Milano / Milan / Mailand to Frankfurt by train

How to take the journey by train from Milan to Frankfurt (Main)

One of the most welcome additions to the European rail timetables of recent years was the re-introduction of the direct train from northern Italy to central Germany.

The train is usually scheduled to depart daily from Milano Centrale at 11:20, at a time convenient for connections from:
Bologna - departs 09:26
Firenze S.M. Novella - depart 08:55
Genova Piazza Principe - depart 09:18
Napoli Centrale - depart 05:45
Pisa Centrale - depart 06:42
Roma Termini - depart 07:10
Torino Porta Susa - depart 09:05
Verona Porta Nuova - depart 09:02

The usual scheduled arrival time in Frankfurt (Main) hbf is 18:44 convenient for connections on to:
Berlin - depart 19:02 and 19:14
Dresden and Leipzig - depart 19:20
Dusseldorf via Koblenz, Bonn and Koln/Cologne - depart 19:44
Hamburg via Hannover - depart 18:58 and 19:58

Both Milano Centrale and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf are among the easiest European large stations in which to make connections, you'll simply have to walk from one train to the other.

And the first third of the journey by Lake Maggiore and through Switzerland is also wonderful!



From Milano Centrale to Frankfurt Main Hbf

Travel Information

Final Destination: Frankfurt (Main)

The train also calls at: Freiburg, Karlsruhe and Mannheim

The train is typically schedule to arrive in Frankfurt (Main) at around 18:44 in time for connections on to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Koln, Hamburg and Hannover.

1 x direct train per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date; usually

Look for the train which departs daily from Milano (usually) at 11:20.

Reservations will automatically be assigned when booking tickets, but rail pass users will need to make reservations prior to boarding at a ticket office (they're not available from the Trenitalia ticket machines

Rail Pass Users:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass you will need to pay the reservation fee to travel on this train

Our guide to using using rail passes to travel from Italy has all the info you'll need, including fees and step-by-step instructions on how to book.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB from €49

DB Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

On journeys within Germany and on most international journeys from and to Germany on trains operated by DB:

  • For journeys by the express trains, EC. IC and ICE trains an adult (on German railways an adult is a person aged 15 and over) can take up to four children aged 6 - 14 with them at no additional charge.
  • Tickets need to be booked for children aged 0 - 5, but there is no charge for them.
  • Those aged 65 and over can take journeys at a discounted rate.
  • Dogs, which are too large to be placed in pet carriers, require tickets which cost 50% of the adult rate.

When booking both types of the discounted 'Sparpreis' tickets seat reservations are an optional extra, so need to be added when booking if you want an assigned seat(s).

Trainline from €49

Trainline Guide

Rail Europe from €49

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsLandscape (Hills / Mountains)

Good to Know

The train will reverse direction on departure from Bern AND Basel SBB stations.

The train heading on to Frankfurt (Main) is usually attached in front of another train which won't be travelling on beyond Basel, so it can be a good idea to allow time to access this train in Milano Centrale.

The ETR 600 trans are most often used on this service to Frankfurt, but the Astoro can be used on certain departures.

In the opposite direction the daily train from Frankfurt (Main) to Milano takes a different route in Switzerland via Luzern and Lugano.

Lake Maggiore south of Stresa Lake Maggiore south of Stresa
Lake Maggiore north of Stresa Lake Maggiore north of Stresa
Departing from Domodossola Departing from Domodossola
Heading towards The Simplon Tunnel Heading towards The Simplon Tunnel
Looking towards Lake Thun Looking towards Lake Thun
Between Spiez and Thun Between Spiez and Thun

If you're a fan of engineering achievements then this is an awe-inspiring journey.

After Domodossola the train travels through The Simplon Tunnel and after Visp it will travel through The Lötschberg Base Tunnel - both of which were previous holders of world's longest railway tunnel honors.

If your reserved seat is on the right of the train (when facing the direction of travel) the first highlight from a scenic point of view are the fabulous views over Lake Maggiore.
They can be seen north of Arona, but what's worth looking out for is when the train departs from Stresa.

This video was taken when travelling in the opposite direction...

...and shows the beautiful islands in the lake - and it also showcases why ShowMeTheJourney has tried and failed to photograph these islands, they can only be glimpsed through the trees.

The part of the journey between Domodossola and The Simplon Tunnel is also fabulous, as the train will thread through a valley as it approaches the tunnel.

The other scenic highlight is the part of the journey between exiting the Lotschberg Base Tunnel and arriving in Thun station.
The beautiful Thunersee comes into view on the right as the train arrives in Spiez.

Between Speiz and Thun the train travels by the shore of Lake Thun.

These trains also use the higher speed line in Germany between Offenburg and Karlsruhe.

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