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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 £65 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.
scolastika I can't sing the praises of this place enough. It was a fantastic beginning and end to my holiday in Italy. The owner is incredibly friendly and welcoming and is happy to help with any queries you may have regarding what to do and how to get there. Without his help we would have got the wrong train to Lake Como because we didn't know which station to go to. The B&B is in a useful location close to one of the main metro stations and only a few stops away from the main sights, meaning you can pop back to get things/drop things off in just a few minutes. The rooms are large and nicely decorated with comfortable beds and plenty of place to put your things. The bathrooms are clean and accessible. The breakfast let it down slightly; but then, Italian breakfasts are not known for being fantastic. When you arrive, be sure to note that there is a lift to take you up to the B&B! We didn't realise this and lugged two heavy suitcases up two flights of stairs before the owner caught up with us. Overall, El Paso Milano is exactly where you want to be for your stay in Milan.
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.
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.
Via Gallarate, 2 corner with Accursio SquareAwesome 87%
ghariani3 This hotel is ideally situated with excellent transport links and close to the centre. The hotel is very basic but if you need somewhere to use as a base and somewhere to sleep during your stay in Milan it is excellent value for money and kept clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful and it is on a lovely little strip of shops. If you want a drink or snacks during your stay try the koala cafe at the end of the row, the service and price is fab, or after hours the kebab shop serves food and has a bar. Remember that you get what you pay for and if you keep that in mind you will not be dissapointed.
m.b.murphy Great location for the central station, only a 10min walk. Not bad for the central piazza / duomo area either; probs about a 15-20min walk. Next to a pleasant park and in a pretty cool area. We spent most our evenings in the Navigli canal district though, which is a fetch on the other side of town (if you head to that area, check out a bar called Luca & Andrea - awesome fun, very welcoming bar staff who love the english). Having said all that though, we didn't use public transport once in 3 days, just ambled about. Hotel is great for the price - cheap and cheerful. Rooms are good; basic but clean. Breakfast is pretty standard, but included in the price. The managers aren't the most helpful, and don't speak great english, but it shouldn't put you off. If you have a go in pigeon italian they warm to you! Overall, a decent base to explore the city from, on the cheap.
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