Milan's Unique Neighborhoods
Collected by Erica Firpo, AFAR Local Expert
From hipster to haute couture and small palazzo to skyrises, Milan's unique neighborhoods have unforgettable personalities that make the city an incredible adventure at every metro stop. One-of-a-kind shops, fabulous street art, clever galleries, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife are the essential characters that define Milan's neighborhoods and contribute to the overall vibe of Milan as a city not to be overlooked.
Piazza Tito Minniti, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Isola is Milan's sleeper neighborhood because of its great location, hip shops and local vibe. It is also a great area to hang out in because, well, it feels like a neighborhood. Weekend street markets, clever graffiti, cute boutiques, artisanal...
Via Paolo Sarpi, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Via Paolo Sarpi is most commonly known as Milan's Chinatown, but the street actually offers a dynamic evening life that crosses different cultural boundaries. One of the most enjoyable ways to spend a Sunday summer night is listening to the...
Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Besides the fashion and the Duomo, another great reason to visit Milan is the famous Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, located at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. It's better you reserve the tickets ahead of time since they only have limited time...
Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Parco Sempione is Milan's biggest park and it has everything- cute caffès, picturesque setting, a medieval castle, a modern museum, a pond and charming foot bridges. If the sun is shining, this is the perfect place for a morning or afternoon walk,...
Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
Via Giovanni Omboni, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 34, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
While few in number, Milan's canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you're lucky you'll catch the Antique...
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Located in the famous Navigli neighborhood in Milan, Mag is a cozy space to relax with a good cafe and brioche by day, and by night a bustling local hangout. Never short on atmosphere or great jazz soundtracks, this bar is bursting with details...
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Matias Perdomo is an Argentinian with a preference for Molecular Gastronomy, influenced by such greats as the Roca Brothers and Ferran Adrià, running a kitchen and a dining room overflowing till late into the night in an unusual part of Milan. Far...
Piazza Duca d'Aosta, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Whether you have time to kill while waiting for your train or you simply like architecture, Milan’s main train station, Stazione Centrale, is worth a walk through for its epic 20th-century architecture. Originally designed at the turn of the...
Via Vittor Pisani, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Via Vittor Pisani, leading up to Milan's Stazione Centrale, is a long and open boulevard, lined with modern buildings. It's quiet, and if you catch it in the right light, it has a vague Ayn Rand/The Fountainhead feel to it. The neighborhood...
Via Alessandro Stradella, 4/A, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
This wine bar in the Buenos Aires neighborhood is a wonderful example of Italy's drinking culture—reasonably priced, carefully chosen, enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Here you can also take a bottle home for under 3, if you like what you tried in the...
Via Plinio, 39, 20020 Milano MI, Italy
Bar Basso is one of the oldest cocktail bars in Milan. It's appeared in many films and is a piece of history in the city. It's always been a privileged meeting place for designers, journalists, artists, and writers. Here you can taste the best...
Via Chiese, 2, 20126 Milano MI, Italy
Located in a former rail services warehouse, Hangar Bicocca is a contemporary art space for site-specific projects funded by tire giant Pirelli. The space is more like a contemporary art concept that extends from the boards of its brick structure....
Via Antoine Watteau, 7, 20125 Milano MI, Italy
Leoncavallo is both a cultural center and a concept. The buildings lining the run-down road are covered in amazing art by epic artists and upcoming writers. During the day, you'll find photographers documenting the work or shooting for fashion...
Viale Piave, 1, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
Italy's No.1 chef Massimo Bottura described Nottingham Forest as a blend of "Hemingway and the TV show C.S.I." for its eclectic vibe. But for its cocktails, Bottura and many others feel Nottingham Forest is Milan's main innovator. Mixologist Dario...
Via Paolo Sarpi, 30, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Considered by some as a Milan institution, Cantine Isole is a small wine bar/enoteca with a lot of history and great atmosphere. It's located in the Chinatown neighborhood, near Garibaldi station and the Isola neighborhood. Expect a lot of...
Via Ponte Vetero, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Every city has an eatery that’s a mainstay for shoppers, and in Milan, it’s the tony Brera neighborhood restaurant Convivium. House specialties include complimentary rosemary flatbread, four-cheese pizza, and sea saltencrusted sea bass for two. ...
Via Carmagnola, 5, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Morning, noon or night, Blu is a great place to hang out. Breakfast hour brings in a swank group of stylish parents and styling hipsters, while aperitivo hour is a just gorgeous mix of everyone. Located in Isola, it is the perfect place to meet up...