Christmas in Milan is a festive time of illuminated monuments and charming markets. Visitors can get in on the fun, too, browsing for handmade holiday souvenirs, sampling seasonal treats, and admiring the city’s decorations. Here are your options.
Visit the Milan Christmas Markets
Some of the best Christmas markets in Italy are closer to the German and Austrian borders, but Milan does get an especially long holiday market season thanks to the city's patron saint's feast day on December 7. Milan's main market is the “Oh Bej! Oh Bej!” market, in which more than 400 vendors set up at the Castello Sforzesco. Smaller markets take place in the Piazza Duomo and Giardini Pubblici, while a trade show for artisans runs at the city's convention center. Most of these markets have a wide variety of goods for sale, from antiques and toys to hand-crafted art, plus plenty of local food and beverages.
Go Christmas Shopping
Milan's Christmas markets are some of the best places to go Christmas shopping in the city, especially to soak up the festive atmosphere, but even the famous fashion boutiques are in a celebratory state at this time of year. The shop windows of the Quadrilatero d'Oro and the Brera district often feature gorgeous displays, which are always eye candy even if you're only window shopping. The best deals on designer duds are usually at outlets outside Milan, which are easy to visit with a shopping tour.
See the City Illuminated
Many monuments in Milan are lit up after dark year-round, but during the Christmas holiday, the city kicks things up a notch with extra lights. You'll find light displays strung over the pedestrian streets in central Milan, such as the Via Montenapoleone, and a major light display in the center of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The lights along the canals in the Navigli are particularly pretty, with the reflection glittering in the water.