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 from Milan to...

     

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

       Train information is current for 2016.

Tip:  For a coffee, beer or meal before your train I recommend the Bistro Centrale on the main concourse.  For an inexpensive 5-10 min walk from the station, I recommend the typically Italian Noblesse Oblige.

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.  These are mountains in France...  Watch the Paris-Milan TGV video guide.

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

...And these are mountains in Italy between Oulx and Turin...  Courtesy of www.discoverbyrail.com.

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

Option 3, Milan to Paris via the Bernina Express & Swiss Alps from €65 - much slower, but the ultimate Alpine scenic experience...

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...


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...

Option 3, Milan to Brussels by day trains with overnight stop in Zurich - if you prefer day trains to sleepers, with no need to cross Paris...


Milan to Amsterdam from €64...

Option 1, Milan to Amsterdam via the Gotthard Pass & Zurich-Amsterdam sleeper...

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.

 

Couchettes:  For sole occupancy by 4 people, simply book 5 tickets in a 5-berth compartment.

 

5-berth couchettes:  All City Night Line couchettes are now in 5-berth compartments.

 

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

More pictures & information about this train...

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

Option 3, Milan to Amsterdam by day trains with overnight stop in Zurich - if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

Option 4, Milan to Amsterdam via Paris...


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

Option 1, by EuroCity train from Milan to Brig, Geneva, Montreux, Bern, Spiez, Basel, Zurich, 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.

Option 2, 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, Madrid & Spain...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Marseille.  This is usually the cheapest & most direct option...

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

The Milan-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.

Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

View from the train between Nice & Marseille...

 

Marseille to Barcelona & Madrid by Spanish S100 AVE train...

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets.  Luggage goes on the racks at the car ends or above the seats.  Panorama photo of 2nd class

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes...

 

1st class seats on an S100 AVE.  Panorama photo of 1st class

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...

Option 2, 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...

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


Milan to Lisbon & Portugal...
En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel at Madrid

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from dinner to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a private toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel Lusitania from Madrid to Lisbon is an articulated Spanish Talgo train.  Seen here at Madrid Chamartin station.


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.

 

Couchettes:  For sole occupancy for 4 people, simply book 5 tickets in a 5-berth compartment.

 

5-berth couchettes:  All City Night Line couchettes are now in 5-berth compartments.

 

A City Night Line sleeper train like this links Milan with Munich...

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..

Option 1, direct sleeper train from Milan to Vienna - the time-effective option... 

1 or 2 bed sleeper on EuroNight train to Vienna   1 or 2 bed sleeper in day mode   The Cologne-Vienna sleeper train is an Austrian Railways (OBB) EuroNight train

Sleepers are the high-comfort option, with proper beds in 1 or 2-bed compartments, see here in night & morning modes.  Breakfast included.

 

A sleeping-car or schlafwagen on an Austrian EuroNight train.  More pictures & information about these EuroNight trains...

Option 2, Florence to Salzburg or Vienna by daytime trains - a daytime option with lunch in Venice...

Option 3, daytime trains to Innsbruck via the scenic Brenner Pass - a scenic daytime 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.


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

Option 1, using the Milan-Munich sleeper - the most time-effective option...

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

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

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.

 

Couchettes:  For sole occupancy by 4 people, simply book 5 tickets in a 5-berth compartment.

 

5-berth couchettes:  All City Night Line couchettes are now in 5-berth compartments.

 

A City Night Line sleeper train  links Milan with Munich...

More pictures & information about this train...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class Copenhagen-Cologne ICE on the Rodby-Puttgarten ferry

ICE 2nd class.

ICE 1st class with leather seats.

The ICE on board the ferry.

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph SJ2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm....

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000 to Stockholm.

More information about SJ 2000 trains


Milan to Prague from €68...

Option 1, Milan to Prague via Vienna - comfortable, time-effective, with a chance to see Vienna on the way...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on EuroNight train to Vienna   1 or 2 bed sleeper in day mode   The Cologne-Vienna sleeper train is an Austrian Railways (OBB) EuroNight train

Sleepers are the high-comfort option, with proper beds in 1 or 2-bed compartments, see here in night & morning modes.  Breakfast included.

 

Step 1, take a comfortable Austrian EuroNight train from Milan to ViennaMore pictures & information about these EuroNight trains...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families...

Czech Railjet train to Vienna at Prague Hlavni station

Step 2, take a smart modern Railjet train from Vienna to Prague, with economy, first & business class, restaurant car, free WiFi and draught beer on tap...

Restaurant car   Economy (2nd class) seating

Restaurant car...  Courtesy David Malone

 

Economy (2nd) class...  Courtesy Cortney Lollar

Option 2, Milan to Prague via Zurich - another time-effective option...


Milan to Bratislava from €54...

Milan to Budapest from €68...
1 or 2 bed sleeper on EuroNight train to Vienna   1 or 2 bed sleeper in day mode   The Cologne-Vienna sleeper train is an Austrian Railways (OBB) EuroNight train

Sleepers are the high-comfort option, with proper beds in 1 or 2-bed compartments, see here in night & morning modes.  Breakfast included.

 

A sleeping-car or schlafwagen on an Austrian EuroNight train.  More pictures & information about these EuroNight trains...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families...

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train

Austrian Railjet train from Vienna to Budapest.  This is a RailJet at Budapest Keleti...  More photos, video & information about Railjets

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats around tables, some unidirectional.


Milan to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

Milan to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb...

Option 1, by the direct route through Trieste...

Option 2, with overnight stop in Villach, Austria - a useful alternative...


Milan to Dubrovnik & Split...
Ancona to Split ferries in Split Harbour   Deluxe cabin onm Ancona to Split ferry

Blue Line & Jadrolinija ferries in Split Harbour...  Above right, a deluxe cabin on the Blue Line ferry, which comes complete with an en suite jacuzzi...  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.


Milan to Belgrade & Sofia...

With overnight stop in Villach, Austria - the cheapest and simplest option...


Milan to Bar, Budva, Kotor & Montenegro...
Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

The Montenegro Lines ferry to Bari at Bar ferry terminal...


Milan to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...

Milan to Kiev, Lviv & Ukraine...
The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

The Budapest-Kiev train... Courtesy of Alessandro

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.


Milan to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...
A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

These modern sleeping-cars run from Vienna & Warsaw to Moscow...


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, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        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.

Get a spare credit card, designed for 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!

 


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