SHARE
COPY LINK

HOLIDAY

A guide to Christmas markets in Stockholm

As Sweden’s holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, The Local offers a few tips for where gift seekers in Stockholm can combine getting a taste of the Christmas spirit with the hunt for the perfect gift.

A guide to Christmas markets in Stockholm

Whether you’re spending your first holiday season in Sweden, or you’re a seasoned old-timer in the land of dark and snow, one thing you can’t miss if you want to have a real Swedish Christmas is a julmarknad or Christmas market.

Swedes of all ages love to spend the weekends leading up to Christmas pottering about these Christmas markets, poring over traditional handicrafts, buying saffron for their lussebullar, or searching for the perfect Christmas ornaments.

Don’t know where to look to find a julmarknad in the Swedish capital?

Fear not!

The Local has put together a handy list of markets for you – whether you’re the traditional type, or want something a little more on the alternative side!

Skansen

The julmarknad above all others. Open-air museum Skansen has held this Christmas market every year since 1903. If you’re looking for something ultra-traditional, this is the place to go. Selling everything from traditional sweets to Swedish crafts to the tones of a Christmas choir – all in a picturesque setting – you’re unlikely to find more Christmas spirit anywhere.

This market is open 10 am – 4 pm every weekend until Christmas. Click here for more information.

Stortorget

The little red sheds on Stortorget in Gamla Stan are open every day between 11 am and 6 pm. This is the right place to find homemade sausages, mustards and jams, and anything else you might care to serve for Christmas dinner. If you get peckish shopping for all that food, stop off with a snack of roasted almonds. Weekends here get busy, so if you’re the slightest bit averse to large crowds, make sure to come on a weekday. For more information, click here.

Folkuniversitetet

Students from some of Stockholm’s art colleges gather at Folkuniversitetet’s Christmas market to sell their creations. Come here to find unique Christmas gifts – everything from jewelry to cement sculptures is on sale here, and they also offer a chance to print your own Christmas cards in their workshop.

This market is open Saturday, December 4th, 11 am – 3 pm, at Kungstensgatan 45. Click here for more information.

Stadsmissionen

Why not kill two birds with one stone and buy your gifts whilst simultaneously doing a good deed to get you in the Christmas spirit? The charity organisation Stadsmissionen’s Christmas market, on Stortorget in Gamla Stan, has both great second-hand gifts and home-baked cakes, and all proceeds go to their social work with Stockholm’s homeless.

This market is open December 4th – 5th, 11 am – 4 pm. For more informaion, click here.

Beckmans

The prestigious Beckman’s College of Design opens their doors to the public for one weekend, and offers creative and sustainable designs, all produced by the art students themselves. Find a screen-print you won’t see anywhere else, or refrigerator magnets made out of a computer keyboard. Anything’s possible here.

Open December 11th – December 12th, 11 am – 5 pm. For more info, click here.

Rosendal

A cozy day out in Rosendal on Djurgården would even put the Grinch in the Christmas spirit. Take a walk in the gardens, and then warm up with a coffee and eco-friendly cakes in their café. Rosendal’s shop sells all the cookies, cakes and breads you’ll need for Christmas dinner.

Open every day between 11 am and 4 pm. More information can be found, here.

Schysst Jul

If you’re sick of Christmas shopping hysteria, but still need to buy a few presents, Schysst Jul might be the place for you. This is an alternative Christmas market, selling only Fair Trade goods, produced with respect for human rights. Find your gifts and take a break with a Fair Trade-coffee, all with a clear conscience.

This market is open December 4th, 11 am – 5 pm, and December 5th, 11 am – 4 pm, on Sveavägen 41. For more info, click here.

Drottningholm

Shoppers looking to venture out of central Stockholm may want to check out the annual Christmas market at Drottningholm Palace. Visitors will find a wide assortment of Swedish delicacies and crafts to choose from. And what better way to take a break from a shopping spree than with a tour of one of the Royal family’s most treasured properties.

The market runs December 4th-5th. For more information, click here.

By Clara Guibourg

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

HOLIDAY

I went on three consecutive weeks of leave and this is what happened

Sandy Errestad, who works for Malmö startup hub Minc, decided to take advantage of Sweden's famously long summer holidays for the first time. This is what she found out about life, work and herself.

I went on three consecutive weeks of leave and this is what happened
I switched on my out-of-office e-mail reply and decided to enjoy the summer. Photo: Nevenova/Depositphotos

It's now been almost a year since I relocated from London to Sweden, but it still feels pretty fresh. I reckon it's because I haven't yet gone through a full year of all seasons, festivals and other happenings that are bound to be different in Sweden from what they are in London.

READ ALSO: Five Swedish summer habits that confuse newcomers

One such thing is annual leave – although I technically only have seven more days of annual leave in Sweden than I did in London (30 versus 23), most people in Sweden take about four consecutive weeks of leave during the summer. Yep, that's a full month's worth of leave in one single go. Last time I had that much time off in one go was before I started my first job, age 14. In other words, it's been 14 years since I last went more than one or two weeks without having any work to do.

Committed to my newly found Swedishness, I decided to take a full three (!) consecutive weeks off work during July and August. Mind you, once I went on leave most of my colleagues, and indeed Sweden at large – or so it felt – had already been off and away from the office for about two weeks. In other words, I was already pretty relaxed as I went on holiday, as opposed to stressed out and on the verge of a breakdown as was often the case when I went on leave in London.

READ ALSO: Here's what happened when this Swede introduced fika at her London office

Nevertheless, having never done this before, I decided to look at how I was affected by being detached from work for so long. Here's what happened:

Week 1: Itchy reflection


Three days and four books into my holiday.

I went to Kos, Greece, with my sister and her two kids. Three days in I started getting a bity itchy and couldn't believe I was going to do basically nothing for three weeks. However, knowing that I had another three weeks of nothingness ahead allowed me to look back at the previous six months and actually spend a good amount of time thinking about my key learnings, drawn from achievements as well as fuck-ups, both in my professional and personal life.

Going on leave for just a week doesn't really mean you get a fundamental break – it's just a blip in a longer time period, and chances are you'll also try to cram as much stuff as possible into that one week to “make the most of your holiday”, meaning you'll have less time for reflection. I had none of that in Week 1 – in fact, I was borderline bored only a few days in.

This might explain why I'd towards the end of Week 1 already found enough peace to make a plan of what I hope to achieve and want to change in the coming autumn. We're all very good at making quarterly and annual plans for work, but most people don't seem to do the same for their personal lives – and I know I certainly didn't back when I was living in London, simply because I didn't have the emotional bandwidth that's needed for that sort of reflection.

Week 2: Holiday stillness


Ten days in and all fun and games.

I went to Lisbon with a group of nine friends and felt completely switched off from work. This was a pretty active holiday with loads of surfing, tennis and half marathon training, so there was a lot less time for reflection and reading than in Week 1. We essentially spent a week just playing games and making afternoon cocktails, and it's some of the most fun I've had in a long time. I think we spoke about work once in an entire week – but we still had plenty of other conversations and activities going on, which forced me to remember who I am and what I like doing outside of work.

This was the week when I was reminded of my love for heated debates, feminist literature and – who would've known – sports. I even signed up for tennis lessons in the autumn, so we'll see how that goes.

Week 3: Onwards (and a bit of cheating)


18 days in and feeling somewhat clueless.

In Week 3 I was moving houses – very exciting, particularly considering that I moved into my first own (!) piece of real estate. I also started mentally preparing for going back to work by going to the hairdresser, getting my nails done, and essentially just removing any trace of me having lived in a pool for the past two weeks.

I was seriously excited about going back to work – and then a prospective client got in touch and wanted to meet up for a coffee. There may or may not have been a nervous giggle from my end, and a brief thought as to whether I could still do my job after having been out of the loop for so long (two and a half weeks that is, but it felt like a lifetime). I went for the meeting, apparently remembered how to pitch a client, sealed the deal and went on to draft a first media strategy. The next day I had to go into the office for a strategy and planning day, which further pushed me to put my work hat on and remember what it is that I do, and why. I even started jumping up and down as we discussed the coming plans for the autumn.

I'm amazed at how quickly I could switch off from work, and how quickly I could switch back on. Both processes made me slightly anxious before it had actually happened, but chances are that says more about me than it does switching on/off… Three weeks, or, as it were, two and a half, was just the right amount of leave for me. I know some people take five (!) and I'm sure it depends on whether you have kids or not (Swedish school holidays are never-ending – they go on for about ten weeks in the summer) but I reckon that would be way too much for me. But then again – who knows – maybe I'll learn to love it…

Sandy Errestad is PR and Communications Lead for Minc, the startup house in Malmö. Minc hosts an incubator, a co-working space, and Fast Track Malmö, the most popular startup accelerator in the Nordics. This post was originally published on sandyerrestad.com