Milano Porta Garibaldi is the main commuter railway station in Milan and most of the suburban and regional trains to and from the city either call at, or terminate here.
Some long distance express trains also use the station, including a few of the high speed Frecce trains between Torino and destinations to the south and te the TGV France-Italy train service between Milano and Paris.
Those Regionale trains which serve Porta Garibaldi are operated by Trenord and not Trenitalia; though Eurail and InterRail passes can be used on these trains.
Trenitalia ticket offices don’t sell tickets for these TGV-France Italy trains, but they have a dedicated ticket office and departure area at Milano Porta Garibaldi – tickets for these trains can of course also be booked online.
Most of the destinations popular with tourists, which can be accessed easily by train from Milano, are served by trains which depart from Milano Centrale station.
One exception is Lecco, on Lake Como, as this town has more frequent trains from Porta Garibaldi than from Milano Centrale; though the trains from Centrale are around 20 mins faster.
If you want to set off from Porta Garibaldi take trains on route/line S8 and not those on route/line S7.
This Swiss border town has an hourly train service from Milano Porta Garibaldi on line/route S11, these trains connect in Chiasso with trains on towards Lugano and Bellinzona in southern Italy.
If you won’t be travelling with an InterRail or Eurail pass, you’ll have a much easier journey to Lugano and Bellinzona and if you take the direct EC trains from Milano Centrale.
However, if you do have a rail pass - and want to set from Milano between 09:00 and 14:00 you can save more than €10 by avoiding the EC trains and connecting in Chiasso instead.
Though if you have a rail pass, and can be flexible with your departure times, the best option for Milano to southern Switzerland journeys, is to take these trains.
This town has a much frequent train service from Milano Porta Garibaldi, in comparison to its train service from Milano Centrale.
Though Monza station is a 30 min walk away from the Motorsports circuit.
Biassono-Lesmo Parco station is closer to the circuit.
It is served by trains heading to Lecco from Porta Garibaldi on route/line S7 and on the day of the Italian Grand Prix extra trains operate to Biassono-Lesmo Parco station.
The Malpensa Express trains to/from Malpensa Airport also call at Porta Garibaldi station, but the trains to the airport on this route, will have commenced their journeys at Milano Centrale; so you’ll have more chance of finding a seat on these trains if you board at Milano Centrale.
There are four options for making the transfer to Milano Centrale station from Milano Porta Garibaldi station:
(1) There are 2 x trains per hour from Porta Garibaldi to Centrale station – they’re the Malpensa Express trains making their journeys from the airport to Milano Centrale.
If you’ll be making a transfer into other main line trains on from Milano Centrale, the tick on the box for taking these trains, is that they arrive on the same level in Milano Centrale station that the other mainline trains depart from – which makes for a step-free transfer.
Though the negatives are that you can be waiting up to 45 mins at Porta Garibaldi for one of these trains; though something to look out for is that the binario (platforms/tracks) that these trains use do have elevator access, but it's somewhat hidden.
(2) Much more frequent are the Metro trains
From Porta Garibaldi it’s a two station hop to Centrale on line M2 – take trains heading towards Cologno Nord or Gessate.
You should be on the concourse at Milano Centrale within 20 mins of arriving at Porta Garibaldi, but you will need to ascend up four levels at Milano Centrale station, using the escalators and moving walkways.
(3) It’s a 15 – 25 minute walk from Porta Garibaldi station to Milano Centrale station, but the shortest route isn’t particularly obvious.
(4) If you’ll be travelling in group, which has luggage, then resorting to a taxi for a ride which should take less than 10 mins, can the best option.
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