Travel Paris to Milan: By Train to Museums, Malls & Much More!

paris to milan thello
Thello overnight train that travels from Paris to Milan


Traveling by Train From Paris to Milan

Do you have plans of visiting Paris? There are many destinations outside of France that can be easily reached by train from Paris. One of our favorite train trips to take is from Paris to Milan. What makes this itinerary so great is that there are several ways to do it! Depending on your travel preferences and budget, you can travel during the day, or night. If you choose to travel during the day, you can take a direct TGV train, or you can change trains in a few Swiss cities.

Enjoy your Parisian breakfast before you head off for the Paris Gare de Lyon train station. Here you will board either a France-Italy TGV (travels direct from Paris to Milan) or a TGV Lyria train combined with a Trenitalia EuroCity train, traveling this way you will be traveling from Paris to Zurich or Geneva to Milan. If you choose to travel during the day, you can expect to be on the train for roughly 7 hours. Fares for day trains begin at $105 per person.

Alternatively, you can choose to travel on the Thello overnight train from Paris to Milan. This train departs around 8pm and travels through the night while you rest comfortably, dreaming about all the wonderful things you’re going to see and do upon your arrival in Milan! The Thello travel time is a little over 9 hours, fares begin at $120 per person.

Things to See & Do in Paris and Milan

Here’s a great list of must-see & do activities when you travel from Paris to Milan, do one or all, the choice is up to you!

10. Dine at Le Train Bleu – Prior to your departure to Milan, why not arrive at the Paris Gare de Lyon train station a bit earlier and enjoy a fine meal at Le Train Bleu. As you dine, you will be surrounded by the gildings, carvings, moldings, chandeliers and frescoes that cover all the walls of the restaurant, giving it the appearance of a museum of the 1900’s. In service as a restaurant since 1901, Le Train Bleu serves hundreds of guests daily offering a robust menu of food choices paired with rich wines. On your visit to Paris we definitely recommend you treat yourself to a delicious meal at Le Train Bleu!

9. Take Part in Expo Milano 2015 – Ever attend a World’s Fair? This year, Milan will host Expo Milano 2015, the Universal Exhibition from May 1 to October 31, 2015. During this 6 month period, the city will be a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology offering healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. The city of Milan is expecting to welcome over 20 million visitors to its exhibition area during Expo Milano 2015. The theme is food, bringing out the best of each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future. It is expected that this expo will provide people with the chance to learn about and taste the world’s best dishes, while discovering the best of the gastronomic traditions of each of the exhibitor countries. Tickets are on sale now and cost less when you book early!

champs elysees
Champs-Elysées heading towards the Arc de Triomphe, Paris France


8. Stroll down the Champs-Elysées – The Champs-Elysées is roughly 1.2 miles long and wide enough to hold up to 10 lanes of traffic. It runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Well-known for its theatres, cafés and luxury shops, a walk down the Champs-Elysées is a fun way to spend an afternoon. If you’re one for watching the crowds, the best side for people-watching is the northern side (the left if you put your back to the Arc de Triomphe). The upper part of the Champs-Elysées primarily comprised of shops and food shops of all varieties. The lower part crosses through a park where you can find several restaurants, gardens and monuments. While any time is a nice time to stroll the Champs-Elysées, in our opinion, the best time to visit is near Christmas as it gets dark. There is always a fabulous light display in the trees that border the boulevard and it just looks so magical!

7. Do some shopping at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – Much like Paris’ Champs-Elysées, depending on your budget, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is a great spot to do some shopping – or window shopping! Acclaimed with being the world’s oldest shopping mall, you will find many, many high-end luxury brands at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. You can walk around and get a feel for the latest fashion trends, or perhaps just visit one of the many cafes – even treat yourself to an authentic Italian ice cream/gelato. However you spend your time here, you will be sure to find plenty to keep your attention whether shopping, eating or even people watching!

galleria vittorio emanuele
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milano, Italy

6. Visit the Gargoyles at Notre Dame – The Cathedral of Notre Dame is one of our favorite must see items in Paris! As you explore you’ll find lots of great information that details the history of the cathedral going back as far as the 1100’s. There is an abundance of beautiful religious art all around, however, we believe that the majority of the 14 million visitors to Notre Dame each year come to view the Rose Window and Gargoyles! If you’re up for a bit of a workout and are okay with spiral staircases you won’t want to miss out on climbing to the top of the cathedral for some of the most breathtaking views of the city. With the Paris Historic Tour, a guided visit of Notre Dame Cathedral is included – a great way to spend some time in Paris!

5. Castello Sforzesco – The Sforzesco Castle is considered to be one of the most famous monuments in all of Milan. This structure has seen long historical lows and times of despair during the past years. Sforzesco has been demolished and rebuilt several times, it has been embellished and restored and surfaced to serve as a symbol of  happy and dramatic events. Come explore this amazing castle and get better acquainted with the historical background of the city of Milan.

4. Meet Mona Lisa at the Louvre – Known as the best known, most visited, written about and parodied work of art in the world, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is on permanent display at the iconic Louvre Museum in Paris. You can visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre using your Paris Musuem Pass. Gaze at the face of the figure in the painting and decide for yourself if it is a smile you see…or something else!

louvre museum

3. Experience Da Vinci’s The Last Supper – This iconic masterpiece is sought out by millions each year. Another one of Da Vinci’s most well-known pieces of art, The Last Supper captures Jesus and his disciples at Passover. This painting has been studied by countless amateur and professional art aficionados for  years. Looking for hidden meaning and symbols. Making arguments of who is actually pictured in the painting and whether or not the artist actually painting himself in the work. Come see The Last Supper for yourself and make your own theories about it. Note that you do need advance reservations to view this piece of art, and once inside, you will be limited to 15 minutes. You can find The Last Supper in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan.

2. Enjoying the views from the Eiffel Tower – There are few better ways to see gorgeous views of Paris then to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. Looking out at the vastness of the city, you’ll truly appreciate the surrounding atmosphere. Being at the top of the Eiffel Tower emits such ambiance, you just can’t help but feel alive! Be sure to snap some pictures while you’re up there, whether they be selfies or with your travel companion(s) – and don’t forget to put them on Instagram and tag them with @RailEurope so that they can be shared with our audience!

1. Travel by Train From Paris to Milan – You can never truly see all of Paris in one visit, but, once you’ve crossed off all the must-sees you set out to see in the city of light, head to the Paris Gare de Lyon to catch a train to Milan. There are a few ways to travel from Paris to Milan. You can take a direct train during the day, you can travel via Zurich or Geneva during the day, or for a true adventure, why not hop on the overnight Thello train?! Whichever train you choose, you’ll arrive right in the heart of the city at Milan Central Station (one of the many great benefits of traveling by train) ready to begin your explorations. Traveling between these two cities takes as little as 7 hours – but keep in mind, travel time will depend on which type of train you take.

On your next trip to Europe, why not consider adding Paris and Milan to your itinerary. You won’t find yourself running out of things to see or do. These cities are two exciting metropolises just waiting for you to explore. Plus, with the benefit of traveling by train, these cities are easily traveled to in a day (or a night).

Whether you’re traveling by yourself or with others, when you travel from Paris to Milan, we promise, these two cities will offer something to suit everyone’s interests. Don’t forget to share your Paris and Milan travel stories with us – and any additional items you think should be on a list of must sees!

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