If you’re spending several days in Milan, you’ll love the following:
The city is the perfect base camp for discovering Italy and its neighbors.
Wondering where to go? On this list, you’ll find 33 ideas for day trips from Milan, Italy.
Just an hour or two away from the lively metropolis lie verdant forests, race tracks, intriguing monasteries, charming historical towns, and magnificent castles.
Foodies, history buffs, nature lovers, and music enthusiasts can choose from a wide variety of destinations.
Let’s jump right in and see what you can explore on a day trip from Milan!
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The Best Day Trips from Milan for Foodies
Italy is world-famous for its incredible cuisine. Everywhere you travel, you will devour delectable dishes. However, the following destinations are renowned not only for their unique products but also for their rich history. Let’s begin the culinary quest.
- Bologna. Home of the world’s oldest university, Bologna seduces with its countless museums, churches, and eateries. The city is popular as the birthplace of several Italian delicacies, as well as for its covered sidewalks, called porticos. Try the scrumptious tagliatelle al ragu, commonly known as pasta Bolognese, before getting lost in the Old Town’s winding streets or climbing the Two Towers. Your travel time from Milan to Bologna will be just 1:15 hours by train or 2:35 hours by car.
- Parma. For a mouthwatering experience, visit Parma on a day trip from Milan. The university city is famed for the lip-smacking Parmesan cheese and the finger-licking Parma ham. Apart from sampling local delicacies, don’t miss the frescoed Parma Cathedral and the pink Baptistery in the city center. If you want to marvel at incredible art, check out Galleria Nazionale. Located in the majestic Palazzo della Pilotta, the gallery showcases works by Correggio and Canaletto. The travel time from Milan to Parma is about 50 minutes by train and around 2:00 hours by car.
- Modena. The city is famous for its rich balsamic vinegar. The protected condiment follows a regulated recipe. It guarantees the supreme quality and taste of the balsamico di Modena. After you’re done tasting and learning the secrets of vinegar production, discover the opera heritage of Modena. The historical Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti regularly presents the works of Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini. Casa Museo Luciano Pavarotti in the former residence of the prominent tenor features costumes, photographs, and mementos. Travel to Modena from Milan by train or car. The duration of the trip is 1:15 hours and 2:20 hours, respectively.
- Reggio Emilia. Another great day trip destination for food lovers, Reggio Emilia will enchant you with its Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Lambrusco wine, and balsamic vinegar. After quenching your gastronomical cravings, satisfy your cultural thirst by exploring the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta or the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia. The cathedral features Roman floor mosaics and decorations by contemporary artists. The museums offer collections on natural history and decorative arts at five intriguing sites. You can reach Reggio Emilia from Milan by train in 1:10 hours and by car in around 2:05 hours.
- Treviso. One of the most characteristic Italian desserts originates from Treviso. According to locals, the delightful tiramisù was first prepared in Ristorante Le Beccherie. You’ll find the Michelin-starred restaurant in the Old Town. Venetian walls enclose the historic center. On the central Piazza dei Signori, you can explore the Palazzo dei Trecento, featuring ramparts and vaulted arcades. Another popular spot nearby is the Fontana delle Tette. On special occasions, this 16th-century fountain depicting a naked woman used to dispense wine. To reach Treviso from Milan, you’ll need about 3:15 hours by train or 3:20 hours by car.
The Best Milan Day Trips to Major Italian Cities
Every city in the following section deserves not just a day trip from Milan but a whole separate adventure. However, if a day is all you can spare, that’s OK, too. See which major Italian cities you can visit on a day trip from Milan below.
- Rome. The Eternal City’s history spans over 28 centuries, so don’t even think of exploring every attraction. The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses structures from Roman Times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism eras. Lush gardens, magnificent fountains, epic sculptures, and grand arenas await your adventure-thirsty eyes. The Colosseum, Basilica Papale di Santa Maria, the Trevi Fountain, and Piazza Navona are just a few of the sublime spots you can explore in the Italian capital. The travel time between Milan and Rome by train is between 3:00 and 3:30 hours. By car, you’ll need double the time, so we don’t recommend this option.
- Venice. One of the most unique cities in the world, Venice is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Out of the 177 canals that connect the isles, the most impressive one is the Grand Canal. Renaissance and Gothic palaces line both its sides. The famous central square Piazza San Marco houses the St. Mark’s Basilica, the Campanile bell tower, and the Doge’s Palace. Tour the basilica for its Byzantine mosaics, the tower for the sweeping views of the city, and the Gothic palace for its opulent interiors. Travel from Milan to Venice by train to reach the city within 2:40 hours or by car to arrive in about 3:00 hours. If you prefer to have a guide with you, book this excellent tour by clicking the link.
- Florence. The capital of Tuscany and birthplace of poet Dante Alighieri houses numerous Renaissance masterpieces. In Galleria dell’Accademia, you can marvel at Michelangelo’s David. The Uffizi Gallery displays Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and da Vinci’s Annunciation. The iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – or simply called the Duomo – dominates the historic center. Terracotta tiles adorn the Duomo’s gorgeous dome and bell tower, creating the cathedral’s unique vision. Palazzo Pitti and the adjacent Boboli Gardens offer not only art and relaxation but also sweeping panoramas over the city. You can reach Florence from Milan in under 2:00 hours by train or in 3:40 hours by car.
- Turin. The capital of Piedmont will captivate you with its chic architecture and scrumptious cuisine. The city boasts grandiose Baroque buildings and traditional cafés. Wide boulevards and splendid squares dissect the center. Roam the striking Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo before sitting at one of the countless trattorias to sample local antipasti and tagliolini with taleggio cheese and black truffle. Film fans should visit the extraordinary National Cinema Museum, located in a monumental 19th-century tower. The travel time between Milan and Turin is around 1:15 hours by train and 2:00 hours by car.
- Genoa. As a port city and capital of Liguria, Genoa has been an important maritime trade center through the centuries. In the Old Town, you can explore the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. The Romanesque edifice attracts with its striped façade in black-and-white and its vibrant frescoed interior. Get lost in the narrow alleys, which lead to airy squares, such as the central Piazza de Ferrari. Don’t miss checking out the stunning bronze fountain in the middle and the nearby opera house Teatro Carlo Felice. Your travel time from Milan to Genoa will be approximately 1:30 hours by train and 2:15 hours by car. You can also join a tour and discover Genoa plus Portofino in a day.
The Best Day Trips from Milan to the Alps
The magnificent Alps offer a ton of heart-pumping activities and staggering views to sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. You can travel from Milan to several Italian and Swiss destinations in Europe’s most famous mountain range.
- Bergamo. The town at the foot of the Alps entices with its medieval historic center, Città Alta, on top of a hill. Venetian walls encircle the cobblestone streets, which host the Neoclassical Duomo di Bergamo, the Romanesque Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and the 15th-century Cappella Colleoni. Expect to marvel at ornate marble exteriors, lavishly gilded interiors, gigantic tapestries, and vibrant frescoes. You can reach Bergamo from Milan in 48 minutes by train and 1:00 hour by car.
- Como. The postcard-perfect city at the southern tip of Lake Como captivates with its scenic views, posh Renaissance villas, Gothic cathedral, striking waterfront promenade, and funicular railway. Explore the Museo Didattico della Seta to learn the history of Como’s silk industry. Then, visit Tempio Voltiano Museum, dedicated to the inventor of the electrical battery – the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta. After you’ve roamed the streets of Como, take the funicular up the mountain to Brunate for breathtaking panoramas of Lake Como. You can reach Como from Milan by train in 40 minutes and by car in 1:00 hour.
- Bellagio. Another gorgeous town at the shores of Lake Como, the resort town Bellagio enthralls with its cobbled streets and elegant buildings. The most prominent one is Villa Serbelloni. Antique furniture fills its elegant rooms, but the highlight is the lush park. The huge, 18th-century terraced garden boasts exotic plants and sweeping lake vistas. Other attractions in Bellagio include the exhibition center Tower of the Arts, the Romanesque San Giacomo Church, the rocky Loppia Beach, and the intriguing Museum of Navigational Instruments. The travel time from Milan to Bellagio is 1:35 hours by car. There is no train option, but you can join this excellent tour.
- Garda. The town on the shores of the largest Italian lake, Lake Garda, is one of the smallest towns in the province of Verona. The intact historical center houses several intriguing sights. The 16th-century Villa degli Albertini invites with its massive park, full of magnolia trees. Palazzo dei Capitani is a 14th-century yellow edifice built in the Venetian Gothic style. The Renaissance Palazzo Carlotti hosts a small but charming art gallery. Several scenic spots on the town’s outskirts offer astonishing vistas of the lake. You can reach Garda from Milan by train in around 2:00 hours or by car in 2:15 hours. Alternatively, join this great small-group tour and visit not only Lake Garda but also the vibrant Verona.
- Desenzano del Garda. You can trace the history of the resort on the shore of Lake Garda back to the 1st century. The remains of the Villa Romana prove that the town was an important site for the Roman Empire. The archaeological site is 2,000-years-old and features elaborate mosaic floors. The medieval hilltop castle Castello di Desenzano del Garda was built to withstand Barbarian invasions. Nowadays, it offers sweeping views of the lake. The Rambotti Archaeological Museum occupies a former convent and displays prehistoric objects. The trip from Milan to Desenzano del Garda takes about 50 minutes by train and 1:40 hours by car.
- The Borromean Islands. Located at the border between Italy and Switzerland, the stunning Lake Maggiore is home to the fascinating Borromean Islands. Three islands and two islets comprise the archipelago. To reach them, you first need to travel to the town of Stresa on the shores of the lake. From there, a scenic hop-on hop-off boat tour will charter you around the main islands. Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Madre host opulent palaces, symmetrical Italian gardens, and quant fishing villages. Your travel time from Milan to Stresa will be 1:00 hour by train or 1:30 hours by car.
- Aosta. The town is the gateway to the Aosta Valley, a beloved Alpine ski area. It’s located near the French border, at the entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Several medieval castles, including Cly Castle, Saint-Pierre Castle, and Fénis Castle, dot the valley. For winter sports enthusiasts, there are 510 mi (822 km) of slopes and 174 ski lifts waiting. The most popular spots are Courmayeur, Cervinia, and Champoluc. We recommend traveling to Aosta from Milan by car You’ll reach the town in 2:15 hours and you can continue exploring the area.
- Saint Moritz, Switzerland. The luxury alpine resort is a winter sports wonderland. It has hosted the Winter Olympics twice – in 1928 and 1948. You can exploit several of the facilities, built for the best athletes in the world. Slide the unique bobsled Cresta Run, which is made of natural ice, or show your moves at the outdoor Olympic ice-rink. Ski and snowboard enthusiasts can go nuts on 96 mi (155 km) of ski slopes, while cross-country skiers have 143 mi (230 km) of trails to enjoy. Off the pistes, check out the Segantini Museum. The Italian painter is best known for his Symbolist images of nature. If you travel by car, you’ll reach St. Moritz from Milan in 3:15 hours. The train journey takes too long to consider it for a one-day trip. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour.
- Lugano, Switzerland. The city stands on the northern shore of the glacial Lake Lugano, surrounded by mountains. You can spot its Swiss-Mediterranean mix of cultures in the architecture and cuisine. Pastel-colored, Neoclassical townhouses encircle the main square, Piazza della Riforma. Visit the imposing Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the elaborate Church of Santa Maria degli Angioli, and the intricate Church of San Rocco, as well as the contemporary art gallery Museo Cantonale d’Arte and the natural history museum Gabinetto di storia natural. Nature lovers can wander in Parco Ciani and on the scenic lakeside promenade. The trip duration from Milan to Lugano is 1:15 hours by train and 1:30 hours by car. You can also book a tour and explore Lake Como and Lugano in a day.
- Interlaken, Switzerland. The mountain resort in the Swiss Alps occupies a narrow stretch between the emerald-colored Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Traditional timber houses and stone churches dot the streets. The surrounding mountains boast with thick forests, alpine meadows, and crystal glaciers, as well as countless hiking and skiing trails. A funicular railway will take you to a mountain viewing deck. There, you can sample traditional local dishes while taking in the jaw-dropping panoramas. Travel to Interlaken from Milan by train 3:00 hours as the car journey takes too long. If you prefer to avoid planning the trip yourself, join this fantastic guided tour by clicking the link.
The Best Milan Day Trips to Quant Historical Towns
History buffs and nature lovers will love exploring these picturesque destinations on a day trip from Milan. From romantic balconies to rugged cliffs, and from walled cities to university towns, let’s dive right in.
- Verona. The city is most popular as the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The balcony on a 14th-century building in the medieval Old Town is believed to be the one where Juliet stood while Romeo proclaimed his love. Apart from the Old Town, you can also explore the Verona Arena, a massive Roman amphitheater. It continues to hold concerts and large-scale opera performances even today. Your travel time from Milan to Verona will be approximately 1:20 hours by train and 2:00 hours by car. Alternatively, join this awesome tour and explore not only Verona but also the scenic Lake Garda.
- Cinque Terre. The coastal Five Lands area comprises of several picturesque historical villages. They are famous for their vibrant houses, steep vineyards, rugged coastline, fishing boat harbors, and seafood trattorias. Paths, trains, and boats connect the villages. You can only reach them by car from the outside via narrow, winding roads. If you wish to visit all five towns, take the Sentiero Azzurro hiking trail. It links the villages and offers breathtaking views of the Italian Riviera. Check the current condition of the trail for landslides and closures before starting the hike. Traveling from Milan to Cinque Terre takes between 3:00 and 3:30 hours by train and around 3:30 hours by car. The best way to explore the stunning region is by joining this wonderful small group tour.
- La Spezia. The port city La Spezia is adjacent to Cinque Terre and just as scenic. It boasts several interesting museums. In the Technical Naval Museum,you can explore a 19th-century maritime arsenal featuring ship models and navigational instruments. An archaeological museum occupies the hilltop St. George’s Castle and houses artifacts from the dawn of time to the Middle Ages. In the Amedeo Lia Museum, housed in a former convent, you’ll discover an art exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and miniatures. You can reach La Spezia from Milan in 3:05 hours by train or in 2:50 hours by car.
- Brescia. The city’s highlight is the San Salvatore – Santa Giulia complex. The former monastery at the outskirts of the town features a basilica, a museum, and cloisters. Another noteworthy attraction is the Brescia Castle. The fortification stands on Cidneo Hill and has a drawbridge and ramparts. You can reach Brescia from Milan in 40 minutes on average by train and in 1:25 hours by car.
- Padua. The University of Padua, established in 1222, still pulls a young crowd to the arcaded streets and chic cafés of the Old Town. Marvel at the frescoes by Giotto in the 14th-century Scrovegni Chapel or explore the gigantic 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony. The Byzantine basilica contains prominent artworks and the saint’s tomb. You can reach Padua from Milan in 2:10 hours by train and in about 3:00 hours by car.
- Vicenza. The city attracts with its stylish 16th-century buildings, designed by Andrea Palladio. Explore the Palladian Basilica, the Palazzo Chiericati, and the Teatro Olimpico. Then, visit the architect’s masterpiece, the hilltop Renaissance Villa La Rotonda. The UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts four staggering, symmetrical façades. The travel time between Milan and Vicenza is 1:50 hours by train and 2:25 hours by car.
- Pavia. Another city, known for its centuries-old university, Pavia charms with its museums and rich history. The University of Pavia, established in 1361, is worth traveling to for its History Museum and Botanical Garden. The museum’s collection features scientific and medical equipment, dating back to the Middle Ages. At the garden, the countless breath-taking roses and medicinal plants will enchant you. Don’t miss exploring Certosa di Pavia, a Renaissance monastery complex, too. The site features incredible sculptures and frescoes. You can reach Pavia from Milan within 25 minutes by train or 1:00 hour by car.
- Varese. The city is best-known for its Art Nouveau villas, surrounded by nature. Campo dei Fiori Natural Park on the outskirts of Varese hosts the 17th-century Sacro Monte di Varese complex. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes 15 chapels decorated with paintings and frescoes. The elegant Baroque Estense Palace in the city center attracts with its staggering landscaped gardens. And if you wish to enjoy a more active day, the Lake of Varese invites bikers to cycle its paths. The ride to Varese from Milan will take you approximately 1:00 hour by train or car.
- Ravenna. An unmatched vibe pours from the radiant mosaics that adorn the buildings in the center of Ravenna. The must-see structures include the Byzantine Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the octagonal Basilica di San Vitale, and the cross-shaped Mausoleo di Galla Placidia. Another notable attrition is the Gothic Mausoleo di Teodorico. The stone tomb with a monolith dome contains the remains of King Theodoric the Great. You can reach Ravenna from Milan within 2:40 hours by train and 3:15 hours by car.
- Piacenza. The city’s history spans over many centuries. This means you can see remains of the Roman Empire, as well as medieval and modern structures throughout Piacenza. The main attractions include several lavish palaces with fabulous gardens. Explore the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale and the 16th-century Palazzo Farnese for their intricate façades and incredible frescoes. In the central Piazza Cavalli, admire the astonishing Piacenza Cathedral and take a photo with the two gorgeous equestrian statues. You can reach Piacenza from Milan in 50 minutes by train and in 1:15 hours by car.
- Cremona. Since the 16th century, Cremona has been an important musical instrument manufacturing center. The most popular are the violins of the Amati, Ruggeri, Guarneri, and Stradivari families. Due to their exceptional work, the violin craftsmanship of Cremona is included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. At the Violin Museum, you can marvel at the striking Stradivarius collection. On Piazza del Comune, visit the Cremona Cathedral and the Torrazzo bell tower. An intricate astronomical clock adorns the tower. The travel time between Milan and Cremona is around 1:10 hours by train and 1:40 hours by car.
The Best Day Trips from Milan for High-speed Fans
Italy is world-renowned for manufacturing some of the best sports cars in the world. If you love a high-speed adrenaline kick, the following day trip ideas from Milan are perfect for you. However, remember that racing on the Italian Autostrade (highways) is never a good idea.
- Monza. The easiest and fastest day trip destination from Milan is the home of the legendary racetrack, Monza Circuit. Apart from it, the city also seduces with its frescoed Teodolinda Chapel and a 16th-century bell tower. The Neoclassical Royal Villa of Monza stands on the border of the extensive Monza Park and is also worth exploring. The travel time from Milan to Monza is only 15 minutes on average by train and 40 minutes by car.
- Maranello. The sleepy town near Modena is home to the world-famous Ferrari and its Formula 1 racing team, Scuderia Ferrari. Similar to Monza, Maranello is a must-visit day trip destination from Milan for all high-speed fans. You can even test drive a Ferrari 458. If that’s too hair-raising for you, check out Museo Ferrari. It showcases trophies, photographs, and other objects, dedicated to the brand’s history. The highlight is the massive collection of Ferrari road and track cars. You can travel from Milan to Maranello in 2:30 hours by train or 2:25 hours by car.
There You Have it – the 33 Best Day Trips from Milan
Although there’s a ton of (free) things to do in Milan, you might want to explore outside the city’s limits.
Italy is full of great destinations, and these 33 day trips from Milan prove it.
Whether you’re a fan of race cars, delectable cuisine, historical places, or breath-taking nature, we’re sure you can fill your itinerary with a ton of exciting destinations.
Pick a few for your next visit, and don’t forget to have fun!
Now, tell us:
Which day trip are you going to make next time you’re in Milan?
Or maybe you’ve already explored some of the places on the list?
Either way, let us know in the comments below.