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Christmas tree on the quay.

Photo: Henrik Trygg

Categories: Tourist attractions

Christmas in Stockholm

Publish date: 15 November 2022

Whether you enjoy a traditional or a contemporary Christmas, Stockholm has something to offer you. Visit a Christmas market, have some glögg with gingerbread and go shopping under the beautiful Christmas decorations that light up the city every year. Here are some Christmas highlights in Stockholm.

You might say that Stockholm, officially, starts getting into the Christmas spirit on November 12. This is when the #Stockholmsjul Christmas Lights are lit; over 40 streets and squares around central Stockholm are decorated with some 1 million LED lights and mini-bulb-strands in the shape of reindeer, angels, and mistletoes. Seeing though as Stockholm only gets a few hours of daylight on a normal winter's day this display of bright lights is a welcome addition to the cityscape.

Another sign that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas is the department store Nordiska Kompaniet's Christmas display. Since 1902 NK has gone all-out with imaginative dioramas in the store windows, each year under a new theme. Past themes include "A sustainable Christmas", "Mysteries of Christmas" and "Gingerbread Wonderland" and they are held tightly under wraps until the traditional unveiling in late November.

Some of Stockholm's most beloved attractions, like Skansen and Gamla Stan are in full Christmas mode from late November and most of December. At Skansen, for example, you'll learn more about different traditions and preparation from around Sweden in the open-air museum's many historic buildings and houses. This year Skansen's neighbor Gröna Lunds Tivoli also gets into the holiday spirit with the winter concept Winter Wonderland. And Gamla Stan (Old Town) is not only a good place to go shopping for presents but also to get into the holiday spirit. The annual Christmas Market (open daily from November 20 to December 23) at Stortorget is a great place to buy Christmas sweets, candles, and decorations.

Speaking of Christmas markets there are quite a few around Stockholm, starting from mid-November, from traditional ones to contemporary Christmas markets with a twist. The Farmers Christmas Market in Tessinparken, The Christmas Fair at Drottningholm Palace, Christmas Market at Färgfabriken, and the Christmas Fair at Taxinge Castle to name just a few. You can find more info about Stockholm's Christmas markets in our continuously updated guide.

A big part och Swedish Christmas, as in many countries, is the food. Meatballs, kale, Christmas ham, and mulled wine ("glögg") are staples of traditional Swedish holiday cuisine and many restaurants serve seasonal buffets or have a traditional menu all through December. But you'll also find restaurants taking inspiration from other parts of the world or serving holiday food with a contemporary twist. Check out our guide on Christmas dinners in Stockholm for more suggestions.

Last but not least Christmas is a time for music, be it either traditional carols or holiday pop classics. Below you'll find some tips on concerts and stage shows that'll put the surliest miser in a festive mood and turn a "Bah! Humbug!" into "Merry Christmas"!