Welcome to Part 2 of the Travel Itinerary series. This series is intended to give you a practical guide to help you plan your journey and make your travel an enjoyable experience. In Part 1 we looked at Air Travel, now that you have arrived at your destination let’s look at how you are going to get around. For the purposes of this series, we will be visiting Milan in Italy.
Google Maps Mobile App
Make sure you have downloaded the Google Maps App for your mobile device and before you leave home and make sure you have the offline version of the map where you will be visiting. This will mean you will have full use of Google Maps using your mobile GPS and there will be no need to purchase data. To do this go to Offline Maps and select the area you will be visiting, I selected Milan and the area around Lake Como, as this is typically a place most people like to visit when they are in Milan, as you can see from the photo below downloading this offline map will take about 300MB of data. I also went to the settings and chose the update manually when on wi-fi only option to save data costs.
Travelling from the Airport to the City Centre
A useful resource when planning is to use a website called Rome2Rio.com, simply enter your departure point and destination and the website will suggest the various options, the length of journey and the different prices available. The cheapest option from Milan Linate Airport (LIN) to Milano Centrale Station was the shuttle bus (5 -7 Euro) which will take approximately 25 minutes as opposed to the Taxi at almost 30 – 40 Euros taking 8 minutes.
Luggage Storage Lockers
If you arrive too early for check in your hotel, you can normally go to the hotel and leave your luggage in their storage facility and return later to check in. However, if you are just in a city for the day you can find luggage lockers at the main station.
Most big cities in Europe now have Tourist and Travelcards that are valid for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours. The cost of a Milano Card for 24 hours is 8 Euros. This includes travel from the Linate Airport to town, so for just 3 Euros more you get the following included: Free Milan Public Transport (Metro, tram, buses, city-trains), free access or highly discounted rates for top attractions and 200 activities in Milan. Discounted rates also apply for Airport Bus Malpensa, Bergamo Orio and 10% discount on the Hop On Hop Off Milan bus.
Hop On Hop Off Bus
The sightseeing buses are a great way to see a city, we often use them to orientate ourselves and identify the attractions we would like to see when we arrive in a new city. The buses in Milan are open on the sides so be sure to pack extra warm/waterproof clothing just in case the weather turns.
Public Transport (Metro, trams and buses)
I find bus or tram timetables confusing and buses are often delayed in the traffic, besides when it is raining or snowing buses are not fun. My first choice is always the Metro system – it is efficient, fast and predictable.
I mentioned earlier that a visit to Lake Como is always on the list of attractions for anyone visiting Milan. Again the Rome2Rio.com website will give you the most convenient way to get to Lake Como and that will be on one of the regional trains. The site also suggests taking the ferry to Varenna.
If you plan to travel by train to various cities during your holiday, you may want to consider purchasing a Rail Pass from a company like Rail Europe.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says ‘Walking 10000 miles of the world is better than reading 10000 scrolls.’ Never forget to experience wherever you are going by simply walking, everything is in walking distance when you go exploring and you will learn so much more. By walking you actually do get time to smell the roses and take in the little things that other travellers will never see.
Have a look at what the website suggests in the following graphic, look at the distance from the station to the bus terminal and the route the bus takes which is only 2 minutes and a waste of 2 Euros. Rather walk the short distance through the beautiful Parco Antonio Sant’Elia (Antonio Sant’Elia Park) and you will see more, you may be able to buy a curio and say you were actually in Como – instead of just going through it on a bus.
Should you rent a car? Train prices are constantly going up and if three or four people can share, the cost of the rented car will normally be cheaper than the same group buying rail passes. Also remember that although it is great to get around the countryside by car, it may be a problem to park and you will normally need to pay rather hefty parking fees in the city. I would consider only renting the car for the days you visit the countryside.
Of course, if you want to rent a car in Italy, why not rent a Ferrari? There is nothing like driving a true Italian thoroughbred around the streets of Italy. You will get attention if that is what you looking for! Ferrari’s range from 850 Euros per day up to 1300 Euros per day, depending on the model you choose.
However, if you really want the wow-factor you can get the awe-inspiring exotic LaFerrari at a daily rate of around 13000 Euros.
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure this series of posts will give you the necessary guidelines and assist you in finding the easiest and most cost-effective way of booking and planning your itinerary.
- Part One – Air Travel
- Part Two – Transport and Logistics
- Part Three – Accommodation
- Part Four – Food and Eating Out
- Part Five – Drinks and Snacks
- Part Six – Things to Do
- Part Seven – What to pack
- Part Eight – Photography
- Part Nine – Essential Travel Tips
Please follow my Blog and you will be updated when the other parts in this series are published. Feel free to send me comments and or any suggestions of topics you would like me to cover in future travel related articles.