How do you get around Milan using public transportation? Let's explore how you can explore the beautiful Milan without a car!
Milan is the city of events, art exhibitions, Theater, high fashion and many more things. The Diva among Italian cities, a kind of ambassador of Italian glamour and style to the world. Yet, Milan can also be a complicated city, especially if you come here for the first time and do not know your way around.
It soon becomes clear, that whatever your motivation for visiting Milan is, getting around by public transportation must be the first thing to learn.
And we, with this guide, want to make getting around Milan, using the endless options offered by public transportation, as easy as possible.
How to get around Milan by public transportation: easy guide
One of the first things one notices when getting around Milan is the traffic. On weekdays, the network of transportation, including public and private, is dense, and it can be difficult to figure out what to do.
Yet to make the most of the beauty and opportunities this city has to offer, and there are indeed many, being able to understand this intricate web is infinitely useful.
In this guide, we will try to explain, one by one, all the public transportation that will help you get around Milan. In a really simple way and, above all, spending really little.
How to get around Milan by metro
It is no secret that one of the fastest and most convenient public means of getting around in very large cities, not just Milan, is the subway.
There are currently 5 metro lines in Milan, one of which is under construction.
- M1 (red metro): connects the town of Sesto San Giovanni to Bisceglie and Rho;
- M2 (green metro): connects Gessate and Cologno Nord (northeast of Milan) to Abbiategrasso and Assago (southwest area);
- M3 (yellow line): connects San Donato to Comasina;
- M5 (lilla line): connects San Siro (west of Milan) to Bignami (north of Milan);
- M4 (under construction): will connect Milan Linate airport (east) to San Cristoforo (west).
Normally the metro operates daily from 5:40 am to 00:30 am. There may be slight changes depending on the line and seasonality.
How to get around by bus and trolleybus
Milan is a city well served by countless bus and trolleybus lines that challenge city traffic on a daily basis. We are talking about 100 lines in total and they operate at the same times as the metro (05:40 am until about 00:30 am, except on special holidays where service is reduced).
To get around Milan at night by public transport, it is useful to consider that there are countless lines that come into service as soon as the metro closes: they are the NM1, NM2, NM3 and basically retrace the route of the respective metro lines. There are also the 90/91 trolleybus that runs along Milan's ring road (the ideal boundary between downtown and the suburbs) and the N25/N26 bus that operates between Milan Central Station and Cadorna.
Several other night lines also operate on weekends (N15, N24, N27, N42, N50, N54, N57, N80 and N94).
Also of interest is the service called "Neighborhood Radiobus" (Radiobus di Quartiere, in Italian). These are the buses identified by the letter Q that take passengers within different points of the same neighborhood. They come into service when the service of the corresponding daytime lines ends (from 10 pm to about 2 am), but to get on board it is necessary to make a reservation by calling the more +390248034803 and communicate time, departure and arrival point. Alternatively, you can book the service through the app of ATM, the company in charge of Milan's transportation.
Also remember that you can also get around Milan from the comfort of your seat on the panoramic bus that connects the city's main attractions!
How to get around by streetcar
The streetcar has become one of Milan's most iconic vehicles, one of the very symbols of this great city. In fact, some of these streetcars carry nearly a century of history in their carriages.
Certainly the streetcar, along with the metro, is one of the fastest public means of getting around Milan.
Milan currently has 18 streetcar lines and they normally start operating from 5:00 am until 2:00 am the next day
Let's not forget that the Milan streetcar can become a wonderful experience. ATMosfera, for example, allows you to take a ride around the city while eating inside the carriages used as restaurants, not to mention that you can rent the carriages for events and private parties.
The railway loop of Milan
This is a set of train lines operated by Trenord and, for the most part, underground.
They run through the center of Milan, connecting it with much of the suburbs. Cities such as Saronno, Lodi, Pavia, and Novara are easily reached by this rail service.
These are lines that generally operate daily from 6 am until midnight.
Getting around Milan by public transports: prices and tickets
The tickets we will discuss are valid on subways, buses and trolleybuses, streetcars and suburban trains.
For the past few years, tickets have been loaded (and reloaded) inside an electronic card called RicaricaMi: it is not named but is single-use (costs 1.50 euros).
The single ticket costs 2 euros and is valid 90 minutes from the time of validation, even on multiple rides. Tickets can be purchased at authorized tobacconists and newsstands, via SMS to the number 48444, through ATM's app and, in some cases, also contactless directly on board.
Then there are day tickets (7 euros) and tickets valid for 72 hours (12 euros). Also interesting is the 10-trip carnet at a cost of 18 euros.
Children under the age of 14 travel free on Milan's vehicles.
Milan by night, how to get around around
Milan is a very interesting city for those who enjoy nightlife.
In fact, as we have seen, as soon as the daytime buses and metro lines end their service, night buses come into operation.
In addition to the nighttime lines, there is also a "Neighborhood Radiobus" service that runs on request and allows travelers to move from one point to another in their neighborhood.
Tickets to access the service's vehicles cost 2 euros, just as for daytime rides. To find out more about the routes and schedules, please explore the section "how to get around Milan by bus" in this article.
Getting around Milan by car: our tips
Milan is one of the busiest cities in Italy. So, for those who are not used to it, it is not really advisable to get around by car. The limited traffic zone (ZTL) that protects much of the city's territory and the difficulty of finding parking make car travel very challenging.
In any case, Milan is also one of the cities where car sharing (but also bike and scooter) service is among the most developed in Italy. The car sharing companies currently present are Enjoy, Leasys, ShareNow and E-Vai: you'll just need to download the app of the chosen company and that's it.
In any case, to explore this magnificent city, indeed we suggest you get around Milan by public transportation!