A Simple Guide to Milan Airports

For most visitors, Milan airports will be the first port of call. In this post, we try to summarise all there is to know about Milan’s three airports; getting there and away, what there is to do, sleeping and wifi info!

Milan Airports – how to choose

Milan has three airports, which is quite a lot for a relatively small city. One the most common questions we get from readers is ‘what airport should we choose?’ Let me tell you, there is no quick and easy answer here. It all depends on your needs, on where you are staying, on what you want to do and where you’re flying from.

So, here they are!

#1 Milan Linate (LIN)

Milan Linate is the closest airport to the city centre, only 8 km away. It’s a small airport; as such you will only find short-haul destinations (mostly Italy and Europe) and mostly flights operated by national carriers such as Alitalia, Air France and Lufthansa, with a few low-cost Easyjet flights.

alitalia plane milan linate
An Alitalia plane on the runway at Linate. Photo Credits Wikimedia Commons

All in all, Linate is definitely the most convenient airport for the city centre, but flights to/from Linate tend to be more expensive compared to other airports.

Getting there and back

Getting to Linate is super-easy. From just behind the Duomo you can catch bus number 73 straight to Linate, just with a normal €1.50 ticket or any valid public transport pass (check our public transport post for more info).

Bus 73 runs every day from 6 to midnight, getting to the airport in about 30 mins, and it runs approximately every 10 minutes in peak hour. Remember you cannot buy a ticket on the bus, but there are machines in both Linate and Duomo metro station.

To Centrale station, you can use the Air Bus, running from 6am to 11pm – urban tickets are not allowed on board this bus, you can buy a special €5 ticket directly from the driver.

A taxi will take you to and from the city centre for about €20/25 on the meter. You can catch one at the taxi ranks outside Linate (just follow the queue!) in several locations in the city centre, or ask your hotel to call one. Beware of unofficial taxis touting for business outside the airport.

If you want the easy option, book a private transfer straight to your hotel – if there’s more than two of you, it’s cheaper than a taxi!

What to do in the airport

Being a small airport, there isn’t much to do. There are a few shops and cafés/fast foods both before and after security; a couple of stores selling electronics, some Italian brands, pizza and sandwich bars. Nothing to write home about. If  if you’re leaving during the day, you’ll be better off doing your shopping in Milan as there’s a much wider choice.

linate milan airport
Linate at dusk

There is a small supermarket after security where you can pick up some groceries, and if you’re really craving some food, your best bet will be sandwich bar ‘Il Panino Giusto’

Wifi info

Linate is managed by SEA Aeroporti Milano, offering free internet connection at a speed of 512 Kbps without registering, and 2Mbps if you register on their portal (still free of charge). For faster speed you need to pay a fee – see here for more info.

milan airports linate
If you’re bored, you can watch the planes!

Sleeping in Linate Airport

There are no hotels in the terminal itself. Some of the hotels located nearby offer free shuttle service from 6am to 11pm, and Air Hotel also offers day rooms.

If you want to sleep in the airport itself, there are several hard-backed rows of seats. Security shouldn’t bother you, but cleaning staff might.

For more info, check the official Linate website!

Hotels near Linate Airport

#2 Milan Malpensa (MXP)

Malpensa is Milan’s largest airport. It’s over 50 km from the city centre and 40 km to Rho Fiera. It will definitely be your destination of you’re on a long-haul flight, and it’s also the hub of choice for several low cost airlines including Wizzair, Easyjet and Vueling. It has two terminals; Terminal 2 is Easyjet and Wizzair’s kingdom, Terminal 1 is for everything else.

malpensa mountains takeoff
Taking off at Malpensa – Photo Credits Wikimedia Commons

Getting there and back

There are two options: bus or train. Buses are more convenient for Terminal 2 (for Easyjet and other low-cost carriers) – they run 24 hours a day from the right hand-side of Centrale station.

There are two companies, Autostradale and Malpensa shuttle, offering the same price (€10 one way, €16 return) and similar service, with an intermediate stop at Fieramilano. You can also catch a bus directly to Rho Fiera with either company.

Travel time is 50 mins to Terminal 2 and just over an hour to terminal 1.

Trains travel directly to the station located under Terminal 1 from Cadorna station (express service, 30 mins – €12) and Centrale and Garibaldi station (from 45 mins to 1 hour, depending on stops – €10).

Taxis charge an absolute fortune – the set fare that should be applied is €100, and many will try to over charge by going on the meter. Prebook a transfer (just a bit more expensive than a taxi!) or take a bus or train to save yourself pennies and a headache!

Malpensa Airport aerial view
Aerial view of Malpensa – Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons

What to do in the airport

Being a larger airport, Malpensa has a wider choice of shops and restaurants than Linate. There are some Italian luxury brands, a large duty-free, electronics and accessory shops. In terms of food, there are the usual fast-foods, cafés and sandwich bars and two interesting choices at Terminal 1; Obica, a mozzarella bar, and Davide Oldani Café by the celebrity chef of the same name.

Wifi info

Same as Linate, Malpensa is managed by SEA Aeroporti Milano, offering free internet connection at a speed of 512 Kbps without registering, and 2Mbps if you register on their portal (still free of charge). For faster speed you need to pay a fee – see here for more info.

Sleeping info

Sheraton is the only hotel connected to Terminal 1, while  shuttle service available to both terminals.

If you need to sleep inside, opt for Terminal 1 that has much more space and more comfortable sleeping surfaces than Terminal 2. You can catch a free shuttle bus between one terminal and the other.

For more info, check the official Malpensa website!

Hotels near Malpensa Airport

#3 – Milan Bergamo – Orio al Serio (BGY)

Hang on. This one isn’t even in Milan! Bergamo airport is located near the town of the same name, 50 km east of Milan. However, it has become known as ‘Milan Bergamo’ thanks to low cost airlines (Ryanair first and foremost) that use it as their hub of choice. Tickets to Bergamo are usually cheaper than Linate or Malpensa, and good connections to the city make this airport a good choice, especially for budget travellers.

bergamo airport outside
Bergamo Airport outside

Getting there and back

Head over to the right-hand side of Centrale station and you’ll find loads of buses to Bergamo airport. You can choose between three companies; Autostradale, Orio Shuttle and Terravision, all offering the same fare (€5 one-way, €8 return) and similar service, reaching the airport in about one hour, and all running 24 hours.

Forget taxis – they will go by the meter as there are no set fares, and it will cost you an arm and a leg. Honestly, trust your friend Margherita and take the bus.

What to do in the airport

Bergamo used to be the worst airport in the whole wide world, but it’s improved a lot in recent years. Now you can find a selection of fashion, food, book and electronics stores, a small duty-free, some cafés and places to eat. It’s definitely no Changi but it’s much better than it was five years ago, if you get the message.

bergamo airport snow
Bergamo airport in the snow – Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons

Wifi info

You can use the wifi for free by logging to the Free Luna network. It’s not the fastest in the world, but it works well.

Sleeping info

NH Orio al Serio is connected to the airport via underground walkway. Nearby hotels usually offer shuttle service, but double check to make sure.

Being a low-cost airport, Bergamo is often crowded at night and security staff has a reputation for being rude and waking people up for no apparent reason. Arrivals are better than departures if you’re stuck.

For more info, check the official Bergamo airport website!

Hotels near Bergamo/Orio Al Serio Airport

3 thoughts on “A Simple Guide to Milan Airports”

  1. Milan is a wonderful city I am in love with! Even though I live and work in London, I visit it at least two or three times every year for the last 6/7 years.

  2. thanks for the comments and advise on airports –
    please give me , if any ,of hanger space available in Bergamo – airport area .
    we are interested to open a small engine shop in bergamo airport – pls advise a map of this airport .

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