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 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.
- 24 hours pass (€7.00)
- 3 days pass (€12.00)
- 10 tickets carnet (€18.00)
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.
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
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:
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.
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