New Year's in Stockholm - 2017
Click here for an updated post for this year) Let us take a little break from Christmas and concentrate on New Year's Eve. It is just around the corner! If you are visiting the city during this holiday, then I hope you have started finalizing your New Year's Eve plans because some restaurants are almost fully booked already. This is not an evening when you want to "wing it" when it comes to dining & dancing! Here are some things you should be aware of when making your plans.
- Restaurants- Many restaurants are closed on the 31st. The ones that are open generally serve a traditional multiple course menu called nyårssupé and nothing else. It can be anywhere between 3 and 9 courses and cost anywhere between 500 and 1200 SEK, depending on the restaurant. This means that going out for a simple dinner or quick bite will probably be problematic unless you are looking at pubs or fast food establishments. These nyårssupé dinners are quite popular and the restaurants tend to fill up, so don't leave it to the last minute! Most of these restaurants have two seatings during the evening... an early (5-8:30pm) and a late (8:30pm-12am). There are actually a select few that serve a regular menu and it seems that there are more of these every year. If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, contact us as soon as possible for help in making arrangements! Every year we have guests that stop by around 7pm on New Year's Eve looking for help in making restaurant reservations and are surprised that almost every restaurant is fully booked. Don't make the same mistake! Our Bistro is open for hotel guests and we will be serving our popular seafood smorgasbord. If you are staying at the hotel, you need to book this in advance as we have limited seating!
- Nightclubs- Here it is important to plan ahead as well. Tickets to the parties at the nightclubs can be pre-purchased in advance. If you don't pre-purchase a ticket, you can end up standing in long lines in subzero temperatures! Here are some of the larger nightclub parties this year: Stureplansgruppen (an umbrella group that runs several nightclubs), Café Opera and Södra Teatern. These are the more posh nightclub venues... there are, of course, many smaller parties going on at different venues. Click here for a list and more information about gay & lesbian parties on New Year's Eve.
- Taxis- These are notoriously hard to catch on New Year's Eve... especially after 11pm. This is because of the huge demand. Most taxi companies don't accept prebookings because they don't want their cars tied up waiting for people who don't show up. You don't have to worry about being stranded though... the subways will be running all night long. If nighttime subways aren't your thing, just make sure that you are within walking distance of your hotel. Stockholm isn't that big so this isn't that hard to accomplish. And remember... be careful when catching taxis in Sweden!
- Fireworks- Locals will be setting off their own fireworks throughout the city, especially in the parks & squares and at midnight. The official fireworks will be shot off above the harbor (eastern side of Gamla Stan). The best places to see the fireworks are along the waterfront, by the City Hall, on Fjällgatan or Monteliusvägen. Some places will be quite crowded but you will still be able to see the fireworks!
- Skansen- Once again, this is the center of Swedish holiday tradition. This is the spectacle that is televised and shown around all of Sweden... kind of like the Swedish version of the ball dropping at Times Square. There will be music and speeches and the official countdown. Skansen is also a great place to see the official fireworks! To be honest, I'm not sure how much someone who doesn't speak Swedish will get out of the event as most of the program is in Swedish... but it is an option. The program starts at 11:10pm and ends at 00:10am. Be aware that it is outdoors (see below)!
- Weather- Remember that it is winter in Sweden. Temperatures can vary between 5 and -10 degrees Celsius around this time. There might be snow or not. Dress accordingly when you are out. You can always keep your eye on the weather site a couple of days ahead of your arrival to get a better idea of what the weather will be like.
The Rival Hotel- as I mentioned, our restaurant is open for hotel guests. However, our bars are open for the general public and will be open until 2am and... there is no entrance fee (rare on this evening). There will be a DJ playing and the square in front of the hotel is a popular place for the locals to light their fireworks.