Milan is northern Italy’s biggest commercial center, big on banking and industry. Until recently many of its hotels have chased expense-account customers to the detriment of tourists and families. The winds of change are blowing, however, and the city is seeing a flowering of cosy, independent locandas and albergos as well as design-conscious and mega-cool boutique hotels to complement the grand old institutions.

As Milan is a commercial center, prices are often higher during the week than on the weekend. Room rates soar when the fashion and design crowd hits town (late Feb, mid-May, and late Sept).

Inveterate shoppers will want to stay in the Brera and Magenta neighborhoods, avid sightseers near the Duomo; budgeters will find the most options near the central train station and along Corso Buenos Aires.

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Self-Catering Rooms and Apartments

If you want to live like a real Milanese, self-catering rooms and apartments can be a great option, allowing you to shop at local markets, try your hand cooking the local cuisine, or at least have a refrigerator where you can keep water, wine, and cheese. Some properties even have washing machines (don’t expect dryers—due to the high costs of electricity, most Italians hang their clothes to dry). On www.airbnb.com, a one-bedroom apartment tends to run around 120€ per night. The local agency Milan Maison (www.milan.maison.com) offers everything from lofts with fully stocked kitchens to studios and one bedrooms with smaller kitchenettes (studios start at 48€ per night; lofts start at 110€ per night but can get as expensive as 497€ per night).   

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.