A day trip from Venice to Milan in Italy is entirely possible, very enjoyable, and a rather cool thing to do.
Milan is one of the world’s fashion capitals, the wealthiest city in Italy, and a destination that anyone with an interest in art, history, shopping, and hip city living will find of interest.
Dotted with worldwide known sights, with a rich artistic heritage, and streets lined up with shops selling Italian fashion brands, Milan offers a great number of things to see, do, and enjoy. Several of them can be covered in a day.
High-speed and fast regional trains connect many of Italy’s cities to Milan all throughout the day. This applies in full force to Venice – the capital of the Northern Italian region of Veneto and one of the most famous tourist destinations in Italy. Travel times from Venice to Milan start from 2 hours and 27 minutes one way.
So, a day trip from the heart of the Venetian Lagoon to the sprawling urban centre of Milan requires a bit of prior organisation and sticking to strict departure times. Yet, it is entirely possible and it will give you the opportunity to see two of the greatest cities in Italy and the world in the span of the same Italian holiday. Don’t miss the chance!
To make it easy for you, in this blog post, I have collated all the details to make planning a day trip from Venice to Milan a success. From first-hand tried and tested information on how to travel between these two Italian cities to a shortlist of the major sights to see in Milan in a day, everything’s covered.
During my six years of living in Italy, I travelled to Milan and Venice dozens of times. Each time, it was so worth it and it opened yet another horizon in front of me in terms of Italian history, culture, food, and art.
Now, I would like to share my tips with you to help you have a great experience, too. Logically organised in easy chunks, below you will find the information that you need to enjoy Milan on a great day trip from Venice in Italy.
Have a look!
Venice to Milan – A Cool Day Trip in Italy (With Travel Tips and Sights to See)
Where is Milan, Italy?
Venice itself is the capital of the Northern Italian region of Veneto. Famously, the historic centre of the city is built on 118 small islands grouped together in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon. A long bridge links Venice to the mainland.
The distance between Venice and Milan is between 260 km and 270 km on average depending on your starting point in Venice and your point of arrival in Milan.
Venice is connected to Milan by road and railway. Travel between them is straightforward and with a bit of planning, it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
A well-maintained toll motorway stretches across Northern Italy. Known as Autostrada 4 (and also called Serenissima), Venice and Milan are two of the major Italian cities connected by it. If you choose to travel by car, this motorway is the quickest way to reach Milan. It is a very busy road with a constant flow of traffic, especially during rush hour and national holidays.
An easiest way to travel from Venice to Milan is by train. High-speed and fast regional trains connect Venice to Milan all throughout the day. Milan has several train stations with Milano Centrale the main one of them. This is also Europe’s largest train station by volume of traffic. Each year it serves 120 million passengers. Each day, about 500 trains arrive and depart from it.
Besides Venice, Milan is also easy to reach from a number of large Italian cities. For example, Verona, Bologna, Turin, Florence, and Naples in addition to the Italian capital Rome. Milan also enjoys excellent railway connections to several important European cities in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and France.
Why Visit Milan from Venice?
If you are spending a few days in Venice and have already visited the islands in the Venetian Lagoon, nearby Padua, the City of Love Verona, Lake Garda, and other nearby gems, you may want to also take a day trip to Milan. Or you may be specifically interested in Milan on account of a particular landmark in this Northern Italian city, a specific event held there, or Milan’s urban architecture and luxury shopping opportunities.
After all, Milan has a long list of must-see sights, many festivals and city-wide events, and a rich stable of boutiques that can make the heart of anyone with an interest in fashion, jewellery, and shopping beat with delight. It is also in Milan that you can see such worldwide famous masterpieces as Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and visit excellent museums and art galleries like the Pinacoteca di Brera. Milan’s Duomo with its lace-like facade is one of the most iconic buildings in Europe and many travellers pin it to their bucket lists for Italy.
Milan has a very modern and hip look to it. Yet, it has a centuries-old history, too. Many landmarks here can transport you back to the time when Milan was one of the most powerful players on the stage of the Italian city-states.
All in all, there are many reasons to visit Milan on a day trip from Venice. Even if you decide to travel there without a particular reason, you can spend a wonderful day in the Lombardian capital seeing a completely different side to Italy than Venice has to offer.
In a nutshell, a trip from Venice to Milan can be a cool adventure to create memories that last a lifetime.
How to Travel from Venice to Milan?
There are two main convenient ways to travel from Venice to Milan for a day trip – by train and by car. Here they are in further details:
Venice to Milan by Train – train times are manageable if you take the direct high-speed train. If you opt for the fast regional train, the travel time will increase by an hour and you will need to change in Verona.
Here is how it works:
High-speed trains (Frecciarossa and ItaloTreno):
- On average they take about 2 h 27 mins from Venezia Santa Lucia train station to Milano Centrale train station.
- They are very swish and travel really fast.
- However, this type of trains cost more and the tickets for them get more expensive the closer to the date of travel you buy them.
- The earlier you buy your tickets, the less you will pay. Plan ahead and keep an eye here for the best pricing.
- If you want to maximise your sightseeing time and don’t mind the cost, then definitely get the direct high-speed train from Venice to Milan.
Regional trains (Regionale Veloce and Regionale Trenord):
- Taking fast regional trains from Venice to Milan can be an alternative to the high-speed trains. This option can be up to three times cheaper however the travel time will increase by at least an hour. Plus, you will need to change trains in Verona.
- You can buy your tickets in advance online or on the day of travel at the train station. The price remains the same irrespective of when you buy your tickets.
- Just be aware that Venezia Santa Lucia and Venezia Mestre – Venice’s main train stations – can get incredibly busy during rush hours. Allow plenty of time to buy your ticket stress-free in case there are queues in front of the ticket kiosks and ticket machines.
- Before boarding the train, you need to validate your tickets for the whole journey. Basically, you need to place your ticket in the slot of one of the validating machines. You will find them affixed to the walls and pillars of the train station. The machine will make a whirring noise and print a code on your ticket. If you don’t do it, your ticket is not valid and fines are large.
- The type of train to take from Venice to Verona is called Regionale Veloce. This is a fast regional train that only stops at the major train stations along the way.
- The train station you need to change trains at in Verona is called Verona Porta Nuova. Do not get off at the Verona Porta Vescovo train station.
- Once in Verona, the type of train you need to take to Milan is called Regionale Trenord.
- Do not take a Regionale train from Venice to Verona Porta Nuova. It costs the same as a Regionale Veloce train but it is a much slower regional train that stops at every single stop along the way. Thus it will stretch your travel time unfeasibly.
- The journey by Regionale Veloce (Venice to Verona) and Regionale Trenord (Verona to Milan) trains takes about 3 h 25 mins altogether (including time changing trains at Verona Porta Nuova).
There are two main train stations in Venice. Both of them are on the same train line:
- Venezia Santa Lucia train station – if you are staying in Venice proper, i.e. the historic centre of Venice on the islands in the Venetian Lagoon, this is the train station you will be travelling from. The travel times given above apply to the journeys from Venezia Santa Lucia train station to Milano Centrale.
- Venezia Mestre train station – if you are staying in Mestre – the mainland administrative borough of Venice – you will be travelling to Milan from this station. The high-speed and fast regional trains leave from Venezia Santa Lucia train station and then stop at Venezia Mestre. Travel times from Venezia Mestre to Milano Centrale are on average 10-12 mins shorter than the times given above.
There are several train stations in Milan. In principle, I suggest that you travel to Milano Centrale no matter what. For more information, have a look at these details:
- Milano Centrale – this is the city’s main railway station. It is huge and very busy. Allow plenty of time to navigate it and – on the way back – to validate your tickets (if you are travelling by Regionale Trenord and Regionale Veloce). This train station is served by both the high-speed trains and the regional trains.
- Milano Lambrate – this is the third-largest train station in Milan. Travelling from Venice, it is the last station that the regional trains stop at before Milano Centrale. Bear in mind that this train station is only served by the Regionale Trenord trains. So, if you are planning to travel by high-speed train from Venice to Milan, you will arrive directly at and then depart from Milano Centrale train station.
Buying Tickets Online:
Omio offers the easiest way to check train travel times and buy train tickets in advance. It shows prices and travel times for all available high-speed and fast regional trains irrespective of the company that runs them. This way you can compare costs and times of departure and arrival.
Otherwise, you can use the official websites of Italy’s main railway operators:
- TrenItalia – for both high-speed trains and regional trains;
- ItaloTreno – for high-speed trains only.
Both have an English user interface. The only thing to remember is that on the TrenItalia website you need to use the Italian names of the respective train stations (i.e., Venezia Santa Lucia, Venezia Mestre, and Milano Centrale) when you are doing a search for tickets.
Venice to Milan by Car – if you prefer, you can travel from Venice to Milan by car. The journey by toll roads can take anything from two and a half hours to three hours 50 mins depending on the itinerary you follow and how heavy the traffic is. Using GPS navigation is indispensable as traffic jams sometimes occur and it can help you avoid them as much as possible. Be prepared for a very assertive type of driving and drivers that seem to be on the offensive at all times.
This very helpful website will give you an estimate of how much the tolls are going to cost.
As you know, Venice is a car-free city. The most popular places where people leave their cars in Venice are the island of Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma, or one of the car parks in Mestre. If your accommodation is further away from these places, the time that takes you to reach the respective car park will make your travel time to Milan even longer.
What to see in Milan on a Day Trip from Venice?
Milan is Lombardy’s capital and also Italy’s wealthiest city. This is a hustling and bustling metropolis where you can certainly feel the modern heart of Italy beating a frenetic drum. In comparison with other Italian cities and especially Venice, at a first glance, Milan may seem a bit grey, rough around the edges, and even a tad uninspiring. You just need to look deeper beneath the surface to easily discover impressive sights.
Many tourists boldly state that there is not much to see in Milan. Others come here exclusively to shop. Yet, Milan has a lot to offer to those seeking to see for themselves Italy’s masterpieces in terms of history, culture, and art. Whatever I say about Milan here, it’s not going to be enough. It’s best to see this large and important Italian city with your own eyes.
There are many things to do, see, and fall in love with in Milan in Italy. If you have a plan in mind and/or are prepared to walk around all day, you can certainly cover a lot of ground here from morning till dusk. Just make sure that you wear your most comfortable shoes and clothes!
Here is a shortlist to get you started planning your day trip from Venice to Milan:
- Duomo of Milan – one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. With its lacy facade, it is a sight to behold.
- Sforza Castle – home of the rulers of Milan for many centuries. Nowadays this formidable fortress houses many must-see museums and libraries.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – this most famous work of art doesn’t need an introduction. The mural is in the Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. To make sure that you will be able to see it on your day trip from Venice, it is advisable to book your ticket well in advance.
- Pinacoteca di Brera – this is Milan’s main public art gallery. Among the masterpieces that you can admire here are works by Andrea Mantegna, Piero della Francesa, Raphael, and Caravaggio.
- Biblioteca Ambrosiana – a historic library with an art gallery. It’s a place that preserves a dozen of Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts together with his famous Codex Atlanticus.
- Navigli – these are Milan’s ancient navigable canals. Nowadays, around them exists a lively quarter with lots of eateries and fun events.
- Teatro alla Scala – if you love music and opera, visiting La Scala during your time in Milan is a must. The onsite museum here is especially beautiful. Here is a short video giving you an idea of what to expect.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – this is one of the world’s oldest shopping centres. Next door to Milan’s Duomo, it’s incredibly lavish and worth it a visit even if shopping is not at the forefront of your mind.
Can I Book a Guided Visit, a Tour or an Activity in Milan? What About Tickets for Leonardo’s Last Supper?
Yes! And it’s a great idea to do it in advance in order to streamline your visit and see as much as possible in Milan on your day trip from Venice.
To get an idea of what’s on offer and the breadth of things you can see and do in Milan in a day, click here for a long list of tours and activities provided by different companies.
From skip the line tickets for Milan’s museums and sightseeing tours of Milan’s best corners to specific attractions in Milan and even tickets for Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, everything is covered! Picking one or more of these tours and activities will streamline your sightseeing plan for the capital of Lombardy and will help you have a stress-free day trip.
What Is Your Personal Experience of Travelling from Venice to Milan?
I spent six years living in Vicenza – an elegant historic city between Venice and Milan in Italy. As such, I took every opportunity to travel to both Milan and Venice on day trips to explore their art, history, culture, unique events, delicious food, and exciting urban settings.
Travelling by train and by car around Veneto and Lombardy is incredibly easy and toll roads are not that expensive. A modern motorway leads directly from Venice all the way to Milan. Dozens of high-speed and fast regional trains connect the two cities all throughout the day.
The high-speed trains, in general, are very clean, new, and well-maintained. They feel very swish. While they can get quite busy in the mornings and in the late afternoons with business people commuting between Venice, Milan, and the towns and cities between the two, the journey is very comfortable.
I have travelled by regional train from Milan to Venice only once. It was OK. Personally, I prefer not to spend too much time in transit. However, I understand that for many reasons this is not possible all the times.
Milan has so much to offer that a day here quickly flies away. Delving into the city’s history and art is very satisfying for you always end up discovering new things. Even if you are here just for a day, you can explore places of great historic, architectural, and artistic importance. Plus, the city as a whole is very interesting. There is something new to discover around every corner here.
I full-heartedly recommend taking a day trip from Venice to Milan to anyone spending a few days in Venice and wanting to see one of the greatest Italian cities with their own eyes.
Taking a day trip from Venice to Milan is a great way to make your Italian holiday even more exciting.
These are two of the most famous cities in Italy and the world. While Venice and Milan are not close geographically, thanks to a high-speed train and a modern motorway, they are a manageable distance away from one another.
Hence visiting Milan from Venice can be very straightforward. Milan – one of the world’s fashion capitals and Italy’s wealthiest city – has many must-see sights and museums. Several of them can be covered in one (hectic!) day.
In the above blog post, I give you detailed information on how to take such a day trip. From how to get from Venice to Milan as swiftly as possible to a shortlist of what to do and see in Milan in one day, all the bases are covered.
I hope that the information provided will galvanise you to put Milan at the top of your travel wish list and that you will visit this exciting Italian city on a day trip from Venice (or even stay longer) as soon as this is possible.
Enjoy your day trip to Milan, Italy!
More Helpful Lombardy Info for You
Lombardy: Best Cities and Towns, Milan to Verona, Milan to Venice, Milan to Lake Garda
Lake Garda: Best Towns, Nearest Airports, Travel Options, Lake Garda with Kids, 10 Beautiful Castles
Lake Como: Things to See, Nesso
More Helpful Italy Info for You
Day Trips in Italy: Bologna to Venice, Venice to Verona, Florence to Venice, Verona to Venice, Venice to Padua
Best of Italy: Italian Piazzas, Italian Food, Italian Markets, Italian Coffee Culture
Northern Italy: 18 Best Cities to Visit, Major Airports
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Venzone, Most Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: Bologna, Ravenna, Comacchio, Most Beautiful Villages
Marche: 6 Reasons to Visit, Gradara, Frasassi Caves, Temple of Valadier
Trentino: Best Cities and Towns, 15 Amazing Places, Rovereto, Lakes in Trentino, Lake Caldonazzo, Paneveggio and Pale di San Martino
Veneto: Best Cities to Visit, Top 15 Places, 30 Adventures, 15 Most Colourful Places
Venice: Essential Tips, Hidden Gems, Best Airports, Boats in Venice, Haunted Venice, Day Trips from Venice, Arco del Paradiso
Verona: Things to Do in One Day, Verona Opera Festival, Day Trips from Verona
Padua: Things to Do in One Day, 101 Facts About Padua, 10 Reasons to Visit Padua, Day Trips from Padua
Vicenza: Things to Do, Day Trips from Vicenza
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