If you’re planning on visiting Italy, whether you’re going by train or plane, you’re very likely to arrive in Milan first. The city is well connected to the rest of Europe by the railway and, thanks to its 3 big airports, also by the main airlines.
It’s the perfect starting point for the classic tour: Venice, Florence, Rome.
By Train: Stazione Centrale
Surely Central Station is not displaying the best welcoming committee for you. Whether you arrive by train, or by coach coming from some airport you will find a place so messy to even look picturesque. Getting useful information there is a tough challenge, and I speak Italian…good luck if you don’t. I also feel quite unsafe there, even though it’s been renewed there’s always a strange feeling…like of being under siege, and sometimes the evil world from outside might leak in. You get off the coach and you’ll be surrounded by men with a trolley offering help for carrying your luggage (I don’t think I really need to specified that but their services are not “for free” as they claim), people selling you umbrellas if the weather is lousy or some useless item when it’s not. You work your way to the metro station, try to purchase a ticket at the automatic machine and you are surrounded by women kindly volunteering to help you with that complicated machinery and with the change (I don’t think I really need to specify that they’re not moved by sheer generosity and altruism).
The Station is served by the underground (lines 2-3) and several other surface transport lines. Check out our detailed article on public transport in Milan.
Photo by Paolo Margari
Arriving by plane: Malpensa, Linate, Orio al Serio
If you’re flying to Milan you will land at one of these airports:
Malpensa is the international airport. If you’re on an international flight you will land there. The airport is connected to Milan city centre by buses arriving to and leaving from Central Station (10 euro one way, 16 return, you can buy tickets at the newsagent’s) and by the Malpensa Express train (www.malpensaexpress.it) arriving to and leaving from Cadorna, another train station, mainly used for local connection. A one way ticket costs 11 euro, but there are other trains from/to Central Sation. A ticket for one of those local trains is 10 euro but they’re very slow, so for 1 euro more I’d definitely get the Express.
If you arrive late or leave early you might go for a taxi, but consider that a ride to the city centre will cost about 90 euro!
Malpensa has a smoking cabin and offers free wifi.
Linate is the city airport. Is connected to the city centre by a bus line that costs like a single ticket (€1,50) and arrives to San Babila, right behind the Duomo. The line is either 73 or X73, the first is the regular bus, while the latter is an express service, with no intermediate stops. The distance is quite short but the bus will have to work its way through the nightmarish traffic and will take at least half an hour. Make yourselves comfortable.
Orio al Serio is tagged as a “Milan airport” but it’s actually near Bergamo. The best way to reach Milan from there, or the other way round, is by bus. There are several companies connecting the airport to Central Station (roughly 50km), for the cost of 5€ each way. The price was originally higher so it might get back to the original fare. There are buses departing each 15-20 minutes and the trip takes about 1 hour (you’d better factor in 1 hour and a half in case the bus get stuck in the traffic).
Orio al Serio airport has been recently renewed and has a modern shopping gallery and a smoking room in the gates area.. Wifi is free, you’ll only have to sign up. The form is a bit tricky when it asks where you live. Apparently it doen’t accept non-italian cities, but type Milano or any other Italian city and it’ll do
You can buy tickets at the newsagent’s or directly at the bus. Check this website for the timetable: