From Rome to Milan: 4 Best Ways to Get There

Written by Shandley McMurray
Jun 8, 2023

Packed with impressive tourist attractions and drool-worthy restaurants, Rome and Milan top the list of best places to visit in Italy. That's why so many visitors decide to see both cities in one trip. Luckily, this is easy to do with so many convenient ways to travel from one place to the next.

Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral

Set over 572 kilometers north of Rome, Milan is too far away to be considered a day trip destination. Its long list of landmark sights and impressive hotels make it the perfect place to spend a long weekend, though, and taking a train is an easy way to get there.

Flights are easy, too. And they take just over one hour to reach Milan. Other popular ways to travel include the bus, which is super cheap, and driving.

Use our list of the best ways to get from Rome to Milan to help plan your trip.

1. From Rome to Milan by Train

High-speed trains in Milan Centrale station
High-speed trains in Milan Centrale station

Taking the train is the easiest way to travel from Rome to Milan. In about three hours and 10 minutes, tourists can get from Rome Termini station to Milan Centrale.

Trenitalia's Frecciarossa trains are the high-speed option beloved by tourists and locals alike. They travel throughout the country and top out at a max speed of 360 kilometers per hour.

The Frecciarossa 1000 is even faster, reaching a high speed of 400 kilometers per hour. This train can make the journey from Rome to Milan in under three hours.

One-way tickets cost around $65, depending on which level of service you choose: Standard, Premium, Business, or Executive. Some tickets could be priced as low as $35. They depart Rome Termini multiple times a day and run as early as 5:10 am and as late as 11:55 pm.

TrenItalia's InterCity train is a much slower option, and it's not that much cheaper than the high-speed trains. Super Economy tickets cost about $21, while a basic fare can be as high as $70 or more in First Class. These trains are much slower than the Frecciarossa trains. These take almost seven hours and 45 minutes to reach Milan Centrale station from Rome Termini, and they depart multiple times daily.

Italo Treno also operates a route between Rome and Milan. The trains take as little as three hours and 10 minutes to run from Rome Termini to Milan Centrale. Tickets cost as low as $20 or more depending on the class, time, and date you choose to travel. They run from 5:40 am to 8:40 pm.

Italo Treno's trains also depart Rome's Tiburtina station and arrive in Milano Centrale many times a day, sometimes twice within an hour. They also offer trains that depart Rome's Tiburtina and Termini stations and arrive in Milan's Rho Fiera station in about four hours.

In addition, Italo Treno runs between Rome Termini and Tiburtina stations and Milan Rogoredo station.

Insider's tip: If you're planning to take the train more than once during your trip, save money by purchasing a Eurail Italy pass. A pass to travel within the country for three days in one month costs $145 per person, or $203 if you're hoping to travel for five days within one month.

2. From Rome to Milan by Bus

Arch of Peace in Milan
Arch of Peace in Milan

Taking a bus is the cheapest way to get from Rome to Milan. Be prepared — the journey is a long one. It could take anywhere from seven and a half to over 13 hours to reach Milan. While most buses include power outlets, air-conditioning, and reclining seats, it's still a long time to travel.

Flixbus boasts some of the most budget-friendly rates, with a ticket from Rome Tiburtina bus station to Milan's Lampugnano bus station costing as little as $10. Buses also depart from Rome Anagnina station to Milan San Donato and Sesto S.G. 1 stops. There are multiple buses offered daily.

Itabus is another popular company that runs the route between Rome Tiburtina and Milan Lampugnano. The journey takes about eight to eight and a half hours, depending on traffic, and costs about $14, depending on the class of ticket, date, and time you choose.

3. From Rome to Milan by Plane

Sforza Castle in Milan
Sforza Castle in Milan

Flying is the fastest way to get from Rome to Milan. It's also quite affordable. Italy's national carrier, ITA Airways, flies from Rome Fiumicino airport to Milan Linate multiple times a day, beginning at 7 am. The almost hourly direct flights can cost as little as $53 one way and take an hour and 10 minutes to fly between the two cities.

While you'll have to get yourself to and from the airport, there are many ways to do this quite easily. Taking a cab is the quickest option if there's no traffic, but The Leonardo Express travels from Rome Termini train station to the airport in 32 minutes. One-way tickets cost about $20, and the train leaves about every half hour.

The Terravision Shuttle Bus runs from Rome Termini train station beginning at 4:30 am. It takes about 45 minutes and costs about $6.50 for a one-way fare.

4. From Rome to Milan by Car

Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery in Milan, Italy
Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery in Milan, Italy

If you don't have a time-strapped agenda, driving is a good way to get from Rome to Milan. The most direct route covers over 572 kilometers in six hours and 15 minutes, without traffic. This route follows the A1 Autostrada to the E35 and passes many visit-worthy tourist attractions along the way.

The best part about driving is having the ability to stop whenever the mood strikes. Whether you're hankering for a pizza lunch or feel inspired by the scenery, driving allows you to take in more sights than other methods of traveling from Rome to Milan.

Be sure to take at least four hours to explore Florence or better yet, book a night or two in one of the city's fabulous resorts. One of the most majestic cities in Italy, this Tuscan masterpiece boasts some of the most spectacular tourist attractions, including stunning churches, vibrant piazzas, and captivating palaces.

Florence lies almost halfway between Rome and Milan, making it a perfect place to break up the long drive. An hour and a half farther north, you'll find the pretty town of Bologna, best known for its gastronomic delights. You'll want to arrive hungry in order to sample many of the area's most delicious delicacies.

When you aren't eating, take time out to enjoy the city's top attractions, like the always-buzzing Piazza Maggiore and San Petronio Basilica. Filled with fun things to do, Bologna is one of the best places to visit on a day trip from Florence.

From Bologna, Milan can be reached in about two and a half hours, just in time for dinner. Those wishing to stop in Parma can do so easily on this route. It boasts many interesting places to visit just an hour's drive away. From here, you can reach Milan in an hour and a half.

Note: Multiple rental car companies offer their services to tourists based within Rome. The most popular companies include Europcar, Sixt, and Hertz, which also boast train station and airport locations. Be sure to have cash or a debit/credit card on hand, as the route involves tolls.