A vibrant metropolis, Milan is home to some of Italy’s most lively nightlife scenes. Between ancient ruins, renaissance landmarks and cosmopolitan skyscrapers, we have put together a guide to Milan’s go-to nightlife hotspots and local favourites. From relaxed aperitivos, night-time walks to luxury bars and classy clubbing, with the city’s diverse and inclusive range of night-time activities, Milan is sure to offer something that suits any bespoke taste. Milan’s unique culture of aperitivo socialising and alternative partying lends itself to its reputation as Italy’s top social city. Our guide not only offers party culture insight and recommendations, but also tips and tricks to staying safe when enjoying la dolce vita of Milan’s nightlife.
Exploring Milan after-dark can make for a truly romantic and mood setting walk. With the moonlit Navigli canals, cobblestoned streets and illuminated monuments, seeing the city at night is a great way to find your bearings and capture some Instagram worthy shots. Simply strolling around the city and dipping into local bars and restaurants is the true secret to scoping out Milan’s hidden gems. However, we know that knowing where to start can be tricky. So, we have done all the research and hard work for you to help you find only the best of Milan’s clubs and party destinations.
Popular Nightlife Hotspots in Milan
Starting central, Milan’s nightlife around Brera and Corso Sempione is the place to go if you are looking for a truly sophisticated night out. With Milan as a premier fashion capital, you can find bars such as the Armani Bamboo Bar and the DG Martini (Dolce & Gabbana) cocktail club. Chic and bohemian, this quarter of the city makes for a great place for celeb spotting and fashionista networking.
Further into Corso Sempione, there is one of Milan’s most famous nightclubs, Gattopardo. Gattopardo is a unique and exclusive nightclub located in a stunning baroque church. Hosting galas, fashion shows, techno gigs and more, this club is a fabulous immersive and contemporary experience.
As for the wine connoisseurs, heading nearby into Brera, you can find Nombra de Vin. Nombra de Vin is a prestigious wine bar located in a monk refectory that dates back to the 16th century. The subterranean bar is floor to ceiling with a variety of wines carefully selected by Cristiano Cora, the bar’s owner, and second-generation sommelier.
Heading into one of the trendiest places in Milan, Navigli is where you will find the true local Italians. Navigli is located in Milan south, the historic side of the city. Renound for its picturesque canals, Navigli is often referred to as the landlocked Venice. Full of atmosphere from morning, noon and night, this place is full of student-loved pubs and bars. MAG cafè is an upbeat pub and popular TikTok choice that features a long list of creative cocktails from the Tiki Tonic to the Negroni dei Gladiatori. For fans of rock‘n’roll, blues and soul, the Nidaba Theatre hosts live music and drinks every night with free entry included. For a slightly more secluded tone, Morgante Cocktail & Soul is another one of Milan’s many tucked away gems with intimate lighting and flowing greenery from its courtyard drinks to indoor restaurant.
Heading into Milan north, you will find that the city becomes further cosmopolitan. In fact, Isola is a perfect example of the modern revival of Milan’s suburban zones. Famous for its modern architecture such as the Bosco Verticale (the Vertical Forest), Isola is a vibrant urban jungle. Home to some of the trendiest places in Milan, Isola has many underground bars just waiting to be found. Our note and scope recommendations here is both the White Rabbit Speakeasy and the Vinyl Pub which are often filled students searching for an alternative vibe.
In terms of diversity, Milan has a lively LGBTQI+ scene. Q Club has long been an all-gender and love friendly club located between the Loreto and Casoretto area. In addition, Lola Bar, located slightly further out the city in Porta Venezia has also been highly recommended as a pride positive built for anyone who wants to celebrate music together.
A Taste of Milan’s Nightlife Culture:
In Italy, the nightlife begins with what’s known as an aperitivo. Aperitivo is a cultural ritual. In other words, aperitivo is a post-work or university drink, usually a spritz, served with various appetizers such as salumi, olives and crisps. This is a perfect time to unwind, catch-up with friends and take in the relaxed Italian pace of life. Beside Naples, Milan is the only city in Italy that has developed a skyline of skyscrapers. So, aperitivo at one of Milan’s rooftop bars is must-do. Milan’s The Sky Garden is one of our top recommendations for an evening aperitivo of handcrafted cocktails.
For a more affordable aperitivo, Cantine Isola is a family-run bar that has been long standing in Milan since 1896. This is a great place for those looking for a more traditional and authentic Italian experience.
Home to over 200,000 students across more than twenty universities, it comes as no surprise that Milan is the ultimate party city. In fact, most clubs in Milan stay open until the early hours of 4am. From futuristic rooftop bars to alternative speakeasies and pockets of rustic family-run restaurants, Milan really does offer a range evening entertainment.
Navigating Milan’s Nightlife Safely
Overall, Milan is a relatively safe city especially when staying in well-lit or touristy areas (Navigli, Brera and City Centre). In busier areas such as the central station or Piazza Duomo, it is always important to keep your heads up for pickpockets and scam artists. Similarly, it is also a good idea to avoid dimly-lit and less populated areas such as Porta Venezia and Bicocca. We would also like to encourage students to keep a mobile phone to hand and to travel in groups when walking around Milan at night.
In terms of transport, Milan’s metro runs between 6am and 12:30am, trams run from 4.30am to 2.30am whilst buses run over 24 hours. With ATM in charge of Milan’s public transport network, we highly recommended downloading the ATM app for access to fares, tickets and schedules. Alternatively, by purchasing the MilanoCard, you can have access to various ATM services along with discounts and free entry to hundreds of Milan’s attractions.
Taxi services in Milan are generally reliable. Though card is widely accepted, we recommend that you keep some cash with you given that some taxis can refuse card transactions. At present, Uber is a growing taxi source in Italy but is currently only available in Milan and Rome.
Whether you are a techno-fanatic, a luxury cocktail sipper or simply wanting those chilled Navigli apperitivos, Milan’s vibrant nightlife has something to offer you. Diverse and inclusive, Milan is a great city where you can really embrace yourself and meet a lot of different kinds of people. By keeping it safe, planning your evenings well and staying with friends, you will be able to have the time of your life. Between sunset aperol spritzers and limoncello digestifs, La Dolce Vita awaits…