|Stazione Centrale, Milan. Image Credit: Flickr.com embed by El Labba|
With an average of over 330,000 passengers using the station every day, Milano Centrale has been listed as the 8th busiest in Europe after stations in France, Germany and Zurich in Switzerland, and ranks only behind Roma Termini in Italy. (330,000 passengers a day is over 25% more than that of London's busiest, Waterloo Station; Penn Station in New York, with 600,000 would rank quite high, just behind those in France.)
The passenger numbers in this station are over 4 times the next ranked station in Milan, Milano Porta Garibaldi, which serves mainly as Milan's suburban commuter hub, and over 6 times the passenger numbers that use Milan's main airport at Malpensa. So you can now see the scale of importance that Stazione Milano Centrale signifies to Milan's hospitality industry, with the station serving the entry of visitors into Milan from other cities in Italy, and international visitors coming from other European countries, without any suburban rail lines using this station (however, the Milan Metro network serves Centrale with two intersecting Metro lines: green M2 and yellow M3; SEE more transport details below).
Not only is the number of people brought into Milan 6 times more than at Malpensa Airport, but a great number of those Malpensa air passengers eventually end up in Milan's Stazione Centrale anyway, as this is one of the terminal stations for the airport train service, the Malpensa Express (the other Malpensa Express terminal is at Milano Cadorna Station; when terminating at Milano Centrale all Malpensa Express trains also stop at the prior Milano Porta Garibaldi Station).
|Click to go to the interactive Milanfinally Google Map of Milan including this area around Milano Centrale Station. Notable features visible in this screenshot of the map include the nearby Hilton Milan just to the west of the station along Via Luigi Galvani; southwest of the station are the many good restaurants along the parallel streets of Via Filzi, Via Fara and Via Cornalia; running diagonally southeast from the station is Via Torriani, a haven for tourist hotels, with a blue pin marking where Torriani ends at the small but attractive Piazza Cincinnato; and there is also a cluster of restaurants and tourist hotels hugging the east side adjacent to Milano Centrale Station.|
The 330,000 passengers a day does not include the traffic of the two Metro stations that run below it: the Centrale FS station on the green M2 line, and Centrale FS on the yellow M3 line. So this geographical spot is a very very busy hub. Little wonder that Milano Centrale is a mini-city itself, with almost 30 restaurants (SEE where are the best restaurants, and which to avoid inside Stazione Centrale) and a much greater number of retail stores, creating a virtual shopping mall - some of them so big, they occupy more than one floor (Milanocentrale.it).
For those shopping choices inside Milano Centrale Station, there are lots of big name shopping available including: Saturn consumer electronics (associated with Media Markt), a large Feltrini bookstore, Swarovski, an A.C. Milan store, Sephora cosmetics, Yves Rocher, and fashion stores such as Zara, Mango, Bershka, Guess, Geox, Desigual, Celio, and plenty more other stores.
For the most part, the streets around the Milano Centrale area are not much to look at, with the blight of graffiti prevalent as in many other modern cities; and - apart from a number of exceptions (noted below) - these streets are neither particularly lush and green, nor brimming with vibrant life. Luckily, as a tourist centre with many hotels, there are also many restaurants to serve the clientele.
West and Northwest of Milano Centrale(many big-name hotels here towards the new business district and the Porta Nuova Project)
Big name hotels such as Sheraton, Hilton and Crowne Plaza, as well as the historical 5-star Excelsior Hotel Gallia (historical and yet just reopened in 2015 in time for the World Expo) are on the west side of the station to be closer to the newer business office area between Milano Centrale and Milano Porta Garibaldi (and the Porta Nuova Project). Via Fabio Filzi is a street with a tram line that is tree-lined (rare in this particular part of Milan, with trees from Via Marangoni until it reaches the small tree-studded Piazza Quattro Novembre that adjoins Milano Centrale and the Excelsior Hotel Gallia) and runs along this western side of the station past these hotels.
(This is the Google Streetview looking south down Via Fabio Filzi with tracks for Trams 5 & 9 - a rare tree-lined street in this end of Milan - at the corner with Via Luigi Galvani. In the foreground on the left is Milan's famous Pirelli Tower, completed in 1960 and the tallest building in the EU for about ten years, and Italy's tallest for 50 years until 2010. Milan's new business district, between here and Porta Garibaldi, to the south and the west of here, means plenty of premium hotels. The towering 4-star Una Hotel Century pokes its head above the trees on the right. In the northeast corner of this very intersection [drag the map to the left as it is out of view] is the 5-star Excelsior Hotel Gallia; while a few steps west along Via Galvani to the right of this view will bring you to the Hilton Milan. Other hotels found north of here include the Crowne Plaza and the Best Western Hotel Madison. Feel free to click and drag around inside the interactive Google Streetview to explore the area. You can also go to the original streetview on Google Maps.)
Although there seems to be a much lower concentration of good restaurants on the western side of the station, the station itself has some useful casual dining options (SEE Best and Worst Restaurants Inside Milano Centrale Station), and of course there is all the station shopping mentioned above - surprisingly, it has the biggest collection of shopping choices around these parts (but no supermarket groceries).
The Hilton Milan 4-star hotel is just a few steps to the right of the Via Filzi - Via Galvani intersection streetview above. You can support - through our commercial affiliate Hilton.com - the free information on our useful website by: clicking the links here to check out how much are the direct prices, plus Hilton's exclusive offers, directly from that famous name in hotels, Hilton.com. Thanks!
Southwest of Milano Centrale - high concentration of notable restaurants along three parallel streets
There is a sizable group of good restaurants from Via Pirelli south along the streets of Via Filzi, Via Fara and Via Cornalia, and there are a couple of hotels in this area that can take advantage of this, as well as the Sheraton Four Points Hotel a bit further away to the north.
(This is the Google Streetview along Via Fara. Of the numerous restaurants concentrated south of Via Pirelli [with the Sheraton Four Points and the UNA Hotel Century just to the north of Via Pirelli], on this street Via Fara, as well as on the two other parallel streets - Via Filzi to the east and Via Cornalia to the west - here are three popular and well-rated restaurants almost in a row: Ristorante della Zia, Osteria Qui da Noi, and two doors further down, Ristorante L'isolotto. At the northwest corner of the intersection with Via Adda, just behind this view, is the fabulously popular Ristorante Ta-Hua [Asian-fusion is a great attraction in Milan], with two other well-rated Asian restaurants close by on Via Adda: Leon d'Oro and Ristorante Taiwan. Feel free to click and drag around inside the interactive Google Streetview to explore the area. You can also go to the original streetview on Google Maps. SEE all of just the most popular and best-rated Tripadvisor and Foursquare restaurants picked out on the interactive Milanfinally Google Map of Milan.)
Southeast of Milano Centrale - "valley of the tourist hotels" along Via Torriani
A large number of hotels are strung along the vicinity of Via Torriani that radiates diagonally southeast from Milano Centrale Station. Hotels here can take advantage of a few good restaurants along and around the local shopping street of Via Gregorio at the southern end of Via Torriani (which is punctuated by the small but leafy and lively Piazza Cincinnato); while the hotels towards the northern end (the station end) of Via Torriani could use a collection of popular restaurants bunched closely by the station on its southeastern corner and close by its eastern side.
(This Google Streetview shows Via Torriani like a "valley of hotels". Milano Centrale Station is directly behind this view, while along the right hand side are the hotels Augustus, Bernina, Flora and Garda; and along the left are the hotels Idea, Atlantic and Berna. You could also try staying somewhere near the other end where Via Torriani meets the local shopping street of Via Gregorio at the small but leafy and attractive Piazza Cincinnato. Feel free to click and drag around inside the interactive Google Streetview to explore the area. You can also go to the original streetview on Google Maps.)
Eastern cluster of hotels by the side of Milano Centrale
The restaurants close to the eastern side of the station mentioned above, will also be easily accessed by another tight bunch of hotels also positioned very close to the eastern side of Milano Centrale; or guests in these hotels could stroll a little to the east for a couple more pleasant dining options near the small park on the corner of Via Petrella and Via Marcello, or stroll all the way to Milan's busiest shopping boulevard, Corso Bueno Aires, and even stop to check out the string of good popular restaurants running down Via Tadino before reaching Corso Buenos Aires. (SEE the Milanfinally Map of Milan mentioned above.)
It is the triangle just to the north of this group of hotels - from the northern half of Piazza Luigi di Savoia by the eastern side of the station (this half of the piazza is a park, and is the symmetrical partner to Piazza Quattro Novembre by the western side of the station), up along the tracks to the broad and tree-lined Viale Branza which reaches all the way to the busy Piazza Loreto, and from Piazzale Loreto diagonally back down Viale Doria returning to Piazza Luigi di Savoia - that is the only relatively leafy area somewhat close by Milano Centrale.
(This Google Streetview looking east from Piazza Luigi di Savoia is right next to Milano Centrale Station on its eastern side. It is the beginning of the only relatively-green area around the station, spreading north to the left alongside the train tracks, and northeast along Via Doria straight ahead on this view, with the third side of the triangle being Via Branza along the north which meets Via Doria at the busy Piazzale Loreto. The cluster of hotels on this side include the Starhotels Anderson on the left, Starhotels Echo visible directly opposite on the other side of Via Doria, the light grey Hotel Bristol on the right, and next to that is the tall Hotel Michelangelo. Feel free to click and drag around inside the interactive Google Streetview to explore the area. You can also go to the original streetview on Google Maps.)
Good hotel rates in this area (taxes & fees already included!):most remarkable on Tripadvisor are the over 5,000 reviews, averaging an extremely high 4.5/5, for the 4-star Hotel Berna, €129;Priceline bargains include the 3-star Hotel Demo, €634-star Hotel Andreola, €92- to get more details & map locations for this and other accommodation options, SEE bottom of this post further below
How well connected is this area to Milan's city transport system?
As Milan's biggest port of entry, the Milano Centrale area needs a comprehensive network to distribute the traffic:
|Click to enlarge. This map shows the area around Milano Centrale Station, with two Metro lines running below the station (green M2 and yellow M3), and three tram services - running on the grey tracks - serving the area. (You can also view the original interactive Google Map of this Milano Centrale area.)|
The Google Map of transit above shows the two metro lines, the green M2 line and the yellow M3 line, intersecting at the Metro station of Centrale FS below the railway station. There are also two parallel tram lines, Tram Line 9 (which originates from a terminus by the western side of Milano Centrale) running down Via Filzi along the west side of the station, and Tram Line 1 running down Via Settembrini along the east side of the station (the map does not actually show that the Tram 1 line continues northwards, parallel to the train tracks, until Via Settembrini becomes Via Venini, terminating at a point about 1.5 km further up along these railway tracks). Tram 5 (which comes from along the line further north beyond the Tram 9 terminus at the western side of Milano Centrale) runs across the front of Milano Centrale Station and then turns right to follow the Tram 1 tracks for a while, before it continues zig-zagging past the Porta Venezia area and the shopping Mecca of Corso Buenos Aires, on the way to its eastern terminal along the southern edge of the Citta Studi quarter. (All route details and descriptions further below.)
|Click on the picture to expand, or click the following link to go to the Wikipedia page on the Milan Metro, or go to the interactive Google Map with Milan Metro lines.|
Green M2 Metro Line
The M2 Metro line (green) is Milan's longest metro line by a large margin: stretching from far in the south, through the centre of the city, and then far far away to the northeast. It leads far to the south, past Garibald FS under the large hub of Porta Garibaldi (with the intermediate station of Gioia, within part of the Porta Nuova Project redevelopment area), then past the Metro station of Moscova, and then stations along the northwest periphery of the ancient Circle of Navigli that surrounds the centre of Old Milan: Lanza, the busy spot of Cadorna (interchange with Metro M1), and then the historical Sant'Ambrogio. It then moves away from this circle and heads to an important station for access to the Navigli area, Porta Genova Station (after Sant'Agostino Station), and continues on to its terminus in the far south at Assago Milanofiori Forum, which gets its name from the place Assago Milanofiori, and the indoor stadium nearby, Mediolanum Forum, which holds important games for basketball etc.
Along the M2 in the opposite direction starting from Centrale station and heading east, important stops include:
- Loreto Metro interchange station (the second time M2 intersects with M1 red) - the Piazzale Loreto is at the northern end of the very long and famous shopping strip of Corso Buenos Aires,(SEE the detailed article on the green M2 Metro Line.)
- Piola Metro M2 Station at the Piazzale Piola, the only Metro stop that serves the important Citta Studi quarter, so named because of the presence of the Politecnico di Milano and many of the newer branches of the University of Milan,
- M2 Lambrate FS Station under the Milano Lambrate railway station (which also serves as a station for the S9 suburban commuter line), which is also the focus for other transport lines, such as Tram 23 and Tram 33,
- line M2 then continues on its long journey to the northeastern suburbs: Cologno Monzese, and its furthest northeastern point, Gessate.
Yellow M3 Metro Line
The Metro M3 line (yellow) - running from north to the southeast of the city - is a very important one in Milan. It is one of only two Metro lines (the other is the red M1) that pass through Piazza del Duomo, the heart of Milan, and site of Milan Cathedral.
The yellow M3 Metro Line can take you from Centrale station:
- towards the south to Repubblica, under the large Piazza della Repubblica, where interchange can be had with the five suburban rail lines of the Passante system (S1, S2, S5, S6 and S13);(SEE the detailed article on the line for Porta Romana and direct to Centrale from Duomo - the yellow M3 Metro.)
- then, after the intermediate station of Turati, to Montenapoleone at one end of the most famous street of Italy's most famous Quadrilatero della Moda, the Via Monte Napoleone, lined with flagship stores of high-fashion labels;
- next is the Duomo station, site of Milan Cathedral, and heart of the city; interchange can be made with red M1 Metro line;
- and then southeast towards such stations as Porta Romana;
- and even further southeast to such stations as Rogoredo FS, which also serves suburban lines S13 & S1 and the terminus of S2, as well as national services including high-speed trains before those trains enter Milan proper;
- heading north from Centrale in the opposite direction, and after the intermediate station of Sondrio, we come to the interchange station of Zara, where interchange can be made with the lilac M5 Metro line;
- and then onwards far to the northeast through such communities as Affori which has two station, with the one further away from the centre, Affori FN, also serving a Trenord regional line and two suburban lines S2 and S4.
Tram 1 is a very useful service that goes all the way into the heart of the old city, passing by Milan Cathedral as well as many other very important spots for city visitors, before traveling northwest all along the Corso Sempione, providing access to the vibrant Sempione district.
|Click for this Google Map of Milan's Tram 1 from Milano Centrale to Corso Sempione via the old city centre. You can also get the route and more details at Giromilano; and also on Muoversi.milano.it (use the Transport tab or the Calculate Route tab).|
- begins quite far (about 1.5 km) up the train tracks from Milano Centrale - so far in fact, that its terminus is near the station of a totally separate Metro line: the M1 Rovereto Station.
- It then goes southwest straight down Via Venini which becomes Via Settembrini, crossing over M2 Caiazzo Metro Station (one stop away from Centrale FS Metro Station) along the way.
- Once it reaches the Giardini Pubblici (Milan's oldest), it makes a jink to Piazza della Repubblica above the M3 Repubblica Metro Station (also one stop away from Centrale FS), and then basically follows the same path as the M3 Metro line towards the centre,
- past the head of Via Monte Napoleon, the most prestigious of the fashion label streets that make up Milan's famed Quadrilatero della Moda;
- passing by the La Scala opera theatre, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is as close as it gets Il Duomo, Milan's Cathedral,
- Tram 1 diverts to the central Piazza Cordusio,
- then through Largo Cairoli in front of the Castello,
- past Cadorna Station (an important Metro interchange station for lines M1 & M2, as well as a terminus for suburban lines S3 & S4 that run to the north).
- After Cadorna Station, Tram 1 begins on its northward journey, crossing the front of Parco Sempione (central Milan's largest)
- passing by the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace),
- then northwest all the way up the entire length of Corso Sempione.
As stated earlier, Tram 5 (which comes from along the line further north beyond the Tram 9 terminus at the western side of Milano Centrale):
- runs across the front of Milano Centrale Station and thenSee more details in the route map below.
- turns right to follow the Tram 1 tracks for a while,
- before it continues zig-zagging past the Porta Venezia area and the shopping Mecca of Corso Buenos Aires, on the way...
- to its eastern terminal along the southern edge of the Citta Studi quarter.
|Click for this Google Map of Milan's Tram 5 that goes through the Porta Venezia area and past Corso Buenos Aires, and along the southern edge of Citta Studi. You can also get the route and more details at Giromilano; and also on Muoversi.milano.it (use the Transport tab or the Calculate Route tab)|
Tram 9 is the only tram that travels along, and follows almost all of the way around, the route of the circular inner ring road of Milan.
|Click for this Google Map of Milan's Tram 9 that starts from the western side of Milano Centrale Station, and then at Piazza della Repubblica, follows most of the way around the Inner Ring Road, past Porta Venezia, Porta Vittoria, Porta Romana, Porta Ticinese, and terminating at Porta Genova railway station. You can also get the route and more details at Giromilano; and also on Muoversi.milano.it (use the Transport tab or the Calculate Route tab)|
Important places that it passes along the inner ring road route are:
- the huge Piazza della Repubblica, with its M1 Repubblica Metro Station;
- Giardini Pubblici (Milan's oldest park);
- Porta Venezia (with the M1 Porta Venezia Metro Station, and the beginning of shopping Mecca, Corso Buenos Aires);
- Piazza Cinque Giornate, site of the previous Porta Vittoria, on the eastern side of the circle;
- Porta Romana (with the M3 Porta Romana Metro Station), from where the inner ring road starts to turn west;
- Porta Ticinese, the beginnings of the Navigli entertainment district with scenic canals further southwest, as well as the beginning of the Corso di Porta Ticenese shopping street running northwards;
- Piazzale Cantore (site of the previous Porta Genova) in the southwest part of the inner ring road;
- M2 Porta Genova FS Metro Station and Milano Porta Genova railway station (terminus for a regional route to the southwest city of Mortara), where Tram 9 also terminates.
Good deals here from our commercial affiliates:
You can support - through our commercial affiliates below - the free information on our useful website - by clicking on the links provided below for the good hotel deals we have found, to get the hotel map locations, and to compare rates for dates, and book prices for these and other Milan hotels.
Good deals found for this area on Priceline.com: 3-star Hotel Demo, €63 || 4-star Andreola Hotel, €92 || 4-star Four Points by Sheraton, €110, with map location (incl. taxes & fees, for one night on a June weekend 2016 - option to choose display currency at top right, after dates are input).
Priceline.com is consistently ranked among the top travel websites, and is the flagship of the world's largest multi-brand online travel group: the Priceline Group.
See also for this Milan district: amazing over 5,000 reviews, averaging extremely high 4.5/5, 4-star Hotel Berna, €129 || 3-star Hotel Bolzano, €65 || 1-star Hotel Central Station, €58, on Tripadvisor Milan hotels, with map location (incl. taxes & fees, for one night on a June weekend 2016) - plus best prices from over 200 hotel booking sites all brought to Tripadvisor.
Look there also for nearby hotels, lower on that Tripadvisor hotel page, under the heading "Hotels you might also like". Tripadvisor.com is the "world's largest travel site" with 350 million site visits a month.
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