Spend Christmas in Milan in 2023 | Baked Goodies, Midnight Mass, Shopping, and More!

Milan is a hub for fashion, culture, architecture, and food, which makes the capital city of Italy a busy tourist destination around the year. But Christmas is always all the more special. It's a magical time in the city with lights, food, markets, shopping, sightseeing, and more Christmas special activities that will get you in the festive mood. Read on to know why you should spend this Christmas in Milan and everything you can expect from the city.

Christmas in Milan - Why Spend Christmas in Milan?

Why Spend Christmas in Milan?

  • All the streets in Milan are lit with Christmas lights with local markets where you can shop for yourself and your loved ones.
  • Milan Cathedral, the largest church in Italy, has midnight mass every Christmas eve. You can enjoy sweet treats outside the cathedral.
  • Restaurants and bakeries in Milan have special Christmas-themed menus of the tastiest Italian foods that you can indulge in during the festival.
  • The Christmas season is a snowy affair in Milan. Strolling through the snow-filled streets and participating in snow activities with your family is always the best way to spend Christmas.
  • O Bej O Bej, Milan's world-famous fair that attracts tourists from around the globe, is hosted during the Christmas season.

Top 12 Things To Do During Christmas In Milan

Christmas in Milan - Midnight Mass at Milan Cathedral

1. Go for the Midnight Mass

If you're looking for a holy experience this Christmas, visit the Milan Cathedral for Midnight Mass and celebrate Christmas the right way. Enjoy the wintry Milan snack called Caldarroste, which is basically roasted chestnuts. They are sold outside the cathedral, which is just icing on the cake. 

Milan churches where you can go to attend Midnight Mass: 

Christmas in Milan - Christmas markets

2. Do some festive shopping at Christmas markets

Milan has all kinds of Christmas markets set up around the city where you can buy goods at a discounted price. But the best thing to buy from these markets is clothes as Milan is among the four fashion capitals of the world. You might be able to get a good deal on the trendiest clothes.

Visit the Christmas markets here:

Christmas in Milan - Christmas lights

3. Take a stroll and watch Milan's Christmas lights

Milan knows how to celebrate Christmas, and this is evident when you see the streets during the festival. All the streets are bright and sparkling, with beautiful decorations around every corner. Take a stroll and see Milan dressed up in Christmas lights, celebrating the festival in a gorgeous setting.

Head here to watch Christmas lights:

Christmas in Milan - Milan restaurants

4. Have a feast at Milan's best restaurants

Nobody can say no to good food, especially when it's at the best restaurants in Milan. Get your group together, wear loose pants and dive into lip-smacking Italian delicacies on Christmas day. After all, Christmas always calls for a huge feast, right?

What and where to eat in Milan during Christmas:

  • Creamy Risotto, Ossobuco or Vitello Tonnato at Ratanà | Find on Map
  • Tonnato, Tartare and Vitello at Trattoria Trippa | Find on Map
  • Prosciutto, Fajitas and Tortelloni at Seta | Find on Map
  • Seafood at Langosteria | Find on Map
Christmas in Milan - High-end stores

5. Shop at high-end stores

One thing you can never go wrong with in Milan is fashion. It is one of the four fashion capitals of the world, where you will find luxurious Italian and world-renowned brands. Treat yourself this Christmas with a visit to these stores, dress up for the festival, and feel your stunning self.

Visit these stores at Ponte Vecchio:

Christmas in Milan - Skiing trip

6. Take advantage of the snow with a skiing trip

December in Milan is all about snow as the temperature goes down to 4°C and below throughout. Why not take advantage of the weather and book a skiing trip near Milan? Slide through the snow-laden peaks and have the time of your life this Christmas.

Find the best skiing destinations near Milan here:

Christmas in Milan - Spend an evening with music

7. Spend an evening with music

Want to have an elegant time on your visit to Milan during Christmas? Watch an opera or musical at Milan's oldest theatres around the festive week. You can catch some special Christmas musicals and shows at Milan theatres and admire the brilliant architecture as well.

Watch Christmas special shows at these theatres:

Christmas in Milan - Milan's bakeries

8. Taste Italian desserts at Milan's bakeries

Got a little bit of a sweet tooth? Don't forget to indulge in some Italian desserts during Christmas and treat your taste buds. Milan's bakeries are famous for their sweet delicacies with recipes that have been consistent for years. And what better time to enjoy them than Christmas?

Visit these bakeries in Milan:

Christmas in Milan - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

9. Head straight to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Christmas celebrations are incomplete without a Christmas tree. And you know what's better than a Christmas tree? A giant Christmas tree decorated with thousands of ornaments and lights at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan's historic shopping gallery. It is a famous landmark in the city, visited by many people during Christmas week.

Christmas in Milan - Milan countryside
Christmas in Milan - Ice skating

11. Spend Christmas ice skating

A snowy Milan calls for snowy adventures. Lucky for you, Milan has many! You can spend Christmas at Milan's skating rinks, especially when you have kids with you. It is a fun way to spend the festival and connect with your loved ones.

Go ice skating at these famous rinks:

Christmas in Milan - Museums during Christmas

12. Visit museums during Christmas week

Italy has many renowned museums visited by people all over the world. Milan, being the capital city, is home to many such museums. While they are closed on Christmas Day, you can still visit them on other days around 25th December and learn more about arts and culture.

Some must-see pieces in Milan's museums are:

  • The Dead Christ and Three Mourners at Pinacoteca di Brera | Find on Map
  • Portrait of Paul Guillaume by Amedeo Modigliani at Museo del Novecento | Find on Map
  • Christo's Early Works 1958-1963 at Fondazione Prada | Find on Map
  • Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci at Pinacoteca Ambrosiana | Find on Map

Top Experiences in Milan


Frequently Asked Questions About Celebrating Christmas in Milan

Is Christmas a good time to visit Milan?

Christmas is a really special time to visit Milan as the whole city celebrates the festival in a grand way. The streets are sparkling with lights and decorations, and there are local Christmas markets at every public square that sell festive goodies.

What are some things to do in Milan at Christmas?

If you are planning to spend Christmas in Milan, you should definitely visit the Christmas markets, eat at the best restaurants in Milan, attend Midnight Mass at the Duomo Cathedral, go skiing, enjoy ice skating, enjoy sweet treats from local bakeries or visit quaint towns near Milan for a unique Christmas celebration.

What is Christmas in Milan like?

Christmas in Milan is a beautiful sight that you must witness. All the streets are lit, the Duomo Cathedral has small shops set up right outside that sell Christmas treats, and there are many Christmas markets where you can buy things at discounted prices.

What is the weather like at Christmas in Milan?

December is a cold month in Milan. The temperature ranges from 4°C to 7°C, with heavy snowfall that just adds to the Christmas celebration.

Is Milan crowded at Christmas?

Due to elaborate Christmas celebrations in Milan during Christmas, December is a busy time in the city. It is best to book your tickets in advance for all the places to plan to visit.

What's open in Milan on Christmas?

Christmas is a public holiday in Milan. Most places and restaurants are shut on Christmas Day. But you can go to the Duomo Cathedral to attend Midnight Mass, along with other churches in the city.

Are there Christmas markets in Milan?

There are many Christmas markets set up around the city during the festival. From discounted clothes to Christmas tree ornaments and local handicraft goods, you can find everything in these markets.

What is the most popular Christmas market in Milan?

Oh Bej Oh Bej, Artigiano in Fiera, Piazza del Duomo and Villaggio delle Meraviglie in Porta Venezia are the most popular Christmas markets in Milan.

Are restaurants open on Christmas in Milan?

As the festival is a public holiday in Milan and is widely celebrated, restaurants are shut on Christmas Day. You can enjoy delicious meals every other day except 25th December.

What are the best places to stay in Milan on Christmas?

San Babila, Brera, Porta Nuova, Porta Venezia and Isola are the best places to stay in Milan on Christmas. They have the best restaurants, celebrations and attractions in the city.

What should I eat in Milan on Christmas?

Antipasti, Ravioli, Caldarroste, Panettone, Ossobuco, Pandoro, Struffoli and Buccellati are some of the dishes you should eat in Milan on Christmas.

What are the best restaurants for Christmas in Milan?

There are many restaurants in Milan that serve good food during Christmas week. Some of the best ones are Ratanà, Trattoria Trippa, Seta, Langosteria, Princi, Bar Pasticceria Rovida, The King's Italian Bakery and Panarello.

Where can I see the Christmas lights in Milan?

All parts of the city are lit up with decorative lights during Christmas. Via della Spiga, Via Dante, Via dei Mercanti and Via Monte Napoleone are some areas in Milan that you should visit.

What are some Christmas traditions in Milan?

Milan has many Christmas traditions like Christmas markets, decorating the city with lights, setting up a giant Christmas tree at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, organising an annual fair called Oh Bej Oh Bej and making the best Italian desserts at bakeries.