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Getting from Milan to Lugano by train

Taking a trip over the Italian border and through to Switzerland is a lot easier than you may think. Crossing rivers and mountains, lakes and wooded peaks, the journey is just as exciting as the destination. There’s only one way to soak up the stunning views from Milan to Lugano, and that’s by train.

Board a Eurocity service in central Milan and be transported on a ride through the tip of Lake Como to the picturesque Swiss city of Lugano. Lugano station is centrally located, you’ll arrive in the heart of the city close to Lugano Lake and the nearby cultural sights in less than an hour and a half.

So, what are you waiting for? Find everything you need to know about train timetables and tickets from Milan to Lugano below.

Milan Central Station to Lugano by train

It takes an average of 1h 56m to travel from Milan Central Station to Lugano by train, over a distance of around 38 miles (61 km). There are normally 26 trains per day travelling from Milan Central Station to Lugano and tickets for this journey start from €12 when you book in advance.
Journey timeFrom 1h 17m
Price€12 - €24
Distance38 miles (61 km)
Frequency26 trains per day
Departure stationMilan Central Station
Arrival stationLugano
ChangesDirect trains available
Train and bus operators

Milan Central Station to Lugano train times

Check out the next trains departing from Milan Central Station to Lugano for Tuesday 7th Jul 2020. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
09:43 11:00 1h 17m, direct
10:20 12:30 2h 10m, 2 changes
10:25 12:55 2h 30m, 1 change
11:15 13:25 2h 10m, 3 changes
11:25 13:55 2h 30m, 1 change
12:43 14:00 1h 17m, direct
13:10 14:30 1h 20m, direct
13:43 15:00 1h 17m, direct
14:43 16:00 1h 17m, direct
15:10 16:30 1h 20m, direct

Trenitalia trains from Milan Central Station to Lugano

You can travel from Milan Central Station to Lugano on Trenitalia trains. When you search for times and tickets, we might also show you some other options with multiple connections or operators if they’re available.

Trenitalia is the national railway company of Italy, with a fleet including high-speed trains (Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca), Intercity and Intercity night trains and regional trains. Trenitalia offers discounts and special promotions on selected routes, two types of discounted tickets for young people under 30 and people over 60.

Cheap train tickets from Milan Central Station to Lugano

Train tickets from Milan Central Station to Lugano start at €12 one-way for a Standard Class ticket if you book in Advance, however, if you're booking last-minute tickets on the day, the average price is around €23.98.
lowest price found
on the day
avg. single price23.98

Book in advance

Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Milan Central Station to Lugano by booking early.§

Be flexible with your travel times

Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.

Choose a slower or connecting train

On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!

Look out for special deals

Take a look at our handy guide to check when European train operators release their special deals and offers to see if you can find cheap tickets for your journey.

For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.

§Some train companies may not offer any Advance ticket types or cheaper deals for early bookings. On rare occasions, train companies may choose to release special offers closer to the date on last-minute or late-release tickets. This is dependent on the individual train operating company you travel with.

Journey details

Want to know more about your journey from Milan Central Station to Lugano? We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers to help you plan your journey.

How long does the train from Milan Central Station to Lugano take?

The average journey time by train between Milan Central Station and Lugano is 1 hour and 56 minutes, with around 26 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.

What's the fastest journey time between Milan Central Station and Lugano by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Milan Central Station to Lugano is 1 hour and 17 minutes.

How much does the train from Milan Central Station to Lugano cost?

Train tickets from Milan Central Station to Lugano can start from as little as €12 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.

Is there a direct train from Milan Central Station to Lugano?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Milan Central Station to Lugano without having to change trains. There are 19 direct trains from Milan Central Station to Lugano. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.

What time does the first train from Milan Central Station to Lugano leave?

The first train from Milan Central Station to Lugano leaves at 00:15. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

What time does the last train from Milan Central Station to Lugano leave?

The last train from Milan Central Station to Lugano leaves at 21:43. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.

What's the distance between Milan Central Station and Lugano by train?

Trains travelling from Milan Central Station to Lugano cover a distance of around 38 miles (61 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Lugano to Milan Central Station.

Our tips and tricks

We love helping our customers find inspiration for their next train journey. We also believe about taking those journeys and sharing our experiences with you, so you can sit back, relax and get the most out of your trip.

Getting from Milan to Lugano stress-free in just over an hour

Review by Greta Munari

I took a Eurocity train from Milan Central Station at 09:25 with an expected arrival time of 10:38 in Lugano Station. The journey only lasts 1h 13m, so I preferred taking the train rather than driving and risking getting stuck in traffic.

Departing from Milan Central Station

I easily got to Milan Central Station with the Milan Metro Line 2 (it’s the green one). The train station is directly connected to the metro station, so it’s super easy to move from one station to another.

As I got to the station quite early, I had time to have breakfast at the Panino Giusto bar, which is opposite the stairs on the ground floor. I travelled on Saturday, so the station was less crowded than usual, which was perfect because I was able to take in all its beauty, something I never manage to do during the rest of the week.

On board the Eurocity

Eurocity are day trains connecting different European countries. Second-class seats are quite comfortable and come with headrests and reclining tables.

I found out that you can also travel in First Class on this route and you can cancel your ticket before departure and get an 80% refund if you can’t travel anymore.

Getting off in Lugano

As soon as you leave Lugano station, you can either get a bus or a cable car to the city centre – just follow the signs and you’ll be in the centre in no time at all.

The historical service between Lugano Station and the central Piazza Cioccaro has been active for 130 years and it’s probably the fastest way to get to the city centre. The cable railway runs from 05:00 to 24:00 every day and can take up to 100 passengers (and their bikes at specific times). The journey lasts about a minute and a half and the ticket costs 1.30 Swiss Francs.

The journey

I was very impressed with the Eurocity train – the ticket price is the same as that of Trenitalia and TILO (the regional trains serving the Canton of Ticino). I strongly recommend taking it.

Origin: Milano Centrale 

Destination: Lugano

Train: Eurocity

Travel time: 1h 13m

About Greta

Greta is one of our trusted, hand-picked travel writers. The information for this article was recorded first-hand, based on her own genuine experience of the journey.

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Average prices for adult tickets in economy. Discount cards and coach journey excluded. Prices are based on searches made by our customers over the past 6 months. "14 days in advance" includes days 13 and 15. / The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Milan Central Station to Lugano for a typical week day using timetable data for 07/07/2020. On weekends, holidays or other exceptional times, fewer services may be available. The fare range provided has been found by our customers on Trainline on 29/06/2020 for travel on 18/07/2020 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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