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Main hallway of Milano Centrale train station. Large staircase in center, crowds of people walking around, digital signs on walls.

Milan Train Station: All About Milano Centrale

Taking the train from Milan to Florence, Rome, or Venice? Heading to Malpensa airport on the Malpensa Express train? Interested in 20th century Italian architecture?

You’ll need to head to Milan’s most important train station: Milano Centrale. 

Here is my guide to Milan’s Central Station. I lived near the station as a student, and have taken the train in and out of Milano Centrale countless times: most recently with my husband and children. 

Find out about:

  • The station and why it’s worth visiting
  • Milan’s Shoah Memorial in the station 
  • Amenities at Milan Central station, like bathrooms, luggage storage and shopping
  • Ground transportation to the airport and around Milan
  • Taking a train from Milan Central station
  • Where to buy tickets 
  • How to find your train
  • Helpful Italian words and phrases to know when you’re traveling by train

Tutti a bordo? Andiamo! All aboard? Let’s go!

The large stone facade of the Milan train station on a sunny day.
Milano Centrale train station’s main entrance

Milan’s Central Train Station – A Quick Look

Milan’s main train station is called Milano Centrale

The pronunciation of Milano Centrale is: mee-LAH-noh chehn-TRAH-leh

Listen to how to pronounce Milano Centrale here:

Entering Milano Centrale is quite an experience: it’s a large, imposing, ornate behemoth. 

View of the city of Milan from inside the Milan central train station. People sitting and standing around.
Walking out of the front entrance of the Milano Centrale train station

The building as it stands today was inaugurated in 1931. Even if you don’t have a train to catch, it is worth a visit in its own right as an unfortunate example of Fascist architecture.

Be prepared for the station’s hustle and bustle: Centrale is Italy’s second largest and busiest train station. It has several levels. 

If you’re trying to make a train I recommend getting there with at least 20 minutes to spare, so you have time to navigate through the station and get to your track on time. 

Two sets of stairs lead up to the first floor of the Milan train station. Another hallway also leads straight ahead toward digital train departure boards.
Take the stairs up to the train platforms

The train tracks and main hall are on their own level above the street. There are escalators as well as stairs to get up there (there is an elevator but good luck finding it). 

Milano Centrale station has 24 tracks. With the trains in front of you, they’re numbered from left to right. 

The station is closed from 1 to 4 am. 

Is Milan’s Central Station safe? Generally yes. I lived two blocks from the station as a student: use the main entrances and exits. Stay alert and aware– keep your head out of your phone. And I wouldn’t hang out around the station at night time.

Shoah Memorial of Milan

Milan’s Shoah Memorial is located inside Central Station and bears witness to the station’s tragic role in the deportation of Jews during WWII. 

Between 1943 and 1945, Jews were loaded like animals onto cattle cars in the basement of the station. The cars were lifted up to track level and sent out on Track 21 to concentration camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau.

It is the only deportation site in Europe still in tact. Enter the memorial at Piazza Edmund Jacob Safra 1, on the southeast side of station (to your right as you face the station). It’s open Saturday-Thursday, and the last Friday of every month.

Amenties at Milan Central Station


Finding bathrooms inside the station is quite the adventure. They are next to track 22, and on the mezzanine level, but be warned: you must pay to enter the bathroom. 

It took us so long to find the bathrooms and we were so annoyed when we found out there was a fee that we decided to hold it and look for a coffee bar outside the station.


Milano Centrale is part train station, part mall (galleria commerciale). You have a variety of places to choose from if you’re hungry or thirsty, from high quality chocolates and gelato to American fast food. 

Light comes into the main hallway of the stone train station in Milan. People are in the hallway and you can see kiosks.

Food lovers should check out Mercato Centrale, which is like a gourmet Italian food court. It’s located on the northwest side of the station (with the tracks at your back it’s to the right) and has 2 floors!

There’s a supermarket in the basement level called Conad Sapori & Dintorni. It’s open from 7 am to 8 pm and is a good place to pick up snacks for your trip. 

The station even has clothing and makeup stores if you’re early for a train and want to do some shopping. 

Here is a complete list of the stores at Milano Centrale station.


If you want to leave your luggage at the station while you go explore Milan, there is a Kibag luggage storage facility: follow the signs to Deposito bagagli (Left luggage).


Luckily, there are benches out in the main hall on track level where you can get off your feet and wait for your train.

You can also sit down at one of the many cafes and restaurants. 

Milano Centrale has 2 private lounges:

  • The Freccia Lounge is on track level in front of tracks 20-21. Only Executive and Business Salottino ticket holders are allowed admittance (and members of Trenitalia loyalty programs). Sometimes during promotions, other passengers can purchase a single entrance to the lounge. 

Open 8 am to 9 pm

  • The Italo Club Lounge is located on track level in front of tracks 17-18. Only Club Executive ticket holders and members of Italo loyalty programs can enter, but Smart and Prima ticket holders can buy an entrance ticket to the lounge. 

Open 8 am to 9 pm

Transportation to Milan’s Airports

From Milan Central Station you can connect to all of the Milan area’s 3 international airports.


  • The Malpensa Express train leaves Milan Centrale station every 30 minutes (approximately 1 hr ride). 
  • Four bus companies run service to MXP from Milan’s Central train station, leaving every 20 minutes. (approximately 1 hr ride, subject to traffic)


  • Terravision bus runs about every 30 minutes (50 minute ride)
  • Orio shuttle bus runs every 30 minutes (50 minute ride, subject to traffic)


  • Linate Shuttle runs every hour (25 minute ride, subject to traffic)

Ground Transportation


The Centrale metro station sits below the station.

Take the yellow M3 line four stops towards S. Donato and you’ll be at the Duomo! 

Centrale also serves the green M2 metro line. 

The Centrale metro station has a lot of people going through it, and there are long lines at the metro ticket machines. To avoid waiting and chaos, buy tickets on the app of ATM, Milan’s public transport company. Even better, go contactless by using your credit card to pay as you go directly at the turnstiles.


If you’re like me and prefer to watch the city go by at street level, try Milan’s trams and buses. The routes spread out over the city like veins and arteries, and many pass right by Milano Centrale station. 

The ATM app will come in handy to check routes and buy tickets, or you can go contactless.


There are taxi stands outside of both sides of the station. Milan taxis are white.


The Uber app works in Italy but not the same way that it does in the US. It connects you to licensed local taxis and NCC (a car with a driver, or noleggio con conducente), and is also very controversial. In my opinion it makes sense to do like the locals and use one of the local taxi options above.

Learn more about
How to Get Around Milan

How to Use the Milan Metro
UBER in Italy

How to Take a Train From Milan’s Central Station

Italian Train Operators

In Italy there are two railway operators to choose from: 

  • Trenitalia is the Italian state train company. It is part public and part private-owned, and runs throughout Italy. It has both regular regional trains, and high speed service– called Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca.
  • Italo is a private railway company that has been operating since 2012. It has high speed service to select major and strategic cities only.

Regional Trenitalia trains will take you to Italy’s smaller towns and cities, whereas Trenitalia high speed trains and Italo are best for traveling to major cities like Florence and Rome. 

Be sure to check out
Train Travel in Italy
Printable Italy Train Map

Taking the Train from Milan to Florence and From Florence to Milan

Where to Buy Tickets

Milano Centrale station has ticket offices but I recommend buying your tickets online or at the ticket machines. 


The most convenient way to buy tickets for both Trenitalia and Italo is online. On the internet you’ll find many sites selling train tickets: I’m a fan of using the official Trenitalia and Italo websites. 

You don’t need to print your tickets out. Simply show the conductor the ticket on your phone when you get on board, and they’ll scan the QR code.

Since high speed tickets at both companies include a reservation, specific train and seat number, it is not necessary to validate or stamp your ticket before you get on the train (like you used to!).


If you don’t have time to buy a ticket online in advance, it’s ok. You can buy a ticket at one of the station’s many ticket machines. They’re scattered all over the station.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak Italian– you can choose English on the opening menu.

Two men buy tickets from red automatic ticket machines at the Milan train station.
Ticket machines inside the Milan Central train station

Train Classes

I’ve found that for short trips, riding the basic class level (Standard on Trenitalia, Smart on Italo), is perfectly comfortable. 

However, you may want to spring for more privacy, a quiet section, more space and other perks. 

On Trenitalia the travel classes are (from basic to most luxurious):

  • Standard
  • Premium
  • Business
  • Quiet Business (Business Area Silenzio)
  • Business Salottino
  • Executive

On Italo they are (from basic to most luxurious):

  • Smart
  • Prima
  • Club Executive
  • Salotto 

Keep in mind: If you want to take advantage of Trenitalia or Italo’s private station lounges free of charge, you need to purchase a Business Salottino or Executive ticket (on Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa), or a Club Executive ticket (on Italo).

Finding Your Train

To find the track where your train will be departing from, look for the big black and orange digital boards labeled Partenze (Departures). There are also monitors throughout the station.

Usually your track will only be posted about 10 minutes before departure. 

Your train will be labeled according to its final stop. This may be Firenze Santa Maria Novella, but it more likely will be Roma Termini or Napoli Centrale.

Any delays are posted on these boards, with approximately how many minutes the train is running late.

Listen as well for announcements about your destination.

Remember, the station has 24 tracks numbered from left to right (as you look towards the tracks). 

Traveling with Your Family? Read about Train Travel in Italy with Kids

Man waits on the side of the track in the covered part of the Milan train station. Trains on either side.
The binari (tracks) at Milano Centrale

Getting On the Train

Once you know what track to head to, check your ticket for your carrozza (carriage) and posto (seat number). 

On the side of each train car, the carrozza (carriage) number is labeled by the door at both the front and back. Some Frecciarossa cars also tell you which seat numbers are closest to that door.

If your train hasn’t arrived yet, look up. Some platforms have signs posted above you lined up to where each car will be. 

Helpful Words & Phrases for Milano Centrale Train Station

Keep your ears open: you’ll hear these words and phrases all around you when you’re at Milan Central station.

The trainIl treno
The stationLa stazione
The track/platformIl binario
The train carLa carrozza
First classPrima classe
The bathroomIl bagno
The suitcaseLa valigia
The stopLa fermata
High speedAlta velocità
Where is the station?Dov’è la stazione?
Where is the bathroom?Dov’è il bagno?
Where is track 5?Dov’è il binario cinque?
Where are the taxis?Dove sono i taxi?

Want to make the most of your time in Milan? Read
Milan with Kids
Brera – Guide to the Artists’ Quarter
Day Trips from Milan

Milan Car Rental
Using the Metro in Milan
Milano Centrale Train Station
How to Get Around Milan
Where to Eat in Milan
Milan’s Science Museum with Kids
How to Spend One Day in Milan
How to Spend Two Days in Milan

Woman holding child's hand on a small street in and Italian village.