As you would expect to find in the largest city in Italy, there are multiple Christmas markets in Milan, seasonal celebrations and winter events over the holiday period.
Milan is a busy city all year round, but in December, the city becomes busier and more festive than anywhere else in the country. It’s one of the best winter city breaks in Italy and perfect for a long weekend away.
The city centre around Duomo is a great starting point for any trip to Milan, especially if this is your first time visiting.
This historic square is stunning under the Christmas lights and with the bustle of Christmas shoppers.
Take your time to enjoy your surroundings before making your way into the busy market as Milan during Christmas is quite a sight.
Milan Christmas Market 2022
It’s hardly surprising that Italian food is the highlight of the Milan Christmas market. Like everywhere in Italy, food is an integral part of the culture and lifestyle.
People like to eat out from hole-in-the-wall pizza-by-the-slice type places to high-end world-renowned restaurants.
Milan is also famous for shopping, especially for fashion and design stores, meaning you can get all your Christmas shopping done while on holiday.
Dates and Locations
Milan Christmas Market dates: Winter Wonderland – 25th November 2022 to 6th January 2023. Oh Bej! Oh Bej! – 7th December to 10th December.
Location: Piazza Duomo Market, Oh Bej! Oh Bej! at Castello Sforzesco, Darsena Christmas Village and many more locations.
Reason to visit: Big city vibe, great shopping, incridble food.
Specialties: Panettone, saffron risotto, barbajada hot mocha.
Travel tip: You’ll find cheaper hotels by Milano Centrale train station but the area can be a little grungy at night.
Winter events: Ice skating or stay warm at a museum.
Milan weather in winter: Temperatures average 7°C / 2°C (high / low) in December.
Where to stay: Room Mate Giulia or search our recommended best Christmas hotels.
Hotels near Milan Christmas Market
Even though Milan is a relatively expensive destination, all budgets are catered to so you can easily stick to a low budget or spoil yourself with a little luxury.
Read my guide to hotels near Milan Christmas Market to find a hotel in Milan that suits your budget and travel style.
In general, I recommend staying at Room Mate Giulia. Not only is this hotel steps from the Piazza del Duomo, but it’s one of the most sustainable hotels in Milan. They use renewable energy, avoid single-use plastic and invest in their local community.
Milan Christmas Market Specialities
Milan has so many delicious culinary specialties that you’ll quickly get full trying everything. These are a few to get you started.
- Panettone – The number one Christmas specialty in Milan is its world-famous panettone. This sweet bread-like cake has been around since the 15th century and is best when made with candied fruit and served with butter or Nutella and accompanied by a shot of espresso or sparkling wine.
- Risotto alla Milanese – Milanese risotto is a rice dish lightly flavoured with saffron and cheese. Simple yet delicious.
- Casserole – Perfect for cold winter nights, Milanese slow-cooked specialties include ossobuco, minestrone (vegetarian) and cassoeula.
- Cotoletta alla Milanese – A classic dish from Milan, a large breaded veal chop is typically cooked in clarified butter and served with a tomato salad.
- Michetta – For carb lovers, michetta is a star-shaped panini stuffed with a sweet or savoury filling.
- Barbajada – While relaxing in a typical Milanese cafe, ask for a babajada, a hot drink with coffee, chocolate and topped with whipped cream.
Things to Do in Milan in Winter
Milan is a busy city for business and shopping but it shouldn’t be overlooked for cultural and historical sights.
In Milan in December, you’ll most likely want to start your visit to the city with a stop in Piazza del Duomo, the historic heart of Milan.
- Duomo – Milan Cathedral – The pale marble stone of the Duomo is an unmissable sight in the centre of Milan’s main square. Take a close look at the sculptures on the doors before entering the magnificent building with its statues and lights.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – The first shopping centre in the world is an incredible, opulent sight, steps from the Duomo. Do some window shopping, look up to appreciate the glass dome and have a quick coffee or snack.
- Castello Sforzesco – Walk through the shopping streets towards Milan’s central castle. See incredible works of art or simply wander around the courtyards and gardens of the 15th-century fortress.
- La Scala – See an opera or ballet at the famous Teatro alla Scala or take a tour to discover its history dating from 1778.
- Canals – Many might be surprised Milan is a city with canals. Visit the Navigli district to walk along the waterways or stop at one of the many cafes and restaurants.
- Shopping – Great shopping can be found all around the city but if you’re particularly interested in Italian fashion head to the Fashion District – Quadrilatero della Moda. This famous neighbourhood is located in a compact area between via della Spiga, via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni and Corso Venezia.
Milan is host to one of the best Christmas markets in Italy and it’s particularly worth visiting for the Duomo market on the square.
For more things to do in Milan visit the official tourism site or find them on social media.
Location of Milan Christmas Market
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. When visiting the Christmas markets, keeping sustainability in mind is important.
Implement some or all of these simple measures to create a positive impact.
- Shop mindfully. Only purchase what you really need.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport to get around.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy.
- Stay in hotels. Short-stay apartment accommodation can lead to a lack of affordable housing for locals.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food where possible.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy.
- Be open to diverse cultures and experiences.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
- Visit fewer places but stay longer at each destination.
The 25th Decemeber is Natale (Christmas Day) and is a public holiday in Milan as is Boxing Day (26th December), celebrated as Santo Stefano in Italy. Most shops, events and attractions are closed on these days. Some smaller shops, cafes and restaurants are open. Make a reservation before you go. Public transport runs every day of the year.
Yes, there are several Christmas markets in Milan. The most popular is on Piazza del Duomo, the square in front of the famous cathedral.
25th November 2022 to 6th January 2023.
7th December 2022 to celebrate the feast of Milan’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio.
Yes, of course! Milan is a big city with international events that take place all year round. The city is great for Christmas shopping, eating out, drinking at cool bars, visiting museums and galleries and going to concerts and the opera.
If you visited Milan Xmas markets or Milan in December more generally and would like to share your experience, leave a comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Milan, Italy. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.