If you’re wondering what it’s like in Turin in winter, I’m here for you. Before my trip to Turin in December, I had to dig deep to find out what it had to offer during that time of the year, and I was glad to discover a variety of seasonal activities.
The Piedmontese capital is an underrated destination, steeped in history yet incredibly modern at the same time. It’s definitely not the obvious choice for a European winter trip, but if you love alternative city breaks as much as I do, here’s what you need to know.
*This post may contain affiliate links from which I earn a commission (for more info, read my disclosure). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
*I try to keep the information on this blog as updated as possible, but I still recommend consulting the latest prices, opening hours, and other details on the official website of each site, hotel, and tour, as well as checking the updated public transport routes and timetables.
*As a partner of the Get Your Guide affiliate program, I got a 15% discount when I purchased my Torino+Piemonte Card. That said, I always share my honest opinions.
My favorite carb in Turin: I had amazing pasta and risotto I had, but I will never forget the pastries and desserts of Farmacia del Cambio.
Are you planning a last-minute trip?
Purchase the Torino+Piemonte Card or Royal Pass to enter the city’s top sites for FREE, book this free walking tour, and check out these highly-rated accommodations in Turin:
1. Emozione Torino (where I stayed – it’s a lovely apartment in the historic center)
2. Savoia Suites Torino (in the heart of the historic center)
3. Corte Realdi Luxury Rooms Torino (overlooking the Royal Palace)
WEATHER IN WINTER IN TURIN, ITALY
How cold does it get in Turin? Does it snow in Turin in winter?
Well, In December and January, average highs are 3°C-10°C (37.5°F-50°F), and average lows are 0°C-2°C (32°F-35.5°F). Some days are cold yet sunny with no wind, and the sky is beautifully clear, while others are cloudy, rainy, or snowy (I got to enjoy both the sun and the snow).
In the month of February, temperatures get a few degrees higher, and the weather is slightly more pleasant, but some days can still be rainy or snowy. That’s why it’s crucial to check the forecast right before your trip to know what to expect.
It’s also good to know that there are about 9 hours of daylight during the winter months in Turin.
From my own experience, I can say that the temperatures didn’t change drastically from day to night, which was easier to deal with as someone who is always cold. That said, you obviously need to bring warm clothes, so pack accordingly.
AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN TURIN IN WINTER
ESCAPE THE WEATHER AND VISIT A MUSEUM OR A ROYAL PALACE
If you want to spend winter in Italy, it’s a great choice to travel to a city like Turin, where its indoor spaces include UNESCO-listed palaces as well as museums that are fun to visit no matter how old you are. So even if it starts raining, you’ll have plenty to do.
As the capital city of kingdoms ruled by the House of Savoy, Turin is where you can find several of its royal residences (the others are scattered around the region – Piedmont).
It goes without saying that you must visit these beautiful historical landmarks on your trip, from the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) to Villa della Regina.
If museums are more up your alley, head to the amazing National Museum of Cinema (housed in the famous Mole Antonelliana building), Lavazza Museum, National Automobile Museum, or Egyptian Museum (the second-largest in the world after the one in Cairo).
They are all so impressive and well-thought-out, and I promise you’re going to love them!
Most of them charge an admission of 10-18 euros, but they are FREE to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card (one of the few European city cards that are actually worth it), so I highly recommend getting it to save money. Purchase yours here.
If you only want to visit the royal residences, buy the Royal Pass to visit them for FREE.
WANDER AROUND THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN TURIN
Turin’s Christmas markets usually take place in several spots, including in the historic center at Piazza Castello and Piazza Solferino, in the Borgo Dora neighborhood at Cortile del Maglio, and in the Santa Rita neighborhood at Piazza Santa Rita.
There you’ll find plenty of stalls selling ornaments, gifts, food, regional produce, and more. At Piazza Solferino, you’ll even find a small ice skating rink.
Exact dates and locations of Turin’s Christmas markets for 2023/2024: Christmas Village and ice skating rink at Piazza Solferino from December 1st, 2023, to January 7th, 2024.
LOOK FOR THE ICONIC CHRISTMAS TREE AND THE ADVENT CALENDAR
Christmas in Turin would not be complete without some Christmas trees. While you can find a few scattered around the city, the biggest, most famous one was usually situated at Piazza San Carlo.
In 2021, for the first time, it was housed in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, right next to a unique, giant advent calendar.
Dates and location for 2023/2024: The Christmas tree will be located at Piazzetta Reale (in front of the Royal Palace) from 1/12/2023 to 7/01/2024, and the advent calendar at Piazza San Giovanni (next to the Duomo) from 01/12/2023 to 24/12/2024.
MARVEL AT THE LUCI D’ARTISTA INSTALLATIONS
Turin doesn’t just get illuminated – it hosts the Luci D’Artista event, where the city is decorated with unique light installations created by contemporary artists.
From the end of October until the beginning of January, you’ll find these lights in the historic center and a few other districts.
Turin is quite a big city (the 4th largest in Italy), so it seems like there could be more installations, but it’s still nice to wander around and discover these works of art.
Dates: October 27th, 2023 – January 14th, 2024.
Locations: See here.
This year you can also take a Luci D’Artista night bus tour to marvel at all of these lights.
ENJOY THE DECORATED SHOPS
Apart from the Luci d’Artista installations, some streets are very modestly decorated, and others are not decorated at all.
Unlike other European cities in winter, which boast huge decorations and countless twinkling lights, Turin keeps things relatively simple.
But if you stroll through the city center, you’ll be rewarded with cheerful display windows adorned with nutcrackers, Santa Claus and gingerbread man figures, Christmas wreaths, and more. Don’t worry – the magic continues as you step inside.
VISIT THE BUNKER BIG MARKET (CHRISTMAS EDITION)
One of the best things to do in Turin in December is to check out the Bunker Big Market. The Bunker is a unique industrial-style cultural center housed in a former WWII air-raid shelter and an old railway yard.
It hosts different events, including the Big Market, a handmade & vintage market (accompanied by music and street food) that takes place at the beginning of each season. Winter is no exception, and you can enjoy a Christmas edition of the market.
Date in 2023: To be updated.
CHECK OUT SPAZIO ADISCO
Out of all the shops in Turin’s historic center, Spazio Adisco truly feels like Christmas on steroids. It’s actually a charity shop, and it comes to life, especially in winter, so it’s the perfect time to check it out.
Even though the space is not big, there’s a lot to see here, from intricate miniature displays to ornaments to Christmas gifts.
WARM YOURSELF UP AT A COZY CAFE WITH HOT CHOCOLATE OR BICERIN
Not that I need any excuse to savor a cup of hot chocolate, but it’s certainly tastier if it’s freezing outside. Turin is the Italian capital of chocolate, so expect the decadent drink to be extra delicious here.
If that’s not enough, a cafe in this city invented an incredible local drink called Bicerin, made from coffee, chocolate, and milk.
Nowadays, it is served all across Turin, but I also recommend trying the original one at the 18th-century Caffe Al Bicerin.
Not surprisingly, there’s no shortage of cafes in the northern Italian city serving both hot chocolate and Bicerin, from 21st-century specialty coffee shops like Orso Laboratorio Caffè to well-known historic establishments like Baratti & Milano and Caffè Torino.
BUY CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, AND MORE CHOCOLATE
Turin is THE Italian destination for chocoholics, especially in winter – the city’s chocolate shops wear a festive look, sweet gift sets wrapped in beautiful winter-themed boxes are on display, and seasonal treats are waiting to be eaten.
Don’t skip out on must-try chocolates in Turin like the gianduiotto and the cremino (both made with Piedmontese hazelnuts), and check out famous shops like Caffarel, Guido Gobino, and Stratta.
Alternatively, take one of these chocolate tours.
STUFF YOUR FACE WITH PIEDMONTESE COMFORT FOOD
Northern Italian regions are masters in making hearty, warming dishes, and Piedmont is no exception.
Winter is a fantastic time to indulge in comfort food like Gnocchi al Castelmagno, mushroom risotto, tajarin (a very rich egg pasta), and other regional delicacies.
CHECK OUT EMANUELE LUZZATI’S NATIVITY SCENE
At the Borgo Medievale, a charming replica of a Piedmontese medieval village (located in Valentino Park), you’ll find a nativity scene formed by a series of painted wooden silhouettes created by Emanuele Luzzati, a famous Italian painter, illustrator, and animator.
The Borgo Medievale is already known as a must-visit spot in Turin (so you don’t have to make an extra effort to check out this Christmastime attraction), and the entrance is free.
Date and location in 2023: December 8th – January 7th in Piazza Cavour.
ENJOY SOME CHRISTMAS CONCERTS
If you’re wondering what to do in Turin in December and you love old Christmas carols and classical music, you can also attend a few Christmas concerts in Turin (for free) at churches like the Church of Santa Teresa, Royal Church of San Lorenzo, and Church of San Carlo.
Exact dates for 2023: To be updated.
WAIT FOR THE SNOW
When you live in a country where it only snows in two places and only for a couple of weeks, visiting a city like Turin in winter can make you feel excited like a kid.
Depending on when you’re visiting, the Piedmontese capital can be one of the best winter vacations in Europe with snow. December and January offer some snowy days, so get ready for winter wonderland scenery, and be sure to bring an umbrella and proper boots.
SPEND NEW YEAR’S EVE IN TURIN
I did not get to spend New Year’s Eve in Turin because I visited at the beginning of December, but I would have loved to see what it had to offer.
In 2023, there will be an open-air classical music concert by the Torino Philharmonic Orchestra at Piazza Castello.
Here are a few other events that will take place in Turin in the winter of 2023-2024:
- The Torino Palavela ice rink will be open to the public from the beginning of October 2023 to 14/1/2024. Renting skates rent depends on availability. Get tickets here.
- The winter amusement park Natale in Giostra will be open from 25/11/2023 to 9/1/2024, featuring rides, attractions, and food stalls. It’s located in the 5th pavilion of Torino Esposizioni (Corso Massimo d’Azeglio 15).
- The San Salvario Emporium market will have a Christmas edition on December 3rd, 2023.
- There will be an artisan Christmas market at Cavallerizza Torino (Via Verdi 5) on December 17th, 2023 (admission is 1 euro).
OTHER TIPS FOR VISITING TURIN IN WINTER
BUY THE TORINO+PIEMONTE CITY CARD
Offering countless discounts (including free entrance to most of Turin’s museums and palaces) yet reasonably priced, the Torino+Piemonte Card is one of the few city cards that are actually worth it.
When each attraction costs 10-18 euros to visit, it’s practically impossible not to save money with this card (the 3-day card can save you 20-30 euros). Note that the 1-day card only offers free entrance to 3 sites.
Alternatively, you can purchase the Royal Pass (€30), valid for 4 days and offering FREE entrance solely to the palaces and castles of the House of Savoy in Turin and Piedmont (and the Basilica of Superga), as well as discounts on a few museums and public transport.
TAKE DAY TRIPS
A Turin itinerary is not complete without taking at least one day trip.
If you want to see some more Savoy royal residences, head to the Stupinigi Royal Hunting Lodge (Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi) or the gorgeous Palace of Venaria (Reggia di Venaria Reale).
If you’re visiting Turin at Christmas, know that the hunting lodge in Stupinigi actually hosts an event called Natale è Reale (probably more suitable for those speaking Italian) that includes workshops, activities for kids, a Christmas market, street food stalls, and more.
OTHER TURIN & ITALY GUIDES
Read more about Turin and northern Italy:
- Where to stay in Turin
- Is Turin worth visiting?
- Turin off the beaten track
- Northern Italy road trip
- Road trips from Milan
- Things to do in Milan when it rains
- Turin or Milan
- Things to do in Vicenza
- Best places to visit in Lombardy
- Hidden gems in northern Italy