As winter arrives in Sweden there’s a chill in the air and the first snowflakes arrive. Sweden transforms into a winter wonderland. One of the highlights of the season are the Christmas markets in Sweden. These markets, or ‘julmarknader’ as they are known in Swedish, are not just places to shop. They are the ultimate places for gathering with friends and soaking up the festive atmosphere.
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From the cobbled streets of Stockholm’s Gamla Stan to the storybook lanes of Gothenburg, each market offers a feast for the senses. The scent of mulled wine fills the air and Christmas carols drift through the historic squares. The best Swedish Christmas markets will transport you to a world of twinkling lights, traditional foods, and unique gifts. Join us as we explore the very best Christmas markets that are sure to outshine Sweden’s stunning winter landscape.
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The Best Christmas Markets in Sweden
The Christmas markets in Sweden are an annual event enjoyed by both locals and visitors. They are an opportunity to go out and enjoy warm glögg and roasted almonds while browsing the market stalls and enjoying the atmosphere.
The Swedish people enjoy the local Christmas markets as they help to create the feeling of mys (coziness) this special time of the year.
There are many Christmas markets to choose from while visiting Sweden. Here we have a mix of interesting and popular markets in Sweden’s capital Stockholm, Gothenburg on the west coast, Jamtli in Östersund to the north, and Huseby Bruk to the south of Växjö.
Although the weather may be cold and the days short, it is also a lively time, with friends and family gathering to share traditional Christmas food like glögg (Swedish mulled wine), lussekatter (saffron buns), and pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies).
Dating back to 1903, these Christmas markets are held in Skansen, the open-air museum in Stockholm. It feels like an old-fashioned Christmas market as the booths are set among the historic buildings in Skansen. The Skansen Christmas market has around 70 stalls, with handcrafts and food delicacies to try, such as marzipan, and Christmas bread.
The Christmas markets run from late November to mid-December and are held Friday-Sunday.
If you happen to be in Stockholm between Christmas and New Year, you can visit Skansen for the mellandags market. The term mellandags is used to describe the days between Christmas and New Year.
Skansen is on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm. Djurgården itself is a great place to visit while in Stockholm, as it has the Vasa Museum, the ABBA Museum, an amusement park, and parklands to explore.
2. Stortorgets Christmas Market in Gamla Stan
Sweden’s oldest Christmas market (Stortorgets Julmarknad) is held in beautiful Gamla Stan in Stockholm in the main square or stortorget. This Old Town Christmas market dates to the 1350s, and has run almost every year, only stopping for events such as wars and pandemics.
The history combined with the surroundings of the old city really makes for a historic and special experience. The market itself has around 40 stalls each year.
Gamla Stan, or Stockholm’s Old Town, is on an island not far from the city centre. It is walkable from many areas, or you can take the subway. Gamla Stan is a ‘must-see’ for Stockholm and Sweden.
For more details on the market and its history, see the website here.
3. Taxinge-Näsby Slott
Sweden’s largest Christmas market is held outside of Stockholm at Taxinge-Bäsby Castle. Every year it has over 130 wooden stalls, with the country’s best artisans sharing local delicacies and festive traditions. In the evenings, bonfires are lit to help everyone keep warm, adding to the festive spirit.
The Christmas markets are held in mid to late November. Check here for the dates.
Taxinge-Näsby Slott is about 38 miles or 60 km from Stockholm and is best reached by car.
Jamtli is a complex of three museums in Östersund, which is a large town in Jämtland, to the northwest of Stockholm. The Christmas market is held Friday to Sunday on the second advent in December.
Östersund is also a center for cross-country skiing in Sweden, and the Christmas Markets sometimes coincide with a skiing competition. The two events together make for a uniquely Swedish experience.
The Jamtli Christmas Market is a large one, with more than 200 exhibitors. The exhibitors are mainly artisans, so you can find unique handicrafts and gifts. On average, over the three days the market runs for, about 22000 people visit. If you want a quieter experience, they recommend visiting on Friday or Sunday, since Saturday is the busiest day.
Östersund can be reached by car, train from Stockholm, and bus from most major cities in Sweden.
5. Huseby Mill Julmässa
The Huseby Bruk Julmässa (Christmas Market) is held in mid-November at Huseby Bruk and Slott near Grimslöv, which is south of Växjö in the south of Sweden.
The Huseby Christmas Fair is different from other Christmas markets in that the crafts and foods are produced mainly by smaller farms and artisans, some of them local, but many from other parts of Sweden.
Huseby Slott, preserved just like it was when the original owner Florence Stephens lived, can also be visited and is well worth the price of admission.
6. Gothenburg Christmas Market – Kronhuset
The Kronhuset Christmas Market is housed in one of the city’s oldest historical buildings, dating back to the 17th century. This backdrop is the perfect place for Yuletide festivities. The cobblestone courtyards are brightened with lanterns, and stalls feature traditional Swedish goods.
Kronhuset promotes itself as a traditional Swedish Christmas market with local crafts, homemade treats, and a sense of community. It is a non commercial shopping experience, with tradition that’s hard to find elsewhere. This is not just a place to buy gifts, but a place to embrace Swedish culture and festive cheer.
The Kronhuset Christmas Market is in the centre of Gothenburg and runs from the last week of November to December 23.
Liseberg Amusement Park in Gothenburg is immensely popular with both locals and visitors from Northern Europe. The main period it is open is summer of course, but during the winter it opens for its Christmas Markets.
Liseberg Park is different than a traditional Christmas market because it is completely decorated in a Christmas theme. This is the largest Christmas market in Scandinavia, where over five million Christmas lights transform the park into a fairytale land.
Liseberg Christmas market also has an ice-skating rink, a kids ski run, and some of the rides operating as well. While there are market stalls here, the market itself isn’t the reason to visit, it is the atmosphere.
If you are visiting Gothenburg from late November to December then visiting Liseberg should be on the agenda.
8. Haga District
Although it is not a Christmas Market, the Haga District is a lovely area to visit, especially at Christmas time. The area was a worker’s district, but now has a more bohemian vibe, and has many cool cafes, vegan and vegetarian restaurants, and interesting shops to explore.
The Haga District is within walking distance from the center of Gothenburg, or reachable by bus and tram.
9. Tjolöholm Slott Christmas Market
Tjolöholm Slott (Tjolöholm Castle) is a nice place to visit any time of the year. It is a castle with beautiful gardens and surroundings beside a fjord near Kungsbacka, which is about 30 minutes south of Gothenburg by car and train.
The Christmas markets here are special as they have artisanal handiwork and foods perfect for Christmas gifts, and the castle itself features Christmas decorations.
The markets have a real local feel about them, giving you a true Swedish Christmas experience. You can also take a walk in the surrounding parks and forests to enjoy the cool fresh air.
Tjolöholm Slott hosts events throughout the year, including Midsummer, but is also visited by locals and visitors from Gothenburg on the weekends.
There is accommodation as well so you can make a weekend trip out of it. The Christmas Market is held on weekends from late November to early December each year.
The Gammelstad Church Town is one of the more unique places to celebrate Christmas in Sweden. This UNESCO World Heritage site in Swedish Lapland hosts an annual market that only happens one weekend in December.
Located in a true church town, the market sits between red cottages and a medieval stone church. There are about 70 stalls that have everything from Swedish Christmas sweets to gifts made in the local handicraft tradition. Christmas activities are available, including sleigh rides and a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs Claus.
About the author: David Rutter is an avid traveler and hiker living on the west coast of Sweden with his family. David hails from Sydney, Australia, and has traveled throughout Europe, South America, and Asia. He is also the founder of the travel blog Going Scandinavian, where he shares his adventures and tips for traveling in Scandinavia and the Nordic region.