HomeStockholmWinter in Stockholm - Museums, tours and activities

Winter in Stockholm – Museums, tours and activities

Planning to visit Stockholm this winter? Stockholm has a lot to offer no matter the season. From centuries-old traditions, to cozy candlelit cafés and a wide range of activities for any age – a bit of snow has never stopped Stockholm from having a good time.

Traditions of light: Advent, Lucia, and Christmas

As the city gradually becomes darker, cooler and blanketed in fresh snow – something magical begins to happen. Streets are draped in bright strings of light, while windows start to warmly glow with Advent candles and lanterns, as the city transforms into a cozy winter wonderland. They also mark the anticipated countdown to Christmas.

Aside from Advent, there are many traditions practiced by Swedes to keep darkness at bay, though none are as famous as Lucia Day. Early in the morning on December 13th, Lucia and her maidens begin their procession of light. Wearing a crown of candles, Lucia sings carols and serves saffron-flavored buns (lussekatter), sweet mulled wine (glögg) and gingerbread biscuits (pepparkakor) to all those in need of a bit of light. But don’t worry if you happen to miss the procession – you can still find these treats all winter long.

Walk then wander: Old Town, Royal Djurgården, and art in the subway

Consider starting the day wandering through the cobblestoned alleys of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s well preserved old town. In winter this district feels like something from a storybook, serving as home to a Stockholm’s most famous Christmas market, an array of cultural landmarks and many quaint cafés. But keep your eyes peeled – some of the best places to stop for a fika are down in cozy candlelit cellars.

Another option is visiting one of Stockholm’s most popular areas, Royal Djurgården. The island collects many of Stockholm’s must-see attractions in one place and all within walking distance from each other. The greenhouse at Rosendals Trädgård and Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, are particularly beautiful when decorated for the season. And don’t forget to visit the ABBA Museum while you are on Djurgården.

Believe it or not, but one of the city’s not-to-be-missed exhibitions is right under your nose in Stockholm’s subway (tunnelbanan) stations. Said to be the world’s longest art exhibit, travelling through them is a journey in itself – spanning generations, mediums and styles.

Catch a glimpse: Winter boat tour, ice hockey, and bandy

One of the best ways to get a view of Stockholm is by boat. Head to the port at Strömkajen and take the Stockholm Winter Tour. This 75-minute boat tour will take you along the coast of Djurgården and around the islands of Fjäderholmarna. If you’re lucky there will be plenty of ice on the water for the ship to break through. See link below for tickets.

The cold isn’t bad! While most visitors are familiar with hockey, bandy has been described as football (soccer) on the ice. See the difference for yourself, find a match and compare.

Dress warm: Hellasgården recreational area, Kungstädgården ice rink, and shopping

Only 15 minutes away from Slussen station stands Hellasgården, a popular recreational area at one of Sweden’s finest nature reserves. Here visitors can ski, skate, and take part in the Swedish winter tradition of alternating between sauna and ice baths. Don’t want to get wet? Take a stroll around the reserve and heat up with some soup at restaurant Storstugan.

Still want to skate, but not looking to leave the big city? Gliding around the ice rink at Kungstädgården is a must for many winter visitors to Stockholm.

To stay warm and fashionable at the same time, check out some distinctly Swedish brands like Stutterheim or Whyred, and the curated selection at shops like Grandpa.

Don’t miss Scandinavian interior design in stores like Designmarknad Sthlm or Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) either. With luck you may even make it in time for the Christmas sales.


If you find the weather particularly uncooperative, Stockholm has over 80 museums and attractions for you to explore during your visit.

We recommend the totally renovated Nationalmuseum, which reopened a year ago.

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  Sightseeing tours, activities and entrance tickets

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Stockholm in February

Gingerbread houses at ArkDes Museum in Stockholm 2019/2020

Gingerbread houses at ArkDes Museum, runs until early January

Christmas market at Skansen

Christmas market at Skansen

Christmas lighting Stockholm

Chritmas lighting in the city centre, here at Nybroplan

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Source: This article is partly based on material provided by Visit Stockholm. Featured image: Jeppe Wikström, via Visit Stockholm. Photo #3: Skansen. Photo #4: City i Samverkan.

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