Our recent stay in Milan was a mixture of a conference and holiday and we were on a very tight budget. Hotels near the conference, quite near Duomo Square were out of our price range. We got a fantastic deal at the Ibis Ca Granda Milano. I've stayed in Ibis hotels before and never had a problem. This one was excellent; immaculately clean large room, tv, safe, very comfortable bed, good bathroom and free wi-fi (note: In Italy rooms don't have kettles as a rule; we took our own). Lovely view of a fountain, air conditioning but the windows opened as well. Breakfast buffet/ cafe available. Two free computers in the lounge area. Helpful, friendly, English speaking staff. We knew it was a bit of a distance into 'town' (central area with Duomo, La Scala etc) and it wasn't an issue for us. There was a 5 minute walk to the metro (underground; very cheap) and a little less to the tram – not to be missed as they have original 1920-30s trams as well as modern ones. Same tickets for bus, tram and metro (1 ticket for a 90 minute journey, e.g. metro then tram). The centre was about 20 minutes journey – very easy. There were little shops and restaurants very near the hotel and a supermarket 10 minutes walk away but the journey could be shortened by using the tram. We had many colleagues staying in the city centre and quite a few of them had facilities and rooms that were very poor in comparison to ours but they had paid a lot more. (One exception was someone who stayed in another Ibis at bit closer in than us – they had a good and economical experience too). We would highly recommend this hotel for anyone who does not have a problem with its distance from the centre. We travelled to the central train station by tram; the wooden interiors are beautiful – have a camera ready (buy tickets in advance and stamp them in machine – watch someone else do it if you are unsure). We enjoyed people watching and the urban views. We took the train to Lake Como for a day out (train tickets are very cheap but tickets machines were swarming with people trying to scam). Advice: go with a friend to buy tickets before the day you want to travel; have them watch around while you focus on the machine. DO NOT ACCEPT HELP (there are no bona fide helpers). With patience and perhaps a couple of cancel and start agains, the ticket machine can be worked out. We did it and we don't speak or read Italian. Train was very good and friendly passengers liked to try out their English. Warning: not all trains announce upcoming stops; know the stations before the one you want so you know when to get off. We stayed at the Ibis Ca Granda Milano for 10 nights, so we really put it to the test. We'd definitely stay there again if we were visiting Milan.