Stockholm Christmas Calendar and Markets 2021

As we all know, there weren't many Christmas activities last year in Stockholm (and the rest of the world). Markets, concerts, smorgasbord dinners were all pretty much canceled. So people are quite happy and looking forward to a more normal Christmas season in Stockholm. Here you have the dates for the various Christmas markets in the city as well as other important dates in the holiday calendar!

There are several Christmas markets going on in the city during the holiday season and you will always have at least one to visit every day between November 20th and December 23rd. No markets open after the 23rd. The main market is daily while others are only on the weekends or specific dates. These are a great place to visit to get into the spirit, enjoy some traditional glögg (spiced wine) and seasonal treats and purchase Swedish Christmas ornaments, toys and holiday food.

Market in Gamla Stan

  • Gamla Stan (old town)- This is the main and most well-known Christmas market. Located in the main square (Stortorget) of the old town which gives it extra ambiance. Just a 15 minute walk from Hotel Rival! Open daily between 11am and 6pm from Nov 20th to Dec 23rd. 
  • Skansen- Also a very well known market, located in Skansen which is an open-air museum, park and zoo. Open every Friday through Sunday (10am to 4pm), between Nov 26th and Dec 19th. See how Christmas was celebrated in Sweden over 100 years ago. 
  • Konstfack (College of Arts, Crafts and Design)- annual Christmas market put on by the students one weekend every year. This year they will have it on Nov 27th and 28th (10am to 5pm). Located in the southern suburbs. 
  • Kungliga Hovstallet (Royal Stables)- Combine a visit to the stables with some traditional Christmas shopping. Pet horses and shop! Open on Nov 27th (10am to 7pm) and 28th (10am to 5pm). Located in the downtown area.
    Market at Hovstallet

  • Bondens Egen Marknad (Farmers' market)- in the four Saturdays leading up to Christmas (10am to 3pm- Nov 27th, Dec 4th, 11th, and 18th), the popular farmers' market turns into a Christmas market. Laid back and local. Located in the Sofo district in Södermalm. 
  • Drottningholm- A little outside of the city, in the royal palace and home of the king & queen. They have a market there on Dec 4th (10am to 5pm) and 6th (10am to 4pm). 
  • Sigtuna- Also a little outside of the city in the historic town of Sigtuna. Their market is between 11am and 4pm on the four Sundays before Christmas (Nov 28th, Dec 5th, 12th and 19th).

Besides the Christmas markets, there are many other holiday events and activities to note in your calendar if you will be visiting us this season. Here are some important dates:
  • Nov 13th- the lighting of Stockholm's official Christmas lights. The display incorporates hundreds of thousands of LED lights and can be found decorating over 40 streets and squares in the downtown area. We will have a special map of the displays at the Hotel Rival. 
  • Nov 21st- this date has historically been called "skyltsöndag", the Sunday when holiday window displays go up. Stockholm's most famous one is the NK department store where parents from far and wide take children to see this year's window display and meet Santa Claus (jultomten).
    NK department store

  • Nov 26th- this is the starting date for the gingerbread house competition/exhibition at ArkDes. The competition is open to pretty much everyone and they have three categories... professional bakers and architects, children under the age of 12 and anyone who loves to bake. The exhibition runs until Jan 9th. Fun for the eyes and the nose...
  • Dec 10th- Nobel Day. This is the day when the Nobel prizes are traditionally presented in Stockholm. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, no physical ceremony will take place. You can learn more about the prizes and their history at the Nobel Prize Museum.
  • Dec 13th- St Lucia Day. A traditional favorite on the Swedish calendar, when children walk in a candle-lit procession, singing traditional songs in churches, malls, hospitals and event venues around the country. More information.
When it comes to Christmas itself, it is good to know that we celebrate the holiday more on the 24th than the 25th. Santa Claus actually visits homes in the evening, handing out presents to (good) children. This means that stores and restaurants may have different general opening hours than you have back at home. Most restaurants are closed both days, stores generally early on the 24th and stay closed on the 25th. I will write more about this later. 
Carolers at Hovstallet


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