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Stocking Up on Christmas Cheer in Stockholm, Sweden

While exploring Copenhagen, we made the decision to extend our journey to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Getting from Copenhagen to Stockholm is convenient, with options such as planes or trains available. I highly recommend combining visits to both cities in a single trip. We chose the latter option, enjoying a pleasant and relaxing 5-hour train ride, which proved to be much less stressful than the typical airport experience.

Stockholm offers a diverse range of attractions, from museums and markets to charming cafes and restaurants. The city becomes particularly enchanting during winter, adorned with delightful Christmas decorations and hosting markets in both Gamla Stan, the old town, and Skansen, an open-air museum.


Come along as I share the highlights of our Stockholm adventure, and discover why planning a visit during the holiday season is a spectacular choice. Read on for more details!


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Gamla Stan

Explore the true essence of a Stockholm winter by immersing yourself in the Christmas Market located at Stortorget (Big Square) in the heart of Gamla Stan, the Old Town. Wander through quaint red-painted wooden stalls showcasing a variety of Christmas crafts and ornaments, while indulging in snacks and warming beverages like mulled wine or hot chocolate.

 

Skansen

Skansen, a sprawling open-air museum, boasts houses and farmsteads representing various regions of the country. The highlight of our Skansen visit was the bustling Christmas market, open on weekends throughout the holiday season. Additionally, for an extra fee, you could embark on the mesmerizing "Winter Lights" walk.

Be sure not to overlook the opportunity to attend a concert at Seglora Church, an 18th-century church. During our visit, we enjoyed the melodic tunes of the Stockholm Singers, who filled the air with the festive spirit through their renditions of Christmas carols.


At the Christmas Market located in the center of Skansen, we got elk meat in a flatbread cone and some fluffy pancake balls topped with raspberry, whipped cream, and marshmallows (as pictured below). The elk meat was a pleasant surprise, delivering a truly enjoyable flavor.

 

Vasa Museum

The Vasa Museum is devoted to the sole surviving 17th-century ship in the world. Housing the nearly fully intact warship that famously sank on its maiden voyage in 1628, the museum provides insights into the reasons behind its demise (hint: a combination of subpar design and time constraints).


Visitors can explore the intriguing journey of its discovery, delve into its intricate design, and gain a vivid understanding of what life might have been like for sailors during that era. The museum stands out as one of the most fascinating historical museums I've visited and is undoubtedly a must-see when exploring Stockholm.

 

City Hall

Renowned as one of Sweden's most iconic structures, Stockholm's City Hall stands as a top-tier tourist destination. Apart from housing offices for the Municipal Council, it boasts grand ceremonial halls and unique artworks. Notably, the venue hosts the prestigious Nobel Prize banquet annually on December 10th—an event we narrowly missed during our visit.

For a comprehensive experience of City Hall, I highly recommend the 45-minute tour. This immersive journey allows you to explore key rooms, unravel architectural marvels, and gain insights into the building's history. Among the highlights is the unforgettable Golden Hall, adorned with a mesmerizing mosaic of gold.

 

Festive Decor

The city comes alive with vibrant lights and festive decorations, creating a magical atmosphere perfect for leisurely strolls. Central Stockholm is adorned with over 40 streets and squares featuring charming lights and miniature bulb strands shaped like reindeer, angels, and more.


Given the limited daylight hours during a typical winter's day in Stockholm, this dazzling display of bright lights serves as a cheerful and welcome addition to the cityscape.


 

Foodie Highlights

Östermalm Saluhall - Food Hall

Situated in the bustling center of Stockholm, Östermalm Saluhall is a historic market hall dating back to 1888, showcasing gourmet foods and diverse restaurants. Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a snack in the atmospheric Victorian food hall, this is an excellent choice. During our early morning visit for breakfast, we enjoyed cappuccinos and Swedish cinnamon buns.

Kryp In

Located in Gamla Stan, Kryp In offers a warm and inviting setting, serving up comforting homemade Swedish dishes. My husband opted for the "Meatballs", accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and lingonberries, while I chose the "Pumpkin Gnocchi" with roasted broccolini, parmesan, black cabbage, and burnt cream. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals, savoring the homey atmosphere of the restaurant.

Bistro Bestick

Undoubtedly, Bistro Bestick stands out as one of the culinary highlights from our entire trip. Opting for a three-course meal, we were consistently impressed with every dish. The generous portions left me incredibly full. Our entrees, featuring "Fired Char," a cold-water fish, and "Tender Flank Steak," were exceptional. The desserts, including crème brûlée and blueberry cheesecake, were nothing short of divine.

 

In summary, Stockholm was a fantastic addition to our winter/Christmas journey. With our limited timeframe of 1.5 days, there were still numerous attractions we missed out on. In hindsight, allocating 3 or 4 days would have been more ideal for a more comprehensive exploration of the city.


Thanks for reading!

- The Maine Chick

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