Planning a visit to the fashion capital of the world? Discover the best time to visit Milan with tips to plan a trip with the best weather, lowest prices, and smallest crowds in our guide.
We’ll also show you the worst time of year to visit and tips to make the most of your visit to this world-famous Italian city below.
Why You Should Visit Milan
Surrounded by the snow-capped Italian Alps and Dolomite Mountains in the Lombardy region of northern Italy lies the sprawling metropolis of Milan.
Milan is an international symbol of high fashion, historic art and architecture, and signature Italian cuisine. Visiting this sophisticated city is on the wish list of most world travelers.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll marvel at architectural wonders like the Duomo di Milano cathedral (Gothic), Sforza Castle (medieval), the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Neo-Renaissance), and the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio (Romanesque).
These amazingly intricate buildings stand throughout Milan and provide ample opportunities for sight-seeing with historical context. You can easily spend 2-3 days trying to see it all!
As one of the Big Four fashion capitals of the world, lovers of luxury clothing and design will feel right at home in Milan.
You’ll be able to visit Quadrilatero della moda, or “fashion square,” which is home to Milan fashion brands like Armani, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana.
The high-end shops in this district also include the likes of Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, and Fendi along with prominent Italian designer shops and boutiques throughout the city.
Foodies and culture vultures won’t be able to get enough of the flavors, wines, and endless museums and galleries in the city.
Get above it all at a rooftop ristorante or bar for lunch or cocktails while you’re out and about. Wander into a quaint cafe for a Milanese barbajada – a chocolatey espresso with frothy milk.
Enjoy the richness of the classic Milanese dish, risotto alla Milanese, and savor a glass of Franciacorta sparkling wine right from the Lombardy region.
Art and culture are woven deeply into the city’s history. You’ll see it in the world-renowned Teatro alla Scala (‘La Scala’) opera house and Pinacoteca di Brera monastery turned art museum.
Leonardo da Vinci spent some 17 years of his life here and painted ‘The Last Supper’ at the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, where it’s still housed today.
With a long legacy of appreciating the finer things in life while paying homage to Italy’s rich and storied history, Milan is one of the most eye-opening places you can visit.
You’ve got every reason to go, but what’s the right time of year to plan a trip? We’ll talk about the best time to visit Milan next!
What Is the Best Time to Visit Milan?
- Overall best time to visit: April-June
- Cheapest time to visit: November-January
- Least busy time to visit: October-December
- Worst time to visit: September-October
Finding out the best time to visit Milan is the first step to fleshing out your plans for a gorgeous trip to this Italian metropolis.
While the period from May to September is generally the peak season, the months of April, May, and June are the best time to visit Milan overall.
This is when you’ll have the ultimate experience in the city with excellent weather on the drier side, plenty of warm sunshine, great sight-seeing opportunities, and moderate crowds that make the city feel alive without feeling overwhelmingly busy.
Later in the year when things get cooler and rainfall increases (especially from October-January), you’ll find the cheapest and least busy times of year to visit.
If you can, avoid planning a trip to Milan in September, when it’s extremely busy and crowded, or in October when it’s very wet and not much is going on.
We’ll dive into the details of the best time to visit Milan for every type of trip next!
Overall Best Time to Visit Milan
The overall best time to visit Milan is from April to June. The spring and early summer see gorgeous warm weather, cool nights, and fashion events without the huge crowds of the fall.
Between April and June, Milan is at its best with moderate crowds, excellent weather, and plenty of opportunities for visiting the cathedrals, parks, and castles in the city as well as dining, shopping, and attending events.
Liberation Day and Milan Design Week, or Fuorisalone, happens in late April (expect large crowds). May 1 is when the Primo Maggio holiday shuts down businesses and transportation, and Men’s Fashion Week occurs in mid-June.
You won’t find a better time of year for taking guided or meandering tours through the sights of the city. It’s far from dead in the city at this time, but crowds aren’t unbearable.
Wander through the lush parks in the beauty of spring and summer, marvel at the incredible architecture, and duck into small cafes or fine restaurants as you make your way through.
April is a bit cooler if you’re looking to avoid the summer highs in Milan. Daily temperatures peak in the low 60s with chilly evenings in the mid-40s and crowds are still somewhat low.
May and June see gradually warming temperatures (71F highs in May and 79F in June) and nighttime lows in the 50s. These months also see an uptick in tourists, so crowds get larger this time of year.
Rainfall is moderate during the best period to visit Milan, with 3.2″ in April, 3.8″ in May, and around 2.5″ in June. While it can be wet, the busy fall season is rainier.
You’ll want to consider the average hotel price when you plan to go during the best time to visit Milan:
- April: $73-$191/night
- May: $75-$198/night
- June: $79-$208/night
Since you’ll be arriving before the peak season in July and August, you won’t have to deal with the higher hotel prices or biggest crowds of the year.
Lines at attractions and booked flights and hotels can be an issue when you visit between April and June. Plan your visit closer to April-May to avoid the longer lines as the peak summer and fall seasons approach.
Cheapest Time to Visit Milan
The cheapest time to visit Milan is from November to January, when crowds die down (outside of the holiday season) and prices take a dip as the temperatures drop.
From November to January, you can visit Milan for a much more affordable price. The average price of hotels drops considerably during the winter, when Milan is less busy (expect for the weeks around Christmas).
The weather is at its coldest in Milan, with highs from 40F in January to 50F in November. Nights are even chillier with overnight lows from the upper 20s to the upper 30s.
Rain is also a given during the winter, with November being the wettest month of the year here (4″ of rain). December and January are a little drier with 2.4″-2.5″ of rain on average.
Milan hotels drop their rates to as low as $56/night during this time of year. There are plenty of festivals and events happening in the winter, especially around the holidays.
Stick around in early December for Artigiano in Fiera, a busy arts and crafts fair, head to the Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Christmas market, or stay to ring in the New Year (Capodanno) at Piazza del Duomo.
January is tied with August for the cheapest month for a Milan visit, but November and December are only slightly more expensive (just a few dollars more on average per night).
Here’s a look at how much you’ll pay to stay in Milan this time of year:
- November: $61-$162/night
- December: $57-$151/night
- January: $56-$148/night
With the much more affordable prices on hotels during the cheapest time of year to visit Milan, it may be worth putting up with a little rain and colder temperatures.
Least Busy Time to Visit Milan
October to December is the least busy time to visit Milan. The end of the fall shoulder season and the start of the chilly winter see a huge reduction in tourists and less crowded conditions.
While it’s not yet the coldest time of year in Milan, temperatures from October to December are far from the warm and pleasant temperatures you’d experience in spring, summer, or early fall.
That, along with the intense rain that falls during this period, is part of the reason October to December is the least busy time of year to visit.
Expect daily highs that start off around 65F (47F lows) in October, drop to 50F (38F lows) in November, and end up around 42F (30F lows) in December.
The JazzMI jazz festival and Halloween celebrations in October can be fun to check out if you’re in Milan at the right time.
Rainy November doesn’t offer much in terms of events, but December’s Artigiano in Fiera (crafts fair), Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Christmas market, and (Capodanno) at Piazza del Duomo are great options.
Since this is the least busy time of year to visit Milan, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the lower prices on hotels from October to December:
- October: $69-$181/night
- November: $61-$162/night
- December: $57-$151/night
December is the second-cheapest month of the year to visit Milan (after January) and with so many events taking place and less rain, it may be your best bet for a great visit without crowds.
Worst Time to Visit Milan
The worst time to visit Milan depends on your goals for the trip, but for most, it’ll be September to October when it’s extremely busy, humid, and rainy.
September and October are some of the busiest months of the year in Milan, especially September. The fall shoulder season is jam-packed with events and tourists.
September is when Women’s Fashion Week (Milano Moda Donna), the Italian Grand Prix, the month-long MITO Settembre Musica, and the Milan Film Festival occur.
Even if attending Fashion Week in Milan is a lifelong dream for you, you won’t be able to attend the shows, parties, and presentations without an invitation.
So unless you’re coming to Fashion Week with an invitation or really want to see the Grand Prix or film festival, there’s little reason to visit during the busiest month of the year in September.
With so many major events taking place in September, crowds are massive and unavoidable. Hotels are more expensive and have to be booked months in advance. Lines are long and sightseeing becomes harder.
October is much less busy, with a jazz festival and Halloween celebrations around the city being the main events. It’s the heavy rain in October that makes it one of the worst months to visit.
The rainfall in September is moderate (around 2.7″), but October gets around 3.9″ of rain – it’s the second-wettest month of the year in Milan.
You can see the difference between visiting in busy September and wet October in the average hotel prices during these 2 months:
- September: $81-$214/night
- October: $69-$181/night
With much higher demand in September thanks to Fashion Week, the Italian Grand Prix, and festivals around the city, hotel prices jump. October rates fall as the rain increases.
Things to Consider
Visiting Milan is sure to impress and amaze you, no matter when you plan to go. If you keep these travel tips in mind while you begin researching your plans, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip!
- Expect foggy conditions in winter. Wintertime is cold, humid, and foggy in Milan. The fog can be so thick at times, visibility is limited to just a few inches! Foggy conditions have been less frequent over the past few years, but it’s worth noting if you plan on visiting during the cheapest (November-January) or least busy (October-December) times of year.
- Consider the “ghost month.” August is when most Italians take an extended vacation, leaving many shops, restaurants, and even doctor’s offices closed while they’re away. This month is sometimes called Italy’s ghost month because even normally-crowded cities can feel a bit like a ghost town during August!
- Plan your trip outside of major events. Milan hosts many incredible events throughout the year, from Fashion Week for men and women to month-long music, culture, and film festivals. Unless one of these events are your explicit reason for going to Milan, it’s best to plan your trip outside of these major events to avoid the biggest crowds and highest hotel prices.
- Tip for exceptional service. The tipping culture is a little different in Milan, where gratuities aren’t expected unless your service was truly exceptional. You can always leave a tip, but it’s nice to know it’s not expected for every meal and drink!
- Book a guided tour. Milan is best experienced when you know which sights shouldn’t be missed and a little history and context behind what you’re seeing. A guided tour is the ultimate way to experience the city to the fullest. It also helps ensure access to some of the fast-booked attractions, like da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper.’
Frequently Asked Questions
Planning your Milan visit is a lot easier when you can find out the questions other travelers ask before heading to the city.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the best time to visit Milan!
How many days do you need in Milan?
Plan on spending 2 or 3 days in Milan. It’s the perfect destination for a weekend trip full of art, architecture, culture, and food.
You can see the most prominent sights in about 2 days, but 3 days will make your visit feel less rushed.
What month is cheapest in Milan?
November through January is the cheapest time to visit Milan, but you’ll find rock-bottom hotel prices here in January. Rates drop as low as $56/night at the first of the year!
August is just as affordable as January, but Milan is very hot, busy, and rainy during this month and less pleasant for a visit.
What is the best month to visit Italy?
April, May, and June are the best months to visit Italy overall. June may be the best month for a visit to Italy due to warm weather, little rainfall, and crowds that are slightly smaller than in July and August.
Most parts of Italy experience ideal conditions during the spring and early summer. From Milan to Palermo, April to June is a great time to visit.
What time of year is best to shop in Milan?
Shopping in Milan is best if you can catch the summer or winter "saldi" events in July and January. These are massive fashion clearance events that attract lots of bargain hunters with items marked down as much as 70%.
Is Milan an expensive city to visit?
Milan is one of the most expensive cities in Italy to visit, but it’s not solely a luxury travel destination. Plan on spending around $180/day for shopping, attractions, food, and transportation in Milan, plus the cost of your hotel.
You can visit Milan on a smaller budget by traveling during the cheapest time of year, November to January, when hotels cost $56-$162/night.
Even if you visit Milan during the most expensive month of the year, September, hotels are still reasonably priced at around $81-$214/night, according to data from Google Hotels.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Milan?
Overall, you can’t go wrong by visiting Milan anytime between April and June. You’ll experience moderate crowds with warm, drier weather that fades into cooler nights perfect for strolling the city and sightseeing.
If budget is your main concern, go to Milan between November and January. Crowds are smaller, prices are at their lowest, and cold temperatures mark the winter months in Milan.
From October to December, you can experience Milan at its least crowded. People thin out drastically after the peak summer and fall seasons, making Milan much quieter and slow-paced.
Avoid visiting in busy September or rainy October if you can – these are the worst months to visit Milan.
High prices, crowds, and limited hotel availability make September less enjoyable. Lots of rainfall makes October less than ideal.
Milan is a true gem for travelers who enjoy a taste of sophisticated luxury and intricate history told through art, fashion, architecture, and culture.
Whether you go during the best time to visit Milan or take your chances during the wet, busy, or more expensive months of the year, you’ll leave with a new appreciation for all things Milanese.