Editor’s note: This article is from 2017. For our best tips on where to watch Sweden’s fireworks on New Year’s Eve in 2021, click HERE.
Stockholm’s abundance of hills and islands mean there are a few particularly good locations to watch things unfold in the middle of the city. On Södermalm, the cliffs uphill from Slussen are a good spot, while if you head west along Hornsgatan the hills behind Söder Mälarstrand – in particular Skinnarviksberget – offer great views of Kungsholmen including the City Hall.
Or, why not do the opposite and head across the water to Norr Mälarstrand and watch the fireworks sail off into the sky above Södermalm? The best of both worlds can be found on the bridge between the two islands, Västerbron, but expect that to be busy and try to arrive early to guarantee a good spot.
In the eastern part of the city, Strandvägen in Östermalm is also a decent spot for a view of the fireworks combined with water, and the abundance of bars nearby means there are plenty of places to meet up beforehand and keep warm.
For a less urban experience, Skansen is open late on the 31st so revellers can take in Södermalm, Gamla Stan and Östermalm from its hills, with the only caveat being the 120 kronor entry fee for adults (increasing to 160 kronor at 8pm, so again, get there early).
Fireworks over Stockholm on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
Central Götaplatsen square is a favourite among locals for the speeches, countdown then fireworks that follow – not to mention the host of busy bars on Avenyn – but that also means it’s guaranteed to be full.
A more feasible alternative could be newspaper Göteborgs Posten’s spectacular New Year fireworks show over the Göta älv waterfront. The nearby Götaälvbron is a close spot with a perfect high vantage point to watch it, while other high spots further into the city like Masthuggsberget will also work if it’s a clear night.
A fun place to take in the excitement is the square outside Malmö Opera, which will have a light show, orchestral performance and of course, the big countdown followed by fireworks.
Mölevångstorget is also a common place for younger people to watch fireworks, but it can get chaotic so if you have kids it’s probably best to pick a calmer spot. The modern Västra hamnen district fits the more relaxed mould and has a good view of the Öresund Bridge and Copenhagen if you want to experience the novelty of watching New Year unfold in two countries simultaneously.
The scene near Malmö’s Turning Torso last year. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The busiest high point in the small city is the hill around Uppsala Slott with its view over the centre and suburbs. Happy to do things indoors (and pay some money for it of course)? The Elite Hotel Academia’s restaurant on the 11th floor is a great vantage point – provided you can get a table.
Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
Lundagård square in front of the cathedral is the best fireworks show in the University town, and as such, it’ll likely be lively.
Umeå municipality has taken the decision to ditch fireworks for lasers as of 2018, so this is the last chance for the foreseeable future to watch their official fireworks show at Skeppsbron. Things kick off at 11.30pm. Prefer laser shows? Both Lidköping and Boden are scrapping their fireworks this year to protect animals and the environment, so head to those towns if you want to see what New Year’s lasers look like.
The custom of buying and lighting fireworks to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sweden means that even if there isn’t an official display in your town, you’ll still likely be able to see something if you find a good vantage point like a hill or central square just before midnight.
It’s also worth checking the local municipality’s official website to see if there’s something more organized going on. Gott nytt år!
New Year’s fireworks in Åre. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT