Duomo Milan

The Best Time To Visit Milan, Italy: A Seasonal Guide


Milan is commonly known as the “Fashion Capital Of The World” yet it has so much more to offer. When deciding to visit Milan, it can be difficult to decide just when you should visit. Will it be busy? Warm? Will it rain? Do I only have 24 hours to spend in Milan? In this post, we will look into each season so you can decide when the best time to visit Milan is for you.

Summer (June-July-August)

Duomo Milan

Temperature

You may be under the impression that you must visit Italy in summer to experience all it has to offer. It has a subtropical climate, and is known as a summer destination- but is it best to visit during the warmest months of the year?

Temperatures can soar as high as 30°C (86°F) during July and August; this combined with the humidity can make it almost unbearable to maneuver the busy crowds of tourists who have flocked to the city for summer.

If you are set on a summer getaway, June tends to be in the low 20s and is less humid. It is also the quietest of the summer months in Milan, but you should still expect it to be busy.

Due to the amount of tourism during these months, you can expect accommodation and travel prices to skyrocket compared to the colder months.

What To Wear

The heat in these months makes this the perfect time for fashionistas to visit.

It is no secret that Milan is the heart of fashion, and it is not uncommon for tourists to take their trip to Milan as an opportunity to showcase themselves.

There will be no need to wear a coat over your favorite outfit, so it is the optimal environment to update your Instagram with stunning backdrops and the sun shining down on you.

What To Do

Milan is full of activities, with the long, sunny days being a great way to soak up the Vitamin D by taking a walk in many of the parks in the city.

One of the best is Brera Botanical Gardens: stroll through this peaceful area, leaving the buzz of the busy summer crowds behind. It is romantic, picturesque, and a tranquil activity for a warm day.

Following this, it would be understandable if you felt you needed to cool off! Head to Bagni Misteriosi- a 1930’s lido that costs around €6 to enter! This is so unique and is a terrific way to spend your afternoon in Milan.

This Is The Best Time To Visit For

Those of you who are wanting an easy, summer break, and admire the architecture that Milan has to offer.

If your ideal trip is relaxing, wandering the streets, sipping Limoncello in quaint restaurants, and coming in and out of air-conditioned luxury stores: this is the time of year for you.

We wouldn’t recommend this time of year for tourism as it is just so busy. Queues will be long, prices are high, and overall it can be quite overwhelming.

Seasonal Dishes You Must Try

Fried squid with aioli. Accompany this with a Bellini, Aperol Spritz, or Limoncello.

Fall (September-October-November)

Duomo Milan
Photo Credit: Georgia Bird

Temperature

As the temperature begins to fall, so do the prices of travel and accommodation. You can expect your days to be around 20°C (68°F) in September, and they will then gradually drop down to 11°C (52°F) throughout October into November. Your chances of rain will also increase to around 20-30% per day, with November being the wettest month of the year.

With this in mind, we suggest going to Milan in early September. The city is beginning to quieten down from the summer season, but the temperature is still mildly warm.

In 2023, Fashion Week is from the 19th September-25th September so it would be wise to avoid the area if you are not interested in this, as people come from all over the world specifically for this event.

What To Wear

If visiting in September, you may still be able to pull off wearing your summer attire, but we would suggest bringing a light coat to put over it. Moving through to October and November, jumpers and coats are likely to be needed.

While it is unlikely you will have rain every day, the chances will increase as the months go on so it is better to be safe than sorry!

What To Do

You may want to stock up on ideas of things to do that do not require you to be outdoors. But if you want to go outside, you can still enjoy Milan in the rain.

The Duomo of Milan hosts both indoor and outdoor points of interest. Once you have walked around the inside of this 14th-century gothic Cathedral, you then have the option to walk along the marvelous rooftop terraces.

Boasting views of Milan, the rooftop terraces give you the chance to see the structure and sculptures of the Duomo up close. Having done this ourselves, we can confirm it is worth the extra money.

Another incredibly unique building is the side chapel of San Bernardino alle Ossa, which is made entirely of human skulls and bones. This 13th Century building was erected after a nearby cemetery had run out of room. This is a must if you are into dark tourism.

This Is The Best Time To Visit For

Those of you who are visiting purely for tourism, and to see as much as you can during your trip. The crowds have thinned out, and the prices have dropped meaning you will have more value for your money. You will find yourself walking amongst locals rather than tourists, which is ideal when trying to stick to an itinerary.

Seasonal Dishes You Must Try

Pumpkin Tortelli. Accompany this with a Negroni.

Winter (December-January-February)

Streets of Milan
Photo Credit: Georgia Bird

Temperature

Now we find ourselves at a point where not many people speak about Italy in winter.

Temperatures drop drastically in the winter months, with highs of 10°C (50°F)- so it shouldn’t shock anyone that not many tourists make the journey to Milan during these months!

It is vital, then, that you choose where you stay wisely. The Historic Centre and Brera are incredibly close to all the main attractions. Choosing to stay at one of the many fabulous hotels here will mean you won’t have far to commute into the center during the colder months.

You may also find yourself wondering: Does it snow in Milan? On occasion, yes it does. However, this is rare. If you want to see snow during your trip to Europe, we recommend making a day trip from Milan to Lugano or Bellinzona (both on the Italian/Swiss border) with Flixbus.

What To Wear

Layers, layers, layers! It is going to be cold. Make sure to bring good quality, waterproof coat, and additional clothing to wear underneath this.

The last thing you want is to not enjoy your winter break because you are frozen to the bones!

What To Do

As you can probably guess, the tourism side of Milan slows right down during the winter months. While the architecture in Milan is worth a visit on its own- if you are planning on a winter break, we recommend keeping it within December to enjoy the Christmas festivities.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the oldest shopping center in Italy houses an array of high-end stores goes all out for Christmas. As one of the most popular landmarks in Milan, you will always find it filled with crowds. It is a must for you to visit here during your break to see the Christmas decorations that are put up.

Once you have taken these in, you can then make your way out to the Christmas market which is situated on Piazza del Duomo. Here you can buy souvenirs, spoil yourself, and try delicious food.

If you are needing somewhere to warm up, you could also catch a show at Teatro Alla Scala. This 18th Century opera house hosts concerts, ballet, and opera so there is something for everyone during your visit.

This Is The Best Time To Visit For

Those of you who are traveling on a budget, with low interest in typical tourist sites. With less tourism comes a more affordable trip- but is it worth visiting Milan during this time?

Due to it being the low season not many places of interest are open, or at least they are reduced hours. We have outlined above a few activities you can do to pass the time on your trip, but if you are wanting to completely immerse yourself in the Milanese culture, you may find it difficult during the winter.

Seasonal Dishes You Must Try

Pasta al Forno. Make sure to enjoy some Vin Brule- Italy’s Mulled Wine.

Spring (March-April-May)

San Bernardino alle Ossa
Photo Credit: Georgia Bird

Temperature

Following the cold winter, temperatures will now begin to climb between 14°C (57°F) and 21°C (69°F). You will find a mixture of rainy and sunny days, but a wonderful 7 hours of sunshine.

March will be out of the colder weather, with everything opening up again, making this a great time for tourists to take a city break in Milan. The prices have not quite risen yet, so it is very budget friendly too.

Tourism will begin to steadily increase during these months. Designer and fashion weeks are hosted during April, with Easter festivities taking over the city for a short while.

This, in turn, begins to increase the price of a trip to Milan. In May, the temperatures begin to settle back into their subtropical climate, meaning more and more people are escaping to the sunshine of Milan. Crowds will begin to form around the tourist attractions, and the seasonal cycle will start all over again.

What To Wear

It isn’t quite summer, so don’t jump the gun and only pack your shorts and dresses just yet! Optional layers should be packed in the worst case that the chilly temperatures have decided to hang around a bit longer. We also recommend bringing a small umbrella, as Milan has April showers too.

What To Do

In April, Fiori e Sapori takes place at Naviglio Grande. This is a food and flower festival and is a lovely, unique way to spend your day in Milan.

You should also take this opportunity to head to Sforzesco Castle for an afternoon, as it should not be too crowded. It is also free to enter, with added options of having an audio guide if you want to delve into the history of Milan.

A fun way to see Milan is through a guided bike tour. A tour guide will whizz you around the streets of the city, pointing out interesting facts as you go. This is especially fun if you are traveling with a group of people, and is entirely different from your regular walking tour!

This Is The Best Time To Visit For

Those traveling on a budget with high interest in tourist sites. Visit Milan during March to make the most of the weather, lack of crowds, and inexpensive accommodation and travel. You will find so much to do here and should be able to make the most of your time during your trip to Milan.

Seasonal Dishes You Must Try

Fried Zucchini Blossoms. Pair with a Spring Mimosa.

FAQ’s

What time of year is best to shop in Milan?

Shopping throughout the year is a staple activity in Milan, however, August is not the best time to visit if that is all you are planning to do. Many shops close for a week, or even all month, to enjoy the summer.

What is the best day of the week to visit Milan?

As a rule, Sundays and Mondays are usually the times you will struggle to enter museums and shops in Milan as the locals tend to close these up. However, on the first Sunday of every month, a range of museums are free of charge by Italian law.

These include Gallerie d’Italia, Civic Aquarium, Armani Silos, and many more.

How many days is enough to see Milan?

Having visited Milan a few times, we recommend 2-3 days to see it all. This is the ideal amount of time and will ensure you leave having fully experienced the city without finding yourself “twiddling your thumbs” trying to find something to do.

Is Milan warmer than Rome?

No, due to Milan being Northern Italy and Rome being more Southern. In winter, it could be chilly and rainy in Milan, whereas in Rome will be 13 degrees and blue skies!

Conclusion: The Best Time To Visit Milan

We hope this seasonal guide has helped you decide on when you think the best time to visit Milan is. Each season offers so much to all kinds of people. With there being so much to do and see, Milan is perfect in that you can personalize your trip to tailor it for you and your interests.

Arrivederci and we hope you enjoy your trip to Milan!

This article originally appeared on The World Overload. Featured Photo Credit: Georgia Bird

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