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17 Top Milan Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for Milan
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From fashion to food, what’s not to love about going to Italy? Milan is one of the cities that everyone should have on their bucket list. It has a little bit of everything, from neighborhoods with the old-school charm of winding cobblestoned roads and the iconic gothic cathedral to modern skyscrapers covered in greenery.

One thing is for sure, Italy’s most metropolitan city never disappoints. Being the Italian fashion capital, you might be wondering “what should I pack for Milan? That’s why I’ve put together a full guide to packing for Milan:

What to Pack for Milan – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    Like any metropolitan city, Milan has its fair share of petty crime. When the metro is crowded, it’s hard to tell if someone is bumping into you because of the lack of space or to get to what’s in your pockets. Make sure that your valuables are protected by using a neck wallet. The Hero Neck wallet is my go-to because it fits not only your phone and credit cards but also is wide enough for your passport.

  • 2. Portable Charger

    Navigating Milan is no easy feat. The metros, buses, and trams can get you almost anywhere in the city— but the key is knowing which ones to take. To make sure your phone never dies, leaving you without google maps to help, keep a portable charger in your daypack for when your phone is low on juice.

  • 3. Packing Cubes

    Milan is the fashion capital of the world, so you’re going to want to dress to impress. Streamline your outfit changes by using packing cubes. Rather than digging around in your luggage for the top that you packed to wear with your leather pants, you can simply just grab your luggage cube for the day, and viola, you’re ready for the runway… I mean streets.

  • 4. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    All four seasons get their fair share of rain in Milan. While summer is less than the others, when it rains during the warm months it can come down. You’re going to want to make sure that you have a sturdy and reliable umbrella with you so you don’t get caught in the thick of it.

  • 5. Life Straw Water Bottle

    In Milan, as well as the rest of Italy you will be charged for water when dining out. Depending on how fancy (or touristy) the restaurant that you’re dining at is, the price of a bottle of water can get quite steep. To avoid having to pay for water, bring your refillable water bottle— there are even public drinking fountains all over the city to refill it.

  • 6. Universal Travel Adapter

    Don’t make the same mistake that I made my first time in Milan. I bought a cheap plug adapter from a street vendor, and by day two of the trip, my curling iron was completely fired. Make sure you buy high-quality adapters like these by Hero.

  • 7. Stylish Daypack

    Milan is a big city. It’s not always easy to get from one neighborhood to the next in a timely fashion. Rather than making multiple stops at your hotel throughout the day, bring a daypack with all the items you’ll need for the day— but remember this is Milan, so make it a stylish one.

  • 8. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    While there’s no beach in Milan, you’re only a short train trip from Lago Di Como, or Lake Como. It’s well worth hopping on the local train to spend an afternoon swimming with a breathtaking view. Bring your quick-dry towel with you so that you aren’t stuck with a wet towel on the train back to Milano.

  • 9. Melatonin

    Italy has a way of making you consume 10x the amount of coffee you normally would. “Voi Cafe?” or “Do you want a coffee?” is something you’ll be asked at all hours of the day. If you plan to indulge in the Italian way, you’ll want to bring some melatonin, so you’re not up all night staring at the ceiling of your hotel room.

  • 10. Cooling Towel

    There’s a reason Italians take such long vacations in August— it’s too hot to work. If you’re going to be galavanting around Milan during the summer months, make sure to pack a cooling towel. All you have to do is dip it in water and you’ll have a nice refreshing towel to cool yourself down with.

  • 11. Travel Insurance

    Sometimes things don’t go as planned when traveling. Even in the land of the dolce vita, your luggage can get lost, flights canceled, or an unexpected trip to the emergency room from having one too many gelatos. Make sure that you’re covered for the unexpected with travel insurance for Italy. We use TravelInsurance.com to compare policies from top companies and find the best option for our family and travel plans.

  • 12. VPN

    When you’re connected to a public wifi network, like the ones you’ll find in your Hotel or Airbnb in Milan, anyone connected to that server can access your data pretty easily. That means that can get ahold of sensitive information like your credit card numbers. Protect your data by using a VPN while you’re traveling.

  • 13. Dry Shampoo

    I don’t know how they do it but their hair always looks great— both men and women. When you’re visiting Milan, chances are you’re not going to have hours to get ready in the morning or for dinner each night. Throw a bottle of dry shampoo in your suitcase to make sure that even when you’re short on time, your hair looks fabulous.

  • 14. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    If I had a euro for every time that I knocked something off the bathroom counter and broke it in an Italian hotel room, let’s just say I’d be able to stay at the Ritz. The bathrooms in Italian hotels are always smaller than expected. To avoid breaking your expensive serum or having blush powder everywhere, use a hanging toiletry bag to keep the counter space clutter-free.

    Italian hotel rooms are tinny tiny and the bathrooms tend to be smaller than expected. To save some much-needed space, pack your toiletries and cosmetics in a hanging bag. This way the counter won’t get cluttered and you won’t knock something over accidentally making a mess.

  • 15. Compressed Wipes

    For some reason, the public bathrooms in Milan always seem to be out of toilet paper— even though they’ll cost you a euro to use. Throwing a couple of compressed wipe coins into your purse, pocket or daypack will make sure you’ll never have to make do without toilet paper.

  • 16. Travel Deodorant

    After climbing the 250 stairs at the Iconic Duomo in Milano, you might need to freshen up a bit. You’ll be happy to have a travel-size deodorant in your daypack. That way after enjoying the view you’ve earned, you’ll be fresh and ready to take on the rest of the day of sightseeing.

  • 17. Mosquito Repellant Bracelets

    The mosquitos in Italy can be relentless. Since there are no screens on the windows at night they come right into your hotel room. Rather than spending the night swatting at the annoying buzzing noise in your ear, bring a wall plug that repels mosquitos. All you have to do is plug it in and they won’t come anywhere near your room.

What to Wear in Milan


In Milan, fashion is a way of life the streets look like catwalks even in the height of the summer. You’re going to want to bring your A-Game when it comes to what you wear. A mix-and-match capsule wardrobe with a few statement pieces is the best strategy when it comes to packing for Milan. In Italian Fashion, Black is always in, so build your looks around neutral colors and go from there depending on your activities.

What Should WOMEN Wear in Milan? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

The women in Milan dress to impress. You’ll want to wear something chic yet comfortable for walking around Italy’s largest city. Make sure you pack shoes that are comfortable because you’ll be racking up the steps in the winding cobblestone streets of Milan. Being a fashion capital, you’ll see women with both timeless and trendy styles. You can go timeless for the evening in a statement jumpsuit, and show your knowledge of trends with an oversized blazer, pleated shorts, and sneakers for day touring.

What Should MEN Wear in Milan? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

While they stick to a refined style with a neutral color palette, for the most part, men aren’t afraid to express themselves through fashion in Milan. You’ll want to bring some casual outfits for the day like pleated pants and breathable button-downs. For the evening bring something a little more dressy like tailored trousers and a sports coat.

Dressing for the Seasons

Summer – September, October, November


Milan summer is a toasty one. The city gets pretty hot and since Italians aren’t big on air-conditioning, even being inside can get pretty warm. You’ll want to dress in cool breathable fabrics, like cotton tank tops with a flowy skirt. Guys will be comfortable in a linen button-down and shorts. Sandals are ideal for the summer, but make sure they’re comfortable because you’ll be getting a lot of steps in.

Temperatures in the Summer range on average between 68°F to 86°F (20°C-30°C)


FALL – September, October, November

The autumn in Milan is beautiful. The weather is perfect during this time of year, in the mornings and the evenings the air is crisp, but once the sun shines, you’ll be warm. During the day it’s warm enough to wear a chic jumpsuit with sandals. In the evening a pair of pleated pants with a light jacket or a pullover will keep you cozy.

Temperatures in the fall range on average between 50°F to 75°F (10°C-24°C)

WINTER – September, October, November


When people think of Italy, they rarely think of cold winters, but since Milan is in the north of Italy it’s one of the cities that experiences a “real” winter. If you’re visiting during the colder months, don’t be surprised to see snow or if the temperature drops to single digits. You’ll want to wear something warm like a puffer jacket, scarf, jeans, boots, and a sweater.

Temperatures in the winter range on average between 35°F to 50°F (2°C-10°C)


SPRING – September, October, November

The spring in Milan is similar to Autumn in weather, but the fashion changes. During the day the weather will be warm, so a midi-skirt and a crop top will look great, at night you can swap your sandals for a pair of boots and your short-sleeve top for a sweater to keep the spring vibe, but do it Milan-style.

Temperatures in the spring range on average between 45°F to 75°F (7°C-23°C)

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity – (Click to expand)

Climbing the Duomo: As I mentioned earlier, there are 250 steps to climb to make it to the top of the Duomo di Milano. When you’re going after this feat, make sure to wear comfy footwear and nothing too bulky— the stairs are pretty narrow, so do this first thing in the morning so you’re not carrying excess shopping bags.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: Directly next to the Duomo, there’s the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a beautiful shopping arcade that is famous for its luxury brands and its incredible backdrop for photoshoots. You’re going to want to be in something gorgeous here— wear a statement piece like a jumpsuit with a killer purse.

Sforza Castle: While the Castle itself is an incredible site to see, it’s also home to several museums. You’re going to want to be dressed in something that you’ll feel comfortable walking in . Pleatedple of hours, pleated pants and an oversized shirt with comfy sandals is perfect for looking refined while feeling cozy.

Teatro Alla Scala: Going to the Opera at Teatro all Scala is a must-do in Milan. The opera house is nothing short of magnificent with its iconic red and gold interiors with ornate molding— you’ll feel like you’re in a movie. When heading to the theatre it’s important to look the part, women should wear a nice dress or chic jumpsuit, and men should wear nice trousers and a button-down with a jacket.

Picnic at Sempione Park: The largest green space in Milan is Sempione Park and it’s a favorite for locals to wander around or picnic at. If you’re going to join in the dolce far niente (The sweetness of doing nothing) wear something casual yet trendy like pleated shorts and a tank top.

Aperitivo
Italy has this incredible thing that’s like a happy hour — but better because it has snacks. It’s a way of life in Milan, and people dress to impress for aperitivo. Wear a stunning dress with platforms to enjoy your spritz and nibbles with.

Wandering the Canals
Thought the only canals in Italy were in Venice? Milan’s Navigli neighborhood is filled with beautiful canals. The neighborhood is filled with cute boutiques and bars, so you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to go from day to night with a killer outfit like a dress or jumpsuit that can take you from shopping to sipping Aperol spritz at a chic Milanese bar.

What NOT to Bring to Milan

  • 1.DONT Bring Short Shorts

    If you wear a pair of shorts or a skirt that is too short you could very easily have a little old Italian lady yelling at you on the street. After all, the Vatican is located inside the country, so try to stay modest in your attire.

  • 2.DONT Bring a Full Suitcase

    They don’t call Milan a Fashion capital for no reason, the city is packed with amazing shopping. Make sure you leave some room in your suitcase for the things you find during your trip.

  • 3.DONT Bring a Diet

    Leave your diet at home because Milan is home to some of the best food in the world. The pizza, pasta, and of course the tiramisu, it’s all INCREDIBLE. Don’t hold yourself back while you’re in Milan, enjoy every bite without feeling guilty— after all you’ll be walking most of it off anyways.

  • 4.DONT Bring a Hair Dryer

    Save room in your suitcase by leaving your hairdryer at home. Most hotels have them in the room for you anyways— if not just ask the front desk and they will surely have one on hand.

  • 5.DONT Bring Uncomfortable Shoes

    Milan is HUGE and while there is public transport to get you from A to B, even walking across the piazza in front of the duomo can be a trek if you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes. Make sure whatever footwear you bring, you can walk in.

  • 6.DONT Bring Dollars

    Milan, while a fairly international city, is still Italian. They use the Euro, so leave your dollars at home because you won’t need or be able to use them while you’re in Milan.

What NOT to Wear in Milan – (Click to expand)

Italian style has a strict unspoken rule about wearing anything too revealing. Short shorts are a big no in Italy, unless you want to get piercing stares, I’d leave your jean cutoffs at home. Flip-flops are also considered a faux-pas in Milan and should only be worn in the home. Milanese men wouldn’t be caught in a pair of cargo shorts, so guys leave your extra pockets behind.

FAQs about Milan

  • 1. What is the best local food to try?

    Risotto alla Milanese, Ossobuco, and the holiday cake Panettone are all Milanese specialties. But of course, Italian classics like pizza, pasta, gelato, and wine are all worth indulging in when visiting Milan.

  • 2. What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Milan?

    You’ll want to stay in one of the central neighborhoods:

    • Brera
    • Navigli
    • Porta Venezia
    • Porta Nuova
    • Isola
    • Centro Storico
    • San Lorenzo
    What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Milan
  • 3. Do the Locals Speak English?

    For the most part yes. I wouldn’t expect older Italians to know perfect English though, so it’s good to have your phrase book on hand. It’s also always courteous to make an effort and speak the local language whenever traveling to a new country. The locals appreciate the effort.

  • 4. How can I get around Milan?

    To navigate the city you can use the metro, trams, buses, car sharing apps, bike sharing apps, and taxis. Walking is my favorite way to get around. You get to experience many things in the city that you’d miss when in a car or on a bus. Milan is a very walkable city so I’d highly recommend walking to bars, restaurants, and museums whenever possible.

    How can I get around Milan?
  • 5. What is the Official Language of Milan?

    The official language is Italian. Street signs will be in Italian and menus likely will be too. Sometimes there are English translations, but be sure to download Google Translate or bring a pocket Italian dictionary with you for your trip to Milan.

  • 6. When is the best time to visit Milan?

    The autumn, spring, and summer (aside from August— it’s too hot) are great times to visit Milan. The weather is warm and the sun will be shining. If you like colder weather, Milan is also great in the winter— especially after a snowfall. Some people visit Milan expecting it to be warm and sunny like the Mediterranean, but Milan can get quite cold since it’s located closer to the center of Europe rather than on the coast in the peninsula.

    When is the best time to visit Milan?
  • 7. When is Milan Fashion Week?

    Milan Fashion Week happens twice per year, in February and September.