Rick and I have stayed in Milan at least once a year for 5-6 years and are always delighted to return. Each visit brings a new way to rediscover the city’s charming spaces, and we are eager to share a few recommendations from our own experiences with you.
Milan has 448 hotels offering various options for accommodation, including luxury hotels, budget-friendly hostels, and cozy bed and breakfasts. The city’s nine zones, each presenting its unique parts, host a bevy of tourist accommodations, all of them offering their unique charm and amenities.
In this article, we’ll offer details about each area, some key hotels, and our first-hand recommendations to help you with booking.
Where to Stay in Milan: Highlights of the City’s Fabulous Districts
Milan is a very walkable city and a fantastic place to visit. Notable events in the city’s history have shaped its distinctive circular streets and public transport systems. Although it may appear daunting on the first day, once you’ve familiarized yourself with Milan’s transportation infrastructure, which is excellent, navigation becomes relatively easy. Most regions are well-connected, making it effortless for a tourist to get to major sights like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the Brera Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of Science and Technology’s Da Vinci models.
The city is also both the financial and fashion capital of Italy. Moreover, Milan boasts an active student population, which contributes to vibrant nightlife and a wealth of low-cost housing options.
Here are the key areas we’ll cover in this article:
- Centro Storico – It’s challenging to beat Milan’s city center for convenience and sightseeing. The breathtaking Duomo and the lovely Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade are here. It is easy to reach several areas of the city from here.
- Brera – Brera is an upmarket, luxurious neighborhood popular with wealthy locals and luxury hotel aficionados. It is not a walkable neighborhood, so you will need public transportation or cabs.
- Porta Venezia / Citta Studi – This area in Milan’s student quarter is vibrant and inexpensive, making it an excellent choice if you want value-for-money housing. Corso Buenos Aires is Milan’s longest shopping street, and this location is also home to the city’s biggest market.
- Ticinese / San Vittore – This is one of the trendiest areas in Milan, where you can live like a (fantastic) local. Many international cuisine choices are available, including restaurants, bars, and boutiques. It is approximately a 20-minute walk from the Milan city center, or a Metro, tram, or bus may get you there more quickly.
- Navigli / Porta Genova – This canal area of Milan is particularly popular in the summer when locals and tourists can dine or have a drink along the canals. This area of town is about a 20-minute walk from the Duomo.
- Porta Romana – Those searching for a peaceful place might want to consider residing in this quiet, laid-back suburban community. In less than 30 minutes, you may walk to the Duomo or take the metro two stops.
- Fiera and San Siro– The two adjacent neighborhoods to the north of Milan’s city center, which are mainly residential, are Fiera and San Siro.
- Stazione Centrale– The city’s central rail station is in a busy area, slightly north of the city center. It is one of the biggest railway stations in Europe with an exquisite front and arrival hall.
Key Stats About Milan Accommodations
- Milan has a total of 448 hotels catering to different budgets.
- The average cost of a one-night stay in a mid-range hotel in Milan is €125.
- Over 80% of Milan hotels offer their guests free Wi-Fi.
- The city center of Milan hosts 45% of the hotels, making it the most popular area for accommodation.
- Approximately 70% of the hotels in Milan have on-site restaurants and dining facilities.
- The average occupancy rate for hotels in Milan is 75%, indicating high demand throughout the year.
- Milan offers a variety of boutique hotels, totaling around 35 establishments.
- More than 60% of the hotels in Milan provide airport shuttle services for convenient transportation.
- Milan features 30 five-star luxury hotels renowned for their elegance and top-notch facilities.
- Around 90% of the hotels in Milan offer multilingual staff to accommodate international visitors’ needs.
Centro Storico (Historical Centre)
Central Milan, known as the city’s historical center or Centro Storico, is where most tourists will begin their search for a place to stay. It’s home to many historical landmarks and attractions.
Visiting this town is like stepping into a storybook. You will be charmed by beautiful squares, superb buildings, centuries-old churches, and enchanting old streets and alleyways.
When booking a stay in Milan, you will find exquisite hotel choices. For instance, the world-renowned La Scala Opera House, the luxurious Quadrilatero Della Moda – the fashion district, all the most famous designer clothing boutiques, and the towering Duomo di Milano, the Gothic cathedral, date back to the 14th century and form the city’s cultural heart.
Take our recommendation and make the most of your visit. Treat yourself to a gelato, find a good seat on a bench, and soak in the sights and sounds of Italy’s fashion capital in the Historical Center – Piazza Del Duomo, where you’ll find something for every style and budget.
Set aside time to explore the Duomo’s rooftop views – a marvel that took over 600 years to construct, before relaxing over an espresso at an Italian-style bar! Don’t miss out on the Teatro Alla Scala opera house, and make sure to sample some delectable Northern Italian cuisine at the restaurants in the nearby Brera area.
In this part of Italy, Aperitivo is served in the late afternoons and early evenings. Should you decide to order a beverage, most bars will provide you with complimentary nibbles perfect for an early dinner if you’re on a budget.
Park Hyatt Milano
Featuring amenities such as a Michelin-starred restaurant, the elegantly decorated Park Hyatt Hotel Milano is not just a destination, it’s a luxurious experience. The hotel offers well-sized rooms with marble bathrooms, soaker tubs, rain showers, and standard 5-star facilities such as satellite TVs, minibars, safes, and in-room coffee/tea makers.
As an added bonus, this hotel also makes a perfect setting for an Italian wedding. Beyond the standard amenities, you’ll find a lounge, spa, hammam, and fitness center in addition to the restaurant.
Situated a mere 4-minutes stroll from the Duomo/Duomo metro station and a 3-minute stride to Teatro Alla Scala, our unique bed and breakfast has received excellent reviews. The piazzas, bars, restaurants, and cultural landmarks are within walking distance. Imagine participating in these activities, and also enjoying the proximity to some of the country’s beautiful beaches.
We had the fortune of staying at this hotel a few years ago. During our stay, we discovered that esteemed guest, Michelle Obama, was also accommodated here. Just envision the array of secret service cars that lined up outside, quite an unforgettable beach-city picture for a country bed and breakfast!
Room Mate Giulia
This trendy 4-star hotel has gained quite a reputation and is one of the most recommended choices on Trip Advisor. Rooms are distinctive and artsy, furnished with AC and high-end designer furnishings, minibars, safes, flat-screen TVs, hairdryers, and designer toiletries. Moreover, the hotel offers a hammam, sauna, spa, fitness center, and on-site bar.
The location is impeccable, with an assortment of amenities and activities within a 5-minute walk such as the magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Duomo. Direct connections are made easy to the central station and numerous sites of interest, making those beach visits a breeze!
If you stroll around Brera, you’ll frequently hear the sound of wealthy tourists’ trolley luggage clicking away over the cobblestones. This posh neighborhood, located north of the Duomo, and home to many affluent locals, is teeming with luxury hotels and exudes a beautiful country atmosphere, nostalgic of a quaint bed and breakfast.
This area is loved for its large pedestrian zone, an assembly of little streets, art galleries, trendy boutiques, and vibrant nightlife. Artistic stores line the streets, along with high-end cafés and restaurants. Brera is the ideal destination for those fond of culture, and for those looking for a more mellow vibe in contrast to Milan’s usual hustle and bustle.
One of my favorite places in Brera is N’ombra de Vin (Via S. Marco, 2), a specialist in wine. This establishment has quite a buzz with patrons filling the street-level bar and even spilling onto the sidewalk when things get too lively.
The restaurant, previously a wine cellar, is now situated on the basement level. Catering typically to stylish young professionals, this locale evokes a laid-back atmosphere, reminiscent of a beach-side venue where men can loosen their neckties after a long day’s work.
Bulgari Hotel Milano
The Bulgari Hotel Milan is a sleek, luxurious, and modern hotel from the eponymous Bvlgari brand. Boasting beautiful rooms and a sophisticated, laid-back atmosphere, the hotel craftily combines the comfort of a bed and breakfast with a tinge of beach-like relaxation.
The hotel offers an indoor pool, fitness center, spa facilities, an on-site restaurant, and bars. The location is superb, with numerous bars, eateries, cafés, and shops just a short walk away. Enjoy the country culture and beach vibes in the bustling city.
Mandarin Oriental Milan
Just around the corner is the Mandarin Oriental Milan, a distinguished 5-star hotel from a well-known luxury brand nestled in the Brera district. The rooms here offer a high-standard living situation, equipped with all facilities you might need.
In addition to the on-site luxuries, the hotel also provides easy access to a golf course and beaches, with the pool, fitness center, bar, and lounge merely a skip away. Tailor your stay according to your preferred activities, whether they be soaking in the culture of the country, lounging at the beach or simply enjoying the quiet comfort of the bed and breakfast.Located close to the Montenapoleone metro station and a 10-minute walk from the Duomo, plenty of shopping and restaurants are nearby. Round off your list of must-visit locations with a scenic water tour of the beautiful region.
Porta Venezia / Citta Studi
The farther from the inner ring you go in Milan, the cheaper things get. The Porta Venezia and Citta Studi, located northwest of the Duomo on the city’s second ring road, are both excellent, affordable Milan hotel choices. While staying in this region, you could even embark on garden tours, to experience the local beauty of Milan’s green destinations.
It’s also conveniently located near the main train station, Stazione Centrale, making it an excellent choice for late-night arrivals or early departures. This is a strategic location for exploration tour around the city too.
This part of Milan has just the right combination of excellent location and reasonable costs, as it is home to a large student population. And if you enjoy shopping, make Porta Venezia your base: Corso Buenos Aires boasts Milan’s longest shopping street. Add it to your tour list.
However, it’s not all about shopping, and you’ll discover the Giardini Pubblici (a vast city park) near the metro station. The park, one of Milan’s beautiful gardens, along with museums like the Natural History Museum and Modern Art Gallery are certainly worthy destinations on any tour of the region.
Hotel Mercure Milano Centro
Hotel Mercure Hotel Milan Centre – This 4-star hotel is in a lovely building from the early 1800s. Its air-conditioned rooms feature comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, safes, minibars, and contemporary bathrooms with toiletries and hairdryers. Experience the luxury and beauty of this hotel, a key ingredient to a memorable Milan tour.
There’s also a restaurant on the premises. The elevator only goes up to the third floor, but there are rooms on the fourth floor that you should be aware of if you have mobility difficulties. Keep this information in mind while planning your tours around the city.
The hotel is conveniently located near Porta Venezia and the metro station. Corso Buenos Aires shopping street is just outside the door, and the Duomo can be reached in about 20 to 25 minutes by foot or three subway stops. Remember to add these destinations to your tour list for the perfect Milan experience.
Ai Suma Hotel
The Ai Suma Hotel, a popular three-star hotel with bright splashes of color and a comfortable-funky attitude, features clean and modern rooms with minibars, safes, comfy beds, satellite TVs, and nice bathrooms with toiletries. An on-site café/snack bar offers a continental breakfast every day. It’s a perfect starting point for the day’s tours.
Previous guests and accommodating staff have noted the cozy, modern vibe of the place. It’s also conveniently located near Porta Venezia and the metro station, which is only a 2-minute walk away. The Corso Buenos Aires shopping street is within walking distance, and the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II can be reached in about 20 minutes on foot or at three metro stops. Making it a preferred destination for many tours.
Ticinese / San Vittore
Ticinese is an excellent place to hang out in Milan and is undoubtedly my favorite neighborhood in the city. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and boutiques. It’s also one of the most easily accessible locations to stay in Milan, with several grocery shops, excellent apparel retailers, and close to the Duomo and Navigli. There’s always something going on on this long street except in the mornings. Italians don’t get up early, but it’s a region that’s amazing for a morning walk or tour.
I wholeheartedly suggest you visit Le Colonne Gelateria on Corso di Porta Ticinese; it will have you return for more. Their chocolate, pistachio, and hazelnut ice cream flavors are highly cherishable. You won’t miss it if you follow your nose – the aroma of their Nutella. This spot is an essential item on the list for dessert lovers touring the region.
Rugantino is a lovely little restaurant just a few steps from the Colonne and the church, where you may delight in a delicious dinner. A perfect end to a day spent touring the beauty of Milan’s famous destinations and gardens.Just imagine the array of experiences waiting for you to love Ticinese, evoking the feel of an exotic island getaway with its abundance of takeaways. This is the one location in Milan where you’ll typically find global cuisines including burgers, Mexican food, sushi, bagels, and more, all basking under the Italian sun.
Whisk away to Fonderie Milanesi for breakfast or aperitivo, a hidden gem nestled by nature in a mesmerizing courtyard behind a large white gate. All you have to do is press the button and enter a world that unravels a beautiful view to enjoy with your meal.
Aethos Milan (The Yard)
The Yard Milan is your island of comfort in the heart of the city. This unique boutique hotel showcases individually themed rooms embracing the quirkiness of different cultures. Each room at this modern, well-designed, and well-appointed hotel teems with amenities including flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, complimentary toiletries, and minibars, cocooned in an ambiance reminiscent of a sunny coastal retreat. Beyond the rooms, the hotel houses two restaurants, a pizzeria, and an Italian restaurant, along with a lively bar promoting a casual, social atmosphere.
Well-situated at the intersection of the Ticinese, San Vittore, and Navigli canals, it offers a coastal view even in the city’s hustle. Its location allows you to explore the canals, visiting the multitude of businesses and restaurants in the area. It is near the city center, just a 20-minute walk to the Duomo, 25 minutes to Santa Maria Delle Grazie (Da Vinci’s The Last Supper), or a 7-minute walk to the Porta Genova metro station.
Hotel Milano Navigli
Hotel Milan Navigli is a 3-star accommodation that stands as a beacon on the Milanese coast. It is in an excellent location for solo travelers, couples, or groups with several room choices. The modest, clean, and comfortable rooms are air-conditioned and have minibars, safes, flat-screen satellite TVs, complimentary toiletries, and hair dryers.
The hotel’s setting in the Navigli canal district offers a barrage of unique experiences. Walk around the city, savoring the coastal view, and taking in the sights of Ticino, which is all within close quarters. The hotel is a 25-minute stroll from Sforzesco Castle, a 10-minute journey from the historical center, and 20 minutes from the Duomo. With easy transport links such as the nearby bus routes and metro station accessible in around 12 minutes, exploring is a breeze.
Navigli / Porta Genova
The Navigli (canals) area has recently become fashionable, its popularity exploding over the last few years like the warmth of the setting sun. It is a favorite spot for dinner and drinks, the buzz of which continues into the late-night summer breeze. In the daytime, there are several lovely bookshops and boutiques to visit.
It’s a harmonious mix of bohemians and tourists, but the place feels calmer and more off-the-beaten-track than the historical center, akin to a serene nature trail on an island retreat.
Milan’s canals, initially constructed in the 16th century to allow tiny boats access to the city center, are still used today. Some of them even have Leonardo’s touch. They’re lively at night and offer a particular enchantment even if you don’t stay in Milan, like the twinkling stars over a serene island.
The MAG cafe, under the warm golden sun, is the place to go if you’re in the mood for a tasty cocktail or an aperitivo. Meanwhile, for those with a craving for something different, Temakinho offers an interesting island view on your plate with its fantastic sushi, which serves creative Japanese-Brazilian fusion tastes.
Maison Borella Hotel
Another lovely 4-star hotel overlooks the Naviglio Grande canal and is present in an 18th-century structure. That old-world charm permeates much of the hotel’s design concept. Modernized rooms offer safes, satellite TVs, comfy beds and high-quality bedding, excellent showers, air conditioning, bathrobes, and toiletries.
A restaurant is on-site, but several bars, restaurants, and cafés are just minutes away. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the tram (No. 3) that goes straight to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, as well as a 2-minute walk from the tram (No. 10) that takes you to see The Last Supper and a 7-minute stroll to the Porta Genova Metro station.
Art Hotel Navigli
The Art Hotel Navigli is one of the most popular picks for visitors to Milan, not just because it’s located in one of the city’s most charming districts. You’ll find Nespresso coffee machines, electric kettles, satellite TVs, and complimentary toiletries in your room at this hotel. The hotel includes a well-known and well-reviewed breakfast buffet, a fitness center, a steam room, and a free bike rental.
It is 5 minutes from the Porta Genova metro station, where tram and subway stops exist. In the immediate vicinity, there are a variety of bars, restaurants, cafés, and boutique shops. Walking instead, you’ll reach the historic center in 20 minutes, the Duomo in 30 minutes, and Santa Maria Delle Grazie (last supper) in 25 minutes.
Porta Romana is a pleasant and laid-back residential area. Families and people who don’t want to deal with the traffic of the Naviglio or the cost of Brera may typically discover a lovely, peaceful place to stay in this neighborhood.
There are two hospitals and the city’s oldest public park, Giardini Della Guastalla, in the vicinity.
Grand Visconti Palace
The Grand Visconti Palace is a lovely 4-star hotel with an indoor swimming pool, spa and steam rooms, a fitness center, and a restaurant specializing in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Rooms with a modern, minimalist aesthetic include tea and coffee-making equipment, minibars, flat-screen TVs, safes, and exquisite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries.
Located a 4-minute walk to the Lodi metro stop (M3), just four stops (6 minutes) to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Lodi’s Corso also has several bars, businesses, and restaurants and a pleasant 25- to 30-minute walk into the historical center if you want to go that route.
Hotel Five offers everything you’d expect from a contemporary three-star hotel: clean rooms, flat-screen TVs, comfy beds, air conditioning, complimentary toiletries, hair dryers, minibars, and safes. In addition, the hotel has a decent daily breakfast, a bar on site, and several bars, restaurants, shops, and cafés in the immediate area.
The Trattoria Della Trebia is a local favorite, just a 7-minute walk from the hotel. The Lodi metro station (M3) is only a minute away, while the Duomo is only three stops distant. A pleasant 20 to 25-minute stroll into the historic center may be made.
Best Western Hotel Major
Best Western Hotel Major is a safe and reliable option for chain hotels with clean, modest rooms. In addition, TVs, minibars, air conditioning, safes, and complimentary toiletries are all available. Some reviewers said there were no coffee/tea-making facilities in the room, but they could request them.
The hotel has a daily breakfast, but no restaurant is on site. We believe the hotel would be rated higher by past visitors if it were a 3-star rather than a 4-star, which raises expectations.
The area has numerous restaurants, stores, bars, and coffee shops. The hotel is a 2-minute from the Lodi (M3) subway station. You may reach the historical center in 2 or 3 stops, depending on where you want to go.
Fiera & San Siro
Fiera and San Siro are the two adjacent neighborhoods located northwest of Milan’s city center, primarily residential. This makes Fiera & San Siro a great location to stay in Milan if you’re traveling with children; it’s an excellent area to settle down while visiting Milan with family.
There are a variety of public parks to explore and play in, such as the grassy Parco del Cave, ITS, a former quarry with bike routes cutting through it. There are also street-side restaurants and good transport connections via Milan’s subway. It’s an ideal location for sports fans because of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Fiera & San Siro has more reasonably priced lodging than other areas, so expect larger rooms in more contemporary structures. Without spending too much, you can live conveniently and city life.
A 5-star Melia Milano is a trendy boutique hotel in an earth-colored building with a traditional design. Grand marble stairs and sophisticated flooring greet guests with bursts of color supplied by plants and soft red armchairs.
The rooms are just as elegant, with a contemporary and modern design, wooden floors, and gorgeous bed linen for an excellent night’s sleep. There is also a sumptuous banquet restaurant, a glitzy cocktail bar, and a relaxing spa with a sauna, a hot tub, steam room at the hotel.
Antares Hotel Rubens
The hotel is in a beautiful building in a convenient and central location. Stay here, and you can use the fitness center, a wine bar, and a rooftop restaurant with a fantastic roof garden.
Consider hiring a catering service to prepare every meal for you — from start to finish. Choose from rooms with fully equipped kitchens, sofa beds, or twin beds. Each room offers air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a minibar, a satellite TV, and other features.
The central train station is in the busy Stazione Centrale district, slightly north of the historic center. So it’s a great location to stay if you’re arriving or departing by train or want to see more of Milan using the metro.
The station, which was constructed in 1931, is a magnificent structure. It is one of the biggest railway stations in Europe, with an exquisite front and arrival hall. High-speed trains to Venice, Turin, or Lake Como are easily accessible.
Although it isn’t packed with sights, getting from this city area to any other part of Milan is not tricky. The Milan Duomo is only three stops away from the Stazione Centrale.
The area around the railway station is worth seeing, with various accommodation options available. Accommodation here is reasonable in price, from modern boutique lodgings and uncomplicated guesthouses and apartments near the station to Hotel Principe di Savoia, an elegant 5-star hotel. However, like any other major train station in Europe, this area tends to be busy and not the cleanest. Other than that it is a great option to stay in Milan.
Excelsior Hotel Gallia
The Excelsior Hotel Gallia is a stunning restored building that retains much of the original architectural style. It’s a pleasure to behold. In every sense, this luxury hotel offers everything a traveler could need, with a 1000-m² world-class Shiseido spa, a rooftop restaurant, and Italian-style rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and luxurious Trussardi toiletries.
Guests at this contemporary hotel will enjoy the convenience of a luxurious Maserati courtesy car for free.
Andreola Central Hotel
The hotel was constructed in the mid-19th century with cream-colored walls and floors and a red interior with pink and white marble columns from Portugal and France.
The room has tasteful decorations, including a minibar and air conditioning. This 4-star hotel provides everything you need in your hands – a hotel bar, sumptuous breakfast, and a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city.
Tips to Make Your Stay In Milan Even Better
Milan is a multicultural metropolis that offers something for everyone. It’s one of the most distinctive cities I’ve ever visited, and I’m sure you’ll be able to discover something that fits your personal preferences and style.
- If you’re visiting Milan for the first time, stay in the Centro Storico (the historical center) area. It’s smart because it will provide access to the city’s most famous sights.
- Brera is the place to go if you’re searching for a typical Italian atmosphere with cobblestone lanes, magnificent ancient buildings, fine meals, delicious wines, and stylish people. Yes, Brera may also be a little expensive; however, if money isn’t an issue, it’s a fabulous place to stay in Milan.
- If you’re searching for cheap accommodation and food in central Milan, we recommend checking out Porta Venezia / Citta Studi, also a student favorite. If you wish to shop while you’re there, this is also an excellent choice! The area around Stazione Centrale is also affordable and has excellent connectivity.
- If art and architecture are your passions, and you want to be in a fabulous neighborhood with easy access to Da Vinci’s Last Supper and the Duomo while being close to San Vittore and Ticinese, this is the place for you. Several dining and entertainment choices are available, ensuring you remain entertained!
- If you’re young, trendy, and searching for a party like it’s in Italy, the Navigli (canal area) will pique your interest. Because it is still developing and getting more popular, accommodation rates are increasing.
- Porta Romana is for the laid-back and perhaps for families. You’re close to shops, hospitals, and parks where you can take the kids to play, but it’s a bit far away for a short trip.
- If you are traveling with family, especially children, Fiera and San Siro can be the best place to stay in Milan because of the numerous public parks.
Wrapping Up The Best Areas of Milan to Stay
All in all, Milan is an incredible city filled with history, entertainment, and exciting opportunities. Many travelers skip it to stay in Rome, Venice, and Florence, but I believe it’s worth visiting. If you do decide to visit Milan, make sure to find an area to stay in that is close to many of the main attractions you’d like to see. This will make your trip the best it can be. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have found this Milan accommodation guide helpful in figuring out which area of Milan is the best for your type of travel.