Is Milan safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide

Published by: BouncePosted Updated

Milan is the chief city and capital of Italy's northern Lombardy region. It is home to approximately 1.3 million people and received nearly 90 million international visitors in 2019 and 66.6 million in 2022, making it one of the country’s most famous cities.

There are many reasons to visit Milan, whether you love art, history, architecture, and fashion. Regarded as the world’s fashion capital, Milan boasts some of the major fashion brands in Italy and the world. It is the epitome of glamour and sophistication, so it’s not surprising that it continues to draw in artists, photographers, models, and designers worldwide. It also has numerous things to keep you busy, from the iconic Duomo di Milano and the grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to its natural attractions and parks.

You’ll want to visit the city between April and June or from September to October when there are fewer crowds and the weather is pleasant. But Milan’s busiest times are July and August. To achieve true freedom during your trip, leave your heavy bags at secure luggage storage in Milan. Besides having no bags to drag around, it also means no worries about your belongings being stolen.

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Is Milan safe to visit right now?

Tourists and first-time travelers need not fear because Milan is a safe city to visit. It finished strong with a high overall score of 71.3 in The Economist's 2021 Safe Cities Index. One factor that makes Milan such a safe city is its low crime rates. Although a big city flooded by flocks of tourists eager to shop and explore its gorgeous piazzas, Milan will give you plenty of reasons to sightsee and wander without worrying about your safety.

Perhaps, the only potential dangers tourists should be aware of are pickpocketing and scams.

While we’ll inform you of ways to stay safe in Milan, remember that your safety and the security of your belongings are your responsibility. No perfect safety guide exists, so do additional research and be familiar with your destination. You should also check out your government’s travel guidelines and advisories for a country or city you place to visit, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned traveler.

Top petty crimes and scams in Milan affecting tourists

Being a famous tourist destination has disadvantages, including the increased risk of petty crimes and scams. The same goes for Milan, the moral capital of Italy. Like in any place, you’ll be vulnerable to petty theft if you’re not careful and don’t follow safety rules. Below are the common fraudulent behaviors and minor crimes you should be aware of before traveling. 

Pickpocketing

Pickpocketing is prevalent in Milan, especially in crowded areas in the city center and main railway stations like Milan Central Station. They will distract you by offering gifts or attempting to talk to you in Italian. While your attention is away, they might steal your wallet or phone. Therefore, be mindful of your belongings while talking to strangers.

Leave your heavy bags with Bounce luggage storage, so you have one less thing to worry about while strolling through town. You can find maps with the most frequent pickpocket locations on the internet, which should also help you.

Fake petitions

In many busy districts in Milan, especially around Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, petition scams are rampant. They will get your signature for the cause their organization is supporting, but it actually turns out to be fake. Tourists are the usual target victims, so while in the city, politely refuse their request.

Transportation scams

Scammers take advantage of tourists by offering to help them get their tickets at stations or carry their luggage. If a stranger approaches you for these reasons, reject their offer. They might either take your items or demand a fee for their assistance.

Taxi scams are also common in Milan, where the taxi driver pretends to forget to turn the meter on and overcharges you after the ride. Before hopping in, ensure you’re in a registered cab, and the meter is running. You can also take the bus or tram instead, as there’s a lower risk of getting scammed by public transport in Milan.

Is Milan safe to travel alone

Milan is a relatively safe place for solo travelers, and women traveling alone don’t encounter any trouble in the city. With Italy ranking 23rd on the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index, female travelers can explore one of the country’s wealthiest cities without worry.

Safest neighborhoods in Milan

Milan is one of the most popular and populated cities in Italy. If you’re visiting Milan, here are some of the safest Milan neighborhoods to stay in and places you might want to skip on your tour.

Brera

Brera is considered the safest district in Milan, renowned for its picturesque cobbled streets, boutiques, fashion houses, and galleries. Some of these are the Pinacoteca, Biblioteca Braidense, and Orto Botanico di Brera, among many others. Overall, Brera gives off an elegant vibe and is generally safer than most neighborhoods in the city.

Duomo

Duomo is one of those neighborhoods with many entertainment options and is relatively crowded yet still significantly safe. It’s famous for the Palazzo Reale, Museo del Novecento, and the Duomo cathedral. The district is also home to many shops, restaurants, and galleries that tourists frequent. Despite receiving many visitors, the crime rates here are under control, and the overall safety risk is low.

Porta Nuova

Another location in Milan where you can stay without any safety issues is the Porta Nuova. This neighborhood comes on top when it comes to architecture, entertainment, and environmental protection. It’s also one of the city’s wealthiest districts, so if you stay here, you’ll feel safe because of the security.

Is Milan public transportation safe?

Public transportation in Milan is very safe and available 24/7, from the metro, tram, and bus to taxis and ride-share. However, there’s a medium risk of pickpocketing in the city, and it’s most widespread in crowded areas and stations.

The rule of thumb when getting around Milan by public transportation is to be vigilant. Fortunately, the police presence is high in Milan.

Important emergency numbers in Milan

There are numbers you can call in Milan in case you experience safety risks during your trip. In addition to the local emergency numbers, it’s best to always carry with you the contact details of your embassy – just in case.

  • Italy country code: +39
  • Milan area code: 02
  • Emergencies: 112
  • Medical emergency: 118
  • COVID-19 emergency: 1500
  • State Police: 113
  • Fire Brigade: 115

Staying safe in Milan

Milan remains a safe destination for tourists who want to shop, dine, see art, and admire the city’s stunning architecture and culture. There are also numerous ways to remain safe in Milan, no matter which part of the town you explore. As long as you stay alert and follow safety rules and advice, you can avoid getting scammed.

Milan is pretty easy to navigate, but for first-time visitors who need help figuring out where to go and how to get to places, get tips on How to Get Around Milan. We also created a guide on Where to Stay in Milan: The Ultimate Guide if you need help finding the best areas with great accommodations.

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