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Milan Gay Travel

wolfyy’s Milan gay travel guide to hotels, things to do, gay bars, clubs, parties, saunas, & the gay district.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Milan, Italy

Milan is a year-round gay hotspot of a destination. No matter what time you visit, there’s always a ton of gay life and attractions to explore.

Milan gay travel

Arriving in Milan after traveling around other Italian cities with smaller gay scenes like Venice, my initial reaction was “wow… Everyone here is gay!” It’s a comforting feeling to arrive here in one of Italy’s most gay-friendly cities.

Milan gay scene
Milan gay travel
Milan gay scene

As a hugely international city as well, you can meet both locals and travelers in Milan from all different places around the world. In fact, my two very good friends Jason and Enrique now live in Milan after being my neighbor for years in New York City.

Milan gay travel

Travelers tend to be opinionated about Milan, so make sure you take advice from friends with a grain of salt. Many people who work in fashion or design visit for work, and so they see the city alongside a work trip.

This often means they don’t get to explore much of Milan’s gay scene or discover that Milan has a ton of gay bars, clubs, and saunas. But with the help of this guide, you will!

Milan gay scene
Milan gay scene
Milan gay travel

In the sections below, I’ll cover where Milan gay travelers should stay, recommend hotels, and list all the city’s best gay nightlife spots.

Gay Milan: Hotels & Where to Stay

Finding the right hotel in Milan for gay travelers is easy! There are essentially two popular areas to choose from.

Hotels Near Milan’s Duomo

For the classic Milan experience, city center hotels near the Duomo are the fanciest and most popular option, especially hotels in the Fashion District.

hotels near Milan Duomo
Milan gay hotels
hotels near Milan Duomo

These tend to be priced a little higher but have direct access to the most beautiful part of the city and tons of cute cafés and restaurants.

Milan gay hotels

I stayed at The Street Milano Duomo Boutique Hotel during my first trip to Milan and absolutely loved it. The rooms here are so memorable, not to mention chic. Years after traveling around the world, I still remember my boldly blue-lit room.

Below are a few highly rated and relatively affordable Milan hotels near the Duomo that gay travelers love.

hotel near duomo in Milan

NH Collection Milano President

Rosa Grand Milano

Rosa Grand Milano

Room Mate Giulia Hotel

Room Mate Giulia

Milan hotel

Speronari Suites

Hotels Near Milan’s Central Station

Hotels near Milano Centrale train station are cheaper alternatives that are still within walking distance to the Duomo and the central area of Milan.

hotels near Milan central station

In the past, many travelers would say that staying in this area of Milan is unsafe. But in recent years, the Central Station area has experienced significant growth, with many new buildings being constructed. It’s becoming an increasingly popular area for travelers to book hotels.

hotels near Milan central station
Milan gay travelers hotel
Milan gay travelers hotel

This neighborhood also offers convenient access to the Milan gay district, where many of the city’s gay bars and cafés are found.

A few popular hotels near Milano Centrale include the Hyatt Centric, the fun & modern iQ Hotel, or located right in the gay district, the NH Milano Machiavelli.

Where is the Milan Gay District?

Milan’s gay district is located to the northeast of the city’s center, straddling the northern limit of the Porta Venezia neighborhood.

The main part of the gay area is called Lazzaretto, however gay bars and saunas can be found farther north in the Central Station neighborhood.

Milan gay district
Milan gay district
Milan gay district

Via Lecco is the central gay street of the Milan gay area. This is where you’ll find many of the city’s popular gay bars. Interestingly, while walking down Via Lecco, I noticed that local gay establishments here share the neighborhood with quite a few East African restaurants.

Milan gay district

Not all of Milan’s gay life is within the gay district though. Large gay clubs and parties are typically further from the city center. I’ll mention these in this guide’s gay nightlife section!

Milan Gay Travel Experiences

See the Gucci Mural

Milan’s Gucci Mural is a street art landmark! The mural covers the entire side face of a building in the Porta Garibaldi neighborhood. The surrounding ambiance is beautiful too, with restaurants and cafés all around.

Milan Gucci Mural
Milan Gucci Mural
Porta Garibaldi Milan

Visit the Bosco Verticale

The Bosco Verticale is one of Milan’s most modern developments. These two residential buildings have facades covered in greenery.

They’re eco-friendly and make for some gorgeous photographs. The Bosco Verticale is toward the north end of the city, so it might be a good stop before or after you explore the Porta Venezia or Porta Garibaldi neighborhoods.

Porta Garibaldi Milan

Go Shopping!

You’re in the fashion capital of the world, so do some shopping! Go window shopping at least a little bit if you’re not in the market for anything new.

shopping in Milan

Tons of Milan gay travelers are visiting just to peruse the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, browsing luxurious storefronts and fashion brands. The blocks surrounding Milan’s Duomo are packed with unique and popular stores.

Milan gay shopping
shopping in Milan
Milan gay shopping

Stop into Intimissimi Uomo—they are one of my favorite inexpensive Italian brands. I also consider them to be among these popular gay swimwear brands.

A few other men’s clothing stores nearby that I love are Calliope, Falconeri, and OVS.

See Milan’s Famous Duomo

As Milan’s top attraction, I obviously have to recommend a visit to the Duomo! My top tip is to go as early as you possibly can to avoid crowds and long lines. Even in front of the Duomo, there is almost always a crowd of tourists taking photos.

Combination cathedral and rooftop tickets are most popular since you can see all spaces of the Duomo, including the roof terraces.

Milan Duomo
Milan Duomo
Milan Duomo tour

You can alternatively just buy roof terrace tickets, a cheaper option if you just want to see the views. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to bring your passport or ID card for entry!

Milan Duomo tour

More Duomo Views

Head up to Terrazza Duomo 21 if you want to admire the Duomo while sipping on a cocktail. I thought the views here were perfect and I loved seeing the Piazza del Duomo empty out as the night grew late.

I wouldn’t expect a super authentic Italian experience here, but I do recommend Terrazza Duomo 21 for an afternoon or evening drink to experience central Milan from above.

Villa Invernizzi

Stop by Villa Invernizzi as you explore Porta Venezia or make your way toward Milan’s gay district. Villa Invernizzi is a private building, but you can peek through the gate at the flamingos that stay in the courtyard.

I wouldn’t make this spot a destination, but it’s a fun place to pass by if you’re in the area.

Popular Activities

Restaurants in Milan

10 Corso Como

10 Corso Como was by far the best restaurant I experienced in Milan. It’s both a chic restaurant and a store selling designer clothing, fragrances, and gifts.

10 Corso Como Milan
10 Corso Como Milan
Best Milan restaurant

The ambiance was my favorite party of 10 Corso Como. Tables are arranged in a lush garden patio area. 

The service is incredible, as is the food. It’s a great restaurant for pretty much any occasion. It can feel romantic enough for a date yet casual enough for a lunch with friends.

Best Milan restaurant

La Briciola Mare

La Briciola Mare is a Sicilian seafood restaurant that’s sure to leave you full and happy. This is the spot for a rich and authentic full-course Italian meal.

The atmosphere at La Bricola was electric. It felt casual yet fun, and it seemed like everyone was always laughing! Dessert here is also a must.

Nero 9

Nero 9 has an elegant, minimalist feel. They are an Italian restaurant known for pairing different meat dishes with select wines.

milan steak restaurant
milan steak restaurant
Nero 9 Milan

I shared steak tartare, a slew of other meat-based dishes, and some decadent desserts with my Italian friend Mattia. Everything was well-curated and artistically presented.

Nero 9 Milan

Cittamani

Cittamani is an adorable, upscale Indian restaurant in Milan that I recommend specifically for their cocktails. The seating along the bar is particularly pretty, with all sorts of gold accents.

The food at Cittamani is Indian, but with an Italian flare. Expect the meeting of two cultures in their dishes rather than food you’d find at a standard Indian restaurant.

The Fisher

The Fisher is a favorite restaurant of my two Milan gay local friends. If you want a luxuriously elegant vibe, this is the spot.

The Fisher Milan
The Fisher Milan
Milan restaurant bar

It’s perfect for embracing the fashion scene vibe of Milan. People are dressed well, there are mirrors everywhere, and their seafood dishes are well-presented.

I would say The Fisher is ideal if you want more of a nightlife-type restaurant experience since everything’s a bit showier and louder than in other restaurants.

Milan restaurant bar

Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant

I loved everything at Saigon Restaurant and felt so taken care of the entire evening. The staff made the meal feel effortless, always knowing exactly what you’ll need.

Saigon Restaurant Milan
Saigon Restaurant Milan
Saigon Restaurant Milan

Saigon has a dim, almost speakeasy-like feel in its subterranean seating area. Near the entrance at street level, they have a small yet stunning bar area where you can have a cocktail while waiting for your table.

Saigon Restaurant Milan

Milan Gay Bars

Most Milan gay bars have a notably different vibe than those of other large gay-friendly cities in southern Europe. They’re even less rowdy than gay bars in other Italian cities like Florence.

Milan gay bars

Gay bars in Milan have more of a social, relaxed hangout sort of ambiance. They don’t blare pop music to crowded dance floors as you’d find at gay bars in New York.

Milan gay bars
gay bar in Porta Venezia Milan

Everything feels a bit more authentic. The environments are conducive to making new friends, especially among Milan’s gay locals.  

gay bar in Porta Venezia Milan

Most of Milan’s gay bars are clustered together in the gay district, which is centered around the famous Via Lecco. Synonymous with the gay district, Via Lecco is the official gay street of Milan.

Leccomilano

Leccomilano is the flashiest and most colorful gay bar in Milan on Via Lecco. They serve cocktails with hysterically funny names like Rita Oral, Lesbodrama, and Popper Martini.

Leccomilano gay bar
Leccomilano gay bar
Via Lecco gay street

The bar has both indoor and outdoor seating and is popular for late afternoon or early evening drinks. I’d recommend Leccomilano as a place to start your night out.

Red Café

Red Café is the hub of Milan’s gay nightlife. This mainstay gay bar has an inviting interior and is popular for grabbing snacks to eat streetside.

Via Lecco gay street

As the evenings grow later, there are always more people showing up. Red Café also has the cheapest drinks of any gay bar around. You can get anything from a gin and tonic to a pina colada for only 4 euros!

Sui Generis

Sui Generis was a ton of fun. It’s among my favorite Milan gay bars, especially for their music. My friends and I had the friendliest, most adorable trans cocktail waitress who made us laugh all night long.

Milan gay bar
Milan gay bar
Sui Generis gay bar

The bar has high-top tables in an outdoor covered area, which is more comfortable than most other bars’ streetside seating.

Sui Generis gay bar

ORO StreetBar

ORO StreetBar was one of the busiest and most vibrant gay bars on Via Lecco. The staff was really the star of the show here, greeting me and my local gay friends with hugs and excitement.

Oro Gay Bar
Oro Gay Bar
Milan gay bars

Not only was the cocktail waitress fantastic—the man working the bar was super cute too. ORO also features work from local artists on the walls of the bar.

Milan gay bars

Rainbow Café

Rainbow Café is the most popular and energetic gay bar in Milan. There’s always a tightly packed crowd of guys outside in Rainbow Café’s sidewalk seating area.

If you want an authentic taste of Milan’s gay bar scene, this is your spot. I didn’t see any tourists or hear any English for that matter. Rainbow Café definitely felt like a local favorite.

Eppol Pie

Eppol Pie may not be ostentatiously branded as a gay bar, but they’re incredibly popular with locals as a high-end gay-friendly bar in Milan’s gay area. I love Eppol Pie’s cozy interior as well as their decadent desserts.

Eppol Pie Milan
Eppol Pie Milan
Milan gay friendly bar

Stopping by for lunch, an aperitivo, or even an end-of-evening dessert are a few other perfect ways to experience the deliciousness of Eppol Pie.

Milan gay friendly bar

Company Club

Company Club is Milan’s beloved bear bar. It’s one of the city’s larger gay bars, with plenty of space for seating during karaoke nights or space to dance on party weekends.

Company Club gay bar

The crowd at Company Club is pretty sexy, a mix of the local bear community, older gay men, and anyone interested in seeing a great drag show.

Milan gay bear bar
Company Club gay bar

More Milan Gay Bars

Milan has so many more gay bars than the ones mentioned above. To keep things short, here’s a quick list of other local gay bars you might want to visit.

Milan gay bear bar

Mono Bar – Colorful and stylish gay bar with bar snacks. Great spot for an aperitivo.

Candies – Tiny streetside gay bar on Via Lecco also known for inexpensive drinks.

gay gars Via Lecco

Dehor – Small, upscale, and stylish gay bar tucked away on Via Lecco.

Pop Milano – Cozy LGBTQ+ bar hangout with a large beer selection and a bit of a café vibe. 

NoLoSo gay bar seating
gay gars Via Lecco
NoLoSo gay bar seating

NoLoSo – Gay bar and restaurant with an instagrammable retro vibe offering nightly aperitivo buffets, Sunday brunch, and weekend DJs.

Afterline – Local gay bar with sexy bartenders near Milan Central train station. Great for dancing.

Patchouli – Longstanding gay-popular restaurant and bar.

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Milan Gay Clubs & Parties

Most travelers don’t view Milan as much of a gay party destination even though the city has a variety of gay clubs and parties.

Milan gay circuit party

Why? Because almost all the large gay clubs and parties in Milan are located outside the city center. It’s not easy to casually stop by these venues, so you really need to commit to going!

Milan gay clubs
Milan gay clubs
Milan gay circuit party

So, make the most of your trip to Milan and plan a night out at one of these popular gay clubs.

ONEWAY Disco Club

ONEWAY Disco is one of the sexiest gay clubs in Milan. The space is huge, with high ceilings and a fantastic light system. You won’t forget the space’s peculiar interior design either, especially the roman column wallpaper and spooky-feeling black and white tiled floor.

Milan gay club

Expect go-go dancers, a diverse crowd, and plenty of dancing. ONEWAY frequently hosts all different kinds of themed gay parties including military, “in-the-navy,” spring break, white party, Viking, and more.

Milan gay club
ONEWAY gay club
ONEWAY gay club

During the warmer months, everyone takes advantage of the club’s awesome outdoor terrace space, tucked underneath a lush trellis.

Q Club

Q Club, also known as Q21, is a gay-friendly club that hosts a weekly Friday gay called qLab. And even though the Friday parties are specifically the gays, other nights at Q Club are still highly inclusive. Their brand is all about celebrating music and love together.

Q Club Milan gay party

Music at Q Club is mostly techno and house, so expect an electronic, sort of underground vibe. The club is on the smaller side, but the space has an awesome design, full of bright neon colors and laser lights.

q milan gay club
Q Club Milan gay party
q milan gay club

If you’ll be heading to any of Q Club’s parties, be sure to RSVP online in advance. This will make getting into the club a lot easier, and potentially cheaper.

Toilet Club

Toilet Club is both a local gay organization and a well-known gay club in Milan. Their website is always freshly updated with the latest events, which include performances and special DJs at the club.

Everyone is welcome and you’re encouraged to wear whatever your heart desires. But generally, Toilet Club summarizes their aesthetic as “enamel nails, sharp stilettos, frayed stockings, and smudged makeup!”

GATE Party

GATE Party is Milan’s biggest gay circuit party, typically with 1-2 events each month. It’s a sexy, shirtless, and sweaty night of dancing.

The parties take place at District 272 Club, and if you see the photos of this venue, it’ll be clear how perfect the space is for circuit parties. These events have a high production value too, so you can be sure to experience epic DJs and gorgeously muscled dancers all around.

Don’t forget to pack your best, most extravagant circuit party gear.

COX Party

COX hosts various circuit-style gay parties in Milan each year. Their parties rotate among other Italian cities including Rome, Florence, and even Naples

Music at COX parties isn’t your typical circuit music, but more of a transversal sound with techno and house music influences.

Milan gay travel

More Milan Gay Clubs

Still searching for the right spot to party? I’ll keep things brief with a short list of even more gay clubs in Milan.

gay dance club
Milan gay travel

La Boum Milano – Fabulous gay dance party with epic queer vibes.

gay dance club

Silicone Club – Lesser-known Milan gay club hosting awesome parties like BOTOX and after-hours events.

Plastic – Local gay dance club in the south of the city hosting gay parties on Fridays.

wolfyy’s Travel Shop → Everything from underwear to luggage.

Milan Gay Saunas & Cruising Clubs

Metro Club Milano Sauna

Metro Club Milano is the Milan gay sauna that everyone knows about. Adjacent to the city’s main train station, it’s relatively central and not too far from the gay bars on Via Lecco.

Milan gay sauna

Enjoy two steam rooms, a sauna, a jacuzzi, private cabins, and a relaxation zone. Metro Club also has a restaurant/bar and wi-fi available.

Milan gay sauna
Metro club gay sauna
Metro club gay sauna

Be sure to also check over the membership card requirements in case you need to sign up for an ARCO card beforehand.

Depot Milano Cruising Club

Depot Milano is one of Milan’s most popular gay cruising clubs. Open every day except for Monday, there’s always an awesome event scheduled.

They host cruising and sex events with all types of themes like naked night, the Rubber Only Party, a masked night, a bisexual party, and a night where you can wear your sexiest jockstrap.

Fenix Sauna Milano

Fenix is a gay sauna and cruising bar with a ton of style. Recently refurbished, Fenix Sauna feels like a resort, with lovely up-lighting, modern finishes, and immaculate amenities.

Milan gay sauna
Fenix gay sauna
Milan gay sauna

The main ground-level floor has all the “wet” amenities, including a Turkish bath, sauna, hydromassage pool, and showers. There’s also a bar area and a smoking room.

Fenix gay sauna

Upstairs on the first level is the sauna’s cruising area where you’ll find a maze, movie room, glory holes, and a relaxation room.

Hot Dog Club Milano

Hot Dog Club is a longstanding gay cruising bar popular for sex parties and fetish events in Milan. It’s located right next to Fenix Sauna mentioned above. One of Hot Dog’s most popular fetish events is the original sneaker and foot sex party.

Every Thursday, Hot Dog Club hosts a Naked Party, where everyone is free to cruise in the nude, or while wearing some sexy underwear.

Royal Hammam Sauna

Royal Hammam Sauna is a massive Milan gay sauna and cruising complex you really don’t want to miss.

biggest Milan gay sauna
biggest Milan gay sauna
Royal Hammam Milan gay sauna

There’s a ton of indoor and outdoor space here to explore including a full-size outdoor pool with sun loungers, jacuzzies, and a dry sauna. Their dimly lit modern jacuzzi tubs are awesome with their fun, wavy shapes.

Royal Hammam Milan gay sauna

If you’re visiting Milan during the summer, check out planned pool parties at Royal Hammam.

Inferus Club

Inferus Club is a relatively new gay cruising club just outside Milan’s gay area. I really like their setup and the feel of the space, with an elevated cruising level across from the bar area. The style is industrial yet boldly colorful.

Bangalov Milano

Bangalov hosts gay sex events with different themes each night. Typical party themes include Leather & Fetish night, Open Mind, “Top Of The Top”, Underwear Night, and No Face Night, where everyone wears head-covering masks.

Milan gay sex club
Milan gay sex club
Bangalov Milan

Any of the leather or fetish parties are the perfect opportunity to show off a sexy harness or your favorite jockstrap.

Bangalov Milan

The club is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Before you go, sign up for an ARCO card, which is required to get in. ARCO is an LGBT+ association that accredits gay establishments all around Italy.

Circle TBlue Sauna

Circle TBlue Sauna may be the farthest from central Milan, but it’s a clean and inexpensive gay sauna where you’ll find a much more local crowd. Plus, if you’re headed here during late-night hours when there’s no traffic, the taxi ride isn’t long.

gay sauna
gay sauna
Tblue gay sauna Milan

A massive dimly lit pool is the star of TBlue Sauna, creating an open, relaxed, and sexy ambiance where everyone can cruise each other.

Tblue gay sauna Milan

The sauna also has a video room, Turkish bath, labyrinth, patio seating area, a small cafeteria, and a modern locker room. Professional massage services are available too, including hot stone and lymphatic drainage options.

Illumined Bar

Another cruising bar close to Via Lecco, Illumined Bar is an easy stop to find some trouble after hanging out at the nearby gay bars. And while they may not be the best or most talked about cruising spot, Illumined is open 24 hours. It’s never too late to go!

Things are busiest after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Thursdays after midnight are slower, but there are usually still some guys here.

Milan Gay Travel Tips

What to Wear in Milan

As you might expect here in the world’s fashion capital, people dress nicely. They dress fashionably regardless of the weather, too.

fashion in Milan

If you’re visiting in the summer season, you’ll notice that even while the temperature may soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), locals don’t wear tank tops or super casual garments.

fashion in Milan
Milan gay local fashion

I recommend packing some ultra-lightweight t-shirts or some sweat-wicking button-down shorts. My button-downs from Bonobos were perfect for keeping cool and relatively dry!

Milan gay local fashion

You can even wear a pair of chic swim trunks as shorts to help beat the heat while exploring the city.

During the winter, you can bet that locals will be wearing their favorite designer coats, scarves, and other fashionable cold-weather gear.

Beware of Taxi & Transport Strikes

Taxi strikes are common in Milan, and when they happen, things can become very inconvenient. Most recently, the strikes have been in protest of Uber.

Milan gay travel tips

If you’re arriving in Milan during a taxi strike, you may be left stranded at the train station or Airport, forced to utilize public transit. For anyone with a lot of luggage, this can be quite frustrating, especially during hot and humid summers.

Milan gay nightlife
Milan gay travel tips

Taxi strikes aren’t the only thing that can disrupt transport, either. Local unionized public transport workers also strike frequently in Milan.

Milan gay nightlife

The best thing you can do is allow yourself extra time, no matter what mode of transport you plan on taking in Milan. Consider pre-arranging transport to or from the airport, which I’ll provide more information and links for below.

Milan Has Two Airports

Ask anyone who’s traveled to Milan via plane, and they’ll tell you how much of a trek it is to get to the Milano Malpensa airport.

Malpensa is Milan’s primary international airport, but it’s roughly an hour-long drive outside of the city. Most large international routes will operate through Malpensa, but not all of them.

Milan Linate Airport is much closer to the city center. If you can find a flight from your destination to Linate, I bet you’ll be much happier when your ride into town is only 10 to 15 minutes.

If you’ll arrive at Malpensa, make things easier by pre-booking a direct bus transfer, or a luxurious private airport transfer in a Mercedes.

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Explore more Italian destinations for gay travelers with wolfyy’s guides to Venice, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, or the gorgeous island of Sardinia.

See wolfyy’s complete collection of gay travel guides for more gay destination ideas around the world. 

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