Best Day Trips From Milan

Best Day Trips From Milan: The Must-Have Experiences You Need


Best Day Trips From Milan | Santa Maria delle Grazie

Milan, a global fashion and design capital, serves as a cultural and economic epicenter. Located in northern Italy, it radiates a vibrant, cosmopolitan vibe, making it an ideal starting point for exploration. While Milan’s allure is undeniable, the surrounding regions harbor hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Day trips provide a perfect solution for those seeking to expand their horizons beyond Milan’s cityscape. These excursions offer diverse experiences, from serene lakeside retreats to historical cities, all within a day’s reach. 

Let’s venture on a journey to uncover the best day trips from Milan.

Lake Como

Lake Como | Best Day Trips From Milan

Overview of Lake Como

Nestled against the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como is a picturesque haven renowned for its pristine blue waters and charming lakeside villages. The tranquil ambiance and stunning landscapes have made it a preferred getaway for locals and tourists alike.

Transportation Options from Milan

To reach Lake Como from Milan, travelers can opt for efficient train services or scenic drives. The train journey provides an opportunity to admire the changing landscapes, while driving allows for exploration at your own pace.

Distance and Duration

The journey to Lake Como typically spans around 40 minutes by train and even less in a car, covering approximately 39 kilometers.


  • Villa del Balbianello: A historic villa with enchanting terraced gardens, offering breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
  • Bellagio Town: Known as the “Pearl of Lake Como,” Bellagio boasts charming cobbled streets, artisan shops, and panoramic views from its waterfront.
  • Como Cathedral: A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Como Cathedral is a must-visit, adorned with intricate details and a stunning lakeside location.


Venice Italy | Venezia

Overview of Venice 

Venice, the “City of Canals,” is a unique destination with its winding waterways, historic architecture, and artistic treasures. While Venice may seem like a more extended excursion, a well-planned day trip unveils its wonders.

Transportation Options

Travelers can access Venice from Milan by high-speed train, bus, or car, each offering a distinct journey and experience.

Distance and Duration

The journey takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours by train, covering around 244 kilometers.


  • St. Mark’s Square: The heart of Venice, featuring iconic landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile, surrounded by cafes and shops.
  • Grand Canal: A mesmerizing waterway winding through the city, showcasing stunning architecture and offering unforgettable gondola rides.
  • Rialto Bridge: One of Venice’s most famous landmarks, providing panoramic views of the Grand Canal and bustling marketplaces.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre | Liguria Italy

Overview of Cinque Terre and Its Charming Villages

Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises five colorful villages perched on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. The unique charm of these villages lies in their cliffside location and vibrant hues.

Transportation Options from Milan

Travelers can reach Cinque Terre by train, allowing them to absorb the breathtaking coastal scenery during the journey.

Distance and Duration

The journey covers approximately 230 kilometers and takes around 3 hours by train.


  • Monterosso al Mare: The largest of the Cinque Terre villages, Monterosso al Mare boasts sandy beaches, medieval architecture, and a lively atmosphere.
  • Vernazza: A postcard-perfect village with a natural harbor, colorful buildings, and a castle offering panoramic views.
  • Riomaggiore: The southernmost village known for its charming streets, vibrant murals, and stunning sunsets over the Ligurian Sea.

Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands

Best Day Trips From Milan | Lake Maggiore

Overview of Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore, the second-largest lake in Italy, is a haven of tranquility nestled between the Alps and the pre-Alps. Its shimmering waters and surrounding landscapes make it a delightful day trip from Milan.

Transportation Options from Milan

Travelers can reach Lake Maggiore by train or car, with both options offering scenic routes through the Italian countryside.

Distance and Duration

The journey covers approximately 71 kilometers and takes around 2.5 hours by train or car.


  • Isola Bella: Home to a grand Baroque palace and terraced gardens, Isola Bella is a captivating island in Lake Maggiore.
  • Isola Madre: Known for its botanical gardens and historic buildings, Isola Madre is a serene retreat on the lake.
  • Stresa Town: A charming lakeside town offering picturesque views, vibrant markets, and a relaxing atmosphere.


Best Day Trips From Milan | Bergamo

Overview of Bergamo as a Day Trip Destination

Bergamo, with its blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture, is a city that unfolds its history with every step. Divided into the Città Alta (Upper Town) and Città Bassa (Lower Town), Bergamo offers a captivating journey through time.

Transportation Options

Bergamo can be reached from Milan by train or bus, each providing a convenient and scenic route.

Distance and Duration

The journey to Bergamo takes around 40 minutes by train or bus, covering approximately 51 kilometers.


  • Città Alta (Upper Town): A medieval marvel featuring cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Piazza Vecchia: The heart of Bergamo’s Città Alta, adorned with Renaissance architecture, cafes, and the Contarini Fountain.
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore: A masterpiece of Lombard Romanesque architecture, housing impressive artworks and religious artifacts.


Best Day Trips From Milan | Verona

Overview of Verona’s Historical Significance

Verona, immortalized by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” is a city steeped in history, culture, and romance. Its well-preserved medieval architecture and Roman landmarks make it a captivating day trip destination.

Transportation Options from Milan

Verona is accessible from Milan by train, providing a comfortable and scenic journey through the Italian countryside.

Distance and Duration

The journey to Verona takes around 1 to 1.5 hours by train, covering approximately 140 kilometers.


  • Juliet’s House: A historic residence with a balcony that inspired Shakespeare’s tragic love story, attracting romantics from around the world.
  • Arena di Verona: A remarkably preserved Roman amphitheater hosting world-class opera performances and events.
  • Piazza delle Erbe: Verona’s main square, surrounded by medieval buildings, vibrant markets, and the iconic Lamberti Tower.

Swiss Alps – St. Moritz

Swiss Alps - St. Moritz

Overview of St. Moritz as a Day Trip

For those seeking an Alpine adventure, St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps offers a luxurious escape surrounded by breathtaking mountain landscapes.

Transportation Options from Milan

St. Moritz can be reached from Milan by train, providing a scenic journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Swiss Alps.

Distance and Duration

The journey covers approximately 125 kilometers and takes around 3 hours to travel.


  • Engadine Valley: A pristine valley surrounded by snow-capped peaks, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and enjoying the natural beauty.
  • Lake St. Moritz: A shimmering lake where visitors can engage in water activities or simply relax and take in the breathtaking scenery.
  • Corviglia: A renowned mountain peak with panoramic views, accessible by a funicular, offering winter sports and summer hiking trails.


Best Day Trips From Milan | Pavia

Overview of Pavia

Pavia, with its rich history and architectural treasures, is a hidden gem awaiting exploration. Situated on the banks of the Ticino River, Pavia offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life of Milan.

Transportation Options from Milan

Travelers can reach Pavia from Milan by train or car, each providing a convenient and scenic journey.

Distance and Duration

The journey to Pavia takes approximately 23 minutes by train or 31 kilometers by car.


  • Certosa di Pavia: A stunning Carthusian monastery with ornate architecture, frescoes, and a peaceful cloister.
  • Piazza della Vittoria: A charming square surrounded by historic buildings, cafes, and a fountain, providing a perfect spot for relaxation.
  • Ponte Coperto: A picturesque covered bridge spanning the Ticino River, offering breathtaking views and a romantic atmosphere.


Best Day Trips From Milan | Varese

Overview of Varese

Varese, surrounded by lakes and hills, is a destination that seamlessly blends nature and culture. With its historic sites and natural wonders, Varese offers a delightful day trip from Milan.

Transportation Options from Milan

Varese can be reached by train or car, with both options providing scenic routes through the Italian countryside.

Distance and Duration

The journey to Varese takes approximately 40 minutes by train or car, covering around 49 kilometers.


  • Sacro Monte di Varese: A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a pilgrimage route, featuring chapels adorned with frescoes depicting the life of Christ.
  • Villa Panza: A neoclassical villa surrounded by beautiful gardens, housing an impressive collection of contemporary art.
  • Campo dei Fiori Regional Park: A vast natural park offering hiking trails, panoramic views, and a peaceful escape into nature.



Overview of Camogli

Located along the Ligurian coast, Camogli is a charming fishing village often overlooked by mainstream tourism. This hidden gem boasts colorful buildings, a lively waterfront, and a serene atmosphere, making it a perfect addition to your day trip itinerary from Milan.

Transportation Options from Milan

While Camogli is not directly accessible by train from Milan, a combination of train and bus or car travel is recommended. Take a train to Genoa, and from there, a short bus or car ride will lead you to the picturesque shores of Camogli.

Distance and Duration

The journey covers approximately 124 kilometers and takes around 3 hours by train and bus or car.


  • Camogli’s Waterfront: Stroll along the charming seafront adorned with pastel-colored buildings, capturing the essence of this authentic Italian fishing village.
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta: Explore the historic basilica with its distinctive Baroque architecture, offering panoramic views of the Ligurian Sea.
  • Castello della Dragonara: Visit the castle ruins that overlook Camogli, providing a glimpse into the village’s medieval past and offering breathtaking coastal views.

Planning Your Day Trips from Milan – Our Tips

Best Day Trips From Milan | Central Milan

1. Itinerary Management: Balancing Travel Time and Exploration

Planning a day trip requires a strategic approach to make the most of your time. Prioritize destinations based on proximity, grouping those with similar themes or activities together. Allocate sufficient time for travel between locations while ensuring a balance that allows for exploration and relaxation.

Pro Tip: Utilize travel apps to create a detailed itinerary, including transportation schedules, attraction opening hours, and estimated durations for each visit.

2. Transportation Reservations: Ensuring a Seamless Journey

Secure your transportation tickets in advance to avoid last-minute hassles. For train journeys, book reserved seats for added comfort and peace of mind. If opting for a rental car, confirm your reservation and familiarize yourself with parking options at each destination.

Pro Tip: Check for any travel pass options that may provide discounts on multiple journeys, offering both convenience and cost savings.

3. Best Times to Visit Each Destination

Seasonal Considerations: Weather Impacts on Experiences:
Research the best time to visit each destination, taking into account seasonal variations. Lake Como, for example, shines in spring and summer, while St. Moritz offers a winter wonderland. Consider weather preferences and the type of activities each season affords.

Pro Tip: Check local event calendars for festivals or special events that may enhance your experience during specific seasons.

4. Avoiding Crowds: Off-Peak Hours for a More Intimate Experience

To fully enjoy your day trips, aim to visit popular attractions during off-peak hours. Early mornings or late afternoons often provide a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing you to savor the beauty of each location without the crowds.

Pro Tip: Mid-week visits are generally less crowded than weekends, providing a quieter and more enjoyable experience.

Culinary Delights on the Road

1. Lake Como’s Lakeside Dining: Savory Delights with a View

Along the shores of Lake Como, indulge in lakeside dining experiences offering traditional Italian cuisine with a breathtaking view. Savor fresh seafood dishes, pasta specialties, and local delicacies at charming waterfront restaurants.

Must-Try Dish: Risotto di Pesce, a flavorful seafood risotto.

2. Venetian Seafood: Exploring Culinary Treasures Along the Canals

In Venice, immerse yourself in the city’s maritime heritage by sampling delectable seafood dishes. From Venetian-style squid ink pasta to fresh catches from the Adriatic Sea, the city’s culinary offerings are as diverse as its waterways.

Must-Try Dish: Cicchetti, small tapas-like dishes offering a variety of flavors.

Our Best Day Trips from Milan List

All in all, Milan’s strategic location allows travelers to experience a diverse array of day trips, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. You’ll get to witness the serene shores of Lake Como, the dramatic landscapes of Cinque Terre, and the cultural richness of Verona. 

These day trips provide an enriching experience for those seeking to go beyond the bustling streets of Milan. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through medieval Bergamo or an Alpine adventure in St. Moritz, the best day trips from Milan promise to unveil the hidden treasures of Northern Italy.


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