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Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

Ridgefield, NJ
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Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

Need some advice - we are flying into Milan and staying in Venice for 3 days at the Best Western Premier Hotel Sant'Elena before continuing on in Italy. Initally I thought rent a car in Milan and drive and park near Venice and take the vaporetto to the hotel. I'm having second thoughts now thinking maybe take the train from Milan then pick up the rental at the Venice airport when we finish our Venice leg. I'm concerned about all the transfers after a long flight so I thought the car would be a better option but it seems parking is a hassle and leaving the car parked with half our luggage for 3 days to be a little unsafe and a waste of money to rent the car and not be using it. What do you think?

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

I would train from Milan to Venice. The train is quick and the drive is not that interesting. When you arrive in Milano at Malpensa Airport, there is a bus that will take you directly to Central Station for about 10E (5E if your prepurchase online http://www.orioshuttle.com/_eng/ ). The bus ride from Malpensa to Central Station is about an hour. Once you get to Central Station take some time to marvel at its spectacular architecture.....an art deco marvel!

flickr.com/photos/…

Also as you say:

"parking is a hassle and leaving the car parked with half our luggage for 3 days to be a little unsafe and a waste of money to rent the car and not be using it."

Yup! All definitely true.

I LOVE arriving in Venice by train! You step off the train, walk through the train station to the other side and you step right out onto the Grand Canal! It's magical! You step into another world. One without cars, and buses and mobylettes. Just boats and feet. Take the vaporetto or walk to your hotel (I believe it would be the #1 Vap to San Zaccaria stop, but you would want to confirm that with the hotel.)

BTW pack light. Your "half our luggage" comment above worried me. There are few more pathetic sights in Italy than people who have overpacked with large bags pulling them up and down the bridges and staircases of Venice. My wife and I always bring just a flight bag each and a daypack for a camera, snacks and guidebooks. Clothes can be washed and dried along the way. Travel light, you won't be sorry. We have done that trip lots of times, so let me know if you have other questions!

-Karl

Edited: 22 September 2012, 05:12
Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

Whoops! Seeing where you are staying, you will not want to walk to the hotel. Definitely take the Vaporetto. The #1 is a great choice because it is the slow boat down the canal. A wonderful introduction to the city. You will be re-energized after your trip and all the sitting in cramped airplane seats will be forgotten! Now that I'm looking at the map, it looks like the S. Elena stop would be closest to your hotel:

http://www.venice.nu/vapmap/vapomapLatest.jpg

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

BTW,

I don't know what time you arrive at Malpensa, but you can check train schedules to Venice S. Lucia here:

http://www.trenitalia.com/

Click on the British flag at the top for English.

Pick Milano Centrale and Venezia S. Lucia.

You'll see the trip is about 2.5h and costs about 30-35E.

-K

Imperia, Italy
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4. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

it's easier to take the train to Milano Centrale than the bus, at the cost of €10, no booking necessary. You buy your train tickets right through to Venice at the Malpensa Aeroporto train station, and the train (twice an hour, around 40 minutes) delivers you straight into the station with a level walk to the platforms for Venice.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

Thanks for the tip Perilizia! We'll do that next time! :) -K

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

IMPORTANT:

Very sorry, but I had posted an incorrect bus link above. Links for ground transportation at Malpensa are here:

http://www.malpensashuttle.it/e-index2.php

And for buying bus tickets online are here:

http://ticketonline.malpensashuttle.it/

The fare to Central Station one way is 10E.

However, I think next time we go we will take Perilizia's advice and take the train. It looks like it might be easier, and is the same price.

www.airportmalpensa.com/airport-train.html

-Karl

Imperia, Italy
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7. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

The link supplied for trains in post 6 is unofficial, cannot spell one of the main Milan stations, and gives a link to a Malpensa Express train site which does not show the trains to Milano Centrale. Use this link instead malpensaexpress.it/en/…content.php

However there is no need to look up timetables. You just go to the airport train station and buy your tickets to Venice. They, or the ticket machine, will sell you tickets for the next feasible connection, and you simply validate (time and date/stamp) the ticket for Centrale, and at Centrale find the platform for the Venice train whose number is on your other ticket.

north carolina
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8. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

For what it is worth, i have made that drive three times, and I hate it. It is boring tedious and tiring (but fairly easy) if you stay on the Autostrade. If you do not stay on the Autostrada, then it may be interesting, but far longer, less easy and more tiring.

Ridgefield, NJ
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9. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

Thank you all so much - such great detailed advice :-) Due to your advice, we are definitely going to take the train. I will take Perilizia's advice and take the train from the airport to Central Station, thank you. Karlitos, your description is wonderful - especialy arriving at Venice and walking out to be greeted by the Grand Canal - I could just picture it in my head and it got me very excited about the trip :-) Thank you for sharing your pictures too - the train station looks so lovely. European train stations can be so beautiful so I'm looking forward to that sight - especially after this long dreaded flight. We are going to pick up our rental car at the end at Venice Mestre Train Station. Thank you again for the great advice :-)

Ridgefield, NJ
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10. Re: Drive or Train - Milan to Venice

We have arrived in Venice and just wanted to thank you both for your great advice. Although it was a very long travel day your advice was perfect and easy and definitely the way to go. Thank you again for everything :-)