The Local List

Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs

Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
The annual Christmas market in Stockholm's Old Town. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT
With the days darkening, it's time to start planning for the festive season. The Local guides you to some of the best Christmas markets Sweden has to offer.

1. The Old Town, Stockholm

The annual Christmas market in Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan) dates back to1837 and is the oldest of its kind in Sweden. It is inspired by the old medieval winter markets in Stockholm and offers everything from Swedish Christmas sausages, ceramics and mulled wine.

When: From November 21st

Tickets: Free


The Christmas market in Stockholm's Old Town. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

2. Wapnö farm and castle, Halmstad

Wapnö is a castle and working farm near Halmstad in south-western Sweden. It is open to visitors year-round, but is the most popular in the run-up to the holidays, when shoppers come to pore over local crafts, sample some of the farm's own produce and gorge on traditional Swedish Christmas porridge (rice pudding) served up inside the castle.

When: November 19th-22nd

Tickets: 80 kronor (free for children under 12)


3. Liseberg theme park, Gothenburg

Sweden's biggest leisure park, Gothenburg attraction Liseberg, is being lit up by millions of Christmas candles as its annual winter market opens on November 20th. Ice shows, Santa's grotto, an ice skating rink and the park's iconic rabbits are sure to keep your little ones entertained.

When: From November 20th

Tickets: Entrance from 95 kronor (free for children up to 110 centimetres); 245 kronor for unlimited rides


The Christmas market at Liseberg theme park in Gothenburg. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

4. Kalmar Castle

Set in the beautiful grounds of the Kalmar Castle in south-eastern Sweden, this market will have you soaking up the Christmas spirit in no time. It is filled with over 110 craftspeople selling a variety of beautiful products made from pottery, straw, wood and textiles – as well as delicious Christmas treats.

When: November 26th-29th

Tickets: 80 kronor (free for children under 12)


5. Skansen, Stockholm

Take the ferry over to Stockholm's Djurgården island from Slussen and stroll over to Skansen, Europe's biggest outdoor museum, where the annual Christmas market is held the way the holidays would would have been celebrated some 100 years ago. It's a great place to snap up some Christmas presents in the form of traditional Swedish arts and crafts.

When: The market is held very weekend in advent, but keep an eye on Skansen's website for more holiday events 

Tickets: 60 kronor for children aged 6-15 and 150 kronor for adults


Traditional Swedish Christmas carols at Skansen. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

6. Möllevången Christmas Market, Malmö

If you're in Sweden's third biggest city, Malmö, this December, you should head to the trendy and multicultural Möllevången area. The Mitt Möllan traders' association organizes a market promising art, culture, food and fashion. When you've had enough of the hipster vibe, head into central Malmö for the city's traditional annual Christmas market in the Gustav Adolfs square, which kicks off as early as November 28th.

When: December 12th-13th

Tickets: Free


7. Astrid Lindgren's childhood home Näs, Vimmerby

Step into the childhood home of one of Sweden's most internationally famous children's authors, Astrid Lindgren, in southern region Småland. The annual Christmas market is a melting pot of arts and crafts, performances and traditional music. Visitors of up to 12 people can join a guided tour of the writer's home decorated as it would have looked at Christmas at the time (prebooking necessary).

When: December 11th-12th

Tickets: 40 kronor (free for children under 16); 95 kronor for a guided tour (50 kronor for children aged 2-14)


If you're good you may get a visit from Santa. Photo: Astrid Lindgrens Näs

8. Hägnan, Luleå

Brave the cold (and it will be cold) for a Christmas market in the far north of Sweden. The Hägnan outdoor museum organizes a traditional fair every year in Luleå, including horse-drawn sleighs, home baked goods and some 60 craftspeople selling their work.

When: December 5th-6th

Tickets: 30 kronor (free for children under 16)


9. Kungsträdgården, Stockholm

One of Stockholm's prettiest parks, Kungsträdgården, keeps its Christmas market open for almost a whole month from 11am to 6pm. Visitors can snap up souvenirs and sip on a cup of glögg (Swedish mulled wine), but the most popular attraction tends to be the ice skating rink for the kids (and for you too, let's not pretend).

When: November 27th-December 22nd

Tickets: Free


The popular ice rink in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården park. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT