Every year Stockholm lits up for Christmas and thousands of people go out for a walk in its snowy streets, if weather so decides, to visit the most famous Christmas markets, buy gifts or to have a fika in any of the hundreds of cozy cafes available. In this article I write about where to go to enjoy winter holidays in the Swedish capital.
Stockholmsjul, Christmas lights in Stockholm
Stockholmsjul is the project responsible for decorating the streets of Stockholm with more than one million light bulbs (led light of course, we are in Sweden and everything should be made as sustainable as possible!).
In 2019 the official start is on November 16 at 3:00 p.m. on the stage at Kungsträdgården. From that day on more than 40 streets, squares in the city center will be fully lit.
The list of places to visit, almost all in the southern part of the Norrmalm district and some parts in Östermalm, is as follows:
Biblioteksgatan – Bibliotekstan, Birger Jarlsgatan, Brunkebergstorg, Bryggargatan, Centralbron, Centralplan, Drottninggatan, Gamla Brogatan, Grev Turegatan, Gustav Adolfs Torg, Hamngatan, Hötorget, Humlegårdsgatan, Jakobsbergsgatan, Järnvägsparken, Klarabergsgatan, Klarabergsviadukten, Kungsgatan, Kungsträdgården, Malmskillnadsgatan, Mäster Samuelsgatan, Norrbro, Norrmalmstorg, Nybrogatan, Nybroplan, Regeringsgatan, Riksbron, Sergelgatan, Sergels Torg, Strömbron, Strömgatan, Strömkajen, Strömpaterren, Stureplan, Sveavägen, Tegelbacken, Vasagatan, Vasaplan
As in recent years these streets will house lighting based on traditional Christmas motifs in Sweden such as elks, angels, reindeers, deers or fir trees among many others.
From the day after the lights are turned on, there will be guided visits to some of the lit streets. There will also be available a ljuskarta , a “map of the lights” where you can easily see the location of these streets and make the visit on your own. This map can be downloaded in PDF from November 13 and will also be available at hotels and tourist offices.
Shopping Streets in Stockholm
The main shopping streets in Stockholm still are so at Christmas. So:
- Drottninggatan street on both sides of Sergels torg square
- Kungsgatan street from Vasagatan to Stureplan
- Hamngatan from Sergels torg to Berzelii Park
- the streets around Östermalmtorg like Biblioteksgatan, Mäster Samuelsgatan or Grev Turegatan
And if you prefer to be covered, the best shopping centers in the heart of Stockholm are:
- Åhléns City in front of the exit Sergels torg in T-Centralen underground stop
- Gallerian between Sergels torg and Kungsträdgården
- NK Stockholm in front of Kungsträdgården Park
- Mood Stockholm behind NK shopping mall
On the island of Södermalm there are:
- Söderhallarna near Medborgarplatsen metro stop
- Ringen Centrum near the Skanstull metro stop
On the outskirts of Stockholm about 20 minutes by suburban train getting off at the Solna Station stop is Westfield Mall of Scandinavia, Sweden’s largest shopping center. If you have a period ticket or card for Stockholm transport system you can get there without paying any other fee.
A romantic Walk Through Gamla Stan
If you are looking for a more traditional, romantic and cozy atmosphere with dim lighting, cobblestones under your feet and who knows if the faint crunch of the snow under your feet then you must visit the emblematic streets of Gamla Stan.
In my guide to visit Stockholm in 3 days I present a walking route through Gamla Stan that can be useful even in the winter.
However, if you only want to have a look at shops, buy gifts or take a walk, Västerlånggatan should be your starting point. From there you can walk up to Stortorget where one of Stockholm’s most famous Christmas markets is located, cross the square and walk down toward Köpmansgatan and Österlånggatan.
Something Else Than Walking
Finally, if after so much walking you want to visit the city from the water in December, cruises and boat trips around Stockholm and the archipelago continue during low season. The most beloved boat tours for this time of the year are the cruises with julbord, the traditional Swedish Buffet served on board. Click here for details, prices and availability.
Check out these other tips if you plan a trip to Stockholm in December. Here you will also find many other general tips about traveling to Stockholm. And if you need help with any specific questions, leave me a message and I will try to help you as soon as possible.