As it is typical of all major tourist destinations in the world, Milan is accessible by a variety of means. Getting to Milan by air, by train and by bus are all at hand to tourists who want to visit the most modern city of Italy, but depending on a series of aspects (vacation budget, time efficiency, transport connections and the like), one must, of course, ponder on what is the best choice for them. Getting to Milan by car is a further option, though the constant traffic jams (in particular on weekdays) might make visitors think twice before choosing this option.
Milan is serviced by two important international airports, namely, Malpensa Airport and Linate Airport. Malpensa Airport is located a little over 30 kilometers from central Milan, whereas the latter is located only some 7 kilometers from the center of the city.
Linate Airport is often chosen by tourists who prefer the low cost flights. The airport provides connections with other national destinations, though there is also a reasonable number of airway links to sundry European cities. On top of that, the short distance between this landing venue and the center of Milan is definitely an advantage. Adding the fact the airport transfers (in particular, buses) are highly reliable and frequent, one can easily overlook disadvantages like the somewhat chaotic bustle of the airport and actually opt for Linate in case they want to get to Milan by air.
On the other hand, while the distance between Malpensa and Milan is longer, the airport is larger, more modern and used by plenty of airline companies which establish the connection between Milan and numerous European and non-European destinations. The airport transfers are more varied: besides buses and taxis, tourists can also resort to trains in order to actually get to Milan after landing at Malpensa. Plenty of low cost airline companies also service the airport, which is of no little importance for budget travelers who come from overseas or from other distant cities of the world.
Another airport tourists can take into account is the small Orio al Serio, which is located near Bergamo, some 45 kilometers northeast of central Milan. This airport is chiefly frequented by low cost airline companies, and the transfer means, while not as abundant as it is the case with the other two airports which service Milan, are quite reliable and diverse: trains, buses and taxis.
Citizens of Italy can get to Milan very easily, since the city has fine railway connections (direct or indirect) with all the big and small cities in the peninsula. On top of that, there are several international connections (with cities like Paris, Barcelona, Munich, Geneva, Vienna, Zurich) established by Trenitalia (the main, but not the only, train company which operates in Milan), which means Milan is accessible by train to a large number of tourists who come either from abroad or from other domestic destinations.
In Milan there are a handful of train stations tourists can use, depending on their point of departure, in order to get to Milan. The Cadorna Station is located just south of the Sempione Park, and it is serviced by one of Italy’s major railway companies, namely, Ferrovie Nord. Visitors who want to get to Milan’s Exhibition Center might find it at hand to take a train heading for Domodossola, which is the train station located the closest to the center. Depending on the trip destination, visitors can also check out the schedule of the trains departing from other Milanese stations, such as the Garibaldi Station (located north of the Sempione Park and of the Public Gardens), the Lambrate Station or the Bovisa Station. All of Milan’s train stations have metro or bus connections to sundry parts of the city, which means that tourists can get to anywhere in Milan regardless of the station they arrive at or depart from.
In order to learn details on the schedule of all trains who arrive or depart from Milan each day, national and international connections, ticket prices, duration of a trip and travel rules, please visit Trenitalia. Also visit Ferrovie Nord in order to learn about further travel opportunities.
Yet, the most important train station in Milan is Milano Centrale (Central Station). This station is serviced both by Trenitalia and by Ferrovie Nord (these two companies have different railway networks), and it is the only station by means of which Milan has international railway connections to other European cities. Milano Centrale is, for that matter, the second largest train station in Italy. It receives about 600 trains a day, and its area is crisscrossed by several bus and metro lines, which means that Milano Centrale stands out as one of the most crucial transport hubs of the city.
Its significance in terms of transport aside, Milano Centrale is a sight in itself. The station building was inaugurated no sooner than 1931, affirming itself as an architectural presence of special magnificence, standing out as an impeccable example of rationalist architecture. While transiting the Central Station, tourists can recharge their batteries at one of the onsite bars or restaurants, or indulge in shopping, or, why not, resort to the plethora of services available here (if necessary). A tourist information office is also located in Milano Centrale, which is reassuring for newcomers who arrive at Milan by train. In order to learn all there is to know about Milano Centrale, please visit Grandi Stazioni.
There are plenty of bus companies which provide trips to visitors from all over Europe heading for Milan. Also, there are numerous bus stations scattered throughout the city, which count as terminals for these companies, and that might be puzzling for foreigners, in particular for people who come to Milan for the first time (if this is to big of a challenge, foreigners are advised to travel by train or by plane).
Eurolines is one of the companies which offer bus trips between Milan and sundry other European destinations. While the company is not headquartered in Milan, it does have a ticketing office in Piazza Sigmund Freud, just opposite Porta Garibaldi, where one of the major bus terminals of Milan is located.
Milan is connected to three major motorways of Italy. The north outskirts of the city are crossed by A4, which is sectioned in Autostrada Torino-Milano and Autostrada Milano-Brescia. This motorway is ideal for people who drive either from east cities like Venice or for those who depart from Turin or, in terms of international destinations, from France.
A7 (Autostrada Milano-Genova) and A1 (Autostrada del Sole) are the chief options for tourists who drive from the south cities of Italy, like Genoa, Florence, and Parma. Keep in mind that the motorways tend to get really crowded on weekdays, not to mention the European and national roads which spring from the motorways into Milan proper. Driving to Milan is, thus, quite a challenge, though the experienced drivers who have already covered the distance between Milan and their city of departure might find it quite convenient to travel by car. Finding a parking spot is, sometimes, a nuisance, inside Milan or at its outskirts. On top of that, Milan has recently implemented a so-called congestion charge for private vehicles who enter the city (amounting to some 5 euros), which must be taken into account by budget travelers in particular.
However, in order to get familiar with the motorways of Italy, with its network of European and national roads, travel rules, fares one has to pay in order to be able to use the dense national network, please visit Autostrade per l’Italia.