Public transportation in Milan

Maximise your time in Milan and get to where you need to be with these efficient and low-cost transportation options

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Silar

Milan has an easy-to-use, integrated public transportation system run by Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM) that includes four metro lines (with a fifth under construction), trams and buses, with a ticket costing 1.50 euros for a 90-minute ride on the trams and buses or one metro ride (changes included). It’s also possible to purchase a day pass for 4.50 euros.

If you’re staying outside of the historic centre or want to visit one of the outer neighbourhoods and attractions, you’ll likely make use of the metro or the tram. Otherwise, the historic centre—where you'll find plenty of  bars, restaurants and well-known shops—is easily walkable, and often walking takes the same amount of time as, or is faster than, taking public transport.

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Public transportation in Milan

Tram

Tram

Many tramlines connect outer neighbourhoods to the historic centre or, if they cross town, there is usually at least a stop or two somewhere in the centre. Tickets can be purchased at a metro station or a tabacchi (a tobacco shop) and must be stamped once you get on the tram (you do not have to show your ticket to get on or off the bus, but ATM employees will periodically check tickets both on the trams and at tram stops). A stamped ticket allows you to ride for 90 minutes with unlimited transfers on trams and buses, and includes one metro ride. If you have data on your smartphone, you can download the easy-to-use ATM app and purchase both single-ride tickets and day passes using a credit card.

Metro

Metro

The metro is often the fastest way to get around town, although it doesn’t allow you to get your bearings like the aboveground trams do. Two of the four lines that run through the city stop at the Duomo and allow for easy connections to Milan Central Station and neighbourhoods like Porta Romana. Similar to the tram and the bus, it’s possible to purchase tickets on the ATM app, but the QR code doesn’t always easily scan at the metro turnstiles. For that reason, purchase a ticket from one of the machines at the metro station, which offer services in multiple languages. One ride, including transfers, costs 1.50 euros, and you must have your ticket to enter and exit the metro; once you enter the metro and validate your ticket, you are given 90 minutes to ride on trams and buses, which is helpful if you need to use two forms of transport.

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Bus

Bus

Buses are less useful for visitors; you will likely only need to use them if you’re travelling between two neighbourhoods that are outside of the centre and don’t have a direct tram or metro connection. Similar to the tram, tickets can be purchased at a metro station or a tabacchi (a tobacco shop) and must be stamped once you get on the bus (you do not have to show your ticket to get on or off the bus, but ATM employees will periodically check tickets both on the bus and at bus stops). A stamped ticket allows you to ride for 90 minutes with unlimited transfers on trams and buses, and includes one metro ride. If you have data on your smartphone, you can download the easy-to-use ATM app and purchase both single-ride tickets and day passes using a credit card.

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By: Emma Harper

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