What to do on a rainy day in Milan: Top 12 things to do in Milan when it rains

What to do on a rainy day in Milan: Top 12 things to do in Milan when it rains

Finding things to do in Milan when it rains can actually leave you feeling spoiled for choice. Our recent articles on what to do on a rainy day in Florence, what to do in Rome when it rains and what to do in Venice when it rains have all proved enormously popular. As a result, we thought we’d add another to the series.



Whilst the sun may be shining in Milan today, we’re very conscious that it is a city that we recommend people visit in the Spring, Autumn and even Winter months, not just in the Summer when the sunshine is perhaps a little more guaranteed. And, even in the Summer months, the city can’t guarantee to escape rain showers completely. Rain may be at its lowest in February when the city enjoys an average of 61 mm of rainfall. But, with the exception of July, average rainfall stays above 100 mm right through from April until November. Incidentally, November tends to be the wettest month each year with 147 mm of rainfall on average.

We are always keen to ensure that a bit of rain never spoils any of our guest’s stays. To make absolutely sure it won’t, here is our guide to the top 10 things to do in Milan when it rains. And rest assured, there are a wealth of activities to keep you entertained if you’re trying to decide what to do on a rainy day in Milan! The difficulty, if anything, may be in deciding what to do first!

1. Visit the Duomo

Things to do in Milan when it rains

First on our list of things to do in Milan when it rains is a visit to the Duomo. Milan’s iconic Duomo is the perfect starting point for any visit to Milan and it’s also a great place to escape the rain. The Duomo di Milano is the largest cathedral in Italy and the piazza in which it sits is both the geographical and cultural centre of the city. Quite simply – it’s enormous. In fact, to put it in perspective, it’s also the third largest church anywhere in the world. Measuring over 158 metres long and 92 metres wide, it has a capacity to hold more than 40,000 people. As you can imagine, a building of this size takes a while to explore! This incredible architectural gem took over 600 years to complete. Work started in 1386, but it wasn’t completely finished until 1965. The result is a building which incorporates a vast number of different styles of architecture, adding to its fascination.

Whilst visitors may not want to head up to the rooftop of the Duomo when it’s wet, a visit inside is a must and the perfect way to escape the rain.

Book skip the line tickets for the Duomo so that you’re not queuing in the rain to get in.

2. Marvel at The Last Supper

Things to do in Milan when it rains


One of the most famous artworks in the world can be found in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. A visit to marvel at Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is definitely high up on our list of suggested things to do in Milan when it rains. However, make sure to book your tickets to The Last Supper well in advance to avoid disappointment. It gets booked up super early.

Book skip the line tickets for the The Last Supper so that you’re not queuing in the rain to get in.

3. Be amazed at the art in Milan’s art galleries

Things to do in Milan when it rains

As well as The Last Supper, there are plenty of other incredible works of art to admire in Milan. Whatever your preference when it comes to art, Milan should tick all your boxes! For those with a preference for modern art, it is home to the Museo del Novecento. This museum is home to a wealth of 20th century Italian art, displayed in chronological order all the way from 1902 through to the 1980s. It includes works by Picasso, Kandinsky and others. It’s an extremely clever way to see how art developed through the 20th century.

Alternatively, head to the 15th century Sforzesco Castle in Milan which is home to a number of Milan’s museums including the Pinacoteca. This houses a superb collection of Italian paintings and sculpture. Other art museums here include the Museum of Ancient Art.

Book skip the line tickets to the Pinoteca.

4. Spend time in Milan’s array of museums

Milan is home to a plethora of museums that don’t revolve around art and a rainy day in Milan is the perfect time to enjoy them. The first of these that we would recommend is the Science Museum in Milan. The museum is home to the largest permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, bringing his creations to life. A visit should last a couple of hours and tickets can be purchased online.

In addition, as well as the Pinacoteca, the Sforzesco Castle in Milan is home to the Egyptian Museum and Museum of Musical Instruments. And there is also a Natural History Museum in Milan (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano). Since all these museums are under cover and, since it take a few hours to do each of them justice, they’re all ideal things to do in Milan when it rains.

Book your tickets to the Science Museum in Milan in advance to avoid queuing in the rain.

5. Go to the opera

La Scala seats over 3000 people and is one of the world’s most famous opera houses. Over the years, audiences at La Scala have had the pleasure of listening to some of the world’s greatest opera singers, musicians and conductors perform some of the world’s most famous compositions here. Even if there is not a performance on during your stay in Milan, you can still enjoy a tour of this famous building and admire its incredible avant-garde design. A visit will include the opportunity to see the main hall, stalls, balcony and stage. What is more, if you’re super lucky, you may even have a tour during rehearsal time, witnessing the preparations for the evening performance. Also included in the tour is a visit to the Scala museum. This is home to a collection of costumes, instruments, portraits and artworks that paint a picture of the history of this famous theatre over the years.

Visit the theatre and learn about its history with this skip the line entry ticket to La Scala. Or, if you prefer, you can enjoy a guided tour of La Scala at Get Your Guide. Set aside at least an hour to do it justice. Again, buying tickets in advance will mean you can avoid having to queue in the rain.


6. Eat!

Milan is not short of superb restaurants. Visitors looking for high end dining will be delighted to hear that Milan is home to 20 Michelin starred restaurants. However, eating out in Milan doesn’t have to break the budget! There are plenty of top quality cheaper options too. And, we also love enjoying a drink or a bite to eat at the Wes Anderson designed bar and cafe – Bar Luce. For Wes Anderson fans, the interior is reminiscent of his incredible film sets. Think vintage jukeboxes and pinball machines with a backdrop of bubblegum pink and powder blue Formica furniture.

Alternatively, a cooking class in Milan could be the perfect solution if you’re looking for things to do in Milan when it rains. Each region of Italy has its regional cuisine and there is no better way to learn than a hands on cooking class. This pizza making and gelato making class in Milan takes place in the heart of the city and is the perfect rainy day activity. Or opt for this cookery class in Milan where you can learn to create four delicious Italian dishes from scratch.

Of course, you can always enjoy a food tour of Milan in the rain but don’t expect to be able to avoid the showers entirely. You’ll need to take an umbrella to get you from place to place!

7. Go wine tasting

What to do when it's raining in Milan

If you’re a wine lover, then what better way to wait for the rain to ease than by testing out some wonderful Italian wines. There are plenty of wine bars in the city centre. But another option is to head just outside the city centre to Milan’s first urban winery. Your ticket here will give you the opportunity to sample four wines produced by the winery paired with some delicious local food. The sommelier will also explain how the wine is produced and give you a tour of the production area. You’ll learn all about how different materials – steel tanks, terracotta amphorae and oak barrels – are all used to age wine, along with the pros and cons of each.

Book your Milan winery tickets now.

8. Hop on the bus…. or tram!

There are worse things to do in Milan when it rains than to hop on one of the sightseeing buses that offers tours around the city. It’s a great way to keep dry when exploring Milan. A ticket will give you access to four separate but connecting bus loops. Make the most of the on-board commentary available in 10 different languages to learn about the city as you explore. And of course, you can easily hop on and off as often as you want if you want to head inside any of the attractions you see en route.

Book your Milan hop on hop off bus tour at Get Your Guide.

Alternatively, the other option is to hop on board one of Milan’s trams instead. Milan’s trams have been operating in the city since 1881. Now the city can boast a tram network that is an incredible 180 km long, making it one of the longest in the world. If you’re looking for things to do in Milan when it rains, hopping on board and enjoying a ride isn’t a bad idea!

9. Visit Milan’s other churches

Things to do in Milan when it rains

Whilst the Duomo di Milan may be Milan’s most famous church, it is by no means the only one. The city is home to a plethora of churches. You may want to pay a visit to the oldest church in Milan – the Basilica di San Lorenzo – dating back to the 4th century. Or there is the Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio where it is possible to view the remains of St Ambrose, Milan’s patron saint. This church also contains a stunning series of mosaics. Also impressive is the Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. The frescoes that adorn its interior have given rise to its nickname as being the Sistene Chapel of Milan! There are plenty of other churches in Milan just waiting to be discovered. All offer the opportunity to escape from the rain as well as the hustle and bustle of Milan’s busy streets.

10. Go shopping

A rainy day in Milan is the perfect time to indulge in some retail therapy. Milan is the centre of Italian fashion. The 19th century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a beautiful shopping centre. In fact, we would argue it’s probably the most beautiful shopping mall in the world. Named after the first King of Italy, the mall is filled with high end designer brands. It’s a great place to enjoy some shopping (or at the very least some window shopping) until the rain eases.

Or, for cheaper shopping, book a trip to the Serravalle designer outlet near Milan. Here you’ll find all major Italian brands offering discounts of up to 70%.

11. Head outside the city

When it’s raining wherever you’re staying in Italy, it’s always worth checking out the weather in the surrounding area. Sometimes, you don’t need to go far to escape the rain and, in making the effort to head further afield, you will also be rewarded with discovering more of this beautiful country. For example, from Milan you could easily head to the Italian Lakes for the day. This tour from Milan to Lake Como, for example, could be a great option if you can see that the sun is still shining over in Bellagio whilst it’s raining in Milan. Or you could even enjoy a day trip to Venice from Milan, where the weather forecast could well be much brighter.

12. Enjoy a guided tour of San Siro

Last but not least, football supporters visiting Milan will love a visit to the San Siro stadium. The home of both AC Milan and Internazionale, a visit provides you with the opportunity to visit the stands, sidelines and changing rooms. Not to mention the chance to walk down the tunnel and onto the pitch itself! There is also a museum here. This displays many of the shirts worn by leading players within both Milanese teams. And there is much to educate those interested in Italy’s national football team too. Expect to see World Cup winning strips, trophies and more.

Book your tickets to the San Siro stadium in advance.

For those visiting Milan in the sunshine, then check out our 48 hour guide to Milan, containing all the information you need to know when visiting this unique city.

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