Milan Metro, Tram, Bus. Public transport Milan

Getting Around Milan: Metro, Bus and Tram

Milan Metro, Tram, Bus. Public transport Milan

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.


Starting from the 15 July 2019 the public transport system in Milan has changed! Keep reading to know what you need to know.

The Zone System

Now Milan and its surroundings has been divided in concentric zones, pretty much as in London public transport. The central area is consider as one block including three zone and referred to as: Mi1 – Mi3. As an occasional visitor you will probably go further than that – even far away places like Rho (the fairground), Assago (concert venue) and Bicocca (university) are in zone 3.
In this article we will only talk about the central area, for any doubts and questions please use the comment section below.

How much is the ticket?

The single fare costs 2,00 euro and it’s valid for all the urban lines. It’s valid for 90 minutes, during which you can travel as much as you need, you can use any means of transport (underground included) more than once within the time frame.

Tram in MilanOther options are:

  • 24 hours pass (€7.00)
  • 3 days pass (€12.00)
  • 10 tickets carnet (€18.00)
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ATM Travel Card

If your engagement with Milan is going to last for more than just a few days 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 (€17.00)
  • monthly pass (€39)
  • annual pass (€330)

Students and under 26 will get a good discount. See all the details on this page on the ATM website.

Go contactless!

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 the queues or when you can’t find a place where to find a ticket, not an unlikely circumstance on a Sunday.

If you have a contactless card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Maestro e VPay) you can use it to access the metro: look for the orange/grey ticket gate. Always touch in and touch out at the orange gate and use the same card or device for all the journeys you make in a day to make sure you pay the best fare.
Alternatively you can pay with your smartphone:

Use the App

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:Apple store download Google Play download

I regularly use the Android app and it’s always worked great for me despite the poor rating. Have you tried it? Or have you tried the Apple version? Let us know!


The updated Metro Map including the Passante:

Underground and overground map of Milan
Click to see full size

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.

Airbnb Rooms in Milan

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!

16 thoughts on “Getting Around Milan: Metro, Bus and Tram”

  1. Hello,
    Very useful information!
    Maybe you know about 3 days ticket validity? Is it valid just three days (e.g. monday/tuesday/wendsday) or 72 hours after validation?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi! Thanks for your message 🙂
      The 3 days pass is valid until the end of service of the third day after its validation. So, as you say, if you do your first trip on Monday the ticket will be valid until end of service on Wednesday night.

  2. Thank you so much for your reply. I think i only need to travel from central train station and to duomo. Your very helpful. Thank you!!

  3. Hi there, i will be travelling to Milan in February, im a little confused with the zones and what is inclusive in the ‘centre’. The centrale train station is listed at zone 2, does this mean it is not included in the 48 hour travel card.

    1. Hi Sara, thanks for your message.
      I also feel that the new zones are a bit confusing. They actually mean something only for those living in the outskirts of Milan and commuting to town for work. Any visitor will move in the Mi1-Mi3 area, which is the basic area covered by tickets and travel cards.
      The rule of thumb is: if you don’t know what’s beyond Mi3 then you shouldn’t worry about it as it’s virtually impossible to unintentionally go beyond that limit.
      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  4. Hello, I will be traveling to Milan for one day with 3 other people. What is the best option for travel and the cost? Would renting a car make sense?

    1. Hello there, thanks for your message!
      I would highly recommend not to rent a car: the traffic in Milan is a nightmare and public transport is highly efficient.
      For one day I see two options (which are not mutually exclusive): get a day pass for the public transport so you can go anywhere in town, unlimited. Also you can considering cycling around if the weather is nice, for this you can either use the city bike scheme or the smart bike share mobike. Check this article for more info on cycling in Milan.
      Let me know if you have more questions!

    1. Ho José, if you spent more than one hour on the same bus that would be your cue to worry.
      Seriously, the Mi3 zone not only includes the whole city of Milan but also some neighbouring towns. Unless you have to go somewhere near the border of zones 3 and 4 it’s highly unlikely that you will unintentionally cross that border.

  5. Hello
    Very helpful site – thank you.
    If my husband and I come to Milan next May we shall be 63 and 75 years old. In that case will there be a discount on a weekly ticket from the price of €17, or does that only apply to residents of the city?
    Is the centre of Milan easy to walk around or will we need to use the bus and tram?

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your message! I’m glad you are finding my site useful. I just double-checked the “senior” rates and – though they’re not limited to residents – only apply to monthly and annual pass. It really depends on how long you’re staying.
      The city centre in Milan is not too big and it’s mostly easy to walk around, however I would recommend the use of public transport, especially because the trams are really nice and are worth a trip.
      Let me know if there’s anything else you want to know about Milan.

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