The 10 Best Day Trips From Milan

· Spoiler: One of these destinations is outside of Italy! [Updated October 2022] ·

Jul, 05, 2022

Milan is one of the biggest cities in Italy, and it is the metropolitan hub of all of northern Italy. This city is filled with majestic art and architecture and is especially known for its fashion and finance industries. While Milan is an incredible place that can fill out an entire itinerary on its own, who could blame you for wanting to get out and see more of the country by taking a day trip from Milan!

Taking a day trip from Milan is very easy to do, too, as the city is so well connected by trains, buses, and highways to all of the places on this list. From stunning nature to gorgeous cities and beautiful beaches, this list has a little bit of everything. Hopefully this blog post can inspire you to plan the perfect day trip from Milan. I’ve even included the types of people that I think would enjoy each location the most!

St. Moritz

St. Moritz via the Bernina Express Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Hikers and Skiers

St. Moritz, located just a short way across the Swiss border, is a hiker’s paradise. Located in the Swiss Alps, this ski resort town is loaded with luxury and charm. It has been a winter sports destination for over a century, and has even hosted two winter Olympics. In the winter, St. Moritz has some of the best skiing in Europe. In the summer, the snow melts and those trails clear, making way for some epic Alpine hikes.

There is no better way to experience St. Moritz than through the Bernina Express.

 While there are several ways to get to St. Moritz from Milan, there is no better way than the Bernina Express. This tourist train has panoramic windows that provide the best views of the mountain range as you chug into Switzerland. The Bernina Express starts in Italy and winds through to St. Moritz, and there are other routes that extend the journey even further into Switzerland.


Bologna Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Foodies

If you are looking for real, true, delicious Italian food, there is no better place to go than Bologna. While major cities like Rome and Milan have fantastic restaurants, Bologna is in many ways the culinary center of the country. This area is where balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, mortadella, tortellini, parmigiano reggiano, and bolognese sauce all come from. If you are seeking a true Italian culinary experience, there is simply nowhere better to go than Bologna.

Bologna is the home of balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, mortadella, & tortellini!

Bologna can be reached as quickly as an hour by train if you buy the express route, and it can take as long as three hours if you take the cheaper option. Bologna has much more to it than just food, too, with great street performers, the oldest university in the world, and some stunning architecture. For more information about visiting Bologna, be sure to read my Bologna Travel Guide.

Lake Como

Lake Como Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Those Looking to Relax in Luxury

Lake Como is one of the getaways on this list that is closest to Milan. The town of Como is less than an hour from Milan on the cheap train and will only cost you a few Euros each way. Lake Como is known for its beauty and is one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy. Surrounded by alps and frequented by the likes of George Clooney, this lake makes for a simple, stunning, and luxurious day trip from Milan.

The towns of Como and Lecco are the main gateways, but the lake is massive and lined by adorable towns. Bellagio and Menaggio are two of the more popular ones, but other towns like Nesso and Varenna are also quite popular and worth visiting. While Lake Como’s towns are most easily accessed by car, some of them are easily accessible by train, too. If you plan on visiting, make sure you read about the things we wish we knew before visiting Lake Como.

Lake Garda

Lake Garda Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Those Looking for Easy, Stunning Hikes

While Lake Como is stunning, many regard Lake Garda as the true diamond of Italy’s northern regions. Lake Como is lined by luxury and charming towns, which is what makes it special. Lake Garda, on the other hand, is more of a natural marvel and is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the nearby cities. Lake Garda is less built up and more naturally stunning than Lake Como, at least in my opinion.

This relaxed atmosphere sets the stage for easy, enjoyable hikes with stunning views. Lake Garda is located right by the city of Verona, which is very easily accessed by train from Milan. In fact, Verona cracks this list of the best day trips from Milan as well!


Verona Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Shakespeare and Theatre Lovers

Verona is one of the best under-the-radar cities in Italy, in my opinion. This stunning town is where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes place, and there are naturally some sights set up around the city to play into that. Verona also has a ton of small city charm and has one of the oldest, best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. There are performances almost every day here during the summer, including theatre, opera, orchestra, and more.

brown aqueduct concrete bridge over water in Verona Italy

Verona is the home of Romeo & Juliet.

Verona is reached in not much more than an hour via the train from Milan, making it an extremely easy and accessible day trip. The city is wonderful to explore and small enough to see the majority of in just one day.


Venice is a Great Day Trip from Milan for History Lovers and Gondola Rides

Venice is truly something. While it is over-visited, over-populated, and over-hyped, that shouldn’t detract from how great of a city this really is. I loved my time in Venice, although the prices can be exorbitant, and it has absolutely been converted into a tourist’s wonderland. Still, the architecture and art and incredible, the canals and gondolas are truly unique, and some of the restaurants here are out of this world. While it is a bit over-hyped, Venice is definitely a bucket list city for many travelers, and rightly so.

Venice is one of the furthest options on this list, without a doubt. It is several hours away on the express train, and tickets will likely cost you a pretty penny. I also think that Venice deserves much more than just one day. If you only have one day, though, you shouldn’t rule out a trip to Venice. While you won’t have time to see it all, it is at least worth seeing as much as possible and taking a gondola ride! For more information about visiting Venice, be sure to read my Venice Travel Guide.


Florence Is a Great Day Trip from Milan for Art Admirers and Those with Bad Italian Skills

Florence is another city that has the reputation of a tourist trap. Like Venice, Florence was once one of the most prominent cities in the entire world, and there are very few cities that have contributed more to European art. All of Italy’s most prominent artists – Michelangelo, Donatello, Da Vinci, and more – were either from Florence or spent formative time there. The iconic statue of David is here, along with many more things.

Florence is the most common study abroad location in Italy for American college students, and this influx of students has really Americanized the city in a lot of ways. If you aren’t all that great at Italian, Florence is one of the cities in Italy that speak the most English. People in this city are used to swarms of Americans, so you don’t need to worry about looking like an outsider. Florence can be reached in just a couple of hours by train, making it one of the best day trips from Milan. Make sure you read my Florence travel guide before you visit.


Genoa Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Seafood Lovers  

Genoa is a city that I think gets way too little credit. This city, located just north of the iconic Cinque Terre, is one of Italy’s most important industrial cities and has one of the country’s largest harbors. This city used to be extremely important to Europe as a whole, and the wealth is still on full display today.

If you like seafood, there are few better places within a day’s reach from Milan than Genoa. Located right on the Ligurian Sea, this city has extremely fresh seafood that smokes anything you’ll find in Milan. The city can be reached in just a couple of hours on the train, making it a very accessible and affordable day trip from Milan. Make sure to read my Genoa travel guide before you visit!


Portofino Is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Those Looking to Spend a Day on the Beach

Full disclosure, Lake Como and Lake Garda have great beaches, too. However, their beaches aren’t anywhere near as famous and popular as the iconic Portofino. Portofino is one of the most obviously luxurious places in all of Italy. Just take a look at the cost of staying in a hotel – it might make you faint. This has been a playground of the extremely wealthy for a very long time, and it doesn’t seem like it’ll change any time soon.

boats in the water along portofino colorful buildings in italy

With that being said, you don’t need to worry about hotel costs if you only visit for one day! Portofino has a beautiful beach and water that you’ll love to swim in. It is a bit further away from Milan than some of the other places on this list, but this is one of those places in Italy that is worth the trip, regardless of the distance.


Turin is the Best Day Trip from Milan for Egyptian History Buffs and Soccer Fans

Pop quiz: where is the biggest Egyptian History Museum in the world that isn’t located in Egypt? If you made the obvious guess of Turin, you would be correct! Turin, or Torino in Italian, is a city in the northwest corner of Italy that is really unique and intriguing, and definitely worth a visit. From the Egyptian History Museum to Cristiano Ronaldo’s former soccer team, the headquarters of Lavazza, and world-class, Olympic quality skiing slopes, Turin has a little something for everybody.

Turn is the home to the largest Egyptian History Museum outside of Europe.

Turin is only a couple of hours west of Milan by train and is absolutely worth the visit. The wide range of activities coupled with the stunning architecture of the city itself make Turin one of the best day trips from Milan, without a doubt. For more information about visiting this city, be sure to read my Turin Travel Guide.

Thanks for reading my post on the ten best day trips from Milan. Hopefully this post helps you to determine where to go if you want to take a day trip from Milan, although you might just decide to stay in the city the whole time! If you have any questions about visiting any of these places, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’ve got you covered.


Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.


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    March 15, 2023

    Hi Retha, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m happy that my post was helpful, and it means a lot that you’ve enjoyed our website!

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Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.