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Where to stay in Milan for first time visitors

A comprehensive guide on finding the best neighbourhoods and accommodation in Milan Italy

Want to learn where to stay in Milan? Known as the capital of fashion and design and synonymous with Haute Couture, whether you love hunting down designer wear or trawling the many vintage stores Milan has a lot to offer. Not just for shoppers, however, Milan’s winding streets and beautiful architecture offer a lot to explore with everything leading back to the magnificent Duomo (cathedral), the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Culture vultures will be equally satisfied with the numerous art galleries in the city, including the chance to see Leonardo Da Vinci's famous fresco, The Last Supper in the 15th-century Convent of Santa Maria Della Grazie or catch a show at one of Italy's top historic opera houses La Scala. One of the finest cities to sit back in a coffee shop or a bar and just people watch, there’s plenty to see.

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Where to stay in Milan

Milan is known for being one of the more expensive getaway locations, and there is no escaping that, unfortunately. Nonetheless, there are some areas that lend themselves better to those on a budget. The city is split into nine different areas that are situated around the main Milan Duomo, this does mean no matter where you stay, you’re never far from the sights and the various things to do. Each district offering its own flavour and price point, this guide will help you pick the right spot for you.

Where to stay in Milan

San Siro - Budget area, perfect for sports fans

Why stay in San Siro

If you’re looking for a quieter stay while being just outside, via subway, the main hub of the city then this is ideal. There are cheaper accommodation options and plenty to do thanks to the 80,000 San Siro Stadium, one of the largest in Europe. Not just the major venue for soccer matches you’ll also find musical concerts there. Similarly, in nearby Ippodromo del Galoppo, you’ll be able to see the major Milano Summer Festival with big-name music acts every year and watch the local horseracing. If you’re here to catch some of the big events in Milan, then staying in San Siro is going to be ideal.

Why avoid San Siro

You are slightly removed from the city in a quieter up-and-coming residential area, you’ll see lots of local Milan life but will have to take the subway to the areas with more action. The accommodation here is more residential, mid-range so there aren’t as many luxury stays or dining options in the area.

Where to stay in San Siro

Where to stay in Milan
Check Antares Hotel Rubens on Booking.com

Antares Hotel Rubens

Rooms at the 4-star Antares Hotel Rubens include a satellite TV with pay-per-view channels, air conditioning and free WiFi. Each room offers an entertainment and information system. Breakfast consists of a hot and cold buffet. Located between the FieraMilanoCity exhibition centre and San Siro Stadium, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from popular shopping street Corso Vercelli.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Agriturismo Dolce Luna

Set 3.1 miles from San Siro Stadium, Agriturismo Dolce Luna provides accommodation with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a shared lounge for your convenience. Free WiFi is featured. All units feature air conditioning and a cable flat-screen TV. A fridge and coffee machine are also available.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

BnB Hello Milano

Offering rooms with modern décor, BnB Hello Milano is located in the Marghera area of Milan, 450 yards from De Angeli Metro Stop. Free WiFi access is available in all areas. Each room here will provide you with a satellite flat-screen TV and air conditioning. Featuring a shower, the private bathroom also comes with towels and a hairdryer.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Navigli – Perfect spot for nightlife and markets

Why stay in Navigli

Artisan shops, cafes, and vintage stores are just one of the reasons to stay in the creative areas of Navigli, an area with a long transportation history due to its network of canals. Only two canals remain today but built around them you’ll find a bustling hub of bars, restaurants, art galleries, and shopping options. You’ll also find a huge open-air antique market on the last Sunday of every month. The nightlife in this area is great so if you want to be in the heart of Milan’s drinking culture then this is perfect. It’s also a perfect spot for people watching. There’s a wide range of accommodation in the area, as the original city centre, so there’s really something for everyone in Navigli.

Why avoid Navigli

The heart of the drinking culture in Milan, this may not be for you if you’re looking for a peaceful stay as it gets a bit crowded and rowdy in the evening. You’ll also have to catch public transport to many of the major sights in Milan

Where to stay in Navigli

Where to stay in Milan
Check Hotel Magna Pars - Small Luxury Hotels of the World on Booking.com

Hotel Magna Pars - Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Overlooking the garden, the elegant suites are decorated in soothing colours, and feature wooden furnishings, leather sofas and chairs, and a small library. Each has a bright living room with a 46” 3D TV. A buffet breakfast is available each morning. The restaurant and bar offer a wide selection of fine Italian wines from the hotel's wine cellar.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Nhow Milan

Each room is individually designed and air conditioned. They feature a minibar and an LCD TV with satellite channels.Nhow's  elegant restaurant serves an eclectic menu at both lunch and dinner. Guests can also enjoy a drink at the stylish bar or out on the terrace. A buffet breakfast is available daily.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Ripa 43

The apartment is fitted with 1 bedroom, a kitchenette with a fridge and a stovetop, and 1 bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. A flat-screen TV is available. An Italian breakfast is available every morning at the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Porta Garibaldi – Upmarket, financial hub

Why stay in Porta Garibaldi

Just north of Milan’s centre is the Porta Garibaldi, an impressive neoclassical city gate on the old road to Como and also a financial hub. Choosing accommodation near what you’re interested in is key for the area. Near the train station, you’ll find the trendy area of Corso Como, an area known for its avant-garde fashion, fancy bars, coffee shops, and nightlife. Of for a quieter time, you can choose to be near the more business orientated areas. The historic sights are just twenty minutes’ walk away and looking at the nearby Duomo and churches next to the financial skyscrapers offers a beautiful contrast. It’s also a good transport hub due to one of the main stations (Porta Garibaldi) being here.

Why avoid Porta Garibaldi

It can get a little quiet in the area since it’s generally geared towards people visiting for business and this is reflected in the accommodation options.

Where to stay in Porta Garibaldi

Where to stay in Milan
Check Hotel VIU Milan on Booking.com

Hotel VIU Milan

Created by award winning designer Nicola Gallizia, the rooms feature modern, elegant decor with designer furniture and marble bathrooms complete with high-end toiletries. Each one features free WiFi and a smart TV, as well as bathrobes and slippers. This 5-star hotel was built using eco-friendly materials. You can enjoy local specialities and international dishes in the restaurant with its very own Michelin star chef.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

ME Milan Il Duca

Designed by Aldo Rossi, rooms feature state-of-the-art technology, a minibar with cocktail-making facilities, and a 47" LED TV. Other facilities include free organic toiletries and a laptop safe with charging station. Guests booking either a junior suite or suite can enjoy a free shuttle service to/from the centre and the Quadrilatero della Moda fashion district.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Fifty House Soho

All air conditioned, rooms at the hotel feature a flat-screen TV, minibar and private bathroom. Suites have a seating area. Repubblica Metro Station is 400 yards from Fifty House Soho, with direct links to Duomo. La Scala Theatre is 1.3 miles from the property. Milan Linate Airport is a 30-minute drive away.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Citta Studi – Quaint, peaceful, academic area

Why stay in Citta Studi

Think Oxford but in Milan, this is the scholarly area of the city with tree-lined streets, bookshops, cafes, university campuses and libraries. The world-renowned science faculty of the University of Milan is based here and was constructed in 1915. There’s plenty of beautiful architecture by famous architects to admire in the area and the peaceful surroundings provide the perfect atmosphere to wander. Although quiet, the sights of the city are a short metro ride away and you can take an 18-minute walk to Corso Buenos Aries, the shopping district.

Why avoid Citta Studi

While perfect for a peaceful, classical stay where you can take lots of pictures, it’s not ideal if you like a lot going on in your area. The accommodation options are fairly limited in the area as most of the accommodation is geared towards students so book fast if you’d like to stay here.

Where to stay in Citta Studi

Where to stay in Milan Town House
Check TownHouse 33 Boutique Hotel on Booking.com

TownHouse 33 Boutique Hotel

Rooms at 33 Town House come with light parquet floors and elegant dark wood furnishings. Rooms all have tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioning, Sky and pay-per-view channels, plus a bathrobe and slippers. This 19th-century building is located 450 yards from Dateo Station, where you can catch the train to Malpensa Airport. The property is 9.9 miles from the Expo 2015 Exhibition Centre.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Dieci

The air-conditioned rooms come with an LCD TV with Sky channels and a minibar. The bathroom is complete with a hairdryer, slippers and free toiletries. Some rooms have a balcony. Breakfast at the Dieci is buffet style. It is served in the breakfast room or on the terrace during sunny days. You can reach the historic centre and the Corso Buenos Aires shopping area in a really short time. Piola Metro Station is just a few blocks from the hotel and provides links to the Central Railway Station.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Nu Hotel

Rooms have a contemporary feel and are air-conditioned and soundproofed. Each has an LCD satellite TV with Sky Vision Gold, electric kettle and a private bathroom with bathrobes. Classic cuisine and Italian favourites can be enjoyed at the Nu Italian restaurant, open every day for lunch and dinner. You can grab a drink or cocktail at the bar, open until 23:00.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Porta Romana – Designer shopping and creative activities

Why stay in Porta Romana

Like porta Garibaldi, Porta Romana is a former city gate and dates back to the 16th century. This often overlooked neighbour near the city centre has a lot to offer in terms hipster spots with Bar Luce designed by Wes Anderson, a tram converted into a sauna, Milan’s only thermal baths, and lots of take-out only food establishments to pick from. If you like shopping, then Viale Monte Nero Shopping Street is a haven with Italian design and handcrafted goods galore. There are plenty of bars in the area and it’s within walking distance to the Duomo. Overall it’s far cheaper than the very centre of Milan making it a little easier for those on a budget without compromising on things to do.

Why avoid Porta Romana

Despite being central, you’ll still have to the bus and metro system to go sightseeing in the area, also if you don’t enjoy the hipster aesthetic then this might not be for you. It’s quite a residential area so there’s plenty of accommodation options but they aren’t geared towards the high-end guest.

Where to stay in Porta Romana

Where to stay in Milan
Check Grand Visconti Palace on Booking.com

Grand Visconti Palace

It features a refined wellness area with a swimming pool, and a gourmet restaurant located on the 5th floor, overlooking the city’s rooftops. Each spacious room at the 4-star Visconti Palace boasts an elegant décor, including beautiful rugs and drapes. They all have soundproofed walls, a flat-screen TV, and a minibar.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Best Western Hotel Major

Each room features carpeted or parquet floors, a satellite TV with Sky channels, a safe, and tea and coffee-making facilities, some rooms are complete with a spa bath. The internet point in the hall includes a printer and scanner.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

UNAHOTELS Mediterraneo Milano

Rooms at the UNAHOTELS Mediterraneo Milano are decorated in a modern style. Each is air conditioned, and comes with a minibar and a TV with satellite and pay-per-view channels. The UNA Restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and the bar provides snacks and drinks all day.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Centro Storico – Historic centre, the heart of Milan

Why stay in Centro Storico

The historic city centre and the heart of Milan, this is where the pictures are taken, the architecture ranging from Gothic to Renaissance, and the tourists are many. You won’t be able to miss the Duomo di Milano or any of the other major attractions like the La Scala Theatre or the many galleries in the area. There’s plenty to keep shoppers happy with the luxury shopping district of Quadrilatero featuring all of the high-end Italian brands and plenty of bespoke designers and the Galeria Vittorio Emmanuelle. If you’re looking to splash out or want to stay in the very heart of Milan, this is it.

Why avoid Centro Storico

If the price is a big factor in your stay in Milan, then this area is best avoided as it’s the most expensive area in terms of accommodation and dining. You’re also going to have to contend with the crowds since this is the tourist hub

Where to stay in Centro Storico

Where to stay in Milan
Check Hemeras Boutique House - Duomo on Booking.com

Hemeras Boutique House - Duomo

The Hemeras apartments come with air conditioning and a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette. Some are open space while others have 1 or more bedrooms. The Hemeras Boutique House - Duomo apartments have different locations scattered between Milan Cathedral and Sant'Ambrogio Basilica.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

STRAF | a Member of Design Hotels™

Rooms at the Straf feature modern art and designer furnishings. Each comes with free Wi-Fi, a daily newspaper, and an interactive LCD TV. You will find a selection of organic teas in the room, along with an electric kettle and Bluetooth speakers. Some rooms also feature a Nespresso machine and Ironing facilities.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Twoone Apartments

Apartments and studios are air conditioned and feature a kitchen/kitchenette. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is 450 yards from the aparthotel. The nearest airport is Milan Linate Airport, 5.6 miles from the property. Milan City Centre is a great choice for travellers interested in food, restaurants and luxury brand shopping.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Bovisa – Affordable area with a youthful vibe

Why stay in Bovisa

North of the city centre, and an affordable option for those on a budget, this is an area popular with students and young people reflected in the laid-back environment and youthful atmosphere. There’s plenty to choose from in terms of low-cost accommodation, affordable student-friendly bars and restaurants in interesting repurposed buildings. It’s an industrial area and isn’t immediately attractive but explore the streets and you’ll find plenty to do. This is a perfect area if you like live music and performances in general as there’s always something on.

Why avoid Bovisa

If you’re looking for an upmarket stay, then this won’t be for you. You’ll also have to hop on public transport to get to the attractions as there are very few things to see in the immediate area.

Where to stay in Bovisa

where to stay in Milan
Check Maldive Milanesi on Booking.com

Maldive Milanesi

Offering 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom with a bidet and a shower, this apartment is fitted with a flat-screen TV. The accommodation is fitted with a kitchen. The apartment offers a terrace.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Suite Rent Milan

The apartment has a flat-screen TV. Providing a terrace, this apartment also provides guests with a well-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave, as well as 2 bathrooms with a bath. Guests can also relax in the garden.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Anna Maria House B&B

All guest rooms at the guest house are fitted with a seating area. All rooms have a shared bathroom with a hair dryer. All units feature a desk. An Italian breakfast is served every morning at the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Porta Vittoria – Relaxing spot, perfect for families

Why stay in Porta Vittoria

If you’re looking for somewhere a little more relaxing and family-friendly, then Porta Vittoria could be what you’re looking for. Southeast of the city centre, this area is another hotspot for shopping but rather than the high-end offerings of many areas, this is where you come for unique souvenirs, handmade jewellery, and art. There are some fascinating modern art and immersive museums in the area as well as a museum based around comics around comics and graphic novels. With a lot more breathing room than other areas of Milan, this is a perfect area if you like to be outside the city centre but still have plenty to do.

Why avoid Porta Vittoria

If this is your first visit to Milan, it may be a little far away from the main tourist attractions for you and will require a lot of time on public transport. It’s a quieter area with little nightlife on offer so it won’t suit people who like a buzzing atmosphere after dark.

Where to stay in Porta Vittoria

Where to stay in Milan
Check Fifty House on Booking.com

Fifty House

Soundproofed rooms offer a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries, soft bathrobes and a hairdryer. They all include a safety deposit box and a minibar. Suites also feature a balcony and a seating area. Guests can enjoy daily breakfast in the comfort of their room, a garden, an outdoor seating area, and a 24-hour front desk with concierge service.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Vittoria

Family-run Hotel Vittoria offers cosy and elegant rooms with antique furniture. Some rooms offer a view of the relaxing garden. Breakfast is buffet style, and includes on request freshly squeezed juice made with oranges from Sicily. Gluten-free and kosher products are available on request.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Mec

Each room at the Mec Hotel features a minibar, safe and private bathroom. Pay-per-view channels are also available. WiFi is free throughout the hotel and in all standard rooms. Your day at the Mec begins with a large buffet breakfast. The hotel also includes a gym, private car park, and a 24-hour reception where you can pick up a free city map. Guests have discounts at the restaurant next door.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Porta Venezia – Budget friendly shopping haven

Why stay in Porta Venezia

Perfect if you want to see how the average Milanese person lives and have plenty to do on your doorstep. Porta Venezia is just a stroll away from the historic centre of Milan but offers a far more budget-friendly alternative and a less touristy vibe. You can wander the streets (including the longest shopping street in Milan with over 350 shops - Corso Buenos Aires) for hours and find budget-friendly clothing boutiques and vintage stores alongside bigger department stores. There’s also plenty of family-friendly activities in the area like The Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium The area is close to the train station, budget-friendly, and has a lot to offer in terms of green spaces and 19thC architecture. It’s a diverse neighbourhood with plenty to offer.

Why avoid Porta Venezia

It’s more budget friendly than the city centre but more suited to people on a mid-range budget as it’s still a very popular area to be in. It can get very busy on the weekends due to it being a popular shopping district.

Where to stay in Porta Venezia

Where to stay in Milan
Check Château Monfort - Relais & Châteaux on Booking.com

Château Monfort - Relais & Châteaux

Château Monfort is set in a historic building. The rooms are themed after different fairy tales and nursery rhymes. The mix of antique details and modern facilities makes for a unique, glamorous chic style. Restaurant Rubacuori serves classic Italian cuisine, the Mezzanotte Lounge Bar is open until late, and La Cella Di Bacco wine bar features an impressive wine list.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

The Westin Palace

The Palace boasts a red marble façade and a rooftop terrace with city views. The hotel is complete with a wellness centre and the Westin Workout gym. The design rooms have pastel-coloured walls and precious antiques. Each room features the brand’s Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Principe Di Savoia

Guest rooms at the Principe Di Savoia Hotel are decorated with traditional dark-wood furniture and deluxe fabrics. Each comes with cosy bathrobes and slippers, and an LCD TV with satellite channels. The restaurant serves both Milanese specialities and Italian classics, and the lounge bar offers international cocktails until late.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Milan's Chinatown – Great food and cheap shopping

Why stay in Milan's Chinatown

Every major city has its Chinatown and Milan’s is situated just a few minutes’ drive north of the city centre and was established in the 1920s. Typical for Chinatown, there are bright lanterns and excellent restaurants to be found in the area. The feature area is the Via Paolo Sarpi which is a pedestrianised shopping area perfect for wandering. Aside from a varied cuisine, the area boasts some fantastic shopping specialising in leather and silk goods - you can always find a bargain here far more easily than in the rest of the city. This a budget-friendly area with a range of affordable accommodation and a real clash of culture to observe.

Why avoid Milan's Chinatown

There are no metro stations here so you’ll need to walk a bit, the nearest stations are around five minutes away including the Garibaldi train station. This is an area more suited to those on a budget and can get quite noisy as there’s a lot of foot traffic

Where to stay in Milan's Chinatown

Where to stay in Milan
Check Grand Hotel et de Milan on Booking.com

Grand Hotel et de Milan

Rooms at the Grand Hotel are air conditioned and furnished with 18th-century furniture. They also have a minibar, Wi-Fi access and a TV with satellite and pay-per-view channels. Guests can enjoy top-quality Italian cuisine at Don Carlos restaurant, while Caruso restaurant offers a more informal atmosphere.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Park Hyatt Milano

Spacious and luxurious, rooms at the Park Hyatt feature large marble bathrooms. Some rooms are complete with a private terrace with views of the city's skyline. Taste fine specialities at 2-Michelin-star VUN Andrea Aprea restaurant, or sip a drink and relax at the Mio Lab or try the international All Day dining offer of La Cupola.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Meliá Milano

Rooms at the Meliá are air-conditioned and feature luxurious bed linens and furniture. Each includes a flat-screen TV with satellite and pay-per-view channels, plus a minibar and safe. Breakfast at the Aurora restaurant is buffet style, while at Jigger bar signature cocktails and finger food is served. The spa includes a sauna, hot tub and steam bath. Aerobics lessons and massages are also available.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Ticinese – Hip, creative hub

Why stay in Ticinese

Easily one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Milan, the artists, young professionals, and academics all gather here. There are plenty of artisan shops, cute cafes, creative restaurants and art galleries to visit and some historical architecture to observe. There are plenty of bars lining the cobbled streets and alleys in the area too so this is fast becoming a popular area for nightlife; you’ll be busy right through the evening. Situated just outside the city centre, you’re not far from the main sights and get to mingle with a wide range of local people.

Why avoid Ticinese

It’s a popular area that closes late due to the bars and restaurants so it can be noisy. It’s an arty area so there isn’t much in the way of fine dining or accommodation here.

Where to stay in Ticinese

Where to stay in Milan Galleria
Check TownHouse Galleria on Booking.com

TownHouse Galleria

Overlooking the shopping arcade or courtyard, the elegant, air-conditioned rooms and suites at TownHouse Galleria include satellite flat-screen TV with pay-per-view channels, wooden floors and a minibar. The private bathroom has soft bathrobes plus slippers. The property hosts 2 restaurants. Featuring panoramic views of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Ottagono Restaurant & Lounge offers light meals and cocktails. The Michelin starred Pavarotti Milano Restaurant Museum offers haute cuisine dishes.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Leonardo Duplex Apartment

Guests staying at this apartment have access to free WiFi and a fully equipped kitchen. This air-conditioned apartment comes with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms equipped with a bidet and free toiletries. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is available.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Pierre Milano

Each room comes with satellite TV with free Sky channels. The Pierre Milano features an elegant lounge bar with piano. The restaurant serves Italian and Mediterranean dishes. The property is 0.6 miles from Milan Cadorna Train and Metro Station, offering metro links to Milan Malpensa Airport, as well as to Rho Fiera Milano and Rho Fiera Exhibition Centres.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

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Where to stay in Milan for first time visitors
Where to stay in Milan for first time visitors

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