Rowdy start to the new year in Sweden

Police were kept busy during the last evening of 2011 with celebrations all over Sweden getting out of hand and resulting in brawling and firework accidents.

Rowdy start to the new year in Sweden

At least five people were severely injured by fireworks as they celebrated New Year’s Eve. In Stockholm an inebriated man was trapped under a tram which had to be lifted before he could be taken to hospital.

A 13-year-old boy was brought to hospital as he was severely injured in the leg when a firework piece exploded in Limhamn outside of Malmö in southern Sweden. Within a few minutes another four people were injured in the Skåne region.

A 25-year-old man was injured in the face by a firework in Teckomatorp, and a person in Ängelholm was taken to hospital with damages to the face and hand. Another two people were brought to hospital after being injured by fireworks.

Despite intense firework displays, no one was reported injured by fireworks in Sweden’s two biggest cities Stockholm and Gothenburg.

However, many cases of assault, fights and drunkenness were reported in Skåne, Blekinge and Gothenburg, where police had a busy night.

In the Västra Götaland region, twice as many reports were filed compared to a regular night of the weekend. 400 emergency calls were made.

There were also 39 fires in the region, three cases of rape, 57 cases of assault, and 50 people were arrested for drunkenness.

In the Gävleborg region three dogs went missing, running off as a result of the frightening bangs of the fireworks.

Two people were taken to the hospital in Kalmar with facial injuries following a brawl in which they were hit by fireworks.

In the Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen, a man was stabbed and in Husby, the metro station was closed off after youths threw in fireworks.

However, the rowdiness all across Sweden came as no surprise to authorities.

“It’s all in the name of alcohol. Drunkenness, fights and fuss. Totally according to our expectations,” the police chief in Norrbotten told news agency TT.

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The best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve across Sweden in 2018

If you're in Sweden for New Year's Eve, there are plenty of places to celebrate in style, from firework displays to laser and light shows and activities for all the family. Here's our pick of the best events taking place across the country.

The best places to celebrate New Year's Eve across Sweden in 2018
Fireworks over Skeppsbron in central Stockholm, one of the country's most popular displays. Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT


The firework display in Sweden’s capital takes place in the water, in the area between the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, the National Museum, and Skeppholmsbron.

The best views of the display are from Gamla Stan, along Skeppsbron, or in Blasieholmen, on Södra Blasieholmskajen. But there are many other good spots from which to watch the fireworks, such as along Strandvägen in Östermalm and Skeppsholmen. On Södermalm, try the cliffs around Slussen, Monteliusvägen, or for views of Kungsholmen and the City Hall, head west on Hornsgatan to Skinnarsviksberget, the highest natural point in inner Stockholm.

Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT

There are road closures and traffic restrictions in the area around the display, affecting parts of Gamla Stan and Blasieholmen. There is also a firework ban in effect within the traffic-free zone, which means that pedestrians are welcome to watch the fireworks from the area, but fireworks, firecrackers and paper lanterns are not allowed within the perimeter. Checks will be carried out at the entrances.

For a different experience in the capital, Skansen is open late on New Year’s Eve and offers a range of activities and entertainment. It also offers great views of the city (and all the various firework displays) from its hills. Entrance is 165 kronor for adults during the day (10am-4pm), and 160 kronor after 8pm.


Local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten has been organizing a fireworks show every New Year’s Eve since 1982, and it is considered the biggest in Sweden. At 5pm, around 500 kg of fireworks are set off from Kvillepiren, in Frihamnen.

With clear weather, they are visible from as far as Masthuggskyrkan, but for a guaranteed view, head to the waterfront – places like the Opera House or the SVT building on Pumpgatan are good locations – or go uphill to Skansen Kronan or even the top of the Nordstan carpark.

READ ALSO: How to celebrate New Year's Eve like a Swede: six essential traditions

Photo: Stefan Isaksson/


The main celebration in the southern city takes place in the square outside Malmö Opera, starting at 11:40pm. Get there much earlier for a good spot though. There will be music and the traditional countdown before midnight, when confetti rains down and the fireworks light up the sky.

If you have children, there is a dedicated party for the little ones at Stortorget, from 1pm to 5pm. It includes a theatre performance and a child-friendly fireworks display. This year, the theme for the Children’s New Year is Space.

Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT


Head to Lundagård for the midnight fireworks show by Lundapyrot, Lund’s pyrotechnic student organization. The best place to watch the fireworks, according to them, is in front of AF-borgen, house of The Academic Society in Lundagård, or the top of Helsingkronatornet. But the display should be visible from most of the university town.


The celebration in Södra Hamnplan starts at 11:30pm, with food, drinks, and choir singing. After the countdown, fireworks go off at midnight from the water.

This year’s fireworks show will be a quiet display – with no bangs – and at a low altitude to reduce noise disturbance. 

Traffic restrictions also apply. For more information, see Luleå’s event page. There is free parking at Karpen on Sandviksgatan from 6pm on New Year’s Eve to 10pm on New Year’s Day.


Join the celebration and watch the fireworks from Sandgrundsudden at midnight, where you can watch the display on the banks of Sweden’s longest river, the Klarälven. 


Last year, Västerås made headlines with an all-new New Year’s Eve celebration. The highlight was a 3-D film with reference to HBO’s series Game of Thrones and the city’s fictional namesake, Westeros.

This year, the event will again be at Fiskatorget, starting at 11:30pm. The main attraction will be a laser and fire show, with the countdown on the City Hall tower. There will be some fireworks at the end of the laser and fire presentation, but the city is aiming to reduce the use of fireworks.

Alternative shows

Some Swedish cities have decided not to put on fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve for animal welfare and environmental reasons, offering laser and light shows instead. Here are some family- and pet-friendly alternative celebrations throughout Sweden.


Boden is celebrating 100 years since it received city status on January 1st, 1919, making this year’s celebration even more special. The party starts at 3pm at Kvarnängen, offering activities for the whole family, including singing, dancing, and even a torch procession.


Head to Borggården at 5pm for the city’s official party, packed with music and dance acts. The light show begins at 6pm, and will be projected on the façade of Linköping Castle.

The light show will continue to be displayed daily until January 3rd, from 5pm to 9pm.


Norrköping’s New Year Walk attracts over 40,000 people to the city each year. Starting at 4pm by the Moa Martinson statue on Grytstorget and ending at around 6:30pm at Tyska Torget, the walk takes you past music, art, entertainment, and food and drinks.

Although no fireworks show will take place, New Year’s Eve happens during the city’s Light Festival. In a partnership with Amsterdam Light Festival, it displays light and art installations from international artists around Norrköping. Daily, from November 30th to January 6th, 4pm-12am.

READ ALSO: Year in review: The biggest stories from Sweden in 2018