The best neighborhoods to explore Milan

A map of the coolest places to visit in Milan

Are you planning to visit Milan and wondering which are the best Milan neighborhoods?

Milan, the fashion and design capital of Italy, beckons travelers with its cosmopolitan allure and rich tapestry of history, culture, and innovation. Beyond its iconic landmarks and renowned fashion houses lies a city brimming with hidden gems and local treasures waiting to be discovered. From the charming cobblestone streets of Brera to the lively canalside bars of Navigli, each neighborhood offers a unique glimpse into Milan’s multifaceted personality.  Whether you’re drawn to the bohemian vibes of Tortona or the multicultural flair of Chinatown, Milan promises to enchant with its diverse array of experiences. 

Planning a visit to Milan? In this short guide, we’ll uncover some of the MUST-DOs  and off-the-beaten-path delights of this dynamic city.

Milano tours LC4U

How to Arrive and Move in Milan

As we explained in our previous post “How to travel around Lake Como” (read it here) Northern Italy has a quite impressive network of private transport but when the budget allows we suggest private transfers for your convenience and maximum comfort! When it comes to navigating Milan, convenience is key! That’s why we offer private transfer services to ensure a seamless journey from your arrival point to your chosen hotel. Once in Milan, walking is quite enjoyable given the abundance of pedestrian only areas and the city’s efficient public transport system, including metro, tram, and bus networks, makes getting around a breeze.

How long should I stay in Milan?

It’s a question often pondered by travelers eager to soak in the city’s vibrant culture and rich history. While one day can offer a taste of Milan’s highlights, opting for one of our expertly curated tours ensures you don’t miss a beat (check them out here). You can also consider venturing to Milan on a day trip from nearby gems like Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, or Lake Garda. However, for a deeper dive into Milan’s treasures, more time is undoubtedly better. Get in touch with us for personalized itineraries tailored to your interests, guaranteeing a memorable and fulfilling stay in this enchanting Italian metropolis.


Discover the vibrant pulse of Milan through its diverse neighborhoods

  • Brera

Nestled in the heart of Milan, Brera exudes old-world charm and artistic flair. Wander through its labyrinthine streets lined with centuries-old buildings, art galleries, and artisan workshops. Indulge in gourmet cuisine at chic cafes and trattorias, or browse the latest fashion trends at boutique shops. Don’t miss the Pinacoteca di Brera, home to masterpieces by Italian and European artists, including Raphael and Caravaggio. We love this neighborhood so much that we have included it in our Classic Milan tour!

Brera Milan

  • Navigli

Explore Milan’s canal district, Navigli, where the picturesque waterways are alive with activity day and night. Admire the historic bridges and colorful buildings that line the canals, then meander through bustling markets and vintage shops. In the evening, join locals for aperitivo along the waterfront, sipping cocktails as the sun sets over the city. If you want to discover the Navigli area with an english-speaking guide and enjoy a local aperitivo, join our tourNavigli best place for an aperitivo

  • Tortona

Experience Milan’s cutting-edge design scene in the trendy neighborhood of Tortona. Home to art galleries, design studios, and creative startups, Tortona is a hub of innovation and inspiration. Explore the neighborhood’s eclectic mix of shops and boutiques, then unwind with a coffee or aperitivo at one of its hip cafes. This neighborhood is particularly vibrant during the Design Week hosting a plethora of events and installation of the “Fuori Salone”.

  • Chinatown

Step into another world in Milan’s vibrant Chinatown. Here the sights, sounds, and flavors of Asia come alive and mix with Italian boutiques. Sample authentic Chinese and Asian cuisine at authentic restaurants and food stalls, or browse the well stocked markets for exotic spices and ingredients. Be sure to visit the ornate Pagoda della Pace and the traditional Chinese arch that marks the entrance to the neighborhood. We believe this is a great spot for a quick lunch break!

  • City Life

Nestled in the heart of Milan, and just outside Garibaldi train station, City Life neighborhood stands as a testament to modernity and innovation. Boasting sleek skyscrapers, contemporary architecture, and lush green spaces, City Life embodies the dynamic essence of urban living. Home to the iconic Allianz Tower, Hadid Tower, and Libeskind Tower, the skyline here is a stunning blend of form and function. But City Life isn’t just about its impressive buildings! It’s a vibrant hub teeming with trendy cafes (there’s even a delicious Vegan Sushi shop), upscale boutiques, and cultural attractions. Whether strolling along its bustling streets or relaxing in its serene parks, City Life offers a unique and captivating urban experience in the heart of Milan. A must see for for architecture lovers.

  • Centro Storico

Dive into Milan’s fashion culture in the Quadrilatero della Moda, the city’s prestigious fashion district. Rub shoulders with the stylish élite as you browse the boutiques of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, home to luxury brands like Prada, Gucci, and Versace. Admire the elegant architecture and people-watch from chic cafes and wine bars. Discover Milan as the capital of style and elegance with us, enjoying our tour Milano, the fashion districtFashion district Milan

  • Porta Nuova/Porta Venezia

Discover Milan’s modern side in the dynamic neighborhoods of Porta Nuova and Porta Venezia. Marvel at the sleek skyscrapers and contemporary architecture that define the city’s skyline, then explore the vibrant streets lined with shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions. Don’t miss the lush green spaces of Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic.

Milan neighborhood Porta Nuova

Good to Know to explore the best neighborhoods in Milan

  • Best Panoramic Spot

Of course climbing on top of Duomo with our Classic Milan tour is a must but here are our other favorite spots for breathtaking views of Milan from the Highline Galleria or the rooftop terrace of Palazzo Lombardia. These vantage points offer unparalleled views of the city’s architectural wonders and bustling streets below. Observing cities from an elevated vantage point never fails to captivate. It grants us a fresh perspective, particularly enchanting as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the urban landscape.

Milan from above

  • Best Aperitivo

Milan is the “capital” of Aperitivo… so, to immerse yourself in Milan’s social scene, indulge in an aperitivo experience. While delightful aperitivo spots abound throughout Milan, we highly recommend indulging in one along the charming canals of Navigli. Join locals as they unwind with drinks and delectable appetizers, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of this charming neighborhood. Ordering Aperol Spritz is a must!

Aperitivo spritz in Milan

  • Best Street Food in Milan

For a culinary adventure, venture into Chinatown along Via Paolo Sarpi, where an array of street food stalls beckon with tantalizing aromas and flavors. Explore the diverse range of authentic international cuisine, from savory dumplings to fragrant noodles.

  • Best Window Shopping

Experience Milan’s renowned luxury shopping scene by strolling along Via Montenapoleone and through the iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Admire the elegant storefronts of renowned fashion houses and designer boutiques, indulging in a spot of window shopping or splurging on coveted items.

  • Best Museums in Milan

Of course Cenacolo Vinciano (Last Supper) is one of the most requested museums, in fact booking the entrance is close to impossible, that’s why we recommend asking for our help with it . But Milan has some unusual and unexpected museums we truly think you should visit. Read our short guide to 10 unexpected museums in Milan here

  • Best Places to Stay in Milan

Indulge in a lavish getaway during your Milan visit. With an abundance of options in this bustling city, allow us to recommend our top picks: the Grand Hotel et de Milan, Portrait Milano, Rosa Grand, or Sina de la Ville. Each of these establishments promises unparalleled service and a central location nestled in Milan’s vibrant heart. Retreat to luxurious surroundings after a day of exploration, where every comfort awaits amidst Milan’s vibrant ambiance.

Embark on a journey of discovery through Milan’s vibrant neighborhoods and uncover the hidden treasures and local delights that await around every corner. 

Happy exploring! 


Remember, we’re here to assist you with any questions or assistance you may need to make your Milan experience truly unforgettable.

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