Milan is a major city in Italy and because it’s really well-connected to the rest of the country, Europe and the world. For this reason, it is often the first stop on a longer trip to Italy. The incredible web of transportation transportation in Milan includes plane and train routes that connect it to many cities and towns around the country. No matter where you want to go in Italy, you’ll find an easy way to get there from Milan and that includes the world-renowned Cinque Terre region.
While Pisa Airport is definitely the best choice if you want to travel to the Cinque Terre, should you already be in Milan, or should you be flying into Milan specifically, you will have plenty of options to make your way there. In this post, I share all the available options to get to Cinque Terre from Milan – pick the one that mosts suits your travel needs and budget!
How To Get To Cinque Terre From Milan
How to get to Cinque Terre from Milan by train
Train travel is fast, safe and comfortable and it’s one of the best ways that you can use for travel to Cinque Terre from Milan. This is also one of the cheaper ways to travel. The train from Milan to Cinque Terre departs from Milan Stazione Centrale, so if you are staying in the city you’ll just have to make your way there. If you are landing in one of the airports in Milan, you’ll need to get to the central station to continue your journey to one of the Cinque Terre villages.
Below are all the options you have to travel from Milan to Cinque Terre by train, depending on your location.
From Milano Centrale Station
The Trenitalia Intercity Train directly connects Milan Central Train Station to Monterosso al Mare and this trip takes approximately three hours. The first direct train departs at 8:05 am and there is a total of six direct trains throughout the day.
Tickets for this train start at €14,90, depending on how far in advance you book and on what time of day you opt to travel.
If you’re unable to catch a direct train to Cinque Terre, there are other routes available that require one or more transfers before reaching your destination. On one of these indirect routes, you’ll either make a connection at Genoa, Levanto, La Spezia, or Sestri Levante and the duration of these trips varies, depending on how many changes you have to make.
Make sure to also read my post The Best Guide To Monterosso Al Mare.
From Milan Airports
If you fly into Milan and wish to go directly to Cinque Terre, keep in mind that the city is home to three different airports and you’ll need to make your way from whichever airport you land at to Milan Central Train Station where you’ll catch a train to your final destination in the Cinque Terre.
Below are the various options that are available to get to the train station from each airport.
From Malpensa Airport
Malpensa Airport is a hub for intercontinental flights so if you’re flying from outside of Europe, this is likely the airport you’ll be landing in. Milan Central Train Station is approximately 50 miles (31 kilometers) from this airport. If you land in Malpensa (MXP) you have several options to get to Milan Central Station.
The Malpensa Express Train travels between terminals one and two at Malpensa Airport, and Milan Central Train Station regularly during the day, and the trip takes about an hour. Direct trains operate from 5:43 am to 10:53 pm; whereas indirect train are available until 11:56 pm.
A one-way ticket for this route costs €13.
Buses travel between Malpensa Airport and Milan Central Train Station every 20 to 30 minutes. The Malpensa Bus Express and Terravision offer service on this route and the trip takes approximately 60 minutes. The first bus departs at 5:45 am and the last one leaves the airport at 1:00 am.
The average cost of a bus ticket is €10.
The Malpensa Shuttle takes passengers from Malpensa Airport to Milan Central Train Station every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends and the trip takes about 10 minutes. The price for this service is €10.
By Private Transfer
There are various companies offering private transfer services between Malpensa Airport and Milan Central Train Station. You can usually get to your destination in 40 to 60 minutes using this method but you’ll pay a lot more with prices starting at €105.
Taking a taxi from Malpensa Airport to Milan Central Train Station is the most convenient way to travel as you won’t be tied to a timetable, but also one of the more expensive. There is a flat fee of €104.
From Linate Airport
Linate Airport is where you’ll likely land if you’re traveling from within Italy or another country in Europe and the distance between this airport and Milan Central Train Station is about 4 miles (7 kilometers). You have several ways to get from Linate Airport to Milan Central Station.
By Direct Shuttle
A bus service run travels daily between Linate Airport and Milan Central Train Station every hour between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, and every two hours until 8:30 pm. This journey takes about 25 minutes and costs €7.
Taking a taxi from Linate Airport to Milan Central Train Station is the quickest way to travel between the two places as the trip only takes about 20 minutes. Expect to pay between €30 and €40.
By Private Transfer
The best way to travel between this airport and the train station without hassle is by private transfer. It costs from €48 upwards.
You can book your private transfer from Milano Linate Airport to the station here.
From Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport
Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport is a hub for budget airlines and depending on what airline you use to fly into Milan, this could also be one of the airports you land at. The distance between this airport and Milan Central Train Station is about 30 miles (49 kilometers).
By Bus or Shuttle
The Orio Shuttle is one of the easiest ways to travel from Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport and Milan Central Train Station. Shuttles are available at regular intervals from midnight to 11:15 pm.
This direct journey takes about 50 minutes and a ticket is €12.
Alternatively, you can opt for a bus operated by other companies such as Terravision, Autostradale and Flixbus. Terravision buses every 30 minutes from about 5:00 am to about 1:00 am (the timetable changes seasonally) to for just €10.
You can also opt to catch the public bus from the airport to Bergamo train station, from where you can catch a train to Milan Central Station.
To book your bus from Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport to Milan Central Station, click here.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get from Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport is by taxi but it’s also one of the more expensive ways. Expect to pay around €110.
By Private Transfer
If you prefer to travel in comfort without the hassles that go with other modes of transportation, traveling by private transfer is a great way to get from one place to another. The trip from this airport to Milan Central Train Station takes about 55 minutes. A private transfer from Orio al Serio Airport to Milan Central Station costs about €110.
You can book your private transfer here.
How to get Cinque Terre from Milan by car
If you enjoy having the freedom of cruising the open road and going where you want, when you want, you may be thinking that renting a car and driving yourself to Cinque Terre is the best option. Stop right here though! The reality is that having a car in the Cinque Terre region is not a walk in the park – in fact, it’s much more of a nightmare than you may think!
I wholeheartedly recommend that you do not travel to the region with a rental car because the driving can be overwhelming for anyone who is not familiar with the roads and driving conditions in Italy, and even more so with the narrow, windy roads of the Cinque Terre region.
Parking is also a nightmare in the Cinque Terre villages and the narrow streets are frustrating to navigate – that’s when they are open to non-residents that is! (And that is hardly ever the case). Only two of the villages have parking for non-locals and they are Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore.
If you do rent a car, it’s best to rent one directly from the airport in Milan. The drive there will take at least three hours and maybe longer if there’s a lot of traffic.
If you have a car, you may also want to consider basing yourself outside of the Cinque Terre area in a nearby town such as La Spezia or Levanto so you can also explore these wonderful places. You can always leave your car at your base and travel to Cinque Terre on the train or ferry.
Check out the prices of car rental in Italy here.
Day trips to Cinque Terre from Milan
Let me start by saying I don’t really recommend going to Cinque Terre from Milan on a day trip: there are many places that are closer and easier to reach, and the Cinque Terre deserve way more time than just a day.
Make sure to read my post The Best Day Trips From Milan.
If you still want to do it, and if you prefer to travel in a group and have activities and stops organized by someone else, a guided tour is a great way to experience Cinque Terre. There are several companies running a variety of these guided tours from Milan.
The best part about traveling with a guided tour is you know you’ll be safe, you won’t get lost and you won’t have to worry about bus and train transfers, line-ups and fumbling about for tickets between stops. Everything is done for you and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sights!
Every tour is different in terms of what’s included and the one you choose will depend on your budget, your activity level and how long you wish to tour the area.
While all the tours include seeing each of the five Cinque Terre villages and their top attractions, some of the tours also include sailing trips, hiking adventures, or dinner.
You can book your guided tour from Milan to Cinque Terre here.
You should also read my posts The Perfect Day Trip To Cinque Terre From Florence and Where To Stay In Cinque Terre.
How to get to Cinque Terre from Milan by bus
There are no direct buses to Cinque Terre from Milan and while this is a very cheap solution to travel, I actually don’t recommend it as it’s quite time consuming. Indeed, if you wish to take a bus from the airport, you’ll only be able to go as far as Genoa or Sestri Levante. Once there, you’ll have to take a train to your final destination – and possibly change again to get there.
The trip by bus to Genoa takes about one hour and 45 minutes. If you go all the way to Sestri Levante, the trip will take approximately 2.5 hours.
Taking the train from Genoa to Cinque Terre will take about one hour and 10 minutes – that’s if you go to Monterosso, which is the first stop. In some cases, you may even need to transfer at La Spezia before heading on to the actual Cinque Terre villages. The price of the train from Genoa to Monterosso starts at €9.90.
It takes about 30 minutes to travel by train from Sestri Levante to Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre and the starting price of a ticket on this route is €6.90.
If you are planning a trip to the Cinque Terre, these other posts may be useful:
- A Guide To Hiking The Cinque Terre
- A Quick Guide To Manarola
- A Useful Guide To Vernazza
- A Short Guide To Riomaggiore
- Is The Cinque Terre Card Worth It?
- The Best Restaurants In Cinque Terre