Are you planning your first trip to Milan? Choosing where to stay in Milan may get daunting. Here we come to the rescue with a breakdown of the best neighborhoods in Milan, with a luxury, midrange, and budget hotel in each area!
The heart of Milan is Centro, sometimes called Duomo after the incredible Gothic cathedral that can be found here. The historic center of the city, this area was once surrounded by the walls of the city – and you can still spot some of the ancient city gates this day.
The Duomo itself is the core of the city. It’s usually the first place that visitors come to kick off their sightseeing trip. The cathedral is the fifth-largest in the world, and has an imposing spire and a gold statue of the Virgin Mary.
Nearby, you’ll find Europe’s oldest shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is an elegant building packed with boutiques and Italian designer stores (think Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci). It’s perfect for window shopping.
Also in the area are charming shopping streets, such as Via Montenapoleone, Via Spiga and Via Sant’Andrea. Accommodation in this central district is dominated by high-end hotels, but there are a few low-key boutique options to choose from, too.
Best Luxury Hotel in Centro/Duomo – Park Hyatt Milan, one of the best hotels in Milan, offering private suites with Galleria views, a spa and Michelin-starred restaurant.
Best Midrange Hotel in Centro/Duomo – Hotel Manzoni, in a secluded location near Via Montenapoleone, with classically-decorated rooms and a delicious restaurant with Milanese specialties.
Best Budget Hotel in Centro/Duomo – Babila Hostel, a great Milan boutique hostel set in a Neo-Gothic building in a secluded street near the Conservatory. In the morning, you can hear music students practicing while you have breakfast!
Porta Venezia is one of the historic gates to the walled city of Milan. The current form of the gate dates back to the 19th century, but the gate can actually trace its origins to the city’s Roman-era defenses. It was only dubbed Porta Venezia – literally ‘Venice Gate’ – in 1862.
Today, the compact district around the old gate has a creative flair. As well as being home to an artistic community, Porta Venezia is well known for being the city’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Despite being so close to Centro, there’s a nice, local atmosphere to the area.
It has a little bit of everything that Milan has to offer any visitor: culture, food, history and nightlife. You’ll find a selection of art galleries to hit up, as well as Milan’s natural history museum, and the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens to stroll around.
In terms of nightlife, cool bars here are hotspots for local creatives to mingle before they head off to clubs or parties, and there are also numerous bars serving the LGBTQ+ community.
Best Luxury Hotel in Porta Venezia – Porta Venezia Suite Centro, stunning luxury apartments overlooking the Public Gardens, with terraces and all mod-cons.
Worldhotel Cristoforo Colombo – a classic hotel with 138 rooms right on Corso Buenos Aires, one of the main shopping streets in Milan. It has a spa, roof terrace and indoor garden.
Best Luxury Hotel in Porta Venezia – Mercure Milano Centro, right next to Porta Venezia Metro, with a well-rated cocktail bar and comfortable rooms.
Best Budget Hotel in Porta Venezia – Ostelzzz, a futuristic-style capsule hotel with common spaces and great breakfasts.
While Centro/Duomo refers to the historic city center, Centrale is more like the city’s modern-day center. Dominated by Milano Centrale – Europe’s busiest railway station by volume – here you’ll find a selection of hotels to suit different budget types, as well as international eateries and convenient shops.
The station that the district is named after was built in 1931. It’s an imposing, impressive building with a colonnaded facade and glass interior ceiling with a mix of architectural styles throughout.
In front, you’ll find the Piazza Duca d’Aosta, which is famed as a meeting place, and a good place to start your explorations of the city. Side streets leading off the square jostle with bars, while the nearby Corso Buenos Aires is a fabulous place to shop.
Best Luxury Hotel near Milan Central Station – Excelsior Hotel Gallia, one of Milan’s best five star hotels, with dreamy breakfasts, ample rooms and top service. It also has the best spa in the city!
Best Midrange Hotel near Milan Central Station – NYX Hotel Milan, a street-art themed hotel with affordable rooms and a good international restaurant, offering great value for money.
Best Budget Hotel near Milan Central Station – Ostello Bello Grande, part of the famous Ostello Bello group, with lots of rooms, lively common spaces and a great bar just steps away from the station.
Those looking for something a little alternative on their trip to Milan should consider basing themselves in the hipster enclave of Lambrate. Situated to the northeast of the city center, this small district has a youthful atmosphere, and features multiple cool spots to hang out and explore.
Thanks to its student population, much of which is international, post-industrial Lambrate is a fairly affordable neighborhood. Here you’ll find repurposed warehouses, breweries and craft beer bars, cool coffee shops, and art studios.
Parco Lambro is the area’s primary green space, but also the largest park in Milan. It runs through the district and boasts botanical trails, cycling paths, and a skate park, among other things. If you’re looking for accommodation, you can find a variety of affordable options here, including hostels and Airbnbs.
Best Luxury Hotel near Lambrate – Nu Hotel, stylish property with Asian-inspired decor and a restaurant serving pan-Asian food, only a short walk from Parco Lambro.
Best Midrange Hotel near Lambrate – Hotel Gamma, classic hotel with comfortable rooms near Lambrate, great location to get around the city and for early departures.
Best Midrange Hotel near Lambrate – MEININGER Milano Lambrate, a large hostel with lots of room types, modern decor and a games room.
Another of Milan’s districts located around its old gates, Porta Romana is one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods. Chic and stylish, this is centered around Piazzale Medaglie d’Oro (the location of the gate), at the southeast end of Corso Porta Romana.
Unlike the Duomo district, with its maze-like streets, Porta Romana runs on a grid system, making it easy to imagine a leafy, late-19th century Milan with coaches and well-dressed locals. It’s not too dissimilar today.
This predominantly residential area, with a population of young professionals and students, is alive with restaurants and shops interspersed between laid-back piazzas. Here you can see what’s left of the 16th-century Spanish walls in the Piazzale, hitting up cool, casual bars along the way; or shop for leather goods at third-generation Fontana Milano, which opened in 1915.
Accommodation in this district is limited (mainly) to Airbnbs and other apartment rentals. However, you’ll also find some large business hotels and some boutique properties.
Best Luxury Hotel in Porta Romana – Grand Visconti Palace Hotel, a classic luxury hotel with a secret garden, indoor swimming pool and gourmet restaurant on the top floor.
Best Midrange Hotel in Porta Romana – Sigieri Residence, with modern, minimalistic apartments with balconies.
Best Budget Hotel in Porta Romana – Madama Hostel, a colorful budget option with art pieces in all rooms and an affordable bistrot.
Milan’s very own Chinatown borders the Centro/Duomo district, and makes for a great place to stay near the center of the city on a tight budget.
Accommodation in Chinatown is varied. There are some good backpacking hostels to be found in the area, as well as affordable hotels and family-friendly options, too.
This Chinatown is also home to the oldest and largest Chinese community in the country, having been established in the 1920s. In the modern day, however, Chinatown is a multi-cultural neighborhood packed with every amenity you could think of: fashion boutiques, leather outlets, hairdressers, and plenty of restaurants.
Eateries here specialize particularly in Zhejiang cuisine, so prepare your tastebuds for something other than typical Milanese fare here.
The main street in Chinatown is Via Paolo Sarpi, which is pedestrianized and is great for strolling and enjoying the delights of the district. Here you’ll find the Oriental Mall, traditional tea shops, and food stores such as the very large Cathay selling food and other products from East Asia.
Best Luxury Hotel in Chinatown – Hotel VIU Milano, a sustainable 5 star hotel with the best rooftop pool in town, delicious aperitivi and a wellness center.
Best Midrange Hotel in Chinatown – AC Hotel Milano by Marriott, with modern decor and a stylish bar.
Best Budget Hotel in Chinatown – Ming Hao Hotel, affordable Chinese-style hotel offering fantastic value for money.
Another hip option for those looking for something a little different in Milan, Isola is known for its street art and tiny, winding streets ripe for exploration. Located just to the west of Milano Centrale, and north of Centro/Duomo, the Isola neighborhood offers up an intriguing mix of old and new.
Lovers of organic food, vintage shopping and fashion will enjoy browsing the local stores in Isola; there is also the option to stop by family-run cafes and trattorias to savor its vibrant atmosphere while sitting on the terraces.
Isola means “island”, which came into use after the district was virtually isolated from the rest of the city thanks to an encircling railway line. It’s a traditionally working-class area that was once home to a lot of Milan’s light industry.
And despite being a hub for gambling and gangs in the 1960s and ‘70s, Isola has since become a rejuvenated area, with many young professionals and students settling here today.
Best Luxury Hotel in Isola – Crowne Plaza Milan City, with comfortable rooms, large buffet breakfast and views over Milan skyline.
Best Midrange Hotel in Isola – Aparthotel Isola, design apartments just steps away from the Isola nightlife.
Best Budget Hotel in Isola – I Am Here, family atmosphere and value rooms in a convenient location.
You’ll find NOLO situated between Piazzale Loreto, Via Palmanova and Milan Centrale station. An acronym for “North of Loreto”, NOLO is another former working-class district of Milan that has since become a gentrified neighborhood popular with creatives and young professionals.
This multicultural area is known for its Chinese, South American, Pakistani and Egyptian population, with many specialist food shops in the area. But there has been a transformation in this area in recent years, similar to that of Isola.
Those newer additions to the landscape of NOLO include bars, art galleries, cultural centers, architectural studios and coworking spaces, many of them located around Piazza Morbegno. Unlike other parts of the city, many businesses are small and independent, with a visible lack of large development.
Foodies take note: there is a vibrant dining scene in NOLO, meaning you can eat anything from Asian cuisine to regional Italian gastronomic delights. Here you’ll also find popular LGBTQ+ friendly bars, too. As for accommodation, it’s mainly Airbnbs and small, locally owned boutique hotels here.
Best Luxury Hotel in NOLO – Ramada Plaza Milano, the only upscale option in NOLO, in a quiet location near Martesana Canal.
Best Midrange Hotel in NOLO – Boutique Hotel Martini 17, stylish boutique hotel in a secluded residential street, with individually-decorated rooms.
Best Budget Hotel in NOLO – Milano Ostello, cheap and cheerful colourful hostel in the heart of NOLO!
Part of the ‘historic center’ of Milan, Ticinese is a fun (and convenient) place to base yourself in the city. It’s another district situated around a historic gate of the city, and has been an important place for trade since the middle ages.
The gate at its center is a popular attraction for visitors to the city, as are the surrounding historic streets and their storied architecture. In fact, Ticinese has been so crucial to Milan over the years that the district even has its own coat of arms.
Back to the modern day, the area is home to a mix of youth culture and more chic, sophisticated entertainment and establishments. There are skate shops, tattoo parlors, and record shops, but there are also fashion boutiques, ateliers, and aperitivo bars.
A quick walk from Ticinese will take you straight to Piazza Duomo, home to Milan Cathedral and a warren of interesting streets to explore. Navigli is also on the doorstep.
Best Luxury Hotel in Ticinese – Vico Milano, recently-opened boutique hotel with suites, stunning indoor garden and mixology bar
Best Midrange Hotel in Ticinese – B&B Milano Sant’Ambrogio, a pet-friendly boutique hotel set in a charming building overlooking Sant’Ambrogio church
Best Budget Hotel in Ticinese – Ostello Bello, one of the best hostels in the world, offering lots of communal activities and a super central location.
Milan has long been a center of industry and commerce, and its canals or “navigli” have helped to grow it into the imposing international city it is today. These waterways, used to transport people and goods, have since been transformed, into one of Milan’s top night (and day) spots.
In the Navigli district, you’ll find bars, shops and restaurants lining the waterways. Here on a sunny day, locals spend time enjoying their aperitivos and stopping by bars or restaurants. There are lots of interesting side alleys to explore too; you’ll be bound to find something to interest you for a bite to eat.
One of the best ways to discover the area is to hop on a boat and see it from the old canals themselves on a tour. The area’s charm will soon come to life. Accommodation in Navigli is more limited than in other areas, but there are some charming hotels set in refurbished historic buildings here.
Best Luxury Hotel in Navigli – Magna Pars Hotel à Parfum, set in a former perfume factory, this suites-only hotel pays homage to the world of scents with olfactory labs and different fragrances in all rooms.
Best Midrange Hotel in Navigli – Maison Borella, beautiful boutique hotel in the most picturesque corner of Naviglio Grande, with a great restaurant.
Best Budget Hotel in Navigli – New Generation Hostel Milan Navigli, modern hostel with rooms, dorms and colorful common spaces.
Also part of Milan’s Centro Storico, Brera is an elegant district with plenty of cultural attractions and pretty historic buildings to keep visitors entertained. One of the main landmarks in the area is San Marco Church, which dates back to 1254 and played host to Mozart in 1770.
The Brera Academy of Fine Arts (founded in 1776) and the Brera Art Gallery have helped contribute to the artistic and bohemian atmosphere of the area, lending it the name “The Milanese Montmartre”.
Adding to the creative vibe are the vibrant bars, restaurants, galleries, street markets and antique stores that populate the area.
Staying in this creative, historic area means lavishing in stylish hotels – Brera is a fairly high-end district, after all, located pretty much in the center of the city. However, there is the chance to opt for comfort and affordability at a handful of affordable options.
Best Luxury Hotel in Brera – Bulgari Hotel Milano, one of the most luxurious 5 star properties in town, with a beautiful private garden with secular trees, secluded spa. gym and everything you need!
Best Midrange Hotel in Brera – Hotel Milano Scala, the greenest hotel in Milan with a roof garden, composting system to produce heat and water recycle system
Best Budget Hotel in Brera – New Generation Hostel Milan Center, set in a wing of a former Franciscan monastery, with dorm rooms, beds and even a private garden.
Separated from Isola by Porta Garibaldi train station, Porta Nuova is the gleaming, modern side to Milan. Filled with newly built skyscrapers, trendy wine bars and gleaming piazzas, here you can really soak up the difference between the past and the future of Milan.
Porta Nuova began life as a hub of heavy industry, manufacturing trams and other vehicles. Today, Porta Nuova is the richest district of Milan, thanks to the hundreds of billions of Euros generated by the domestic and international companies based here (including Google).
Also named after one of the city’s old gates, Porta Nuova is today more famed for its cutting-edge architecture than its historic structures. On Corso Garibaldi you can see the 231-meter tall Unicredit Tower soaring into the sky, and sample mouthwatering cuisine at ground level. There’s also the eye-catching Bosco Verticale, eye-catching residential towers draped in greenery.
When it comes to accommodation in Port Nuova, travelers can opt to stay in sleek hotels with rooftop pools and city views, or go smaller scale at more charming (but modern) B&Bs.
Best Luxury Hotel in Porta Nuova/Garibaldi – Milano Verticale UNA Esperienze, a luxury property with rooms, suites, a well-equipped gym and rooftop bar with private garden, and the best views over the Porta Nuova skyline.
Best Midrange Hotel in Porta Nuova/Garibaldi – NH Milano Palazzo Moscova, great value for money in this great hotel located in a former railway station, with a truffle-themed restaurant.
Best Budget Hotel in Porta Nuova/Garibaldi – MEININGER Milano Garibaldi, with colourful rooms of all sizes and quirky decor.
Fast-paced Fiera may not be central but it has a character all of its own. Its name comes from the former convention center, recently moved into larger premises in Rho, northwest of Milan. Nowadays, the Fiera neighborhood is a commercial hub with less history but with plenty of modern conveniences.
In recent years, part of the district was developed into Citylife, one of Milan’s most exclusive residential areas, with many shiny highrises housing new arrivals to the city. It’s still developing to this day, with more offices, malls, and skyscrapers in the works, all with the aim to create a luxury residential area.
Here you’ll find the Three Towers, three skyscrapers designed by different archistars – Zaha Hadid, Daniel Liebeskind, and Arata Isozaki.
Here you can expect urban design from a blank sheet: think pedestrian walkways, tree-lined streets and bike paths. It’s a unique place to stay in Milan, and still boasts both a range of places to stay and easy access to the historic center of the city, too.
Best Luxury Hotel in Fiera/Citylife – NH Collection Milano Citylife, well-situated right close to City, with sleek architecture and a rooftop pool.
Best Midrange Hotel in Fiera/Citylife – Enterprise Hotel, a design-focused property with great spa and fusion restaurant.
Best Budget Hotel in Fiera/Citylife – B&B Hotel Milano Portello, great value in this comfortable hotel on a residential street.