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Stockholm Christmas Market Guide 2018

Lately, I have been planning my Christmas travels. I am very excited to tell you that this year I am not taking a special Christmas market trip like the one to Prague, but spending (fingers crossed) a solo Christmas abroad (and seeing some markets while travelling)! When I was living in Stockholm, wandering around the Old Town around Christmas was my favourite activities. If you are dreaming of Scandinavian Christmas, the Stockholm Christmas Markets will make a nice trip.

One wouldn’t easily guess that there are actually many markets and places to choose from in Stockholm – the traditional and touristic ones, and ones that you might have never heard of. You can take a boat to an idyllic archipelago town or do your candy shopping in a floating boat or at a castle courtyard. In this guide post, I will share with you my suggestions for the ultimate Stockholm Christmas shopping trip.

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market

The Gamla Stan Christmas Market

The Gamla Stan (Old Town) market is the most traditional, oldest and most famous of them. In Sweden the first Christmas markets started during the medieval times and the very first was held in the Old Town of Stockholm already in 1523!

The genuine atmosphere fills the Stortorget square when the little red wooden stalls start selling local Christmas sweets and other treats, like smoked reindeer and elk meat, and Swedish handicrafts. If the weather is cold, there is nothing cosier than purchasing some hot glögg (mulled wine) to warm you up. And if it gets too cold, the fika-perfect cute cafés of Old Town are nearby.

In 2018, the Gamla Stan Christmas market is open daily between 11 AM and 6 PM, starting from November 24 and ending on December 23. 

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market
Photo: Skansen
Stockholm Christmas Market
Photo: Skansen

Christmas Market at Skansen

Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum. The Christmas market has been held there since 1903, so you can bet there is an authentic traditional atmosphere. All the historical houses are decorated, and events and celebrations are held the whole month of December.

The stalls sell with traditional sausages, cheeses, spices, cakes, crisp bread, jams, candy and marzipan. Naturally, you can also purchase Christmas decorations, embroidery, handicrafts and children’s books and other items.

This year, the Christmas market opens on Saturday, November 24. The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM – 4 PM between November 24 – December 16. Admission to Skansen is SEK 125 for adults, children up to 15 years free. More information can be found here.

Stockholm Christmas Market

Christmas Fair at the Royal Stables

Stockholm Christmas Market
Photo: Lisa Raihle Rehbäck, © Kungl. Hovstaterna

Probably the most exquisite market is the one held at the Royal Stables (Hovstallet) on the first weekend in Advent (in 2018, Nov 30 – Dec 2,  Friday 12 – 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM). During those three days, around 70 exhibitors from across Sweden will be selling the finest crafts there – not forgetting festive delicacies.

The stables, harness room and coach sheds will also be open all weekend and make an exciting place to visit. In the courtyard, there is also the Royal Stables’ café where you can enjoy your fika.

Admission SEK 80, children under 12 free entrance in company of a guardian. More information in English here.

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market

Christmas Market at Drottningholm

An annual Christmas market is traditionally held in the Drottningholm palace grounds on the second weekend in Advent. In 2018, it is held on Saturday 8th December (10 AM – 6 PM) and Sunday 9th (10 AM – 5 PM).

This market focuses on handcrafts, such as candles and textiles. Obviously, there are also food and local delicacies – and glögg.

The palace is open during the Christmas market. You can wander by yourself or join a guided tour. More information in English here.

Stockholm Christmas Market

The Steninge Castle Christmas market

Stockholm Christmas Market
© Steninge Slottsby

Steninge Castle Christmas Market is the largest indoor Christmas market in Stockholm area – 1500 square meters filled with shops, restaurants and artisans in a cosy atmosphere.

The castle is located in Sigtuna (address: Steninge Slottsväg 141, Märsta), where a trip takes a bit over one hour by a train. Free entrance and free parking, if you go there by car.

This Christmas market opens earlier than the other markets – in 2018, it is open every day from November 10 until December 23 (Mon-Fri 11 AM – 6 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM – 5 PM). More information (in Swedish) here.

Stockholm Christmas Market

Cruise to Blidö Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market
Photo: Bengt Nyman from Vaxholm, Sweden [CC BY 2.0]
Did you think that experiencing the beautiful Stockholm archipelago is only for those who are travelling there in the summer? Well, not necessarily, because there are Christmas cruises available! One of them goes to the Blidö island, and during the one-day trip, you can enjoy meals on the boat s/s Blidösund and spend a few hours in the market before heading back to the city. This market has specialities in fresh fish, smoked and pickled local delicacies and handicrafts from the nearby islands. And glögg, don’t worry. 😉
More information about the cruises, schedules and tickets here (in Swedish).
Stockholm Christmas Market

Christmas Market on the Marzipan Boat

A unique and sweet (literally) experience is visiting the Marzipan Boat from the 1930s – the only floating confectionery shop of Stockholm. This one is technically a candy shop, but one you should pay a visit for!

You will find lots of sweet treats: chocolates, truffles, toffees, nougats, mints, marzipan (plus marzipan marmalade!) and much more. There also completely vegan candies. 

The ferry shop opens on the first advent, in 2018 on Friday 30 November. Open until 29 December, Mon-Fri 11 AM –  7 PM. (Christmas Eve 11 AM – 3 PM, Christmas Day 11 AM – 7 PM, Boxing Day 11 AM – 7 PM). Address: Strandvägskajen 18, Stockholm. More information here (in Swedish).

Stockholm Christmas Market

Christmas Fair at the Taxinge Castle

Christmas Market Stockholm
Photo: Sten Ohman [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Swedes love their castles. Therefore, I think it’s not a surprise that the country’s largest Christmas fair takes place at the Taxinge Castle. There are over 130 craftsmen and -women selling their high-quality handicraft items. You can also purchase festive delicacies, such as homemade cheese, sausages, bread and fish. When in Taxinge, don’t miss fika in the castle’s café: it is said to have the broadest selection of baked goods in Sweden, never less than 65. All homemade and very delicious – and there are lots of options for special diets, such as gluten-free and egg-free treats. Between 30 November and 20 December, you could also try the castle’s Christmas buffet with traditional Swedish food and delicacy. Daily lunch and dinner servings, check details here. The Taxinge Castle is located around 60 km from Stockholm and can be reached by car or a combination of local train and bus (for routes, check here).
In 2018, the fair is open November 15-18 and 22-25. On Thursdays 11 AM – 6 PM, Fridays and Saturdays 10 AM – 6 PM and Sundays 10 AM – 5 PM. More information (in Swedish) here.

Christmas Market at Sandhamn

Photo: Arild Vågen [CC BY-SA 3.0]
In addition to Blidö island, you can enjoy the archipelago environment also at Sandhamn Christmas market. (If you are a fan of Swedish crime fiction, you should know that the Viveca Sten’s book and tv series “The Sandhamn Murders” location is indeed this pretty island!) This is a new market and held for the second time in a row this year. You can find traditional handicrafts, Christmas decorations and festive food plus many kinds of activities. The products are focused on ones made in the archipelago.
Opening hours: 11 AM – 15 PM Saturdays and Sundays on December 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16. A boat connection from Stockholm Strandvägen, see schedules here. There is also a restaurant and Christmas buffet, or you can have a cosy pub lunch (or even book accommodation there if you want to enjoy the archipelago for longer). No admission to the market. More information (in Swedish) here.Stockholm Christmas Market
Stockholm Christmas Market

Other Christmas Markets

In addition, you can find markets at least in the charming town of Sigtuna, the idyllic Vaxholm island, Långholmen, and Skokloster Castle. On December 9 there is even held the Stockholms Feminist Market.

Pssst! Be sure to check the information about opening hours etc. before visiting, as the information is stated here as it was founded on Nov 1st, 2018.

Have you visited Stockholm Christmas Markets yet? Do you like the tradition of Christmas markets?

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14 Comments

  1. I adored Stockholm when I visited last October but now I NEED to go for the Christmas markets, it looks absolutely magical! Great post, it’s made me feel super festive 🙂

    1. Thanks Becky! 🙂 Yeah, Stockholm is wonderful in every season, I think. But personally, I love the atmosphere there around Christmas time. So I recommend going there for the Christmas markets 🙂

  2. Wow, these pictures look amazing. I love Christmas Markets and I haven´t been to Sweden yet. It´s on my list for such a long time. I hope that I can manage a Christmas weekend to Sweden somehow. If not this year, then next year!

    1. Thanks Pia! 🙂 Glad to meet another Christmas market fan. I even have a special Christmas bucket list 😉 But I recommend Sweden for winter destination for sure! The atmosphere is very nice.

  3. Beautiful photography of beautiful places!! There’s something so cozy about Christmas markets, and I’d love to visit Sweden in the winter – the one at the royal stables sounds so perfect!

    1. Thank you Nicky! 🙂 they are very cozy indeed. Yeah, that one is quite royal-like to experience 😀

  4. Stockholm is already on my list of cities to visit next year. It was probably going to be a Spring or Summer trip, but the city looks so lovely at Christmas time! And your photos are beautiful 🙂 Do you have any tips for budget places to stay in the old town? or any (cheapish but nice) cafes/restaurants I should check out?

    1. Thanks Kiara! Great to hear, I’m sure you will love the city. It’s very pretty in spring and summer. 🙂 Generally, I’d suggest going to the hip Södermalm area for cheaper places (Östermalm tends to be more “posh” and expensive, and Gamla Stan is also more expensive than some other areas), but you can find good places everywhere.
      Stockholm has lots of great cafés and restaurants. Most cafés offer great lunch options, and it’s usually cheaper than in restaurants.
      I can warmly recommend Hermans Vegetarian restaurant (https://hermans.se/), which has a lunch buffet and weekend buffet. The variety, quality and tastiness is great value for the price. In summer, you can dine outside and enjoy the sea view. Located near Södermalm.
      In Vasastan (which is one of my favourite districts) is a café called Kaffeverket (http://www.kaffeverket.nu/). Last time I went there it was cheaper than many others, also very cosy and personal and great coffees etc.
      Pom & Flora café (https://www.pomochflora.se/) is not that cheap, but decent-priced compared to the quality. It’s one of my favourites. You can have breakfast or brunch there all day. Two cafés, one in Södermalm and one in Vasastan.
      Filter coffee (bryggkaffe) is usually lots cheaper than a latte, cappuccino etc.
      For summertime, I’d also recommend going to a grocery store or food market and taking a picnic in some park, such as Kungsträdgården. 🙂
      And for lodging in Gamla Stan, I think hostels are the best budget options. There are a few ones. I haven’t stayed in any myself there but for what I’ve heard, the Castle House Inn is good. If you are many people, I’d look for Airbnb’s and if possible, some other districts that are a bit cheaper. 🙂 The public transportation is fast and quite good. Students are also renting out their dorms during summer, might be worth to check if you are staying longer.

  5. Oh my gosh, this looks like such a fun place to go! I definitely need to look into going next year!

    1. It is definitely worth a visit! 🙂

  6. I’m definitely in the festive spirit after reading your guide! I didn’t realise Stockholm had so many Christmas Markets – I think I need to visit them all! And The marzipan boat sounds really intriguing. I too have a Christmas bucket list – and I’ve just added Stockholm Christmas Markets!

    1. Thanks Marie, I’m glad reading this made you feel festive. 🙂 Nice to hear you have a Christmas bucket list, too! It’s nice to experience different countries and traditions in the holiday season.

  7. What a comprehensive guide. I went to Stockholm 2 years ago and had no idea Stockholm had so many markets. I only saw the one at Skansen and at the train station. This makes me want to go back! Thanks for a great share.

    1. Thanks Kelly! Yes, Christmas is surprisingly big in Stockholm – but most tourists don’t know other than the most famous ones. While they are definitely worth visiting, it can be delightful to see less touristy ones, too. 🙂

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