We arrived at Malpensa Airport very late in the evening and were very tired. I knew that we could either get a train or a bus to the city, and when we walked into the entrance hall, we saw a ticket booth selling bus tickets. I did not feel at all like looking further for the train, searching for the platform etc., so we just bought a bus ticket. It was 10€ per person, and the bus was waiting right outside, we jumped on and it left straight away.
The bus journey takes about an hour and it goes straight through to Milano Centrale, the main train station. The journey was very comfortable, and after our flight I was just happy that we didn't need to worry about anything. The only thing we didn't like was that the air condition was very strong, we were sitting in a strong draught until the driver finally turned it down. Apart from this, it was a comfortable journey!
The bus leaves every twenty minutes right outside the airport. There are also busses to other destinations, for example Linate Airport or Bergamo.
Going back to the airport in the end of our trip, we decided to take the train (after arrival, we had taken the bus). Malpensa Express leaves Milano Centrale every thirty minutes and a ticket costs 10€, the journey takes about fifty minutes. We bought our tickets at an automatic ticket machine in the airport in the morning after we had brought our luggage to the storage.
When we wanted to take the train in the late afternoon and had a look at the huge electronic information board, we were confused because there was no platform announced, it just said "16.25 Malpensa Express", and the spot where the platform should be was blank. As far as I understood when we asked staff at the train station, the train always leaves from platform 2. This platform is located on the left hand side when you arrive and it is a bit further away, so you should go there a little earlier if you have lots of luggage.
Contrary to the bus, the train has a lot of other stops in-between Milano Centrale and Malpensa Airport. Please don't be confused by reviews telling you that the train only goes to Milano Cadorna and not to Centrale - these reviews are a little older, the service has been extended in the meantime.
The train was very comfortable, there is plenty of dedicated space for all the luggage, and it was very clean and pleasant. The train arrives at terminal 1, but if you need to go to terminal 2, there is a free shuttle bus.
We flew from Cologne to Milan Malpensa with germanwings airlines. They have daily flights every evening in both directions, the duration of the flight is about one hour and sixty minutes.
I like germanwings very much, their staff is usually very friendly. There are different tariffs you can choose depending on how much luggage you take. Some tariffs include a drink and snack on board, others don't. Of course there is the usual selection of overpriced snacks that you can buy.
From Malpensa, it is easy to get to the city by train and by bus (see my other tips).
There are two more airports in the area, Linate and Orio al Serio which is closer to Bergamo.
Main photo: My first view of Italy upon arrival
Picture 2: Milan from the plane during take off to Cologne
For those traveling to Milan, you should know that there are two airports serving the city. Linate and Malpensa. Malpensa is the newest of the two airports, and it is the one I arrived in. Completed in 1998, it is a thoroughly modern airport with shops, restaurants, duty-free stores, dry cleaners and everything you could want or need in an airport. It also has excellent transportation by train or bus available for travel into the heart of Milan which is 40 minutes to 1 hr away depending on your mode of transportation. The city of Como is also roughly 30 to 45 minutes away by train.
Linate airport has the advantage of being only 7km from downtown Milan. Linate is the airport probably preferred by those whose only or primary destination is Milan, and therefore may host more intra-Italy commuters, and/or less expensive airlines.
I am not totally certain about Linate, but I know that Malpensa airport has hotels nearby which have courtesy shuttles which will pick you up or drop you off at the airport for free or the nominal cost for the driver's tip. However, for very early flight departures, make sure that your hotel's driver is available or pre-book a taxi for the time you desire.
After we landed at Malpensa we got some Euros and we were ready to head into town. We chose to take the Malpensa Shuttle bus. It cost 4.5€ and took about 50 minutes to reach the Stazione Centrale (the main railway station in Milan). The bus trip gave us an opportunity to have a first look at Italy. Malpensa airport is located a bit outside of Milan so it was nice and green driving into the city. When we reached the Stazione Centrale it was easy to see that this was maybe not the best part of town (homeless people loitering about the bus station and park in front) but the building itself is impressive. It was opened in 1931 and is 207 meter wide and 36 meter high so the entrance is quite spectacular.
Malpensa offers excellent and convenient transportation into Milan. Located on the lowest level of the airport, you will find the ticket office for the "Malpensa Express" train into the city. You can purchase a "biglietto" to Milan for 12 Euros roundtrip (2004 price). You must validate your ticket in the yellow-timestamp machine just outside of the ticket office before boarding your train and they will be checked on the train. The train has 2 seating areas--one downstairs and one up. They are both quite comfortable. Make your choice and then sit back and enjoy the ride!
Malpensa International Airport (MXP) is Milan's largest airport, located in the northern part of the city, in Busto Arsizio.
Designed by the famous Ettore Sottsass, Malpensa Airport is very modern and very well connected to the downtown through Malpensa Express railway service from Cadorna Station and Malpensa Shuttle Bus from the Central Station.
Milan has also other two smaller airports: Linate Airport (LIN) used for European and domestic flights and Orio al Serio Airport (BGY), located close to Bergamo and used by low-costs companies.
I found it very convenient and easy and cheap to ride a bus from Bergamo airport to Milano central train station. You can buy the bus ticket (about 15 USD both ways) from the Autostradale booth at the airport,it's very easy to find (on the right hand side after the exit as far as i remember); they accept credit cards;
The bus runs very often-every 30-60 min
for update on fare and schedule check out their website
The trip between Malpensa airport and the city centre is killing if travelled by bus on an Sunday afternoon.
Your options are either train or bus (or pullmann as the airport's website call the bus variant).
I experinced the train as a much more pleasant and convenient way of travelling although the 40 minutes from Malpensa to the stazione Nord cost 9,50e.
On the other hand if you like to enjoy a city tour in a bus, please help yourself, but consider some 60 minutes drive from or to the stazione Centrale -->Malpensa, but maybe you cannot expect more if the fare is 4.5e.
When you arrive to Milan Malpensa airport to go to town there are two ways by train Malpensa Express and you arrive to Milan Cadorna train station or Malpensa Shuttle the bus service and you arrive to Milan Centrale train station. It takes 1 hour aprox, there are buses every 20 minutes, on summer first bus is at 00.25 am and the next is at 3.00 am. I suggest that if you have to catch the one at 00.25 go early because this service used to be full. The open return ticket cost 12 euros and you can buy in internet or in the ticket office or bigleteria on arrivals, the stop is outside the terminal.
Una vez que llegas a Milan Malpensa para dirigirte a la ciudad puedes ir en tren que te deja en la estación de Cadorna o coger el Malpensa Shuttle que es el servicio de autobus que te lleva a la estación de tren central y que tarda 1 hora en llegar. Durante el día salen el autobús cada 20 minutos hasta la noche que se reduce el servicio, en verano el 1º autobus es las 00.25 y después a las 3 de la mañana. El billete de ida y vuelta abierta cuesta 12 euros, el billete se compra en la oficina que tiene en llegadas, justo cuando sales de coger la maleta y el control de pasaporte.
When you fly to Milano, most probably you'll land to the biggest airport - Malpensa, cca. 35 km away from Milan. Do not miss the spectacular view of the Alps stemming from the clouds! If you're lucky, you'll be landing at sunset/dusk, and the images you'll see are simply surreal... The chains of Alps covered in snow rising up from the clouds, embracing the sky and the crimson layer of the setting sun...
The easiest and the quickiest way to get to Malpensa airport, and vice versa, is by the city train express. This is Stazione Cadorna, the train station from where the train starts to Malpensa and vice versa, where the train is coming from the airport. The station is situated on Piazza Cadorna, you can't miss it coz there is a giant needle and thread monument coloured in various bright colours. The station is called Malpensa Express.
When you arrive in Malpenza Airport, you are quite far from the city center. Taking a taxi will cost more than 50 Euros and few people would be keen to pay that much money. The cheapest way to reach city center is to take the shuttle bus which operates regularly, but you have another option. Cadorna express is an express train from Malpenza airport to Cadorna train station which is in the city center. Compared to arriving in Central station with the shuttle bus, reaching Cadorna is more convenient and closer to city center. You can take metro, bus or tram to reach your destination. It costs 9 Euros and the journey takes 45 minutes. It is more comfortable than shuttle bus and if you don't need to reach somewhere close to Central station, I suggest Cadorna Express.
Milan is served by three airports:
1) Malpensa - located way outside Milan, reachable by bus, airport express train or of course by taxi. Give yourself plenty of time to get here if you are coming by road (esp. during rush hour and one Friday and Sunday evenings) as you will be travelling on the highway
2) Linate - the city airport, accessible by public bus no. 73 leaving from Piazza San Babila in town
3) Orio al Serio - it's a bit of a stretch calling this a Milan airport, although all the budget airlines sell it as such. Located in Bergamo, the shuttle bus from the airport to Milan Central Station takes between 45 minutes to an hour (it once took me 1 1/2 hours!).
Milan Malpensa Airport has two terminals
Terminal 1 is the larger of the two terminals. It handles most domestic and international flights.
Terminal 2 is mostly for charter flights plus a few international services.
To get to Malpensa by Car :
Access roads from Milan are A8, A26. A new road is planned linking the A4 Milan-Turin highway to Milan's western ring road.
Journey time is around 45-50 minutes but can be longer at peak times.