Experience the Enchanting and Thrilling Christmas in Sweden 2023

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Every nation possesses its own collection of historical grandeur that defines each of their festivities in ways that are faithful to country-specific customs. Although Christmas is regarded as a popular celebration, its origins lie deep in the establishment of a nation’s history and culture. If you find yourself in Sweden during the holiday season, prepare yourself for a pleasant surprise. Not only is it celebrated as a profound cultural spectacle, but the strands of Biblical significance add an even greater depth.

Christmas in Sweden is commemorated on the 13th of December, famously known as St. Lucia’s Day, as a tribute to the upcoming festivities of the holiday. There are tales that harken back to heartfelt fables of existence and the human experience. To this day, Swedish Christmas traditions are upheld, leading to a week of grand Christmas festivities in Sweden.

Christmas in Sweden combines cultural propagation with a celebration of life. From activities to the captivating Swedish Christmas adornments, from shopping to tourism, Sweden adorns itself in resplendent attire during this time of year. If you are planning a visit to Sweden, Christmas is the optimal time, and for multiple reasons.

8 reasons to visit Sweden during Christmas

Points About Christmas In Sweden

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No celebration is complete without an elaborate spread of delectable cuisine. The grandest and most celebrated feast usually takes place on Christmas Eve. Although traditionally a family affair, these feasts have grown larger and transformed into open food markets and stalls, allowing everyone to partake equally in the festivities. Speaking of Swedish Christmas food, it includes cold fish, gravlax, smoked salmon, and many more delicacies. The Swedes certainly know how to appreciate their cuisine, categorizing it as savory or sweet according to their palates. Christmas Eve holds its own charm, as loved ones gather together to break bread and celebrate the good times. Christmas Eve also brings about another fascinating nationwide obsession of watching Donald Duck on television! In fact, this tradition has been broadcasted every year since 1959, with a majority of the population setting aside time to indulge in their annual guilty pleasure.

As night falls and dawn breaks, the country warmly welcomes the best day of the year with open arms. Exchanging gifts is a significant part of a traditional Christmas day. A typical Swedish household will have straw goats outside their homes during this time, as a gesture of respect for the pure, untainted resources during Jesus’s birth. In Sweden, Christmas trees are sometimes even crafted out of straw, paying tribute to Jesus’s righteousness. Once you visit Sweden, you will be immersed in the extensive month-long festivities that greatly enrich the history of the country. From modest gestures to elaborate traditional setups, Christmas in Sweden as a whole is an experience that will repeatedly astound you.

Recommended Read: Sweden In Winter: 8 Reasons To Spend A Cool Vacation At This Winterland!


8 Reasons To Explore Sweden During Christmas

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As mentioned previously, the rationales to explore Sweden during the Christmas period surpass just one.

  • Sweden possesses one of the most profound and lengthy celebrations dedicated to Christmas. 13th January signifies the culmination of the Christmas holidays in Sweden after twenty days of grand events and joyous revelry. With climate that is ideally suited for travel and Christmas acting as an added bonus, Sweden could potentially rank as one of the most renowned destinations to visit during this time of the year.
  • The food. The buffet during the Christmas Eve feast or ‘julbord’ is a food lover’s ultimate spread. From sugary to savory, the array is an everlasting burst of flavors. From various types of cheese to cold cuts, fresh bread and spreads, sausages, ribs, all are prepared traditionally into mouthwatering delicacies, specifically for that evening.
  • Home-brewed mulled wine is another attraction in Sweden as its rustic seasoning tempts your senses better than anything else.
  • It is the essence of Christmas that amplifies the significance of this time. From exquisite decorations to people enjoying the most blissful period of the year, the overall experience will elevate your character entirely.
  • The culture and history associated with Christmas traditions in Sweden are bound to captivate the explorer within you. The anecdotes dating back to yesteryears make us ponder in astonishment about how far we have advanced as a global civilization.
  • The Swedish Christmas desserts are well-curated. The uncomplicated and eloquent recipe of ‘risgrynsgrot’ may sound simple, but mastering this art requires years of practice. Rice porridge served with a generous portion of fresh raspberry jam, often sprinkled with fine cinnamon powder, creates a sensation that transports us back to our grandmothers’ courtyards.
  • Every nation appears most stunning when its inhabitants are elated and content. With Christmas being the most cheerful time of the year, it will be accompanied by more laughter, pleasant experiences, and cherished memories.

Recommended Read: 10 Sweden Travel Tips For Ensuring a Smooth Holiday in the Scandinavian Nation!


Destinations To Spend Christmas In Sweden

Here are the finest locations to explore in Sweden during Christmas to immerse yourself in a lively festive atmosphere and embrace the local customs of the festival along with snowfall.

1. Gothenburg

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This city widely known as the Yuletide city of Sweden is a bustling hub of enjoyable activities, markets, cuisine, and cheerful lights. From art galleries to its city center, all of it adorns itself in exquisite and awe-inspiring decorations just before the holiday season.

Essential Experiences

The city center – Avenyn, appears particularly stunning during this time of the year. You can also explore the main art gallery and visit the Christmas market situated in Liseberg.

Temperature in DecemberThe average is 4°C.

How to Reach

By AirLandvetter Airport is an international airport that is just 16 miles from the main city. It is interconnected with most regions of Europe.

By RoadGothenburg is connected to Stockholm via the E4 highway and to Malmö and Helsingborg via the E6 highway.

By RailYou can avail hourly trains from any major cities of Sweden. The central station is at Drottningtorget.


Recommended Reading: 10 Superb Hostels In Sweden To Enjoy An Enchanting Sweden Getaway Like Never Before!

2. Gallivare

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This small locality is not your usual trendy and vibrant cultural center, but its annual Santa Winter Games distinguish it from other areas. From parades to Santa himself, competitions and cuisine, the festivities come together as a celebration for everyone present there.

Essential Experiences

The Winter Games parade is a must-see, along with the international competition to find the finest Santa. People from all around the globe participate, and in recent years, individuals from Hong Kong have also made it to the leaderboards.

Temperature in DecemberThe average is -7°C.

How to Reach

By AirGällivare Airport is just a few minutes away from the main city. You can also fly to other nearby airports, such as Kiruna Airport or Pajala Airport.

By RoadThe E4 highway connects Gällivare to Stockholm.

By RailYou can directly take trains to Gällivare train station.

Suggested Reading: 10 Shorelines In Sweden That Are Worth Embarking On A Vacation To Europe

Swedish Lapland

3. Stockholm

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Stockholm during Christmastime in Sweden is a paradise because of its charming and cozy atmosphere. Christmas may hold significance in Stockholm, but the true essence of this city lies in its quintessential tranquility that allows you to delve deep into your inner self.

Essential ExperiencesThe Christmas opening ceremony in Stockholm is particularly stunning. You can participate in the Stockholm Santa Run where individuals dressed as Santa Claus engage in a lighthearted and non-competitive race. Additionally, you can indulge in a meal aboard one of the vintage boats, known as Strömmas.

Temperature in DecemberThe average temperature is 2°C.

How to Get There

By AirStockholm can be easily accessed by air, thanks to the Arlanda International Airport. It consists of four terminals and is located approximately 40 kilometers away from the city.

By RoadStockholm is bordered by the E4 and the E3 expressway to the north and east. Almost all buses have routes to Stockholm.

By RailYou can board any train operated by the StatensJärnvägar – the state railway company – to reach your destination.


Recommended Reading: Shopping In Sweden: 10 Best Places To Indulge The Shopaholic In You!

4. Swedish Lapland

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Venturing far north will provide you with the opportunity to experience the most enchanting parts of the country. You will encounter small villages surrounded by snow-capped mountains. You can witness herds of reindeer and capture the beauty of the northern lights through your lenses. Additionally, you can engage in skiing or ride a snowmobile across a frozen lake.

Essential Experiences

Abisko is the ideal destination if you desire to witness the northern lights. It is one of the finest places on Earth for observing the auroras. Furthermore, you will find several comfortable accommodations in the area. Jukkasjärvi is a quaint village that celebrates Christmas in its own unique manner. It is home to the renowned Icehotel, which is a must-visit even if you do not plan to stay overnight.


Temperature in DecemberThe average temperature is -6°C.

Recommended Reading: Sweden Honeymoon: Top 10 Exquisite Destinations For A Romantic Getaway!

5. Salen

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If you’re planning to witness the snowy landscape up close and don’t have the desire to travel to Swedish Lapland, then Salen can be a good alternative. A perfect getaway for a family vacation, this relaxing ski resort is something one can enjoy and experience a laidback holiday. This place has a great mix of various ski runs and also some cozy cabins that can be rented by the travelers. And one can also indulge in some captivating skiing experience.

Must Experiences

To enjoy the guaranteed skiing experience on the snowy slopes, Salen is one of the two best ski resorts in Sweden. This place welcomes the beginners and young families to try out their hands-on skiing alongside offering the perfect space to relax and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Temperature In December

The temperature in December ranges between 2 degrees Celsius and can drop to -4 degrees Celsius.

6. Sagolandet Tomteland

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Located across the Lake Siljan which is situated around 300 Kms northwest of Stockholm. This place is quite a delight for the little kids. As the Christmas arrives, the park is turned into a complete winter wonderland which is decorated by snowy red cabins and surrounded by forests and frozen streams.

Must Experience: There are many captivating events which take place for the kids and while all these keep them occupied, there is also a chance that one can get a chance to meet Santa in person.

How To Reach

By AirThere are numerous domestic airports. Depending on where you want to go, you can pick any one of the airports from Kiruna Airport, Pajala Airport, Luleå airport, Gällivare Airport, Arvidsjaur Airport or Skellefteå Airport.

By RoadThe entire Lapland region is well connected via the E4 and the E10 expressways with multiple buses operating between each town.

By RailThere is an extensive railway network connecting Björkliden, Abisko, Kiruna, Gällivare, Murjek, Boden and Luleå.

Further Read: Sweden Nightlife: 12 Pubs & Clubs That Make It Irresistible

Sweden has been in the spotlight as a country who celebrated Christmas oh so fondly and dearly. Sweden does not believe in overdone extravagance but makes the festival more like a family gathering. Make your holidays in Europe even more memorable with a visit to a county that ushers in Christmas more warmly than anywhere else in the world!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places to Spend Christmas In Sweden

Are there Christmas markets in Sweden?

Most major cities and city centers open up markets from a month before the Christmas holidays. You can purchase everything from handcrafted products to Swedish Christmas decorations and even food and beverages.

Which is the best Christmas market in Sweden?


Gothenburg and Stockholm usually have the best places. The open-air market in Gothenburg provides a unique experience.

Where is the best place in Sweden to spend Christmas?

The best hotels are located in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

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