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Christmas time in Stockholm

Stockholm is well-known to be a beautiful city to live in. It has incredible architecture, easy access to nature wherever you go, and even the subway is a piece of art that surely deserves a separate post. However, one time in the year seems to suit this fantastic city more than anything, and it’s Christmas time. 

Stockholm in the evening

Christmas in Stockholm is very cosy, dreamy and nostalgic. Even the most serious adults can easily feel like happy children during this magical time. The city sparkles with thousands of lights that you can admire while walking down the streets or sitting in a coffee shop to admire the snow and lights from the window while sipping hot chocolate. 

The festive atmosphere is in the air: there are fancy Christmas trees, original light installations, skillfully decorated showcases at every step. Passing houses or cafes, you can see Christmas star-shaped lanterns and beautiful candlesticks in every window. 

For me, the end of December is a very special time. Although I do not celebrate Christmas, New Year has been the main holiday since childhood. Most of the attributes of Christmas are the same for the New Year: a decorated Christmas tree (which is called New Year’s tree in Russia), gifts for friends and family, snowy music.

That is why I’m always very excited about everything related to the winter holidays, and I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to wander around the city to see all this beauty before I leave home for the holidays. 

One thing I was particularly interested in visiting was the Christmas market at Stortorget. Located in the heart of Gamla Stan, it is the main Christmas market in the city. Believe it or not, this is where Christmas events have been held since 1837, making this the oldest fair in Stockholm and throughout Sweden. Here you can buy gifts and souvenirs made in Sweden, drink some glögg and bite churros or hotdogs. The closer to Christmas, the more people there are, so the mood is the most pre-holiday. We went there on Saturday evening, and it was really busy! So if you’re not into “the more, the merrier” mood, my advice is to go either on weekdays or earlier during the day. The Stortorget Christmas market opens annually around 20 November and closes before Christmas on 23 December. 

After the Christmas market, we walked around Gamla Stan and walked our way home, stopping by various decorations and window displays. Most stores and shopping malls decorate their windows in a really fascinating way, drawing the attention of both children and adults around them. The shop windows of the Nordiska Kompaniet department store are considered one of the main attractions of Christmas Stockholm. Every year it surprises locals and tourists alike with artful festive installations. Don’t forget to wear some warm winter clothes and shoes, you might lose track of time while watching them, as it’s really hard to take your eyes off those decorations. 

I feel very lucky to experience a festive time in Stockholm. My phone is exploding from the number of pictures I took, as it is hard to resist and not take a picture of every corner when there is such beauty around. I hope you will see it too one day 🙂 

// Valerie