Europe · Food · Sightseeing

 5  Must make day trips from Milan 

Milan- a beautiful metropolitan city – always bustling with people. Which I love, but sometimes you just need a break and an escape. Which is easy done with Milan’s high-speed train hub and with its array of picturesque destinations only a short distance from the centre! Personally, I prefer my day trips to involve less than two hours in transit overall. From Milan, that will get you to a number of destinations. Here are my tried and tested DIY day trips from Milan! 

Genoa/ Genova

Genoa – The city of Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is home to Italy’s largest port and is a popular starting point for Mediterranean cruises. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of former stately palaces (many of which are museums), Europe’s second-largest aquarium, and a waterfront promenade that simply begs for a stroll. Genoa is roughly 1 hour one-way from Milan by train. We visited in April 2016, perfect weather and not too busy! Be prepared to queue for the Aquarium but it is so worth it! 


 The old city  in Bergamo is where you want to be , high on the hill overlooking the modern city. It’s called the Città Alta (High City), with medieval streets and buildings and 17th century walls surrounding it that are stunning! A perfect place for a peaceful Sunday stroll. Bergamo is just under 50 minutes one-way from Milan on the train, and then you can take the number 1 bus from the train station to the Città Alta or walk to the funicular at the base of the hill and ride that to the top. We visit in February 2016. 


Monza is a short 20 minute journey one way. The attractive historical centre is pedestrianized  and there is a wide range of shopping, including a lively market. Just outside the city centre is the entrance to the famous Park, where you will find the former Royal Palace and the motor racing circuit that is home to the Italian Grand Prix. We visited in Apr 16


The Roman town of Como, on the lake with the same name, is just an hour away. Lago di Como – The inverted Y-shaped lake on which George Clooney chose to make his Italian home, Lago di Como, is ringed by postcard-perfect villages and steeply-sloping green hills. In nice weather, you can even see Alps in the distance. The town of Como at the southwestern tip of the lake is beautiful for a day of walking, shopping and visiting the duomo. We visited in Nov 15.


Few places are as romantic as Lake Como, and even fewer resorts as beautiful as Bellagio. Called the “Pearl of the Lake”, Bellagio’s world class hotels and restaurants provide the perfect place to soak up the lake’s famous panorama. The village is characterised by century-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways . 45 minutes by train to Varenna and then a 15 minute ferry ride will easily get you to this beautiful town! 

Where have you visited as a day trip from Milan in less than an hour ? Would you add any of these to your list ? 


38 thoughts on “ 5  Must make day trips from Milan 

  1. Hi there, I live in Milan and the one-day trips you selected are among the nicest ones indeed! For future trips I suggest you some of my favourites: Stresa (Maggiore Lake): first stop on the train to Tirano (Switzerland) from Centrale Station in Milan; also check Pavia (yo may get there by bike too!): very nice University town, one of the most ancient in Italy. Thank you for your nice and interesting blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I would like to visit all of these places! I would especially like to go to Como and see the Alps. But I have never been to Milan! In Italy, I have only traveled in Rome. I will definitely make a point to visit Milan sometime soon.


  3. Such beautiful photos and I agree — Milan is beautiful. 😀 Been there with my boyfriend for a conference in 2011. I miss my time spent there, even though it was only 5 days. I hope to visit the other places in your list, too, especially Como, because I have a friend there!

    ~ Luana /


  4. Bookmarking this! Italy is in my bucketlist and perfect timing that I am reading this now. I am currently planning my backpacking trip to Spain, South of France and Italy this Sept-Oct. Keeping my fingers crossed for my visa application! Wish me luck!


  5. Oh wow I so wish I would have seen this a few months back when we were in Milan. Looks like some great destinations away from the packed city. Thanks for sharing and gorgeous pictures!


  6. I’m off to Italy in a few weeks time and loved your post! I should definitely be in the north for some time (i’ll be staying with host families) but I will have some time off work to explore, I really want to visit the lakes!!!


  7. Great tips. Last time I was in Milan I went to Varallo – Il Sacro Monte di Varallo. It was a really nice trip and the area is beautiful. I also visited Lago d’Orta.


  8. Lake Como was spectacular! I usually don’t return to the same place more than once, but Lake Como is a place I long to return to! I’d love to spend a month there, slowly exploring every single wonderful medieval village along the shore!


  9. Hi! Thanks for the great advice, I am going to Milan in August and we plan on going to Como, and now maybe one of these other lovely places you have described! I was just wondering, which trains did you take and when did you book your tickets? Is there a difference in price if you book earlier versus the day of? Thanks!


    1. Como town 🙂 or to Varenna and from there you can travel to all the places in lake Como ! We got tickets the day of, but if you’re going further afield then I’d say book before to save price 😉 enjoy !


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