5 easy must-do weekend trips from Milan

Published by: BouncePosted
Weekend trips from Milan

The Italian city of Milan is a wonderful place to visit. The international capital of fashion, this elegant city in northern Italy is one of the world's greatest places to shop. Plus, Milan is full of incredible historic structures, including the magnificent Milan Cathedral, and is home to priceless works of art by Leonardo da Vinci, among others. And, since this city is in Italy, you can expect to find wonderful food, wine, and coffee just about everywhere you look.

With all this going for it, it might be hard to see a reason to take day trips from Milan. And it's true that the city has enough to keep you occupied, especially on a short trip. But if you have longer to spend in northern Italy or you live in the region, it's good to know that you can easily explore some truly stunning locations not far from the city itself.

The forbidding Fascist architecture of Milan Centrale forms the backdrop to many an incredible day trip from the city by train. Italy's train network is efficient and affordable, and it can take you to some wonderful places outside of Milan. And if you're willing to rent a car, even more of the region is open to you.

Drop off your bags at a luggage storage in Milan and take nothing but the essentials with you, whether you're contemplating a day trip or a longer weekend adventure. With stunning Alpine scenery, beautiful lakes, and historic towns all over this fascinating area, you'll have your pick of incredible places to visit no matter how you like to spend your time.

Newsletter Banner

Love discounts and traveling?

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your next booking.

Weekend trips from Milan to Lake Como

Lake Como

Famous as the occasional home of international celebrities, Lake Como is a truly beautiful place to visit that can be reached from Milan in less than two hours, making it one of the most popular day trips from Milan. However, there's enough here to justify a longer weekend trip to Lake Como. A haven for outdoor activities, the lake is also home to some incredible historic sites, along with quaint villages lined with cobbled streets that will make you feel like you've taken a trip back in time.

Distance from Milan:

Only 84 km north of Milan city center, you can reach Lake Como in only an hour and a half by car. You can also reach it by train to the lakeside town of Varenna Esino in just under two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Take a boat tour: One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Como is to head out on the startlingly clear water on a boat tour. A guided tour will take you to some of the most beautiful locations around the shores of the lake and explain more about the rich history of this region, giving you a great overview for your own exploration of this stunning location.

Sacro Monte di Ossuccio: Located 400 m above sea level, this UNESCO World Heritage site is home to petroglyphs, or rock art, that date back more than 7,000 years. Something of a hidden gem, this incredible location is well worth exploring for its huge historical significance.

Enjoy the beach: Lake Como has some exceptional beaches that make great places to relax and enjoy the scenery during warm weather. Many of the beaches offer private beach clubs where you can rent a lounger and get food and drinks, but there are also public beaches where all you need to do is spread out a towel and go for a swim in the refreshing water.

Best season to visit:

The hot Italian summer is the best time to enjoy the cool waters of the lake if you intend to go swimming, but visiting Lake Como may be even better in the off-season. Because it's so close to Milan and so well known, Lake Como gets hordes of tourists during the summer holidays, but if you visit during spring or fall, you'll have a more laid-back and authentic experience without the crowds. Plus, prices at this time of year are usually lower for Lake Como accommodation.

Lake Maggiore weekend trips from Milan

Lake Maggiore

Another of the stunning lakes in the vicinity of Milan, Lake Maggiore makes a fantastic day trip and an even better weekend trip from the city. The second largest lake in the country, Maggiore straddles the border between Italy and Switzerland and is home to quaint villages as well as beautiful scenery.

Distance from Milan:

88 km north of Milan, Lake Maggiore is reachable with a drive of around an hour and a half. It's also possible to take a train from Milan Centrale to Gallarate, then change for a train to Porto Valtravaglia on the shores of the lake itself.

Our activity recommendations:

Take a boat ride: Like Lake Como, Lake Maggiore may look its best from the water itself. Whether you decide to take an informative historical and geological tour or would rather just rent a boat and head out by yourself to enjoy the beautiful scenery, you won't regret taking a trip out on the water here.

Explore the villages: Lake Maggiore is surrounded by some colorful villages that make excellent places to explore. For instance, visit the quaint fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori, where you'll be able to enjoy a slower pace of life and sample excellent seafood straight from the waters of the lake.

Monte Mattrone: You can reach the summit of this incredible mountain by taking a cable car from Stresa. From the top, almost 1,500 m above sea level, you'll have an unbelievable view over the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Best season to visit:

Like Lake Como, Lake Maggiore is an unsurprisingly popular destination for a day trip from Milan. Therefore, you can expect to encounter high prices and tourist crowds in the summer. Visiting during fall or spring when the weather is still good but the crowds are thinner is a good idea to get the most out of this beautiful place.

Weekend trips from Milan to Brescia


This ancient town is reachable on a day trip or as a weekend trip from Milan. Recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage list, this is just one of the many beautiful cities in the foothills of the Italian Alps, but its historical significance makes it one of the best to visit in the region.

Distance from Milan:

Located almost 100 km to the east of Milan, you can reach Brescia with a drive of around an hour and 20 minutes. However, thanks to Italy's high-speed train network, you can take a train to Brescia in only 36 minutes. The interesting sites and fantastic architecture of this town are easy to reach from the train station, so a train ride is a great way to avoid the hassle of parking and driving and focus on enjoying the rich historical roots of modern Italian culture.

Our activity recommendations:

Civici Musei d'Arte e Storia Santa Giulia: This incredible museum houses an original Roman villa and played a large part in Brescia winning its UNESCO World Heritage status. This museum will take you back in time to explore not only the Roman history of this beautiful city but also its prehistoric origins and its more recent history up until the present day.

Piazza del Foro: Located in the historic center of Brescia Old Town, this is the best place to visit to get a sense of the ancient Roman past of this small city. Home to some staggering 2,000-year-old ruins like the Capitoline Temple, this outdoor museum is a highlight of both day trips and weekend trips in this area.

Broletto: Brescia's old town hall dates back to the Middle Ages, and its iconic tower is a major landmark of the city. Proving that there's more to Brescia than its Roman past, this tower is just one example of the beautiful medieval architecture you can see in the city.

Best season to visit:

There's no bad time to visit Brescia. Summer brings great weather but also crowds of people on day trips from Milan. Spring and fall offer smaller crowds but less predictable weather. But even winter can be a magical time in this historic town center, so don't miss out on this great place to explore.

Weekend trips to Lake Garda from Milan

Lake Garda

Another of the exceptional lakes in the area, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and offers one amazing panoramic view after another. Surrounded by stunning villas of the rich and famous, this lake is one of Italy's most popular tourist destinations. It's also a great place for outdoor activities, food, shopping, and just about everything else you need for a memorable weekend trip.

Distance from Milan:

Lake Garda lies around 140 km east of Milan, out past Brescia. Driving here will take around two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Cascata del Varone: Located on the northern part of Lake Garda, this waterfall cuts its way through a cave that you can explore thanks to a series of walkways that will take you on an adventure through the mountain itself. Along the way, you'll see countless beautiful Lake Garda views, and there's even a zen garden at the summit of the trail that makes a great place for picnics.

Isola del Garda: With its crenelated battlements rising out of the lake itself, this island is almost too beautiful to be believed. Once a hermit's cave for St. Francis of Assisi, this Lake Garda island is now home to an impressive palace with some beautiful gardens and is a lovely place to explore on a sunny day.

Best season to visit:

There's no bad time to visit Lake Garda. However, as with the other lakes in the area, summer can be a busy time, and you may be better off planning your day trips from Milan or longer weekend trips for spring or fall.

Monza weekend trip from Milan


Situated just outside Milan, Monza is best known for its Grand Prix. However, there's a lot more to this beautiful city than just an annual race, and although it's often overshadowed by Milan, you won't regret taking a trip to this interesting place.

Distance from Milan:

Monza lies less than 20 km north of Milan city center, and you can reach it by car in around 40 minutes. It's quicker, however, to take the regional train from Milan Porta Garibaldi station, which will bring you to the center of Monza in less than 20 minutes.

Our activity recommendations:

Palazzo Reale: This Royal Villa was used as a residence for the Viceroy of Italy during French rule in the region. Now, it's home to an intriguing museum where you can explore the opulent lives of the aristocracy of the 19th century. The grounds also form a huge park, which you can reach by taking a free shuttle bus from the railway station.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza: Dating back to 1922, this historic racetrack is the home of the Italian Grand Prix. An on-site museum pays tribute to the cars and drivers of the last hundred years, and it's a great place to learn more about Monza's historic connection to motorsports.

Best season to visit:

Monza is a year-round destination. The historic centre of this old town is impressive no matter when you visit, and the great museums are perfect places to explore in any weather.

The best weekend trips from Milan


The above list provides just some examples of all the incredible things there are to do in this region. With only three days to explore Milan itself, you should focus on the city, but if you have a little more time at your disposal, consider one of these weekend trips. Whether you're looking for the best day trips from Milan or a longer weekend trip that will show you more of this interesting region, you'll be spoiled for choice. Just remember to drop off your unneeded bags at a luggage storage in Milan to make the most of all that northern Italy has to offer you.

Newsletter Banner

Love discounts and traveling?

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your next booking.

Get the
Bounce app

Instantly find locations nearby to drop off your luggage wherever you go.