Where to stay in Milan

written by Kiki Deere
updated 12/13/2022
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Where to stay in Milan? Italy’s fashion capital and city of designers and global influencers offers an eclectic range of places to stay, from five-star hotels to hostels. Take a look at our Milan accommodation guide to help find your perfect city base.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Italy, your essential guide for Italy.

The verdant Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) © Ivan Kurmyshov / Shutterstock

Piazza del Duomo: the best area for sightseeing

The Duomo district is the dead centre of Milan and great for sightseeing. It's the area for the cathedral and Museo del Novecento, as well as the Ambrosiana.

There is no better place to begin a tour of Milan than at its spiritual hub, the Duomo. The gargantuan Gothic cathedral (the third-largest church in Europe after St Peter’s in Rome and Seville’s cathedral) was begun in 1386 but not finished until 1813. Decorating the exterior are 135 pinnacles and over 3,400 marble statues from all periods.

You'll also want to be sure not to miss the Piazza del Duomo, or the Duomo rooftops while visiting this iconic area. Busy by day, Duomo is quieter in the evening so it's good for peaceful hotels.

Where to stay near Duoma:

  • Best designer stay: Room Mate Giulia. Just a few steps away from the cathedral is an ultra-modern boutique hotel furnished in chic designer style. All rooms include flat-screen TVs and mini-bars and several also come with a private, outdoor terrace.
  • Best laidback stay: Laid-back Hotel Spadari al Duomo is another of the cathedral's near neighbours. The bedroom walls are decorated with works by young Italian artists, WIFI is free and the hotel serves an American-style buffet breakfast.

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Duomo is where to stay in Milan city centre for sightseeing © Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock

Stay in the Navigli canal district for nightlife, bars and restaurants. Here you will find countless options for eating and drinking. Navigli is where to stay in Milan for those hoping to see the city's nightlife.

Walk down the 'washerwoman alley' for a truly beautiful stroll. Or try some of the many local food and restaurants along the canals. Partly designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, Navigli is historic as well as lively, so be sure to explore its two remaining canals, Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese.

This area is also known for its young and contemporary art galleries, such as Miradoli Arte Contemporanea.

Where to stay in Navigli:

  • Best boutique stay: Aethos Milan. This hotel offers elegant suites and apartments individually designed around vintage sporting themes and is right next to Naviglio Grande. Porta Genova, Navigli's main nightlife hub, is just five minutes walk from the hotel.
  • Best value stay: Combo Milano. This hotel is a great value base for a budget Milan trip. You'll find here a fresh, contemporary hostel set in one of Navigli's historic buildings. The large, communal spaces are lovely and you have a choice of dorms or private rooms.

Navigli is a beautiful part of Milan, and Italy in general. For more can't-miss sights, read our guide to the most beautiful places in Italy.

Naviglio Grande one of only two canals left in Milan © Mihai-Bogdan Lazar / Shutterstock

Porta Garibaldi: for an up-and-coming neighbourhood

You only have to look at all the new shops and restaurants in Porta Garibaldi to know this is a district on the rise. But despite the growing popularity, it's still one of the more affordable areas of Milan for hotels.

You'll find here plenty of streets to walk and cafes to people watch at. This area is also known for its trendy fashion boutiques. Porta Garibaldi is where to stay in Milan for those hoping to experience the local culture and art scene.

Plus, Porta Garibaldi is very well connected. Brera, Corso Garibaldi and Corso Como close neighbours. In addition there's a major railway station nearby and Milan city centre is only a Metro ride away.

Where to stay in Porta Garibaldi:

  • Best value stay: Porta Garibaldi White Flat. Contemporary architecture is a Porta Garibaldi signature so no surprise to find a wide choice of apartments to rent here. Stay here for sleek, clean style and good rates.
  • Best laidback stay: Light and airy B&B Porta Garibaldi is more studio apartments than the average B&B. The completely self-contained and private space includes a dining and living area, and the host supplies free bikes for guest use.

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Urban architecture defines sharp Porta Garibaldi © Shutterstock

Brera: the artistic neighbourhood in Milan

Brera is the artistic Milan neighbourhood is known for indie shopping and rising star restaurants. It was originally the city's artisan quarter so there's a lot of history to explore. Pus the renowned Pinacoteca di Brera is here. The gallery is located inside the world-renown art school and has a collection of infamous works made by Italian masters. Brera is where to stay in Milan for those wishing to see the great art this city has to offer.

Take a stroll at the Brera Botanical Garden, originally created in 1300. Or try vintage shopping at one of the area's many boutiques (we recommend Cavalli e Nastri). Brera is also known for up-and-coming trendy restaurants and bars.

Where to stay in Brera:

  • Best quiet stay: Antica locanda dei Mercanti. Set on the first and second floor of an elegant 18th-century building, this is a good base for exploring the centre of Milan. If you want a terrace with a view, the hotel also has a range of deluxe rooms on its third floor.
  • Best boutique stay: Locanda Pandenus. Right in the heart of Brera, yet only a few Metro stops from the historic centre of Milan. A great choice for food lovers, the hotel's restaurant menus are created by Michelin-starred chef Enrico Bartolini.

Planning your trip to Milan? See if you knew about these 25 fun facts about Italy.

Beautiful arches at Brera Palace © Hilda Weges / Shutterstock

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Porta Ticinese: where to stay in Milan for an eclectic vibe

Porta Ticinese is the alternative Milan neighbourhood which stretches from Piazza XXIV Maggio to Colonne di San Lorenzo. The vibe here is eclectic and it's the place for vintage stores and affordable shopping.

Don't miss a visit to the Fondazione Prada. Created in 1993, this art centre hosts an eclectic selection of art shows and cinema showings. Or try your hand at the mix of experimental shops here. Mercatone dell’Antiquariato is a weekly antique market where many treasures can be found.

Where to stay in Porta Ticinese:

  • Best fun stay: Ostello Bello. A friendly, laid-back hostel with great outdoor spaces. This hostel offers a choice of dorms or good-value private rooms. It's very much part of chilled Porta Ticinese, but only 10 minutes walk from Milan cathedral.
  • Best budget stay: New Generation Hostel Urban Navigli. Set in Porta Ticinese but close to the lively canal district of Navigli, this hostel is a great base for nightlife and exploring historic Milan. It also offers a wide choice of rooms, as well as free WIFI and private parking.

Italy is known for its shopping, classical art, food — and of course, its beaches. Don't miss our guide to the best beaches in Italy.

Where to stay in Milan for an eclectic vibe? Porta Ticinese © Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock

Quadrilatero della Moda: the Fashion District

Quadrilatero della Moda is the 'Fashion District' at the heart of Milan. Pretty cobbled streets here are lined with designer stores, even just window shopping is an experience and it's one of the city's most expensive places to stay.

If luxury shopping is your thing, Quadrilatero della Moda is a must stop. Some of the world's best high-end shops can be found here. Fashion lovers will also want to visit this area to see historical house museums such as The Museum of Costume, Fashion and Image (Palazzo Morando), Bagatti Valsecchi and Poldi Pezzoli.

Where to stay in the Quadrilatero della Moda:

  • Best boutique stay: The Senato Hotel. Featuring a stunning central courtyard overlooked by an elegant lounge bar. All the suites have Carrera marble bathrooms and parquet floors, and several come with their own private sun terrace.
  • Best decadent stay: Four Seasons Hotel Milano. Set in a 15th century convent in the heart of Quadrilatero della Moda, this hotel feels like this bustling district's breath of fresh air and is easily one of the most luxurious places to stay in the city centre.
  • Or choose from hundreds of accommodations in Quadrilatero della Moda.

When planning a trip to Milan, be sure to read our in-depth guide to the best things to do in Milan.

Pretty cobbled street in the Fashion District © Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock

This list could truly go on. There are countless beautiful places to stay in Milan. Ready to start planning your trip? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from The Rough Guide to Italy and our local travel experts. A bit more hands-on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Italy without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

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written by Kiki Deere
updated 12/13/2022
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Raised bilingually in London and Turin, Kiki Deere is a travel writer specialising in Italy. She has seen her work published in a number of magazines and UK broadsheets, including The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Lonely Planet online. She has completed numerous guidebook writing assignments for Rough Guides that have taken her to far-flung corners of the globe, from the Brazilian Amazon to the remotest province of the Philippines. Follow her @kikideere on Instagram and Twitter.

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