A weekend in Milan is always a good idea 🙂 Milan is usually not on everyone’s bucket list but, trust me, it is definitely worth a visit… Great design and architecture, a few great museums and activities, cool shopping, amazing typical food from several regions of Italy, beautiful restaurant interiors. It’s a great stay for couples, families and friends. Plus Milan has been changing in several ways these past years and for the better!
Here is my best city guide for the perfect weekend!
The Sister Hotel
The Sister Hotel offers a unique, intimate, and sophisticated experience. Located in a secret courtyard in the heart of Milan, this hotel occupies a former 16th century convent of nuns from which it takes its name. This project was born from the desire to offer an experience in a sophisticated but informal environment, a unique place where design, art and food come together
The hotel, opening in 2021, was created by entrepreneur Mauro Orlandelli, founder of the holistic Six Project, and designed by the famous architects from studio Quincoces-Dragò. It includes the Six Gallery (art gallery) and the Sixième Bistrò (in the same building), Irene at Six and materials studio Forest Design. The hotel is inspired by Parisian mansions. The style is an eclectic mix of sophisticated furniture, timeless details and contemporary elements that create a refined atmosphere.
The Sister Hotel has 9 rooms, each with its own style. The rooms are in shades of navy blue, moss green and orange. The Sister Hotel is the very definition of a boutique hotel. And everything can be bought.
The gallery and the restaurant are located on the first floor around a central courtyard. The restaurant has a tropical and bohemian atmosphere that contrast with the lush vegetation.
From 160 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Via Scaldasole, 7 | 20123 Milano
Antica Locanda dei Mercanti
The Antica Locanda dei Mercanti hotel is in an excellent location, tucked away on a quiet side street in the heart of Milan and ideally located for reaching the city’s major sights. The Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione, a large park and must see in Milan, are a short walk from the hotel, while the Duomo and La Scala Opera House are less than a five-minute stroll away. The elegant shops of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga are also close by.
The rooms are spread out over three floors, and differ in size and décor. First floor rooms are particularly spacious, with high ceilings, while third floor rooms have original Venetian graniglia floors with private rooftop garden terraces. Rooms blend both contemporary and antique furniture. Some have open plan living areas with kitchenettes.
Breakfast is all à la carte, so you can pick and choose what you love best: croissants, freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly-baked bread and jams are offered, as well as cereal, eggs, fruit salad, and natural yoghurt.
From 205 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Via San Tomaso 6 | 20121 Milano
The 4* Palazzo Segreticombines the charm of a Milanese palazzo and stylish modern design. the boutique hotel is on a very quiet side street off Via Dante, one of the main pedestrian streets in Milan’s city centre. It’s conveniently located near many of the city’s main attractions.
The architect owner renovated this 18th-century palazzo combining Scandinavian and Milanese design pieces, vibrant colours and raw materials like wood and concrete. The hotel has 24-hour concierge service, happy to assist with anything you may need from dinner reservations to tips on what to see in Milan. You can enjoy a glass of wine or Spritz in the lounge or at the wine bar.
The 18 rooms, which include apartments with kitchens and terraces, are modern and minimalist, with an industrial touch.They are all uniquely decorated, with details like brick walls and reclaimed wooden floors.
There’s a small, snazzy wine bar for evening drinks and snacks, but design and the central location are the draw here. 😉
From 180 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Via San Tomaso, 8 | 20121 Milano
With only four rooms, this small and welcoming b&b, LaFavia, in Milan’s Porta Garibaldi district has an intimate setting and plenty of character. The sophisticated décor is a tasteful hotchpotch of styles, where Art Deco mixes with retro with a pinch of ethnic and vintage Seventies. The owners, Fabio and Marco, have gathered many art and design pieces from the travel and brough them back in Milan offering a great mix of tradition, design, craftsmanship and travel.
Its located in a late 19th-century apartment block a short walk from Porta Garibaldi railway station. Its ideally situated to reach Porta Nuova, Milan’s financial hub, while the city’s trendy Brera district, the city’s bohemian and artistic quarter, is within walking distance.
The friendly owners will ensure that you will feel at home, and have plenty of suggestions about city sights and Milan’s vibrant dining scene. Gluten free breakfast is available on request and a lovely terrace available for guests. There are two bikes for guests’ use.
From 105 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Via Carlo Farini 4 | 20154 Milano
The NH Moscova Hotel is conveniently located halfway between Garibaldi and Repubblica stations, both less than 10 minutes away by foot. The Stazione Centrale is also at walking distance. Fronted by a large terrace, this hotel is set in a historic palazzo with a striking Neoclassical façade, that used to be Milan’s first railway station. The interiors are stylish and intimate – and the breakfast is a must.
The hotel has 64 rooms and an almost boutique feel. Glistening, minimalistic surfaces and sophisticated details like the round globe-shaped lights suspended on the stairwell give the hotel a modern look, which contrasts nicely with the period of the building. The windows and the vaulted architecture of the underground level, now housing the SPA, are the only original details kept from the building’s time as a station.
Right next to reception there is a small meeting room with natural light. The basement houses the hotel’s amaTi SPA, including a sauna, hammam, whirlpool tub and fitness room with Technogym equipment. The SPA offers a vast range of massages and beauty treatments.
The intimate hotel restaurant is run by Tuscan truffle brand Savini, and the menu is dominated by truffle-based specialties, with a choice of white or black truffle freshly shaved on dishes. The nearby cocktail bar is an ideal place for aperitivo or an after-dinner drink.
From 120 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Viale Monte Grappa, 12b | 20124 Milano
Matilde Boutique Hotel
Matilde Boutique Hotel is a great address for those who want to a mix of traditional and modern. Parquet and moldings, elegant furniture. Matilde is a great
A few steps away from the hotel, you will be able to admire Milan and its open-air works such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Teatro alla Scala, the historic Brera district, Piazza Cordusio, Piazza Castello and its Sforzesco Castle. All the attractions and things to do in Milan that you cannot miss are near the Matilde Boutique Hotel.
25 rooms that will provide you all the comfort needed, leading you in an unforgettable experience and delighting you with a homemade breakfast.
From 299 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Via Spadari, 1 | 20123 Milano
The Yard Milano
The Yard boutique hotel exudes cool. It brims with character, with dark cosy interiors packed with antiques and vintage pieces of furniture – like British interior style. The bustling restaurant serves creative Milanese dishes, while the stylish bar serves up creative cocktails with a twist. It’s ideally located to reach the bustling Navigli, Milan’s nightlife hub where the city’s canals are lined with quirky boutiques, stylish bars and lively restaurants.
Rooms are mainly themed after a different sport, from hunting to motorcycling, while others feature an English country-style look: antique mahogany chests, tweed, tartan and woollen textiles marry with dark palettes, lending a cosy stylish feel. Each room is appointed with unique pieces of furniture. There is also a spa at your disposal.
From 229 € per night for 2 people, including breakfast.
Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio, 8 | 20123 Milano
Maison Borella is a beautifully renovated building from the 1700s is Milan’s only waterfront hotel. It has a lovely location, right on the Navigli (canals of Milan), is an exceptional asset when the weather is warm and you can sip a cappuccino on your room’s geranium-lined terrace.
The hotel’s Turbigo Bar and Restaurant serves fine Milanese and Italian dishes in the spacious dining room overlooking the courtyard, where breakfast is also served. There is also a large lobby, equipped with audio-visual facilities, which can be used for business meetings.
Maison Borella has 24 spacious rooms and suites, elegantly decorated with parquet floors and exposed beam ceilings. Some have terraces overlooking the Naviglio Grande canal.
From 153 € per night for 2 people.
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 8 | 20144, Milano
Room Mate Giulia
This fun and quirky hotel has plenty of character: vibrantly coloured retro furnishings, quirky paintings and homely rooms. But it’s the extra details that really make a difference – like breakfast is served until noon! Excellent location right in the heart of the city a stone’s throw away from Milan’s Cathedral. The Duomo area has hundreds of high-street shops, while the city’s Fashion District is less than a ten-minute stroll. There are plenty of excellent museums too, including the Gallerie d’Italia.
Award-winning Italian architect and designer Patricia Urquiola is behind the stylish interiors of the Room Mate Giulia that take inspiration from Milanese homes from the 60’s. The attractive rooms are decorated in warm shades of green, light blue and pink. They’re cosy and welcoming, with colourful vintage touches and a hint of industrial.
There is no on-site restaurant, although the hotel works with three nearby restaurants (Italian, Japanese and American) that can deliver to the hotel.
From 199 € per night for 2 people.
Via Silvio Pellico, 4 | 20121 Milano
Drogheria Milanese is a laid-back and trendy restaurant on via San Marco. It serves simple Italian dishes, tapas style. The menu has many options from salads, meat and fish, great pasta, risotto and dessert to finish.
A grocery counter (filled with Italian products sold on site), a big communal table to share, and a bunch of smaller, more intimate tables as well.
A perfect spot for a brunch or dinner with friends with a relaxed atmosphere and good prices.
Via S. Marco, 29 | 20121 Milano
La Vecchia Lira
The typical Osteria della Vecchia Lira was born thanks to the initiative and experience of the two owners, Eugenio and Christian, who offer a tasteful Italian cuisine with plenty of traditional recipes – delicious salumi, tagliata di manzo, cotoletta alla milanese, risotto alla milanese (famous Italian risotto with saffron). Located in the trendiest area of old Milan, in Largo la Foppa, just a stone’s throw from Corso Garibaldi and Brera, the Vecchia Lira’s name evokes nostalgia for the good things of the past and traditions, such as the old currency, and launches the successful challenge of maintaining their prices as they were before the introduction of the euro. The restaurant is open until late.
Largo la Foppa, 5 | 20121 Milano
One of our favourite restaurants in Milan. Terza Carbonaia is a typical osteria in the Porta Venezia district serving Italian typical dishes and particularly renown for wood-fired meat dishes, simple, with amazing ingredients and great service by waiters who have been working there for ages. Our favourite: tagliata with carciofi crudi.
Via Degli Scipioni, 3 | 20129 Milano
La Latteria offers homemade Italian cooking with a family atmosphere. A local spot with just seven tables. The Milanese family that owns the restaurant La Latteria sets the rules here. Maria meets the guests personally, kindly and very attentively, and the chef, Arturo Maggi, prepares dishes with gusto and tradition – caprese salade, polenta with procini mushrooms, octopus risotto, or a torta al ciocolatto. Another authentic restaurant, in the heart of Brera, via San Marco, where the menu changes daily depending on seasonal and market offerings.
It’s often crowded, sometimes with a long wait – especially during Fashion Week, but it’s worth a détour for an authentic Milanese experience.
Via S. Marco, 24 | 20121 Milano
A unique place that recalls the atmosphere of the Milanese trattorias of the early 1900s. A great spot to enjoy Italian nibbles and small plates for a lunch in the garden. Giacomo Rosticceria is a popular and typical place, beloved by Milanese.
Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 36 | 20129 Milano
Antica Trattoria della Pesa
Antica Trattoria della Pesa is one of the two oldest restaurants in Milan. It lies in preserving authentic Milanese recipes in a setting which has not changed for a few decades. A great address if you’re looking for traditional cuisine from Lombardy and Milan – risotto al salto or ossobuco con risotto alla milanese for example
The restaurant is laid-back and elegant at the same time. A great option for those looking for authenticiity and tradition.
Viale Pasubio, 10 | 20154 Milano
Alla Cucina delle Langhe
Alla Cucina delle Langhe is a gem in the sea of great dining in Milan. This is not a touristy place but trendy anyways (we’ve heard that Tom Ford used to book a table there during the whole Fashion Week). Traditional and delicous regional gastronomy from Piemonte and Lombardia, an unpretentious atmosphere and a decor from the 30’s. A rare collection of Mussolini’s fascist art magazine La Rivista on the wall. The risotto cooked in Barolo wine is to die for.
Corso Como, 6 | 20154 Milano
On a cold and dreary winter day, it is universally known that the Milanese are looking for a cozy plane to warm up and enjoy delicious food. On a hot, lazy summer’s day, it is universally known that the Milanese are looking for a cool, comfortable place to shelter from the unbearable heat of Milan. For this and much more there is LùBar.
LùBar is quite a unique restaurant in Milan. The name LùBar derives from the Sicilian dialect and means “the bar”, but it also means “the bar of the Lu” to recall the names of the three siblings creators Lucrezia, Lucilla and Ludovico Bonaccorsi. This restaurant, bar and brunch spot mixes Sicilian street food and delicious brunch options (the best avo toast in Milan), Milanese elegance and one of the most Instagrammable spots in Milan.
The place is perfect for a hearty breakfast, a light lunch or a drink with friends. The fabulous setting – with lush plants, marble columns and a lively flamingo at the entrance – gives the feeling of being in an orangery, with a refined and enchanting style.
A great mix of style and simple yet delicious menus.
Via Palestro, 16 | 20121 Milano
Attending a fashion event in Tortona? Visit Al Fresco, a place that is unique with its amazing terrace and garden in the middle of the city. The perfect spot to have lunch with the family or a group of friends.
The restaurant designed in a rustic chic style gives life to an old showroom: it was restored with the desire to have a space outside, with a marvelous garden built from scratch and a glass-covered veranda filling the place with natural light. the kitchen introduces a new “Al Fresco” dish every day for lunch, freshly made pastry and granite everyday, and an original wine card make the place all more desirable.
Via Savona, 50 | 20144 Milano
BARS & APERITIVO
The Doping Club
You want to enjoy original cocktails in a glam atmosphere? This is the best spot for you. The Doping Club is a cocktail bar that represents the essence of a marvellous journey through cultures and tastes, with a wide selection of spirits and homemade liquors. Its the hotel trendy bar of The Yard.
Experienced barmen shake up creative cocktails, which attracts a hip crowd throughout the day and evening. If you manage to get your hands on the right password, you’ll be able to gain access to the 1920’s themed speakeasy hidden at the back 😉 Here you can drink the best cocktails in town.
Set in a large cosy dining area with cushioned seating, Gipsy Restaurant serves creative takes on Milanese dishes with live jazz, swing and blues on Thursdays and Fridays. The attached boxing-themed Dirty Gym pizzeria serves “gourmet” pizzas, with topics ranging from cod to beetroot. Breakfast is a buffet of cold cuts, cheeses, pastries and fruits.
The Yard Hotel, Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio, 8 | 20123 Milano
Bar Basso is one of very few cocktail bars where the tradition and charm of the great international bars is still alive and on trend today. A place for connoisseurs who still like to enjoy a drink in style. Bar Basso was the first bar in Milan to offer the traditional Aperitivo. It is also famous for the Negroni Sbagliato which was created by accident in 1967 when the owner used prosecco instead of gin. Bar Basso is also popular for its great design of the 60’s.
Today the cocktail list includes more than 500 drinks, from the great classics such as the Bloody Mary, Manhattan and Martini to the newly invented ones, such as the Rossini – especially created by Mirko Stocchetto to appeal to the ladies, the celebrated hazelnut ice-cream cocktail Mangia e Bevi. A great spot for a drink with friends to start the evening.
Via Plinio, 39 | 20020 Milano
In the heart of Milan’s Chinatown, a characteristic old wine bar run by the Isola family since the end of the 19th century. In the Cantina Isola bar, the room is rather cramped, furnished with an infinite number of shelves on which a whole series of labels from all over Italy (but not only) can be found. There is very little seating because the service is done at the counter, but the sidewalk, with its veranda with tables and chairs, is always crowded with people with a drink in hand. The choice is surprising with more than 2,000 labels, among wines, beers and liqueurs.
Via Paolo Sarpi, 30 | 20154 Milano
BREAKFAST & COFFEE SPOTS
Fioraio Bianchi Caffè
If your wallet won’t allow you a plane ticket and a hotel in the city of love, go to Via Montebello 7. There is a little place that tastes so much like France that it deserves a special moment in your day: Fioraio Bianchi Caffè.
But the food is all Italian! Cannelés aside, of course… Ever tried them? It’s a specialty from Bordeaux.
The menu changes monthly to offer the best of seasonal produce and differs between lunch and dinner. A select wine list completes the experience. What’s a break without a glass? Bring a book and leave your iPad at home – at most we allow you to listen to your favourite music and enjoy the moment to the full – choose one of the lovely tables outside.
If you’re in the mood for romance, one tidbit: flowers can still be bought!
Via Montebello, 7 | 20121 Milano
Pasticceria Cova Montenapoleone
Founded in 1817 by Antonio Cova, a Napoleonic soldier, Cova is one of the oldest pasticceria in Italy. Renowned for the excellence of its products, its impeccable service and its refined interior decoration, this Milanese institution has always combined tradition and elegance.
Today Cova is an institution that celebrates expertise and creativity. The association of experienced chefs, committed to working the best products with the utmost care, contributes to creating a timeless experience appreciated by a cosmopolitan clientele.
Via Monte Napoleone, 8 | 20121 Milano
Pasticceria Marchesiis a bit the Ladurée of Mialn. It has embodied Milanese style since 1824. Excellent specialties, elegant spaces and impeccable service with sophisticated creativity.
Traditional recipes that rely on long-standing knowhow are reinterpreted with a contemporary style. Breakfast, lunch, cocktails, a confectionary and savoury selection, chocolate and sweet specialties, as the famous Panettone, are just some of the delicacies offered by Pasticceria Marchesi. Perfect for a coffee and treat in the afternoon if not too busy…
Via S. Maria alla Porta 11/a | Milano
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Milano
Via Monte Napoleone, 9 | Milano
Formica furniture, pinball machines and retro jukeboxes playing Italian hits from the 1950s…Welcome to the Bar Luce imagined by the American filmmaker Wes Anderson for the new Prada Foundation in Milan.
This Milanese bar offers paninis with mortadella or foie gras, brioche alla crema, Sachertorte and other delicacies, reflecting the acidic and childlike visual universe of the filmmaker’s films while drawing inspiration from the greatest masterpieces of the golden age of Italian cinema, such as Miracle in Milan by Vittorio De Sica or Rocco and his brothers by Luchino Visconti. A place like Anderson’s films, full of stories and out of time.
L.go Isarco, 2 | 20139 Milano
Casa Capitano is a cozy caffè and patisserie, cioccolatteria with beautifufl furniture from the 50’s and 60’s (all for sale). The perfect breakfast to start the day at one of the comfortable tables or at the bar al volo.
Via Castel Morrone, 35 | 20129 Milano