; the Palazzo Reale, once the residence of the royal family and of the governors, and the Piazza Mercanti where the Palazzo Della Regione is located, the Loggia degli Osii or a well in the central area known as the Medieval Heart.
Other attractions are the famous Teatro alla Scala in the piazza of the same name, home of Italian lyric theatre and built in the middle of the classical period; the church of San Gottardo in Corte, dating back to the 14th century; the Romanesque church Chiesa di Santa Maria Presso san Satiro, built on a previous temple of the 9th century, or the oldest museum in Milan still standing: the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, dating back to the early 17th century.
More… In the historical centre proper, to the northwest is the Sempione Park, the lung of the central area and where the Castle of the Sforza, the family that ruled the city after the Visconti, is also worth visiting.
In addition to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, in terms of shopping, visiting the historical centre is an opportunity to see the most prestigious shops in the world in the so-called «quadrilateral of fashion».
There are four streets (including Monte Napoleone) that make up a block north-east of the historical centre where the shops of Armani, Prada, Versace, Cavali or Chanel, among others, are concentrated.In addition to this luxurious block, there are other streets such as Vittorio Emanuelle II, Via Torino or the Plaza del Duomo itself, where you can find all kinds of shops with more affordable prices.
Enjoying Italian cuisine is another attraction when visiting the city.
In terms of restaurants, we must highlight places like Bice, which specializes in Tuscan food and is located in the aforementioned «fashionable quadrilateral»; the Cracco, very close to the Duomo, although a little expensive, and, of course, a pizzeria like Gino Sorbillo, east of the big square.
To be able to enjoy the night, the offer in the historical centre is also wide with pubs like O\’Connell or The English Football Club or discos where the local people go like Nepentha, next to the Palazzo Reale, where there are dinners and a dance floor, a combination that the Milanese prefer to the traditional disco.
– Accommodation in central area
This neighbourhood is inside the historical centre, east of the Sforza Castle and deserves a special mention.With the Via Pontaccio ring road to the north, it communicates very well with the rest of Milan, as well as having bus stops in Via Brera.
The quality and quantity of accommodation to stay in Milan is similar to the rest of the historical centre, as well as its cultural attractions.
Among them, we must mention the Lalla Romano House Museum, the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Astronomical Observatory, the botanical garden, the Museum of the Risorgimento or the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine.
In addition to all these places, there is a good range of shops, especially two streets: Via Fiori Chiari, with shopping centres, antique shops, street stalls, perfume and clothing shops, and a few more in Via Pontaccio.
As far as the gastronomic offer is concerned, restaurants such as Princi or the famous Amorino Gelato ice-cream parlour in Via Fiori Chiari are worth mentioning. To enjoy the Milanese night, it is not necessary to leave Brera, as you can have a drink at the already mentioned O\’ Connell pub or Bar Brera.
– Accommodation in Brera
It is the name of the great international train station of Milan and it connects with all Europe.The district is located in the northeast of the old town and is well connected by road through Viale Abruzzi Avenue and Via Pola.
In addition, several bus lines stop in the neighborhood, as well as the tram and there are two subway stations: Caiazzo and Centrale.
Tourist neighborhood but with streets wider than the historic center and large buildings, its great attraction is the Milan Central Station.Built in 1864, it underwent several renovations, the most important one being in the 1920s, which gave it the appearance of a large Art Nouveau palace that it now has.
It has an area of almost 70,000 square meters and its dome reaches 72 meters in height. It has two large terminals (Milan and Roma-Termini) and in front of the station there is a large square: Duca d\’Acosta.
In the district of the Stazione Centrale there are also other places of interest such as the Church of San Camillo de Lellis, the Indro Montanelli Park or the Gallery of Modern Art.
As for shops, the Central Station itself has a large number of well-known franchises such as Mango or Nike, as well as other shops in more than twelve categories.
In a matter of restaurants, the best ones are already out of the station, with a good offer of international and national food like the Italian Osteria, the Japanese Tomoyoshi Endo or the vegetarian Alhambra Risto.
To spend the evening, one of the most visited and famous places is the Terraza Gallia, a cocktail bar on the roof of a building with a magnificent view of Plaza Duca d\’Acosta and the Central Station.
Like the central area, there are quite a few four or five star hotels and the average prices for accommodation in Milan in this area do not go below 100.
– Accommodation at Stazione Centrale
To the east of Stazione Centrale is this university district where the large Faculty Politecnico di Milano is located. The northern part of the district is more touristy and offers the highest density of sleeping accommodations in Milan in this area while the area near the university has fewer hotels and hostels.
Well connected to the rest of the city by the Viale Abruzzi, metro, bus and tram, this «study city» has a younger environment than other areas of Milan due to the large number of students that swarm or live in the area.
Its main attractions are of a cultural nature such as the Teatro Leonardo or several museums on the sides of the avenue Viale de i Mille such as the Room Galleria.
The offer in restaurants at Città Studi is concentrated in the northern zone, with places like Maoji Street Food, of informal character or the Skuisito, in Via Giovanni Pacini; and to the west, in the confluence of Viale Abruzzi with Via Plinio, zone with numerous shops.
There is also a small place called Trulo de Poli, next to the Politecnico. To finish the day, there are places like the Milord Milano cocktail bar or the Club 747 discotheque, places with a university atmosphere.
– Accommodation at Città Studi
In the southwest of the central area is the area of the canals (including the river port, redesigned by Leonardo Da Vinci), which today only retains two: the Grande and Pavese canals, which end in the Darsena.
These canals and the avenue Viale Cassale surround the area, the latter being a ring road that connects the area to the rest of Milan.Although there is no underground station there are enough bus and tram lines to reach the area easily.
Part of Navigli is occupied by two large parks: Baden-Powell and Segantini.
However, the great attraction of the district is its two canals, the promenades that run through them and the old houses that still remain on its banks.
There is also a good choice of restaurants on the promenades of both canals, such as Al Pont de Ferr and the Osteria del Gnocco Frito on the canal Milano or the Fontanella in Pavese.
A final attraction to visit this neighbourhood is its offer of night clubs, which are the most famous in the city and include Black Hole, Cuore or Kopi Club.
Although there is a variety, the accommodation in Milan in this area is much smaller than the rest of the centre and the atmosphere is quieter, except at night because of the number of clubs in the neighbourhood.
– Accommodation in Navigli
In addition to this post on the best areas to stay in Milan you may also be interested to find out about Where to stay in Rome, where to stay in Venice, where to stay in Florence
It is a district that has been renovated around the large exhibition center Fiera Milano, the largest in Italy. Located east of Viale Murillo Avenue and with several subway stations is perfectly connected to the rest of the city and is a good place to stay in Milan if you prefer luxury hotels.
The first place to visit is the Fiera Milano complex itself, composed of two large buildings over 500 metres long, next to which is the Milan House, the museum of the Milan FC team.
For shopping, besides those that can be found in the streets of the neighborhood, the great shopping center CityLife Shopping District with a wide range of women’s fashion should be highlighted.
Gastronomy is also present in this area with places like the Trattoria Pizzeria, soSushi&Sound or the elegant Il Piccolo Principe.And to enjoy the evening, in the middle of the neighbourhood you can find the Osteria Del Jazz, with live performances.
– Accommodation at Fiera Milano
Between Chinatown and City Life, this neighbourhood revolves around the great Sempione Avenue, almost two kilometres long, built in 1801 and which links Piazza Firenze to the north-west and Piazza Sempione itself, with the Arco Della Pace as its main attraction.
As for the attractions, some are on the avenue itself where there are some buildings worth photographing such as the RAI headquarters.It’s also interesting to take a tram and cross the avenue itself as a tourist attraction to reach the Sempione Park.
This park is a place where you can spend the day, with attractions such as the Triennial Art Gallery, the Civic Aquarium, the Civic Arena Amphitheatre or the Sforza Castle that marks the boundary between the Sempione district and the old town, and a good restaurant to get your strength back: the Bar Bianco.
Outside the park you can go shopping in shops such as the Saki Cosmesi Naturale perfume shop or the Emporio Isola clothing store and at Piazza Della Pace you will find some of the most popular restaurants such as the Taberna dei Golosi, Old Wild West or Parco Milano and to finish off the day, we recommend places such as El gato pardo Café Disco or Cream Lounge.
The number of accommodations to stay in Milan in the area is not very dense and most are on both sides of Sempione Avenue, with moderate prices.
– Sempione Accommodation
In addition to Milan’s large Central Station, the city also has the Stazione Garibaldi – formerly Porta Garibaldi – which is a district to the north-east of the historic centre.With good communications and very close to the centre, this neighbourhood is mainly touristic and has a wide range of hotels to sleep in in Milan.
With modern buildings, Stazione Garibaldi is a modern and avant-garde neighbourhood with places like the Museo Urbano Sperimentale d’Arte Emergente or the Galleria Davide Gallo, but it also maintains historical places like Porta Garibaldi itself in Via Francesco Crispi or the Church of Chiesa di Santa Maria Incoronata.
However, the place where the area is famous is the street and Corso Como area, where the famous and celebrities of Milan move.In its streets you can enjoy Corso Como 10, a multifunctional space with shops, restaurants and cafes to spend the day and places like Hollywood Rythmoteque or Tocqueville to enjoy the night.
– Accommodation at Stazione Garibaldi
South-east of the old town, Porta Vittoria (also called Porta Tosa) is a tourist area with cultural attractions, with the Abruzzi and Bianca Maria ring roads, the area is well connected and it is a cheap area to stay in Milan with accommodations that can be under 50 euros a night.
Its cultural attractions begin at the Piazza Cinque Giornate (of the five days), where you can find the monument and obelisk Grandi, in honor of the capture of the city by Garibaldi’s troops in 1848.
Not far from there is the church of San Pietro Gessate, dating back to the 15th century and to the south the famous Muba children’s museum. To the east of the museum it is also interesting to visit the large building of the Court of the Republic of Milan where the famous trials against the Italian Mafia were held in 1990.
But if there is a place of interest in the area is the Corso de Vittoria, an area with numerous shops like Pandora’s jewelry store and Coin department store, and restaurants like Globe, Miscusi or Sorai Restaurant.
– Accommodation at Porta Vittoria
North of Sempione Park and south of the Monumentale Cemetery, is Chinatown, a small area of three streets with its oriental porticos and all kinds of Chinese restaurants and shops.
Although it is not a neighborhood that fits very well with the Milanese style, it is interesting to visit it in order to find and buy traditional Chinese products such as magazines, soya cheeses or books in places like the supermarket Kathay, besides being able to enjoy an oriental massage or get a manicure in one of its beauty centers.
What is the best area to stay in Milan?
The best area to stay in Milan is the historical center of the city , where you can find the Duomo, the Milan’s cathedral and the most famous and representative monument of the Italian fashion capital.
From any of the hotels located in the centre , by walking you can visit the cinema area, shops and bars with terraces of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral and its famous statue Madonnina.if you prefer to go shopping, from this location you can reach the most exclusive shops of the Quadrilatero d’Oro, passing before those of Corso Buenos Aires and Via della Spiga.
Via Mercanti and Via Dante are other places to visit, besides the opera house La Scala and the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e Tecnica, where you can see technical drawings and models by Leonardo da Vinci.
If you are interested in knowing where to stay in Milan you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in Rome, where to stay in Venice, where to sleep on Lake Como and where to stay at Cinque Terre.
The centre of Milan, the best area to stay
As we have already mentioned, the historical centre of Milan brings together the best accommodation and the most emblematic buildings of the glamorous city of Italian Lombardy, which can be visited on foot without the need to take any public transport.
The Duomo stands out for its monumental appearance and its imposing beauty.The Cathedral of Milan is a large temple composed of five naves whose highest point is the Madonnina, a work of Carlo Pellicani in golden copper.in addition to this famous statue, inaugurated in 1774, the cathedral houses many other works of art, such as the sarcophagi of various archbishops or the statue of St. Bartholomew the Apostle.the Piazza del Duomo, the main square of Milan and where the spectacular cathedral is located, is the most important tourist attraction of the city.Rectangular in shape, it is an obligatory stop and is home to the city’s most select shops, cafés and restaurants.
Another of Milan’s nerve centres is the famous and majestic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, also nicknamed «the Milan Salon» for its shops and importance as a meeting point. It is one of the city’s most popular areas for shopping, sampling the best dishes of Italian cuisine or enjoying a delicious cappuccino.This exclusive four-storey gallery, named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy, was built to link Piazza del Duomo with Piazza della Scala, which houses the Teatro alla Scala, considered one of the most important opera houses in the world.
Also worth a visit is the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e Tecnica, Italy’s largest science and technology museum, with the world’s largest collection of machine models based on drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.
Hotels in the Centre of Milan
Other areas where to sleep in Milan
Near the city centre there are various neighbourhoods with high quality hotels ready to welcome the most demanding travellers.
The huge and monumental Milan Central Station is one of the main railway stations in Europe.Inaugurated in 1931 to replace the old one, this station combines a mixture of styles, among which Art Nouveau and Art Deco stand out. It has enormous steel and glass domes under which there are 24 platforms on which trains run continuously to the main cities of the Old Continent.There is an extensive network of accommodation in the surrounding area that makes it easy for travellers to get around due to its proximity to the trains that will take them to various national and international destinations.
To the north is the Parco Sempione , the largest green area in Milan, which houses one of the city’s landmarks, the spectacular Castello Sforzesco .To the southwest of this great urban lung is the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie , which houses «The Last Supper», one of Da Vinci’s masterpieces.The hotels in this area are concentrated near the Cadorna Station , which connects directly to Milan’s airport, the Malpensa.
Also north of the Duomo is the well-known Brera district , famous for its exclusive boutiques, art galleries and bars.To the south-east of Brera is the Quadrilatero della Moda , which, as its name suggests, is made up of four exclusive streets (via Della Spiga, Sant’Andrea, Manzoni and Montenapoleone, the latter known as Montenapo), home to the best textile and footwear brands and the most sophisticated shops (such as Armani, Cavalli, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana or Prada), not accessible to many pockets.
To the southwest of the old town are the picturesque streets of the canal district Navigli , which attracts many tourists for its bars, open until the early hours of the morning, and its narrow streets, which are home to many hotels.