The public transport company in Milan (ATM) is very efficient; five metro lines, tram, buses, trolley-buses, and the under-used passante ferroviario (overground metropolitan train), connect the whole city.
The trolleybus runs along a ring road surrounding the city centre (circonvallazione) and runs also during the night, with only a gap between 2am and 4am. It will probably be your only chance to get back home before dawn after a night out but it has a horrible reputation so look out. Even though it looks pretty rough I don’t think it’s that dangerous, however, I would recommend a lone female traveller to avoid it.
How much is the ticket?
The single fare costs 1,50 euro and it’s valid for all the urban lines. It’s valid for 90 minutes, during which you can have only one journey on the metro and unlimited use of the overground lines (bus, tram, trolleybus).
Other options are:
- 24 hours pass (€4,50)
- 48 hours pass (€8,25)
- 10 tickets carnet (€13,80)
- Weekly 2×6 (two single tickets per day, six days a week) (€10,00)
You might find useful to know, especially if purchasing the ticket at the newsagent, that the “pass” is called “abbonamento“. You can find more detailed information here.
Use the App
We’re always supporting the reduction of waste and avoiding the paper ticket is a good way to do so. Moreover, it helps to skip queues or when you can’t find a place where to find a ticket, not an unlikely circumstance on a Sunday.
The ATM app for smartphones will give you access to information about the public transport lines in Milan and will allow you to buy electronic tickets:
I regularly use the Android app and it’s always worked great for me, better than the poor rating it has on the store. Have you tried it? Or have you tried the Apple version? Let us know!
If you’re staying for a longer period and are averse to smartphone tech, consider purchasing the top-up card called ricaricaMI. Like the Oyster Card in London you can top it up with both single tickets and any of the passes listed above; it costs €2,50 and includes a single ticket. It will save lots of paper, think of the environment!
ATM Travel Card
If your engagement with Milan is going to last for a few months you might want to get a travel card. It costs €10 and you’ll just need a passport sized photo. The card can be topped up with:
- weekly pass – Monday to Sunday (€11,30)
- monthly pass (€30)
- annual pass (€330)
Students and under26 will get a good discount. See all the details on this page on the ATM website.
Plan your journey with GiroMilano (opens official Milan Transport site)
The updated Metro Map including the Passante:
Bycicle and bike sharing in Milan
There’s nothing better than a good ol’ bicycle to get yourself around Milan. The city is small and completely flat and you’ll be whirring from one side to another at incredible speed. You might not be faster than the metro but it’s a fair competition with the buses, which normally get stuck in the traffic. The only downside is that some paved streets will make your brain bounce inside your skull. It can be hard work avoiding cars, pedestrians and tram rails on a paved street. And if the road is wet…you’d better be very sober!
You can rent bikes through the city bike sharing program, very useful in the city centre.
But if you want to invest on your very own velocipede you might want to go for a second hand. You’ll find some bargains on the second-hand websites or you can google “ciclofficina” and find the nearest where you can go and put together your own custom bike…or fix it when needed. These are bike laboratories set up mostly by university students or by autonomous associations.
You can take your bike on the metro and on the passante ferroviario. Technically rush hour is off-limits but if the station is not too busy nobody will complain.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Milan, a room or a flat on Airbnb might be your best chance to stay in a private house in areas where locals live for real. And you will be able to see why Milan has such a reputation for interior design.
Sign up clicking the link above to have money off your first booking!