Living in Milan

Living in Milan: Navigli neighborhood

Living in Milan: Navigli neighborhood

Welcome back to our blog about Milan neighbordoods. This week we want to write about the best area for the Milan nightlife: the Navigli neighborhood.

In this expedition we involved Domenico, young musician and engineering student that lived in this district for years.

Have a look at our last article: Living in Milan: Sarpi District


It’s one of the most beautiful neighborhood in Milan and it includes the Naviglio Pavese and the Naviglio Grande that are canals designed by Leonardo da Vinci to allow the navigation from the Maggiore Lake to Milan. The intersaction between these two canals is the Darsena, the ancient harbour that since 2015 was involved in important upgrading works.

Strong contrasts between the ancient charm and the lively nightlife are the peculiarity of this neighborwood. The Navigli daily attracts tourists, students and workers that want to enjoy a good drink by the canals or walking along the thiny streets full of vintage and boho-chic shops.

Thanks to the great effort made by the numerous associations (Associazione del Naviglio Grande) for safeguarding the artistic and cultural heritage of this area, today we can enjoy amazing events like:
– the Antiques market (every last Sunday of the month) from Viale Goriziato to the bridge on Via Valenza;
– the Fiori e sapori Naviglio Grande, a market with plants and typical food from the whole country (during early Autumn)

Vivere a Milano Manifestazione florovivaistica
Fiori e Sapori Naviglio Grande


Like every central neighborhood in Milan, the Navigli area is easily reachable by metro, bus, tram and bicycle.

For workers: 

Duomo is reachable in 10 minutes by bicycle or 20 minuts walking but, if it’s snowing or it’s raining, the tram lines 3, 14 o 2 can help us. These tram lines are useful to reach the north areas of Milan like Castello/Parco Sempione, Sarpi (Chinatown) and the Isola neighborhood.

Vivere a Milano Percorso tram 3/14 o 2
The tram lines 3, 14, 2

The tram lines 14 is really useful for those who works in Lorenteggio area (headquarters of the biggest companies like Vodafone and Reply): from the Navigli it’s possible to reach the desk in 30/40 minutes.

If you use the car it will be hard to find a parking in this neighborhood and the traffic in Navigli is really busy in the morning, but if you have to reach the south or Lorenteggio your life will be easier and less stressful.

For students:

This neighborhood is one of the most important and prestigious university in Milan: the Bocconi.

The Bocconi University and the SDA Bocconi School of Management are 5-8 min by bicycle, 20 min walking or 20/25 min by tram line 9. The tram line 9 stops at the Central Station so it’s really useful for a day-trip away or for those who are offsite.

Vivere a Milano Percorso Tram 9
Tram line 9

The Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) is 20 min walking from the Darsena, 10 min by bicycle or by the tram line 3.

Vivere a Milano Percorso Tram 3
Tram line 3

The Cattolica University is easily reachable both walking and by bicycle (in 20 min max) and it’s 30 min by bus 94.
The IULM is slightly far away by bicycle or walking, but with the green line metro you can reach the stop Romolo from Porta Genova in 15 minutes.

Linea Verde (Dir. Abbiategrasso)  P.Ge Romolo
Green line metro (Dir. Abbiategrasso) P. Genova – Romolo

Milano Bovisa Poli Campus is reachable with the combo green line metro to Cadorna and then the train line S3 in 30 min.

Percorso Navigli verso Bovisa M2 + treno S3
From Navigli to Bovisa M2 + S3 train


The Navigli neighborhood is the most glamour area of Milan.
This area is famous both for the thousends of pubs, restaurants, cafes, beershops where enjoying a happy hour with friends. Navigli is also important for cultural spaces like the MUDEC, a beautiful museum born in the headquarters of the old Ansaldo factory that today hosts more than 7000 pieces of art from all over the world.

Mudec - Museo delle Culture di Milano

Between the Naviglio Pavese and the Naviglio Grande, in via Magolfa 32, there is the Casa Museo Alda Merini, a reconstruction of belongings to one of the most important contemporary Italian poetesses.

Food & co.

Happy hour time is just arrived? Stop, have a drink and enjoy it! Milan is famous for the “aperitivo” that it’s more similar to a dinner: here, indeed, the “aperi-cena” concept became a trend that spreaded all over the country.
Let’s start the list of the best places for the happy hour in Navigli neighborhood: Prima Comfort food and bar on the Naviglio Grande, in via Casale 7, it’s a really nice place where you can have lots of roman pinsa (the long leavening pizza famous in the Eternal city).

If you love Japanese food you have to go to Tenoha, where you can get a drink and a box with delicious japanese street food. Tenoha is not only an happy hour place, but is also a multifunctional environment where there are a design store a coworking space and a place for events (have a look here for more info).

Last but not least RITA&COCKTAILS. Here you can’t miss their amazing cocktails like the Super Nacho (mezcal, cucumber, cumin, lime, spicey chili pepper), the Toy Boy (tequila, mezcal, lime, elderflower syrup, watermelon juice); the Smoke on the water (Campari, Averna, pineapple soda and Lapsang Souchong the) and many more.

The Navigli isn’t just the neighbrohood for food and happy hours, but the perfect starting point for cycling. Have a look on BikeItalia for tons of suggestions about the best routs, trails and places to reach by bicycle.

Vivere a Milano bike tour
bike tour


Navigli neighborhood is the perfect place for students, but isn’t cheap. It’s easy to find a room in a shared apartment that costs 500/650 euros (double room). For studio flats/thiny lofts the coast is above 850 euros.
If you are looking for a place to stay in a shared apartment with the perfect flatmates, we at Cooabit can give you an hand.

Why living in Navigli neighborhood?

Because is the area in Milan that never sleeps and it’s few steps only from your university.

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