Stockholm, Sweden

Snowy views, Christmas concerts, and cosy mulled wine moments


Snowy views, Christmas concerts, and cosy mulled wine moments

The low afternoon sun glistens off fresh snowfall which coats the medieval streets, harbour promenades and lush parkland like Christmas cake frosting. Warmly wrapped up locals go about their daily lives, taking the shorter days in their stride, sledding with family and cosying up with hot chocolate and a cinnamon bun. It’s an especially atmospheric time of year, proving that low season Stockholm has heaps more to offer than 70s pop sensations, meatballs and flat pack furniture.

The beautiful Swedish capital stands proudly on 14 interconnected islands, forming a distinctive skyline of towering spires and colourful facades, where you’ve never far from the water’s edge. Stockholm’s wider archipelago embraces more than 30,000 islands and islets, so it’s no surprise that city dwellers spend their summers messing about on the water and escaping to beach homes while tourists flock to the vibrant city centre. Come low season November to March and it’s a different story. Many visitors are put off by Sweden’s winter weather and infamously short days, but actually Stockholm lies in the south of the country and still sees a good 6 hours of daylight even in December and at least 10 hours by the end of February. It can indeed be chilly with average temps of zero degrees, but Stockholmers are extremely adaptable with a great aptitude for winter sports and outdoor activities. Ground breaking exhibits and cultural events continue year round, and magical evenings are lit with welcoming candles and twinkling fairy lights in every doorway.

Getting around

Stockholm is wonderfully walkable, or cycleable if that’s your thing, whether you need to get quickly from A to B, or just want to stroll and explore. Meander the streets of the varied districts, from the bohemian island of Södermalm and charming Djurgården, to the Old Town of Gamla stan where the royal palace stands, and on to the fortress isle of Kastellholmen for wonderful city views. The public transport system is similarly easy to use with excellent bus, tram and subway routes. And, so long as the weather isn’t too bad, we’d highly recommend taking a boat out into the stunning archipelago, where awe-inspiring tours take place all year with meals served on board.

Low Season Culture

Winter is the perfect time to explore Stockholm’s multitude of museums and exhibitions without the crowds, and there’s something to suit every taste. The stunning Baroque Royal Palace is open for tours and contains more than 600 rooms. Vasamuseet is a maritime museum housing a fully intact 17th century ship, the Vasa, which sank on her maiden voyage. The Nobel Museum holds artefacts which tell the fascinating personal stories of the Nobel Prize winners through the ages. Finally, a fabulous option is the ABBA Museum displaying clothing of the artists, a self-playing piano pumping out familiar tunes and a karaoke experience un-missable by any fan.

Shop ‘til you Drop

Better bring an empty suitcase because here you have everything from department stores to exclusive boutiques and lovely vintage stores. You can pick up some beautiful examples of Swedish design while admiring the amazing interiors and indulgent food courts at your favourite huge mall. At least pick up a jar of lingonberry jam, a Swedish favourite, to serve with your meatballs. For traditional gifts, try the Christmas markets filled with unique hand-made crafts, delicious festive delicacies and revelling Stockholmers.

Low Season Months

Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

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Top Experiences

Guided Skating Tour

Do like the locals, don a pair of skates, and take to the ice. Try out the open air rinks at Kungsträdgården or Vasaparken before joining a private or group tour to skate Lake Mälaren, the 5th largest in Europe, or the frozen Baltic Sea among the archipelago.

Skansen Open Air Museum

Open year round Skansen is the oldest museum of its kind and showcases how Swedes lived through the ages. See living exhibits of farms, workshops and homes as well as a zoo with native animals. Christmas brings a traditional market and songs around the fire.

Santa Lucia Concert

The saint’s day of Saint Lucia has been celebrated in mid-December for more than 300 years. Concerts are spectacular affairs with choirs dressed in white performing by candlelight, and take place across the city including in the beautiful 13th century cathedral.

Insider Tips

  • Stockholm boasts two UNESCO World Heritage sites. The magnificent Royal Palace at Drottningholm set in its own beautiful park; and the visionary Skogskyrkogården Woodland Cemetery known as the resting place of Greta Garbo and for the funeral service of DJ Avicii.
  • English have 'elevenses' and Aussies a morning 'smoko', but Stockholmers truly love their 'fika'. This daily break is a lovely tradition of meeting with a friend for coffee or tea with delicious pastries. Choose a characterful café with atmosphere for cosy fireside chat.
  • Love a dark Swedish crime drama? Take the insightful 2 hour Stieg Larsson walking tour exploring key locations of books and films from the renowned Millennium series like Lisbeth Salander’s apartment, and bars and restaurants described by the author.

Good To Know

  • Similar to the Danish ‘hygge’, Swedes enjoy ‘mysigt’, the art of creating a cosy winter environment through glowing candles, gorgeous blankets and fabulously thick socks. Check out boutiques around Nytorget Square for mysigt items, and the candle workshop at Sthlm Ljusstoperi.
  • Stockholm’s subway system is not only functional; it is also the world's longest art exhibit. For the cost of a subway ticket spend hours finding your favourite station. See work from 150 artists, from a ship theme to a rocky cave network to characters from video games and rainbows.
  • Read stories and get top tips from the different varied residents who live in Stockholm at Find out about their favourite neighbourhood walks, shops, bars, eateries and sports venues, following in their footsteps to create your own stories.

Food & Drink

Swedish Christmas Dinner Cruise

Many of Stockholm’s restaurants serve traditional Christmas fare. A favourite option though is to board one of Strömma’s beautiful vintage boats, dining on pickled herrings, dried lutefisk, juicy meatballs, and baked hams while cruising the frosty archipelago.

Teatern Food Court

Not your average food court. Ringen Mall on Södermalm features three chefs who have been honoured with preparing the prestigious annual Nobel Prize Banquet. Patisserie K-Märkt with Daniel Roos, Sayan Isaksson’s Nu, and Malin Söderström’s The Fishery.

Kagges, Gamla Stan

Popular eateries in the old town see more availability in low season. Check out Kagges, small and cosy, with a laid-back approach to New Nordic Cuisine. Run by two friends, Kagges serves a spontaneous small menu inspired by seasonal ingredients.

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