Things to do
Sweden's festive Christmas markets
Usher in the festive season by visiting a Swedish Christmas market, offering quality handmade products, tasty food and fun activities. You’ll find some of our favourite Christmas markets in larger cities and small towns alike.
Whichever part of Sweden you happen to visit, you're likely to find an authentic Christmas market with plenty of high quality products that make ideal gifts. The handicraft tradition is strong in Sweden, and you’ll find everything from Christmas decorations and hand-knitted mittens to stylish jewellery.
Christmas-themed food and drink complete the experience. While wandering among the decorative stalls, make sure to enjoy the winning combination of a steaming cup of glögg (mulled wine) and a pepparkaka (gingerbread biscuit).
Here are a few of Sweden's best Christmas markets:
Top Christmas markets in and around Gothenburg
Liseberg Amusement Park, in the centre of Gothenburg, is considered a national icon. It also hosts Sweden's largest Christmas market. Millions of twinkling lights and more than a thousand Christmas trees set the tone. If you fancy trying the complete Swedish Christmas food experience, opt for Liseberg's 'julbord' – a buffet-style smorgasbord brimming with dishes hot and cold. Traditional Swedish classics are on the menu, from 'julskinka' (Christmas ham), 'gravad lax' (cured salmon) and 'sill' (pickled herring) to 'lussekatter' (saffron buns) and 'risgrynsgröt' (rice pudding).
The funfair location features thrilling rides as well as an ice-skating rink. Don't miss the new feature for 2019: the spectacular Christmas light show.
Open 15-17, 22-24 and 28-30 November; and 1, 4-8, 10-23 and 26-30 December
Come mid-November, Gothenburg's amusement park Liseberg opens its doors to host Sweden's largest Christmas market, staying open until 23 December. The park is lit by about five million Christmas lights. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se
If you're into smaller-scale markets, Gothenburg has many of those too. The Christmas market along the historic cobblestone streets of the Haga neighbourhood in Old Town is a favourite among locals. You'll find plenty of handcrafted products and stylish design items – from homeware and Christmas decorations to fashion – in the area's independent shops. The weekend celebrations also feature live music and carriage rides.
Open: Every Saturday and Sunday from 30 November to 22 December.
Christmas market in Haga, Gothenburg Photo: Ingeborg Lindseth
A Christmas market of the more traditional kind is housed within the historic setting of Kronhuset. This is Gothenburg's oldest Christmas market and the perfect place to stock up on an array of beautiful Christmas decorations and handcrafted items. Treat yourself to mulled wine and a handful of homemade Christmas sweets.
Open: 30 November to 21 December, closed on Mondays
You'll also find several traditional Christmas markets in the picturesque outskirts of Gothenburg. Gunnebo House & Gardens, one of Sweden's finest 18th-century manor houses, holds a wonderful market of the higher-end variety. Expect a satisfying mix of beautiful, eco-friendly craft items along with organic food and baked goods made on the premises – we suggest you come hungry.
Open: 23, 24 and 30 November; 1 December
Top Christmas markets in southern Sweden
What could be more magical than visiting a Christmas market housed in a castle? Bosjökloster Castle – located in Höör in the southernmost province of Skåne – is transformed annually into a Christmas wonderland. An array of locally produced, eco-friendly gifts and food items are offered up by some 75 stallholders. You'll find anything from handmade candles and baskets to pottery and knitwear, along with mouth-watering delicacies such as cheese, freshly baked bread and sausages. If you fancy making your own Swedish Christmas decorations, there are workshops that allow you to do just that. Christmas carols sung in the 11th-century church will further enhance the holiday atmosphere.
Open: 29 November through to 1 December
Christmas market at Bosjökloster, Skåne. Photo: Julia Bonde Cherp
Skåne also hosts Fredriksdal Christmas market. Located a short bus ride from the centre of Helsingborg, it attracts over 20,000 visitors annually thanks to its wonderful yuletide atmosphere and diverse range of gift and food stalls. Kids can participate in craft workshops and visit Santa. Don't miss the opportunity to have a dance around the Christmas tree like a true Swede.
Open: 6-8 December
The major city of Malmö hosts a number of Christmas markets. The cosy fair in Gustav Adolfs Torg is a definite highlight, transforming the town square into a sparkling, festive wonderland, complete with carol singers. Alongside music and live performances, you'll find stalls selling local handicrafts as well as classic Swedish Christmas food and drinks.
Open: 21 November to 23 December
Christmas decorations at David Design, Malmö Photo: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se
Top Christmas markets in the Swedish capital of Stockholm
Open-air museum Skansen, located in Stockholm's Royal Djurgården (a national city park), is a major Swedish attraction. Its famous Christmas market has been a calendar highlight since 1903. Stroll around the stalls and stock up on traditional Christmas food and handicrafts made by local craftsmen on-site. Kids will love all that Skansen has to offer – from meeting the resident animals to participating in craft workshops. A fun activity for all in the name of Swedish tradition, have a dance around the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
Open: 30 November; 1, 7, 8, 14 December
Skansen is an open-air museum and zoo on Djurgården. It is dedicated to the Swedish heritage and portraying life and nature in Sweden principally from the 18th century onwards. When it opened in 1891 it was the first open-air museum in the world. Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/imagebank.sweden.se
Few Christmas markets are as atmospheric as Stortorgets Julmarknad, housed in Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan). This traditional Christmas market was started in 1837 and is the oldest in Sweden. Spreading across the beautiful square Stortorget, a range of Swedish Christmas sweets and other seasonal delicacies are served up alongside various craft items, from iron works to ceramics.
Open: 23 November to 23 December
Christmas markets are a great place to gear up for the holidays, whether you are in need of presents, food, or decorations. Photo: Ulf Lundin/imagebank.sweden.se
The annual holiday market at Drottningholm Palace is a Christmas affair with a royal touch. This royal residency is located on the western outskirts of Stockholm. Traditional in style, you'll discover a wide range of quality handicrafts and meet the skilled craftspeople who created them. Take the opportunity to explore this fascinating UNESCO-listed palace, or stroll through the beautifully landscaped park toward the spectacular Chinese Pavilion. In its resident café, we suggest you take a seat with a Christmas coffee and saffron waffles.
Open: December 7-8
Top Christmas markets across the rest of Sweden
Wira Bruk's distinctive Christmas market is housed within the grounds of Sweden's first bladesmith's forge, founded in the 1630s. The unique location, some 50 km up the coast from Stockholm, has given flavour to the market, allowing you to observe the blacksmiths at work and listen to stories about this fascinating place. You'll find a rich variety of craft-based items across the stalls, including hand-blown glassware, patchwork blankets as well as a range of ironwork pieces made on-site. You won’t go hungry, classic Swedish Christmas food is served as well as crisp, warming waffles.
Open: 29 and 30 November; 1 December
Wira Bruk Christmas market in Roslagen. Photo: Anne Sofie Eriksson
On the island of Gotland, located off the southeast coast of Sweden, a medieval Christmas market is held in Visby. The market in this historic main town serves up a heady mix of delicacies, freshly baked goods and handcrafted items. Kids can enjoy a spot of Fiskdamm (fishpond) – a classic Swedish game of pretend fishing and “catching” a goody bag. Christmas-themed live music add festive cheer.
Open: 6 - 8 December
Medieval Christmas in Visby is the spirit of Christmas in a historical setting. Photo: Anna Sundström
Kosta, part of the Kingdom of Crystal (Glasriket) in the southern Swedish province of Småland, is home to one of Sweden's most famous glassworks, Kosta Boda. It also puts on one of Sweden's major Christmas markets, brimming with entertainment – from accordion-playing Santas to ice-skating with favourite cartoon characters and Christmas concerts with high-profile Swedish artists. As for the products filling huts and stalls, glassware is of course high on the agenda, and you'll be able to witness glassblowing in action.
Open: 9 November to 30 December, Thursday-Sunday
Kosta Christmas market at Kosta Glassworks. Photo: Daniel K Johansson