In case you fancy a little trip to European Christmas Markets, Stockholm in Sweden is not a bad option. Why is that? Because there are more than 10 different kinds of Christmas Markets in the city, and you’ve still got time to see at least a few of them!
Let’s have a closer look to 3 Christmas Markets in Stockholm that I have recently visited. Keep reading, as in the end of the post you’ll find a few extra tips for your Christmas shopping trip to the Swedish capital. All dates and details have been updated for the holiday season 2016.
Christmas Market in Stockholm’s Old Town
Stortorgets Julmarknad a.k.a. Christmas Market in the main square of the old town of Stockholm is very traditional kind of Christmas Market. Even if there was no snow in December, neither last nor this year, the atmosphere on the narrow streets of the old town is very Christmassy – and busy with people.
If you truly want to take some time to explore the old town, Gamla Stan, a little bit better, I would highly recommend going there already after 9 am. The most boutiques, shops, cafés and bistros open at 10 am, and as soon as the clock turns to ten, the old town will be immediately jammed with people. The Christmas Market will open every day at 11 am.
As said, the Christmas market is quite a traditional one, at least from a Finnish point of view. You will find all sorts of Christmas treats and snacks, both sweet and sour, glögi/glögg/hotwein with Christmas cookies, Christmas decoration, handcraft… Surrounded by the old, beautiful buildings, the atmosphere at the Christmas Market is truly authentic, only snow was missing. Two years in a row—what a shame!
The Christmas Market in the old town is open every day between 11–18 until the 23rd of December. This means you’ve still got plenty of time to enjoy the Christmassy feeling in the old town of Stockholm.
Farmers Market in Södermalm goes Christmas!
Bondens egen Marknad is celebrating the harvest season with Farmers Market in Södermalm, the city district on the south side of the old town, on Saturdays between August and October each year. In December the Farmers Market goes Christmas!
The stands are spread along the Katarina Bangata street, and they are filled with Christmassy treats, sweet and salty, wines, Christmas decoration and other festive items, including handcrafts. On the both ends of the market street there are also a few flea market stands for true bargains.
In this Farmers Market Christmas Edition you can find from 10 to 20 market stands, so it’s not very big one, but in case you’re going to Södermalm anyway, there’s no reason to skip Bondens egen Marknad. This Christmas Market is open on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, the last market day being Saturday the 17th of December.
Christmas Market in Skansen
Christmas Market in Skansen differs a lot from the other two, in many ways. You might wonder why?
First of all you need to know what Skansen is. It’s the world’s first open-air museum with lots of things to see and do. The cutest attraction in Skansen is the animals; Skansen is also an outdoor zoo with lots of wild and tame animals.
Because of all this Skansen has an entrance fee, which is, during the Christmas Markets, a bit more than normally. Still very affordable and totally worth 150 Swedish crowns (15 euros).
However, money is not the only thing you need to be prepared with when going to Skansen; there will be queues! Skansen gates open at 10 am. We got there at noon on Saturday, and we queued for about 40 minutes. Still totally worth it.
Skansen Christmas Market is open only on Saturdays and Sundays between 10–16; it means your last chance to experience Skansen’s Christmas in 2016 is Sunday the 18th of December.
If queueing, overcrowded places and being surrounded by kids don’t appeal to you, then don’t bother—or at least consider twice. In Skansen all three will be there with you. However, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t skip Skansen.
The authenticity is something extremely special here. Besides the old, atmospheric buildings and the animals, in Skansen there will be live music, lots of laughing and happy faces. Also the market stands have a lot wider selection compared to the other two Christmas Markets introduced above.
Compared to us Finns, there is something really funny with the Swedes. As soon as the band started playing on the outdoor stage, the dance floor was immediately packed with jumping and dancing Swedes going crazy. That’s something Finns wouldn’t do, at least not without alcohol.
Well, jumping like crazy is not a bad idea; even if there’s no snow, the weather in Stockholm in December IS cold, especially when spending the whole day outside. So make sure you are dressing up warmly. I didn’t, and I suffered. And I’m from Finland!
There are big outdoor fires spread all over the area, which offer you a nice spot to warm up when your fingers and toes get frozen.
The market stands are spread out widely, which is nice, but the most of them can be found on the main square in the middle of Skansen. There is a wide selection of handcrafts, souvenirs, Christmas decorations and special snacks being sold on the stands.
We had some sort of elk meat and potato mash snack wrapped in a flat bread, served with creme fraiche and cloudberry jam – oh wow and noms, what a treat!
Has it ever occurred to you to mix creme fraiche and cloudberry jam!? Again, totally worth it!
Other Christmas Markets in Stockholm
I can’t say I wouldn’t have been bitterly disappointed when I found out that the Christmas Market in Sergels Torg won’t happen this year. In 2015, the central square surrounded by the main shopping street and countless amount of stores was filled with breathtaking, blowing-your-mind-away kind of Christmas lighting.
In 2016, all I saw was a grey and boring square where some protesters were marching with their signs, spreading the ‘cheerful’ spirit to the busy city centre.
Instead of protesters, I would have preferred seeing Sergels Torg like this also in 2016:
After my latest trip to Stockholm I read that the Sergles Torg Christmas Market would have been moved to Kungsträdgården, which was also referred as ‘Stockholm’s Christmas Village’. Funny enough, I found no further information about this mysterious ‘Christmas Village’, which made me miss it completely. In case you’re nearby, please let us all know in the comments what else can be found on Kungsträdgården before Christmas than an ice skating rink. [Map]
In the city district of Östermalm you can find a Design Christmas Market, which is for sure an interesting place to visit in case you’re into design and vintage products. In this Christmas Market you can by design products directly from the local manufacturers. The Design Christmas Market in Östermalm is open on weekends between 11 am and 5 pm. [Map]
In Djurgården you can experience true Christmas spirit also outside Skansen. Rosendal Gardens host a Christmas Market that is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 11 am and 4 pm. In Rosendal Christmas Market you can find flowers, of course, but also wreaths, seasonal food, bread and pastries. Yummy! [Map]
Christmas Markets in Stockholm summarized:
Christmas Market in the Old Town
** Doesn’t cost you anything, unless you like to shop
** Mainly Christmas treats and handcrafts accompanied by the lovely old town atmosphere
** Open every day between 11–18 until the 23rd of December
Farmers Market in Södermalm – Christmas Edition
** Free to enter
** You can buy Christmas products from local producers, everything from food to beverage, handcraft and Christmas decoration. Also flea market stands.
** Open on Saturdays between 10 am and 3 pm until Saturday the 17th of December 2016
Christmas Market in Skansen
** Open on Saturdays and Sundays until the 18th of December between 10–16
** Entrance fee 150 crowns (15 euros), kids on discounted price, also family tickets available
** Be prepared to queue and wear warm clothes
** Go there early, stay there late; Skansen is an open-air museum with lots of animals and other interesting things to see, you don’t want to rush out!
Have a look at the full Christmas guide to Stockholm on VisitStockholm.
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