Help! Alone in Milan

Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:54 PM
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Help! Alone in Milan

My friend and I are flying into Milan before heading to the Italian Lakes. Problem is I'm coming from Seattle and arriving at the Malpensa airport at 7:55 am, she's coming from Vancouver, BC and doesn't get in until 1:30 or 2:00 pm.
Does anyone have any ideas on what to do for 5 1/2 hours by yourself? I thought I would maybe take a taxi to the city and walk around, but I read on here somewhere I think, that it would be 70euros!? The airport is much further from the city center than I thought, 28 miles I think I read. Is there lockers at the airport big enough for suitcases? I'm not real comfortable with the idea of trying to find the correct bus and going to town by myself. Are there any city tours that might start right from the airport?? I'm not sure what to do...any thoughts anyone?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:02 PM
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There is a bus at Milpensa that takes less then an hour to get you to the Milan Central Train Station. And it also goes back from the train station to Milpensa. If you arrive at 7:55am, say 8:00am you will probably need an hour to clear immigration etc. The buses run often. You could probably be in Milan by 10:30am.

Do you need to be back to Milpensa at 1:30pm, if so you would only have a couple of hours in Milan. However do keep in mind that your friend will need time to clear through immigration/customs after departing the plane just like you did, so allow time for that.

But, you could have fun for those couple of hours, walking around (great to do after a long flight, stop at a cafe and have an espresso or a cold drink, maybe a sandwich).

The bus does not cost that much. Easier to get from Milpensa and it would be easy to get at the Central Train Station to return to Milpensa.

I am not sure about storing your luggage at Milpensa but what I would do is go on Google, type in Milpensa Airport, Milan, Italy. I am sure there is a website. And that should show whether or not there are luggage lockers.



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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:04 PM
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There is an inexpensive airport shuttle bus that will take you to the train station in Milan, from there you can walk or take a bus to the duomo or the shopping center.

How are you getting to the lakes? It might make a difference as to where to meet your friend when she arrives. You can meet her in Milan.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:47 PM
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Go to the Duomo. Visit Peck (wonderful food shop) and have a coffee there. Or go to the Galleria, near the Duomo. That's also a nice place for a coffee or lunch.
Do some windowshopping in the Via Spiga and Via Montenapoleone.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:56 PM
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(Hi Loveitaly and SeaUrchin, I know I owe a Milano travel report, I need to work on it this weekend!)

lisjanemon: There is no need to panic. I just got back from Milano 6 days ago. While I travel with my young child, I feel as if I am a single traveler all the time so I can relate to your question.

First of all, the taxi information you read/received is erroneous. Taxis from Milano city centre out to Malpensa airport are much more expensive than 70 euros - the going rate is 140 euros for the 50 minute trip out there. The white Malpensa Shuttle bus at 4,60 euros/per person is a much better option. There are departures every 20 minutes from both the airport and the city centre, going both ways. From the airport, you would exit the baggage claim area out to the street level and look for the white Malpensa shuttle bus curbside. You can buy your ticket directly from the driver. If you don't want to take your suitcase into town, ask the Lufthansa counter or airport offices if you can keep your suitcase somewhere for 5 hours (most likely pay a small, nominal fee). That way you can travel into Milano unencumbered. The shuttle takes you directly to the Milano central train station. From there, you can walk to a Metro stop, buy a 1 euro ticket and hop on and go see the Duomo, Galleria Umberto Emanuele shops ("Duomo" stop), go shop along Corso Buenos Aires, have lunch in a charming cafe/ristorante, etc.

Figuring your time to arrive at airport (7:55 am), retrieve luggage, get on shuttle, drive 50 minutes into Milano, you won't get there (in town) until probably 10:30-11. That should allow you about 3 hours' time to see a site(s), eat lunch, and then take the return shuttle back out to meet your friend for 2:00 pm. It really is not as long of a time frame as you are thinking and will go very fast!
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 02:59 PM
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Thanks so much for the great ideas. And you brought up points that I hadn't even thought of like meeting my friend at the train station (where we need to be anyway to go to Como). Is it ok to bring a suitcase and decent size carry-on onto a bus? I will have to check if they have storage facilities at the train station also just in case. Thanks again everybody!
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 03:11 PM
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lisjanemon, Huitres, is a good expert about Italy, better then me. So her instructions should be listened to.

When I have taken the shuttle bus from Milpensa to the Milan Central Station they put my luggage in the luggage storage space at the bottom of the bus.

I have not done this since 911, so I do not know if the Central Train Station in Milan has luggage storage or not.

Hopefully Huirtes does.

If you and your friend need to catch a train at the Central Station then it would make sense for you to enjoy your visit in Milan and meet her at the Central Station.

Another thought, go to www. google.com and search for the Milan Central Train Station. I know that airport maps are on google. Hopefully the trains station maps are also.

And hello Huitres, I will look forward to your trip report. I hope you had a wonderful trip!
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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Yes, Huitres had excellent instructions! That's what I need, really detailed directions like that. Cause I have no problem being lost and confused when I'm with someone else but feeling that way when you're by yourself is a different story. Thanks for the info on the bus luggage storage. And I will check into the train station to see if they still allow luggage storage since 911...
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Oh lisjanemon, I completely understand. After I lost my DH and traveled on my own I felt the same way. But, honest, it all worked out fine. And I did not have the good guidance of people here on Fodors.


When you are in Milan, may I suggest that you go into the Galleria, when facing the duomo it is off to your left.

Sit down at a cafe, outside under the glass roof. Take a big breath. Order something to drink and just enjoy "people watching".

You will be fine, honest. Best wishes for a wonderful trip!
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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There's a left luggage depot at the Central station. You will have to wait in a queue though bcoz there's a couple of policeman who open all the luggage bcoz of security risks. I waited for about a half hour but it's the only option.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 10:16 PM
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Sitting down at a cafe people watching sounds wonderful after a long flight, good idea. I appreciate your nice wishes also.

And 30 minutes waiting to store my luggage at the station is good info as I will not have much time to waste...
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 11:06 PM
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Yes, the white Malpensa shuttle bus has storage areas underneath the bus to keep your suitcase while driving into the city centre. Re: leaving your luggage at the Milano Centrale station upon arrival, I recall the left luggage place being near the ticket window areas. You can always inquire there - you never know, maybe if it is a small carry-on size, they would let you keep it behind their counter!

Definitely hop on a Metro (Metro Verde-green line) to see the magnificent Duomo and the equally impressive Galleria across the street. The cafes are over-priced and glitzy, but why not live up the couple hours you will have in Milano?! Have a great time and buon viaggio!
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Thanks again for all your helpful advice!
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 08:39 PM
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Keep in mind that your friend will have to travel to the train station so you won't be meeting her til 3:00 or 3:30 because it will take her time to get her luggage and take the bus. That will give you a little more sightseeing time.
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Old Apr 5th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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I will be arriving into Malpensa airport on 19th April at 7:30. I have to go to Roma Termini (Central). I have to take my flight back on 23rd April at Malpensa airport at 10:30 a.m. Any suggestion, especially return from Rome to Malpensa. Also do you know if Malpensa has a baggage locker.
Thanks
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Old Apr 5th, 2005, 03:11 PM
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If I were in your position, I'd head to the destination alone and meet my friend there. I wouldn't want to spend all that time in the airport and wouldn't want to deal with transportation to Milan and then back to the airport. But if you really want to take a little trip by yourself for a few hours before nmeeting your friend, I'd recommend going to Vigevano instead of Milan. It's about the same distance from Malpensa as Milan, but it's a reasonable excursion to make when you can stay only a very short time. There's an extremely beautiful main square, and if you're really tired, you can head right to the square and just sit in the square for a few hours and look and the architecture and the people. If you have a little more energy, there are some sights to see right off the same square.
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