The best trains in Italy:  A Eurostar Italia ETR500 power car

To buy train tickets within Italy, use www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' own website www.trenitalia.com.

This page explains how to travel by train from Milan to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets from Milan as shown below and save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.

I want to travel by train from Milan to...

          

       Click here to buy tickets starting in another city

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

Which station in Milan?

Milan Centrale is the main station in Milan, an impressive landmark in its own right, although Italo trains and the Paris-Milan TGVs use the less impressive more modern Porta Garibaldi station.  In the text below 'Milan' means Milan Centrale unless it says otherwise.  If you need to transfer between Centrale and Porta Garibaldi, it's a 5-minute €6 taxi ride or a 25 minute walk or a €3 10-minute local train ride.  Map of Milan showing stations.



Milan to Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples & other Italian cities from €19!
Milan to Como, Tirano...
Milan to Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi...
Milan to Palermo, Catania, Siracuse & Sicily...

Milan to London from €74...
 

 

Milan to Paris from €29...

Option 1, by daytime trains, using a high-speed TGV from Milan to Paris.  This is the option I'd recommend. 

TGV bar car   TGV from Milan to Paris

Step 2, take the TGV from Milan to Paris...  Above left, the cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes  Above right, the TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

A table for four in 2nd class on the TGV to Paris...

 

1st class seats on the Paris-Milan TGV...

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

Take a good book, a bottle o' red, and enjoy the scenery from Italy to Paris with your feet up...  Watch the Paris-Milan TGV video guide!

Option 2, by direct Thello sleeper train from Milan to Paris: 

Refurbished sleeping-car on the Paris to Venice 'Thello' sleeper train   1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper, in evening mode, on the Paris-Venice Thello overnight train...   2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Paris-Florence/Rome overnight train...

Sleepers:  This is a sleeping-car on the Thello sleeper train from Venice to Paris...

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, beds folded away, sofa folded out.

 

The same sleeper with beds folded out.  More Thello info here.

4 or 6-berth couchette compartment, with seats folded out, on the Thello sleeper trains from Paris to Italy...   Boarding the Thello sleeper train at Paris.

Couchettes...  This is a 4 or 6 berth couchette compartment.  It's a lot more comfortable with just 4 people.

 

A couchette car on the overnight Thello train, seen at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here


Milan to Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Avignon...

Option 1:  Using the new Thello trains from Milan direct to Nice, Cannes, Marseille - usually the best option, if their timing suits you...

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

The Milan-Nice-Marseille Thello train at Milan Centrale...  It uses comfortable air-conditioned Frecciabianca carriages.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Option 2:  Using Italian trains to Ventimiglia, and a French local train...

Italian InterCity train at Milan   6-seater compartment on an Italian InterCity train   TER regional train Nice to Ventimiglia

Step 1:  Italian InterCity trains link Milan & Genoa with Ventimiglia on the French/Italian border.  Most cars are of the traditional side-corridor type with 6-seater compartments (pictured above).

 

Step 2:  Double-deck regional trains like this link Ventimiglia with Monte Carlo, Nice & Cannes every 30 minutes.


Milan to Brussels & Bruges from €64...

Option 1, by overnight sleeper via Paris... 

Option 2, by daytime TGV via Paris...


Milan to Amsterdam from €64...

Option 1, Milan to Amsterdam via Switzerland & the Gotthard Pass...

Sleeping-car room - Paris-Munich night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

City Night Line sleeper trains like this link Zurich & Munich with Amsterdam...

More pictures & information about this train...

Option 2, Milan to Amsterdam via Munich & the Brenner Pass... 

Option 3, Milan to Amsterdam via Paris...


Milan to Geneva, Zurich, Luzern, Basel & Switzerland from €9...

By direct EuroCity train from Milan to Brig, Geneva, Bern, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne...

If your journey is not on a direct train from Italy, but involves a change of train within Switzerland to reach Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne...

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

ETR610 EuroCity train, as used on the Milan-Geneva route.

 

2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Dinner in the diner, northbound...

Sion castle, see from the train to Venice

Sion castle, as seen from the train.  The train passes through the famous Simplon Tunnel, opened in 1906, on the very route used by the celebrated Simplon Orient Express of Agatha Christie fame.

Milan to St Moritz, Chur, Zurich via the Bernina route.  This route may be much slower and a little more fiddly to book, but it's an amazing experience, arguably the best train ride of them all through the Swiss Alps...


Milan to Barcelona & Spain...

Option 1, by daytime high-speed trains via Geneva...

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

Step 1, Milan to Geneva by bullet-nosed ETR610 EuroCity train, seen here at Milan Centrale.

 

2nd class seats on an ETR610, all with power sockets.  See panorama photo.

Lake Leman, seen from a Geneva-Milan train

The view from the train:  Lake Leman on a wintry day.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

Step 2:  Geneva to Barcelona by TGV Duplex.  Above left, 1st class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  That's a 'club duo' on the left & a 'club quatre' on the right.  Above right, a TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks and microwave-style hot meal dishes....

 

2nd class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  There's a mix of unidirectional seating and some tables for four like this...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan.  More photos & a video about this journey...

Option 2, by daytime high-speed trains with overnight hotel in Paris...

Option 3, Italy to Barcelona by luxury cruise ferry...


Milan to Munich & Germany from €39...

Option 1, Milan to Munich & anywhere in Germany by direct City Night Line sleeper train.  This is the time-effective option!

Sleeping-car room - Paris-Munich night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

City Night Line sleeper trains like this link Zurich & Munich with Amsterdam...

More pictures & information about this train...

Option 2, Milan to Munich or anywhere in Germany by daytime trains via the Brenner Pass.  This is the scenic option!

  InterCity 2nd class   InterCity 1st class (6-seat compartment type)

Verona to Munich by EuroCity train...

 

EuroCity 2nd class, mainly 6-seat compartments but some open-plan seating.  There's also a restaurant car...

 

EuroCity 1st class, open-plan.  Sometimes available in 6-seat compartments.

Mountains between Munich and Innsbruck   Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route

Vineyards & mountains...  Scenery on the Brenner route, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

Option 3, Milan to Germany by daytime trains via Zurich & the Gotthard Pass.  Another scenic option...


Milan to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €48..

Direct sleeper train from Milan to Vienna... 

Daytime trains to Innsbruck via the scenic Brenner Pass... 


Milan to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo & Scandinavia...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Switzerland.

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg.


Milan to Budapest from €68...

Milan to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb & Croatia...

Milan to Prague from €68...

Option 1, Milan to Prague via Vienna...

Option 2, Milan to Prague via Zurich...


Milan to Bratislava from €54...

Milan to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...

Milan to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Milan to Athens & Greece...

Find hotels in Milan & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on mobile data and phone calls...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, and if you're not careful you can return home to find a huge bill.  Consider buying a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone from www.Go-Sim.com, which can slash costs by up to 85%.  Go-Sim cuts call costs in 175 countries worldwide, and you can receive incoming calls and texts for free in 75 countries.  It's pay-as-you-go, so no nasty bills when you get home.  It also allows cheap data access for laptops & PDAs.  A Go-Sim account and any credit on it doesn't expire if it's not used between trips, unlike some others, so a Go-Sim phone number becomes your 'global phone number' for life.

 


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