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.
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Planning a last-minute trip?
Book this free walking tour and check out these highly-rated accommodations in Turin:
– Attic Hostel Torino (budget, in the historic center)
– Savoia Suites Torino (mid-range, in the historic center)
– Liberty Hotel (mid-range, in a quiet neighborhood 10-minutes from the historic center)
– Corte Realdi Luxury Rooms Torino (luxury, in the historic center).
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
WANDER AROUND THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN TURIN
Turin hosts several Christmas markets, including two in the historic center at Piazza Castello and Piazza Solferino, one in the Borgo Dora neighborhood at Cortile del Maglio, and one in the Santa Rita neighborhood at Piazza Santa Rita.
Each of them is home to 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 of Turin’s Christmas markets for 2022: To be updated.
LOOK FOR THE ICONIC CHRISTMAS TREE
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.
Exact dates and location for 2022: To be updated.
MARVEL AT THE LUCI D’ARTISTA INSTALLATIONS
Turin doesn’t just get illuminated – it hosts the Luci D’Artista event, in which 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.
Exact dates and locations for 2022: To be updated.
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.
Exact dates for 2022: 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.
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 to Villa della Regina.
If museums are more up your alley, head to the impressive National Museum of Cinema (housed in the famous Mole Antonelliana building), Lavazza Museum, National Automobile Museum, or Egyptian Museum.
They are all so impressive and well-thought-out, and I promise you’re going to love them! They are also free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card, so I highly recommend getting it.
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.
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 2022: 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.
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.
Read this post to see what you can do on New Year’s Eve in Turin.
Read more about Turin and northern Italy:
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 10-15 euros to visit, it’s practically impossible not to save money with this card.
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.