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
- 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!
- It is a beautiful city to experience Christmas in or perhaps the scandy festival of St Lucia! Plus it has some lovely Christmas markets!
- The dark nights add to the atmosphere and is the Sweden you imagine!
- The cold makes it easier to enjoy the Swedish tradition of fika (coffee breaks)
- 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
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!
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:
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!
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 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!
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
Saunas are a great way to unwind after a day exploring the city in Winter!
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
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
And plenty of them!
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!