Everyone who told me about amazing things in Sweden said that one of the most beautiful times is Stockholm during Christmas. From the lit up gorgeous streets and decorations to the food and beautiful events that are put on this time of year the whole city is alive. And I must say, I was not disappointed in the least. It really crept up on me until one evening I was walking in the city and realized that 80% of the windows in every building had candles in them and it was gorgeous. Amazing seeing a normally dark apartment block in the city, now lit up by the faint illumination of a candle in every window, together providing warmth to the street. And the decorations were just beginning. As the 25th came closer, more and more Christmas markets, or “Julmarknad” in Swedish, began popping up all over the city. With all kinds of traditional Swedish Christmas food and hand crafted gifts, it was a wonderfully comfortable place to just go look around or do some Christmas shopping.
During the winter time, in the middle of the city in a park called Kungsträdgården they isolate an area around a large statue and have an outdoor ice skating ring! It is a very popular spot for people to go and spend a few hours in the winter. It is free for anyone with skates but since I didn’t have any, rentals there were still very affordable. I had never been skating outdoors before so when I went with a few friends, it was a new and very fun experience.
Wherever you go in Stockholm during the Christmas season you will find something great to do, but one of the most well known and wonderful things during this time of year in Sweden is the food and especially the Julbord. Swedish Christmas food comes in a plethora of delicious varieties ranging from Swedish fish, meatballs and ham to all sorts of different baked cookies deserts and drinks. I fortunately had the pleasure of being treated to a real Swedish Julbord at a restaurant one evening and it was glorious. A Julbord is basically a large buffet style feast with all different kinds of foods traditionally served as a 7 course dinner with different drinks to go with each plate. Much of the time today people have less courses but if you follow the traditional 7, let me tell you, by the last plate you will feel as if you wont need to eat for days. But it is a wonder feeling.
This was the first time I had ever been to Sweden during the winter and Christmas time, but it definitely lived up to its expectations.