Skip to Content

What to wear in Milan in Winter (December, January & February)

What to wear in Milan in Winter (December, January & February)

Are you wondering what to wear in Milan in Winter?  In this guide we will tell you EXACTLY what to pack for Milan in Winter no matter if you are visiting Milan in December, January or February. This includes guidance on how to dress for the weather as well as Milan special events in Winter.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Weather in Milan in Winter

Winter in Milan is classified as December, January and February. And as you would expect from any European country in Winter, Milan can get quite cold in Winter. But how cold is it?

How cold is Milan in Winter?

Milan Duomo with Christmas tree in foreground
what to pack for Milan in Winter

Generally speaking the average temperatures in Milan in Winter range from 2°C/35°F to 10°C/50°F. Of these, December and January tend to be the coldest months (usually only getting an average high of 7°C /44.6°F ),while February is usually the warmest.

Therefore in answer to is it cold in Milan in Winter I would say it can be, especially early morning and in the evenings. Therefore for me any key to any Milan Winter packing list is lots of light layers.

Note: if your visit covers two months be sure to check out our other Milan packing list guides:

Is it rainy in Milan in Winter?

On average Winter in Milan typically sees around 4-6 days of rain per month. January is usually the wettest with 6 days of rain on average and February is the driest with only 4.

Note: if you are traveling to other cities and regions in Italy be sure to check out our other monthly guides:

Does it snow in Milan in winter?

Yes it can definitely snow in Milan in Winter. However snow is not all that common occurance, with rain being more likely than snow. And it rarely settles on the ground even in Winter.

Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.

How do local people dress in Milan in November?

If you want to be more in keeping with the locals you will need to know how locals Milanese dress. 

Locals in Milan tend to have definitely into their Winter capsule wardrobe, and will remain in this until March. This means you will be seeing more layers, and coats.

Also it is worth noting that smart casual tends to be the most commonly seen attire in Milan among the locals especially when dining out in Milan. For more information on what to wear to dinner in Italy check out this post

Therefore when visiting Milan if you want to dress casually be sure to so in a stylish way.

Dress Codes in Milan

The main dress codes considerations for Winter in Milan are dressing for churches and restaurants. This translates into your packing list in the following ways:

Restaurant Dress Code

Not many dress codes in Milan have strict and enforced dress codes. However you will find that locals do tend to dress in a smart casual fashion for dinner.

Church Dress Code

Given the Milan Winter temperatures it is unlikely that you will be wearing strappy tops and short skirts. However it is worth remembering that all Italian churches have dress codes that require modest outfits. Therefore be sure to have at least one outfit with you that covers shoulders and knees if you plan on going inside churches such as Milan Cathedral.

Milan Fashion Week

Models at Milan Fashion Week in September
What to wear in Milan in September

Milan has two fashion weeks – one in September and one in February. Although you will see many people very fashionably dresses in Milan at this time, it shouldn’t impact the packing list of most normal visitors to Milan during Milan Fashion Week.

What to wear in Milan in Winter

Before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Milan in Winter for women and men, we wanted to reiterate that we think it is a great idea to pack a capsule wardrobe. It means you are less likely to lose your luggage when traveling and prevents you from overpacking. For help in packing a capsule wardrobe check out these posts:

Note: if you want to know what to wear to the airplane and airport in Winter check out this post.

Best Shoes for Milan in Winter

Couples shoes in front of Milan cathedra;
Best shoes for Milan / Best shoes for Italy

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are my top shoe for Milan in Winter. We recommend having a pair with a good sole for walking over uneven terrain i.e. cobbled stone streets, and picking something leather and waterproof.

We would also recommend avoiding anything with a thin high heel as these can be dangerous on older streets in Milan. In fact I would go as far as to put these on my what not to wear in Milan list.

Click here to shop ankle boots.

Note: hiking boots are only necessary if you are going into the mountainous areas around Milan. Otherwise I would just stick with two pairs. The other being


In my opinion, sneakers are the best shoe for any city break where you will be doing lots of walking. And you will be doing lots of this in Milan as it is a city best explored on foot.

Sneakers cope well with cobbles, bridges and the uneven surfaces that you find in Milan. My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are Hoka and AllBirds, however you also can’t go wrong with a plain white sneaker as they go with everything. One of my favorite pairs of white sneakers is the Adidas Cloud Foam shoes.

What to wear in Milan in Winter for women

Couple in front of Duomo Milan in winter
What to wear in Milan in Winter Packing List

So what does a Milan Packing List for women in Winter look like? In our opinion you should have the below on your Milan Packing List:


A thick coat is an essential for any Milan Winter packing list. A puffer type coat is a great shout for Milan in Winter or even a parka as this can cope with all types of Milanese weather.

Click here to shop winter coats for Italy. 

Wool Hat, scarf, gloves and ear muffs

Winter accessories are a must for Milan in Winter. You will be doing lots of outdoor activities in Milan even in Winter and it can feel very cold on the water and in the evenings.

I would recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.

Click here to shop winter accessories for Milan.


Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day in Milan. I would recommend picking smarter jeans such as black jeans or dark blue jeans that are more fitted or skinny jeans to be more in keeping with local style.

For some reason people seem to think that jeans are not on the what not to wear in Italy list. However this is definitely not the case in Winter.

On top of jeans we recommend also packing some smarter trousers. We love a black pant for Milan (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel) or a thick wool pant or even some cords.

I tend to pack for a week in Milan:

  • jeans
  • cords and
  • wool trousers

Warm dresses and skirts

Short skirts and dresses are on my what not to wear in Milan list. That is because they are not appropriate in churches and not really in keeping with the local style.

And as the weather in Milan is cold we recommend sticking to sweater dresses / jumper dresses paired with thick tights.

Click here to shop dresses for Milan

Jumper / Sweater / Cardigan

If you are visiting Milan in Winter one of the keys to your packing list will be having lots of layers. I recommend having some jumpers or some cardigans that can be used to layer up on cool days or for when it get chilly at night. And a hoodie is fine for sightseeing during the day.

I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe. That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.

Click here to shop jumpers

For information on how to pack layers as part of a capsule wardrobe check out our sudoku packing method.

T Shirts 

I would personally pack more long sleeve than short sleeve t shirts for Milan in Winter. 

To be more in keeping with local styles I recommend packing plain t shirts as opposed to highly graphic or slogan tees.

Click here to shop t shirts.


Loose blouses are perfect for Milan in Winter as they work brilliantly for cooler nights as well as for sightseeing during the day. 

They are also the perfect choice for visiting the duomo and churches where modest attire is required. 

Click here to shop blouses


A pashmina should be on your Milan packing list no matter the month you are visiting.

Pashminas can act as a scarf or extra layer on cooler nights and can help make your outfit more modest for visits to churches in Italy. Click here to shop pashminas.

PJs or Nightie

As the weather cools you will want slightly heavier weight pyjamas and nighties.


The sun is bright in Milan even in Winter so definitely bring a pair with good UVA protection.

Shop Sunglasses for Italy here.

Underwear and Socks

Goes without saying. I like to pack merino wool socks for Winter travel. They are thinner than hiking socks but are insulating so are good for cold weather.

What to Wear in Milan in Winter Packing List for Men

Alongside our regular men’s travel essentials we recommend adding the following items to your men’s packing list for Milan in Winter:

Thick Coat

A practical warm coat with some insulation as well as being water and wind resistant is a good idea for Milan in Winter.

Jeans or Chinos

For men visiting Milan in Winter I recommend having a couple of Pairs of smarter jeans and chinos / dockets with you. If you have a smarter tailored pair of jeans or chinos this will be the perfect day to night transition item.

Cords and wool are also good picks for Winter in Milan.

Shop men’s travel chinos here.

T Shirts and Shirts

During the day t-shirts are fine but I recommend having at least one button down shirt with you for Milan in Winter at night. For Winter long sleeve button down shirts tend to be more versatile. However you may want to pair this with a jumper at this time of year.

The Milan dress code at night tends to be more smart casual than casual so you will feel more comfortable when out in a shirt over a tshirt.


A hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the jacket are the perfect layers for 7 days in Milan.


Goes without saying.

What to Pack for Milan in Milan (Non Clothing)

Milan in December showing canal with Christmas lights
What to wear in Milan in Winter Packing List

So now you know what to wear for Milan in Winter including the best shoes to pack, we will turn our attention to what to pack for Milan in Winter other than clothes. For a full Milan packing List check out this post.

Milan Winter Packing List Checklist

So just to recap here is our complete list of what to add to your Milan Winter Packing List

  • Waterproof and Wind resistant Coat or jacket
  • Scarf, Gloves, Hat and ear muffs
  • T shirts
  • Thicker weight trousers such as jeans, woolen trousers or corduroy trousers.
  • Merino Wool Thermal socks
  • Layers such as sweaters, fleeces, jumpers and hoodies
  • Dresses / Skirts
  • Warm Nightwear
  • Ankle Boots
  • Sneakers
  • Wellies (optional)
  • Medication and Documentation
  • Back Pack
  • Travel Adaptor
  • Toiletries
  • Camera
  • Battery Pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel first aid kit including blister plasters
  • Lip Balm

FAQs about Milan Winter Packing list

Do you need a coat in Winter in Milan?

Yes a jacket or thick coat is absolutely an essential for Winter in Milan no matter the month of travel. We recommend something that is thick, waterproof and has some level of wind resistance.

Can you wear jeans in Milan in Winter?

As the weather has cooled, jeans have become the perfect trouser for Milan for Winter. I tend to stick with darker colored jeans that are more tailored or skinny fit as these are more in keeping with local fashion styles.

Should I pack swimwear for Milan in Winter?

It is unlikely, unless you have access to an indoor heated pool, that you will need swimwear for Milan in Winter.

Have you been to Milan in Winter? What did you wear? We would love to hear in the comments.