The famous Lago Maggiore, surrounded by the Swiss Ticino in the north, and the Italian Piedmont and Lombardy region in each west and east, is a nature paradise. If you are visiting Milan, you should definitely consider a day trip. But, how far is Lake Maggiore from Milan? By Car, it’s less than 60 km. If you have a (rental) car, perfect. If not, no problem as well. Very famous are the markets around the Italian coastline of the Lago, Lake. For example, I can recommend the weekly market in Luino, on Wednesdays.
How to get to Lake Maggiore from Milan
Getting to Lake Maggiore by Car
The probably easiest possibility to travel to Lake Maggiore from Milan is to take a Car. You can individually travel at the times you want and are not bound to certain timetables. From the City Centre of Milan you have 92 km to Luino, and 124 km to Canobbio. It are toll Routes (you have to pay for using them) and to Luino you will need about 1.5 hours, driving via Varese, and about 2h to Canobbio.
Getting to Lake Maggiore by Train
Trenitalia is the national railway company in Italy, bookings for tickets can be made directly at the station (at a machine or at a counter), online via their website or by using their smartphone App which is available for iOS and Android (search for Trenitalia in your App Store).
From Milan to Luino you will have to change trains twice, with a total travel time for 3 to 3.5 hours. But, the price is fairly cheap with just 7,90€ in 2nd class.
Tip: when looking for Trains departing from Milan, always chose ‘Milano ( Tutte le stazioni )‘, to find all the trains departing from any station in Milan.
Getting to Lake Maggiore by Bus
FlixBus is taking over the European long-distance bus market, with more and more Routes in every country. Unfortunately, there is (not yet), a direct stop somewhere along Lake Maggiore. But, there is one in Lugano and one in Bellinzona. The connections to Lugano are from Milan, Turin, Como, as well as Munich, Stuttgart, Bregenz and Lindau at Lake Constance. From Lugano, you would have to change from FlixBus to a Bus or Train to your further destination.
Prices for the Route Milan – Lugano start at 8€ per Person and Ride.
Getting to Lake Maggiore by Plane
Taking a Plane to Lake Maggiore is a bit more difficult, as there is no Airport very close to the Lake. But, there are some! In Italy, the closest Airports are the Milan ones, with MXP Malpensa as the nearest. In Switzerland, the Airport is actually closer, which is LUG Lugano. It is only a small regional Airport, so connections aren’t very tight.
From Malpensa Airport it is 86 km to Canobbio and 55 km to Luino by Taxi or UBER, from Lugano Airport 58 km to Canobbio and 16 km to Luino.