Brera Apartments

Brera, Milan, Italy Book from Book from £72 per night

Sleek, contemporary and well-priced apartments and suites in or near the vibrant Brera district (sleeping 2-6)
Carefully styled to please fashionistas and the design-conscious, these elegant apartments are set in or near the hip Brera area, known for its cornucopia of shops, bars, evening promenades and nightlife. There are 19 to choose from, all subtly different. To give you an idea, the Brera Apartments are in a 1960s cobbled courtyard of flats off the Via San Fermo, and combine pure white walls with designer fixtures, flush fittings and shiny wood floors. The split-level, slope-raftered Garibaldi Suite sits in a 1950s steel-and glass block, and has a mezzanine double bedroom reached via a twist of glass and metal stairs.

Most are approximately a 20-25 minute stroll from the Stazione Centrale and Duomo, so you can live like a local but explore the city with ease. Larger apartments have fully equipped kitchens - ideal for families or those on a budget - while smaller studio apartments are a chic base to visit the neighbourhood restaurants. And whichever you choose, you won't want for a thing; these really are homes away from home. You get WiFi, a satellite TV, an iPod dock, and a substantial DVD, CD and book collection to chill out with.

Highs

  • Good value for money, considering the fresh, modern design and central location in an expensive city
  • The wealth of shops, restaurants and buzzy bars in the vicinity, plus the Pinacoteca di Brera museum - Brera is a great neighbourhood
  • Ideal for a romantic weekend, or for a city break with a young family - each apartment has a baby cot, and most have sofabeds
  • A big choice of films and box sets to watch, and pay-per-view movies on TV
  • A lengthy information document, with tips on Milan's museums, restaurants, takeaways, spas, grocery stores and lifestyle stores

Lows

  • Please note that prices shown are a guide only, and fluctuate significantly
  • Some have a restaurant or bar below the window, which may generate evening noise (we found shutting the window effectively restored our peace)
  • Only Brera 23 Apartment has a balcony, though it's too small to sit out on
  • Apartment kitchens have hob cookers but no oven, and the studio apartments have no kitchens
  • Not all of the apartments are in central Brera, check their room descriptions for specific street locations

Best time to go

Milan is a year-round destination, but some months are better than others. May and September are best as the weather's likely to be good but it won't be too crowded. July and August are the Italian tourist high season, so the city is busy but buzzy; from mid-June to mid-August it tends to be hot and humid. October is the rainiest month, and from November to February it somehow manages to be cold but humid! Avoid the Fashion and Design Weeks (1 in Feb-March and 1 in Sept-Oct) as everything gets booked up and the city becomes very hectic.

Our top tips

Our key to the building was tricky to turn and we had no 24-hour number to call, so we were very relieved when another resident let us in late at night. We'd recommend asking for a 24-hour telephone contact to call in case of any problems, and try your keys when you're met at the apartment to check you can make them work!

Great for...

City Style
Family
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Apartments
  • 19
  • Self-catering (+ restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
  • Maid Service (every 3 days)
Room: Brera 1

Rooms

The apartments are roomy, open-plan spaces, complete with air-conditioning. Some have high ceilings and white walls; others are more colourful in decor. Beds (generally in bedrooms separate to the living space) are wide, low queensize affairs with downy duvets and crisp white linen; extra guests are on a sofabed in the living area. White floor-length curtains waft at the windows and you'll have a sofa, dining table and chairs. Most have a shower bathroom though a couple have a tub, too (San Marco's is a gorgeous, claw-foot affair).

We visited several and were struck by designer lamps, retro sofabeds and polished parquet floors. We loved Garibaldi Suite's twisted glass steps to the mezzanine bedroom, and Brera 2's vintage orange dining chairs. Formentini 5 has a big sitting area, with a yellow 50s wing chair and Corso Garibaldi 64 has a wonderful pop-art print of Marilyn Monroe.

See Rates for a full description and photos of each apartment.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • CD player
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The apartments are well set-up for self catering, with little kitchens (hob but no oven) and cool dining spaces. You get a full quotient of crockery, and a range of pots and pans, as well as some useful equipment (good knives etc). A welcome pack awaits you, with tea, coffee and bottled water, and for everything else there's a Carrefour Express supermarket Via della Moscova, as well as various smaller shops in the various neighbourhoods.

You'll have to rely on dining out if staying in the Borgonuovo Suite - it has little more than a mini-fridge, kettle and coffee maker - but this works well for those wanting to enjoy Milan's culinary offerings.

Brera is one of Milan's top drinking and dining hubs, so there are plenty of dining choices nearby. At Il Verde, an elegant yuppie favourite in the Piazza Carlo Mirabello, we enjoyed a delicious risotto con Ossobuco (traditional Milanese saffron risotto with veal), and their chocolate mousse is heavenly. You can't book for lunch but can for dinner, and they'll deliver phoned-in orders, too. Just doors from the Brera Apartments is the popular Fioraio Bianchi Cafe, an old flower shop become bijou restaurant, which does its own baking. And, on Via Palermo, there's the cosy Gran Italia where we had a scrumptiously fat yet light slice of Diavolo wood-fired pizza. The Neapolitan restaurant here, Anema e Cozze, is recommended by Brera's owners.

Features include:

  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Welcome hamper
Eating: Brera 2
Activity:

Activities

  • The neighbourhood's Pinacoteca di Brera museum has a small-but-perfectly-formed art collection, including works by Italian masters like Titian, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Mantegna and Bellini

  • Don't miss the Duomo, a 20-minute walk away. This fantastic cathedral took 500 years to completel if it's a fine day, head to the roof for panoramic views

  • Take a boat cruise along the Navigli canals to see the old washhouses, the Scodellino bridge and the 17th-century Darsena port. Alternatively, stroll beside the canals to browse antique stalls, visit art and craft galleries and dine by the water: every last Sunday of the month there's a huge antiques market alongside the Grand Canal

  • Holster your credit card for the Vuitton, Gucci and Prada boutiques in the mosaic arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, or the designer emporiums of the Quadrilatero d'Oro ('Rectangle of Gold')

  • The world-famous La Scala opera house now has seat-back screens complete with lyric translations! Catch a performance while you're in town; the acoustics are incredible

  • Spend a 15-minute slot viewing da Vinci's The Last Supper - possibly the greatest Renaissance painting ever - at the church of Santa Maria della Grazie (pre-booking essential)

  • Join the party in the hip Corso Como area and dance the night away at clubs like Hollywood or Loolapaloosa

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Antiques
  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Opera
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children up to 3 stay for free and there's space for a baby cot in each of the bright and and spacious apartments. All kids (up to 8 yo) receive a welcome gift on arrival, and a city guide for kids is in each apartment. There's quite a bit of baby and toddler gear supplied, you can also hire additional items to be waiting for you on arrival including car seat, stroller and baby carrier.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Almost all apartments work for families apart from 6 (including the Borgonuovo Suite which lacks self-catering facilities). The Formentini 5 and Corso Garibaldi 64 apartments are the largest, sleeping up to 6 plus a baby. Most of the others can sleep 4 plus a baby

Babysitting:

On request, with 24 hours' notice

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Kids cutlery and crockery
  • Changing table
  • Potty
  • Bottle warming
  • Baby bath
  • High chair
  • Night light
  • Bathroom stool
  • Risiko game in the largest apartments

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Muba children's museum
  • National Museum of Science and Technology
  • Castello Sforzesco
  • Sempione Park (playground, funfair)
  • Aquarium
  • Public gardens in Porta Venezia (playgrounds, funfair, pony rides)
  • Navigli area
  • Walk on the roof of the Duomo
  • Natural History Museum
  • Cycling

Families Should Know:

Children will need to take care around the Garibaldi's glass and metal spiral staircase. A medical home service can be arranged 9.30am-6.30pm Mon-Sun

Distances:

  • Airport: about 1 hour (Malpensa); 45 minutes (Linate)
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly: Ciovasso

Location

The apartments are in or near the Brera district of Milan, in northern Italy. Most are a 5-minute walk from the Moscova metro stop.

Google map of all apartments

By Air
Linate (10km away) is the closest airport, but Malpensa (50km outside the city) is Milan's main airport. Private transfers can be arranged on request or you can take a taxi. It's easy to take public transport from Malpensa though: take the Express Train or Shuttle Bus, both of which will run you straight into the city's Stazione Centrale in around 50 minutes. From here you can walk or jump on the metro for 2 stops (Line 2 - green - to Moscova), depending on the location of your apartment.

By Train
The main railway station is the imposing Stazione Centrale, which has high-speed links to most major cities in Italy. Trenitalia is the Italian state railway and you can prebook tickets and see schedules online.

By Bus
Intercity and international coaches arrive at the Piazza Castello, by Castello Sforzesco. Buses to the airports run from the Air Terminal at the Stazione Centrale. Contact Autostradale to find out about intercity connections, or Eurolines for international routes.

By Car
There are 5 main motorways (of 6-8 lanes) linking Milan to the rest of Italy, but we wouldn't recommend driving. If you do hire a car, you're best off leaving your vehicle in one of the huge commuter car parks just off Milan's motorway ringroad (they're near metro stops). If you must drive into Milan, make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the one-way system.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Italy and getting around

Airports:

  • Milan Linate 10.0 km LIN
  • Milan Malpensa 50.0 km MXP

Other:

  • Beach 140.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
7/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Overall

We felt that the apartment had a bit of a strange layout. Long mirrored corridor leading to bedroom/kitchen/diner. Main area is large with three large windows looking out onto Brera Pinacoteca - which is fantastic . It's above a busy bar but the windows are good which means the noise wouldn't bother you unless your a light sleeper. Would recommend as location is so good - 15 minute walk to the Duomo.

7/10,

Great location in a friendly part of Milan. Close to the Metro and good selection of nearby bars and restaurants. Appartment exceeded our expectations!

10/10,

Gorgeous building and a huge, beautiful apartment. We stayed in the Porta Venezia apartment. It had a gorgeous presence on the street and an interior courtyard with a door-man. It felt very safe and it was located in an up-market area. That being said, it wasn't super close to the main sights like the Duomo, but if you're okay with walking at least 15-20 minutes to get to the center of the action then it's worth it to stay in this quiet, beautiful part of the city. My only complaint was the poorly functioning air conditioners. It made for some very restless nights. The staff were excellent. The communication prior to and during our stay was top notch. We weren't sure what to expect since the apartment is self-catering, however, we were pleasantly surprised to find staff available via text or phone to answer any questions we had about the property and the city. They even happily made dinner reservations for us. I would definitely recommend Brera Apartments.

9/10,

Very good location, nice apartment, but very loud because of the bars downstairs and old window. But design is nice.

7/10,

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