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If Italian cities were people, Milan would be the sophisticated older sister. While the rest of Italy gets by on a large amount of chaos and a lot of dolce vita, Milan takes business seriously and keeps the money coming in. Though not as flamboyant as the South, Milan has plenty of treasures on offer, both in terms of historical relics and up-to-the-minute fashion. It can be an accordingly expensive place to visit, though budget accommodation can be found, with occasional unmissable offers on glitzy 4-star hotels. Milan’s areas of interest are focussed within the centre, but even within this fairly small area, each of the districts below offers something slightly different.
Milan’s stunning and extravagant cathedral provides the centrepiece, with the rest of the city extending out in all directions from it. For this reason alone, it’s the perfect place to be based, with easy access to everywhere else in the city, not to mention the wealth of attractions surrounding the Piazza del Duomo. For those in search of Milan’s old-fashioned glamour, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is a must-see; a truly beautiful shopping arcade, housing some of Milan’s oldest and most venerable shops, cafes and restaurants. The hotels closest to the Piazza tend to be rather expensive, but if you fan out a little further, budget options do become available.
If the area around the Duomo is Milan’s historic centre, Brera is the undisputed fashion district. Exclusive, independent boutiques sell high-quality leather products, Milan’s fashion signature. As you might expect, the fashion industry here supports an arty café culture. This is Italy at its most stylish: a place to see and be seen, to rub shoulders with the fashion pack, to casually sip espresso and watch the world go by. Hotels are mid-range rather than budget, but for the desirable, central location and the classy touches, they offer value for money.
Milan’s university district contains the bulk of the budget accommodation, with everything from charming old-fashioned B&Bs to modern boutique hotels. It has a thriving nightlife (as you might expect from a student area) and a good range of Italian trattorie. Trams provide quick connections to the centre, and if you’re based in the southern part of the district, the Duomo is only a 30-minute walk away.
If you like nothing better than up-and-coming destinations, Zona Tortona is the place to be. This south-west district of Milan is the city’s design centre and is hotly tipped to be the next big thing. Free-thinking creative types reside here, and several of the streets are treated like exhibition venues for the latest design trends, particularly in design fair season. It’s situated within the Navigli district, which is popular with students and young people and full of bars and restaurants. Though many parts of the district are a little run-down, Zona Tortona is on the way up and truly creative.
Read more in our Milan travel guide
x The average starting price for a place to stay in Milan is £68 per night.
mosvice Best hostel I've ever been to. Close to the Duomo and other main attractions of the city. Great staff and service. As they say it's closer to become your house than being simply a hostel. If you're looking to meet people while travelling, this is surely the best place in town to do that. Highly recommended to anyone visiting Milan.
Slatkis_88 Very nice place to stay at and very spaceaous. It was a little far from the city but that was not a problem because the tram line number two was just outside the partement and it leaves ever 7 minutes. The service was very good. The owners were very nice and helpfull with whatever you needed. We would definitely come back. We recomend this apartment! A&Z
yellowsmar Nice hotel with great views, particularly from breakfast / restaurant terrace. Large clean rooms but a little noisy on the road-facing side. Meals expensive but good quality. Excellent breakfast.
nai_hhd Great apartment. It is a little old but everything is working. Filiberto was very helpful. There is a map in the apartment where you can see which bus can you take to go to the city center (a little far but good connected), also where there are supermarkets and other useful places in the neighborhood. Everything was clean. Nothing bad about it. Very recomendable.
rag3ous We had a really great stay, no complaints, very clean and quiet. The location is ok, the P.Venezia metro station is 5 min of walking from the hotel, and also the shopping is nearby. The hotel is located on a small street, so the view from the window was not very exciting, but the rest of it was great. Perhaps in other rooms the view will be better. Recommended.
P.zza S. M. del Suffragio, 3Awesome 87%
dimitrioum It was difficult to find despite directions given. There needed to be better signs! Otherwise, we were quite happy with the services provided. Excellent staff.
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