The 5 Best Things to do in Milan in the Fall

February 16, 2023

We run a handful of incredible walking tours in Milan. If you’re heading to the city this year consider letting one of our expert guides show you one of Italy’s often-overlooked gems in a whole new light. 

Traveling to Italy this fall? Don’t make the same mistake as many travelers do by skipping Milan. What it lacks in the sheer density of historical sites enjoyed by Rome and Florence, it makes up for with incredible buzz, amazing fashion, and mouth-watering food. Fall is one of our favorite times to visit Italy and also perhaps the best time to visit Milan. There are a ton of things to do in Milan as the weather changes and here are some of our favorite ones specific to the fashion city:

Join mega-fans at San Siro

San Siro stadium filled with fans. Going to see a soccer game at this massive stadium is one of the best things to do in Milan in the fall.

San Siro is one of the biggest and best soccer stadiums in Europe. Photo courtesy of Alessio Bragadini, Vi Flickr

What better way to pass a fall evening than by joining the crowds watching Italy’s number one sport? Soccer is Italy’s national pastime, and Milan’s San Siro stadium is definitely the place to see it! With more than 80,000 seats, it’s the biggest stadium in Italy and one of the biggest in all of Europe. Whether you’re cheering for AC Milan or Inter Milan, grab a scarf and get ready to scream the night away at your first Italian soccer match! For more helpful tips on soccer, check out our guide to seeing a soccer match in Italy.

Get in with the in-crowd at Milan Fashion Week

Fashion week is one of the best times to visit Milan.

Photo courtesy of William Murphy, via Flickr.

Though this year’s fashion week is over (it ran September 23 through the 29) you should really try to be in Milan for it one year because the city becomes one of the greatest spectacles in the world. Even if you can’t  see a show, the city comes alive with the street peacocks of the fashion world strutting around to see and be seen. Grab a camera and head to the center of the city to see models, celebrities, designers, and various hangers-on from around the world as they all vie for a bit of the spotlight. The energy is amazing and it’s one of the more fun free things to do in Milan each fall (and each spring). If you want to know the best ways to soak up all the glamor check out our blog on Milan Fashion Week: What You Have to Know

Stroll through the park

Sempione park is one of the best places to spend a fall afternoon in Milan.

Milan’s parks are simply perfect in the fall. Photo courtesy of Luca Volpi, via Flickr

One of the best things to do in Milan at any time of year is stroll through the city parks; when the trees are bursting with fall colors its an absolute necessity. Luckily for visitors to Italy’s industrial city, Milan has plenty of gorgeous parks to choose from. Stroll through the Parco Sempione right behind Castello Sforzesco for a break in your sightseeing. Or, if you’d like to spend a bit more time enjoying the outdoors, head to Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli (Indro Montanelli Public Gardens) near Porta Venezia. Located to the northeast of the city center, the giardini pubblici are beautiful and enormous, with enough fountains, playgrounds and grottos to explore the afternoon away. Afterwards, stop in the Natural History Museum or the Planetarium, both of which are located inside the park.

Eat at Expo 2015

The 6-month Milan Expo 2015 comes to an end this fall on October 31. An Expo is a large exposition dedicated to a topic of universal interest (think: world fair) and this year’s theme is “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life.” An apt topic for Italy, the 2015 Expo gives the country the chance to show-off its food heritage and also share in the food heritage of the world. Featuring 130 countries and 53 national pavilions presenting their best food products and ideas, now is your last chance to get there and see the action! Read our Milan Expo Guide to learn more about what it is, why you should go and how to get there!

Celebrate the city’s patron saint on December 7th.

The Duomo di Milano and it's Christmas tree make for a beautiful sight on a late-autumn evening.

If you go at the end of autumn you can just catch the first Christmas decorations! Photo courtesy of Giorgio Galeoti, via Flickr

In Milan fall ends and winter begins on December 7th, with the feast day of the city’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio. With a public holiday on December 8th, the Milanese celebrate the long weekend that usually comes with it in style with a special Mass at the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio and the opening of the festive Oh Bei, Oh Bei Christmas market in the center of the city. It’s a completely unique Milanese event. Rub elbows with the Milanese as you eat roasted chestnuts, drink vin brulé and start your Christmas shopping early at the artisans’ booths. Fall might have ended in the minds of the Milanese, but the festivities certainly haven’t!

by Gina Mussio

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