Last updated on 14 November 2023 | by Stefan Hotel Follower
Milan is a city where past and future meet. Born in the ancient world, it continues to thrive. It’s the second most populous city in Italy and the district capital of Lombardy. It’s a rich, varied city. The global capital of fashion design, it was a cradle of Renaissance art and architecture. Even today, it’s a lively modern art hub. In every part of the city, every district and neighbourhood you will find plenty of accommodation, perfect for a first time visit.
Milan in Italy is the home of the prestigious La Scala Opera House. You can view an ancient Roman Theatre under the Milan Stock Exchange, which opens a window to the city’s ancient past.
But how do you find the best accommodation for your stay? Which neighbourhood? Which hotel? Your choice of places to stay will probably be ruled by your interests and your budget.
If you love historical monuments and find history fascinating, Centro Storico hotels within proximity to the Duomo Cathedral are probably ideal for you.
If shopping and fashion are what you adore, Moscova and Porta Venezia will meet your need, with shops and style galore. If you prefer green residential areas, try Wagner Buonarotti in the west, with its parks and bookstores. Another residential area is San Siro, famous for its football stadium. It’s a great attraction for football fans.
If you like student areas with youthful vibrancy and bohemian atmosphere, you’ll enjoy Navigli neighbourhood, which has three universities. Bicocca and Citta Studi are also university areas, with cafes and street artists and the unique atmosphere of college life. Brera is a neighbourhood in which old and new buildings and give visitors an authentic slice of Milan life.
For those interested in business, San Donato Milanese is a Milan suburb where several Italian oil companies are based. Milan is truly worth seeing. Visit this special city and create some memories which will stay with you forever.
What’s the best area to experience the city as a local or when visiting the first time, what’s the best district for shopping or for nightlife, or where to stay on a budget? Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Milan Italy.
Quick Overview – Contents
- What is the Best Area to Stay in Milan
- Best Area for First Time Visit
- Best District for Nightlife
- Stay in Milan’s Hippest Neighbourhoods / Local Experience
- Best Neighbourhood to Stay for Business
- Best Area to Stay for Shopping
- Where to Stay in Milan on a Budget
- 5 Best Neighourhoods to Stay for Tourists
What is the Best Area (Districts) to Stay in Milan Italy?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): City Centre (Duomo Cathedral area)
The Centro Storico or the historic heart of the city is the best place to begin exploring. Here you’ll find the Duomo, the Gothic cathedral which practically symbolises Milan. From here you can also easily reach La Scala Opera House and the Galleria shopping centre. Best of all, this area is well-linked by public transport. There are hotels and apartment accommodation in various price levels, including budget accommodation.
Where to Stay in Milan City Centre
- Best Luxury 5 Star Hotels
Excelsior Hotel Gallia – Luxury Collection Hotel • Chateau Monfort
- Best 4 Star Hotels in Milan
The Corner Duomo Hotel • Room Mate Giulia
- Best 3 Star Top Rated Hotels
Hotel Milano Castello • Ai Suma Hotel
- Best Cheap Hotels in Milan
AV Hotel Milano • Hotel San Biagio
- Best Budget Hostels in Milan
Ostello Bello Grande • Ostello Bello
Best Areas to Stay in Milan
Where to stay in Milan for best nightlife? Porta Ticinese (Centro Storico) – Porta Genova / Navigli – Porta Garibaldi (Corso Como)
Italy is famous for the nightlife. That brings tourists from everywhere. Navigli, the area of Milan which is like a little Venice with its waterways, is known for its after-dark activities. It’s nice to look around by day too, with its lively student vibe. The dance clubs around Navigli and Porta Genova are legendary. The student population socialises in Ticinese, which has a bohemian atmosphere and small shops and restaurants.
Stay in Milan’s hippest neighbourhoods / local experience? Brera – Ticinese – Porta Romana
Milan’s hippest neighbourhoods give the authentic local experience. Brera is located close to the Centro Storico district and this is where the old and the new meet and blend. Old buildings stand beside the new, giving the visitor a taste of Milan’s blended culture. Ticinese and Porta Romana, located around old city gates, are bohemian haunts with their picturesque shops and bars. Porta Romana has been called Milan’s coolest neighbourhood.
What’s the best neighbourhood to stay in Milan for business? Porta Nuova (Garibaldi Station area) – Fiera Milano (MiCo Milano Congressi)
In addition to the cultural delights, Milan is abuzz with trade fairs throughout the year. This area reflects Milan’s influence in the business world. It’s a bustling, high technology area. It’s a complete contrast to Milan’s historical past. Porta Nuova boasts the Unicredit Tower, the highest skyscraper in Italy. There shouldn’t be any problem finding hotels in this area as it’s all set up for business travellers. They would like to stay in the business heart of the city.
Best neighbourhood for shopping? Chinatown – Porta Venezia – Corso Como – Duomo Cathedral area
Corsa Buenos Aires in Porta Venezia is the longest shopping street in Milan. You’ll get high street fashion here. The Quadrilatero della Moda is high end. Fashionistas on a budget can try the DMAG Outlets at three city locations. If you’re ready to shop, Milan will meet your every need. Although, as fashion capital of the world, Milan has plenty of high fasguib stores, there are levels of shops to meet every budget.
Where to stay in Milan on a budget? Chinatown – Porta Romana – Bovisa – Citta Studi – Central Station area
Although Milan is generally associated with wealthy tourists, some places here are a budget travellers haven. Milan’s Chinatown is a must-see, with its Chinese lanterns and Asian food stands. Bovisa is a former industrial and now residential area which has become a modern art magnet. This is a welcoming place for budget travellers, as is the Central Train Station area. Bovisa and places like Citta Studi, which have colleges and student populations, are more budget friendly.
The 5 Best Areas in Milan for Tourists (First Time Visit)
After giving the matter a lot of thought, we recommend the following areas as good for tourists to stay at in Milan.
The City Centre or Centro Storico, or the Duomo Cathedral area is a great choice for a place to stay. As already mentioned, it has major tourist attractions like the Duomo and Sancta Maria Delle Grazie convent (view ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci) within reasonable distance.
You’ll find all types of hotels and tourist accommodation in the area. It’s linked everywhere in the city by public transport. It’s a central location for tourists visiting Milan. Particularly first-time tourists.
Brera is an arty area in Milan, great for people who like the arty, bohemian vibe. Modern buildings and old buildings stand side by side, giving tourists the authentic Milan experience. It’s good to stay here because it’s less expensive than other city areas and it’s close to the major city sights.
Tourist attractions include the Pinoteca di Brera art gallery and the Sancta Maria del Carmine Church with it’s collection of 15th century frescoes. Like the city centre, everywhere is accessible from here. Hotel and apartment accommodation to suit various budgets are offered.
- Best Hotel: Bulgari Hotel Milano
- Best Cheap Hotels / Great Value : B&B Brera (Bed and Breakfast) • Hotel Milano Scala
Stay here because it’s the city’s transport hub. It’s located close to the Corsa Buenos Aires in Porta Venezia. There are international restaurants of every type and hotels and accommodation for various budgets.
There’s a fascinating mix of architectural styles in the area which is worth seeing. It’s also close to La Scala Opera House, the Duomo and the Galleria, an antique shopping centre. A superb location.
- Best Hotel: Glam Milano
- Best Cheap Hotels / Great Value: B&B Hotel Milano Aosta • Spice Hotel Milano
4. Porta Romana
This is the surrounding area of the old Roman Gate of Milan city. It was part of the 16th century city walls, but it predates back to the Roman age. This area of Milan features some impressive 19th and early 20th century buildings. It’s grown into a popular suburb of the city.
This fashionable area features the Potafiori, which is part flower shop and part bistro. Another attraction is the Bagni Misteriosi (mysterious baths), an open air swimming pool where the local residents go for a cooling dip when temperatures soar.
- Best Accommodation: Grand Visconti Palace
- Best Value Hotels: UNAHOTELS Mediterraneo Milano • Hotel Five
5. Lake Como
You can take a day trip to Lake Como or you can stay over there. It’s worth visiting and even because it’s in one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. There are majestic mountains and charming villages within a short trip of hectic Milan.
Although Milan is an exciting city, the peace and tranquility of Lake Como is like medicine for the soul. The beauty of nature on the doorstep of the bustling city of Milan will refresh you like nothing else.