Stockholm may be cold and dark during winter but the Old Town Christmas Market is warm and full of light. Located in one of the oldest and most historic areas in Northern Europe, the Old Town Christmas Market, or Gamla Stan as it’s known in Swedish, is a Christmas and holiday staple that locals and visitors from all over the world come to experience.
The first Old Town Christmas Market on record was held in 1523 at the main square. It was very common during the Middle Ages for German-speaking countries to host a market during the holiday season, with one of the oldest Christmas Markets being held in Dresden, Germany in 1434. It’s unknown if the Christmas Market in Stockholm was held every year since its launch in 1523, however, the current market has been ongoing since 1837, with the exception of the years between 1907 and 1914.
The Old Town Christmas Market is a great place to try traditional Swedish foods and beverages, as well as a fun way to pick up some fun handmade crafts or gifts to help decorate your home for the holidays. Try a steaming cup of fresh mulled wine or glögg, as it’s known in Sweden, sample or purchase some smoked sausages, and maybe even dare to try some smoked reindeer.
Since Stockholm winters are known to be a bit chilly, maybe you’ll decide on purchasing a handmade knitted hat. Or if you are looking to spruce up your home with traditional Swedish items, why not go for a doll of Tomten? The Swedish version of Santa Claus or a Saint Lucia sculpture is a big part of the Swedish Christmas culture.
The Old Town Christmas Market is open daily from 11am to 6pm and is located in Stortorget Square, which is found near the Royal Palace. The final day of the Old Town Christmas Market is December 23, so make sure to stop by while you have the chance.