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Getting around

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Getting around in Milan

Published by Allison Heidr — 3 years ago

Milan is the biggest city in the north of Italy - over 1. 3 million people and tourists have to get from a to b each day. It is easy to get lost or to be overwhelmed by the options you have to travel within the city. Depending on area, time, distance and even weather, your best transport option varies massively. Also the question is, whether you are travelling through the city only for a few days as a tourist or if you actually live here for several months.

Getting around in Milan

Let's have a look at the different transport options you have in the city. (I will include links where you can read up further on each transport and inform yourself about prices in detail. If you do have further questions, feel free to get in touch with me and I'll try to help as far as I can)

1. Metro

I am the absolute biggest fan of Metros, in any big city. You just leave the house whenever you're ready and you won't have to wait for more than 5 minutes. In Milan, the Metro system is rather easy to understand. You will need a ticket before you can even enter to ensure there are no sneaky people taking the metro without paying.

For the people that live in Milan or are planning to stay long term:

Definitely go to an ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi) office and get a metro card. The prices are incredible and it will definitely pay off in no time. I made the mistake and went to the office at Duomo. I was in there for minimum three hours and the room was packed, hot and everything but pleasant. So be a bit smarter than me and don't go to one of the busiest offices of the city. Check online far an ATM office close by and it shouldn't take more than an hour. (A friend of mine was done in 30 minutes. ) You will need a passport picture, so make sure you get that in advance to speed up the process a bit.

Just a little extra information: I'm not sure if there are different types of cards but I paid about 20 euros a month and was able to use all public transport at any time in the city.

For Tourists:

This is simple: get a day ticket or a single tickets. It really depends on your personal plans. Whoever came to visit me in Milan, didn't even get to take the Metro. I would usually force my visitors to a walking tour of the city to make sure they don't miss out on anything.

2. Tram

Getting around in Milan

Trams are very very convenient but not always reliable. I remember the thing that would show the minutes I still had to wait and I don't know why, but I was always unlucky at that particular stop. Either I had to wait for 15 minutes or the tram would just never arrive. In general, I do recommend using google maps as it offers the possibility to see the time at which the tram is supposed to leave (also it will show you any delays.

Generally, trams are a great way to get around but only run during the day. Do make sure to have a ticket because they control a lot! Especially at the very beginning and end of the month they will be at tram stations, in trams everywhere around the city and especially around Duomo.

Personal tip: Don't take the risk of passing by stations of Duomo without a ticket. They'll make you pay! (The 'Oh but I'm a tourist excuse' won't work).

3. Bus

Busses in Milan will save you from spending shit loads on a taxi after a night out. There are numerous night busses close to all the major clubs so you can always be sure to get home safe. Also important tram lines will have busses running at night to make sure everyone gets home safe.

Also for the city outskirts, busses are great. You can easily take one until the next metro station so you'll be in the city centre in no time.

Tickets on the bus are controlled when entering but often, they won't check again (NOT always though! )

4. Bicycle

Getting around in Milan

BikeMi - also supported by the ATM is a great option to get around and discover the city! It is practical and uncomplicated: You have the choice between a daily, weekly or monthly subscription which makes it a perfect offer for locals, expats and also tourists.

You can check on their website or in an app about the closest BikeMi stations and leave it at any station close to your destination.

5. Taxi

We're students, so most likely, we tend to avoid taxis. Just too expensive. Sometimes, however, there aren't any other options to get home. You will always find a taxi on the busy streets of Milan so you won't have to worry about that. You will have to expect a pretty high price though as we're talking about a big, European city though. Also there are many one way streets in Milan so it might take quite a long time to get to your destination.

6. Uber

Getting around in Milan

Well known everywhere in the world - Uber. Also a great alternative in Milan. But again, often it is faster to rely on public transport, bicycles and even walking because of the crazy street system of Milan.

I hope you will be able to find your personal best way to get around and to discover the city. Do invest in a metro card if you're staying for longer and are dependent on public transport.

Safe travels!

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