Milano / Milan / Mailand to Parma by train

How to travel from Milan to Parma by train

There is a choice of three train services on the Milano to Parma route:

  1. Fastest of all are the Frecce trains, they don't use the high speed line, but on these route they make fewer station calls.
  2. There are Intercity (IC) trains
  3. The slowest option are the Regionale Veloce (RGV) trains, they'll be the cheapest option when booking tickets at the station; you'll need to book in advance to save money when taking the Frecce and IC trains.
    Seat reservations are complimentary when booking tickets for the Frecce and IC trains, but seat reservations aren't available on the RGV trains.

Departure and arrival times and the comparative comfort of the trains will play a part in which type of train you choose to travel by, but the ticket prices and options will also be a factor; see the 'Ticketing Information' below.

Routes

Option 1: taking the Frecce trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Lecce or Bar or Ancona

All trains also call at: Piacenza and Modena

The new type of train, which SMTJ is yet to travel by is used for the Frecciargento services on this route.

5 x Frecciargento trains per day
1 x Frecciabianca train per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

These Frecce trains trains and the alternative Intercity trains tend to have similar prices on this route.

The popularity of a particular departure has more of an impact on the availability of the cheapest 'Super Economy' tickets, rather than the type of train used for a specific departure

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

Though when the discounted tickets for the express trains are no longer available, the slower Regionale Veloce trains will be the cheapest option; so if you'll be booking last minute at the station, you're likely to save if you target those trains instead.

Rail Pass Users:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, you can avoid the €10 rail pass reservation fee required to take these trains aby taking the Intercity trains, which aren't much slower, or the RGV trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Italiarail from €9.90

Italiarail Guide

ItaliaRail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.

Users of InterRail and Eurail passes can also book seat reservations on the Frecce and InterCity trains without paying a booking fee,

Trenitalia from €9.90

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Saveatrain from €9.90

Saveatrain Guide

Option 2: taking the InterCity trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Taranto or Bari or Terni or Napoli

All trains also call at: Piacenza and Modena

5 x trains per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date

These IC trains are around 15 mins slower than the Frecce trains, but tickets tend to cost similar prices.

But as the difference in journey time is fairly marginal, book for which ever departure time suits you; and don't concern yourself with the specific type of train you will be travelling by.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

However, when the discounted (Super Economy) tickets have sold out for these IC trains the slower Regionale Veloce (RGV) trains become the cheapest option

If you'll be booking on the the day of travel, you can usually save around €10 by taking those alternative Regionale Veloce trains.

Rail pass users:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, take care when choosing which train to travel by on this route.

You can avoid paying any rail pass reservation fees at all, if you take these trains, but particularly during the summer, choosing to pay the optional €3 rail pass reservation fee, can ensure you can remain in the same seat when making this journey
You can reserve prior to boarding these trains, either at the station (using a Trenitalia ticket machine or ticket desk) OR by booking them online.
How to book the rail pass reservations online is included on our guide to using rail passes in Italy.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Italiarail from €9.90

Italiarail Guide

ItaliaRail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.

Users of InterRail and Eurail passes can also book seat reservations on the Frecce and InterCity trains without paying a booking fee,

Trenitalia from €9.90

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.

Option 3: taking the Regionale Veloce trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Bologna (or Parma)

All trains also call at: Piacenza and Modena

The alternative Frecce and Intercity trains are faster and more comfortable, so why would you choose to travel by these slower trains?
The answer is price, particularly if you'll be booking tickets last minute at the station, you can save more than €10 by taking these Regionale Veloce trains.

During the day these trains usually depart from Milano every other hour; in the hours with odd numbers.

7 x trains per day

Tickets

Book early and save: No (on these trains)

Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the station immediately before departure.

When the discounted (Super Economy) tickets have sold out for the Frecce and IC trains,  these Regionale Veloce (RGV) trains become the cheapest option.
If you'll be booking at station on the the day of travel, you can usually save around €10 by taking these trains.

Rail pass users should target these trains, you can avoid the €10 rail pass reservation fees that are charged on the Frecce trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia *

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoNot High Speed

Good to Know

A spontaneous day trip from Milan to gorgeous Parma by train is easily done, but ideally look up the departure times on Trenitalia before heading to the station.
When booking tickets last minute at the station, you can save money by taking these RGV trains, but there will be gaps of two hours between departures.
So look up the departure time of the train you want to take and then be at Milano Centrale thirty minutes before the train is due to leave.
Give yourself time to buy a ticket, there is always a long queue at the booking office in Milano Centrale, so give the ticket machines a try.
Also these RGV trains typically, but not always, depart from binari (platforms/tracks) 22-24, which are further back from the main departure concourse.

Take the stress out of your journey Everything planned to your specification, so sit back and relax… Try Concierge

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest travel news stories and to hear about what we've been working on for you.

See if there’s a unique journey guide for your trip, featuring info on the trains, tickets & stations.
Leaving From
Going To
ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 1000 journey guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.