Sweden starts 2010 in typically messy fashion

The early hours of 2010 were marked by fights, drunkenness, and fires in many parts of Sweden, as a well as traffic accidents and stray rockets.

Sweden starts 2010 in typically messy fashion

But in Sweden’s three largest cities, police reported that the night and early morning were relatively calm.

It was a relatively typical start to the new year, according Johan Ljung, officer in charge of Västra Götaland’s Police.

“We were getting calls constantly, and there were many fights and a lot of drunkenness. Since it is so cold, we have to work hard to try to take care of all those who get stuck in the snow and the like,” he told the TT news agency.

Stockholm police duty officer Inger Qvennerstedt also thought the night had been relatively calm.

“There is a lot of drunkenness, assault, fires and people who have been injured with knives and firearms. But these have not led to more serious incidents than usual, and as far as we know, no one has been seriously injured,” she told TT.

By Friday morning Qvennerstedt could look back on more than 700 incidents that occurred within the space of four hours.

“It is a lot, and we have had a lot to do throughout the night and the morning,” she reported.

The same story was reported by Anders Nilsson of the Skåne police in Blekinge in southern Sweden.

Between 9pm on New Year’s Eve and 4:30am on New Year’s Day, the police had registered nearly 600 incidents, including 19 people taken into custody and 62 arrests.

While Skåne as a whole remained relatively calm, there were many arrests for drunkenness in Kalmar in the country’s far south, according to police.

“Our patrols are not finished yet,” said police spokesperson Mikael Kaiser.

Two men were also assaulted in separate incidents in Kalmar. Both men received serious facial lacerations and were hospitalized. In one of the cases, involving an assault with a broken bottle outside a bakery, a suspect was apprehended.

According to Johan Ljung of the Västra Götaland police in west central Sweden, the start of the New Year had kept him busy.

More than 300 incidents had been reported between midnight and 5am, including the arrest of a man suspected of raping a woman at a restaurant in central Gothenburg.

Numerous other cases of assault, robbery and other violence were reported around the country, including the arrest of a 22-year-old man in Karlstad, after two young women reported that they had been raped at a private party.

A number of fire-related incidents also occurred in the first hours of the new year.

In Vimmerby in south central Sweden ten people lost their homes after a fire broke out in an apartment block. And just outside Jönköping four people were taken to hospital after a New Year’s rocket set fire to a balcony. None of the four were seriously injured.

In Norrköping, however, a seven-year-old boy was admitted to hospital with eye injuries following another rocket-related accident.

The frigid conditions may also have contributed to a number of serious car accidents around the country on New Year’s Eve.

In Hallstahammar, west of Stockholm, a 60-year-old woman was killed when two vehicles collided head-on on the motorway 252. The cause of the collision is not yet known. A further two people – a 63-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman – received serious injuries in the accident, and were rushed to hospital, according to Ann-Charlotte Israelsson, from the Västmanland’s police.

There was another serious car accident In Gunnarskog in Värmland in central Sweden, where a car careered into a tree, and a man was rushed, unconscious, to Arvika Hospital in a serious condition.

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Sweden’s best Christmas markets for 2021

After many Christmas markets were cancelled last season, you may be wondering where you will be able to get this year's dose of Christmas cheer. Here are our suggestions for some of Sweden's best Christmas markets.

snow on stockholm's gamla stan christmas market
Stockholm Old Town's Christmas market may be one of Europe's oldest. Photo: Ola Ericson/


1. Malmö Mitt Möllan

The trendy and multicultural area of Möllevången in Sweden’s third biggest city has become the spot for a special Christmas market for those looking for a modern and hipster-ish atmosphere. The Mitt Möllan traders’ association organises a market that promises art, culture, food and fashion. Busy that weekend? Malmö’s traditional annual Christmas market in Gustav Adolfs square, focusing on local products, is being held in three sessions, from December 9th-12th, 16th-19th and 20-23rd. 

When: December 2nd-5th

Tickets: Free

2. Kalmar Castle, Kalmar

This spectacular 800-year-old castle has established itself as one of the largest Christmas markets in Sweden. For four days, the whole building will be opened to the public and visitors get the chance to wander around in the historic decorated halls. Listen to Christmas and winter music, and walk around the castle and visit some of the about 120 craftsmen from all over Sweden who set up their stands and sell handmade items. 

When: November 25th-28th

Tickets: 90 kronor (free for under-12s)

Kalmar Castle in Småland provides a scenic location for one of Sweden’s largest Christmas markets. Photo: Emmy Jonsson/Scandinav Bildbyrå/

Katrinetorps Landeri, also known as Gourmetgården, is Malmö’s Christmas market for foodies. This market, situated in the house and gardens of Katrinetorp, built in the 1800s, will have a focus on Christmassy food such as glögg (mulled wine), as well as a horse and cart, antiques, a Lucia parade and dancing around the Christmas tree. They will also be offering their own handmade products in their deli.

When: December 3-5th

Tickets: 80 kronor for adults, free for children under 15

4. Jul på Bosjökloster, Höör

Christmas at Bosjökloster monastery is also back for 2021! As in previous years, this market will feature Christmas concerts in the church, as well as locally produced gifts and food for perfect Christmas gifts. Visitors will also be able to eat a traditional Swedish julbord, meet Santa, ride a horse and cart and “look for presents in the maze”. This market is taking place on the first weekend of advent, meaning you can start getting into the Christmas spirit as early as November!

When: November 26th-28th

Tickets: 100 kronor for adults, dropping to 50 kronor after 2pm on Sunday and free after 3pm on Sunday. Free for children under 16. Over-65s pay 80 kronor on Friday


5. Liseberg theme park, Gothenburg

Sweden’s biggest amusement park, Gothenburg attraction Liseberg, lights up every year with millions of Christmas candles. A traditional Christmas Market and an old-fashioned Christmas market in different areas of the park offer everything from carol singing to pony carousel rides. Ice shows, Santa’s grotto, an ice skating rink and the park’s rabbits are sure to keep your little ones entertained. More information here.

When: Thursdays-Sundays between November 19th and December 30th. Check website for more details.

Tickets: Entrance from 95 kronor (free for children up to 110 centimetres) to 245 kronor for unlimited rides. The price varies depending on which day you visit as well as whether you want to go on the rides or not.


Gothenburg’s Liseberg theme park is host to a Christmas market complete with festive lights. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/Scanpix/TT

6. Skansen, Stockholm

Take the ferry over to Stockholm’s Djurgården island from Slussen and stroll over to Skansen, Europe’s biggest outdoor museum, which has organized its own Christmas market since 1903. It’s a great place to snap up some presents in the form of traditional Swedish arts and crafts, as well as having a feel of how Christmas was celebrated in the past.

When: Fridays-Sundays between November 26th and December 19th.

Tickets: 70 kronor for children aged 4-15, 160 kronor for adults and 140 kronor for concessions.

7. Old Town, Stockholm

Around 40 stands set up shop right in the middle of Stockholm’s Old Town ahead of the festive season, selling Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked reindeer, elk meat, a range of Swedish handicrafts and decorative arts, and much more. The setting alone is enough to get anyone into a romantic Christmas mood. This market might actually be one of the oldest in Europe, since the first Christmas market in the square was held as early as 1523 (although it started in its current format in 1837).

When: November 20th-December 23rd

Tickets: Free

8. Wadköping Christmas Market, Örebro

The Wadköping outdoor museum, which is an echo of what Örebro looked like centuries ago, organises a Christmas market full of the usual traditions: Christmas decorations, sausages, cheeses and arts and crafts. 2021’s Christmas market will also feature outdoor Christmas songs and pony riding.

When: November 21st and 28th, December 5th and 12th

Tickets: Free


9. Gammelstads Kyrkstad, Luleå

Brave the cold (and it will be cold) for a Christmas market in the far north of Sweden. The Gammelstad Church Town is the country’s largest and best preserved church town, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is over 400 years old, and comprises of 405 cottages, six stables and a privy, sprawling around a large medieval stone church. The Christmas market takes place at the Hägnan open air museum, where around 80 exhibitors sell products from home-baked goods to arts and crafts. Visitors this year will be able to make their own candles, meet Santa and go on a candle-lit walking tour through the museum.

When: December 4th-5th

Tickets: 30 kronor

10. Jokkmokk Christmas Market, Jokkmokk

Jokkmokk is located in the north of Sweden, in the Arctic Circle. It is an important place for the Sami people, the only indigenous population in Scandinavia. It is famous for its winter market in February, which first took place in 1605. At their recently-established Christmas market, held in celebration of the winter solstice, visitors will find traditional Sami handicrafts – called duodji – and learn more about their history and culture.

When: December 11th-12th

Tickets: Free

Traditional Sami handicrafts – called guksi or kåsa – wooden drinking cups available at the Jokkmokk Christmas and winter markets. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix/TT

11. Christmas Market at Nordanå, Skellefteå

Are you in Skellefteå this December? Pay a visit to the Christmas market at Nordanå, which started in 1975. It is particularly known for its arts and crafts, and in past years visitors have been able to buy handmade ceramics, knitted baby clothes, and tin thread jewellery.

When: December 5th

Tickets: Free

12. Christmas Market at Västerbotten Museum, Umeå

This Umeå museum dedicated to the region of Västerbotten organises its annual Christmas market again. It promises a candy shop, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bakehouse and more than 80 artisans selling locally produced food and quality wares. Hungry visitors can also learn about what Christmas dinner from this region may have looked like in the 1870s.

When: December 4th-5th

Tickets: Free