Whether you're spending your first holiday season in Sweden, or you're a seasoned old-timer in the land of dark and snow, one thing you can't miss if you want to have a real Swedish Christmas is a julmarknad or Christmas market.
Swedes of all ages love to spend the weekends leading up to Christmas pottering about these Christmas markets, poring over traditional handicrafts, buying saffron for their lussebullar, or searching for the perfect Christmas ornaments.
Don't know where to look to find a julmarknad in the Swedish capital?
The Local has put together a handy list of markets for you - whether you're the traditional type, or want something a little more on the alternative side!
The julmarknad above all others. Open-air museum Skansen has held this Christmas market every year since 1903. If you're looking for something ultra-traditional, this is the place to go. Selling everything from traditional sweets to Swedish crafts to the tones of a Christmas choir – all in a picturesque setting – you're unlikely to find more Christmas spirit anywhere.
This market is open 10 am - 4 pm every weekend until Christmas. Click here for more information.
The little red sheds on Stortorget in Gamla Stan are open every day between 11 am and 6 pm. This is the right place to find homemade sausages, mustards and jams, and anything else you might care to serve for Christmas dinner. If you get peckish shopping for all that food, stop off with a snack of roasted almonds. Weekends here get busy, so if you're the slightest bit averse to large crowds, make sure to come on a weekday. For more information, click here.
Students from some of Stockholm's art colleges gather at Folkuniversitetet's Christmas market to sell their creations. Come here to find unique Christmas gifts - everything from jewelry to cement sculptures is on sale here, and they also offer a chance to print your own Christmas cards in their workshop.
This market is open Saturday, December 4th, 11 am - 3 pm, at Kungstensgatan 45. Click here for more information.
Why not kill two birds with one stone and buy your gifts whilst simultaneously doing a good deed to get you in the Christmas spirit? The charity organisation Stadsmissionen's Christmas market, on Stortorget in Gamla Stan, has both great second-hand gifts and home-baked cakes, and all proceeds go to their social work with Stockholm's homeless.
This market is open December 4th - 5th, 11 am - 4 pm. For more informaion, click here.
The prestigious Beckman's College of Design opens their doors to the public for one weekend, and offers creative and sustainable designs, all produced by the art students themselves. Find a screen-print you won't see anywhere else, or refrigerator magnets made out of a computer keyboard. Anything's possible here.
Open December 11th - December 12th, 11 am - 5 pm. For more info, click here.
A cozy day out in Rosendal on Djurgården would even put the Grinch in the Christmas spirit. Take a walk in the gardens, and then warm up with a coffee and eco-friendly cakes in their café. Rosendal's shop sells all the cookies, cakes and breads you'll need for Christmas dinner.
Open every day between 11 am and 4 pm. More information can be found, here.
If you're sick of Christmas shopping hysteria, but still need to buy a few presents, Schysst Jul might be the place for you. This is an alternative Christmas market, selling only Fair Trade goods, produced with respect for human rights. Find your gifts and take a break with a Fair Trade-coffee, all with a clear conscience.
This market is open December 4th, 11 am - 5 pm, and December 5th, 11 am - 4 pm, on Sveavägen 41. For more info, click here.
Shoppers looking to venture out of central Stockholm may want to check out the annual Christmas market at Drottningholm Palace. Visitors will find a wide assortment of Swedish delicacies and crafts to choose from. And what better way to take a break from a shopping spree than with a tour of one of the Royal family's most treasured properties.
The market runs December 4th-5th. For more information, click here.
By Clara Guibourg