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A world-renowned capital of fashion, Milan is full of many high-end stores and restaurants. It’s also a bastion of history in northern Italy: you can even see Da Vinci’s The Last Supper at Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
But there is a world of culture, fun and gastronomic wonder just on the doorstep of stylish Milan. So much, in fact, that it would be a shame to miss it by spending all your time in the city.
To help you find the perfect day out from this urban centre, we’ve made a guide to the best day trips from Milan – from romantic sojourns for couples to family-friendly days out, there’s loads to do.
Couple that with some great train rides and day trips ideal for a budget holiday and there’s bound to be something for you. So let’s see…
Table of Contents
Head out to the mountains on this super fun day trip from Milan by train. Make the most of being in Europe and your proximity to so many amazing travel destinations and spend the day up high in the Swiss Alps. With this easy tour from Milan and you’ll have a stress free day of adventure.
Depart Milan on the high-speed train and change at Domodossola for an amazing train journey through the mountains on the Green Train of the Alps. Chug through Simplon Pass and snap pictures as you cut around gorges experiencing the beauty of the Swiss mountains.
Make a stop for lunch on the edge of Lake Thun, in the charming town of Spiez, before continuing your adventure on a steamboat!
You’ll be surrounded by the immense scenery of the lake for some amazing photo opportunities of these famous mountains reflected in the water.
Arrive at your destination and bask in the picturesque Swiss architecture as you walk around the shoreline and luxuriate in the peace and quiet among the snow capped peaks of the Alps.
Visit the iconic Lake Como and leave the city behind on this top day trip from Milan. It’s a simple matter of catching the train from Milan Cadorna station to Como Lake station, where you’ll discover the charm and elegance of this beautiful spot.
At Como itself, you’ll meet your guide and enjoy a walking tour of the town. The lake, surrounded by unspoilt landscapes, features a shoreline dotted quaint villages and grand villas – some of which date back to the Roman era.
Sat between the dramatic mountain scenery, the lake is a fashionable and chic hangout with fantastic places for lunch and a chance to do a little bit of shopping, too.
A cruise on the lake itself is the perfect way to round up this day trip from Milan by train, where you can appreciate views of the mountains from the glassy lake itself.
For fans of trains, this Milan day trip is all about the railway journey itself – prepare yourself for the beautiful landscapes rushing by your window as you recline on the train.
Starting in Milan, take a trip to Tirano where your rail adventures will begin. Depart from this picturesque town and chug through mountainous terrain as your train makes its way to Switzerland towards St. Mortiz.
Part of the iconic, UNESCO recognised Bernino Route, this is one of the most scenic rail routes in Switzerland and to this day boasts the title of the steepest railway journey in the world; the train climbs from an altitude of 429 metres to 1,829 metres above sea level, over the famous viaduct of Brusio and the Bernina Pass, across to the alpine valley of Engadin.
Taking two and a half hours, this isn’t your everyday railway journey, you’ll glaciers and whizz through incredible tunnels on one of the best day trips from Milan by train.
Easy and very affordable, a day trip from Milan to Parma is a great way to spend time outside of the sprawling northern Italian city.
Catch the train to Parma and within an hour and a half you’ll be in the city that’s famed for its food: most notably, cheese and ham. Fans of food will delight in this gastronomical city.
Spend your day here eating your way around town – you can either pedal around on a bicycle or explore on foot since there are practically no cars in the city centre.
Playing host to the oldest university in Italy, there’s a whole lot of history to discover in Parma too. Amazing palaces and monuments await, there’s the higgledy-piggledy Castle of Rocca Bianca dating back to 1400, and the amazing ducal palace – an ornate nod to Versailles.
It’s even the home of Verdi and is itself a very important centre for opera.
The perfect romantic day trip from Milan for couples, what could be better than a journey to the beautiful villages that sit nestled along the Ligurian coast?
Start your day in the south of this area in the town of Porto Venere, with its views over the sea and the iconic Bay of Poets, and proceed to see these charming villages the best way possible: from the sea itself on a cruise, of course.
Stop off at Monterosso and wander about the village for some luxurious leisurely lunching and really enjoy the dolce vita for yourself. After lunch, you can take the train to either Vernazza or Manarola for more beauty on this romantic afternoon together.
With an Italian coffee in town meet your guide and prepare yourselves for a romantic day trip from Milan for couples… all the way to Bologna.
In Bologna itself, your guide will show you around the city on a great walking tour that takes in its old medieval heart, with its romantic porticos and medieval towers. Stroll to the delightful Piazza Maggiore, a large and lively Italian square.
But of course, it wouldn’t be a day trip to Bologna without tucking into some supremely tasty food. The home of bolognese, amongst other things, you can tuck into lunch at a trattoria with a big glass of wine and some gnocco frito – a delicious fried bread.
More food comes in the form of chocolate before you hit the city again for a spot of shopping – or more food if you feel like it!
Take a luxury coach and ride in style all the way to the home of Romeo and Juliet itself, before heading on to the fabulously picturesque Lake Garda.
A fascinating day out, and an especially cute, romantic trip from Milan for couples, Verona is where you can find the house where (allegedly) Romeo and Juliet themselves courted. Stand on the iconic Juliet balcony and call out to your own Romeo. Definitely, a trip for fans of Shakespeare and literature, to be sure.
Get bewitched by the charming town of Verona itself as you wander around discovering what its winding lanes have to offer – and marvel at the Roman amphitheatre as well as the historic buildings that edge the Piazza Urbe.
Afternoon at the lake is a relaxing and romantic end to a day that’s already been full of romance; easily one of the top couples’ day trips from Milan.
Elegant architecture and engaging design await you in Pavia, the perfect place to take your partner on a romantic day trip from Milan. Drive with a knowledgeable guide all the way to the fascinating city itself, famous for its many historic monuments – there are as many as a hundred towers peeking up in the skyline and a university that dates back to 1361.
So, of course, there’s an incredible amount of things to see in Pavia. It’s packed full of medieval and Renaissance buildings, so architecture fans will love wandering around admiring the old facades of these beautiful relics. A colourful and dreamy place to spend a day trip from Milan.
And since you’re in Italy, round up this day of history and culture with a trip to rustic hamlets and rolling hills for some wine tasting in gorgeous surroundings.
Are your children, like many, fans of anything with a motor that moves? Well, then you should take a day trip from Milan to Volandia for a great day out discovering everything there is to know about aeroplanes!
The Volandia Museum Park is close to Malpensa Airport – so it’s easily reached from Milan itself. The large museum boasts a whopping 45 different aircrafts, with some especially rare and fascinating models for you and your family to wonder at: including an Italian WWII era torpedo bomber.
The museum itself is housed inside an old aeroplane factory. And Italy has its own aviation history. Just a few years after the Wright Brothers themselves started flying, Italian aviators were innovating themselves right here!
There are also a number of cars, motorbikes and models on show, plus there’s a restaurant and cafe, a playground; your kids can enjoy an exciting flight simulator.
Get your spurs on and make sure you’ve got your cowboy hat at the ready, this is going to be a super fun day trip from Milan with kids in tow. Cowboy Land is exactly what you might think it is: a theme park dedicated to the Wild West!
There are some fun rides to enjoy here, as well as some fantastic shows like shoot-outs for smaller children. On this fun family day trip from Milan, you’ll be able to meet some of the animals that call the American prairies home; your children can even ride ponies here.
When you and your family need a break for lunch (or to catch your breath!) there’s plenty of room to find a shady spot for a picnic before you let your kids loose in the fun of Cowboy Land again.
Parco la Cornelle is a zoo and amusement park in Valbrembo in the heart of Lombardy and makes for a fabulous day trip from Milan with kids. Watch as your children meet different animals and learn about the natural.
This place is well laid out (with large enclosures for the well-kept animals) and is totally geared up for being fun for little ones. There’s good information in English about the animals here, making it educational as well as fun: there are rhinos to see, as well as giraffes, lions, elephants, tigers, cheetahs and – of course – some cheeky monkeys.
There are places for picnics here, or you can opt for a spot of lunch at one of the food outlets dotted throughout the park.
Enjoy a day out with your family at a real life castle in the province of Piacenza. If your kids are castle crazy then they will love the chance to run around the turrets and tunnels of a 14th-century castle that’s straight out the pages of a storybook!
This is is an amazing place for a family day trip from Milan thanks to the incredible medieval surroundings; the place comes complete with medieval houses, all of it blanketed in history and dotted with delightful shops.
Easy to reach from Milan by car, Grazzano Visconti is a magical place to take your children. Not only is it fun for them, but for grown ups it’s quaint and relaxing – especially at Christmas time when this town plays host to atmospheric seasonal markets.
For one of the best cheap day trips from Milan, Turin is a very affordable train ride away from Milan – less than the cost of dinner! It’s relatively quick too, taking just over an hour to reach this iconic town.
This is a great day out for people looking for an easy day trip from Milan and want to spend time exploring impressive architecture in a charming, creative city. Many of the buildings in the centre were built in an array of styles, from Renaissance and Rococo to Neoclassical and Art Nouveau – it’s a real wonder for design lovers.
On top of this, there are a number of interesting art galleries to spend time wandering around, as well as elegant palaces and pleasant city parks.
Whilst you’re in Turin, try the speciality of Bicerin – a coffee layered with drinking chocolate and whole milk for a delicious and peppy afternoon pick me up!
A simple and stylish place to visit on a budget Sirmione is an easy day trip from Milan – it’s only an hour and a half away by train.
Situated on the south shores of Lake Garda, this town is a popular choice for holidaymakers. Famous for its thermal baths, this is a delightful place to spend the day and makes for a top cheap day trip from Milan.
The 13th century Scaligero Castle that sits at the entrance to the old town is an incredible medieval fortification surrounded by a moat, only entered via one of two drawbridges. There’s also the Sant’Anna della Rocca church to marvel at, amongst other storied religious structures dotted around town.
It’s also famous for its literary connections, from Catullus in the 1st century BC to James Joyce in 1920.
And of course, no trip to Sirmione would be complete without paying a visit to its renowned thermal baths. Take a dip and forget all your woes.
Get out and about for a day of shopping on this great cheap day trip from Milan. There is nothing better than bagging yourself a bargain so head out of town on a comfy coach as you spend the day at Franciacorta Outlet Village shopping until you drop.
There’s a whole load of shops to explore (160 to be exact) from big name sports brands such as Adidas and Nike as well as high-end designer labels like Calvin Klein and Braccialini and many have up to 70% off their normal prices!
Your trip will also include a VIP card which will get you an amazing 10% off at many of the outlets in the village.
Make sure you take some time out from all of the spending to get a bite to eat, and then head down the wine cellar to pick up some of the finest wine produced in the surrounding regions.
After a busy day of bargain hunting, you can make the journey back to Milan on the coach.
From super fun day trips for kids to romantic days out to the most picturesque places you can imagine, there are a lot of incredible day trips from Milan to suit everybody.
Imagine taking your children to a zoo with hundreds of exotic animals to learn about – or learning with your kids about Italy’s aviation history. Picture you and your partner sipping on wine in the rustic Tuscan countryside, or visiting Romeo and Juliet’s hometown!
With budget day trips from Milan easy to come by as well as some amazingly iconic train rides into Switzerland, there’s plenty of rail travel for anybody who’s crazy about trains, too.
We hope you’ll find something here for you. All you have left to do is book your trip to Milan and keep our handy guide in mind!
Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.