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Milan is a fantastic base for a day trip thanks to its prime position within the central region of northern Italy. Whether discovering the rolling Swiss and Italian Alps or the stunning lakes nearby, extend your stay in Milan by adding an unforgettable day trip.
Thanks to the country’s nifty transport system, traveling by train in Italy means the best day trips from Milan are easy and affordable. So, prepare for some unforgettable experiences, from a food-inspired visit to Bologna to a historic trip to Turin.
Day tours from Milan to Lake Como are fairly straightforward. It costs around €5 to ride from Milan Central Station to Como Lago on a 40-minute train journey.
Taking a boat cruise along Lake Como is a glorious way to explore the attractions. Snap tons of photos along the shores of Bellagio, walk the quaint cobblestone streets of Brienno, and eat your heart out near the colorful buildings of Varenna.
Lake Como Day Trip From Milan
If you’d like to have transport arranged for you, then it’s a great idea to join this Lake Como day trip from Milan. It’s an excellent way to experience the best of Bellagio and Varenna without having to worry about travel logistics. The tour also includes a lovely cruise along Lake Como.
Tour Details: Lake Como day trip from Milan
The Lagoon City is one of the most iconic destinations in Italy. For independent travel, take the train from Milan Centrale to Venezia Santa Lucia. This is a roughly 2.5-hour trip. Tickets start at around €17, and the train will drop you right in the heart of Venice.
As for the top things to see in Venice, be sure to stop by the Basilica di San Marco to admire some stunning architecture. You can also visit the Palazzo Ducale and photograph the iconic Rialto Bridge.
Consider escaping the crowds with a short ferry ride to the bright streets of Burano. Or, stay in the heart of Venice and visit the flooded Crypt of San Zaccaria or the Il Fenice Opera House.
Venice Day Trip From Milan
Although traveling alone offers a lot of freedom, this full-day Venice tour is also a great option. The tour covers some Venice itinerary staples, like a breathtaking Grand Canal gondola ride and a glass-making workshop. It also travels past all the famous attractions in the city, like Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, and the Riva degli Schiavoni.
Tour Details: Venice day trip from Milan
It’s a short hour train ride from Milan Centrale to Bologna Centrale, with tickets costing around €20 per person. Piazza Maggiore is the cultural hub at the city center and is a fantastic starting point for your day in Bologna.
Visit the tenth largest church in the world at Basilica di San Petronio, walk the world’s longest portico to Monte della Guardia, and climb the medieval tower of Prendiparte. While all the sights around the city are magical, its true attraction is the fantastic dishes of Bologna.
Bologna Tasting Tour
There aren’t many day-trip tour options from Milan to Bologna, but there are many tours available in the city. On this tasting tour of Bologna, dig into 10 delicious delicacies popular in this foodie destination. Indulge in the classic flavors of tortellini fritti and formaggio bianco, or meats complimented perfectly with a glass of Lambrusco.
Tour Details: The 10 tastings of Bologna
If traveling solo is your style, then it’s about an hour-long trip from Milan Centrale to Torino Porta Nuova. Tickets tend to start around €27, but you can often find some fantastic deals on Omio.
Wonder at human and animal mummies and the massive Sethi II Statue at the expansive and world famous Egyptian Museum. After your ancient history fix, stop by the UNESCO World Heritage Site and former royal residence, La Venaria Reale.
Turin Day Trip From Milan
This full-day guided tour of Turin offers hotel pick-up and drop-off in Milan and includes a walking tour that covers the highlights of Turin. You’ll also have free time to sample local cuisine and explore on your own.
Tour Details: full-day guided tour of Turin
Getting from Milan Centrale to Verona Porta Nuova takes about one hour and 15 minutes when using Frecciarossa, with tickets starting at €18.
The ancient Roman Arena — which is actually older than the Colosseum — should be one of your first stops. You can also stop by the 14th-century Castel San Pietro for epic views of Verona.
Head to the Castelvecchio Museum to admire glorious sculptures and paintings or visit Juliet’s House, once home to the Cappello family. For some shopping, head to Via Giuseppe Mazzini.
Verona Walking Tour
Organized day trips from Verona to Milan are limited, so your best option is to travel independently.
Join this guided walking tour of Verona to see its top sights. Discover everything from the Roman Amphitheater to the breathtaking frescoes at the Piazza delle Erbe. There’s more, with visits to the gothic-style Arche Scaligere and some fantastic local restaurants all included on this private tour.
Tour Details: Private tour of Verona
St Moritz and Bernina Express to Switzerland
Pretty much the entire day will be spent on a train, but this day trip is more for the stunning scenery than anything else.
If taking this trip independently, take a three-hour train ride from Milan Centrale to Tirano for around €14. From there, the breathtaking Bernina Express train takes you through northern Italy and into Switzerland. St. Moritz is the halfway point on this iconic four-hour panoramic train ride from Tirano to Chur, with tickets costing €51.50 one-way.
St Moritz and Bernina Express Day Trip From Milan
Alternatively, avoid the hassle of planning the entire journey by joining this Bernina Express experience from Milan. Enjoy a scenic bus ride through the countryside and straight to St. Moritz. From there, enter the world-famous scenic train journey from St. Moritz to Tirano, and discover the beauty of Switzerland.
Tour Details: St Moritz and Bernina Express panoramic tour
Interlaken and Swiss Alps
As fantastic an idea as it is, taking a day trip to Interlaken from Milan without a guide may not be worth the effort.
The quickest route has one changeover in Spiez, with an average travel time of four hours. The fastest train tickets cost roughly €89, and even then, there will be a lot of time wasted waiting between trains, so tours are much easier.
Interlaken and Swiss Alps Day Trip From Milan
Skip the transport arrangements by booking a convenient day excursion to Interlaken from Milan instead. On this day trip, you can expect a scenic two-hour ride from Domodossola to Spiez.
The journey takes you through the lush valleys of Simplon Pass on the Green Train. Spend some time admiring Spiez before jumping on a gentle boat ride across Lake Thun to the charming town of Interlaken.
The Swiss Alps are in full view during the boat tour, with Jungfrau, Mönch, and Elger all within view. After arriving in Interlaken, spend some time admiring the bespoke architecture, and don’t forget to visit the stunning Lake Brienz as well.
Tour Details: Interlaken and Swiss Alps day trip
Milan to Lake Garda is a trip that can easily be paired with a visit to Verona. Catching a train from Milan Centrale to Desenzano del Garda is quick and affordable, with a 50-minute travel time and tickets costing around €18.
Visiting Castello Scaligero at Sirmione port is a great idea as this iconic castle dominates the picturesque town. You’ll also love a cruise along Lake Garda to explore sights like the Villa Canossa and Lazise Castle.
Taking a dip in the emerald waters of Lake Garda is also worth a try, especially in the summer months. Or head to Bardolino to sample the delights of Bresca wines at places like Lenotti Cellars or Winery Costadora.
Verona and Lake Garda Day Trip From Milan
Join this combined tour of Verona and Lake Garda from Milan to enjoy the convenience of arranged transport along with enough freedom to explore on your own. An expert tour guide will take you to some of the highlights of both destinations while giving you free time to wander about, do some shopping, and take a boat cruise on Lake Garda if you wish.
Tour Details: Tour of Verona and Lake Garda from Milan
Cinque Terre is a region on the Italian Riviera teeming with colorful villages and breathtakingly clear water along the Ligurian coast. Each town has its own unique character, and traveling between each is easy with the Cinque Terre Express.
Simply put, venturing out to Cinque Terre is too long a trip to do on your own from Milan as the average train travel time is over four and a half hours to La Spezia. It is however cost effective with train tickets available from around €23.
The best option is to join a guided tour, as this will help you cover the highlights of each village in a day.
Cinque Terre Day Trip From Milan
To experience possibly the best day trip from Milan, Italy, without tiring yourself out, join this full-day Cinque Terre guided tour. An air-conditioned coach will collect you at your hotel in Milan and drive you to Monterosso al Mare. Enjoy a guided tour of the town before hopping aboard a boat cruise along the Italian Riviera and ending off in La Spezia.
Tour Details: Cinque Terre full-day guided trip
Lombardy Wine Tasting
The perfect Milan day trip does exist, and it’s in the form of a wine-tasting tour through Lombardy. If traveling alone, head to the city of Bergamo, which lies an hour away from Milan, by train. Train tickets cost around €6 per person, making it a great option for a day trip.
The best way to experience this region, however, is with a guided tour. This will cover transport, and you’ll get to learn about the region and the wine-making process from a knowledgeable guide
Lombardy Wine Tasting Day Trip From Milan
This fantastic Franciacorta wine tour from Milan takes you to the humble Italian city of Bergamo for a lovely lunch before exploring the Franciacorta wine route. The sommelier and knowledgeable guide will show you every aspect of the wine-making process before you sample the golden nectar at a wine tasting.
Tour Details: Franciacorta full-day wine experience
Get to Lake Maggiore independently by train from Milan Centrale to Stresa. Tickets are reasonably affordable at about €10, and the trip lasts just over an hour.
If independent travel is your preferred option, you can try this Lake Maggiore hop-on hop-off boat ticket. This will allow you to explore Stresa and the Borromean Islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre, and Isola Pescatori) in your own time.
Stop by the Borromean Islands on Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre. The latter is known as one of the prettiest park spaces in Italy, while Pescatori is an iconic fishing village. It’s then a short journey across the lake to glorious Isola Bella, which hosts the elaborate Palazzo Borromeo.
End the day in Stresa, where you can enjoy a drink at the Sky Bar in Hotel La Palma or visit the picturesque Park Villa Pallavicino.
Lake Maggiore Day Trip From Milan
This Lake Maggiore day trip is one of the best day excursions from Milan. The tour starts with a lovely cruise from Lago Maggiore, where you can admire the idyllic villas and lush lakeside garden. The tour also stops by the three main Borromean Islands of Isola Pescatori, Isola Madre, and Isola Bella, where you can explore each one.
Tour Details: Lake Maggiore day trip from Milan
Summary: Best Day Trips from Milan
No matter the journey, a day trip from Milan will always be an unforgettable experience. The choice is yours, from sipping wine in Franciacorta to admiring the stunning scenery on a day trip from Milan to Switzerland.
So, what will your next epic adventure be?