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Feel the magic of Swedish Christmas at these 20 traditional markets

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Feel the magic of Swedish Christmas at these 20 traditional markets
The Christmas market in Gammelstad Church Town. Photo: Susanne Lindholm/Gammelstad
17:48 CET+01:00
The days are getting darker, but if there's one thing Sweden does well this time of the year, it's Christmas markets. Here's our pick of some of the most well-known markets across the country.

SOUTHERN SWEDEN

Malmö Christmas Market

Atmospheric light installations on the Gustav Adolf Square, right in the heart of Malmö, are usually the trademark of the biggest Christmas market in the southern Swedish city. The market also includes: Santa, arts and crafts, and glühwein. The city's Christmas lights will be lit at a special event on November 30th.

When: November 21st-December 23rd

Tickets: Free

Mitt Möllan Christmas Market, Malmö

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 organizes a market that promises art, culture, food and fashion.

When: December 7th-8th

Tickets: Free

Kalmar Castle, Kalmar

This spectacular 800-year-old castle has established itself as one of the largest Christmas fairs 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 28th-December 1st

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

Jul på Fredriksdal, Helsingborg

Advent lights in the trees set the mood for this old-fashioned Christmas market in the open-air museum and botanical garden of Fredriksdal in Helsingborg. Here you can buy Christmas lights and gifts, look at a festive exhibition or simply enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread. There are plenty of activities for children, as well as music.

When: December 6th-8th

Tickets: 120 kronor (free for under-18s)

Wapnö Gård, Halmstad

If the Christmas market at Wapnö Gård had to have a theme, it would probably be cows. Wapnö Gård is a castle and working farm that's open all year round, but especially popular during the beginning of winter. Then, children have the opportunity to learn about real farm life. Additionally, there are about 150 exhibitors selling different sorts of crafts and Swedish Christmas delicacies by small-scale local producers.

When: November 21st-24th and November 29th-December 1st

Tickets: 100 kronor (free for under-12s)

Bosjökloster Christmas Market, Höör

Bosjökloster offers another traditional Christmas event: a market in the grounds of a monastery. Buy food and handcrafted items by local producers, such as homemade sweets and bread, but also handmade candles and sheepskin clothes. And don't miss the Christmas concerts in the old church. 

When: November 29th-December 1st

Tickets: 100 kronor (50 kronor after Sunday 2pm and free entry from 3pm; free for under-18s)


The Christmas Market in Stockholm's Old Town. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

CENTRAL SWEDEN

Old Town, Stockholm

Right in the middle of Stockholm's Old Town, around 40 stands set up shop 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 its current format started in 1837).

When: November 23th-December 23rd

Tickets: Free

Skansen, Stockholm

Stockholm's open-air museum Skansen has been honouring the Christmas market tradition since 1903. A market square invited the visitors to warm up with bonfires and traditional Swedish food. The whole area of Skansen takes part in the early holiday celebrations and sells arts and crafts as well as food and other Christmas presents. 

When: Every weekend between November 30th and December 22nd

Tickets: 170 kronor for adults, 60 kronor for 4-15-year-olds, 150 kronor for students and seniors

Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm 

Not only is Drottningholm Palace the actual home of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, it also organizes a pretty good Christmas market, held in the palace grounds on the second weekend of Advent. Buy festive delicacies such as cheese, bread, mustard, fish, mulled wine and ham from small-scale food producers, and meet blacksmiths, candle makers, straw weavers and textile producers.

When: December 7th-8th

Tickets: If you want to visit the palace itself, it's 130 kronor for adults

The Royal Stables, Stockholm 

This is another Christmas market with a royal theme, held at the Royal Stables in the Swedish capital. There will be pony riding, and the stables themselves will be open for a few hours each day of the market (click here to see the opening hours). All the King's horses could not keep us away from this one.

When: November 28th-December 1st

Tickets: 100 kronor (free for under-12s in the company of a guardian)

Liseberg theme park, Gothenburg

Millions of Christmas lights transform Sweden's biggest leisure park Liseberg every year into a glittering winter landscape. In its Christmas area, the park serves up the whole Christmas fantasy, with themed areas: A Christmas market, a medieval village and a winter land… you name it. You can also meet Santa, listen to Swedish fairytales and the park's iconic rabbits are sure to keep your little ones entertained.

When: November 15th-17th, 22nd-24th, 28th-30th, and December 1st, 4th-8th, 10th-23rd, 26th-30th.

Tickets: Entrance from 120 kronor (free for children up to 110 centimetres)

Kronhusjul, Gothenburg

Combine a history lesson with a stroll through a Christmas market at the Kronhusjul in Gothenburg. Kronhuset is one of Gothenburg's oldest buildings from 1654, just 21 years after the city was founded, and this is also the western Swedish city's oldest Christmas market.

When: November 30th-December 21st (closed on Mondays)

Tickets: Free

Astrid Lindgrens Näs, Vimmerby

Step into the childhood home of one of Sweden's most widely popular children's authors. The annual Christmas market is a melting pot of arts and crafts, performances and traditional music. At an additional cost, you can also join a guided tour of the writer's home, decorated as it would have looked around Christmas at the time (pre-booking necessary).

When: December 13th-15th

Tickets: 60 kronor (20 kronor for children aged 8-14 and free for 0-7s)

Jul på Vallby, Västerås

The open-air museum Vallby near Västerås is another place that should be particularly interesting for children, as an old farm is opened and you're welcome to pet the animals. Next to that, there are old-fashioned market stands selling local crafts while Christmas songs fill the air with a festive vibe. The market also offers a diverse but traditional programme, with puzzles, Swedish folk music and choirs.

When: November 30th-December 1st

Tickets: Free

Wadköping Christmas Market, Örebro

The outdoor museum Wadköping, which is an echo of what Örebro looked like centuries ago, organizes a Christmas market full of the usual traditions: Christmas decorations, sausages, cheeses and arts and crafts.

When: November 24th, December 1st, 8th and 15th

Tickets: Free


Hilda the reindeer will be at the Christmas market in Gammelstad Church Town. Photo: Anna-Lena Kaati

NORTHERN SWEDEN

Gammelstads Kyrkstad, Luleå

The Gammelstad Church Town is Sweden's largest and best-preserved church town, and a Unesco World Heritage site with more than 400 quaint little red cottages. Located in the far north of Sweden, it may very well be one of the country's most atmospheric Christmas markets, and if you go there, be sure to wear layers and layers, because it is one of the markets where you are as good as guaranteed to get plenty of snow.

For the first time, the market will also have a reindeer (named Hilda) among its visitors.

When: December 7th-8th

Tickets: 30 kronor

Jokkmokk is located in the north of Sweden, in the Arctic Circle. In terms of markets, it gets most of its fame from its Sami winter market in February, which has been an unbroken tradition since 1605. But the Christmas market is also well worth a visit, and offers visitors the chance to learn more about Jokkmokk culture and history.

When: December 7th-8th

Tickets: free

The Gävle Goat, Gävle

This is not strictly speaking a Christmas market, but a staple of the Swedish Christmas calendar in any case. The yule goat, a 13-metre-tall straw beast, in Gävle has unfortunately become known around the globe for getting burned down by arsonists more often than not. On December 1st Gävle residents will gather to welcome this year's goat to their city, in the hope that it will get to make it through the season in one piece.

When: December 1st, 3-4pm

Tickets: Free

Christmas Market at Västerbotten Museum, Umeå

This Umeå museum dedicated to the region of Västerbotten organizes its annual Christmas market again. It promises a candy shop, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bakehouse and more than 100 artisans selling locally produced food and quality wares. 

When: December 7th-8th

Tickets: Free

Christmas Market at Nordanå, Skellefteå

Are you in Skellefteå this December? Pay a visit to the Christmas market at Nordanå, which is now in its 44th year. It is particularly known for its arts and crafts, and this year handmade ceramics, knitted baby clothes, and tin thread jewellery are some of the things on offer.

When: December 8th

Tickets: Free

We hope you found this list useful. If you happen to spot any errors or know of any other Christmas markets we should add to the list, please let us know.

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