3 Milan neighbourhoods to avoid as an expat

Milan is the safest city to live in Italy, but it’s still a good idea to know the areas to avoid.


4 minute read
Updated on 20 May 2024

Milan is one of the best places to live in Italy. With plenty of work and study opportunities, choosing to move to the Italian fashion capital is a no-brainer. But selecting the right neighbourhood can be a challenge when deciding where to live in Milan. While Milan is a pretty safe city to live in, there’re a few neighbourhoods you might want to avoid when searching for your new home.

Is it safe to live in Milan?

According to The Economist’s 2021 safety index Milan is the safest Italian city, with a safety index of 71.3. Milan ranks highly when it comes to personal and environmental security in particular. Most crimes in Milan are non-violent crimes like theft, fraud or pickpocketing in areas with many tourists.

Still, there’re some neighbourhoods in Milan where more petty crimes occur.

Neighbourhoods to avoid in Milan

The neighbourhoods with the highest crime levels in Milan are Quarto Oggiaro, San Siro, and Corvetto. These areas have a higher prevalence of drug-related and petty crimes.

Quarto Oggiaro

Quarto Oggiaro lies far northwest of Milan’s city centre. It's the northern part of this neighbourhood that you should avoid. Especially be careful around the area of Milano Quarto Oggiaro train station, where most of the crime occurs. Although violent crime is uncommon, theft, pickpocketing, and drug use are present in this area.

The Italian government built a lot of social housing in Quarto Oggiaro to accommodate migrants from Southern Italy. However, since the 50s, social housing hasn’t been upgraded, and high unemployment rates persist. Nevertheless, there’re ongoing initiatives to create employment opportunities and reduce crime.

On the other hand, the southern part of Quarto Oggiaro, towards the Franco Verga public park (Parco Pubblico Franco Verga), is notably safer and closer to the centre of Milan. This area can be a great option if you're looking for affordable accommodation in Milan!

San Siro

The neighbourhood of San Siro lies to the west of the centre and is where you’ll find the San Siro Stadium. Like many European football stadiums, the area can feel unsafe, with alcohol-related crimes occurring on game days.

The stadium is beside Via Harar road, which divides this neighbourhood in half. North of Via Harar is an affluent area with villas, greenery, and celebrity homes. South of Via Harar is a less developed area with petty crime, concentrated in public transport stations. It’s best to avoid walking there alone at night and to be aware of your surroundings.

Like most of Milan, violent crime is scarce in the South of San Siro. Mainly, you’ll hear of occasional robberies or scams.


Corvetto lies southeast of Milan’s centre and is generally a decent neighbourhood to live in. But like other neighbourhoods mentioned, there's some minor crime near the metro station and in the southern part of the district close to Piazzale Gabriele Rosa Park.

Petty crimes like pickpocketing occur in this area, so avoid walking alone at night and don't linger around the metro station if possible. If you’re mindful of your surroundings, Corvetto is a nice, affordable neighbourhood to live in and not far from the centre of Milan.

Areas to avoid in the centre of Milan

As with any big city, parts of central Milan can have a higher crime rate than the areas outside. Knowing which are more dangerous is helpful so you can be careful in these spots.

The dangerous areas in the centre of Milan are Central Station (Centrale), Chinatown and Duomo. Central Station and Chinatown are less safe in the evening with drug-related crimes, solicitation and alcohol-related crimes. Avoid walking alone at night to stay safe, especially in isolated streets. If you prefer, there’re night buses leaving the centre every 30 minutes.

Even though the crime rates during the day are low, all 3 areas are popular spots for pickpockets.

Is Milan safe at night?

Generally, Milan is safe at night. With that in mind, there are certain areas where you should exercise more caution, like Via Padova, Baggio, and Viale Monza. You can rely on Milan’s public transport to get around the city at night, so you don’t have to worry about getting home when you’re enjoying Milan’s exciting nightlife.

7 tips to staying safe in Milan

To stay safe in Milan, it's essential to be vigilant while using public transport and around stations in the city centre. Because of the high foot traffic, pickpockets get away quickly, and you won’t even realise they’re robbing you.

Here’re 7 tips for staying safe while you kickstart your new life in Milan:

  1. Get to know your neighbours. People who have lived in your neighbourhood for a while will tell you the truth about the area and what parts to avoid. You’ll also have a dependable person close by in an emergency. If you can’t meet your neighbours, check out Facebook groups for your neighbourhood.
  2. Search homes for rent in Milan via a reliable and safe platform like and you’ll easily avoid rental scams.
  3. Buy an Italian SIM card. You’ll always have data and signal should you need to contact someone in an emergency.
  4. Be mindful of your home; have you locked the windows and doors? A lot of robberies occur because a door or window was left unlocked.
  5. Familiarise yourself with your tenant rights and ensure you understand your rental contract completely before signing.
  6. Avoid lingering in or around stations. Most crimes will occur close to public transportation stations.
  7. Learn about the usual scams so you know when to avoid them. If you’re being offered something for “free”, given a “fixed rate” for a taxi or asked to make a donation– you might be getting scammed.

Numbers to call in case of an emergency

You should know what numbers to call in case of an emergency.

In Milan, there’re a few numbers to call;

  • 112 (free service) for all emergencies
  • 113 for the police
  • 118 for medical emergencies
  • 115 for the fire brigade

Sure, Milan has some crime, like any big and popular city. However, there’s no need to fear living in any part of the city as none are too dangerous to avoid altogether. These areas are often more affordable and have a worse reputation than the reality of living there. It’s always good to be safe, but don’t let fear stop you from living the dream in Milan.

This article is for informational purposes only.

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or questions about the content on this page.

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