Travel to San Siro in Milan to See an AC Milan Game
Whether you’re going to Milan just so you can catch an AC Milan game or you’re just squeezing in a game during your trip to Milan, this is all the information you’ll need to know about seeing an AC Milan game at San Siro Stadium in Milan. You can read it from top to bottom to get all the details, or skip ahead to just the bits you need from the list below.
- AC Milan Stadium Information
- How to Get to San Siro Stadium
- How to Get Tickets to an AC Milan Game
- Where to Sit at the San Siro
- How to Get to Milan
- Where to Stay in Milan
- What Else to Do in Milan
Milan is one of Italy’s air transportation hubs, so you’ll be able to get a flight to Milan easily from just about anywhere on the planet. There are two airports in Milan, one of which is pretty far outside the city center and one that’s a short taxi ride from downtown. This is also a major rail hub – you’ll have no trouble getting a train to Milan from elsewhere in Europe. So seeing the likes of Pippo Inzaghi and Ronaldinho in action isn’t hard at all.
Flying to Milan
Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) – Roughly 50km from San Siro, Malpensa has the most international traffic of any Italian airport. It’s a hub for Alitalia, Italy’s national airline, and is served by lots of other airlines from all over the world. There are several ways to get from Malpensa into the city, one of the easiest being the Malpensa Express train which stops at a big Metro hub in Milan – from there it’s a short trip to San Siro.
Milan Linate Airport (LIN) – Milan’s second airport is much smaller, but it’s only about 12km from San Siro and happens to be popular with many of Europe’s cheaper airlines, so it could be the economical choice. Public transport from Linate isn’t as plentiful as it is from Malpensa, but you can catch a bus into the city center and from there you can catch a tram or Metro to San Siro. And because it’s not so far from downtown, taking a taxi to San Siro probably wouldn’t totally break the bank, either.
Taking the Train to Milan
Milan’s main train station, Stazione Centrale, is a major rail hub for the city and has regular arrivals from points all over Europe. It’s on the other side of town from San Siro, but thankfully there’s a Metro stop and a tram stop just outside the station and you can get on either one to take you to San Siro.
Taking the Bus to Milan
Because Italy doesn’t have a nationalized bus system (the way they do for trains) it’s incredibly difficult to orchestrate a bus trip from one region of Italy to another. From elsewhere in the Lombardy region (where Milan is), you can take a regional bus into Milan’s city center, and from another country you can take one of the cross-Europe buses between big cities (there are regular buses from Paris to Milan, for instance), but you’re probably better off thinking about taking the train instead.
Driving to Milan
Milan is a major city in northern Italy with a web-like network of highways running in and out. It’s surrounded by a ring road (tangenziale in Italian), and no matter which direction you’re coming from it’s probably best to get on the that ring road until you reach the appropriate exit for the stadium. This will save you having to drive through the chaos of central Milan. If you’re driving to wherever you’re staying instead of directly to the stadium, however, you’ll need to find out from the hotel or hostel what the best route is for you to follow.
>> No matter how you’re getting to the stadium, be sure to consult the directions on this page, including public transportation and driving directions which are translated from the Stadio San Siro website.
Unless you’re a member of AC Milan’s hard-core fan organization (which, if you were, you wouldn’t be reading this), you’ve basically got two choices for where to sit for a game. The four sections of Stadio San Siro are broken down by color, and it’s not just the colors on a map – the seats in those sections are actually those colors, so it’s dead easy to figure out where you are.
The blue section is the Curva Sud, which is home to AC Milan’s most exuberant fans. (The green section is the Curva Nord, which is where Inter’s fans sit when their team is the home team.) Everyone else sits in either the red or orange sections, which are mixed (in other words, there’s no team allegiance toward either side in these sections).
The differences between the red and orange sections for the average person are minimal, but if you care about where the teams come out of the tunnel or which way the team lineups face before the game starts or where the team benches are, then here’s what you need to know:
- The team tunnel comes out from underneath the red side, and the teams line up and face the red side before the start of the game.
- The team benches are below the red side, but unless you’ve paid for the most expensive seats you won’t be able to see much of them – you’ll get a better view of the benches from the orange side.
- The VIP seats are underneath the 2nd level of the red side, so if you bring binoculars and sit on the orange side you might be able to spot any stars or bigwigs who are in attendance.
Buying Tickets Online in Advance
If you’re coming to see an AC Milan game from outside Milan (and outside Italy), perhaps the least complicated and least risky way to get tickets to the game is to buy them from an online seller in advance. You can sometimes buy tickets on the AC Milan official website, but doing this only eliminates a small portion of the complication, because you don’t actually get a ticket – you still need to go to the stadium early on game day and pick up your tickets at will-call. Will call tickets are on a bit of a “first come first served” basis, so you can’t just arrive a few minutes before the game starts to pick them up. You’d risk ending up in the highest row or losing your tickets altogether.
For anyone who knows they won’t have time to spend the day hanging around outside San Siro stadium on game day, you’re probably better off buying a ticket from an online reseller other than the team itself. You can buy AC Milan tickets online for games that are much further in the future than if you were buying directly from the team, too (they only sell tickets a week or two in advance of the next game). Note that these tickets aren’t face value (you’re paying for the services of the seller as well as the tickets themselves), but the security of knowing you’ve got tickets and you don’t have to navigate the murky waters of a ticket queue outside San Siro on game day is worth it.
Also note that even if you think you’ll have time to buy tickets at the stadium right before the game, if it’s a big game the tickets could be sold out weeks in advance. So for particularly big games, either buy tickets online in advance or prepare to shell out even more money to a scalper.
>> Check out all the tickets you can buy for upcoming AC Milan games
Buying Tickets at the Stadium on Game Day
For those of you with more time on game day, there are ticket booths outside San Siro where you can buy tickets right at the stadium. The process isn’t too difficult, so long as you have everything you need with you when it’s your turn at the window.
Ticket kiosks are located in a few places around the stadium, but the easiest one for most people to spot is on Via Harar – it’s near where the special game-day buses drop people off (see more about getting to Stadio San Siro to find out about those buses as well as other forms of transport). The kiosks are round-ish buildings with ticket windows on all sides and metal barriers designed to force people to line up properly. Those barriers don’t work terribly well, as the “queue” can be more of a “clump,” but you’ll get your turn – more quickly if you’re forceful.
To buy tickets at San Siro, you’ll need to know either what section you want to sit in or roughly how much you want to spend on tickets, a form of picture ID (a driver’s license or your passport will do), and cash. In an effort to minimize fan violence at soccer games in Italy, each ticketholder’s name and birthdate is printed onto their ticket – and it must match the name, birthdate, and photo on the ID shown at the stadium entrance. So you can’t buy tickets for all of your friends who then just meet you at the stadium minutes before kick-off – you’ve got to all be present and accounted for, ID in hand, when you’re buying tickets.
It’s not a bad idea to consult the seating chart for San Siro ahead of time, but they’ve also got colored charts at the ticket windows. There’s no guarantee the ticket sellers will speak English, so be prepared to say what you want to spend in Italian numbers. (If you want a ticket for under €30, for instance, you’d say, “Un biglietto meno trenta euro, per favore,” and they’d be able to show you where tickets at that price are located.)
You’ll then hand over your ID, which the ticket seller will use to put your name into the computer so that it prints on your ticket. If you’re not using your passport as ID and your birthdate is written in any order other than DAY – MONTH – YEAR, you may need to point that out, but really as long as the date on your ticket matches the one on your ID you’re fine.
And finally, as mentioned, you’ll be paying in cash – there are no credit cards accepted at the ticket kiosks.
Buying Tickets from a Scalper on Game Day
Scalpers are no more legal in Italy than they are in many other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist (often with what seems like the blessing of the local authorities). You just have to be a little careful about the kind of scalper you’re buying from.
Walk around the stadium a few hours before game time and you may be approached by someone muttering, “Biglietti?” at you. If they seem cagey, or at all like most of us think scalpers act, it’s probably a good idea to say no and keep walking. These scalpers don’t necessarily have any affiliation with the club, so there’s no guarantee you’d get anything other than a useless piece of paper for your money.
Keep wandering, especially closer to the stadium entrances, and you’re more likely to find the guys who seem to be sanctioned by the team to re-sell tickets at a significant profit. (Of course they’re not actually sanctioned, but the team officials just look the other way.) These guys are the ones yelling, “Biglietti! Tickets!” more loudly than the guy who almost whispered it into your ear, and they have not only a handful of tickets but also the required name-change forms to go with them.
Because of the requirement to have names and birthdates printed on tickets, you’ll be buying a ticket with someone else’s name and birthdate on it. So again, bring your ID with you and they’ll use it to fill in the blanks on a name-change form that corresponds with the name and birthdate on the ticket you’re buying. Then you take the ticket, the name-change form, and your ID to the entrance and the combination of all of these things should get you in without a problem.
Now, as mentioned, scalping isn’t legal in Italy. So you’re running a risk if you buy a ticket from some guy outside the stadium, even if he does have a name-change form and seem nice. What’s more, you’re handing over cash (are you surprised the scalpers don’t take plastic?), so if the ticket you buy doesn’t get you in then you’re out the money and you still have to watch the game on TV. The bottom line is that if the big game is sold out or this is for some other reason your only way to get a ticket to San Siro, then at least be aware that you’re taking a bit of a risk.
>> For more, don’t miss a first-hand account of going to an AC Milan game at San Siro, including details about the ticket-buying experience.
Assuming you aren’t just in Milan for an AC Milan game, here are some other travel-related links that’ll help you make the most of your stay in Italy’s business, banking, and fashion capital.