Do you know how to spent Christmas in Stockholm? With this blog, we want to share some of the best recommendations to help you enjoy your stay in this city during the holidays. In Stockholm, the Christmas season usually spans from mid-November until December 24th; and after Christmas Day, the markets will have closed. The Christmas lights will continue until January, but most activities will have concluded. It’s important to come prepared with warm clothing and footwear because in some years in December, temperatures can drop to as low as -18°C. So, bundle up and enjoy Christmas in Stockholm!
Christmas Markets in Stockholm
We believe that one of the most magical plans is visiting the Christmas markets. Here, you can enjoy everything from traditional Glögg wine, traditional sweets, candied almonds, hot chocolate, to jams and cheeses. In terms of crafts, these stalls often feature handmade clothing with wool from northern reindeer or small Christmas decoration items. Within the city, we have several markets:
It is the most traditional market located in the old town, in Stortorget square. This year 2023, it starts on November 25th and runs until December 23rd, open every day from 11:00 to 18:00. They will set up 41 stalls this year – you have a lot to discover!
The farmers’ market focuses on locally produced foods, ranging from meats and jams to fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, and honey. It will be open on December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 10:00 to 15:00 at Tessinparken.
The market is open from Friday to Sunday, starting from November 24th until December 17th. The Skansen museum is a favorite when visiting Stockholm, and during Christmas, it hosts its own market with crafts. In our opinion, if you already plan to visit Skansen, take the opportunity to see the market. However, to be honest, if you don’t have much intention of visiting the museum, don’t do it solely for the market. The museum entrance fee is around 200 SEK, and paying just to see the Christmas market may not be worth it. During the city tours we offer, we mention that Skansen is worth it if you have several days to enjoy in Stockholm, and if the weather is nice, spending 4 hours outdoors is enjoyable. But sometimes you only have 2 days, and using 4 hours to visit Skansen on a rainy day… might not be worth it.
There will be other markets throughout the city, but they will only be open on specific days. Our recommendation is to double-check the schedules and dates of these markets before going. Here are some of them and the times they will be available:
The Royal Stables Market will open on Fridays from 11:00 to 19:00, Saturdays from 10:00 to 18:00, and Sundays from 10:00 to 17:00. It’s a unique market but has an admission fee of 100 SEK per person.
The Christmas Market at Kungstradgarden will be open on December 2nd from 11:00 to 16:00.
The Vinterviken Market will open on November 18th and 19th and December 2nd and 3rd.
In Sigtuna, the christmas market will be available on November 26th, and December 3rd, 10th, and 17th.
The city of Stockholm has a distinct illumination during Christmas. While not overly numerous or bright, the lights are thoughtfully designed. In our opinion, the most beautiful lights include the royal reindeer, Sergels Torg square, Biblioteksgatan street, the Christmas tree inside the NK shopping center, and the lovely lights at Nybroplan, where we begin our Christmas tour.
The Kunstradgarden park features an ice rink, and the surrounding lights are also enchanting. To help you locate these lights, we provide the following map.
The typical Swedish Christmas dinner, or Julbord, is the most characteristic meal during the holidays—a buffet full of traditional food. Most restaurants will be booked well in advance by companies and families, so our advice is to plan ahead. The average dinner costs around 50-70 euros, with some restaurants like the Grand Hotel reaching up to 150 euros per person, while IKEA offers dishes for 15 euros.
Many restaurants in the city organize Julbord, and you can find a list of them here. You can choose from traditional restaurants, charming eateries, castles, and boat activities. Our personal recommendation is to book a dinner cruise, combining a scenic tour of the archipelago with an unforgettable meal. Among the various options, the Vindhem boat offers the best combination.
It is one of the most important traditions in Swedish culture, second only to Midsummer. On the weekend of December 13th, the darkest day of the year, the Santa Lucia Mass is celebrated. This year, most churches will have the concert from December 11th to 16th (the day varies for each church), so if you’re in the city this weekend, it’s an event not to be missed.
One of the best winter activities to combat the cold is ice skating. The two best public rinks are in Kunstradgarden and Vasaparken. You can simply bring your skates and enjoy, and if you need to rent equipment, it’s around 80 SEK. The most Christmas-like rink is in Kunstradgarden, although it is smaller. The beauty lies in the surrounding lights, having hot chocolate in nearby cafes, and watching how well the little ones skate – they look like experts.
Finally, one of our recommendations is to buy thermal pads at Clas Ohlson. A pack of 6 costs around 5 euros. These pads emit heat for about 8 hours and are ideal for placing between your boot and sock. This way, even in -15ºC, you can enjoy the city without having to spend hundreds of euros on coats and boots.