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Places to travel to from Milan?

I will be studying abroad next semester in Milan, Italy. For context, I will be there January - late May, and I’m originally from NYC and go to school in the New England area.

I’m looking for travel destination recommendations (specific names of cities within the countries please!) accessible from Milan. Any great places to travel to for good food, cool sightseeing, and an overall good time with friends?

Really appreciate it!

Posted by
5537 posts

As mentioned, are you looking for day trips, weekend trips or longer? But for good food, Lyon must be on the list in my opinion.

Posted by
3 posts

Verona is close and Venice isn't very far. There's a high speed train to Florence also.

Posted by
7879 posts

The Lake Como area and the Swiss border is only 45 minutes north and accessible by train.

I suggest you go to Google Maps and look at what's around Milan.

Posted by
6896 posts

Still in northern Italy, make a visit to Bologna. It’s a big university town (oldest university in Europe), so there will be lots of other students, and as it’s in Emilia-Romagna, with arguably the best food in Italy, you’ll have the good food part very well covered. It also has some cool sights, although it’s not as big a blockbuster tourist location as, say, Florence or Rome.

Posted by
3081 posts

Turin, Vicenza, Verona, Trieste, Ravenna, Alba (and the smaller wine towns), Parma. Bergamo, Bolzano, Oresei, Como and the smaller towns on the lake.
Switzerland - Lugano, Bellinzona, Lucerne.
France - Lyon, Nice.

If you are into hiking, the Dolomites are great as the the national parks north and northwest of Turin.
Cars? Automobile museum in Turin, Motor Valley between Parma and Bologna.

Posted by
356 posts

Bergamo is absolutely worth visiting. It's only 50 minutes by train from Milan.

You can take a funicular to Citta Alta (the medieval upper city), which has lots of good restaurants and awesome architecture.

Posted by
15084 posts

Might you be interested in skiing? Or other winter activities such as sledding or snowshoeing? The village of Bettmeralp in Switzerland is 2 hours 40 minutes away by train and cablecar. It is a small friendly ski resort with lower prices and crowd loads than the better-known ( and further away) resorts like Zermatt.

Tickets to Bettmeralp, including the cablecar up to the village ( but not the ski lifts above the village) are 47 CHF if bought a month or so in advance on Regular price is 58 CHF.

Posted by
2036 posts

When my nephew studied abroad in Germany, he had classes Monday -Thursday each week. He would often hop on a train Thursday after school and head all over the place on various adventures with friends.

Within an hour or so by train, you could go to Stresa on Lake Maggiore; Lake Orta; Lake Como.

Within 2-3 hours: Florence, Venice, Turin, Monterosso

Within 3-5 hours: Lauterbrunnen, Rome, Nice

By plane, your options are endless. Hop over to Granada for $132 rt. Flights can be cheap (sometimes cheaper than the train).

Posted by
2671 posts

From the Milano Centrale train station:
Stresa, Italy (IT) (Lake Maggiore) 1h by direct train.
Bergamo, IT 1h by direct train.
Varenna, IT (Lake Como) 1h 15m by direct train. After touring this clean quaint town lined with Mediterranean cypress trees hop on a 15m ferry to Bellagio with a mountainous backdrop with storefronts displaying high-end merchandise along its scenic sloped alleyways.
Bologna, IT 1h 15m by direct train.
Torino, IT 45m by direct train to Porta Susa..
Verona, IT 1h 30m by direct train.
Parma, IT 1h 30m by direct train.
Florence, IT (to SM Novella station) 2h by direct train. Plan on taking multiple trips and make reservations for the Uffizi Gallery two-months out to guarantee a reservation.
Vicenza, IT 2h by direct train.
Venice, IT 2h 45m by direct train.
Alba, IT (Piedmont region) 3h by train and requires a change.
Ravenna, IT 3h 15m by train and requires a transfer.
Bozen Bosen, IT (Bolzano) 3h 30m by train with a transfer.
Trieste, IT 4h 45m by train and involves a change.
Lugano, Switzerland (CH) 1h 45m by direct train.
Bellinzona, CH 2h 15m by direct train.
Luzern, CH 3h 45m by direct train.
Bettmeralp, CH 2h 45m requires a train and cable car transfer.
Lyon, France (FR) 4h 30m by direct train.
Nice, FR 5h 15m by train and requires a transfer.

Posted by
15084 posts

It is kind of MaryPat to make that long list. But I notice at least one train time that is off, because I know that route well.

Milano Centrale to Bettmeralp can be done in only 2h 40m ( not 3:35) by taking the EC train departing Milan to Brig at 7:20, 8:20, 11:20, 13:20, or 15:20. At Brig you change to the eastbound train to Betten, 15 minutes away, where you board the cablecar up to the village.

Posted by
6432 posts

MaryPat has given you a great list! Many fond memories of most of those locations! Also, don’t forget that there’s inexpensive flights in Europe using Easy Jet, etc. Just keep your backpack small & lightweight to avoid needing to pay a luggage carry on or check fee. What a great experience for you!

Posted by
25507 posts

Direct flights from Milan-Malpensa:

Direct flights from Milan-Linate:

Most of the listed destinations will have non-stop flights. Flight availability and frequency may vary seasonally, so for more precise information you should go to a schedule website like

If you have one or two long weekends during the winter, I'd suggest trying to find a deal on a flight to a warm spot like Seville (Spain), Catania (Sicily) or Palermo (Sicily). Seville would probably be the liveliest of those. If the prospect of flying to a city that could be cold and snowy or cold and wet doen't faze you, you might consider Berlin, Budapest or Prague--all very popular with young people. But really, you can't go wrong.

Posted by
2671 posts

Milano Centrale to Bettmeralp can be done in only 2h 40m

Thanks Lola, I edited my post.

Posted by
3812 posts

Direct high speed trains go in 58 minutes from Milano Centrale to Turin's Porta Nuova station and in 44 minutes to Porta Susa.

Both stations are central, very close to the pedestrianised city center and served by the same (and only) metro line.

Posted by
2671 posts

Direct high speed trains go in 58 minutes from Milano Centrale to Turin's Porta Nuova station and in 44 minutes to Porta Susa.

Thanks Dario, I added Porta Susa to my post.