Aug 23, 2023



Travel Inspiration

Where to Stay in Milan, Italy’s Ritzy Fashion Capital

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


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Need to know where to stay in Milan, Italy’s gorgeous fashion capital? We’ve got you covered: from Centro Storico’s liveliest neighborhoods to the historic Porta Romana, we’re breaking down the best places to stay in Milan, Italy.

Ready to start planning today? Connect with Fora and we’ll hook you up with insider intel and VIP hotel perks to make your Milan vacation the absolute best experience it can be.

The 5 best places to stay in Milan, Italy:

While dozens of world-class luxury brands from Prada to Versace got their start in Milan, the city isn’t just one of the best places to stay in Italy because of its stellar reputation in the fashion world. Milan is a dynamic, cosmopolitan metropolis that blends a rich historic heritage with contemporary Italian culture and design. 

Milan is simultaneously Italy’s financial hub...and one of the coolest places to catch a glimpse of Italy’s storied history through prestigious museums and cultural centers. So, where should you stay in Milan? Read on for our favorite neighborhoods (or, if you’re looking for things to do in Milan, check out our complete guide).

1. Brera & Sempione, Centro Storico: where to stay in Milan for history architecture enthusiasts

Image courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Milan

Teeming with stunning architecture, upscale boutiques and trendy cafés, Brera and Sempione are the best areas to stay in Milan’s Centro Storico (or Zona 1) district. 

While technically separate neighborhoods, the two are linked by an elegant ambiance. Brera’s bustling cobblestone streets house dozens of sidewalk restaurants and stylish boutiques before giving way to Sempione’s quiet botanical park and grandiose monuments. There’s plenty for art and culture junkies to enjoy, from the Brera Pinacoteca gallery to the Arco della Pace archway and Sforzesco Castle. Better yet, both neighborhoods also offer convenient access to many of Milan’s coolest attractions. 

Want to know where to stay in Milan’s Brera or Sempione neighborhoods? Book with Fora and we’ll give you a complete rundown of the best options, all tailored to your travel preferences.

(Curious about other destinations in Milan? Check out where to stay in Florence or the most unique places to visit in Italy.)

2. Navigli & Tortona: where to stay in Milan for nightlife & Design Week

Southwest of Milan’s Centro Storico, you’ll find the neighborhoods of Navigli and Tortona bisected by the Naviglio Grande canal. 

Both areas exemplify Milan’s dedication to art and fashion, albeit from complementary perspectives: Navigli celebrates the best of vintage fashion and boutique shopping. But Tortona is much more focused on avant-garde styles and new-age innovation — which also happens to be why it’s the setting for Milan’s Design Week every year (and just one more reason Milan is among the best places to visit in Italy).

Together, the twin neighborhoods celebrate Milan’s artistic culture, serving as a haven for local and international artists alike. This has led to an awesome and vibrant nightlife and gastronomy featuring exciting bars, pubs and restaurants, especially along the canal areas.

(Speaking of Milan gastronomy, check out this guide on where to eat and drink in Milan.)

Ultimately, Navigli and Tortona are where to stay in Milan to best experience the city’s love affair with all things fashionable and artful.

3. Porta Nuova, Porta Garibaldi & Chinatown: the best areas to stay in Milan to experience the city’s modern revival

Porta Nuova and Porta Garibaldi have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past couple of decades, reinventing northern Milan as a bastion of contemporary Milanese culture and architecture. 

Porta Nuova is also one of Milan’s most critical financial districts, so this may be where to stay in Milan if you’re traveling for business. (And since the two areas are well connected to the rest of the city, you’ll easily be able to explore during your time off!)

Nearby you’ll find Milan’s Chinatown, which, today, is better described as a multi-cultural district that celebrates the city’s increasing diversity. That said, the Chinatown area is renowned for its unique take on Cantonese cuisine, which has roots in the early 20th century when the neighborhood did in fact host a large Chinese population. 

Connect with Fora for tailored recs on where to stay in Milan’s northern neighborhoods. And if you’re curious about local food and culture in Milan, read our guide.

4. Central Station Area (a.k.a. Stazione Centrale): where to stay in Milan for convenience & options

Milan’s Central Station area may not have the same kind of allure as Centro Storico (it’s definitely still nice!), but as the city’s primary transportation hub, it does offer convenience. This is especially true if you’re visiting multiple destinations, as the Central Station Area not only connects Milan to the rest of Italy, but to much of Europe, as well.

You’ll find a wide variety of accommodations here, ranging from affordable boutique hotels (check out the coolest boutique hotels in Italy) to uber-luxurious, five-star resorts. 

Best of all, even though this neighborhood is technically removed from the city’s central district, you’re still close to many of Milan’s top attractions.

5. Porta Romana: where to stay in Milan for a lived-in atmosphere

Porta Romana offers a unique experience among the city’s most traveled districts. While still very popular among travelers, Porta Romana has a more authentic and laid-back feel to it. It’s one of the best places to stay in Milan if you’re looking for a quieter base without sacrificing convenient access to the rest of the city. 

Note that we said “quieter,” as this up-and-coming neighborhood has been the site of a nightlife renaissance of sorts, with a variety of upscale bars and restaurants taking root. Still, the nightlife is fairly relaxed compared to, say, Navigli.

(Not sure Milan is the right destination for your Italy vacation? Check out where to stay in Rome or where to stay in Venice.)

Want pro help while deciding where to stay in Milan? Book with Fora

Can’t figure out where to stay in Milan? Need a tailored Milan itinerary? We’re here to help! 

Start planning your trip with Fora and we’ll take care of all the heavy lifting, from booking awesome accommodations on your behalf (per your travel preferences) to supplying you with exciting insider intel and beyond. Even better, when you book with Fora, we can score you VIP hotel perks and status at the best places to stay in Italy to take your trip to a whole ‘nother level.

Unsure about Milan as your next destination? Check out our other guides, too:

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