Should you visit Stockholm in winter?

Should you visit Stockholm in winter?

If the cold is something that doesn’t bother you then visiting Stockholm in Winter is actually a great Winter City Break! It is a city that really shines and comes into its own a Winter! 

Why visit Stockholm in winter

Stockholm in winter – you know it’s going to be cold but there are plenty of things that you can do in winter and in fact there are some great reasons why it is better to visit Stockholm in winter

  1. Stockholm gets incredibly busy during summer and can sometimes can have several cruise ships in port at once! These cruises don’t run in winter so you are guaranteed to see the city at its quietest during winter!
  2. It is a beautiful city to experience Christmas in or perhaps the scandy festival of St Lucia! Plus it has some lovely Christmas markets!
  3. The dark nights add to the atmosphere and is the Sweden you imagine!
  4. The cold makes it easier to enjoy the Swedish tradition of fika (coffee breaks)
  5. The city looks beautiful covered in snow and ice!

The truth about visiting Stockholm in winter

It is bloomin cold – I mean really cold! You need to have plenty of layers and lots of indoor stops but if you are prepared it’s fine! Even our desert dwelling baby coped with the right clothes! The temperatures range from x to y in winter!

When I mentioned the dark I meant it! The sun comes up around 9 and is down again by 3. For us it actually added to our Christmas city break as the lights started twinkling earlier and you felt like you were really experiencing winter!

Best things to do in Stockholm in winter

If you are planning on visiting more than one of the below attractions you may want to consider purchasing a Stockholm pass – you can find out about all the inclusions and costs here! 

Must see outdoor activities in Stockholm

Walking tour of Gamla Stad

Touristy – yes! Worthy doing – absolutely! Either go independently or on an organized walking tour! Gamla Stad is the historic old town of Stockholm and is marked by beautiful matchbox colorful houses!

If you are visiting in the run up to Christmas the centre of the old Town will be filled with traditional Swedish Christmas markets!

You can book your walking tour here! 

Skansen

Stockholm’s outdoor living history museum! One of my favorite places in the city! I love exploring the traditional architecture of the country whilst learning about everyday life in the past!

But again, in the run up to Christmas Skansen hosts an outdoor and very traditional Christmas market! I loved standing around the open fires drinking hot chocolate and mulled wine!

On top of the markets and the museum, there is also a Nordic zoo! I am not usually a fan of zoos but I enjoyed seeing the local animals in their natural habitat!

Skansen is included on the Stockholm Pass and if you are planning on visiting multiple attractions this will be a money saver! You can find more about the Stockholm Pass here! 

Best Indoor activities in Stockholm Winter

Beings a city set up for Winter means that there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you amused and out of the cold! Some of my favorites are:

Abba museum

Cheese at its best! The Abba Museum is an interactive museum wonder and has an infectious happy spirit that will thaw even the most frozen of visitors!

Vasa museum

My favorite indoor museum in Stockholm! The Vasa Museum named after the ship it houses, that sank mere minutes after it set sail in  1628. After almost 300 hundreds on the seabed, the Vasa shipwreck was discovered and recovered and housed in the museum. The ship is preserved like a fossil due to the makeup of the waters of the Swedish sea which means it is almost perfectly in tact from the day it sank and is 99% original ship! If you are traveling with kids there are plenty of children’s activities to keep the littles entertained

Tip: Entry is free with a Stockholm Pass

Family Friendly Tip: If you are traveling with kids then why not nip in next door to the children museum which houses a great Pippi Longstocking Exhibition!

Fika

Fika is basically a Swedish National Tradition which is most akin to a coffee break! There is nothing like darting in and out of cafes for tea and cake in between exploring the city!

Royal Palace

Open to the public and housing not one but five museums inside but my favorite thing about exploring the royal palace is looking at all of the regal architecture and furnishings!

Winter Swedish Cultural activities

Sauna

Saunas are a great way to unwind after a day exploring the city in Winter!

Skiing

The weather isn’t always guaranteed to be ski perfect in the run up to Christmas but if you are visiting in Winter, take part in one of Sweden’s favorite outdoor activities! We didn’t partake as I think I would have been coming home in plaster cast if I did! A popular and nearby ski resort to the city centre is Hammarbybacken!

Where to Stay in Stockholm in Winter

Grand Hotel Stockholm – conveniently located next to the Swedish Royal Palace

Radisson Blu Stockholm – a beautiful waterfront property

Hilton Stockholm Slussen

What to wear in Stockholm in winter

Packing light when visiting Stockholm in Winter really isn’t an option! For a trip to Stockholm in the Winter you will need

Layers

And plenty of them!

Thermals

For the coldest of days you may want your thermals with you! I always like a pair of thermal leggings!

Gloves, hat and scarves

It snows, it gets icy – its blooming freezing – you will need a hat, gloves and scarf!

Shoes with a good sole! 

If you are up and out early you may encounter some slippery streets so be sure to have good soles on your shoes unless you fancy going skating!

For Kids – you are definitely going to need a snowsuit!

Have you been to Stockholm in Winter – how was your trip? What were your highlights?

And if you are looking for other great winter experiences in Scandinavia then check out this post on Copenhagen!

Why you should visit Stockholm in winter - visiting Stockholm in winter

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24 Comments

  1. October 5, 2018 / 11:18 am

    I love visiting places off season and even more if there are twinkling lights! Sounds like a lovely city to soak up some festive charm.

  2. October 6, 2018 / 8:13 am

    It really goes look beautiful covered in snow. Stockholm in winter is definitely on my bucket list! Those wolves are adorable.

  3. October 6, 2018 / 8:27 am

    I’ve only ever visited Stockholm in the autumn when it’s cool but not bitterly cold. But you’ve convinced me! Gamla Stan looks gorgeous with Christmas lights, and who can resist fika? And there’s something so wonderfully festive about Scandinavian cities.

  4. October 6, 2018 / 8:36 am

    It sounds lovely as long as you wrap up warm! Your pics are fab and full of winter spirit. Definitely saving this for a hopefully-future trip!

  5. October 6, 2018 / 9:08 am

    It actually seems quite cosy in the winter. And that Abba Museum sounds so awesome too!

  6. October 6, 2018 / 9:25 am

    I was born in Stockholm and grew up in the suburbs of it, but live in England now and don’t miss Sweden one bit. But I can definitely see how it can be a beautiful place to visit as a tourist, and I think your post is pretty spot on about the things to do. Skansen and the Vasa Museum are both super! If you have young kids, another nice place is Junibacken, which is a kind of indoor play museum based mainly around the characters in Astrid Lindgren’s childrens’ books. Also, there are boat trips out into the archipelago in the winter too, that can be a lovely experience as well.
    One thing though: it’s not always ice and snow in Stockholm in the winter. Sometimes it’s relatively mild and grey. So while it can be stunning when frosty with a bit of snow, it’s not as charming when it’s +2 degrees and raining or slushy lol x

    • October 6, 2018 / 9:31 am

      Yes we experienced both of those bits of weather and snow is def nicer

  7. Renee
    October 6, 2018 / 9:41 am

    I miss city breaks. However my husband and I need to make time for ourselves and a winter break in Stockholm sounds magical. Especially before Christmas. Thank you x

  8. October 6, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Generally I like sun on holiday but this looks so beautiful and Christmassy that it really makes me want to go
    Debbie

  9. October 6, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    Looks beautiful, I’m hoping to go solo traveling again next year. Stockholm is definitely on the list.

  10. October 6, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    Looks beautiful, I’m hoping to go solo traveling again next year. Stockholm is definitely on the list.

  11. October 6, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    I cannot believe how gorgeous Stockholm looks in the pictures. I would love to see it in the winter and visit the museums too.

  12. October 6, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    Aw this looks beautiful and you all look so snuggly! Onto my travel list it goes!

  13. October 7, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Wow it looks so beautiful in winter. I would absolutely love to go, love that they have a tradition that revolves around drinking coffee!!

  14. October 9, 2018 / 10:47 am

    I was there once in winder and agree it is cold (and dark!)

  15. October 9, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Stockholm is so gorgeous, I have only visited in Autumn though, but I have good experience of what Scandinavian Winters can be like. Tempted to book for my anniversary in December now! 😀 x

  16. October 9, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    I’ve been to Stockholm in the winter and I loved it! Your gorgeous photos make me wan to go back. As long as you have warm clothes it’s an amazing holiday!

  17. October 10, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    I want, want want to go! You can’t beat a Scandinavian country for Christmassy cosiness. I’ve never been to Stockholm, and I think winter would be my preferred season for that first trip.

  18. October 10, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Oh I totally want to visit!! Stockholm in winter is definitely on my bucket list and I think it would be my favourite time visit!!

  19. October 10, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    You’ve convinced me! I always thought it would be too cold in winter, but it sounds pretty magical! One to throw in the mix for next year’s travel plans, me thinks.

  20. October 23, 2018 / 10:24 am

    I think places like this can be absolutely magical in Winter, I think the challenge of the weather is what makes the celebrations they have at this time of year so special. I would definitely visit here in winter

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