All Articles Here’s what’s new in Milan for 2024

Here’s what’s new in Milan for 2024

Add these spots to your Milan hitlist.

Nneya Richards
By Nneya RichardsMay 2, 2024 7 minutes read
Aerial view of Milan Piazza Del Duomo at Sunset
Image: Comezora/Getty Images

My love story with Milan is just shy of decades deep, going back to when I first chose Italy’s fashion and industry capital to study abroad during my junior year of college. I wanted to experience an Italian city, ideally as an Italian would. (And trust me: I quickly learned that there’s more to Milan than The Last Supper and the Duomo.)

After studying in Milan, then au pairing there, then visiting friends, then moving back with my Italian husband, I’ve seen this city change a lot over the years. The skyline has transformed with buildings like the UniCredit Tower—the tallest building in Italy. Dull neighborhoods that I didn’t venture into as a student have become creative hubs. And as Milan gears up to co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics, the city is transforming faster than ever.

Here are some of the coolest new places to check out in Milan right now.

The neighborhood to watch

Bar with several red and green sofas, a Union Jack flag, and plants
The Doping Bar
Image: Management/Tripadvisor

If you can believe it, landlocked Milan has a bustling waterfront. Until the 1950s, the city had a large shipping and cargo industry, and it was all based at the port of Darsena, where the Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese canals meet. These days, Darsena is a buzzing waterfront area with bars, gelaterie, and even a boat rental facility. Check out one of my favorite spots in the area, The Doping Bar, hidden away in the courtyard of the Yard Hotel (some of the best places in Milan are often located in cloistered courtyards like this).

Tip: Watch the bartenders flex their skills with layered bespoke cocktails like a spin on a negroni that replaces gin with mezcal aged in an oak barrel. The only tragedy? They don’t do spritzes.

Travelers say: “A very chilled out vibe with street musicians, cafes and bars. I got some cold drinks from an Asian superMarket adjacent to GUD Milano restaurant… sat in the afternoon sun [and enjoyed] the atmosphere. Italian stylish place.”—@ianbeale

Milan neighbourhoods

The hotels to check into

Rooftop bar with modern seating and view of Duomo
Palazzo Cordusio, a Gran Meliá Hotel
Image: Management/Tripadvisor

For years, it felt like there were only a couple of cool boutique hotels in Milan. That’s no longer the case, thanks to design-focused properties popping up all over town. Here are three of the best.

For design lovers: Vico Milano

The owners of Tuscany’s Castello di Vicarello just opened Vico Milano, tucked away on an unassuming commercial street. Walking through the lush courtyard—with its archways and colorful tilework—feels like being in a guesthouse in the Polanco district of Mexico City.

Tip: You can’t go wrong with any of the six suites, which are all decorated differently.

Travelers say: “We felt very comfortable in the small, family-run, stylish atmosphere. Very centrally located. Great beds and a Dyson hairdryer. Finely selected breakfast. And the lady at the breakfast buffet was super friendly and funny. If we come back to Milan, we would book this hotel again.”—@MP

For a sophisticated hideaway: Santa Sofia Milan

Set in a quiet courtyard, the Radisson Collection Hotel, Santa Sofia Milan is a serene spot in a 16th-century convent. The hotel blends historic charm with contemporary Italian pizazz: Think frescoed ceilings and loft-like rooms.

Tip: Want a workout with a view? Check out the 24-hour fitness center with a sauna. Fancy a swim? There’s also an outdoor pool.

For cocktails and a cool vibe: Palazzo Cordusio

A lavish 18th century stone palazzo that was once the headquarters of an Italian insurance company has been transformed into Palazzo Cordusio. The mod rooms are decked out with Flos lighting and Venetian textiles. But the highlight here is the rooftop bar, which has killer Duomo views and craft cocktails.

What to order: Don’t miss the Spritz Primitivo, which combines Mediterranean flavors (amaro, bitters), Asian accents (Japanese sakura vermouth), and a splash of pink grapefruit soda.

Travelers say: “Giardino Cordusio is a bar with a fresh elegance albeit in a context of coherent (with the building that houses the venue) classicism. Enveloping, floral and luminous. The cocktail offering is good and reasonably priced.”—@Mamy B

More boutique hotels

The buzzy restaurants

Sea bass dish plated with green sauce
Zelo

For the chef of the moment: Gloria

In Milan, there’s always a new restaurant to discover, and one of the most exciting addresses to have on your list is Gloria, a reinvention of a 16-year-old restaurant hidden away on a side street in the Navigli district. Tommaso Melilli, a hot chef and food writer, has modernized traditional Italian recipes with dishes like pumpkin risotto with bitter almonds. There’s also an exciting wine list with small Italian producers.

What to order: The dishes change with the season, but if the pasta with chickpeas and smoked chestnuts is on the menu, you must order it.

For a modern twist on trattoria standbys: Trattoria del Ciumbia

In the fashionable Brera district, newcomer Trattoria del Ciumbia brings an unexpected take on a traditional trattoria, with retro-futuristic interiors by Milanese design firm Dimorestudio. Walnut paneling and colorful tiles create a homey atmosphere.

What to order: Nosh on updated classics like osso bucco (veal shanks) with saffron risotto.

Travelers say: “Nice environment, excellent food, attentive service, bill lower than expected. The Milanese rice is excellent and the asparagus rice is equally good.”—@Evvivalavita

For instagram-worthy pastries: Pan

Milan is having a big love affair with Japanese design and food, and one of the latest hot spots is Pan, from Yoji Tokuyoshi and Alice Yamada. There’s breakfast and lunch, but what you’re really coming for are the sweets, which combine European and Japanese flavors—think, miso cinnamon rolls and matcha cheesecake.

What to order: Pan’s cult favorite is a snack that works for breakfast or lunch—Curry Pan, a Japanese bun filled with homemade curry, covered in panko, and fried until golden. ⁠

For vegetarians, Zelo

Four Seasons Milano’s swanky Zelo restaurant is a see-and-be-seen kind of place, with a Michelin stamp of approval right in the city center. Eating vegan is trendy right now in Milan, and chef Natalie Prhat just upped the game by adding a plant-based menu featuring inventive veggie-based creations.

What to order: Some of the highlights on the new menu include the soy meatballs with mushrooms and tomato and the eggplant parmigiana with crunchy tempeh and basil pesto. Trust me—you won't miss meat at all.

For classic seafood: Langosteria

I love visiting Sicily, and the fish market culture in cities like Palermo and Catania is incredible to see, however—a secret fact—the best seafood caught in the waters off this island is actually sent to Milan. My favorite place to try fresh-from-the-sea dishes: Langosteria. This classic Milanese restaurant has been making waves with a new location in Paraggi on the Ligurian Riviera. But you can't beat the original location on Via Savona, which churns out the most innovative seafood dishes I’ve ever seen.

What to order: Tripadvisor reviewers rave about the perfectly al dente linguine with blue lobster.

Travelers say: “Great food and atmosphere. The freshness of the langoustines and yellowtail sashimi was fantastic. Pasta is amazing, desserts are to die for (shout out to the tiramisu and the strawberry one) and they also have an absolutely wonderful wine list which is long like a novel.”—@Yuhanzm

For a sugar rush: Oslo Made in Heaven

Get ready to tickle your sweet tooth at Oslo Made in Heaven. Beirut-born sisters Yasmine and Julie Audi whip up picture-perfect pastries, cakes, and breads that’ll make your Insta followers drool.

What to order: Don’t miss the wild ice cream flavors like orchid, jasmine, and coffee toffee crunch.

The sceney bars

For natural wines: Bar Nico

Some say it’s hard to break into the social set in Milan, but Bar Nico—founded by five friends in the creative industry—makes you feel like you’ve gained entry into the cool crowd. Perfect for an aperitivo or a light bite with friends, this spot has an industrial-chic vibe and is located in the hip Navigli area. A rotating list of small batch natural wines is served alongside small bites with ingredients sourced from the nearby Lorenteggio market.

What to order: Get a glass of the Contrada Contro, an Italian white made from ungrafted grapes grown in the Marche area. The ultimate small-plate pairing: fried mussels in escabeche sauce.

For live music: Rumore

Post-dinner, take in some live music (vintage jazz, piano bar tunes) at Rumore, a clubby lounge set in Europe’s oldest seminary. The bar is named after an Italian disco hit from the ‘70s and its design is an homage to the ‘60s. Top mixologists add to the lively atmosphere.

What to order: Don't miss the Evel Knievel, which is as bad-ass as the daredevil motorcycle driver it was named for—a mix of mango, pisco, sherry, and elderflower.

Travelers say: “I was [here] last night... top, top, top. Very professional atmosphere and service. Well done, I recommend it...a mandatory stop to make when you are in Milan.”—@massimo c

Cool Milanese bars

The cultural trailblazers

Room with paintings on the wall and large colorful sculpture of "Tulips" by Jeff Koons in the center
Fondazione Prada

For trailblazing exhibitions: Fondazione Prada

Fondazione Prada—yes, from the fashion brand—is an institution in Milano and its rotating exhibits are always on the world stage. Currently, the Fondazione is running a seismic retrospective on Pino Pascali, a seminal figure in Italian post-war art. Next up: an exhibition about human brains, with a focus on the importance of prevention and early intervention in neurodegenerative diseases. Only Prada could make brain health so sexy.

Travelers say: “What a great way to spend a day in Milan. We came here when it was lashing with rain outside and spent a thought-provoking few hours browsing the various galleries. The building itself is a phenomenon and the installations are many and varied.”—@EdinAust

For artsy mags and books: Frab

Forget mainstream glossies. Frab—usually seen in pop-up form—is Milan’s source for independent magazines and art publications. It recently opened a new destination in the central Porta Venezia area, championing alternative voices and creative expression. You’ll find indie mags, artsy publications, one-off zines, and coffee table books that'll blow your mind. The vibe—pure bibliophile bliss.

More Milan culture

The shopping hot spots

For home design to die for: Bitossi

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous Italian tablescape? The fifth-generation Bitossi has been producing bright housewares (plates, cutlery, placemats) since the 1920s. At the new Bitossi location on Via Santa Maria, you can scoop up collaborations with designers from all over the world. What’s also awesome about this location is Emporio, a store within the store with a carefully curated trove of vintage finds that share Bitossi's values, spirits, and traditions.

For sustainable fashion: Artknit Studios

Sustainable knitwear brand Artknit Studios just opened its first flagship, created to be a community gathering space as much as a place to shop. Founded in Biella, Italy in 2018, the brand is recognized for its high-quality products made from natural and biodegradable materials. The store, designed by the architectural studio, Offstage, is a reflection of Artknit’s conscious consumption philosophy, using natural materials throughout, from organic fabric for dressing room curtains to oak wood paneling.

For high-end cashmere: Scaglione

And I can’t not mention Scaglione, my husband’s third-generation family business, which creates timeless, luxe cashmere pieces like a Mondrian-style color block cardigan that I’ve been eyeing. Later this year, a new Scaglione store is opening on via Belfiore—and if you see me shopping there, be sure to say "hi."

Nneya Richards
Founding TeenVogue multi-hyphenate and blogger at 'N A Perfect World, Nneya Richards is a writer and public speaker who is also a contributor to publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue and Popsugar. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.