Malpensa or Linate: which airport in Italy (Milan) should I fly to?

Malpensa (MXP) and Linate (LIN) are the two main airports serving the Italian city of Milan. While Malpensa consists of two terminals and features a higher number of airlines and international destinations, Linate’s smaller terminal building is an operational base for domestic and European flights. The former may be seen as more focused on business travel, whereas the latter aims at providing an exclusive experience through its premium passenger services. If your airline of choice only flies to one of the two, there is not much you can do; however, when you have to make a decision and wonder which airport in Milan you should fly to, taking into account the distance to the city centre is key.

For instance, note that Malpensa airport lies roughly 50 kilometres from central Milan, and although there are express trains running frequent services between the two points, many business travellers opt to stay in a hotel close the passenger terminals. On the other hand, Linate airport is less than 10 kilometres away from the city centre, and it just takes 25 minutes to reach the Duomo Cathedral by car from its terminal. Below, you will find a more detailed guide to the public transportation options available from Malpensa and Linate.

Travelling from Malpensa airport to Milan city centre in Italy

The quickest way to travel to central Milan from Malpensa airport is by taking an express train at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. This service stops at some of the main stations in the city: Cardona, Milano Centrale and Milano Porta Garibaldi.

Alternatively, you can take a shuttle bus outside the arrivals zone of either terminal building. These buses departing from Malpensa airport are headed towards the Fiera Milano exhibition grounds (you are advised to check schedules), and also towards Milan Central Station. In the second case, services run every 20 minutes and tickets can be purchased on board.

Going from Linate airport to central Milan

Thanks to its proximity, Milan city centre can be easily reached with line 73 if you choose to travel by bus from Linate airport. Nevertheless, the best way to commute from Linate to Milan downtown is the subway: both the MM1 (Milan underground red line) and the MM3 (Milan underground yellow line) will take you to Piazza del Duomo in the heart of the city. You can buy your train ticket or travel card at any of the kiosks in the station.

*Should you need to transfer between these two airports in Italy (from Linate to Malpensa or the reverse journey), know that there is a shuttle for travellers running services at specific times during the day. To find out more, head over to the information desk at the arrivals hall or visit their official website.

Flights to Milan (landing in Malpensa airport)

Below you will find some of the main international airlines flying to Malpensa in Italy. The routes mentioned may be either scheduled or seasonal, and the flights operated direct or connecting ones.

Aegean Airlines (from Athens), Aer Lingus (Dublin), Aeroflot (Moscow Sheremetyevo and St. Petersburg), Air Canada (Toronto Pearson), Air China (Beijing Capital International), Air Europa and Iberia (Madrid), Air France (Paris Charles de Gaulle), Air India (Delhi), Air Italy (Olbi, Palermo, Rome Fiumicino and upcoming destinations worldwide), Air Serbia (Belgrade), Alitalia (New York JFK and Tokyo Narita), American Airlines (Miami), Austrian (Vienna), British Airlines (London Heathrow), Brussels Airlines (Brussels), Bulgaria Air (Sofia), Easyjet (destinations across Europe), Emirates (Dubai), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Finnair (Helsinki), Flybe (Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and London Southend), Eurowings (Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart), HOP! (Lyon), El Al (Tel Aviv), Icelandair (Reykjavik-Keflavik), KLM (Amsterdam), Korean Air (Seoul Incheon), LATAM Brasil (Sao Paulo), Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda), Wizz Air (Budapest), Qatar Airways (Doha), Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca), Thai Airways (Bangkok), SAS (Copenhagen), Tap Air Portugal (Lisbon), Vueling (Barcelona, Bilbao and Paris Orly) and Ryanair (from and to numerous destinations across Europe).

Airlines that fly to Linate airport in Milan Italy

Currently, you can purchase flights to Milan (Linate) from the following carriers: Aer Lingus (Dublin), Air France (Paris Charles de Gaulle), Air Italy (Olbia), Air Malta (Malta), Alitalia (destinations across Europe), Blue Air (Bucharest), British Airways (London Heathrow, London City and London Stansted), Brussels Airlines (Brussels), Bulgaria Air (Sofia), Easyjet (Amsterdam Schiphol, London Gatwick, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly), Iberia (Madrid), KLM (Amsterdam), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Luxair (Luxembourg) and SAS (Stockholm Arlanda).

Business facilities, VIP services and lounges in Malpensa airport

Particularly convenient for those travelling to Milan for work, the meeting rooms in Malpensa airport can be booked by the hour, to use for 12 hours or 24 hours. They are located in the public arrivals zone of Terminal 1 and so are ideal to meet up potential clients and host business events. Furthermore, additional services such as catering, WiFi, digital screens, audio system and parking will considerably enhance your business experience. For a hassle-free and relaxed time before catching your flight, you may also purchase an access pass to any of the airport lounges in MXP (there are two for non-Schengen flights and one for Schengen ones), to the Fast-Track to security or even book a room at the Sheraton Milan Malpensa Hotel (T1) or the Moxy Hotel Marriott Malpensa (T2).

VIP lounge and fast track in Linate airport of Milan, Italy

Travellers passing through LIN will be glad to know that it also has business facilities where meetings can be organised, as well as a VIP lounge –“Sala Leonardo”-, located in concourse A  next to gates A17 and A18. The fast lane to security in Linate airport is on the first floor of the departures area and passes can be bought online by visiting the airport’s website.