Getting from Milan to Venice by train is one of the easiest journeys you’ll make in Italy. Here’s what to do and how you do it.
Venice is one of those places everyone should see at least once in their lives. Its beauty, its history, its romance all add up to make it worth travelling across the other side of the world to see.
However, if you’re already in Milan, it’s only another 2 and a half hours of travel before you’re standing on the banks of the Grand Canal staring at the Ponte degli Scalzi and wondering how any of it is still standing.
Getting from Milan to Venice by train
Mrs Romance and I did this journey from Milan to Venice by train a little while ago and it turned out to be the best option by far. It’s quick, cheap and you don’t have to worry about parking.
Driving to Venice is possible, and going by coach is probably the cheapest option, but Venice’s main train station comes right into Venice proper.
There is also an airport, but this is on the eastern side of this incredible city and not as convenient as the train or road.
Milano Centrale train station is a northern Italian hub for many different journeys around the country – including going from Milan to Venice of course. For example you can go from Milan to Lake Como by train in under 2 hours from here.
You can book tickets online ahead of your trip or you can buy tickets when you’re ready to leave. Check the times for trains here on the Trenitalia website.
When you’re searching your trip, you need to look for trains from Milano Centrale to Venezia St Lucia.
Important – when you’re choosing your journey, make sure it’s direct. Some make you change trains along the way, which would be annoying with your luggage.
When you get your ticket, make sure you validate it at one of the ticket validation points before you get to your platform. Every train has a ticket inspector who will check you’ve done this. It’s to stop people using their non-time specific ticket more than once.
If you have a ticket with seat allocation, you may not need to validate, but I would just in case.
The hardest part of your train journey will be resisting the temptation to hop off at Brescia or Verona or one of the pretty little towns you stop at along the way!
The train’s last stop is Venezia St Lucia, which comes out right on the Grand Canal. It took me by surprise when we came out of the station and there was Venice right in front of me. The crumbling walls and beautiful waterways of one of the world’s most intriguing cities was there at my feet.
Watch out for people offering to help you with your luggage. They’re not trying to be friendly, but they’re not trying to rob you either. They’ll carry your bags to wherever you want to go, but they will expect payment and it’s hard to convince them that you don’t want their help.
Getting around Venice
After leaving the station, you should probably buy your vaporetto pass. It’s worth buying a multi-day pass rather than single trips or single day passes – especially if you’re in Venice for longer than one night.
The vaporetto system is like a floating bus service that takes you all around the main canals of the city. It seems complicated at first, but once you get used to it, the vaporetto is a brilliant way to see a lot of Venice.
When that sad moment comes for you to say goodbye to Venice, you can return to Venezia St Lucia Station to reach a huge number of places around the country. And in fact there are ferries that go from Venice to Croatia and Greece regularly.
Most of the vaporetto lines return to Ferrovia – the wharf to St Lucia Station. Once again, you can book train tickets ahead of time or buy them on the day. Just remember to validate them before you board the train.
While you’re in Venice, there are so many things to see and do it can get overwhelming. Here’s a shortlist for you of 5 things to do in Venice to get you started.
And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our Postcards from Venice here.
If you’re planning on going from Venice to Milan by train, you might want some help on things to do in Italy’s fashion capital.
Here are some of our favourite stories we’ve written about things to do in Milan. And don’t forget to save some time to visit Lake Como while you’re there. You won’t regret it. Here’s some more information on Lake Como.
And as we love talking about Italy, we’ve got lots of information about other destinations in Italy. Here’s our library of guides and stories from our time in this beautiful country.
We hope you have an amazing time in Italy – our favourite place to travel to. If you have any questions about the trip, ask us in the comments below. We’ll do our best to help.
Jim & Christina xx