Milano Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Milan has two main international air gateways, Linate airport and Malpensa airport. Sometimes referred to as Milan's additional airports, Bergamo's Orio al Serio airport (45 km East) and Parma airport (100 km South) mostly host budget airlines.

Malpensa airport

The main international airport is Milano Malpensa Airport, about 40 km northwest of the city center. There are flights to Malpensa from all inhabited continents except Oceania, and together with Rome-Fiumicino it is a hub for Italy's national carrier Alitalia. From Malpensa you can get into central Milano by train, shuttle bus or taxi.

Linate airport

Some European or national flights arrive at Linate Airport . This small but rather efficient one-runway airport is very close to the city centre (7 km). It is mostly serviced by airlines to domestic destinations and some European destinations. After the bankruptcy of the 'old' Alitalia and its merger with AirOne, the new airline abandoned Malpensa in favour of Linate.

Taking connecting flights in Linate might take much longer than elsewhere because there is no through passage: you get off the airplane, get out of the security area, go through security again together with those passengers who have just arrived from Milan and not with a connecting flight, and only then can you board the new plane. If you're taking a connection from abroad it doesn't make much difference, because in these cases you have to go through security again (say, London to Palermo via Rome Fiumicino), but if both flights are domestic then you don't have to go through security again if the airport has a through passage (e.g. Palermo to Genova via Rome Fiumicino). This is common in most countries: the rationale is that apparently no one seems to trust security checks performed by other countries!
Since the airport is so close to the city, it is served by buses of the city public transport network: Bus no. 73 outside the terminal building goes to San Babila Square, in the city centre, which is served by metro line MM1. This bus is not a dedicated service but a city transportation network bus with many stops en route, may get crowded during peak hours. The bus runs every ten minutes and costs €1.50. This bus service is managed by ATM, the public transport company of Milan. Tickets can be purchased from the newsagent inside the airport terminal or by the ATM vending machines close to the bus stop. Remember to validate the ticket when boarding the bus. With the same ticket, you can transfer to the metro (subway) system once and unlimited buses or tram streetcars in a 75 minute period. You can also directly use a comprehensive ticket to many places in the suburbs. For more detail see #Get around. Information and timetables available from the ATM web site. To catch the right 73 bus from the airport to Milan, look for direction "SAN BABILA M1" and avoid Line 73 buses directed to "S.FELICINO" (be very careful not to take a bus to San Felicino, because not only you would go in the wrong direction, but you would also be considered without a valid ticket for that journey) . On the other direction, when going from the city centre to Linate airport, you can get both buses directed to Linate airport or to San Felicino. During daytime the frequency of the bus is one bus every 5 to 10 minutes.
A new express service Bus no. X73, by ATM, connect the Linate airport and San Babila Square, in the city centre and vice versa, via a route similar to the bus 73, but with just one intermediate stop (at Dateo, where interchange with the Passante Ferroviario is possible). As it is a direct service it takes less time than the normal 73 bus and it is usually less crowded. The advertised journey time is 25 (but take into account more time than this, especially if you are travelling in peak time). This express service operates only weekdays 7AM-8PM and there is an express bus every 20 minutes. The ordinary ticket of €1 is accepted on this route, no supplement is needed, and you can transfer to the metro (subway) system and other bus (for more details about tickets see above and the Get around section).
A new metro line, MM4, currently under construction, is expected to connect the Linate Airport terminal directly with San Babila in the city centre in 2016.
A dedicated bus service, called Starfly, operated by Autostradale, connects Linate airport to Milan's center running every 30 minutes and tickets cost €5 per adult (ticket sold at local newsagent and on board). This bus also stop on route at Lambrate railway station. The journey takes approximately 27 minutes.
A bus service, operated by Malpensa Shuttle connects Malpensa airport to Linate airport as well as Malpensa to Milan's Central train station (timetables, fares and ticket booking available online). The journey takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.
Taxis from Linate to the city centre cost around €12-20 depending on traffic conditions. The minimum charge is €12. If you are going to the centre, ignore all the guys standing at the exit to the terminal saying "taxi"... they are for destinations outside central Milan (i.e., outlying cities) and will charge a minimum of €70. Queues for regular taxis can get long during peak commuter hours (early evening) and are particularly bad during Fashion Week.
Orio al Serio airport

Some budget airlines fly into Orio al Serio Airport . About 45 km north-east of Milan near the city of Bergamo. Ryanair refers to this as Milan Bergamo Airport. Public transport into Milan is slightly less convenient than Malpensa or Linate:

Trains to Milan leave from Bergamo station, which you can get to by shuttle bus or taxi, but is quite far from the airport. Buses to Bergamo are run by ZANI and take 10 minutes, at a cost of around €1.50. Trains from Bergamo to Milan run every 30–60 minutes and take around 1 hour. Adult one-way fare approx €4.
Bus Services — All buses leave for Milan from immediately outside the arrivals section of the airport and from Ferrante Aporti on the east side of Central Station in Milan for all the companies below.
* Autostradale run a direct bus, Orio Shuttle from Orio Airport to Milano Centrale station, which is probably the best choice. Departure times may vary, but buses generally run every half hour during the day, less often at night, and take about 1 hour or more. However, beware of cutting things too fine, because the highway to Milan is very crowded during weekdays. Adult one-way fare: €5.00. Tickets are sold in Orio Al Serio Airport in Bergamo and at the Central Train Station in Milan. Be at the Milan Bus stop at least 15 minutes before nominal departure time, or you may get left behind. Tickets can be purchased online, but sellers at the airport and train station will offer 3 tickets for price of 2.
* Zani Viaggi also run a bus service from Bergamo Airport to Milano Centrale station with a stop at the Cascina Gobba MM2 station on the North Eastern outskirts of Milan. Adult fare: €9ish one way. Tickets sold at an office in the airport or online.
* There are several other bus shuttle companies, that offer direct bus services from Bergamo airport to Milan central, Malpensa and Linate airport. It is advisable to not buy the bus tickets online beforehand, because then the passenger has no choice but to wait for the bus the he/she has booked. Once you get out of the customs area, there are a lot of kiosks and agents, whp will offer bus tickets to city center at €9 return, or €5 one-way. This gives flexibility to choose the first departing bus, instead of waiting at the airport.
Taxis will set you back around €100 from Orio to Milan.
By train
The main railway station is the Central Station (Milano Centrale or Centrale FS), which is served by Trenitalia, the State Railways. Regular express and fast trains serve all Italian cities (Turin, Venice, Rome, Naples, Florence and many others), and some European cities (Barcelona, Zurich, Geneva, Munich, Paris, Stuttgart, Zagreb, Vienna, etc.).

The station building is in itself worth a visit being a masterpiece of rationalist architecture.

The station area is not in a great part of town at night, though in the area there are a number of decent budget hotels (see "Sleep" below) and some business-oriented international brand hotels. In general the area south of the station (characterized by a few skyscrapers) is a business and local government center, pretty active during working hours but almost deserted at night. Should you need a few supplies for your trip, there is a supermarket in the west side of the station in the basement, as well as cafes and other small shops. Internet points in the main square overlooking the station. In 2008 the station is completing extensive renovation. At night, parts of the Central Station become a sleeping area for vagrants. Usually around the station there are children aggressively targeting tourist for pickpocketing, so pay attention to your bag.

The Central Station is served by MM2 and MM3 metro lines and is a masterpiece of Rationalist architecture worth a visit. Taxis stops directly in front of the station (on the sides during the renovation period), and ATM buses on the West side (IV November Square) and buses to Linate, Malpensa and Orio airports on the East side (Luigi di Savoia square).

Another important railway station is Cadorna, served by Ferrovie Nord (North Railways), where the Malpensa airport Express stops and which is also a stop for MM1 and MM2 metro lines.This is a good station if you are travelling to Como Lago station
Garibaldi station is the terminus for most commuter railway lines and is served by Trenitalia, Trenord, NTV and SNCF. It is also a stop for the MM2 metro and for the Passante suburban commuter train link (see #Get_around).
Other main train stations are Lambrate (connected to MM2 metro line), Greco-Pirelli, Rogoredo (connected to MM3 metro line) and Porta Genova (connected to MM2 metro line) for the FS Trenitalia railways and Bovisa (connected to the Passante suburban commuter train link) and Domodossola for the Ferrovie Nord railways. Domodossola station is very close to the city section of the Milan Exhibition Centre - fieramilanocity, also connected to the subway system by the MM1 metro line.

Ferrovie Nord (FNM) and Trenitalia (FS) are two different railway networks, with different stations, different trains and different tickets. For example, if you need to go to Malpensa airport and you are in FS Greco Pirelli, you need to go first to Garibaldi train station, then take the MM2 metro to Cadorna train station and then the Malpensa Shuttle train to the airport. In some cases from Garibaldi station, you can take the Passante suburban commuter train link to Bovisa FNM station (these trains leave from the underground station below Garibaldi station and next to the MM2 underground station. Be sure that the train you take stops at Bovisa). From Bovisa you can get on the Malpensa shuttle train.

By car

The main motorways linking Milan to the rest of Italy are:

A1, the Autostrada del Sole (Highway of the Sun), a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.
A4 Westbound, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Turin, the Westyern Alps and France.
A4 Eastbound, the Autostrada Serenissima, an eight-lane motorway linking Milan to Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Padua and Venice, and further to Trieste and Slovenia.
A7, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Genoa, the Ligurian Riviera and the Cinque terre.
A8, the Autostrada dei Laghi (Highway of the Lakes), an eight-lane motorway linking Milan to Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lugano and the rest of Switzerland.
A9, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Varese and Western Ticino in Switzerland.
A50, A51 and A52, respectively the West, East and North Ringroads (Tangenziale Ovest, Tangenziale Est, and Tangenziale Nord) connect the various motorways forming a six-lane ringroad around Milan.
A53, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Pavia.

The main highway operating company is Società Autostrade per l'Italia.

Because of heavy traffic, it is strongly recommended not to drive in Milan during working days. Driving is much better during weekends. A recommendation is to leave your car in one of the well-marked, huge commuter car parks near several exits of Milan's motorway ringroad; they're managed by ATM and are easily connected with Milan's underground metro lines, but they close around midnight. They're near highway exits in Cascina Gobba (East), Lampugnano (North West), Molino Dorino (North West), Bonola (North West), Rho-Pero (North West), Bisceglie (South West) and San Donato (South East). If you must drive in Milan during weekdays, then make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the one-way system.

Trafic congestion fee

Since January 1, 2008, cars entering Milan's central area within the former walls of the city (cerchia dei navigli) must pay a fee (€2,€3, €5 or €10 depending on the engine and age of the car): there are cameras in all entrances to this area and all registration plates are recorded. Payment can be made by purchasing entrance cards at newspaper stands, online or by sms (call 020202 for information). Failure to pay within 48 hours from entering the area implies a fine of €75.

By bus

Milan's main bus terminal is Lampugnano station, connected to the rest of the city by metro.

The main national bus lines are operated by Autostradale, but there are many other small companies offering even international travel .

By carpooling

From elsewhere in Italy you can also get to Milan by carpool.

source: Wikivoyage

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