Christmas Inspiration!

Stortorget Christmas market where you can try...
Ok... the next few weeks will be mostly dedicated to what is happening here in Stockholm over the holidays. I will posting articles about the opening hours for stores, museums and sightseeing tours as well as other articles about gingerbread competitions, Lucia, shopping and, of course, New Year's Eve. I have already written about Christmas markets as well as a general overview of the holidays. If your name is Ebenezer Scrooge, then let me apologize in advance for the deluge of Christmas information.
glögg or buy...
To start off with... a little inspiration! I took a long walk through the city with a friend last week and took some pictures of the decorations and holiday happenings. No snow at the time, but we have had a colder than normal November (with snow) and the forecast is for a snowy and cold winter this year. Fingers crossed that we have a white Christmas!
Christmas ornaments and more.
I started in Gamla Stan and made a visit to the city's main Christmas market, located on the square Stortorget. This popular market is open every day, from 11am to 6pm, until Dec 23rd. This is a great place to get yourself into the holiday spirit, buy some Christmas ornaments/delicacies and try glögg (hot, spiced wine).
The tree on Skeppsbron being decorated.
I then walked down to the Gamla Stan waterfront to see the preparations for the big official Christmas tree. Touted as one of the largest in the world (38 meters tall), it is lit up all season and can be seen from different points along the city's waterfronts. When I was there, they were still decorating the tree... but it is all lit up now.
Ice skating rink, fun for all ages!
Next I walked across the bridge to the park Kungsträdgården. This park is as central as you can get in Stockholm and is close to the main shopping districts. In the park you will find the popular outdoor ice skating rink. It is open daily, all winter, until 9pm. If you don't have any skates you can rent them there (70 SEK per hour for adults, 30 SEK for children). No skate rentals on Dec 24th.
People lined up to see the NK window displays...
Across the street from the park is the NK department store. Besides the obvious shopping possibilities, the store's holiday decorations are popular... both inside and in the store windows. The unveiling of the window decorations is a big Stockholm tradition and most families make a pilgrimage to see what this year's windows look like.
...especially popular wiht little ones.
We ended our walk looking at some of Stockholm's official Christmas light displays. Every year they decorate and light up the downtown area with thousands of LED lights. Some hanging over streets, some along bridges while others in the form of woodland animals. One of the most popular light displays come in the form of a herd of moose and can be found at Nybroviken. Here at the Rival Hotel we have a special map showing all of the Christmas lights and decorations. The map even has recommended walks to best view the light displays. Just pick one up at the Concierge desk!
The square Norrmalmstorg.
The street Biblioteksgatan.
Moose on the loose... 


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