milan nightlife

Milan Nightlife: a Guide for Tourists

Famous for being Italy’s capital of fashion, finance, and commerce, Milan is a modern and vibrant city that never stops. After an hard day of work and the ever-present “aperitivo” right after leaving the office, the Milanese swing by their house to quickly tidy up for a night out with friends. Young, refined, and cosmopolitan Milan nightlife is one of the most exciting in Europe and the most desired in Italy. Bars open after midnight, numerous nightclubs closing at 4:00 a.m., excellent music and theater performances all year round, art and cultural events held until late – Milan boasts every sort of nighttime entertainment with an unique touch of elegance and trendiness.

Milan Nightlife

Like many cities in the world, there are various areas of Milan where a night out can be spent. Most of them are located in different parts of the city, therefore using public transportation is highly recommended, especially if you like being out until late. The underground closes around midnight but some bus lines operates all night long. Taxis are numerous and available at a large number of taxi stands around the city, also the most famous nightclubs offer a free transportation service that needs to be booked in advance. Clubbing starts at about 11:00 p.m. running to about 4:00 a.m., but if you want to be ready, start your nightlife with the “aperitivo” happy hour, from about 6:00 p.m. on in bars and cafes. Here is a list of the most interesting and busy areas of Milan. The nightlife in Milan meets the needs of people of all ages and interests.

1) Navigli: Everything for Everyone

In recent years, Navigli has become the most popular area of Milan nightlife. Characterized by a non-conformist flair, this is the place where most Milanese begin their night out. Here you are going to find all types of bars, nightclubs and cafés to choose from. Its timeless and lively atmosphere, with canals lined with sidewalk cafés and vintage shops, makes Navigli suitable for people from all different age groups and backgrounds.

Best 3 places to go

  • Sadler  (Via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza, 77)- A tiny tavern who’s chef Claudio Sadler has earned two Michelin stars for his creative cooking.
  • Le Scimmie (Via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza, 49) – A two-room building: one contains a bar and a stage area where live music is performed every night of the week, and the second is the restaurant.
  • Mas (Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 11) –  A lovely and informal Spanish-style place, very famous for its assorted “aperitivi.”

Appeals to ages: 20+

2) Brera: a Bohémien Elegance

The charming and bohemian Brera district is the perfect place for a posh and trendy night out in the elegant city of Milan. Situated between the Duomo and the Quadrilatero della Moda (the famous shopping district), Brera is the place in which Milanese high society spends its night out. Choose to go out in this area if you enjoy sitting in cozy restaurants and lively bars, and afterwards, take a stroll surrounded by amusing antique shops, mysterious fortune tellers, and colorful artists.

Best 3 places to go

  • La Tartina (Via San Carpoforo 4) – A trendy wine and tapas bar featuring a wide selection of wines, small dishes, gourmet panini and salads. Perfect for a light lunch, dinner, or aperitif.
  • Break Time (Corso Lodi 112) – Very popular among tourists. Ideal for people-watching while seated at tables set up along the street in summertime.
  • Bar at the Bulgari Hotel (Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 7) – A very chic place to have a drink with some delicious finger food. Many of the cocktails are exclusive inventions of the Bulgari bartenders.

Appeals to ages: 30+

3) Corso Como: Glamour and Nightclubs

Corso Como is an exclusive area of Milan, famous for having the best and most trendy bars, nightclubs and cafés in the city. TV stars, VIPs and the most glamour people are spotted here during nighttime hours. If you like partying until late and don’t mind paying a few more euros for a drink, you should definitely spend your night in Corso Como. Leave your tourist outfit at the hotel, put on some of the trendy clothes you just bought in Milan’s boutiques and you are ready to dive into the coolest area of the city!

Best 3 places to go

  • The Hollywood ( Corso Como, 15) – The most popular disco club in Milan. The best place to enjoy the glamorous Milan nightlife.
  • Caffetteria Degli Atellani (Via della Moscova, 28) – A refined and elegant bookshop cafè, the hang-out of Milanese intellectuals.
  • Tocqueville 13 (Via Alexis di Tocqueville, 13) – Second only to The Hollywood, this disco club is making its way to first place with astonishing parties on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 Appeals to ages: 25+

4) Colonne di San Lorenzo: Chilled and Friendly

If you had to wear your best outfit to go to Corso Como, at Colonne di San Lorenzo you don’t have to worry about these frills. Situated not so far from Piazza Duomo, this long row of ancient columns is used as a place to stand or sit while having a drink and a nice chat with friends. Tourists are welcome in this crowded, picturesque square beside the columns, surrounded by a number of busy bars that sell drinks at a reasonable price. The atmosphere is very friendly here; just get a drink and stand in the crowd – within five minutes, you will start talking to people next to you and spend an exciting night out with your new friends!

Best 3 places to go

  • Bar Rattazzo (Via Vetere, 12) – During the day an ordinary cafè, at night it becomes one of the most crowded places in town with hundreds of people standing outside, chatting and drinking beer and cocktails.
  • Exploit Drinks e Dinner (Via Pioppette, 3) – An American bar with a mix of“old style” Colonial furniture and a huge crowd of people who love standing in its open space for a drink.
  • Le Biciclette (Via Torti, 2) – A club for fans of relaxing places with an enjoyable and trendy atmosphere. There is an American bar, a restaurant and an art gallery inside.

Appeals to ages: 20-35

5) Isola: Sushi and Live Music

Isola is a central area of Milan situated between Via Valtellina and Via Farini, close to Piazzale Lagosta. Also thanks to the new metro line that now stops here, this district is becoming one of the most populated for Milan nightlife. People from 20 to 30 years old like to spend their nights in this neighborhood, enjoying a drink, eating out or listening to live music in one of its popular clubs. Isola is also famous for being the best place in Milan to eat sushi – the Japanese food is very popular and appreciated in Milan.

Best 3 places to go

  • Blue Note (Via Pietro Borsieri, 37) – The most famous club in Milan for jazz lovers. International jazz artists perform here while the public sits enjoying drinks and dinner.
  • Isola della Birra (Via Medardo Rosso, 18) – A large selection of beers with a relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for chatty a night out with friends.
  • Ristorante da Berti (Via Francesco Algarotti, 20) – Vast dining rooms and a splendid garden with huge trees. All the traditional Milanese specialties are on the menu.

Appeals to ages: 30 – 50

6) Corso Sempione: the Most Exclusive Clubs in Milan

Corso Sempione is a fashionable and exclusive district near Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) and Parco Sempione (Sempione Park). When not at work, professionals, executives, and yuppies of the industrious city of Milan are used to spending their time here in one of the many trendy locations. When the weather is nice, the Arch of Peace becomes a meeting point for young people who like to sip a beer outdoors while playing spontaneous music.

Best 3 places to go

  • Old Fashion Café (La Triennale di Milano, Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6) – The most famous club in the district. A changing roster of deejays and live bands every night.
  • Gattopardo Cafè (Via Piero della Francesca, 47) – A deconsecrated church that became a modern and exclusive disco bar. Often used to film commercials, fashion shoots or TV shows.
  • Freak Bar ( Via Agostino Bertani, 16) – A tiny club, bar and art gallery that looks like a scruffy London club. Nice atmosphere and music until late.

Appeals to ages: 30-65

7) Piazza Duomo: Art and Elegance

Although it is Milan’s top destinations during the day, Piazza Duomo is also one of the most vibrant areas of the city at night. If you are not interested in the noisy and chaotic nightlife in bars and nightclubs, but want to enjoy art and music instead, Piazza Duomo is the right place to go. Elegant and relaxed cafés abound, museums are open until late, and there is live music and temporary events being held throughout the whole year – Piazza Duomo is Milan’s best place to go even at night!

Best 3 places to go

  • Dolce & Gabbana Bar Martini (Corso Venezia, 15) –  This bar is the result of the collaboration between Martini and Dolce & Gabbana. A unique place to enjoy an aperitivo or have dinner inspired by the true Sicilian tradition.
  • Le Banque (Via Bassano Porrone, 6) – A former bank transformed in one of the trendiest clubs in Milan, featuring an exclusive restaurant, three bars, and two dance floors.
  • Il Ristorante Trussardi alla Scala (Piazza della Scala, 5) – An exclusive two-star Michelin restaurant situated in the revamped Trussardi fashion house.

Appeals to ages: 40+

8) Porta Romana: the 80’s are Back

Heading south you get to Porta Romana, one of the historic districts of the city. Characterized by sumptuous 19th century and early 20th century buildings, Porta Romana hosts the residences of the Milanese elite and VIPs. This neighborhood is becoming increasingly trendy as many fashion and design showrooms have moved here from the city center. New restaurants, cafés and bars have recently opened here, many of them taking inspiration from the 80’s. Spend your night here if you like classical music, rock, ambient and sounds from the 1980s.

Best 3 places to go

  • Volo Bar (Viale Beatrice D’Este, 36) – Famous all over Milan for its abundant aperitivo, served from 6:00 p.m to 9:30 p.m. A nice restaurant as well as busy bar with a touch of Feng Shui.
  • La Salumeria della Musica (Via Antonio Pasinetti, 4) – A dance club installed in the huge industrial spaces of a former factory for the processing of ham and salami. The music ranges from rock, funky, jazz, pop, and soul.
  • Giulio Pane e Ojo (Via Ludovico Muratori, 10) – A delicious trattoria very famous for its cheerful and relaxed atmosphere. Typical Roman cuisine is served here.

Appeals to ages: 25+


Milan nightlife is various and interesting. Which district do you think is the best for spending a night out?