Is Milan safe for tourists and visitors?
Milan is widely considered to be a safe city and with good reason. The city has a low crime rate and is well-equipped with a strong police presence.
With some common sense and care, it’s quite safe to use the subway, wander the streets, or even go out on your own at night in Milan.
The crime rate in Milan has dramatically decreased over the past 10 years
Over the past ten years, the number of crimes recorded in the city has clearly decreased, showing how today Milan is safe to visit and to live in.
According to an official report published in March 2022 by the Ministry of the Interior, criminality has decreased everywhere in Italy over the past ten years, including in Milan.
Compared to 10 years ago, in 2021 all crimes in Milan dropped by almost 30 percent.
Is Milan Safe?
Milan safety compared to other cities
The official statistics also claim that Milan has one of the world’s lowest intentional homicide rates, with 7 recorded in 2021—less than half the amount recorded in 2011.
That is only 0,2 per 100k people.
Violent crimes, particularly ones constituting a direct risk to a person’s life, are very uncommon in Milan. When compared to American cities of a similar size, gun violence is non-existent here.
While crime may have dropped in Milan and Italy as a whole, this is not true of other countries. The FBI reported that the total violent crime rate in the United States grew by +12% between 2010 and 2020.
Let’s take this as an example:
We can all agree that burglaries are a vital contributor to people feeling unsafe in their own homes.
Among the most painful shocks is seeing the invasion of one’s privacy.
In Milan, the number of home thefts has decreased by 45% down to 11k since 2014, when a peak was recorded.
This means 314 property crimes per 100k people.
In the United States, in 2020 the average property crime rate in large cities was 3,260 per 100k people. More than 10 times higher.
Pickpocketing in Milan
One of the most common crimes that affect tourists is pickpocketing
Even if Milan is not dangerous like when visiting any tourist destination there are still some safety concerns to be aware of. Pickpocketing and petty crime can happen, so it’s important to be vigilant of your surroundings.
There’s no specific area that is particularly known for being targeted by pickpockets. Be cautious in any place where there are plenty of people, such as the Duomo area, Sempione Park, Navigli, Porta Venezia, Corso Garibaldi, and so on.
When riding the bus, train, or subway, it’s important to take additional steps to ensure the security of your valuables:
- Don’t put valuables (phone, wallets, money, cards) in open pockets of your clothes or coat
- Make sure your bag or purse is always safely closed, buttoned or zipped up. If not possible, alway keep it on you where you can see it
This is particularly true with the metro at rush hour (which is almost all day during weekends, from 7.30 AM to 9.30 AM, from noon to 1 PM, and from 5 PM to 8 PM on weekdays).
Is the Milan metro safe?
Milan is a metropolitan city, meaning almost every area is busy every day, most of the day – especially the transport lines.
Around a 1,5million people travel every day on the metro, which is under constant video surveillance.
In addition, local police units patrol all mass transit lines, particularly the ones with the highest risk. In the subway, mobile ATM security teams are deployed along the most critical routes.
Even if this doesn’t make riding the Milan metro totally risk-free—and no place is totally safe, no matter where you are —at least you can be certain that every measure has been taken to ensure that the Milan metro is safe, even at night.
Indeed, all lines are well-lit, you can find personnel in every station, and it’s very common to see people of all ages traveling alone even later at night.
The overall feeling is that metro stations and trains are much safer than their American or European counterparts.
You may also be interested in: How to Buy Tickets for the Milan Bus, Tram & Metro System
Areas to avoid in Milan
Now that we know Milan isn’t dangerous, we can talk about specific neighborhoods you should stay away from.
In fact, certain parts of Milan are less frequented than others, so it’s advisable to avoid them, especially after dark.
These parts of town, however, don’t have much to offer in the way of scenic views, so you probably won’t be visiting them.
For the sake of information, the following are the areas that you should avoid going alone in at night:
- Quarto Oggiaro
- Via Padova
- San Siro
- Via Gola, Navigli
Is Milan’s Central Station Safe?
While it’s true that tourists can be vulnerable to crime in major cities, it’s important to note that Milan’s central train station is generally considered to be a relatively safe area.
In fact, it’s considered to be safer than other train stations in cities like Rome and Naples.
The area around the station has a higher concentration of immigrants and homeless people, and there may be some instances of petty drug sales in the area, but overall, the presence of police in the area helps to deter criminal activity.
To protect yourself, it is advisable to be aware of your surroundings, exercise caution when walking alone at night or early in the morning, and be on guard against pickpockets who may target travelers who are preoccupied with their tickets or navigating the station.
Overall, the area has some potential hazards, but is not worse than the majority of other major European train stations.
Tips for a safe stay in Milan
Italy is a safe country to visit and Milan is no exception. By taking some common-sense precautions, you can ensure that your trip is enjoyable and trouble-free.
Take the same precautions you would in any large city, such as keeping an eye on your belongings when using public transit, clubbing, or exploring other popular tourist destinations.
Always use common sense and the following guidelines:
- Avoid going to places that are isolated, particularly at night
- Avoid bringing anything of value with you on public transit, clubs, or busy areas
- Store your valuables, passport, and extra credit cards in the safe of your hotel room
- Make a copy of your ID and leave the original in your room
- Instead of using ATMs on the street, which are more vulnerable to theft, utilize those inside banks, hotels, and museums
- Don’t buy anything from strangers that approach you; this might be a ruse to rob you
- When in a busy area or club, it’s not a good idea to carry your valuables in the back pocket of your pants
- Don’t leave your belongings unattended on bar counters, coffee or restaurant tables, benches, etc.
Useful Numbers in case of emergency in Milan
- 112 to contact Police, First Aid, Carabinieri, and Fire Department;
- 118 Ambulance;
- 113 Police;
- 115 Fire Department;
- 884 650 00/1/2/3 Civil Defense;
- 800 801 185 active 24 hours a day to find the nearest open pharmacy in Milan;
- 02 02 08 First Aid Unit;
- 884 568 93 Women and Children Protection Unit;
- 884 539 00 ATM Lost and Found office;
- 637 126 67 Central Station Lost and Found office;
- 772 702 80 to request the removal of a parked vehicle or reclaim a towed vehicle.