Top things to do in Milan for Christmas

There is a dose of magic in Milan during the days of December when the city transforms into a wintery landscape. From glittering Christmas lights and decorations to the traditional Christmas markets, Milan offers plenty to see and to do. The excitement starts on the 7th of December when the city celebrate its patron Saint Ambrose and Teatro alla Scala opens the season with the “Premiere” show. Also 8th of December is a public holiday in Italy. According to the Catholic belief this day commemorates the mother of Jesus graced by God to lead a life “free of sin” (the Immaculate Conception).

via Montenapoleone
Montenapoleone Street

Best things to do at Christmas time

Taste a slice of panettone

Panettone is a real local speciality, garnished with raisins or candied fruits, this classic Christmas cake hits the shelves of the stores as soon as the season begins. The word “Panettone” comes from the Milanese dialect “Pan del ton” and it means luxury bread. You find the best handmade Panettone in one of the historic addresses of the city: Pasticceria Martesana, Pasticceria Marchesi, Pasticceria Cova or Sant’Ambroeus, Maria Marinoni, Bar Cucchi.

Italian panettone

Something equally traditional and popular is Pandoro, another Christmas sweet bread often served with a spoonful of sabayon or mascarpone cream.

Drink a hot chocolate

There is nothing quite like a hot chocolate break to warm up a little after an endless markets visit and city walks. Top quality chocolate can be found at the famous chocolatiers Zaini (taste its dark chocolate and hot milk chocolate with berries) and Venchi (indulge yourself with its hot chocolate with whipped cream and hazelnuts).


Hot Chocolate Guido Gobino Milan
Hot Chocolate Guido Gobino -Milan

At Guido Gobino you find the real dense Piedmontese hazelnut chocolate that is worth trying for sure.😋More places in the center for a quality chocolate pause are CHOCOLAT, Cioccolati Italiani, Bianco Latte and Gay Odin.

Admire the masterpieces at Palazzo Marino, for free

Every year at Christmas time the city gives to its citizens and guests the chance to admire the works of art housed in the charming Sala Alessi in Palazzo Marino, accompanied by guides who illustrate them.


Palazzo Marino Milan
Palazzo Marino – Milan

On the occasion of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the death of Perugino (Pietro Vannucci), the traditional setting in Sala Alessi will be dedicated to the great Master: scheduled from December 5 to January 14 guided tours with free admission to discover his masterpiece The Baptism of Christ.

Spend the day at a Christmas Village of Wonders

The Village of Wonders will animate the charming area of Porta Venezia and it is one of the most awaited events by children. From November 18th to January 7th the Indro Montanelli Park will be transformed into the magic Christmas forest with many attractions, including the Magic Circus of the Elves, the Christmas market, the rides or shows at the Santa’s house for the whole family, various workshops and Christmas street food like frittella!

Christmas fritella
Christmas fritella

Check the calendar and the working time on the official website.

Go Ice Skating

In my opinion ice skating is a quintessential part of the Christmas holidays. The Christmas skating rinks dot the Milan landscape from December till the mid of January and can be found at the following spots:

Bagni Misteriosi

The historic swimming pool of Bagni Misteriosi from the 25th of November till the 7th of January transforms into an ice-skating rink dotted with elegant mountain chalets. Visitors can enjoy the wintery atmosphere thanks to festive music and a variety of artistic performances, workshops for children and other activities.

Bagni Misteriosi
Bagni Misteriosi- ice rink

Address: Via Carlo Botta, 18, 20135 Milano MI

The Village of Wonders in the heart of Milan

The Village of Wonders at the Indro Montanelli Gardens can not miss a skating rink. It is a double track partly covered and heated and partly outdoor 80 meters long, and is the largest in northern Italy. You can skate with your own skates or rent them.

Villaggio delle Meraviglie Milan Italy
Villaggio delle Meraviglie – Milan

Address: Indro Montanelli Gardens (Porta Venezia)

Ice Rink at Palazzo Lombardia

In the shadow of Palazzo Lombardia has been installed the ice skating rink for children and adults with the possibility to attend lessons with specialized masters. It is probably my favourite spot for ice skating. Don’t miss to order a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm up.

02 Ice Palazzo Lombardia
Palazzo Lombardia

Address: piazza Città di Lombardia (Milan)

Sensation On Ice

The most popular attraction for children and adults under the Christmas holidays is definitely the Christmas village Senstation on Ice in front of the Central Station. The ice rink is accessible for free, you just need to rent skates. The Sensation On Ice covers an area of 1500 square meters. Fun is guaranteed.

Costs: free, skates can be rented at 9 euros

Discover the Christmas Trees of the city

This year Milan will light up 22 Christmas trees in the city. As per tradition, the Christmas tree in the Octagon of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most anticipated and photographed by tourists who choose Milan to spend the Christmas holidays.

Milan Duomo Christmas tree
Duomo Christmas tree

After years of sponsorship by Swarovski, who brought the traditional fir tree lit by crystals to the Milan living room, this year the exhibition is entrusted to Gucci, fashion house of the French group Kering, who chose a more contemporary installation named “The gift of Love” made of 78 gift boxes one above the other to form a pyramid of packages with a rounded shape.

Gucci Christmas Tree Milan
Gucci Christmas Tree – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The top of the Gallery is illuminated by 780 wires of white LED lights with the coat of arms of the City of Milan in the center. It’s truly magnificent!

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Milan
LED lights with the coat of arms

There will be other 21 projects of the “Christmas of the trees” installed at: Piazza della Scala , Piazza Diaz, Via Muratori, Piazzale Cadorna, Piazzale Archinto, Via Tolstoi/ang. via Savona, piazza Olivetti, via Flaminio and Arco della Pace, via Statuto/ang. Largo La Foppa, Piazza Cordusio, Piazza San Carlo, Piazza XXV Aprile, Piazza XXIV Maggio, Corso Garibaldi, Piazza Duca d’Aosta and Piazza Tre Torri ).

Via Ponte Vetero
Via Ponte Vetero

Visit Christmas markets

Milan is home to a variety of Christmas markets that bring cheer to the city during the holiday season. The most famous is the one in Piazza Duomo, made up of a number of traditional wooden stalls, each selling different kinds of Christmas decorations, food, and other festive items. Along with the stalls, there are also various entertainment acts providing festive music and street performances.

Christmas market Milan
Christmas market Milan

Another particularly famed fair is “Obei Obei” held by the ramparts of the Castello Sforzesco. The name Oh Bej, Oh Bej refers to the exclamations oh beautiful! oh beautiful! It offers a huge selection of products, from food, drinks to decorations and handmade gifts. It is a perfect place to find something special for yourself or a gift for a friend.

O bej O bej fair Milan
O bej O bej fair Milan

The Elf market at Christmas village in Giardini Indro Montanelli or Piazza Gae Aulenti are another great places to pick up Christmas gifts and delicious street food.

Enjoy your Chrismas holidays in Milan! 🎄

Rinascente Milan
Rinascente – Milan