Milan in Winter

Northern Italy is the perfect winter destination when you feel like combining outdoor activities, natural landscapes, entertainment and sightseeing. Don’t be scared by cold weather and choose Milan as a base to explore the Alps!

Let’s see how and when you can plan your next winter trip to Milan!

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Milan in November

View from Duomo - Milan in winter

Weather in Milan in November

The minimum temperature in Milan in November is 6°C and the maximum temperature is 11°C. November is quite rainy in Milan, so bring an umbrella with you!

Events, celebrations, and traditions in Milan in November

  • Nov 1st -All Saints: besides going to mass and bring some flowers to the cemeteries, locals are used to eating some biscuits named “Bread of the Dead”. Despite their gloomy name, they are delicious shortbread biscuits with dried figs, almonds, pine nuts, and raisins!

Things to do in Milan in November

  • Attend the opera at La Scala Theater: the best of the opera season is to be found from November to February and it’s also a great idea to spend a night out despite the cold! Check out the discounted tickets available at Teatro Alla Scala.
  • Watch some contemporary and futuristic architecture: have a walk around the award-winning Gae Aulenti Square, watch the green explosion of the Vertical Forest and spend a few hours in the brand-new districts of Porta Nuova and CityLife
  • Enjoy the artistic masterpieces of the Cathedral: November is one of the quietest months in Milan, so it’s the perfect occasion to enjoy a thorough visit to its Cathedral and its panoramic rooftop (more info at Duomo di Milano. – To make the best of your time, choose a guided tour with rooftop entry.

Why visit Milan in November

  • Pros: fewer tourists than usual
  • Cons: bad weather

Milan in December

duomo with christmas tree in Milan in winter

Weather in Milan in December

The minimum temperature in Milan in December is 2°C and the maximum temperature is 7°C. December is rather cold but it hardly ever rains. Mid-winter (Dec-Jan) is a dry season in Northern Italy, but it might snow.

Events, celebrations, and traditions in Milan in December

  • Dec. 7t – Patronal Feast of S. Ambrose: the Holiday Season starts today in Milan! On this occasion, a special fair takes place in the courtyard of the Sforza Castle: the so-called Obey Obey fair, which is a sort of large Christmas market lasting 1 week.
  • Dec. 8th – Feast of the Immaculate Conception: avoid Milan if you cannot stand some crazy Christmas shopping!
  • Dec. 25th – Christmas: the day’s program involves going to mass, enjoy a festive meal with family and friends and stay at home!
  • Dec 31st–New Year’s Eve: Milan has plenty of clubs, so you’ll be spoilt for choice! If you don’t like clubs, there’s a free concert in Piazza Duomo.
  • Christmas lights: wander around the city center and watch the 35Km of lights decorating 180 streets
  • Christmas trees: the main one stands in Piazza Duomo, but there are many Christmas trees scattered throughout the city center. For example, watch the sparkling one by Swarovski in the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery!
  • Christmas markets: the main one is set up in Piazza Duomo but there’s also the Village of Wonders in the Indro Montanelli park with Santa’s Cabin and some entertainment for kids.
  • Nativity scene: the annual nativity scenes exhibition takes place in Piazza Duomo
  • Panettone: the traditional Italian Christmas cake is from Milan and you’ll see it in every bakery shop in all sizes, shapes and with all kinds of decorations.
galleria vittorio emanuele II - Milan in winter

Things to do in Milan in December

Why visit Milan in December

  • Pros: many events and entertainment options
  • Cons: large crowds of both tourists and locals

Milan in January

Navigli in Milan in winter
Navigli in Milan

Weather in Milan in January

The minimum temperature in Milan in January is 2°C and the maximum temperature is 7°C. Same as December. Heavy snow is possible.

Events, celebrations, and traditions in Milan in January

  • Jan 6th – Epiphany: a traditional historical parade starts from the Cathedral to reach the Basilica of S. Eustorgio where the Three Kings offer their gifts to the characters of a living nativity scene.
  • Chinese New Year: a large Chinese community lives in Milan in Chinatown district and their New Year has become popular among Milanese people who love watching the parade and join the party!

Things to do in Milan in January

  • Escape the cold inside a museum: the best ones are the Brera Art Gallery, the Cenacolo Vinciano, the Triennale, The Science and Technology Museum, and the Museum of the Twentieth Century.
  • Enjoy a great view of the snow-capped Alps on a sunny day: you can get to the top floor of the Lombardia Building (Palazzo della Regione) for free on certain dates (Info at Palazzo Lombardia)
  • When it’s really too cold to go sightseeing, take a tram tour: Milan: 2.5-Hour City Tour by Tram.

Why visit Milan in January

  • Pros: many events and entertainment options, winter sales, not too many tourists around
  • Cons: cold weather

Milan in February

Glacier Express in Switzerland in Winter

The minimum temperature in Milan in February is 3°C and the maximum temperature is 10°C. It’s still mid-winter in Milan and spring only comes around late March.

Events, celebrations, and traditions in Milan in February

  • Feb. 3rd – St. Blaise’s Day: St. Blaise is the patron of nose and throat but besides his blessings, there’s another thing that locals take on this day: the last slice of panettone which is said to bring health!
  • Feb. 14th – St. Valentine’s Day: Milan is not particularly romantic, but local restaurants offer special menus on this occasion
  • Carnival: local Carnival lasts 1 week longer than usual. That’s because S. Ambrose was once in Rome and could not get back to Milan to start the Lenten season, so he asked his fellow citizens to wait for him. Since Carnival shall end the day before the beginning of the Lenten period, they went on with the parties and this tradition still exists!
  • Milan Fashion Week: models, stylists and celebrities from all over the world gather in Milan for a week full of events and glamour

Things to do in Milan in February

Why visit Milan in February

  • Pros: many events and entertainment options
  • Cons: cold weather

What to pack for a winter trip to Milan

  • Scarf, gloves and hat
  • Down parka
  • Comfortable shoes or boots
  • long trousers/jeans/corduroys
  • Wool sweaters
  • Long sleeves t-shirts or shirts
  • Backpack (and a small bag for the night)

Remember to dress in layers you can take off in heated indoor spaces!

Where to eat and drink in Milan in winter


  • Trattoria Testina: taste their yellow risotto and all the other traditional dishes presented with a modern touch (Ristorante Testina)
  • Osteria Brunello: Milanese veal steak and a glass of red wine in a vintage and authentic location (Osteria Brunello)

Cafes and Bars

  • Grezzo Raw Chocolat: a trendy place to taste some raw desserts (GREZZO RAW CHOCOLATE)
  • Iter: cocktails inspired by all the Countries of the world (Iter)
  • Pica: for a gourmet breakfast cooked by a starred chef (Massimo Pica)

Why visit Milan in winter

  • The Holiday Season is really sparkling in Milan thanks to endless decorations, lights and large Christmas trees everywhere!
  • If you want to enjoy the city without the usual crowds of tourists, choose November and late January to be able to go sightseeing at your own pace
  • Mountains are so close you can go skiing and snow shoeing whenever you want!
  • Take advantage of the winter sales to go shopping in the best luxury boutiques
  • Choose among endless entertainment possibilities and indoor activities to escape the cold
  • Linger in local restaurants to taste all the local specialties

Planning to Visit Italy in winter? Check out my guides:

A complete guide to Italy in winter

Venice in winter

Rome in winter

Florence in winter

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