One of the world’s fashion capitals where looking good is an art form, is a fascinating ancient history having been led by the Caesars, Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarians, and Mussolini, but it’s also a very modern metropolis. As one of the most visited cities on the planet, people flock here in every season, but the very best time to visit Milan is when it’s truly at its most glorious: April, May, September, and October. During these shoulder season months, the weather is often idyllic with temperatures in the 60s or 70s while the skies are often bright blue. While it may rain occasionally, it’s easy to compensate by heading indoors to visit one of the many museums. June through September are typically the busiest months here with hotel rates at their peak. Avoid visiting in August when the streets are filled with tourists while locals will be enjoying their vacations and many businesses close.
While many people feel the best time to visit Athens is mid to late spring or early fall, with the weather warm but not too hot and the tourist crowds more management than they are in the summer, it really depends on your own interests and comfort level.
To help you choose the optimal time, we’ve provided a break down of the best time to come based on what you hope to experience, along with a brief overview of the seasons.
Milan is home to over 60 different museums and galleries. Almost any of the museums here can be visited for free on the first Sunday of the month and the municipal museums are free anytime. As the weather isn’t an issue for exploring with most exhibits indoors, June is a good time to visit for exploring them as curators have typically just installed some of their most impressive exhibitions and you’ll be able to duck out of the heat and humidity. The biggest tourist crowds won’t have arrived yet either, making it easy to check out the exhibits without having to elbow your way through. Another good time to consider is the winter, outside of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays as you’ll be able to get out of the cold and enjoy the displays without much interruption. Avoid August as the museums can be short-staffed with many locals on vacation.
If you’re planning on enjoying lots of outdoor activities, such as bike tours, visits to the city’s parks, or day trips to Lake Como and the Alps, the most comfortable months to visit in terms of the weather are April, May, early June, September, and October. While June and September can be quite warm, temperatures will most be quite pleasant, around the mid-60s to upper 70s. Avoid the biggest crowds by coming in April or October, with the tradeoff an increased chance of rain. In Lake Como, summers tend to be quite muggy while winters are downright cold and snowy. The peak summer months in Milan are hot and humid, so if you come during that time, you might want to enjoy the outdoors during early mornings and evenings. Winter in the city is chilly and wet with rain and fog prevalent, while some snow is possible too.
Some of the world’s best shopping can be enjoyed in Milan, Europe’s fashion capital, with flagship stores for luxury brands like Valentino, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Armani, and more. While shopping can be enjoyed here year-round, winter is one of the best times for those who are looking for stylish attire. You might want to plan around Men’s Fashion Week in January and Women’s Fashion Week in February which are two of the biggest fashion shows in the world. They draw countless visitors, including celebrities, from across the globe. If you want to experience it, book accommodation well in advance and be prepared for crowds and higher prices. Outside of those weeks, you’ll often pay less for a hotel room while shops often discount their items from last year, making space for the new arrivals. Without as many tourists, an increasing number of businesses host sales to try and lure those who are here inside.
Hotel prices in Milan are similar to other major cities throughout Italy and beyond as they’re primarily based on demand. The most affordable time to visit is the winter, outside of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays when you’re likely to find discounted hotels and better airfares. With lots of indoor attractions, it’s easy to find something to do even when the outdoors is uninviting. While the weather may not be the most welcoming, if you bundle up with the appropriate clothing, you’ll be comfortable enough to enjoy it. Prepare for chilly, wet weather with average mid-winter temperatures ranging between 30 and 45 Fahrenheit. The city primarily experiences rain and fog but snow is possible too. If you come just before winter, in November, you might find some bargains and it will be a bit warmer without being too crowded. There are brief periods when prices peak, including the fashion weeks and Christmas.
There are many festivals and other events held in Milan. Experiencing one or more can be a great way to mingle with the locals and get a good glimpse of daily life. A few of the most notable include Carnival Ambrosiano which starts on the day before Lent begins and ends on Shrove Saturday, celebrated a week after Carnival in Venice with parades, costumes, traditional treats, and all sorts of other festivities. May brings a major food festival held across the city with seven days of workshops, lectures, entertainment, and plenty of authentic Italian fare. In late September or early October, you can attend the Milano Film Festival which features first-run world premieres and brings celebrities. November is when the Milan Jazz Festival is held which includes music as well as movies, conferences, and classes. There is a lot going on in December for Christmas, including Christmas fairs, street markets, and other holiday events.
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