Christmas is coming! As a KI student, you will not really have a long christmas holiday. But if you can manage to finish all the study assignments well before christmas, I believe you can have a merry Christmas 🙂 Here I will share some festive activities to do in Stockholm during the Christmas season. Fortunately, these activities are also quite cheap (“Cheap” is important for students, right?)
1. Visit the julmarknad
Julmarknad is the Swedish word for Christmas market. Swedish Christmas market is full with Swedish tradition and foods. You can easily find and buy glögg (authentic Swedish wine rich in spice), knäck (Christmas Buttscotch), colorful Swedish candies, handicrafts, or some traditional ornaments. You don’t want to buy anything? Just visit the Christmas market to feel the real Christmas atmosphere!
Christmas markets usually open every weekend, start from early November. There are some nice and beautiful traditional Christmas markets in Stockholm, such as in Gamla Stan, Skansen, Drottningholm Palace, and Rosendal Palace.
2. Try ice skating
Stockholm has a few free ice skating rinks. One of the most popular rinks is at Kungsträdgården. It usually starts to open from the end of October. You don’t have your own ice skates? Don’t worry, you can rent them there with only 75 SEK.
Beside the usual ice skating rinks, you can also try to skate on the frozen lakes if the weather has been cold enough! I remember many lakes in Stockholm had been frozen during the Christmas season last year. Unfortunately, this Christmas we probably cannot do that since the weather is not so cold. Anyway, don’t forget to check the website Stockholm.se before you try ice skating on a frozen lake. On the website, they update the information about which lakes are safe to skate on.
3. Build a gingerbread house
For an Asian like me, building a gingerbread house during Christmas season is totally not my family tradition. I could even barely find a store selling this kind of stuffs in my home country. That’s way, last Christmas in Stockholm, I felt so excited to build a gingerbread house with my family. All the materials to build it are so easy to find in the grocery stores.
My family and I also tried to mold and bake our own gingerbread cookies. This activity and all the chit-chat in it really made my heart warm in the midst of cold and dark Stockholm in this month.
4. Try the Swedish julbordJul in Swedish means Christmas and bord means table. It is basically a buffet with various courses. But there are some compulsory courses that are always served in julbord, including julskinka (ham), gravad lax (raw cold salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill), köttbullar (Swedish meatball), rödbetssallad (beetroot salad), knäckebröd (crispbread), and julmust (Swedish soft drink consumed during Christmas season). FYI, the price for julbord is usually cheaper in lunch time than in dinner time.
5. Decorate your Christmas tree with Swedish Christmas ornaments
Several scientific articles reported that decorating Christmas tree can make someone happier. Do you agree with that? Take a chance to decorate your Christmas tree with Swedish Christmas ornaments when you are in Sweden! Some ideas of the ornaments could be the dalahäst (Swedish Dala horse), jultomte (Sweden’s father Christmas or santa clause), tomtemor (the wife of jultomte), and many more.
You can also read about the Swedish Christmas traditions by DA Anne Flint. Lastly, I wish you all a very merry Christmas!