The best neighborhoods in Milan: Where to live

The best neighborhoods in Milan: Where to live

Location is key when moving to a fashionable city like Milan. The information in our Milan Neighborhood Guide will help you choose the ideal place to live, study or work. Milan is unquestionably the best city in Italy to live in for people from outside!

Milan’s best neighborhoods for living

Milan was heavily bombed during World War II and much of it was destroyed. As a result, today’s design epicenter features a distinctive blend of skyscrapers, contemporary houses, historic sites, and Art Nouveau architecture.

In addition, each community has much to offer! From quiet residential neighborhoods to those teeming with young foreigners. In this article we will outline the best neighborhoods in Milan.

District of Milan: Porta Nuova and Porta Garibaldi

Quality of lifestyle

Previously, industrial zones were also located in Porta Nuova and Porta Garibaldi. However, the city began rebuilding it a few years ago because it needed more space for residents and guests. This modern and trendy business district is especially popular with young workers today. It is valued for having a busy train station, modern architecture, coworking spaces and several corporate headquarters.

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At the center of the area is Gae Aulenti Square. There stands the 231-meter-high Unicredit Tower, the tallest structure in Italy. Another group of skyscrapers in the area, the Bosco Verticale, won the 2004 International Highrise Award. This green residential building, covered with more than 20,000 plants, would be the ideal residence for an overseas family. Oh, dreamy things!


These contemporary communities are highly valued by residents, businessmen and professionals. Anyone can afford to live in this urban nirvana, actually! It is really necessary to be reminded of how fantastic this field is for students interested in architecture.


Some of Milan’s wealthiest neighborhoods, such as Porta Nuova and Porta Garibaldi, make you and your family feel safe at all times.

Typical rental costs in Porta Nuova and Porta Garibaldi are as follows:

One-bedroom apartment: 2 000 to 2 300 euros.
Room in a common area: 795-900 euros

District of Milan: Porta Romana

Quality of lifestyle

Porta Romana has a lot of great places up its sleeve, from the bustling weekly market through Crema to its culinary district with some of the cheapest restaurants. Of course, there is also the not-to-be-missed Fondazione Prada art gallery, housed in the former distillery in Largo Isarco. Nearby is the Plastic, a historic gay-friendly nightclub that once attracted celebrities such as Andy Warhol.

Only a few stations separate this safe and mostly residential neighborhood from downtown Milan. Taking the bus, streetcar or subway is just one of many excellent transportation options.


Due to its proximity to numerous colleges and co-working spaces, this region is mainly inhabited by professionals and students. It is also among the best places to spot celebrities!


Living in Porta Romana is quiet and safe. It is an excellent choice for those who want to be close to the hustle and bustle of the city but prefer a more relaxed environment.

Apartments in Porta Romana typically cost between 1,750 and 1,900 euros per month for a one-bedroom.
Room in a common area: 850 to 985 €.

District of Milan: Città Studi and Lambrate

Quality of lifestyle

Lambrate and Città Studi are located in the northwest area of Milan. What was once an industrial zone has been transformed into a thriving innovation hub. Designer apartments and galleries have been built inside former factories and warehouses.

Lambrate and Città Studi may be the best options for students looking for affordable housing. Although it is outside the city center, you can easily reach the Polytechnic and some science departments of the University of Milan by bicycle or on foot.

And don’t worry, public transportation will take you to other Milanese neighborhoods in the blink of an eye. These Milanese suburbs offer options for cheap food, entertainment and shopping.


Students from other Italian cities and abroad are particularly attracted to the Lambrate and Città Studi areas. However, a substantial local working class also contributes to the presence of local traditions.

Lambrate in particular is known as Italy’s Brooklyn. Lambrate Design District welcomes hundreds of artists from around the world during Milan Design Week.


Living in this dynamic and energetic neighborhood is safe (and pleasant!).

Typical rental costs in Lambrate and Città Studi are as follows:
A one-bedroom apartment costs between 1,400 and 1,800 euros.
Room in a shared area: 660-720 euros

District of Milan: Porta Genova and Navigli

Quality of lifestyle

Popular neighborhoods such as Navigli and Porta Genova are populated by active people and offer a wide variety of nightlife alternatives. It is located near two canals and a harbor, so there are several restaurants nearby. Although it may be quieter during the day, areas come alive with parties around sunset.

The Senigallia Fair Flea Market, where you can find used and antique items, is open every Saturday for you to experience local culture. Those on a tight budget can save money by buying a used bicycle or antique clothes. You will also find a range of public transportation options and slightly lower rental prices in this neighborhood. To reach the Porta Genova train station you can take a streetcar, bus or a short walk.


It is understandable that students rush to the Navigli and Porta Genova to look for apartments, given the proximity to Cattolica University and IULM. In addition, you will see many young professionals and their families who have settled along the canals and cast-iron bridges.

This area of Milan attracts a mixed crowd of hippies, students, tourists and locals who enjoy sipping drinks while admiring the scenery in summer. If you like to be in a lively and young environment, the Navigli or Porta Genova are a good choice.


Navigli and Porta Genova, because of Genoa’s thriving nightlife, are very safe areas to live in.

Average monthly rent in Porta Genova and Navigli:

One-bedroom apartment: 1 700-1 900 €.
Room in a common area: 750-805 euros

District of Milan: Brera

Quality of lifestyle

In Brera, art, fashion and design come together to create a distinctive environment. This elegant neighborhood features picturesque cobblestone alleys lined with modern boutiques and art galleries. This busy area is home to the largest assortment of appetizer venues offering free appetizers or buffets. If you are on a tight budget, these can be extremely helpful!

You can also relax or work in the park, visit the Brera Botanical Garden or spend a full day at the Brera Art Gallery, one of the best art museums in the region. The luxury stores and high-end retailers of the Fashion Quadrilateral are located in the southern part of Brera, where one can experience the pinnacle of Milanese fashion.

Brera is very close to the city center and is easily accessible by a variety of public transportation. By bus, streetcar or subway, it is possible to reach most of Milan’s neighborhoods from here.


Brera is especially thriving during Milan Fashion Week and Salone del Mobile, attracting celebrities, prominent models and creative people. Being home to the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, it is also popular with professionals, young couples and fashion students.


Brera is one of the richest and safest neighborhoods in Milan. Until the wee hours, this trendy neighborhood is full of restaurants, pubs and clubs. Therefore, you will never have to worry about exploring deserted roads at night.

The typical monthly rent in Brera for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from 2,300 to 2,500 euros.
Room in a common area: 850-950 euros

District of Milan: Porta Venezia

Quality of lifestyle

Different cultures coexist in Porta Venezia. The neighborhood’s many authentic taverns and inns reflect the long history of immigrant settlement.

The only authentic homosexual neighborhood in Italy is located in Porta Venezia. Gay bars abound on Via Lecco, the main artery of the neighborhood. During Pride Week, when it is filled with rainbow flags, food trucks and a community-wide sense of love, empowerment and joy, the entire region flourishes.

Corso Buenos Aires, one of the longest retail avenues in Europe, offers a wide range of shopping options for all price points. In addition, the Museum of Natural History, Palazzo Dugnani and the planetarium can be found by heading down to the city’s second largest public garden, the Indro Montanelli Gardens. The Pavilion of Contemporary Art (PAC) and the Gallery of Modern Art (GAM) house contemporary works.

Finally, Porta Venezia provides excellent access to the rest of the city. You will be close to numerous streetcar and bus stops, as well as train and subway stations.


An interethnic and extremely diverse neighborhood, Porta Venezia is well-liked by locals and foreigners alike. Milanese and foreign families, retirees and young professionals live together here. What’s more, despite its proximity to the city center, tourists often ignore this neighborhood!


You will feel at home in this neighborhood because it is safe, welcoming, LGBTQI+ and family-friendly.

Apartments in Porta Venezia typically cost between 1,700 and 2,200 euros per month for a single room.
Room in a common area: 750-850 euros.

District of Milan: Historic Center

Quality of lifestyle

The city center, the Centro Storico, is where you will discover Milan’s attractions, museums and lively squares populated by locals and visitors.

The majestic cathedral of the Cathedral seems to cast a shadow over the entire neighborhood. You can take a stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a charming 18th-century arcade to the right of the Duomo, which houses many upscale stores and restaurants. Nearby are also the Teatro alla Scala, the Museo del Novecento and the art exhibitions at the Palazzo Reale.


Milan’s Old Town is one of the city’s most multicultural neighborhoods. Many international students, tourists and young professionals are attracted to the University of Milan and the city’s many attractions.


Due to the strong police presence in the region, downtown Milan is considered one of the safest neighborhoods. However, as in any tourist center, care should be taken, especially at night or when no one is around. So be sure to keep an eye out for petty crimes such as pickpocketing.

Rents in downtown Milan are on average as follows:
One-bedroom apartment: 2 800-3 000 euros.
Room in a common area: 880-990 euros

What are the most beautiful areas in Milan to live in?

Do you want to reside in the city center? If you have a substantial amount of money, you can immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the Old Town.

Porta Venezia is a must if you are looking for a multicultural and LGBTQI+ friendly vacation spot.

Brera, which combines art and history, would be a great alternative for those who can afford it and want to live a bohemian lifestyle. It is one of the most popular locations for expatriates. Without the hubbub of the surrounding city center, it offers access to a range of services and entertainment.

Consider visiting Porta Genova or the Navigli if you are a student or young professional looking for adventure. It is a fun place to live because there are many bars and antique stores.

Living in Porta Romana is a reasonable option for living near the city center. It is one of the quieter neighborhoods that might suit students and families on a budget.

Students on a tight budget might look for housing alternatives in Lambrate and Città Studi. But keep in mind that these neighborhoods are in high demand because of their reasonable prices. So make sure you get a head start in your search for your new home in Milan.

Are you looking for a lively atmosphere in the city? Professionals with a lot more money can find their ideal home in one of the opulent residences in Porta Nuova or Porta Garibaldi.

After reading our Guide to Milan Neighborhoods, you are ready to choose the ideal apartment in this beautiful and hospitable city. An extraordinary journey awaits you, whether it is the beginning of your corporate career or continuing your studies at one of Milan’s renowned universities.

Enjoy your stay in Milan and, as the locals say! Best of luck!

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