BikeMi is a bike sharing service a bit like Boris-bikes in London. It’s a great feature in public transport, but beware Italian traffic habits.
BikeMi is part of the public transport system, you must register at ATM (Milan’s municipal transport agency) and to do that you need to have a valid credit card (so they have security for the bike and possible damages) read about the legal and practical issues here. You can get a card for either 1 week, it’s €6, or for a single day, €2,50.
Cycling Italian Style Cycling in Milan is a risky business. Milan is a car city, and cyclists are not respected as equals in the traffic.
So remember to signal your intentions in the traffic clearly, so the drivers have time to give you space. Take it easy and don’t insist too much.
Two important tips: Keep an extra eye on the tram rails (believe you us; it is the voice of experience telling you this) and remember that the cobble stones get extra slippery when it rains.
Short trips are the cheapest BikeMi is meant to be used for short trips and it becomes proportionally more expensive the longer you use them If you change bicycles frequently the trips can end up being totally free of charge. If you forget to deliver the bike within 24 hours, there’s a stiff fee.
0 – ½ hour: €0,00
½ – 2 hours: €0,50 every half hour.
2 – 24 hours: €2,00 every started hour
Over 24 hours: €150 fee
Summer operating hours. April 1st-November 2nd the service will run Sunday-Thursday 7 am.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday the service will operate 24 hrs a day.
Junior BikeMi. The municipality of Milan has now added a bicycle service for kids aged 6-10, you’ll find the junior bikes near some of Milan’s parks Parco Sempione/Piazza Castello (find on map), Giardini pubblici Indro Montenelli (find on map), Parco delle Basiliche (find on map),Parco Don Giussani (find on map) and Parco Ravizza (find on map) the bicycles are available between 7 a.m.-1 p.m. and helmets are mandatory. Read more here.
Mobike (on the left in the photo) and OFO.
2 operators in the dockless or free flow bike sharing service, also called Uber for bicycles, have arrived in Milan, you need to download the apps for the services in order to begin to use it. Find the links for the app download here.
The first one is Mobike, the orange and black bicycles you have probably seen around the city, The price is €0.30 for every half hour.
The second is OFO with the characteristic yellow bicycles that technically are of a slightly better quality It costs €0,20 for the first half hour, €0,30 for the second half hour and €0,50 every half hour after that. You can also rent the bike for a whole day at €5.Gem
The Milanese love going on day trips outside the gates of the city as they say and there are lots of wonderful places nearby. Here is the Insider Guide to the greatest places
50 km north of Milan is Como by the beautiful Lake Como surrounded by mountains.It takes about 1 hour from Cadorna station to Como lake and a return ticket is a little under €10. It’s a cosy and very beautiful small town with antique town walls and a great shopping area in the historical center and actually also the place where our personal love affair with Italy began many years ago.
When we were there last we had lunch at the super neat Ristorante Sociale, 6, Via Rodari (find on map) – prices are reasonable and and the food is local and solid – but next time we are planning on trying out the much more sophisticated restaurant with all the great reviews The Market Place, 55, Via Rovelli (find on map).
Another fantastic thing to do here is to take the ferry from Como (just by Piazza Cavour) for e.g.Bellaggio or out to see the incredibly beautiful villas, located in the area.
You can go from Como with the funicular up to Brunate where on a clear day you get an amazing view of Lake Como and the Alps.
During the summer the great outdoor swimming pool Villa Olmo, 20 minutes walk from the train station, is open every day from 9 am-7.30 pm, tickets are €8.50 for the whole day and €5.50 for the afternoon for adults and €4.50 (full day) €3.50 (afternoon) for children. You have to book online and sadly the page is only in Italian (!) but follow the “prenota” button and insert the date you want to go here and then click prosegui (continue). You can also rent sun beds (lettini) and beach umbrellas (ombrelloni).
There are several antique markets in Como: On the first Sunday every month 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Piazza San Fedele (find on map) On the second Wednesday every month (Except January and August) 8.30 a.m.-7 p.m. in Porto Torre, Viale Carlo Cattaneo (find on map) On the last Saturday every month (except January and August) in Via Muratto og Piazza Ferretta (find on map) On the third Sunday every month. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (except January and August) in Via Spallino (find on map)
Bergamo is one of the few towns in Italy whose historical center is still located within the original town walls which have maintained their original aspect.
Bergamo is divided into two parts Bergamo Bassa (low Begamo) and Berrgamo Alta (high Begamo), Bergamo Alta is the historical part of the town which you can get to either by the city funicular or by taking the 45-minute hike up.
There are monasteries, historical buildings and an ancient botanical garden.
A villlage built by the Crespi family for the workers on their factory. It was very advanced for its time (late 1800s) with free education for the children of the employees, a free indoor swimming pool and the first village in Italy to have modern public lighting. In 1995 the village was entered nto the UNESCO World Heritage List. The directions on how to get there can be found here.
Isole Borromee and Stresa.
The Isolee Borromee (the Borromean Islands) are located in the Maggiore Lake and can be reached from Stresa by boat, they are lovely at all times of the year but are paricularly stunning during springtime, They are famous for their amazing palaces and gardens. There are three islands: Isola Bella with the Borromean Palace and gardens, Isola Superiore (Fishmerman’s Island) a tiny island with a beautiful fishing village and Isola Madre with a botanical garden and Palace.
If you feel like pampering yourself go for a day to the San Pellegrino spa (terme) (find on map), you need a car to get up there. Prices and opening hours here. A small piece of advice; go on a weekday.
Lodiis another town that is very near Milan, it takes about 35 minutes with the train going to Bologna, and you can catch it from both Stazione Centrale and Cadorna. Lodi is a lovely little town whose interesting archtecture dates all the way back to 1160.
There is an antique market in Lodi on the first Sunday of every month (except January and August) 8 a.m.7 p.m. on Piazza Castello (find on map)
A couple of good places to have lunch in Lodi are: Antica Trattoria il Gattino, 71, Corso Mazzini (find on map) Il Pomodoro Pelato, 48, Via Cavour (find on map)
And please don’t miss Vigevano in the province of Pavia. It takes about an hour to get there and we recommend taking the train from Porta Genova railway station (find on map)
Vigevano is an incredibly beautiful art town with an amazing renaissance square Piazza Ducale, considered one of Italy’s finest. There is also a castle, Vigevano’s own Castello Sforzesco which was transformed from a fortress to the residence of a prince in 1492-94 by Ludovio Sforza. Furthermore Vigevano is famous for making shoes and there is a shoe museum inside the Castello Sforzesco with no admission.
There’s an antique market in Vigevanoon the thrid Sunday of every month (except August) in the area between Piazza Piazza Martiri della Liberazione, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via S. Croce (find on map).
Good places to have lunch in Vigevano: Cappuccetto Rosso Bistrot, 4, Via Carrobbio (find on map) Cafe del Mar, 34, Via Leonardo da Vinci (find on map)
Wine and Food.
If you love wine and great food there are some areas we recommend you visit and you could spend the night in one of the many agrotourisms. Some great areas are Franciacorta, Asti and Langhe (where, among other towns, Alba is located).
There are many food and wine festivals in both Piedmont and Lombardia. These festivals are great for getting an insight into small communities and their seasonal products (wine, truffles, cheeses, chestnuts, mushrooms, pumpkins etc.)
Star-studded restaurants outside Milan.
If you came to Milan by car there are lots of great restaurants in Lombardy. We want to mention:
D’O Davide Oldani’s wonderful restaurant with 1 Michelin star, located in San Pietro all’Olmo, Cornaredo (find on map). Davide Oldani is the chef who invented the concept Pop Cuisine (Cucina Pop). Remember to book well in advance.
Cannavacciuolo Bistrot. 1, Piazza Martiri della Libertà in Novara (find on map) which belongs to Antonino Cannavacciulo, one of the new judges in the Italian edition of Masterchef.
Antonino Cannavacciuolo also runs the restaurant (with 2 Michelin stars) and hotel Villa Crespi at the beautiful Lago d’Orta.
You can find the Michelin guide’s other suggestions here.
Milan has an excellent, well-organized system of public transport, which we want to tell you about here, but let’s first take a look at what you do when you have just arrived at the airport.
If you’ve come to Milan by plane you’ve landed in either Linate, Malpensa or Orio al Serio. There are good connections with public transport from all three.
Remember to buy your tickets before getting on either bus, tram, train or metro, they don’t sell tickets on board. Tickets can be purchased at either the Edicola (newsstand) or at coffee shops. In some airports there are automatic ticket dispensers at the bus stop. 1 ticket is €2.00 and is valid for 90 minutes inside Area 1 (light purple on this drawing), which consists of 21 municpalities and has the codes MI1-MI3, on all means of transport including trains. If you wish to go beyond this area, the price increases by €0.40 for each Area from MI4 to MI9. You can also buy a carnet with 10 tickets at €18.00, but you need one carnet per. person. Children under 14 travel for free. You can also get a 24-hour ticket for €7 and a 72-hour ticket for €12.
If your payment card or phone has the contactless function, you can buy tickets in the metro directly at the turnstile , if you use the same card more than 3 times in a day your ticket is automatically converted into a 24-hour ticket at €7.
Linate is the airport closest to the city.The easiest is to take Bus 73 (which is a regular city bus that stops frequently along its route and doesn’t have a lot of space for luggage) or X73 which stops very few times and goes to Piazza Diaz (find on map) behind Piazza Duomo, so just a few steps from Duomo metro station.
Malpensa is Milan’s “new” airport which is about a 1-hour drive from Milan. You can either take the train (Malpensa Express) which goes to Cadorna in the center of Milan, One way tickets are €13 foma both terminal 1 and 2, a return ticket is only €20, if you purchase it online, or you can take the Malpensa Shuttle, which brings you to the central station (Milano Centrale) one way tickets are €10 – return tickets are €16. We recommend that you take the shuttle at the weekend but the train during the week, because you risk getting stuck in traffic jams with the bus.
Orio al Serio is actually closer to Bergamo than Milan and it’ll take you about 50 minutes to get to Milan. There is a shuttle service which goes to Milan’s central station (Milano centrale). Tickets are €5 one way and €9 return. You can also take a the public transport bus (ATB) , which gets you to Bergamo central station in about 10 minutes and here you can get the train to Milan. The trip takes about 40 minutes and one way tickets are between €4-9. Here you must also consider that it’s a better idea to take the train during the week, because of possible traffic jams.
If you want to book train tickets from home you do that here
As in every big city in the world you must keep an eye on backpacks and bags when in the metro, there are many pickpockets that operate there, taking advantage of the fact that it’s crowded. Don’t keep your backpack on your back. Hold it in front of you.
The Central station is another place to be extra vigilant; lots of pickpockets take advantage of visitors’ distraction; one trick, they often use, is to ask if you need help when buying tickets. Refuse politely, but firmly
Get the official app for Milan’s public transport (ATM Milano Official App) – read more about it and find the link to download here.
Taxis with fixed fares Of course you could also take a taxi.There are fixed fares from the airports:
Orio al Serio: €130-150
Linate: €13-15 (normal city rates)
IMPORTANT: Watch out for illegal taxis – the legal ones are white and have the Comune di Milano coat of arms on their front doors.
If you need to call for a taxi and don’t speak Italian the easiest thing is to use the official app myTaxi. Read more about it and find the link for downloading it here.
If you speak Italian the phone number is: +39024040
If, for some reason, you can’t get a taxi or just want a chauffeur in uniform you know is there when you arrive or need to be driven around town you can contact Autonoleggio CAPRIOTTI, mobile number +393482819594 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Transport from the airport is the same rate as the fixed fares above.
MilanoCard If you’re in Milan for 72 hours or less and want to visit a lot of museums while here it is a good idea to buy the Milan city pass MilanoCard which allows you to use all public transport for free and gives a lot of discounts to museums and restaurants. You must order it online hereand then you can pick it up at the airport or central station at the specific MilanoCard points upon your arrival
Milan has 4 metro lines, and a fifth is on the way, plus a lot of buses and trams.
The metro lines that connect the rest of the city to and from Milan’s different stations are:
Central Station (Milano Centrale) – the green and yellow lines (M2 and M3)
Stazione Cadorna – the red and green lines (M1 and M2),
Stazione Garibaldi – the green and purple lines (M2 and M5)
The map also shows where to change between the different lines.
Furthermore Milan has the Passante Railway, an underground railway which runs through Milan and connects to the metro lines at the stops Porta Garibaldi (M2 and M5),Repubblica (M3), Rogoredo (M3) and Porta Venezia (M1).Gem