The transportation in Milan is highly developed, so much so that it is mostly advised not to use a private vehicle, especially for occasional tourists staying for a short period of time. Below you’ll find all the options for travelling around the city.
Arriving From the Airport
There are three airports around Milan. The largest is Malpensa, located northwest of the city. Some of the flights are directed to Orio al Serio, an airport located next to the nearby city of Bergamo, northeast of Milan. Domestic flights usually land and depart from an airport located in the city, called Linate. Both Malpensa and Bergamo airports are located about 50 kilometers away from Milan, in opposite directions, and are each about an hour drive away from the city center.
Public transportation from Malpensa
The airport is connected to Milan’s central station and to another important train station, Cadorna, with the “Malpensa Express” train service that runs regularly about twice an hour. Upon exiting either terminal 1 or 2, follow the signs leading to the train. Tickets can be purchased at the ticketing office or vending machines next to the platforms. A one-way ticket costs 13 Euros. Tickets can also be preordered via this website.
Another cheaper, just as convenient option is to take a bus. Upon exiting either terminal 1 or 2, right after retrieving your belongings at the baggage claim, follow the signs leading to the buses departing for Milan. At this time, one of the leading bus services is Terravision, among others. The buses are located at the exit ground. A one-way ticket costs 8 Euros, and the bus usually arrives at Milan’s central station.
Both options can be used to travel back from the city to the airport as well.
Public transportation from Prio al Serio, Bergamo
Bergamo’s airport and Milan’s central station are connected via shuttles. A one-way ticket costs 8 Euro, and the journey takes about an hour. Buses depart from the arriving flights area, next to platform no. 3. These shuttles are active until 12:45 AM, and on later hours of the night one must take a train to Bergamo and from there head on to Milan. Tickets can be purchased on the bus. Additional information, as well as pre-ordering of tickets, is accessible via this website as well.
If you’re tired, carry heavy luggage, or just feel like pampering yourself, you can use a cab service. In that case, a taxi service is advised to be booked in advance. Many taxi services are available. We offer a professional, discounted service as well. Additional details about our transportation services can be found here.
Public transportation in the city
Milan’s public transportation service, ATM, includes the Metro, buses and Tram services. ATM tickets are valid for all three transportation systems.
The majority of the city is connected with these services, and almost every corner is reachable by one or a combination of them.
It is highly advised to use the Google Maps app for checking the best available route. Just type in the address or the name of the attraction you’re interested in getting to, click on ‘Directions’ and then click on the public transportation icon to get a detailed route with suggested transfer lines, names of stations, distances and the schedule for your journey.
If your internet services are limited, it is advised to download the city map to your cell phone before your journey, so that internet data will not be required. Here you can easily learn how to download your map in advance.
Purchasing ATM tickets
Tickets cannot be purchased on the train, bus or tram. They must be bought in advance.
1. Tickets can be purchased using automated vending machines located inside Metro stations. You can spot Metro stations by their big red “M” signs. These automated machines are activated via a touch screen. You can set English as the language for instructions, and pay with cash or a credit card.
2. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks scattered around town, either at ‘Edicola’ kiosks that sell snacks and newspapers, or at ‘Tabacchi’ shops that sell cigarettes.
3. Tickets can Purchased using the ATM app. This is a new, convenient option. Download the ‘ATM Milano’ app, choose ‘Tickets’ and purchase as many tickets as you want, with a credit card or your PayPal account.
A Metro station entry sign
Automated vending tickets machine, located inside Metro stations, for purchasing public transportation tickets
Using an ATM ticket – tickets must be validated to use.
On a bus or a tram: tickets must be validated upon entry using a small stamping machine.
At a Metro station: entering the train area is only permitted with a ticket. Tickets are inserted into a validation station at the gates. Keep your ticket in order to open the exit gates at your destination.
When entering the Metro station using a ticket purchased using the ATM app – position your cell phone screen towards the bar code reader.
If you’ve purchased your tickets using the ATM app – log in to your app’s electronic wallet, check the ticket and activate it. From that moment, 90 minutes for travelling using the public transportation begin. If asked by a conductor, you can present your cell phone screen to prove your ticket. To enter into the Metro station – log in to your app ticket, chose QR display, and position your cell phone screen towards the bar code reader at the gate. Notice that not all gates are adjusted to the app. You’ll usually find at least one app-friendly gate at end of the row of gates. You’ll recognize them by their small electronic screens with an illuminated green arrow.
Standard urban ticket – The ticket costs 2 Euros, and valid for 90. The ticket must be validated (using the validation machine) at any change of transportation. You can use a ticket for as many rides as you need during those 90 minutes, for either metro, tram or bus rides.
One day ticket – The ticket costs 7 Euros and valid for 24 hours.
3 day ticket – The ticket costs 12 Euros and valid for 72 hours.
A 10-card – The card provides 10 single journeys of 90 minutes each, and costs 18 Euros.
The above mentioned tickets are the most common and useful ones available for sale.
Children in public transportation – Children under the age of 14 that are accompanied by an adult travel for free. Any adult can be accompanied by up to 2 children of these ages. For children under 5 years of age carrying a trolley on your ride is free as well. Accompanying adult must carry an identification document in which the child’s age is stated (i.e. a passport).
Public transportation activity hours
Most transportation options are available from 05:30 to 00:30. In addition, some of the lines are active during nighttime as well:
Metro – lines M1, M2, and M3 are active throughout the night in a limited format and do not stop at every station.
Bus – Circumferential lines 90 and 91 are active throughout the night.
In addition, during the weekend nights (Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night) special metro lines are available between particular stations, as follows (“N” signifies night line):
- N6 Cadorna FN M1 M2 – Centrale FS M2 M3;
- N15 Gratosoglio – Duomo M1 M3;
- N24 Vigentino – Duomo M1 M3;
- N27 Viale Ungheria – Duomo M1 M3;
- N42 Bicocca – Centrale FS M2 M3;
- N50 Lorenteggio – Cairoli M1;
- N54 Lambrate FS M2 – Duomo M1 M3;
- N57 Quarto Oggiaro – Cairoli M1;
- N80 Quinto Romano – De Angeli M1;
- N94 Porta Volta – Cadorna FN M1 M2
A standard urban ticket that is validated after midnight will be valid until 6:00 AM.
Our recommendation for tourists visiting Milan for only a few days is not to drive in it. Traffic in the city is very busy, driving rules are slightly different, parking is hard to find especially around touristic attractions and – like most European cities – on most days of the year (except Sundays) driving a private vehicle is forbidden in central areas of the city, which is usually the area most attractive for tourists to visit.
Even if you’ve arrived from the airport using a rented car, it is best advised to leave it at your hotel’s parking and use the public transportation services. Using public transportation is an experience in itself, as well as an efficient, convenient and cheap way to get around Milan.
If you simply must use the assistance of a private car, you can rent one from one of the many car rental services offered in the city. You can order one in advance on the internet, or approach the agency closest to your hotel. Either way, take notice to the fact that such agencies are conveniently located all over the city, and not just around central locations. Peripheral rental agencies are usually less crowded and much friendlier.
Riding a bike is a fun, efficient, convenient and cheap way of getting around the city.
Milan is built on a plain and is comfortable to ride in. Though there aren’t many designated bike lanes, many use the roads to ride in, and for the most part – car drivers respect their presence. Tourists should be careful though when riding in areas where traffic is busy, and it may be best to step off the bike or use the sidewalk. Riding a bicycle in a foreign city as an intimidating tram trails behind you is not a nice experience… in such case, getting off the bike or moving to the sidewalk is advised.
There are three main automated bicycles rental services in the city (for those who own a smartphone and a credit card or a PayPal account). Two of which, Mobike and Ofo, are used with an electronic chip identified by a mobile app that located the nearest bike available for rent. The bikes can be left anywhere in the city at the end of the service. You’ll recognize them on the streets by their standout shades – yellow for Ofo, and orange for Mobike (in addition – they will not be tied). The third rental service, BikeMi, provides bikes via docking stations located around the city, and require an annual registration fee of 20 Euros, which makes this service less optimal for tourists.
Signing up to the mobile apps is very easy. Download the app from the online app store, register (registration process is fairly quick, simple and intuitive, and may be free of charge or cost about a Euro), and open the app which will immediately identify your location and the location of the nearest available bike. Once you’ve reached the bike – scan their code using the app, and they will immediately be available for ride. At the end of your journey close the bike’s mechanical lock. This action will officially end the service, and will appear on the app as well. The rental charge is about 0.5 Euros per half an hour.
In recent years, and like in many European cities, car sharing services are available in Milan. These services provide a fleet of cars available for rent for short periods of time, using a mobile app. Cars are available at different spots around the city, on a pay-per-minute basis, and can be left off anywhere in the city at the end of the journey, where they will be located (using the app) and picked up by the next client. This transportation option is very tempting to use, but is not recommended for tourist visiting Milan for a few days, as the registration process often requires a valid European driving license and a local mobile phone number. If you’re visiting the city for an extended period of time, or happen to own a European driving license and a local SIM card, you can choose from one of the following services, or simply download a car sharing app from your online store. The most common car sharing services in Milan are:
* Only work on weekdays
For our transportation services click here
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