Best areas to stay in Milan

Top areas to stay in Milan

Milan may be one of the fashion capitals of the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s all about designer clothes. But if that’s what you’re there for, you can’t stay in a better area than the northeast Fashion District. Alternatively, base yourself in the historic centre for the top attractions. That said, the Canal Quarter is one of the most appealing spots in Milan, with its quirky bars and shops lining the canalside towpaths; ultimately, there’s somewhere for everyone – browse our holiday packages to Milan to start planning your trip today.

  1. Historic centre
  2. Castello Sforzesco
  3. Brera
  4. Northeast: The Fashion District
  5. West of Centre
  6. The Canal Quarter

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1. Historic centre

What better place to base yourself in Milan than its historic centre? Luckily for you, it’s a tightly packed area, meaning that it’s easy to get from point A to B by foot. There’s absolutely no missing the Duomo; best of all, if you’re staying in this historic area then you can zip over to it first thing in the morning and beat the crowds, or take a post-dinner stroll through the wide-set Piazza del Duomo on the way back to your hotel in the evening. Among the other top sights here, embrace your inner fashion diva at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an airy shopping arcade that is an elegant affair from its ornate design to high-end stores.

Best for: Couples.

While you’re there: Take a guided tour of the Scala Theatre museum.

2. Castello Sforzesco

Thanks to its sheer volume of park space and tons of museums, Castello Sforzesco is one of the best areas to stay in Milan for families. The castle itself is the largest historical complex in the city itself, and leads onto the expansive Parco Sempione which was once a hunting ground. Those who choose to base themselves here will be able to take their time at the castle museums: there’s the Museum of Ancient Art, Pinacoteca Art Gallery and Pieta Rondanini Museum, as well as many details of the castle itself that are well worth taking in. As for the park, this is a great spot to chill out or let the kids run wild, along with free wifi, a design museum and a children’s play area.

Best for: Families.

While you’re there: If you’re feeling super organised, hire a bike and peddle along the cycle paths here.

3. Brera

Picturesque Brera is one of the chicest areas to stay in Milan, thanks to its inviting boutiques, cobbled streets and cosy bars. Even the nightlife is suitably a lively-yet-sophisticated affair; couples and groups of friends will rejoice at the late-night ice cream stalls, hipster cafes and even the fortune-tellers who frequent the streets.

Best for:

While you’re there: Check out the Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera), home to one of the top collections of Italian masterpieces.

4. Northeast: The Fashion District

Fashionistas need look no further than the northeastern quarter of Milan, otherwise known as the Fashion District. Easy to explore by foot, you can pound the pavements by day, taking in the big names like Prade, Versace, Armani, and rest easy at your hotel by night. If big designer brands aren’t your jam, there’s plenty of chic little stores in well-preserved palazzi as well as huge emporias.

Best for: Fashionistas.

While you’re there: Not into fashion? There are three art galleries to browse, or take a break from the city streets at the Public Gardens.

5. West of Centre

This affluent, residential neighbourhood is a great place to base yourself in Milan if you’re looking for something underrated cultural institutions, set amid striking mansions and secret courtyards. West of the Centre is home to Leonardo’s Last Supper, which can be viewed in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The Gothic-style building is otherwise easy to overlook, but in between your 15-minute-viewing slot of the Last Supper, take in the richly decorated arches, superb dome and brick-and-terracotta exterior. Other cultural attractions include the Museum of Science and Technology, with its interactive labs and Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man Drawing; and the Museum of archaeology, which houses tons of ancient Roman artworks.

Best for: Iconic art.

While you’re there: There’s a couple of yummy (and fancy) cake shops – or pasticceria – in this area. Check out Pasticceria San Carlo.

6. The Canal Quarter

One of the best areas to stay in Milan has to be the Canal Quarter, which is simply delightful with its bohemian air of barge-lined canals, gallery-lined towpaths and craft workshops, designer apartments and jazz clubs wedged in between. One of the best things to do here is to take it slow and soak up the ambience, come day or night; swing by a bar for aperitivo, where for the price of a drink you can help yourself to multiple small plates in a buffet style; food and drink with a view? Count us in.

Best for: Hipsters

While you’re there: Wander over to the Porta Ticinese district, another hipster dwelling.

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