Christmas Markets In Stockholm

Your guide to the best Christmas markets in Stockholm

From the outside looking in, December can seem like a dreary time to visit Stockholm. It’s almost always cold, and the sun creeps above the horizon for just six hours per day. Gray clouds often cover the Swedish capital, too, but the best Christmas markets in Stockholm make up for it.

As you might expect from a country that has always had to deal with rough winters, Stockholmers know how to make the most of this time of the year.

The run-up to Christmas is, as it is elsewhere in Scandinavia, magical. Decorations light up the dark streets, and snow often covers the roofs of its stunning Old Town.

Christmas markets in the Swedish capital offer a cozy experience for those willing to brave the cold. Compared to other major cities in Europe, you typically won’t need to deal with such big crowds.

You’ll find plenty of activities on offer, too, along with the option to indulge in glögg (mulled wine) and various other treats.

With all of that now said and done, we think that it’s time to hop on a plane and fly north. This article will identify the best Stockholm Christmas market, along with giving you all of the other information you need to enjoy a visit at this time of year.

Does Stockholm have Christmas markets?

Like many European capital cities, you will find Xmas markets in Stockholm. Scandinavia’s largest city offers several places to enjoy the festive cheer throughout the city, with many of the main squares in Stockholm having something for you to do.

Most of the Christmas markets in Stockholm are located close to each other in the city center. However, you will also find a selection that are a little out of town — but still in Stockholm County.

The majority are free to enter, but you will need to purchase an entrance fee for some. On top of that, you’ll need to pay to participate in activities, buy food, and so on.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm

Is Stockholm good for Christmas markets?

If you’re looking for huge Christmas markets with every stand you can think of, Stockholm is not the city for you. But if you’re looking for a cozy experience that’s a little more authentic, Sweden’s capital city is the perfect Christmas destination.

While they aren’t as big as in other cities further south, you will find a wide range of things to buy, see, and do at a Stockholm Christmas market. Admittedly, they will be expensive — but that’s largely because Stockholm is an expensive city in general.

You will, however, get good value for money.

Stockholm’s Christmas markets are great for taking your kids to, but even if you don’t have your own offspring, they’re still worth checking out.

Where are the Christmas markets in Stockholm?

Stockholm’s main Christmas markets are within the city’s central districts, all of which are connected by an excellent public transport network. You don’t need to go far to find a place to enjoy the festive season; one of Stockholm’s Christmas markets is right in the heart of the beautiful Old Town.

Of the seven Christmas markets we’ll talk about in this article, four are in the main part of Stockholm. All of them are easy to get to by foot, and while doing so will take a little longer, the walk is always scenic.

If you want to get around quicker, all of them are reachable from one another by the metro, bus, ferry, or tram.

The other three Christmas markets are outside of Stockholm’s traditional core but are easy to reach nonetheless. You can use the bus or train to reach them, and one is not far from Arlanda — which is the Swedish capital’s main airport.

When do the Christmas markets in Stockholm open?

Official opening dates for Stockholm’s Christmas markets vary from year-to-year, but they aren’t wildly different. Generally speaking, you can expect the festive season to get underway in late November. From then onwards, Christmas markets in Stockholm usually remain open until just before Christmas.

As for opening times, you can typically expect Stockholm Christmas markets to operate between 11:00 and 18:00. These might vary depending on which one you visit; the official opening times and dates for Christmas markets in Stockholm are usually announced in the run-up to the festive period each year.

What is the best Christmas market in Stockholm?

Having read this far, you’ve got a better idea of the Christmas markets in Stockholm and what you can expect from them. You’ll also know a little more about whether the city is worth visiting for this reason and the usual opening times.

With all of that out of the way, you’re now ready to learn a little more about each specific Christmas market. Determining the “best” one is subjective, so we’ve presented the list below in no particular order.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm

Stortorget, Gamla Stan

If you’re visiting Stockholm for the first time, Gamla Stan is a must-see. Sure, the city’s picturesque Old Town is touristy. However, its cute stores, cobblestone streets, and lovely architecture warrant all of the attention they get.

During the winter, Gamla Stan is even prettier than at other times of the year. Its main square, Stortorget, is also home to the oldest Christmas market in Stockholm — giving you even more of a reason to discover this part of town.

Ever since 1837, the Christmas market at Gamla Stan has filled the souls of Stockholm residents and visitors alike. It’s everything you would expect from a European Christmas market; stands selling all kinds of gifts and treats, surrounded by houses that look like they belong on the front of a chocolate box.

At the Christmas market on Stortorget, you can browse dozens of huts and take in the Swedish festive spirit. You will find glögg to fill that particular need, along with various other hot drinks. On top of that, you can buy plenty of handcrafted goods to take home for someone special.

Getting to the Christmas market on Stortorget is very simple; it’s the absolute center of Stockholm’s traditional districts. You can take the metro to Gamla Stan; getting a train from T-Centralen takes little time. Another option, and perhaps the more scenic route, is to take the ferry from Djurgården.

If you don’t want to take public transport, you can always walk from pretty much any part of Central Stockholm. The Old Town’s buildings are easy to distinguish from most of the Swedish capital.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm
Credit: Dan

Kungsträdgården

If you’re looking for something a little more dynamic, the Stockholm Christmas market at Kungsträdgården is worth checking out on your visit. Kungsträdgården is one of the most popular meeting spots in the city year-round; during the lead-up to Christmas, it turns into a winter wonderland.

Perhaps the main attraction at Kungsträdgården Christmas market is the ice skating rink. Even if you have no prior experience, getting involved is a lot of fun. The ice skating at the rink is suitable for adults and children alike, so you’ll have no problems if you’re traveling with children.

And if you don’t have a pair of skates, don’t worry; you can rent them at the kiosk.

In addition to ice skating, you’ll find plenty of other exciting activities to participate in. The Christmas market has several stalls lining the main square, each of which offers a different experience.

You can find all of the things you’d expect from a Christmas market in Scandinavia, along with a couple of Swedish specialties.

Like Gamla Stan, reaching the Christmas market at Kungsträdgården is very simple. The metro station is right outside the main square, and it’s also easy to walk to from Gamla Stan.

Several buses also stop around Kungsträdgården, making it simple to find your way if you don’t know Stockholm’s geography too well.

Skansen Open Air Museum

Skansen is another must-see attraction in Stockholm, regardless of when during the year you visit. The open air museum is the oldest of its kind in Sweden; inside, you’ll see a microcosm of what the country was like during times gone by.

Skansen has people dressed in traditional Swedish clothing, along with those wooden houses that you’re probably used to seeing in the countryside — plus much more.

During the festive season, Skansen offers a particularly cozy experience. It runs one of the oldest and best Christmas markets in Stockholm, having been around since 1903. Much of the Christmas celebrations revolve around the main square, but the entire place is worth checking out. 

At the Skansen Christmas market, you can find several foods traditionally eaten in Sweden at this time of year. You can also purchase various other things that are well worth gifting to others — or simply keeping in your house.

The Christmas market at Skansen is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; it begins on the final weekend of November. You can visit the Skansen Christmas market up to December 19th.

To visit Skansen, you’ll need to purchase a ticket. You can buy entry online; note that you will need to check when it’s closer to the time for Christmas, as they’re not visible throughout the rest of the year. The Christmas market is open from 10:00 to 16:00.

Getting to Skansen is simple; all you need to do is get a ferry, tram, or bus to Djurgården.

Julmässan på Kungliga Hovstallet

If you’re looking for something quite grandiose, the Christmas Fair at the Royal Court Stables — known as Julmässan på Kungliga Hovstallet in Swedish — is well worth checking out. You can only visit for one weekend; the 2022 dates are November 24th until November 27th.

The fair has been going on for decades, and you will find plenty of interesting Swedish gifts to browse and buy. On top of that, you can stock up for the big day by checking out the food offerings on show.

The Royal Stables are located in the upscale Östermalm neighborhood. Östermalmstorg is the closest metro station; from there, you’ll need to go to Väpnargatan. Like the other Stockholm Christmas markets mentioned so far, it’s also within walking distance from most parts of the city.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Stockholm region. It’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it dates back to the 18th century. And for a weekend in December, you can enjoy arguably the best Stockholm Christmas market.

The fair, which usually takes place in December, has several stands selling all kinds of food — including fish and cheese. On top of that, you can purchase various handcrafted goods — along with having the opportunity to meet the people that made them.

To get to Drottningholm Palace, you can take a boat from the quay next to Stockholm City Hall. Alternatively, a combination of metro and bus services will get you there. The journey is pretty straightforward; you can find all your transport options here.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm
Credit: PG63

Sigtuna Christmas market

Dating back to the 10th century, Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden. It’s located less than 20 kilometers from Stockholm Arlanda Airport, making it an easy day trip if you’re visiting the capital region.

Its beautiful Swedish-style architecture is worth checking out whenever you come, but Christmas happens to be a particularly pleasant time to visit.

Sigtuna has a Christmas market that offers a cozy experience without as many people as you’ll find in Stockholm. It usually takes place over the course of a four-week period leading up to Christmas, and you’ll find plenty of things to do here.

At the Christmas market in Sigtuna, you can also enjoy the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. On top of that, it’s a great place to sample Swedish cuisine.

The Sigtuna Christmas market is only open on Sundays. To get here from Stockholm, you can take a regional train or the Arlanda Express — before changing at Märsta for a local bus. The journey takes around an hour.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm
Credit: Bengt Nyman

Vaxholm

If you’ve seen everything there is to see in Stockholm’s central districts, its vast archipelago is a fantastic day trip. In fact, you could easily spend a week island-hopping without getting bored. Vaxholm is one of the most beautiful, and it’s very easy to get to from the city center.

For a weekend in December, you can enjoy the cozy Vaxholm Christmas market. In addition to finding the stands selling all the things you might see in Stockholm, you can also participate in a lottery.

To get to Vaxholm, you’ll need to take a ferry from Stockholm. Before buying your ticket, checking the ferry timetable is a good idea. Note that your SL public transport pass is not valid for this particular journey.

Is Stockholm open during Christmas?

For much of the lead-up to Christmas, you won’t have any issues visiting stores and tourist attractions in Stockholm — with the exception of those that are summer-only. However, things are relatively quiet during the Christmas period.

Sweden, like the other Nordic countries, celebrates Christmas on December 24th. But while December 25th isn’t as big as it is in countries like the UK, almost everything will still be closed. Shops will be open in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, but opening hours might differ.

If you plan to eat out when in Stockholm, you will need to book your restaurant tables well in advance. You should also keep in mind that opening times for Systembolaget, which is the country’s state-run alcohol monopoly, might also differ compared to other times of the year.

Christmas Markets In Stockholm

What’s the weather like in Stockholm around Christmas?

You probably don’t need us to tell you that Stockholm is cold during the winter, and sub-zero temperatures are an almost daily occurrence. December isn’t the chilliest month, but you’ll still need to wrap up warm.

If you visit Stockholm around Christmas, you can expect temperatures to range between 3ºC (37.4ºF) to -3ºC (26.6ºF). Temperatures of -5ºC and below can occur, so you should make sure you’re prepared. Bring layers and try to pack wool clothing where possible, along with your hat, scarf, and gloves.

How dark is it in Stockholm around Christmas?

Stockholm sees the fewest daylight hours in the weeks around Christmas. On the winter solstice, which is on December 21st, the sun rises at 08:43. It sets much earlier than you might be used to, dropping below the horizon again at 14:48.

During December, Stockholm often has thick clouds covering the city — meaning that even when it is technically daylight, you might not see the sun. Consider upping your Vitamin D intake alongside those festive treats.

Stockholm is a beautiful city for Christmas celebrations

If you’re looking for a unique city to celebrate the festive season in, you can do a lot worse than visiting the Christmas markets in Stockholm. You will find all the luxuries you need, along with several sweets and more than enough mulled wine.

Add the city’s beautiful backdrop into the mix, and you have a true winter wonderland.

When visiting a Stockholm Christmas market, you often won’t need to travel too far. Most are within a short distance of one another, making it easy to visit more than one during your trip.

And as for those a little further afield, they’re still worth checking out — even if you only go for their wonderful surroundings.

If you need a place to stay, Stockholm has plenty of hotels to suit every budget.

Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia, and it’s also one of the best to visit. You’ll find plenty to do as a tourist, but it’s worth doing a little prior research to ensure that you see everything you want.

Luckily, we’ve written a full guide to help you out.

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. Stay tuned and we’ll bring the essence of Scandinavia to you.

Advertising enquiries

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. To advertise your brand to a global audience, contact our advertising team below.

advertising@scandification.com