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Milan is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in Italy. A great sports city, a fantastic fashion scene, awe-inspiring architecture and arguably some of the best food in the country, Milan is by far one of Italy’s most underrated cities.
But saving money in Milan can be a big challenge, and it can be a difficult city to navigate.
Which is exactly why we wrote this guide to where to stay in Milan.
Written by our travel experts, this no-stress guide is designed to do one thing – show you the best neighbourhood in Milan for you and your travel style!
This guide will show you Milan’s hidden gems and best-kept secrets, so you can travel like a local and easily pick an area of Milan that suits your style and budget.
Here are our top picks for where to stay in Milan in 2018.
Table of Contents
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Milan.
The best budget hotel in Milan is Windsor Hotel. Offering the style and class you have come to expect from Milan for a fraction of the cost. Set in Porta Nuova, Windsor Hotel is ideal for travellers who want to experience Milan’s nightlife. Windsor Hotel offers a coffee bar, valet parking and free WiFi.
UNA Hotel Cusani, in Brera is the best mid-range hotel in Milan. Set in the centre of the city UNA Hotel keeps you right at the heart of the action. There is an in-house coffee bar and well-equipped fitness centre. The staff are wonderfully accommodating and welcoming.
Four Seasons Hotel Milano is the best luxury hotel in Milan and is located in the heart of the city. Boasting the full 5-stars Four Seasons Hotel has a beautiful selection of rooms and outstanding levels of service. There is an in-house spa with a wonderful treatment menu.
Milan is an exciting city home to culture in abundance. Both steeped in history at the cutting edge of design trends Milan is a dream destination for travellers who want to open their horizons to art, architecture, food and fashion.
From the central neighbourhood of Brera to budget-friendly Chinatown, to uber-cool Isola there is just so much to experience in Milan. There are a number of must-visit historical landmarks, like Milan Cathedral, but around every corner, there is something new to discover.
Be it a boutique fashion store, a secondhand bookshop or urban coffee bar there is something for everyone in Milan.
Hotel Jules Insider TipGetting from one neighbourhood to the next in Milan is pretty easy. Walking in Milan is a great way to save money on transport but also to gain an authentic view of the city. Brush shoulders with the office workers as they head off to work, stop to chat with street vendors and take a moment to marvel at the unexpected.
If you don’t fancy a walk, there are plenty of easy ways to get from A to B so you can tick off as many neighbourhoods as you can. Uber is a popular choice for locals as well as travellers. Alternatively, you can jump on the subway, bus or a tram; it’s a bit cheaper overall.
Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Milan. Each is a little different to the last so be sure to check out which is right for you!
Brera is at the very heart of the city and is the best place to stay in Milan for the first time. Neighbouring chaotic Scala, Brera offers first-time travellers the opportunity to experience authentic Milan while being only a matter of steps from the main attractions like Teatro alla Scala.
Brera seamlessly marries the old with the new. Being trendy enough for budget backpackers but filled with enough historical charm for the luxury travellers Brera is a great all-rounder.
There is something quite romantic about Brera. Romantic in the sense that it embodies what many travellers dream about when they are manifesting on their ultimate European adventure.
There are a number of incredible galleries in Brera, as well as hipster coffee shops and an awesome selection of independent boutique fashion stores.
It has every element of a dreamy European getaway. Being one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Milan it is not uncommon to see fashionista sauntering down the street. This is how the other half live! You can too, just for a little while!
Hotel Ritter is the best budget hotel in Berea, offering super affordable rooms throughout the year. Ideal for unfussy travellers who are just looking for a place to sleep and shower, Hotel Ritter provides all the amenities you could need. There is an in-house restaurant where breakfast is served daily.
As the best mid-range hotel in Brera UNA Hotel Cusani offers guests air-conditioned rooms with a mini bar. In a great central location in Brera, UNA Hotel makes it easy for guests to explore Milan as a whole. Little touches like valet parking make for great value for money.
Four Seasons Milano is the best luxury hotel in Brera and offers 5-star service in everything they do. The rooms are elegant and exactly the kind of bedroom you would imagine yourself sleeping in while in romantic Milan. There is a spa, swimming pool and fitness centre in-house.
Much like Chinatown districts in other cities, Chinatown in Milan is one of the most affordable neighbourhoods in the city. The best place to stay in Milan on a budget is, of course, Chinatown. A more humble district than the Chinatown that you may find in London, for example, Chinatown in Milan still has more than its fair share of authentic eateries and cute souvenir shops.
Being a short walk away from Brera means that you do not need to fork out on public transport or taxis while staying in Chinatown. This is another reason why Chinatown is the best place to stay in Milan on a budget.
If you are a fan of food, Asian food specifically, you will feel right at home in Chinatown. From fast service noodle bars to more refined dim sum restaurants there is a lot of food to sample in this neighbourhood. If you want to recreate the dishes at home then take a trip to one of the many Asian food supermarkets in the area. They’re more affordable than you might think.
Cute, cosy and super affordable, Ming Hao Hotel is the best budget hotel in Chinatown. Offering simple rooms with air conditioning and en-suite rooms, Ming Hao Hotel is great value for money. In the heart of Chinatown and just a few minute’s walk to bustling Brera.
Boasting 4-stars, an excellent location and outstanding service, Leonardo Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Chinatown. All rooms come with a minibar as standard, as well as on-demand movies and ensuite with bathtub. Guests are welcome to relax in the hotel bar and cosy lounge.
Hotel VIU is the best luxury hotel in Chinatown. It is rather affordable considering the luxury service it offers which is a real treat. Set in an ultra-modern building and offering lavish spa facilities it is hard to say no to Hotel VIU. The rooms are modern and bright and some offer impressive views of the city.
Porta Nuova is one of the more stylish, modern neighbourhoods in Milan. It is the best place to stay in Milan for nightlife that is for sure. Having undergone a period of urban revival this neighbourhood is cooler than ever. That said, during design week and fashion week the party scene moves south, to Zona Tortona.
Porta Nuova is home to some of the swankiest cocktail bars in Milan; some pretty incredible nightclubs too. Attracting the loaded local youngsters there is a preppiness to Porta Nuova that some may find a little off-putting. Embrace it! Everyone here loves Milan and is down for a good time. You should be too!
Radio Rooftop Bar is a great place to start an evening. They have a great cocktail menu and outstanding service. If you prefer something a little more informal Scorpion Bar is a laid-back watering hole with a brilliant selection of beers. For the later hours, if you feel like a dance, William’s Club is a popular spot for the beautiful people.
Windsor Hotel is not only the best budget hotel in Porta Nuova but is one of the most affordable hotels in all of Milan. No matter the season, Windsor Hotel has reasonable rates and great service. They even reduce the rate for single occupancy! The buffet breakfast is a great start to the day.
Offering a taste of luxury for a great rate, NH Collection Milano is the best mid-range hotel in Porta Nuova. There are so many amenities here, you will never want to leave. The rooms are incredibly comfortable too! Guests can relax in the hotel bar and lounge or work out in the fitness centre.
Ornate, stylish and really very welcoming, Hotel Principe Di Savoia is the best luxury hotel in Porta Nuova. Guests have access to the fitness centre, lounge area and the indoor pool. Hotel Principe Di Savoia has a luxurious Turkish spa bath and a sauna too. A wonderful breakfast is included in the room rate.
Once a working-class neighbourhood that slipped under the radar of whistle-stop travellers, Isola has made itself on trend. Awash with hipster coffee bars, affordable indie fashion stores and grassroots art galleries.
A popular spot for young locals striving to get by in an expensive city, Isola has a cool crowd of residents and is really budget friendly.
As the coolest place to stay in Milan, Isola is only just starting to come into its own. Still, in a period of growth, there are new must-visit gems cropping up here there and everywhere. Being a modern neighbourhood, Isola lacks the historical architectural wonders of Brera or Scala but it has a heap of wonders of its own to explore.
A hipster’s paradise and with an evolving art scene there is some great street art and graffiti to explore in Isola. The murals along Via Carmagnola are a good starting point.
Offering a cute garden and a great little coffee bar, Hotel Zara ticks all the right boxes. As the best budget hotel in Isola Hotel Zara has low prices throughout the year. The rooms are simple with modern furnishings and just the right amount of space. WiFi is free and unlimited.
BB Hotels Aparthotel is the perfect place to stay if you want to live like a local in Isola. Being the best mid-range hotel in Isola, BB offers guests the opportunity to have all the space they need in a fully furnished, homely apartment. Guests can cook for themselves in their kitchen.
With 4-stars and great city views, LaGare Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Isola. The rooms are modern, urban in style and feature an ensuite bathroom. The reception is manned 24/7 so guests are welcome to come and go as they please. The in-house restaurant offers a great selection of Italian dishes.
Porta Romana is a particularly picturesque, manicured neighbourhood in central Milan. As the best place to stay in Milan for families Porta Romana is cool, calm and welcoming. Being a more affluent neighbourhood there is an esteemed community of residents here who live up to the stereotype that everyone in Milan is always immaculately dressed.
Food in Porta Romana is pretty incredible. Home to some of the best restaurants in Milan you can find something to suit every hunger pang in Porta Romana. There are restaurants serving up innovative interpretations of international cuisine, rustic farm food bistros and refined coffee bars aplenty.
Milan is not the most child-friendly city but Porta Romana does offer the opportunity for travelling families to expereince authentic living and space away from the touristic hustle. Piazzale Libia is a wonderful park space that is great for the kids to have a good old run around in.
Bagni Misteriosi is one of Milan’s best-hidden gems. This outdoor public swimming pool is loved by locals and seldom discovered by travellers.
Best Western Hotel is a family-friendly place to stay and is the best budget hotel in Porta Romana. Rooms are simple, uniform but have all the facilities you could desire. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom and have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. There is an express check in and check out service.
With just 21-rooms Five Hotel is a welcoming, homely accommodation option in Milan. With boutique style and great prices, Five Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Porta Romana. There is an in-house bar and lounge area. Five Hotel offers free WiFi throughout the property.
Offering family suites, babysitting services and a swimming pool, Grand Visconti Palace is the best place to stay in Milan for families. In addition to the swimming pool, there is a Turkish spa bath, Jacuzzi and sauna, Grand Visconti Palace really is the best luxury hotel in Porta Romana.
Milan is a city rich in history, culture, food and fun. It’s an exciting city both steeped in history and at the cutting edge of fashion and architectural design trends. From extravagant shopping to historical landmarks, there’s something for every traveller in Milan.
Just to recap; Brera is our top choice for where to stay in Milan if you’re visiting for the first time. Centrally located and filled with historic and modern sights, Brera is where you’ll find yourself at the heart of Milan’s action.
Our recommendation for the best hotel is the UNA Hotel Cusani. Cosy and chic, this Brera hotel is close to all the city’s top landmarks and has an in-house coffee bar, so you’ll never be too far from your next espresso.
Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. Grazie!
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Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.