Perhaps you’re pining for a glimpse at Leonardo’s revered The Last Supper? Maybe you’re here for the Gucci boutiques and haute couture of the Quad d’Oro fashion mecca? Have you come to scale the Duomo? Or to taste saffron risotto? Or to breakaway to the glistening waters of Lake Como? Whatever it is, Italy’s grand and gorgeous second city awaits. Famed for its Gothic architecture, fast cars, chic designers, and location on the edge of the Alps, it’s a fine contender for that next urban break.
Adding to the attraction is a whole antipasto’s worth of alluring short-term rentals. A few clicks on Airbnb in Milan and you’ll discover elegant penthouses, fashionista pads, and contemporary townhouses alike. This guide aims to help you pinpoint the part of the metropolis that’s best suited to you, with info on a patchwork of cool Milanese neighbourhoods and some tempting individual Airbnbs in the city.
Yep. Feel free to search, rent, enquire, because Airbnb in Milan is 100% legal and above board. You might need to fork out a little extra to cover the 4 EUR per night tourist tax, which is payable on stays of up to 14 days. What’s more, hosts are required to send copies of your ID or passport upon check-in. Most renters on the platform are used to sorting all of the above, so it shouldn’t be too much of a barrier to a smooth check-in – you’ll be sipping that Spritz on the piazza in no time!
Where should I stay in Milan Airbnb?
Navigating Milan shouldn’t be too difficult. First off, get your bearings on the iconic Piazza del Duomo (1) and its surrounding streets. From there, you can look north to cool Brera (2), or across to the Fashion Quarter (3) for shopping. Going south will take you to the design hub of Zona Tortona (4), or maybe to the canal-carved area of chilled Navigli (5). To be close to the train stations and big business institutions, modern Porta Nuova (6) should be the speck on your radar.
Piazza del Duomo
Sights right on the doorstep
One of the most vibrant parts of the city
Lovely people-watching piazzas everywhere
Very busy, all the time!
The area around the Piazza del Duomo is the beating heart of Milan. It extends from the great whitewashed turrets of the Duomo itself all the way down bustling Via Torino in a hubbub of bakeries, high-street shops, and cafés. Typically packed with sightseers in the summer months, it’s where you’ll need to tread to find the classy boutiques of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the venerable opera house of La Scala. There is loads to do, but rental rates are among the highest in the city.
Home of the famous Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery
This is now one of the city’s most expensive areas
Gets busy with locals and tourists
Once a gathering point for Italian poets and thinkers, Brera has since shed its bohemian roots and embraced its more Milanese side. Cue cobbled streets lined with clothes boutiques and shoe shops, little alleys thrumming with café talkers, and fantastic trattoria that issue the scents of saffron and buffalo mozzarella into the air. Just wandering around Brera is a joy, what with those narrow back roads with their overhanging balconies sprouting from pastel-painted mansions. The Airbnb tend to follow suit – they’re chic, stylish, and very comfortable indeed.
The Fashion Quarter sits coolly alongside Brera on the outskirts of the historic centre of Milan. As the name implies, it’s the hub of the city’s most famous industry: Fashion. Everywhere you look is a boutique or a workshop selling something bespoke, from handbags with gasp-inducing price tags to mattresses to Jimmy Choo shoes. If retail therapy is your thing, there’s simply nowhere better to be! Rentals in the area also edge towards the more luxurious end of the spectrum, hiding contemporary interiors in age-old townhouses.
The area of Porta Nuova is wedged between two of the main train stations in Milan (Stazione Milano Porta Garibaldi to the west and Centrale to the north). That makes it the perfect place to stay if you’re hopping off a high-speed rail link from somewhere else in Italy. And there’s more, because this uber-modern district sports high-rise business buildings and wide boulevards. It’s a chance to get a taste of the living, breathing, working city; not just the history and the art.
With exhibits dedicated to Armani and clothing museums that showcase everything from retro wear to Japanese kimonos, the Zona Tortona is another of the leading lights in the Milan design scene. It’s come a long way since its industrial roots in the 60s and 70s. These days, you’re more likely to happen on a Prosecco bar in the rejuvenated depots than any sort of heavy machinery. To really see the district go into overdrive, think about coming during the Milan Furniture Fair in April.
Can be hard to reach from the major train stations
The Grande and Pavese canals carve their way through this charming neighbourhood on the southern edge of Milan. They create a lovely section of streets that look more Venice than Lombardy, thanks to their bobbing barges and boats and waterside cafés. Being quite far from the hubbub of the old centre, Navigli is really for travelers who love to escape to lived-in local areas.
This beautiful Airbnb Plus apartment is exactly what you might expect from a host in the design-conscious city of Milan. Bespoke yet understated, the interiors and décor are a mix of white walls and tactile timbers, emerald tiling and woven seagrasses. Even the entrance brings a quirky touch of the jungle to the downtown streets of the bustling Porta Venezia area with its wreath of green plant life.
Live like one of the rich Milanese doges of yesteryear by booking this seriously luxurious townhouse. It’s more castle than Airbnb rental, with twirling staircases weaving through Neo-Classical statues to take you to the first floor. The kitchen’s breakfast bar is adorned with antique mosaic work. The ceilings are vaulted like something out of a medieval Italian church. If you like off-beat and different, you’ll love this!
It’s rare to find Airbnbs in Milan that come with a garden on the side, but this cosy Plus rental near Porta Romana does just that. There’s a small yard strewn with ivy vines and bedded with cobblestone for those evening aperitifs. The kids will have enough room to spread out over the three floors, while the master bedroom has an ensuite to boot.
A duo of independent flats can be combined at this location on the southern outskirts of Milan to ensure there’s enough space for groups of up to 16. Inside, things are simple, spacious and stylish, with multiple seating areas converging on a big kitchen-diner. Not that you’ll want to do too much cooking – the local eateries of the wonderful Navigli neighbourhood are just down the road.
Nothing could be more romantic than waking to the sound of the bells ringing in the gorgeous Milan Duomo. In this uber-central apartment condo, you’ll only need to fling open the window to lay eyes on that magnificent heritage site and its spiked Gothic towers. Inside, the sofa’s even been positioned for gazing across the piazza. It’s perfect for a couple’s night in.
Milan is notoriously pricy on the hotels front. A two-night stay towards the end of the popular summer months can easily set you back over $150 a night. Airbnbs tend to be a little cheaper than that, although it is possible to pay far more for the most sought-after locations close to the Duomo and Fashion Quarter. On the flip side, there are tantalising deals on week-long rentals via Airbnb, not to mention larger properties that let you spread the cost between your whole travel group.
One thing to bear in mind is that you’re not likely to get the same level of attention to detail from an Airbnb as you would in a hotel. There’s no dedicated front desk to help you book tours and taxis. There’s no daily cleaning. There’s no on-demand room service. To enjoy all that, try out the NYX Hotel by Leonardo. It’s got excellent ratings, along with designer interiors, a gym, and a rooftop garden.
Prepare your best outfits. Brush up the wine-tasting skills. Dust down the art guides. Milan is a city that booms with fashion boutiques, UNESCO sites, and some of Italy’s most celebrated food. You can bag an Airbnb in all sorts of locations across town for a comfy and fun-filled stay.