Where to stay in Milan? Your Ultimate Guide to Best Neighborhoods

milan cathedral

The Northern Italian city of Milan is one of the most important global fashion hubs and converts each year in September or October to the center of the fashion world for a few weeks. However, Milan has a lot more to offer than just fashion designers and catwalks. It is full to the brim with historically significant buildings and museums as well as contemporary artists, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Today, it is Italy’s second biggest city and attracts tourists and locals from all walks of life with something to do for everyone, as you can read here in my what to do in Milan article! This means that Milan is for everyone and in this guide I will be going through the best places to stay in Milan depending on what type of traveller you are! As always, I have chosen only the properties with the best reviews.

If you are in a rush and don’t have the time to read the article, I will start off by providing a very quick overview of some great accommodation choices;

milan areas

Due to this diverse and dynamic personality that Milan has, there are several neighborhoods across the city that might suit you depending on your tastes. I am going to briefly explain some of the most important neighborhoods to stay in to help you make the most of this where to stay in Milan guide! Most of these neighborhoods are located in the Centro Storico area of Milan which is represented by the ring road that skirts the city centre.

  1. Duomo – The most famous district which is home to the most famous building in the city. Here you will find lots of accommodation options and higher prices. One of the best areas to stay in Milan. A popular choice for tourists.
  2. Porta Romana – Located just outside the Centro Storico ring road, Porta Romana is home to hipsters and some of Milan’s wealthiest. Tourists staying here get a feeling of what Milan has become.
  3. Brera – Situated right next to the Duomo district, Brera is a great mix. With contemporary architecture, traditional artisans, luxury retailers and museums. Something is happening day and night in Brera.
  4. Navigli – The city’s beating heart of youth and partying, Navigli straddles the Centro Storico and is home to two of the remaining ancient canals that used to be used to transport goods around the city. For me, this is always the answer to the question ‘where to stay in Milan?
  5. Porta Venezia – Another district that straddles the edge of the city centre, this area is still home to some working class people. However, the cosmopolitan nature of Milan is shining through. It is also home to Giardini Pubblici, one of Milan’s best public parks and walking distance to Citta Studi.
  6. Sempione & Fiera – Located just north of the Duomo area, this district is a great place to stay to get the feeling of the ‘real Milan’ and of being a local. The famous San Siro stadium is close by too.

1. Best Hotels near Duomo di Milano

cathedral milano

The Duomo district in the city centre is the beating heart of Milan. It is the home of such iconic attractions as the Milan Duomo Cathedral, Teatro Alla Scala, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and more. It is certainly the tourist center of Milan and you will find the crowds and prices to match. However, it is absolutely breathtaking and is everything you could hope for in a romantic Italian city. It is also where you will find spectacular Italian cuisine, buildings steeped in history and is also where in Milan you will find some of the best hotels! So here is my where to stay in Milan, Duomo guide!

Luxury (US$300 and up)

Due to its prominence on the international fashion scene, Milan, at times, is an ultimate luxury destination. It is home to some of the world’s leading brands and is known for quality and luxury. This means there are plenty of 5 star hotels in Milan, Italy and here are my favourites!

  • Park Hyatt Milano – An experience in luxury, the Park Hyatt is a 5 star hotel and it shows. Everything from the lobby to the entrance of the hotel and the 2 michelin starred restaurant screams luxury. The property is located very near by the Duomo is extremely central. A perfect traditional Milano hotel that is the luxury address in the city.
  • STRAF – A Member of Design Hotels – This is simply one of the top hotels in Milan! Located just 50m from the Duomo (therefore also nearby Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and Teatro Alla Scala) some rooms have views of the famous cathedral! There is also an award winning in-house restaurant, oh and did I mention the building is from the 19th century?

Middle-Priced (From US$200 to US$300)

affordable hotels in milan

If you want a hotel in Milan city center but don’t want to break the bank, then these might just be for you. Although the prices in the Duomo district can be higher, you can find some great deals and not have to compromise on location!

  • Brunelleschi Hotel – The Brunelleschi is one of the best hotels in Milan, Italy near Duomo. Featuring impressive modern architecture, a gym, a bar and in-house restaurant, the Brunelleschi delivers luxury. It’s best feature however, is the location, being a short walk away from the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and Teatro Alla Scala!
  • Hotel Dei Cavalieri – A great choice to stay in Milan, the Dei Cavalieri is in the heart of Milan centro storico and offers guests extremely modern (and luxurious) decor, well-appointed rooms that will make you feel warm and welcome throughout your stay. The restaurant is also home to an excellent Milanese restaurant!

Budget (Up to US$200)

It is certainly a challenge finding cheap hotels in Milan Duomo city center area, however, it is possible! Luckily for you, I’ve done the hard work for you. So cast an eye on these great accommodation options!

  • Hotel Canada – Located just to the south of the Duomo di Milano is Hotel Canada. With modern decor and spacious rooms Canada will allow you stay in comfort and be near the key attractions. They offer a daily continental breakfast and is the perfect choice if you don’t want to pay through the nose!
  • HeMi Luxury Suites – Again located just to the south of the Duomo di Milano is HeMi. The property has well-appointed rooms, a shared terrace and garden and offers a daily breakfast! One of my favourite places to stay in Milan simply because the rooms are so decadent and the location is great!

2. Best Hotels in Porta Romana

places in milan

This district is an eclectic mix of Milan’s new and old with artists and hipsters mixing it up with Milan’s wealthiest. The result is amazing and means you can find something to amuse and excite everybody. It also means that this district is home to some of the best hotels in Milan city center and nowhere to stay in Milan guide would be complete without it!

Luxury (US$165 and up)

As I mentioned, Porta Romana is home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents. It’s proximity to the centro storico also means that is a preferred destination for the rich and famous when they visit, so finding luxury accommodation is very fun! Here are some of my favourites!

  • Grand Visconti Palace – The Grand Visconti Palace is just that: a palace. The rooms are more like suits, the indoor pool surrounded by marble and with gardens views is majestic and the Milanese food served on the top floor restaurant is exquisite. There is also a spa, turkish bath and massive garden on the property! This is where to stay in Milan if you want some luxury!
  • Hotel Five – Within 50m of the Porta Romana train station (meaning you can be anywhere in the city in no time) is Hotel Five. The rooms are spacious and traditionally set out, some with nice views of the city. The best feature of the hotel is the plentiful daily buffet breakfast, gorge yourself on sweet pastries!

Middle-Priced (From US$110 to US$165)

5 star hotels in milan city center

Perhaps best capturing the wide mix of locals are the boutique hotels in Milan, many of which can be found in Porta Romana. I have included some here, check them out!

  • Hotel Piacenza – Hotel Piacenza is where to stay in Milan if you want to experience real local life. Sandwiched between the Duomo, the wealthy part of Porta Romana and a university it showcases the differences in how the Milanese live. The rooms are on the smaller side but the beds very comfortable. There is a daily buffet breakfast too!
  • Hotel Mec – The three star Hotel Mec is located right in front of the Porta Romana tram and train station making travel a breeze. There is a heart daily buffet breakfast and the hotel also features a gym and 24 hour reception. During your stay you will be impressed by the size of the rooms (especially the bathrooms) and classy decor.

Budget (Up to US$110)

Despite Porta Romana being home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents and being located in the city center, it is surprisingly easy to find budget hotels here.

  • Hotel Perugino – A great boutique hotel, Hotel Perugino has some great features like a relaxing lounge area and a spacious garden to kick back and relax. The rooms themselves are also spacious and designed with a modern art twist. The location is great too as it is on the quieter side of Porta Romana!
  • Hotel Palladio – Set in a stunning 100+ year-old building, Hotel Palladio will impress upon entry. The feeling will continue as you ascend the antique elevator or marbled staircase into the very spacious rooms. The decor leaves a little to be desired but the sheer size of the room will more than make up for it!

3. Best Hotels in Brera

milan cafe

Brera has been a top Milan district to stay in for years, Brera owes much of its popularity to the fashion world and more specifically its proximity to Fashion Week venues. If you really want to feel luxurious during your stay in Milan, then Brera is a great choice! It’s definitely a great neighbourhood if you’re a fashionista as you’ll find many luxury shops here and might even see some famous faces during fashion week at the numerous bars, but it also has more to offer.

Unfortunately, Brera is not suitable for budget travellers as it’s here where you will find the best luxury hotels in Milan, fashion boutiques, luxury shopping arcade and top restaurants. For this reason, this section will not include a middle-priced or budget suggestions part as there are simply no hotels in those ranges.

  • Locanda Pandenus Brera – Classy, stylish, elegant and homely all that same time, Locanda Pandenus is a great choice to really soak up the wonder that is Brera. The rooms are decorated specifically for the area and feature some fantastic art installations and pieces. The lounge has a fireplace and the restaurant a Michelin star!
  • Grand Hotel et de Milan – Probably featured in every Milan where to stay guide ever, The Grand is, in my opinion, one of the top luxury hotels in Milan, Italy. The 5 star venue has multiple restaurants and bars, a high-tech fitness center and the rooms are adorned with 18th century furniture. It is perhaps the best hotel in Milan!
  • Manadarin Oriental Milan – Another 5 star decadent entry is the Mandarin Oriental. Set in across five 18th century buildings, it is truly out of a fairytale! The rooms are marbled and all come with luxurious features such as a nespresso machine. There are multiple bars and restaurants that offer top quality Italian cuisine close by.

4. Best Hotels in Navigli

milan river

The youth culture and party heart of Milan, Navigli is located in the south of the centro storico and really close to the only two remaining canals that were used in the past for transportig goods and people around the city, much like in Venice. Navigli is great for young people yes, however it is the location of a vibrant bar and aperitivo scene meaning it can be a great romantic destination for couples too! So please read this where to stay in Milan, Navigli guide!

Note: The prices are surprisingly high in Navigli despite the youth culture, so the budget parameters have been adjusted.

Luxury (US$300 and up)

In addition to being the home of lots of culture, life and dining, Navigli can at times be a quiet and picturesque area. Therefore you can find some excellent luxury accommodation options in the district. Here are some of my picks!

  • Hotel Magna Pars – A boutique, luxury concept, the Magna Pars suites feel more like homes than hotel rooms. The design concept is based around unique experiences like libraries and wine cellars and makes for some truly spectacular rooms! The location is great too as it is close by Naviglio grande, the main canal in the city.
  • The Yard Milano – Another of the great design hotels in Milan, this time based upon antiquities from a bygone era making guests feel like they have stepped back in time. The luxurious suites are all themed and are simply stunning, perfect for couples! The bars of nearby Porta Genova are a few minutes walk away!

Middle-Priced (From US$200 to US$300)

best luxury hotels in milan

If you have read other Milan where to stay guides, you will know that Navigli is full of hotels in this price range. It can sometimes be hard to pick a hotel when there are so many choices! So I am here to help, take a look at these two!

  • Nhow Milan – Nhow Milan is a 4 star hotel located right next to the canals. Another design concept hotel, this time the theme being modern and contemporary art. This concept makes for some truly unique rooms that are colourful and vibrant. The property also has in-house dining and a gym!
  • Maison Borella – Wedged beautifully between the two canals is Maison Borella. A more traditional style hotel than we are used to seeing in Navigli, Borella has a wonderful spacious lounge, an outdoor atrium and classic bar. The rooms are spacious and some even come with a wonderful view of the canals!

Budget (Up to US$200)

There are a few very cheap hostels in Navigli, however the budget hotels tend to be a tad more expensive than other areas of Milan. This is generally because they are located right near the canals and therefore lively bars, restaurants and clubs. It is truly a great way to indulge in Milanese life! Here are two of my favourites!

  • Plus Welcome Milano – Located on the outskirts of Navigli near the metro, you will be able to stay near the famous canals and not pay an exorbitant amount! The rooms are simple, functional, clean and modern. The hotel also has a shared lounge area and the bathrooms possess all the features you could need.
  • Zebra Naviglio – Stunning rooms that look like they have been designed by the best greet guests at Zebra. Some of the rooms have balconies overlooking the quiet Navigli streets and some also have a seating area. They are spacious and modern and the hotel is located right amongst the nightlife action and bars of Navigli!

5. Best Hotels in Porta Venezia

porta venezia milan

Sitting on the north-eastern edge of the centro storico is Porta Venezia or Venice Gate. One of the last remaining bastions of the working class close to the center, it is fast becoming one of the most developed and metropolitan neighborhoods. Here you will find all walks of life and it is a perfect place to stay for families. Here you will truly get a feel for the local Milan and are still not far away from where the key attractions are! Fear not however, as the area is home to one of the top sights in Milan, the famous giardini pubblici which is a stunning public park.

The area itself is a little confusing, the Porta Venezia landmark is situated on one corner of the park, to the south is the suburb of Portz Venezia which is mostly residential. To the north of this area however is where most of the hotels are located, in an area called Lazzaretto and is home to the famous Corso Buenos Aires & Corso Garibaldi. So let’s check out some accommodation options in this area!

Luxury (US$165 and up)

With so many luxury hotels in the city, it can be hard to choose which area to stay in. In Porta there are some truly excellent luxury options and you get the best of both worlds, it can be quiet and beautiful, but at the same time you are close to the attractions! So let’s take a look at two choices!

  • Hotel Manin – Wedged between the Duomo della Milan and giardini pubblici is Hotel Manin. This 4 star venue excels in providing great, spacious and modern accommodation in a central location. There is in-house dining and a bar and some rooms have a view of the park! The hotel has been owned and run by the same family for over 100 years.
  • Hotel Cavour – Situated on the south-western edge of the park is Hotel Cavour, not far from Corso Buenos Aires. Amongst its best features are a turkish spa, fitness center and in-house restaurant offering up delicious Italian food and drink! Of course close to the park but also close to a long distance train station! Some suites have stunning views of the piazza which makes for an amazing photo!

Middle-Priced (From US$110 to US$165)

4 star hotels in milan

There are plenty of middle-priced hotels in the area that will allow you to stay close to the action not have to blow your budget. In general, the hotels in this budget range tend to be better than those in the same price range in other areas, so if this is your price range, than it is perfect for you!

  • Hotel Sanpi Milano – Undoubtedly the best feature of this hotel is its picturesque and charming courtyard. The rooms themselves are also charming and are furnished with 19th century style items. The in-house bar serves up modern cocktails daily and guests are a 5 minute walk away from the park!
  • Hotel Aurora – Situated on the famous Corso Buenos Aires is Hotel Aurora. If being close to such attractions as Giardini Pubblici, Venice Gate and the stunning central train station, then the hotel can also offer a daily breakfast, airport shuttle and my favorite: pets are allowed!

Budget (Up to US$110)

Although less plentiful than luxury and middle-priced hotels, there are a few options for budget travellers in the Porta Venezia. Here I have selected a couple that will allow you to plant yourself in this neighborhood and save a few euros at the same time, perfect!

  • Hotel Aurelia – Simple and functional rooms will guests at Hotel Aurelia. The hotel offers a daily buffet breakfast and is located centrally between the main train station and the duomo. Whether you want to wander around the streets munching on Italian street food or simply read in the park, you will never be far from Aurelia!
  • Hotel San Biagio – If you want to get a great deal at a cheap price, then read no further, San Biagio is for you. One of the cheapest (high-rated) options for your stay in Milan, the San Biagio’s rooms are spacious, simple and comfortable. The location is unmatched, walking distance to giardini pubblici and central station!

6. Best Hotels in Sempione & Fiera

triumphal arch milan

If you have gotten this far in my where to stay in Milan guide you’ll know there is one aspect I have yet to mention: football or soccer to those of you from the USA. The Italians love it, and Milan is the spiritual home of Italian football as Italy’s two most famous and successful teams are based here; Internazionale (Inter Milan) and AC Milan.

So if you’re coming to Milan to catch a match (the Milan derby is world-renowned) or to attend a fair then these are the areas for you. Not only are they close to the famous San Siro stadium where both teams play their home games and the exhibition center, but they also have a lot more to offer and are usually home to much cheaper hotels than those in the south of the city.

Luxury (US$165 and up)

Thousands of business travellers pass through Milan each year and base themselves in the Feria area to be close to tradeshows and exhibitions, meaning there is most certainly a market for luxury hotels in this area. Here are two of my favourites!

  • Enterprise Hotel Design & Boutique – The building is less than inviting from the outside, but once you step inside it will take your breath away! Designed and decorated in a stunning modern motif, the lobby and dining areas are splendid. The rooms are spacious and there is a 24 hour gym and spa facility!
  • Hotel Mozart – This 4 star hotel is home to spacious and well appointed rooms, offers a daily buffet breakfast and most rooms have beautiful views of the Milanese skyline. My favourite part of this property is that it’s an eco-hotel, if I can reduce my carbon footprint whilst travelling, sign me up!

Middle-Priced (From US$110 to US$165)

best hotels in milan city centre

As is the case throughout Milan, it is in this price range that you will find the biggest range of hotels and some of the best deals. If you want to save a few euros on your stay in Milan but still stay in luxury AND be near the stadium, then check these hotels out!

  • Lancaster Hotel – The Lancaster Hotel in Sempione is a great example of a hotel that would be double the price if it was in the city centre. Features of a 5 star hotel carry a 3 star price tag! A daily buffet breakfast and stunning interior design are my favourite features of this hotel.
  • Hotel Astoria Sure Hotel – With modern and spacious suites decorated in a traditional european style will greet guests upon arrival at Astoria. It’s strength is its strategic location between the exhibition centers and the stadium. A perfect choice if you will be visiting either. There is also private parking and a business center available!

Budget (Up to US$110)

The proximity to the city center means that prices in this area are lower than usual and you can find some great hotels in the budget section. Whether you are coming to Milan for a match, a conference or to see the city, these budget hotels will allow you a few extra euros to spend on whatever you like (probably pizza)!

  • Hotel Berlino – Located on the northern end of the Corso Sempione near the restaurants and bars is Hotel Berlino. For a very reasonable price guests can stay in large rooms (with large bathrooms) that are decorated in warm tones of red and orange. The hotel offers a daily buffet breakfast and will make you feel welcome during your stay in Milan!
  • B&B Hotel Milano San Siro – B&B Milano San Siro is part of a chain of budget hotels across the city. Offering rooms with a view of the iconic stadium, a daily continental breakfast and a 1 minute walk to the San Siro, this hotel is a great choice for your stay in Milan!



Conclusion

milan italy

Well there you have it, the ultimate where to stay in Milan guide! It is a huge, bustling city that encompasses many different areas which are home to many different groups of people. From the richest of the rich that line the streets during fashion week to your regular Milanese workers, it truly is a cosmopolitan city which is absolutely stuffed full of things to do and see which you can read about here in my what to do in Milan article.

Whether you are coming with the intention of partaking in historical and cultural tours, with the intention of admiring the stunning mixture of architectural styles or simply with the intention of indulging in the decadent cuisine, there is a place for you here! So thank you for taking the time to read my article about where to stay in Milan and don’t forget to book your accommodation ASAP so you don’t miss out on your preferred choice!

I hope this was helpful for your search, check out the extra content listed below and most of all enjoy your trip and please leave me any questions or queries in the comments below!

Happy travels!

Arantxa

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best hotels in milan

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