Getting around Milan like a local – A simple guide to Milan’s public transport | Ideal for first-time & repeat visitors to the City
Getting around Milan like a local on public transport is cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly. Milan’s public transport connects all points of interests with dedicated trams and metro lines criss-crossing the city. However, you may not always need to use it.
Milan’s public transport
Milan’s public transport is efficient in that it connects all points of interests for a visitor with dedicated tram lines across the city. You could easily board a tram, disembark, and board another to get you to your destination.
It is cost-effective. With an affordable. ticket for €2.00 that lasts 90 minutes you can hop on and off a subway, bus or a tram to get you to your destination.
In addition, Milan’s public transport is environmentally friendly. There are about eighty eco-friendly buses running that uses less energy.
May be a little daunting…
However, Milan’s transport system may appear daunting to first time visitors because of the many transport links crisscrossing the metropolis. Having said that, it certainly is doable to get around Milan like a local on public transport and to explore this metropolis at your own pace. This simple and comprehensive guide to Milan’s public transport is to assist getting around Milan like a local if you are going to be using the system when you visit this fashion capital of the world.
Centre of Milan is easily walkable
What to expect from this article on “Getting around Milan like a local”
With all of the above in mind, here is a guide to what you need to know about getting around Milan like a local. This easy guide takes you through the various transportation options such as taxis, bike share, metro, trams and buses. Also included are information on the type of transit tickets and the best types of tickets to purchase to suit your itinerary. In essence, this easy guide is all you need for getting around Milan when you visit.
Getting around Milan like a local – basics to know
Here are some basic facts to know about Milan’s public transport before we delve deeper into the city’s transportation.
1 | ATM in Milan is not a hole-in-the-wall!
Most of us are familiar with the acronym ATM. In the UK and in most countries, it refers to bank/cash machines. In Milan, ATM is the company that operates the public transportation, so you will see it displayed at ticket offices in stations and on your tickets when you purchase them.
The Metro, Buses and Trams are managed by ATM – Azienda Trasporti Milanesi
2 | Airports
Milan is served by 3 international airports – Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo. All three airports provide easy access to Milan by train and bus. Ways to reach the city is covered further down this article.
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How to get around Milan | 5 Ways of getting around Milan
There are 5 ways to get around the City of Milan – Taxi, Bike sharing, Metro, Buses, and Trams.
1 | Taxi | Getting around Milan by taxis
Like in any major cities, taxis are seen almost everywhere and are often in high demand. If you are intending to use taxis in Milan as a preferred form of transportation, here are some things to take note of:
1.1 | Taxis do not stop randomly
Unlike other cities like London or New York , taxis are not allowed to stop anywhere on the streets of Milan to pick-up passengers. So, even if you see one without passenger driven along your street, and you hail it to stop, taxi drivers are not going to stop to pick you up.
1.2 | Dedicated taxi ranks
1.3 | Availability of taxis
1.4 | Be specific of your destination
Not every driver know every part of Milan city! Plan ahead, and have the address of your destination ready. You could also be specific about where you want to be dropped off, for example “the entrance to Parco Sempione”. Better still if you could write it down in Italian.
1.5 | Tariffs
Just so you know, taxis are more expensive in the evenings and at night – that’s just how their tariffs are regulated. The fares are regulated by the Municipality of Milan.
When you get into the taxi, you will already see a charge on the meter – the meter starts running when the driver leaves to come get you. This is a fixed departure rate which is in addition to the fare of your journey. The fixed departure rate varies depending on the time of day.
The following is a guide on the fixed rate tariff for the city of Milan:
|Fee equal to:||Time of day/weekends/holidays|
|€ 3.30||Weekdays between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.|
|€ 5.40||Holidays – between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.|
|€ 6.50||At night – between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.|
|€13.10||Minimum fare for taxis departing from Malpensa, Linate and Orio al Serio airports|
|€ = Euros|
1.5 | Safety rules of Taxis
Always use regulated taxis. The taxis in Milan are white. The registration number is visible when you get into the taxi – make a note of it if you need to.
As in any other countries or situations when you use taxis, ensure there is a working meter before you get in the car. Also ensure that the driver uses it.
1.6 | Fixed taxi rates
Be aware of fixed taxi rates to the airport and some destinations. You could ask your hotel front-desk to find out for you or ask the taxi company at the time of enquiry or before you book your ride.
Below is a guide to an all-inclusive rate to some popular destinations:
|€ 95.00||Malpensa Airport – Milan (any city street) or vice versa|
|€ 65.00||Malpensa Airport – Fiera Milano Trade Fair (Rho) or vice versa|
|€ 105.00||Malpensa Airport – Linate Airport o vice versa|
|€ 55.00||Linate Airport- Fiera Milano Trade Fair (Rho) or vice versa|
|€ 65.00||Malpensa Airport – Varese (any city street) or vice versa|
For further and on latest information on Milan Taxis, go to Travel.it
Georgina: I am a frequent user of taxis and have done so extensively during my visits to Italy. Italian taxi drivers are generally professional, friendly and honest. I had not encountered any negative experiences but it is always good to be aware of regulations and be in the know.
2 | Bike Sharing | Getting around Milan by bike
The bike sharing program in Milan was introduced in 2008 and is called BikeMi. The program has more than 200 stations throughout the City and is available for both residents and visitors. To join the program, you need to subscribe. Subscriptions can be for daily, weekly, or annual use.
Daily – € 4.50
Weekly – € 9.00
Annual – € 36.00
You can subscribe to the service through your cell/hand/mobile phone on their official website here. Once you have registered and subscribed, you will receive your unique user code that you will need to put into the BikeMi self-service station in order to unlock a bike. You can use the bike for a maximum of 2 hours at any one time.
2.1 | Tariffs for BikeMi
Your tariffs depend upon the type of bike you subscribe to, either traditional bike or an electric bike. If you select a traditional bike, the first half hour is free, then it is €0.50 for every half hour, up to 2 hours. After that, you will be charged €2 per hour. You can return your bike to any BikeMi station, so it is convenient and easy not to exceed the 2 hour limit.
|0 – 3 min||Included|
|3 min – 30 min||0,25 € / 27 min|
|30 min – 60 min||€ 0.50 / 30 min|
|60 min – 1 hour 30 min||1 € / 30 min|
|1 hour 30 min – 2 hours||2 € / 30 min|
|2 hours – 24 hours||4 € / 60 min|
|ELECTRIC BICYCLE WITH CHILD SEAT||Tariff|
|0 – 3 min||Included|
|3 min – 30 min||0,25 € / 27 min|
|30 min – 60 min||€ 0.50 / 30 min|
|60 min – 1 hour 30 min||1 € / 30 min|
|1 hour 30 min – 2 hours||2 € / 30 min|
|2 hours – 24 hours||4 € / 60 min|
|0 – 30 min||Included|
|30 min – 60 min||€ 0.50 / 30 min|
|60 min – 1 hour 30 min||€ 0.50 / 30 min|
|1 hour 30 min – 2 hours||€ 0.50 / 30 min|
|2 hours – 24 hours||2 € / 60 min|
Information on tariffs extracted from BikeMi official site | updated September 8, 2021
For up to date information on tariffs and regulations, go to BikeMi
How to get around Milan like a local on Milan public transport
3 | Metro | Milan public transport
The Metro in Milan is simple and easy to navigate. It is the most popular mode of transport among visitors. There are 4 major lines that you need to know.
M1 [RED] – Connects Duomo di Milano with Porta Venezia, the castle, Corso Magenta and the Fiera;
M2 [Green] – Connects Porta Garibaldi with Brera and Navigli;
M3 [Yellow] – Connects Quadrilatero with Porta Romana;
M5 [Lilac] – Connects San Siro with Porta Garibaldi and Isola;
Services operate between 5.30am and 12.30am (from 6am on Sunday).
A ticket is valid for 90 minutes. It can only be used for one metro ride. [More information on type of tickets and choices are below]
Tickets are sold at electronic ticket machines in the station, or at tobacconists and newsstands.
3.1 | The Metro Network in Milan and to suburban areas
4 | Buses | Milan public transport
Milan’s buses are eco-friendly and offer 80 routes. It covers areas where the Metro does not. The bus lines have numbers and destination names to indicate which direction the bus is travelling.
4.1 | Bus stops
The bus stops in Milan are represented by no more than a pole with a small placard showing numbers for buses that stop there. There will also be a list of stops on each line. The stop at which you are at is highlighted. The stops below will be the ones coming up. If your intended destination is above the highlighted stop/name, you will need to cross over to the bus-stop in opposite side of the road and find the corresponding destination.
4.2 | Hail the bus to stop!
The buses in Milan will stop only if there are people waiting to board or passengers wanting to get off. So, if you see your bus approaching, step forward and put your hand up, hail the bus to stop. It is important that you hail the bus that you want, as there might be multiple buses using the same stop and the driver would not necessarily know which one you are waiting for. Once on board, look out for your destination stop, indicate you want to get off at the next stop by pushing the stop button near your seat.
Remember to validate your ticket when you board the bus.
Buses run between 05:30 until between 00:30-01:45, depending on the line. On weekends, some routes have night buses, running between 02:00 and 06:00.
The following lines operate night bus services every half-hour between 12.30 a.m. and 05.10 a.m, after the metro has closed.
M1 replacement line;
M2 replacement line;
M3 replacement line;
90/91 trolley bus line;
For up to date information on Night Bus Services in Milan, click here to their official website, ATM Night Service.
Pro tip: Take Bus 94 for an easy ride around town – it circles the city center and popular tourist highlights.
5 | Trams | Milan public transport
The Trams in Milan have been in operation since 1881. There are some historic trams and some newer ones. With 17 tram lines, they serve some areas that the buses don’t.
One thing you may wish to experience is to ride one of the the historic trams as they still have the old wooden benches in them. The newer ones are spacious and air-conditioned.
The numbering system for trams are basically the same as for the buses. The trams get the lower numbers and the buses get the higher numbers with the notable exception of Line 18 which is a bus line.
5.1 | How to stop the tram
Visitors can treat trams as they would buses in some ways. For example, trams only stop when there’s someone at the station or when someone onboard wants to get off. As with buses, if you want to get on board, you need to be at the stop and raise your hand slightly to indicate your intention to get onboard and for the driver to notice you. Once on board, when you are ready to get off at your destination, indicate your intention by pushing a button or pulling a cord.
5.2 | Historic Tram #1
Tram 1 – Cuts through the historic centre,. It is a retro yellow tram with wooden benches and original fittings.
5.3 | Important tips to know when using the Trams in Milan
i | Remember to validate your ticket when you board the tram.
ii | Trams 2, 4, 14 and 16 are the most central, all passing by Piazza Duomo.
iii | Trams 2 and 3 – are popular for sightseeing.
iv | Trams 9 and 10 – loop around the centre via Porta Venezia, Porta Genova and Porta Garibaldi.
v | Caution!
Just be aware that there are sometimes car lanes running alongside, or intertwined with tram lines. Ensure you look both ways before disembarking the tram.
Transit tickets for getting around Milan on public transport – Types of tickets, single journeys and multi-journey tickets
As mentioned above, the public transport in Milan is managed by ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi). The public transport options include the subway, buses and trams. There are transit tickets available to suit your journeys. If you are going to be riding Milan’s public transportation, here is what you need to know about the transit tickets, options available and the cost effective ways of managing it.
1 | Single journey/ticket on Milan public transport
A single ticket, which can be used on the Metro, Tram and Buses in Milan costs €2.00 and is valid for 90 minutes from the time of its first stamp. You can ride as many buses and trams, a combination of journeys, all within the 90-minute window.
**Take note: You can change trains on one Metro journey using one ticket. Once you have used a ticket for the Metro, you cannot afterwards use the same ticket for another Metro journey within the 90-minute validity period. You can leave a Metro station, and then ride buses and trams for the remainder of the usefulness of the ticket. This single ticket is valid now also to reach Rho Fieramilano, located outside the inner city area.
You can buy this ticket via SMS, by sending a message to 48444 and typing ATM.
2 | Multi journey tickets on Milan public transport
2.1 | Carnet of 10 standard tickets
A carnet of 10 standard tickets covers 10 journeys of 90 minutes each from the time of its first stamp. Each ticket is valid for a single journey on the Metro or rail network. If you are going to be riding Milan’s underground and the rail network more than once or twice, then this is a good option at €18.00.
** Take note: The ticket is non-transferable. Therefore these cannot be used simultaneously by more than one person/passenger. Each person/traveller in your group must have his/her own carnet.
2.2 | Other multi-journey tickets
If your plans in Milan involve staying longer than 2 days, you can consider the following money-saving passes for public transport:
One day ticket – Valid for 24 hours; €7
Three-day ticket – Valid for 72 hours; €12
Weekly 2 x 6 pass – This covers two journeys of 90 minutes each per day for 6 days of the same week. Each journey within the 90-minute validation period may include one journey on the Metro and rail network. It costs €17. This pass is personal and non transferable.
2.3 | Children
Children up to 10 years old travel free of charge on all means of public transport in Milan.
3 | Where to buy Milan public transport transit tickets
The single and multi-journey tickets mentioned above can be purchased at Metro Stations, either at automated machines or ticket windows. Additionally, they are also available at tobacco shops, and at ATM Point Service centers located in the Duomo, Centrale Station, Cadorna, Loreto, Romolo and Garibaldi stations.
Milan City Pass
Very Important points to remember when getting around Milan like a local using public transport
i | Validating your ticket upon first use
This means that on the Metro, inserting the ticket on the barriers in order to get access in to the station. On the buses and trams, finding the validation machine on board the bus and tram and getting a stamp when you get on.
ii | Luggage ticket
A ticket is required for the transport of a single piece of luggage when transiting on Milan’s public transport within the City. The luggage ticket should be validated at the start of your journey alongside with your journey ticket. When required, you should hand over both tickets to ticket inspectors.
iii | Urban Tickets
All of the above refer to what is called “Urban Tickets” which covers the city centre of Milan. Tickets for areas beyond the geographic designation of City of Milan, extra urban areas varies depending on its distance. Likewise, the validity period depends on the zones and semi-zones crossed.
This page shows you the list of stations in the extra urban areas.
iv | Ticket Collectors
Ticket collectors are usually dressed in civilian clothing and are constantly checking. Ensure to always keep your ticket after validating it on the Metro, bus or tram.
v | Useful Apps
Route maps are available from ATM info points. You can also download these via the ATM app. Learn more & download the Metro App
Getting to Milan from the airports near the city
Milan is served by three airports – Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo
1 | From Linate Airport to Milan
Milan Linate is the closest airport to Milan, only 8 kilometres away. It is second largest airport in Milan. There are no train stations in Linate but is well connected by shuttle service. You can take an airport bus transfer between Linate Airport and Milan Central Station for about €5.50 one way while enjoying your ride on a comfortable, modern, and air-conditioned bus with Wi-Fi.
2 | From Malpensa Airport to Milan
Malpensa Airport (MXP) is the main airport in Milan and is the second busiest in Italy. It is the largest international airport in the Milan area. Located 49 kilometres northwest of the city, it is easily connected to Milan by train and bus.
For best offers: Buy your Malpensa Express tickets from Trainline
Alternatively, take the bus transfer from Malpensa to Milan which is also convenient and a popular option among visitors.
3 | From Bergamo to Milan
Bergamo Airport (BGY) also known by its official name Orio al Serio is the third busiest airport in Milan. Located 45 kilometres northeast of Milan, near the city of Bergamo.
There are no direct trains from Bergamo Airport to Milan but the train station in Bergamo is within easy reach of the airport. It can be reached in 10 – 15 minutes by Bergamo Bus which runs every 30 minutes from 06:00 in the morning to midnight. The number of the Bergamo bus is Number 1. Passengers are dropped off outside the train station to continue their journey and awaiting passengers at the train station collected to be taken to the airport. You need a ticket for this journey. This page gives you all the up to date information on fares and schedule.
Trains depart Bergamo Station every 30 minutes to Milano Centrale.
Milano Centrale Station | Getting around Milan
From Milano Centrale Station:
To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.
If you are looking for the quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.
If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.
You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.
Related practical information | Getting around Milan
1. Places to Stay in Milan
As one can imagine, Milan offers many choices in accommodation to suit every budget and style. At TTS, we have researched and compiled our list on some of the best accommodations according to neighbourhoods in Milan. The accommodations ranges from budget to high-end and I am sure you will find one to suit your style.
Alternatively, take advantage of the following last-minute deals:
2 | Things to do in Milan
There is a never ending array of things to do in this fashion city and it is never quite possible to do it all in one or two visits. To help you decide what to see and do on your first visit, we have compiled a list of 19 bucket list attractions for you to experience.
3 | Don’t just visit Milan! – Explore other cities in the Lombardy region through Train Travel
Don’t just visit Milan! Explore other cities in the Lombardy region which is relatively a short train ride from Milan. Train travel in Italy is convenient, inexpensive and straight-forward. You can explore so much more of Italy by doing one of these day trips by train. Most visitors to Milan spend each train travel day on the Milan-Venice- Florence - Rome circuit but I would highly recommend a Milan-Verona-Venice route. Although I stayed a few days in Verona and was not strictly a day trip, you will find the Milan-Verona-Venice route to be really convenient and good value for money.
It is worth noting that for these day trips, Milan to Verona or Milan to Venice, that it is better to buy point-to-point tickets than to buy a rail pass. I had a seamless train journey by pre-booking my tickets in very comfortable, clean carriages.
Pro tip: Buying point-to-point train journey tickets works out cheaper than a train pass only if it is a singular journey. The Pass is still better if you are aiming for train travel across Italy over a duration of time.
4 | Recommended day trips from Milan
Here are some carefully selected day trips from Milan which you may like to experience. If you are going on any of them, ensure you book early and well inadvance so as to avoid disappointment.
Recommended read: 12 Very Best Day Trips from Milan
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Travel resources at a Glance
Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.
Legal entry/Tourist travel Visa
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I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com
My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.
Unique experiences & tours
My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals. You shall find suggestions on recommended tours sprinkled throughout TTS on each experience I write about.
Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.
Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.
A final note on getting around Milan
Whatever transportation – taxis, metro, trams, or buses that you decide to use in Milan, be assured that the system is well integrated. The city of Milan may seem a little chaotic with trams, buses and cars criss-crossing each other at any given time, but if you plan ahead and use the resources mentioned in this article, on Getting around Milan, I am certain that getting around the city will be seamless and that you will be hopping on and off the public transportation like a local Milanese commuter.
How about you?
I appreciate this is an extended read but it has all the information you could possibly need to get around the city of Milan along with valuable tips to make your visit a success. Having read this article, I’d like to know what you think.
What do you think? Is this article valuable to you in planning your visit to Milan and help you navigate the city using public transport? Was anything amiss? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.
Have a splendid time exploring Milan and its surrounds.
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Getting around Milan like a local – A simple guide to Milan’s public transport first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last update September 8, 2021