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What to do in December in Milan

Are you planning a trip to Milan for Christmas Holiday or in December ? Find here an updated guide about things to do in Milan in December.


You will be able to experience a great Christmas atmosphere in Milan since the beginning of the month, as on the 7th of December the City celebrates its Saint Patron: St Ambrose, an holiday that is very important for all Milanese people. Everyone in the city if very devoted to St. Ambrose, which makes the 7th of December a very special day, one when you will really enjoy be in Milan.

On this day, you will walk trough a city already full of Christimas lights and merry people. Also, two important events take place in Milan on the 7th of December: the opening of the Opera Season at La Scala Theater, attend by the most influential Italian people (including the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic, etc) and Opera lovers, and the traditional fair of Obei-Obej, a characteristic street market organized just outside the Sforza Castel from 7 to 10 of December. At Obei-Obeyj market you will find typical local food, hand-craft objects and much more.

A must to see in December in Milan is The Basilica of Sant Ambrogio, the church dedicated to Milan's Saint Patron. A visit to the Basilica is strongly recommended, as it is one of the most ancient churches in Milan. Here you will see also the tomb of St. Ambrose.


A lot of skating rinks are set in Milan during December. The most famous one is in Parco Venezia, where the Christmas village is organized every year, a very nice fair not only for children (that are the undoubted protagonists), but for people of all ages, as there are a lot of Christmas attractions and good food.

Another amazing ice rink is located at Porta Nuova, that is the "modern face" of Milan, with its tall skyscrapers. Here it is possibile to ice-skate in the middle of these iconic skyscrapers, close to the amazing botanical park called "Library of the Trees", where a visit is strongly recommended to visit the famous "Vertical wood", that is Milan's most famous skyscraper, designed by the Archistar Stefano Boeri.

You can reach Porta Venezia Park with Milan Metro (red line: stop Palestro) and Porta Nuova with the green line of the Metro, stop Garibaldi.


If you want to shop for Christmas presents, Milan is the place to be, as it offers a wide and great range of  solutions.

A must-do is a visit to the Rinascente building, located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, just in front of Duomo Milan. This is Christmas shopping mecca for milanese people: a huge building dedicated to the high quality shopping from home furnitures to clothes, food and kid toys. On the rooftop of Rinascente there is a marvelous lounge restaurants where you can spend some times tasting good food or a real café with a unique panoramic view on Duomo Milan. Also, don't forget to admire the Rinascente building, that was realized after World War I and whose name means "Re-birth" after the tragedy and the commercial/economic disasters of the war.

If you are looking for lower-budget shopping, you can't miss Corso Buenos Aires, just a few meters away from Porta Venezia. At Christmas time, this avenue is totally illuminated with Christmas lights, and its corners are filled with chestnut sellers.
Another must-go area at Christimas time is the Navigli Area. Here, wandering trough the most ancient and characteristics streets of Navigli (the little channels of Milan) you will find some great music stores (Discomania is high recommended for vinyls), libraries (Libraccio, that hosts a wide range of second hands books) and some antique dealers. Always in this district you can find an amazing store, dedicated to home furniture but designed like a Christmas village, it is Ecliss, located on the Alzaia Naviglio Grande. Access to this store is free, and we strongly recommend a visit.

In December, all museums in Milan are open and ready to be discovered by you, except on the 25th of December.

Two are the main one we suggest you to visit: the terraces of Duomo Milan, from where you will enjoy a memorable panoramic view over the city. From the rooftop of Duomo Cathedral you can admire the whole city, with its Christmas lights, music and atmosphere.
The second one is the Sforza Castle, where you will experience a very special atmosphere, as this magnificent Castle gets fully lighted at Christmas time.

All year round, but especially in December, when many are the tourists that come to the city, it is highly recommended to get the MilanCityPass: a Card that gives you free access to public transports, airport shuttles and to the best museums of the City, allowing you to save money, time and to have guaranteed access to many attractions. Click here for more information.


If you are visiting Milan in December, don't miss out on the special atmosphere that can be felt throughout the city by taking a stroll from Piazza Duomo to Parco Venezia, passing by Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza Scala, via Manzoni, via Spiga, via Senato and Corso Venezia. It is a vert nice walk (of about 30 minutes), that will enable you to see amazing architectures, typical shops, and to enjoy great Christmas vibes.

In December public transport service is increased, in order to offer the best service to citizens and tourists that come to Milan. You can move around Milan with Metro lines to reach faster any side of the city. For information about tickets and daily pass, click here.