The 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina will take place starting on Friday 6th February with the Opening ceremony and ending on Sunday 22nd February 2026.
The city of Milan, Italy, and the ski resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo were selected to jointly host the 2026 Winter Olympics. This will be the first time since Turin in 2006 that Italy will host a major international multi-sport event.
Milan is a city with a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire and these days it is known for its fashion, art, and design.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, on the other hand, is a small town located in the Italian Dolomites mountain range and is a popular ski area.
Brief History of the Winter Olympics
Held every 4 years, the idea of the Winter Olympics started in 1901 when French figure skating champion and Olympic committee member, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, suggested a separate winter sports event to be held in conjunction with the Summer Olympics.
However, it wasn’t until 1921 that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially recognized this proposal. Then in 1924, the first-ever Winter Olympics took place in Chamonix, France, with 16 events in six different sports (including figure skating, ice hockey, and bobsleigh).
In more recent years, new events such as snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and skeleton have kept the Winter Olympics exciting and relevant.
Host Cities: Milano and Cortina & the Legacy
The majority of these events will be held in Milan, with some taking place in Cortina d’Ampezzo and other nearby towns.
In order to prepare for the games, both cities are undergoing major infrastructure upgrades such as new venues, transportation improvements, and accommodation options.
One of the main reasons why Milano and Cortina were selected to host the 2026 Winter Olympics was their strong proposal and commitment to sustainability.
In recent years, there has been a growing focus on making the Olympic Games more sustainable, with efforts being made to reduce waste, use renewable energy sources, and incorporate environmentally friendly practices into all aspects of the event.
Milano and Cortina’s proposal impressed the IOC with their plan to use existing facilities and infrastructure, minimizing the need for new construction and reducing the environmental impact.
Another significant factor that played a role in choosing Milano and Cortina as host cities was their rich cultural heritage and history.
The two Italian cities are known for their stunning architecture, world-renowned artworks, and gastronomic delights.
This combination of culture and sport aligns perfectly with the Olympic values of promoting cultural exchange and understanding through sports.
Additionally, Milano and Cortina have a strong tradition in winter sports, making them ideal locations for hosting the Winter Olympics.
Both cities have hosted multiple international sporting events, including World Cups and World Championships, showcasing their ability to handle large-scale competitions.
The joint bid from Milano and Cortina also highlighted their strong transportation infrastructure, making it easy for visitors to travel between the two cities and other nearby destinations.
Venues and Facilities
The Milano-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics will take place across multiple venues in the two cities, as well as in the surrounding areas.
1. Milano Olympic Venues:
San Siro Stadium (Stadio San Siro) – This iconic football stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Milano-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.
2. Palaitalia Santa Giulia
This is a brand-new venue that is being constructed and will be ready for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
When finished it should hold 16,000 spectators and the ice hockey matches will take place here.
This is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Assago, southwest of Milano. This venue will hold the short-track speed skating
The speed skating and some ice hockey games will take place in the RHO Fiera Milano.
Cortina d’Ampezzo Venues
1. Stadio Olimpico Del Ghiaccio
Located in the heart of Cortina d’Ampezzo, this indoor skating arena will host events such as curling in the 2026 Olympics.
2. Olympia Delle Tofane
The alpine skiing events will take place in the Olympia delle Tofane.
3. Cortina Sliding Centre
Located pretty much next to Cortina Olympic Stadium, the Sliding Center is where the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton will take place.
Tickets and Admission
One of the most critical aspects of planning your visit to the Milano-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics undoubtedly will be obtaining tickets for the events.
1. Ticket Categories
Olympic tickets are typically divided into several categories, such as:
- Opening Ceremony: Tickets for the spectacular opening ceremony at San Siro Stadium.
- Sport-Specific: Tickets for individual sports and events.
- Medal Rounds: Tickets for the final rounds and medal ceremonies.
- Preliminary Rounds: Tickets for the early rounds of competitions.
- Multi-Sport Passes: Packages that provide access to multiple events across different sports.
2. Ticket Availability
- Tickets are NOT yet available
- We will provide detailed information on ticket sales, including release dates, pricing, and purchase options as soon as it is available, and information on how to buy tickets from the official Milano-Cortina 2026 website.
Travel and Transportation
Traveling to Milano and Cortina for the 2026 Winter Olympics requires careful planning to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
1. Getting to Milano and Cortina:
- Milano has two major airports: Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) and Milan Linate Airport (LIN).
- For Cortina, Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is the closest major international airport.
- Milano and Cortina are well-connected by train services. Milano’s main train station is Milano Centrale, and Cortina can be reached by train with transfers.
- If you prefer to drive, consider renting a car. Be aware of parking regulations and availability in Milano and Cortina, as well as potential traffic congestion during the games.
2. Local Transportation
Milano and Cortina will likely provide shuttle services and public transportation options to ease your commute to the events (to be confirmed).
Milano and Cortina are expected to provide various transportation options to reach the Olympic venues:
- Public Transportation: Both cities have efficient public transportation systems, including buses and trams.
- Shuttle Services: An official Olympic shuttle service is expected to be in place (to be confirmed) between the Olympic venues and the center of Milan and Cortina.
Accommodation, particularly in Cortina, is limited and will be in high demand.
Milano and Cortina offer a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets:
- Hotels and Chalets: From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, Milano and Cortina have a wide selection of hotels that cater to different needs and tastes.
- Hostels: For budget-conscious travelers, hostels in both cities provide affordable accommodation with shared facilities. (Find Cortina dʼAmpezzo hotel and hostels here)
Just don’t forget to plan ahead!
Dining and Cuisine – What to expect
Exploring the culinary delights of Milano and Cortina is an integral part of your Olympic experience.
1. Must-Try Dishes
Don’t miss these iconic Italian dishes during your visit:
- Pizza: Milano and Cortina boast some exceptional pizzerias where you can savor classic Italian pizzas.
- Pasta and rice: Taste regional rice specialties such as risotto in Milan or hearty mountain pasta dishes in Cortina.
- Gelato: Cool down with authentic Italian gelato, available in a variety of flavors.
- Polenta: In the Alpine region, try creamy polenta served with hearty toppings like mushrooms and cheese.
- Seafood: Milano’s proximity to the Mediterranean offers fresh seafood options, while Cortina offers freshwater fish dishes.
2. Dining Experiences
In true Italian style, Milano and Cortina offer diverse dining experiences to suit your preferences:
- Ristorante: Upscale restaurants with extensive menus and wine lists.
- Trattoria: Casual eateries serving traditional, home-style Italian dishes.
- Pizzeria: Visit local pizzerias for a taste of authentic Italian pizza.
- Osteria: Cozy taverns offering regional specialties and wine.
- Gastronomic Tours: Join food tours to explore local markets, tastings, and culinary traditions.
Cultural Highlights in Milano and Cortina
As you plan your Olympic experience, keep in mind that Milano and Cortina offer much more than just the venues.
1. Art and Museums
Explore the art and cultural heritage of Milano with visits to renowned museums and galleries, such as:
- Pinacoteca di Brera: Home to masterpieces by Italian and European artists.
- Milan Cathedral: Admire the Gothic architecture and rooftop views.
- Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia: Discover the history of science and technology.
2. Music and Opera
- Milano is synonymous with classical music and opera. Attend a performance at the world-famous La Scala Opera House for a memorable evening.
3. Theater and Performing Arts
- Check the schedules of local theaters and performing arts venues in both cities for plays, concerts, and dance performances.
4. Architecture and Landmarks
Milano boasts impressive architectural landmarks, including:
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: If you love shopping make sure this is on your to-do list.
- Sforza Castle: A medieval fortress housing museums and art collections.
- In Cortina, explore the charming mountain architecture and alpine villages.
- Milano is a shopper’s paradise, with high-end boutiques, fashion districts, and designer stores. Don’t miss the Quadrilatero della Moda for luxury shopping.
- In Cortina, find boutique shops offering Alpine fashion, jewelry, and souvenirs.
6. Local Cuisine and Wine Tasting
- Savor the local culinary culture by participating in wine tastings, cooking classes, and food tours.
7. Natural Beauty
- In Cortina, take in the breathtaking natural beauty of the Dolomites, offering hiking and outdoor activities amidst stunning landscapes.
8. Alpine Traditions
- Embrace Alpine traditions in Cortina by attending local events or visiting mountain villages to experience the unique culture of the region.
Other Useful Information & Resources
Milano and Cortina will operate on Central European Time (CET). Adjust your schedules and travel plans accordingly.
Winter Olympics Travel Resources
Traveling around the world to watch & experience sports, I tend to always use the same resources for booking trips. These are the ones I use most frequently and that I find to have great customer support and competitive prices.
- Flights – are also now offered by booking.com and as I love the brand this is my first port of call now for flights.
- Booking.com – The best site I have found for hotel and accommodation bookings.
- Safety Wing Travel Insurance – I love Saftey Wing as they cover everything I need to be covered and they have a simple-to-use site, and again, I have found their customer service very good, when I needed to ask questions.
- Get Your Guide – is an excellent site as a one-stop shop for booking attractions, local tours, activities, and excursions. Great customer service and an easy-to-use site.
- Hostelworld – Book backpacker hostel rooms around the world with Hostel World.
- Sports Event Tickets – Tickets for all sporting events