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Top Winter Activities for KTH Students

Did you know that last week Sweden witnessed the coldest January in 25 years with temperatures reaching minus 43 degrees Celsius in some regions. In just a week since the coldest day, temperatures have already climbed into the positive range, unveiling a stunning transformation with beautiful, sunlit days gracing the cityscape.

While Swedish winters are renowned for their chilly temperatures, the season unfolds as a canvas of breathtaking beauty. The winter also offers plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. Here are some top activities that we KTH students enjoyed doing during the winter.

1. Ice Skating at Kungsträdgården

An ice rink with festive lights, people are skating on it
Skating rink at Kungsträdgården

This winter, I tried ice-skating for the first time. It was really fun but also a bit hard since I was new to it. Ice-skating is definitely one of the best things to do in winter. The ice rink is open every day of the week from November until March, and it’s free if you bring your own skates. If you don’t have skates, it’s okay because you can rent them at the rink for a small price. At the rink, you can get better at skating or just have a good time with your friends and make great memories.

2. Skiing and snowboarding

A collage of two photos, one showing the author with posing while skiing, other showing three people holding the skis
My first time trying skiing with my sister and my brother-in-law

I never imagined that skiing would become one of the activities I’d try during my first semester at KTH. These kinds of sports usually seem a bit daunting to me, but I’m really happy I decided to take some skiing lessons this winter. Just like any sport, skiing requires a lot of practice to get good at. Snowboarding is another popular winter activity that many enjoy. It’s fascinating to see how Swedes often start learning these sports from a very young age. Even though I was the only tall giant, standing at 188cm, in the beginner’s slope, which is usually filled with kids, I realized you have to start somewhere to learn! 😂.

3. Sledding or Pulka

two small children, climbing a snow incline, while one of them is dragging along a sled
Kids having some fun with pulka! (Credits: Carolina Romare/

Sledding is my favorite because it’s all about fun and doesn’t require any special skills! Actually, I first tried it in India, during a trip to the Himalayas – yes, there’s snow in India too! Now, with so much snow around here, sledding has become a regular activity for me. All you need is a sled, or really anything you can sit on, and then just slide down a snowy hill. Sure, climbing back up is a bit of a challenge, but the thrill of sliding down makes it totally worth it. It’s just pure joy!

4. Indoor Sports

two people playing squash in a court
Started loving this sport!

From a young age, I’ve always been passionate about indoor sports, and they become especially appealing when it’s too cold to be outside. Stockholm is great for this, offering numerous indoor sports facilities. Conveniently, there’s one sports center near the KTH main campus that even provides student discounts. Recently, I’ve taken up squash as my new sport! In winter, it’s common to be less active since we tend to walk less, so engaging in indoor sports is an excellent way to compensate and stay physically fit.

5. Christmas Markets and Winter Lights

The night-time photo of a christmas market and with a lot of people around
Gamla Stan during the festive season! 🤩 (Credits: Mayank Vijay)

I mentioned this in an earlier post about my first Christmas in Sweden, but it’s worth bringing up again because it’s such a delightful experience. Exploring the enchanting Christmas markets with friends, and sipping warm glögg on a chilly December evening, is magical. The city, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, adds an extra layer of charm to the whole experience. It’s like the perfect finishing touch, much like a cherry on top of a cake.

6. Visit Ice Hockey

a crowded ice hockey stadium
Ice Hockey mach at Avicii Arena (Credits: Mayank Vijay)

For those who prefer watching sports over playing them, catching an ice hockey game during winter can be a thrilling experience. I haven’t been to an ice hockey match myself, but my friend recently had his first experience and he shared it enthusiastically:

“Hey there! It’s Mayank 😄. My first time at an ice hockey game was absolutely thrilling. I got to see Djurgårdens go head-to-head with Södertälje at the Avicii Arena. The atmosphere was electric, and I found myself getting completely caught up in the excitement, cheering loudly for the players. It was an unforgettable blend of high energy and impressive athletic skill.”

Mayank Vijay, Vehicle Engineering masters student at KTH

7. Sauna

Some wise person once said (or maybe it was just me making it up 😂), ‘Life is like a sofa – sometimes you just need to lean back and enjoy doing absolutely nothing‘. But really, what is life without those moments of pure relaxation? Embracing the warmth of a hot sauna is one of the most cherished ways to unwind and let the stress melt away, especially during the chilly winter season. It’s not just about the heat; it’s about giving yourself that peaceful break to rejuvenate.

With the application deadline fast approaching, Lorenzo’s post on frequently asked questions is a must-read for those last-minute inquiries! I highly recommend checking it out for useful insights and tips.

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