The public transport company in Milan (ATM) is very efficient, at least for the Italian standards. Four metro lines (soon to be 5), tram, buses, trolley-buses, and the 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 the 24 hours pass (€4,50), 48 hours pass (€8,25) and a 10 tickets carnet (€13,80). There’s also a 2×6 formula, that works as having 2 single tickets a day, for 6 days in a week. This is normally used by commuters working in the city. You might find it 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 can be handy to avoid the queues at the vending machines in the metro stations, or to look for a place where to buy a ticket when you’re not close to a station.
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:
If you’re staying for a longer period you might 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! (yes, I know, the stations are paved with used tickets but someone should set the example).
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 need a passport sized photo, that will be horribly warped by the software that prints your face on the plastic card. So don’t bother, your hair is fine just like that.
The car can be topped up with a weekly pass (€11,20) or a monthly pass (€30), 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 bet. Cheaper than hotel, comfier than most hostels, you will be staying 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 £25/$33 off your first booking!
Taxi in Milan
Taxi drivers don’t enjoy a great worldwide reputation, and Milan is no exception. A taxi ride can be more expensive than expected, especially when compared to the size of the city and the cost of public transport.
But when there are no other options you can use a taxi app (TaxiYoo, TaxiMilano, MyTaxi) or call the unique number that will put you in contact with the first available taxi from any company.
Or you can Uber it, if you sign up to the service clicking the link below you get money off your first ride