Milan defines expensive. As the home of many world-famous luxury brands, it's no wonder that the city is among the costliest, not just in Italy, but in the entire world. Sure, there are other places in Italy that are just as luxurious, but Milan really is a totally different animal. So much so that it's almost intimidating for someone who lives on a budget. But does that mean you can stay here if you're not rich? What about when it's Christmastime? Is there anything you can do to spend the holiday season in Milan when you're on a budget? The answer is yes! Here are a few examples.
Go Ice Skating
As long as you already have your own pair of skates, you can easily go ice skating here in Milan. The most famous of which is Villaggio delle Meraviglie
, or 'Village of Wonder,' which is a funfair held every year in the Porto Venezia neighborhood of Milan
. Though the 'village' offers a ton of exciting attractions, it's the free ice skating rink that many go here for. The one by Largo Beltrami, on the other hand, which has the beautiful Sforza Castle in the background, is more for those who prefer a more scenic ambiance. This place is also free-of-charge.
Explore Navigli's Christmas Village
If you want to truly experience a local Milanese Christmas without spending too much of your hard-earned cash, you can always stroll into Navigli's Christmas Village. Every year, the docks by the Naviglio Grande transform into a traditional Christmas village, complete with food stalls, an ice skating rink, even a Santa Claus booth. Just walk on over to this part of the city and once you see the sparkling fairy lights that hand above the serene canal, you'll know that you're already there. It's a pretty magical holiday experience you won't find anywhere else!
Visit Milan's Holiday Fairs
Navigl's Christmas Village isn't the only holiday fair you'll see in Milan. There are tons of others, many of which offer affordable goodies that can help you trim down your living costs
for this time of the year. One, in particular, is the Oh Bej! Oh Bej!
Fair on Piazza Castelo. As one of the oldest Christmas fairs in all of Milan, going here is practially a holiday tradition for most locals. Over 350 stands that offer artisanal gifts, secondhand goodies, and more make up this beautiful fair, allowing you to Christmas shop for all sorts of presents at a bargain!
Shop at The Duomo Food Stands
The holidays are all about eating but since Milan is an expensive city, where can you enjoy treats without spending a ton of money? Well, a good place is actually by the city's most iconic landmark, Duomo di Milano. Beside this world-famous and stunning church are various food stalls that offer local delicacies, dinner table staples, delectable street snacks, and more. From the more common roasted chestnuts and Christmas ham to the more traditional freshly-baked Panettone cake, you can taste the very best of Milan among these adorable stalls. You can also do your Christmas shopping here too!
Prepare Your Own Holiday Feast
It's actually a good thing that you've already shopped at markets, fairs, and the like because you'll need to use what you bought to prepare your holiday feast. If you have to stick to a strict budget this year, you can forget about eating out for your Christmas dinner. Don't worry, an Italian holiday feast
isn't that had to make. From pasta dishes to seafood specialties, as long as you have your ingredients, you're good to go! Also, not only is preparing the dinner half the fun, but you might even discover that you're a better cook than you realized!
There's no denying that Milan is an expensive city. It's one of Italy's laps of luxury, after all! But be that as it may, it's not necessarily impossible to celebrate Christmas here in an affordable and budget-friendly way!
Celebrating Christmas in Milan on a budget is one thing, but getting a luxury home
for yourself here is another matter entirely!