Getting around Milan by public transport - everything you need to know:
Bus, Tram and Metro Network of Milan run by ATM
Milan's public transportation network is extensive, efficient, frequent and affordable - something which Milanese expect, demand and use in their daily lives. There is hardly any place within the city of Milan, that is not reachable for the tourist by public transport.
Milan's Metro system, the trams and city buses are all managed by Milan's public municipal authority for transport, ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi - Milan Transport Corporation).
If you arrive in Milan by bus or train, you will then be looking to use the ATM transport network to get to your hotel. As Malpensa Airport is far at over 40-50 km / 25-30 miles northwest of Milan, transport between that airport and Milan city is not managed by ATM (see directions for coaches and trains at the official Milano Malpensa website). Linate Airport is less than 7 km / 5 miles from the city centre, so ATM has buses that serve Linate Airport (standard municipal Bus 73 going between Linate Airport - San Babila; and a special €5.00 Air Bus service going between Linate Airport - Dateo Station - Milano Centrale Station).
Milan City's Boundary for the Urban Fare Limit
Milan's Metro system (M1, M2, M3, M5) is separate to the "S" line suburban commuter rail network to Milan's outer suburbs and satellite cities (with a portion that passes under the city - from Porta Vittoria in the southeast, heading northwest and passing through Porta Garibaldi - known as the "Passante"). The "S" lines are managed by Trenord (owned by regional and national authorities) and not ATM - but as you will read below, there is some integration in the ticketing for both these systems.
You can see in the system map below, the "S" commuter rail network and the much-shared northwest to southeast stretch of the "Passante" superimposed over the red M1, green M2, yellow M3 and lilac M5 of the Milan Metro network.
|Network map of Milan "M" network red, green, yellow and lilac lines for the Metro; plus the "S" network for over ten suburban rail lines to outer suburbs and satellite cities - shaded area is the single-price urban fare municipal area. Image Credit: ATM.it|
(For Milan Trams, SEE the detailed article: The majority of Milan city tram routes head for central downtown - there are also circular routes.)
On the red M1 Metro line, notice the red dotted line near its northwestern extremity that separates Pero and Rho Fiera from the rest of the M1 line; and similarly a red dotted line near its northeastern extremity that separates Sesto Rondo and Sesto Primo Maggio from the rest of the M1 line. The red dotted line indicates the boundary limit for the "urban fare" and it will cost extra to go to the few stations beyond that.
In a similar way, Assagi Milanofiori Nord and Assago Mianofiori Forum, in the southern end of the green M2 Metro line, are separated beyond the urban fare limit, as are all the stations north of Cascina Gobba towards the northeastern end of that line. The yellow M3 line and the lilac M5 line are entirely within the "urban fare" area, so no extra costs are ever applicable.
In fact you will see those small red dotted lines delineating all of the "S" suburban lines as well, marking out a lightly shaded "urban fare municipal area" around Milan city - ATM urban fares can be used on those "S" suburban railway lines as well, but only within those "urban fare boundary limits". For travel on "S" lines beyond the "urban fare municipal area", Trenord, the company that manages the "S" lines, sells various types of "regionale" tickets.
Other than going to the Rho Fiera exhibition fair grounds, most people will just be concerned with daily travel within the "urban fare area", sometimes referred to by ATM as the "Milan municipality area".
Tickets Prices / Costs for Public Transport in Milan
For travel within the shaded "urban fare" area above, the common ATM tickets currently available which tourists will be interested in may be:
- An ordinary "Urban Ticket", "valid for 90 minutes after stamping" for unlimited travel on the entire urban network, including multiple journeys on trams, buses and trolleybuses during that time; but can only include a single journey on the Metro or on the "S" train network, in addition to the multiple journeys allowed on the other forms of transport - all of course within the "urban fare" area. Cost €1.50.
- One Day Ticket, "valid for 24 hours after stamping" for unlimited travel on all trams, buses, trolleybuses, Metro and "S" train network during that time - all of course within the "urban fare" area. Cost €4.50 - thus if, for the one day, you are going to make more than 2 journeys, then this One Day Ticket will be worthwhile.
- Two Day Ticket, "valid for 48 hours after stamping" for unlimited travel on all trams, buses, trolleybuses, Metro and "S" train network during that time - all of course within the "urban fare" area. Cost €8.25.
For longer stays, you might also consider:
- A "Carnet of 10" Standard Urban Tickets. Cost €13.80. For infrequent use, such as 10 journeys over 4 days or more (since, Two Day Ticket €8.25 + One Day Ticket €4.50 = €12.75 for three days is cheaper and much more worthwhile than the Carnet of 10 Tickets)
- RicaricaMI rechargeable pass, where you can electronically store a whole range of ticket types. Initial cost includes one standard €1.50 Urban Ticket plus an extra €1.00 = €2.50.
- Electronic Travel Cards for weekly, monthly or annual travel; but you must complete a request application and "you will need to bring a passport photograph, a valid ID and your Italian social security number"; definitely not for mere tourists. Cost for the card itself is €10.00. For more details see Travel Card Fares & Types at ATM.it.
For the complete range of "urban ticket" options, go to Urban Ticket at ATM.it.
|The RicaricaMI rechargeable pass. Image Credit: ATM.it|
To travel from Milan city beyond the "urban fare" area, on the "S" suburban train lines, Trenord, the company that manages the "S" lines, sells various types of "regionale" tickets; and on the other means of public transport, you will need what is known as a Cumulative Ticket, calculated by the vending machine according to the number of zones crossed. For journeys that begin and end beyond the External Ring Road of Milan, then Extra-urban Tickets are used.
Where and how to buy ATM tickets for transport in Milan?
ATM tickets are available from:
- Tickets are never available on-board or from the driver, so buy them before you board.
- Thousands of outlets including "bars, tobacconists, stationers, newspaper stands".
- Ticket vending machines at Metro stations accept "coins and bank notes, credits cards and bank cards" (note that some have reported more success with Mastercard PIN cards than Visa PIN credit cards on these machines). There are ticket machines that can provide some change if you use cash.
- A certain range of tickets is also available through the ATM mobile app - payment by credit card or Paypal.
How to Use the ATM Ticket in Milan After You Buy It?
For trams, buses and trolleybuses: "Tickets should be stamped at the start of every journey and every time you change vehicles. To stamp your ticket insert it into the slot in the electronic ticket machine."
On the Metro system, you need to stamp your ticket through the entry turnstiles; and since February 2016, also at the exit turnstiles.
The "One Day" and Two Day" tickets only need to be stamped once when you start using it, which is when the clock starts running on their validity (but note that you always need to insert your ticket at the entry and exit turnstiles of Metro stations).
Transport Discounts for Children & Families in Milan
According to ATM.it - "When accompanied by an adult in possession of a valid ticket or travel card" children travel free of charge under the following conditions:
- All "children aged 5 and under", free of charge. Prams and pushchairs may be carried free of charge.
- "Up to two children ... aged 6 to 10", free of charge.
- "Children must be in possession of ID as proof of age; children without ID must pay for their ticket.
- "Valid on the entire overground citywide network (trams, buses, trolleybuses), including the Milan leg of intercity routes, and on the entire ATM underground network (Metro)."
If you need to make a day-trip beyond the "urban fare" boundary limit on the "S" suburban lines and purchase a Trenord ticket (where ATM does not cover that further destination that you need), there is a 50% children's discount - SEE "Trenord Promotional Fares" for the different conditions and details. And you will see these conditions also apply to the children and family fares on the airport-service Malpensa Express run by Trenord.
Milan Transport Service Times, Frequency, Weekends and Public Holidays
Need to travel very early, or perhaps very late past midnight? Wondering how long will you have to wait for your ride? And how frequent is service on weekends or public holidays? Check "Times and Calendar" at ATM.it for your answers. You can also plan your journey in great detail with interactive maps, times and prices at ATM's Giromilano, or use the ATM mobile app.
For further information, click to SEE the detailed articles:
- Red M1 Metro Line - Milan's "Shopping Line"
- Green M2 Metro Line - the only Metro line for the Navigli area at Porta Genova
- Yellow M3 Metro Line - the only Metro line to Porta Romana
- Lilac M5 Metro Line - the newest and most convenient way to get to the San Siro Stadium
- Tram routes through central downtown - there are circular routes too
- Tram 16, the traditional way to reach San Siro Stadium
- Milano Centrale Station & transport connections
- Best restaurants to try and the worst to avoid, inside Milano Centrale
- Porta Garibaldi Station with famous Corso Como - transport connections to Milan's second most important train station and the most important one for suburban commuter traffic
- Milan's Outer West and the San Siro Stadium - Metro, trams and the four bus routes that connect to San Siro Stadium