Arrive MXP, train to Venice

Hi there, First timers, flying in to MXP, planning to train straight out to Venice upon arrival. We arrive early morning, about 7:30AM. Can you tell me the simplest instructions for getting out to Venice, and maybe an estimation of over all travel time once landing? I'm sure we'll be a little groggy. We do not plan to stay in Milan at all.
Thx.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3314 posts

Malpensa Express Train from the Malpensa station inside the airport to Milano Centrale (consider some trains go to the Cadorna stations, therefore choose the right one). Then from Milano Centrale take a train to Venice.
Tickets all the way to Venice can be purchased at the MXP station. From MXP to Milano Centrale it's about 40 min. The train journey from Milano C. to Venezia Santa Lucia is 2h 35 min. Total travel time depends on what kind of layover you have at Milano Centrale, but I'd say from airport to Venice SL is a total of almost 4 hours, including layover at Milano C.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8738 posts

As long as the train for Venice ends at Venezia Santa Lucia stay on until the end. Don't be tempted to hop off at Venezia Mestre. When you walk along the outside of your train at Santa Lucia, you will walk past some construction and then you will find yourselves, as you go outside, at the top of a very wide sweeping staircase ... down to the Grand Canal!! From the top of the stairs look both ways, Venice is spread before you.......

Posted by Susan
Meridian
138 posts

picking up from Nigel - then go get on THE RIGHT VAPARETTO. We went the "wrong" way (we went counter clockwise) BUT we did see a part of Venice we wouldn't have normally seen so maybe it was the right one! Gotta love travel... Can somebody provide her information about the train station at Milan - I remember anxious moments there because we couldn't find our train. There was construction and temporary signage, but it's been several years so perhaps...
Other than that MXP to Venice (via Malpensa Express and rail) was very easy.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5737 posts

To buy your tickets at Milano Centrale you will have to either queue up in front of the Trenitalia window, or find one of the machines that sells tickets. Lots of info on how to use those machines is at roninrome.com. It might seem intimidating at first, but they're actually very straightforward. To find the correct train to Venezia S. Lucia, you will need to find out what track (binario) it is on. There's no way to know for sure ahead of time, as they do get switched around. Again, roninrome.com is an excellent resource with LOTS of photos to demystify the process. Happy travels. (You're going to love Venice. But don't get off the train until after you've gone across the long causeway into the lagoon. Venezia Santa Lucia is the very last stop on the route, for obvious reasons.) And here's the view once you leave the train station in Venice: Stepping out of VSL

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

Cat, As Roberto mentioned, you should be able to purchase ALL of your tickets at the station at MXP. That will avoid having to deal with the chaos at Milano Centrale. While it is possible to pre-purchase your tickets from Milan to Venice using the Trenitalia website, there's a bit of risk with that. If your flight is late and you can't connect with the train you booked, the ticket is worthless and you'll have to buy another at full price. Buying tickets at the airport may cost a bit more, but it's a "safer" method. Happy travels!

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5737 posts

Good point about buying all your tickets at MXP. Milano Centrale can be a bit of a zoo. FWIW, that train station is a fascinating piece of architecture, designed during the Fascist period to make you feel insignificantly small. If you have the time, wander around a little bit in the lobby area.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

Cat, One other point to mention about Milano Centrale. Should you need to use the washrooms, they're a "pay-per-use" facility (€1 PP as I recall). I can't remember if there are any at track level, but there's a large facility one floor down, via moving sidewalks. There are restaurants / Bars at track level if you need a snack or beverage. Hopefully your time at Milano Centrale is short. They have big screen TV's playing annoying advert's repeatedly on the platforms, and that gets to be tiring after awhile. Be vigilant in the station, and watch your luggage. You'll probably be approached by one or more individuals with a "hard luck story" asking for "contributions". One that I encountered last September was well dressed, carrying an expensive Smartphone and smoking tailor-made cigarettes. He did NOT get a contribution! While on board the train waiting for departure, you may see a teenager dropping small cards on each seat, again with a "hard luck story". He began "badgering" me when I wouldn't donate, so I had to use a progressively more brusque demeanor, and he eventually scowled at me and then departed (picking up all the cards before exiting the train). It's up to you whether you "donate". Cheers!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8640 posts

If your plane arrives on time, the first Malpensa Express train from MXP to Milano Centrale that you could catch departs at 08:43 and arrives at 09:35. The next one departs at 09:22 and arrives at 10:07. If you get to Milano Centrale at 09:35, you will have time to catch the 10:10 high-speed train to Bologna and connect there to another high-speed train, arriving at Venezia Santa Lucia at 13:35. If you don't want to change trains, take a direct high-speed train departing at 11:35 and arriving at 14:10. Or you could take the Malpensa Shuttle Bus from MXP to Milano Centrale. The bus runs every 20 minutes and the ride is scheduled to take 50 minutes.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8640 posts

Adding to my previous post. If your plane arrives on time and you get through immigration/passport control fairly quickly, taking the first available bus just might get you to Milano Centrale in time to catch the 09:35 direct high-speed train which arrives at Venezia Santa Lucia at 12:10. (But don't count on it.)

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

Thank you, I was reading the website wrong. They were implying that the busses run every 20 minutes, but yes, that the ride is about 40. Thanks everyone for your help. Tying up lots of ends and getting excited!!
U

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

Thanks so much everyone! This information is all so descript, it's very helpful and appreciated. It sounds easy enough, and the visuals help a lot!!! I realized I actually land at 6:50AM. I went on the Malpensa Express timetable website, and saw a few earlier options I'm hoping we can make one of them. ***SO, next question: Do you think it's possible that the Malpensa Express can sell out?
Thx. :)

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

Cat, "Do you think it's possible that the Malpensa Express can sell out? " In my experience, NO! There should always be room, but if it's crowded you may have to stand (not a big deal, it's a relatively short trip). If you find that one train is dreadfully crowded, there will be another along in 20 minutes or so. Cheers!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

Cat, I use the Malpensa Shuttle (Bus) frequently, especially when arriving st Terminal 2, as there's no rail access there. As you've noted, the trip is about 50 minutes and the Buses depart frequently. You'll disembark at the side of Milano Centrale. Walk around the corner to your right and climb the stairs to track level (2 floors up). The Coaches are large and quite comfortable, but usually packed full. Larger items will go in the hold under the Bus and carry-on type items will stay with you in the passenger compartment. Whether using rail or Bus from MXP, the travel time is quite similar, as is the cost (but of course the Bus is affected by traffic and makes several stops). Cheers!

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2461 posts

There are several shuttle bus options at the airport, all the buses depart near each other. If you decide to take a shuttle, buy a ticket from the vendor at the entrance to the bus that is loading to leave rather than buying a ticket from the stands inside the airport and then waiting for the bu to pull up.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2174 posts

Cat, it is impossible to travel in 20 min between Milano Malpensa and Milano Centrale even on the middle of night (no traffic) without driving like crazy. It takes AT least 40 min with no traffic, more during the day, maybe much more at peak time as the highway comning from the airport is famous for its traffic jams.