Transport around Milan
Milan has a diverse range of options for public transport and you’ll usually find a solution for where you want to go. Recently, a car levy to enter the city centre has been introduced and a lot of the revenue raised from this system has been allocated to improving the network, including eco- friendly buses and a bike sharing programme.
ATM is the Milanese transport company and they also have an English website
. You can download a free train network map and a city map with all transport options except for the bicycles. They also have a journey planner and information about the smartphone apps available.
There are five transport options:
On the Underground and platforms there are always city maps and some bus/tram stands have maps or at least details of the lines and stops on that particular line. Often there are displays advising how many minutes until the next train/bus/tram.
You can buy tickets at the Underground station either from the machines or from the cashier, at newsagents or from parking meters.
Standard “urban” ticket: 1.50€
This ticket is valid for 90 minutes although if you exit from the Underground gates you cannot take another Underground train. You can, though, if you continue your journey on a tram or bus.
Some stops are considered “extra” urban and the ticket will cost more. This is the case for visiting the “Rho Fiera” exhibition centre where most of the major expos and trade exhibitions are held. This ticket will cost you 2.55€ one way or 5€ for a return.
Daily ticket: 4.50€
Valid for a whole 24 hours after validating.
2-day ticket: 8.25€
Valid for an entire 48 hours.
You just have to validate your ticket once although you will need to repeatedly use your ticket to enter and often exit the Underground or train. On the trams and buses this isn’t required.
Of course, there are many other ticket options designed to suit your requirements and all information is available online.
There is also a travel card which you can top up. It’s called “RIcaricaMi” and you can purchase it for 2.50€, including one standard ticket. Then you can use the machines or the newsagents to top it up with the tickets or pass you’d like.
For efficiency, usually you can’t beat the Underground, particularly for travelling around the most central parts of the city centre.
The peak hours can be a little crowded, with the most difficult times being from 07.30 to 09.30 and in the evenings around 7pm. However, the frequency of trains during these times means that if one train is too crowded, another will only be a few minutes away.
On the downside, the Underground tends to slow its service after 9pm and only runs to just after midnight. It’s then replaced by a night bus service. Night bus stops will have a line number with an ‘N’ in front of it.
You can also download the night service map
(only in Italian).
Trams represent a lovely insight into the past and Milan, like many European cities, still runs some very old ones. They may seem slow and noisy but they’re gloriously stylish inside.
Having said that, not all lines run these trams and many lines run modern or semi-modern trams. There are some excellent lines which run right through the city centre and can be a sightseeing experience on their own. Lines 1 and 4 are highly recommended.
The buses are generally used to reach the outlying suburbs or to circle the city. The circle buses follow the ring roads around Milan.
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Technically the suburban train service, or ‘passante’, is part of the region’s train network which transports passengers out of the city and to the surrounding towns and cities. However, there are a number of different stops in the city that can be useful, depending on where you need to go. It is recommended as the best way to get to the “Rho Fiera” exhibition centre as it is less crowded and faster than the Underground.
Another nice way to get around this relatively flat city is by bike. Cycle paths are limited but more are appearing every day.
To have a daily or weekly pass you will need to register on the website
and pay by credit card.
Alternatively, you can call the ATM toll-free number on 800 80 81 81 or go to an ATM Point at the following Underground stations:
Centrale FS (M2-M3)
Garibaldi FS (M2)
A daily pass will cost you 2.50€ or weekly 6€. The service is designed to get you around the city, rather than hiring a bicycle for the whole day. Usually, you pick up a bike from one station and then leave it at another station when you have reached your destination.
The first 30 minutes are free and then it’s 0.50€ for every 30 minutes until a maximum of two hours. After the 2-hour limit it costs 2€ per hour. When you leave the bike at a station, your 30 minutes is reset (it’s not accumulative).
Taxis aren’t exactly cheap in Milan and there is really only one option, apart from a few private services. All taxis are registered with the local council and then adhere to a taxi consortium. Don’t worry, the meter will always be turned on.
Tel: 02 4040 or download their booking “app” called “TaxiMilano”.
Tel: 02 6969 or download their booking “app” called “IT Taxi”.