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Why rent a car in Milan?
Renting a car in Milan is a great idea. Having your own ride will let you explore this large city, as well as to travel to many other interesting destinations in Northern Italy.
Top ways to enter Milan
- Milan Malpensa Airport: Second busiest in Italy, Malpensa Airport is about an hour’s drive west Milan city center, and offer some of the most stunning views right before the landing.
- Bergamo Airport: Located in the nearby town of Bergamo, this airport is an hour’s drive east of Milan and is favored by many low-cost carriers.
- Milan Linate Airport: The smallest of the three international airports in the Milan area, Linate is also the one that is the closest to the city center.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Milan by train, you can conveniently pick up a rental car right at the Milan Central Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- Milan Region is the most densely populated part of Italy. The Milan metropolitan area, also known as Grande Milano, has more than 8 million people living in it.
- Winters in Milan can be quite cold, with occasional snowfall. In summer, humidity levels are high and peak temperatures can reach temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F).
Top destinations and activities
- Milan Cathedral. Duomo is the most famous building of Milan and the heart of the city, located right next to countless other landmarks.
- The historic center. Centro Storico area is right next to Duomo and is the reason from where Milan gets its posh reputation as Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping arcade, Teatro Alla Scala opera house, as well as many restaurants, fashion boutiques, and art galleries are located there.
- Sempione Park. Milan has several beautiful parks and gardens, but Parco Sempione is perhaps the most famous one, both because it is the largest and because it houses the renaissance Sforza Castle and its museum with artworks by Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Traffic and parking tips
The speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30 km/h.
Main highways are limited to 130 km/h, non-major highways to 110 km/h, and local roads to 90 km/h. During the rain the limits are respectively lowered to 110 km/h, 100 km/h, and 80 km/h. The general speed limit is lowered to 50 km/h during heavy fog or other cases of bad visibility.
The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Being over the allowed limit can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment.
The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
There are numerous toll roads in Italy. The exact fee depends on the route of your choice and the type of a vehicle. See the official Italian toll road website for more information. Use the website’s toll road calculator to find out exactly how much you’ll have to pay for using the toll roads on your planned route.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Bergamo. Just 60 km (42 mi) from the city center, Milan’s smaller, but equally charming neighbor offers the walled Upper City, great restaurants, and countless museums and galleries.
- Turin. About 2 hours drive west of Milan, the capital of Piedmont Region and Italy’s fourth largest city, Turin is sometimes considered Milan’s friendly rival. It offers stunning architecture, interesting history, and perhaps a tad more relaxed atmosphere.
- Lake Maggiore. The town of Arona, located on the southwest coast of this picturesque lake, is just a bit more than an hour’s drive away from Milan.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Italy is the Fiat Panda, but travelers also pick the Ford Fiesta and the Fiat 500. The most often picked rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- Switzerland. Closer to Milan than Rome and Venice, Switzerland is a great nearby destination full of dramatic mountain scenery and cozy little valley towns. Start in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino, then proceed to Geneva in the west or Davos and the many national parks in the east. Note that if you’re coming from Milan to Switzerland, you’ll have to cross a national border, so check with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it.
- Provence. France’s picturesque coastal stretch is just a three and a half hour drive southeast of Milan. Visit Mediterranean towns like Nice, Cannes, and Marseille, and make time for a short stop in Monaco, the affluent microstate that’ll be on the way. Note that if you’re coming from Milan to France, you’ll have to cross a national border, so check with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it.
- Parma, Modena, and Bologna. The three cities of Emilia-Romagna region are located next to the same national highway, and each make an equally interesting travel destination thanks to a unique history, architecture, and culinary traditions.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are the things you can do to get the best possible rental deal in Milan:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Milan is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 45% cheaper than the yearly average and 68% cheaper than renting a car in June.
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