Milan has a highly developed transport infrastructure with an integrated ticketing system for public transport. Tickets are relatively cheap compared to the rest of Europe and it’s possible to get discount rates for bulk purchases. Options include the metro, trains, buses and trams, while taxis, walking and cycling are also feasible.
Public transport in Milan
Milanese public transport has an integrated ticketing system, meaning that tickets are universal and can be used on the metro, train, tram or bus regardless of where they were purchased.
Tickets can't be bought on board, so expats should purchase tickets before embarking on a journey at stations or from newsstands, boutiques, convenience stores and various other places around the city.
The metro in Milan is quick and efficient and at 59 miles (96km), it's the longest metro network in Italy. It serves over 100 stations throughout the city. It is a great way to get around the city and at a low cost. While it is safe, we advise that expats travel in groups and take necessary precautions at nighttime.
The suburban train is not as popular as the metro but isn't much slower and has the added benefit of being less crowded than the metro. A route called the Passante railway connects Milan to the rest of the Lombardy region.
Milan's tram network mainly operates within the city centre with main-route trams arriving at various intervals during peak (every three to nine minutes) and off-peak hours (every five to 11 minutes).
Bus services are limited to a few routes and the city has no plans to significantly expand its bus network. The night bus service is a useful option for travelling after hours. Expats should take necessary precautions when travelling at night. Although Milan is fairly safe, taking the bus alone at night is not recommended.
Taxis in Milan
Taxis are available throughout the city and are often the most convenient way to get around. They can be expensive but have fixed rates and are metered. Most expats will find taxis best for travelling short distances or when returning home late at night.
Otherwise, rideshare applications such as Uber and MyTaxi operate in Milan, which allow expats to order lift services through their smartphones.
Driving in Milan
Besides the fact that it isn't necessary to drive in Milan, it can be a harrowing experience and is not recommended. Local driving culture can be aggressive, the city’s old roads are often congested, and parking is expensive and hard to come by. If expats wish to drive, they must be aware of the rules of the road and the congestion charge for driving in the city centre.
Cycling in Milan
Milan is an exceptionally cycle-friendly city, and many locals get around solely on two wheels. There is a popular bicycle-sharing scheme with rental stations dotted throughout the city centre as well as tourist areas. Expats should note that there aren’t many dedicated lanes for cyclists, so they should exercise caution on public roads.
Walking in Milan
Parts of the city lend themselves well to walking, while others make this an impractical scenario. It's generally safe to walk around, although, as in any other big city, expats should be vigilant to avoid becoming victims of opportunistic crime.
►Read Lifestyle in Milan for an idea about life in the city
►For more on getting around in the country, read Transport and Driving in Italy
"I have a car as I live on the outskirts of Milan and find it more liberating." Read what Tim has to say on the metro, buses and driving in Milan in his interview.
"Milan recently launched a car-sharing service that is very efficient. Also getting around by bike is a good option in warmer months, even if there aren’t many bike lanes." Read about alternative options to getting around in Milan from Alice's expat interview.
Are you an expat living in Milan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Milan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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