Milan hotel: What would you do?

Nov 13th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Milan hotel: What would you do?

A friend and I will have most of a day in Milan at the end of a trip before flying home to the US from MXP. (The rest of the trip will have four full days in Rome, two full days in Venice and two full days probably in Varenna, with travel days between.) I've never been to Milan and it's never really been on my "list", but since we'll be there I'd really like to see the Duomo and the Last Supper (if we can manage tickets). We'll be taking an early-ish train from Varenna to Milan on a Thursday (I believe the earliest leaves Varenna around 8:30), have the rest of the day to sightsee, and then need to be at MXP at 8:30 on a Friday morning. So, would you:

1) stay at a hotel in central Milan, figuring out how to get to the airport during rush hour on a Friday morning
2) store our luggage at the train station [I plan to do carryon only], sightsee in town, and then get to an airport hotel for the night

We're two women, age 29/30, so no kids or anyone with mobility problems to worry about. We're trying to stay around 100E/night for hotels on this trip (and so far are succeeding!). Suggestions for hotels with either option would be greatly appreciated!
jent103 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 01:15 PM
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I live in Italy and WITHOUT A DOUBT, I would stay in Milan. Staying near the airport is full of logistical problems unless you have a car, and almost all the hotels near the airport are soul-less and have perfectly dreadful food.

Malpensa airport has no "onsite" hotels -- so what happens is that you end up relying on airport shuttles that stop at many hotels on their "milk-run" route to the airport. You end up needing to wake up almost as early as you would by staying in Milan and taking the train or bus to the airport. Worse? Some of the airport shuttles from hotels are not reliable, or don't start running until 9am, too early for many US-bound flights. So you end up paying for a pricey taxi in addtion to the mediocre airport

Milano Centrale station now has a direct train to the airport, in addition to the Malpensa Xpress that leaves from Cadorna Station. You don't have to worry about traffic.

Since you are on a budget, you might want to take the airport bus that leaves from Milano Centrale. Just ask your hotel for advice about morning traffic and how early to leave to catch the bus.

As for hotel recommendations, you need to know right off the bat that Milan is one of the few cities in Italy where going way down on price runs the risk of getting a shabby hotel. It won't be unsafe, just shabby.

You don't say what time of year you are traveling. If it is during a trade fair or fashion week, Milano hotels raise their rates and crowd up fast. if it during summer, or even just weekends, you can get great bargains by booking last minute -- say, a few days before, using websites like or, but I can understand if you don't want to go that route.

So for your low budget, scour Tripadvisor and for hotels whose price you can live with that get VERY GOOD REVIEWS from users.

One hotel I often find offers affordable rates is the Palazzo delle Stelline, and it is very easy to walk from there to the Malpensa Xpress. A rather dreary but perfectly safe and clean hotel near the central station is the Nazionale on the via Vesuvio.

Good luck!

Milan is a wonderful place for strolling. Your choices of the Duomo and the Last Supper are excellent. You will get a great sense of Milano simply by strolling all around the area of the Duomo -- in the Galleria, window shopping the food stores around the via Spadari, or the shops along the pedestrianized via Dante. Enjoy a cocktail on the pedestrianized via Brera or the lively Corso Magenta. If you enjoy museums. the small Pinocoteca Ambrosiana is incredibly interesting (again, just steps from the Duomo). If you like fashion, the via MonteNapoleone, 15 minutes further away by foot, is a kick. If you are going in winter, there are lovely places to drink thick hot chocolate. In warmer months, the evening bar scene with free nibbles is something to track down.

The website "Spotted by Locals" has a lot of nice tips about how to have fun in Milano on not much money.

have a great trip!
zeppole is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Thanks, zeppole! I had wondered if the "airport hotel" setup in Italy was similar to what I'm familiar with in the US... sounds like it's similar, but not exactly the same (I've never heard of an airport shuttle that didn't start running until 9am!). We'll be there the night of May 19 next year - still awhile to get things sorted out, but I am definitely a planner. The Palazzo delle Stelline does look nice, though at 172E for one night, a pretty big jump from our hoped-for budget. But that is somewhat flexible, and your advice about price predicting quality in Milan is duly noted! I'll do some looking and see what I can find.

And thank you also for the suggestions of what to do! I'll add them to my notes.
jent103 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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I agree with Zeppole, to definitely stay IN Milan for that last night.

The Brera area of Milan is enchanting, and I also loved the Pinocoteca Ambrosiana, as well as the Pinacoteca di Brera, which is located (not surprisingly) in the Brera area.
Lexma90 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 05:10 PM
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By May, there should be more train options (42 minutes, 12€) from Milan Centrale to Malpensa (only two listed currently) so you won't have to rely on the Malpensa bus.

Try Hotel Berna if you want a budget selection. It's just a few blocks from Centrale.
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 13th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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Sher is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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Try Hotel Bagliori, an easy walk from the train station Centrale. We stayed there this fall for 89E including breakfast. It's fine for one night and is very convenient.
anneeby is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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Thanks, everyone! kybourbon, you'd mentioned the Hotel Berna on another thread - now that I'm pretty sure we'll stay in Milan itself, it's a definite possibility. Thanks for reminding me! anneeby, the Bagliori doesn't seem to have any rooms available for that night, unfortunately.
jent103 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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This hotel is central, easy to reach from the central train station (see the location info on their website for details)and allows easy access (a short walk) to the Cadorna station for the inexpensive and fast Malpensa Express train to the airport-

Another central hotel-

This website provides some good, basic transportation information-
zoecat is online now  
Nov 14th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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For one night stay in Milan, we like the Hotel Florida. It's very close to the train station but we felt safe. we have stayed there three times and will stay again in January on the night before our flight back to the US. Their internet rate for your date is below your budget for a standard double room. You can request a twin room.
baby2 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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I have not been to Milan for a number of years, so defer to the expertise of others as to which option is more advisable. However, just for the sake of making sure you have complete information on which to base your choice, there is apparently now at least one (just opened) Sheraton hotel at MXP which is within walking distance of the terminals. Probably not a true budget option unless you happen to have loyalty points; however, this reviewer recently got a rate of 123 euros in October: (Fwiw, I suspect that is some kind of promotional rate related to the opening of the hotel, and that by this time next year it will be much higher.)
MoonGirl is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 09:55 AM
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I spent one night in Milan in September. We (two women in their late 30's) had a very early flight out of MXP. I chose hotel King Mokinba because of the price, very close location to Cadorna station (5 min. walking with luggage) and the relatively close location to the Duomo (10-15 min). Coming from Padova-Verona, it gave us a couple of hours to stroll around Milan at night without being too tired and without getting lost. It turned out to be a good choice and if I had to spend another night in Milan (before an early flight) I would choose the same hotel.
MilenaM is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Thank you all SO much for those suggestions! Lots of checking to do. MoonGirl, I wondered about a Sheraton or something along those lines, but was almost certain it would be out of our budget. I'll check it out, though, just to make sure!
jent103 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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Any thoughts on the location of the Doria Grand? Their (nonrefundable) internet rate looks like it would be close to our budget, and it gets good TA reviews.
jent103 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Also - zeppole, do you have any more information on the train from Centrale station to MXP? The only reference I could find was on the Wikipedia page for Centrale that said it will start in December, if I'm reading and searching correctly!
jent103 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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I've stayed at the Mini Hotel Aosta which is across the street from the station.

The Doria Grand doesn't look too far to walk.
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 15th, 2010, 11:50 PM
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I too stayed at Mini Hotel Aosta 1 night 2 winters ago. It was fine for the (lowest season) price I paid, € 40.- incl.breakfast at the top floor brekfast room with a view of the square in front of the Central Station. It is located on the side where Malpensa airport shuttle bus leaves, a walk of less than a minute from the hotel.
kappa1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2010, 05:15 AM
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Wow - when I went to "book" the Hotel Aosta, it gave me a rate of 420E for a twin room for one night! Some of the others in the chain had inexpensive rates, but I think it's safe to say that the Aosta is out of our budget unless more rooms open up.

(kybourbon - I looked at the Hotel Berna as well, but several of the TripAdvisor reviews mentioned that the area may not have been very safe. Did you feel that way at all?)
jent103 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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> Wow - when I went to "book" the Hotel Aosta, it gave me a rate of 420E for a twin room for one night!

I was really surprised of the rate you got. It's no 5* hotel and even at fair dates, €420 is unbelievable, almost laughable for this hotel. It's an ok, modern and small/mid size hotel but then fair rates can be outrageous. I went to the site and put a random date later this month. I see €420 but it seems to be the rack rate without reduction at all (that almost nobody pays). Didn't you get other rates? I see Prepay - non refundable rate, minimum 2-night rate and Internet rate. Internet rate is €115. When is your date?

I stayed at Berna a long time ago, perhaps a few minutes more walk than Aosta from the station. I did felt it's not the best part of the city as many railway station area often are. Maybe I saw some (call) girls standing on that street but otherwise, I dind't think it was poarticuarly a unsafe or bad street but it was almost 10 years ago.
kappa1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Bus as long as the situation allows, I do like to stay in the central ("historical") area where you can walk to Duomo, etc. easily.
kappa1 is offline  

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