December can be a stressful month for everyone, with final exams, Christmas planning and the end of the year! So visiting the Swedish capital at this time of year will give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful Nordic city.
What makes Stockholm unique is that it is incredibly busy while at the same time very quiet and relaxing. The streets are always filled with people and activities, such as sports, museums, shopping and seasonal events. Here are a few ways you can spend your serene vacation.
Sweden is the dream destination for sports lovers. With an average temperature of minus 1 degree Celsius in December and minus 3 degrees Celsius in January, there are several activities you can try out such as:
- Ice skating at a rink in the center of Kungsträdgården.
- Ice-fishing or long-distance skating at a frozen lake.
- A day trip to Hammarbybacken, located right outside of the city, where you can go skiing and snowmobiling.
Stockholm has plenty of interesting and educational museums for all tastes in history, music, art and science.
- Because of the country's rich Viking and medieval history, there are several museums dedicated to different decades, such as the Vasa Museum, Swedish History Museum and the Nordic Museum.
- For science-based ones, there is the Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Science and Technology.
- Skansen, the world's oldest open-air museum, lets you experience Swedish life before the industrial era.
- For music lovers, there are many music-related museums such as the ABBA Museum, dedicated to the Swedish band.
- Swedes are fans of modern art and photography, and you can check out their work at the Museum of Modern Art and the Fotografiska Museum.
Cafés & seasonal treats
Since it is cold for a large part of the year, the city is filled with cozy cafés, restaurants and bars where people can hang out indoors and enjoy Christmas-y treats.
- Warm glögg (mulled wine) and pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) are served at all times of the day during this season in cute booths and restaurants.
- Espresso House is a beloved coffee shop that serves delicious drinks and traditional Swedish snacks. In Stockholm you will find coffee shops on almost every street.
- Swedish cafés have a laid-back and casual style to them, with candles, cozy couches and plants that will make you feel right at home.
Sweden, especially Stockholm, has been acknowledged for being an iconic fashion location due to its simple but elegant style.
- Many high fashion brands such as ACNE, Filippa K, Tiger of Sweden, WesSC and others hail from Sweden.
- Walking down the streets of Stockholm is like being on an outdoor runway, since Swedish people are so effortlessly fashionable. In winter, it might be difficult to be able to see outfits, but it is nice to see how Stockholmers get fashionably creative in this season.
- Youngsters who want more affordable clothes should check out Bik Bok, GinaTricot, Cheap Monday and Monki, which are Scandinavian brands found all over Stockholm.
- Make sure not to miss H&M. Their Swedish stores are even better than the ones around the world because not only do they have clothes, but they also have a large section of beauty products and H&M Home, which sells home decor.
Since Stockholm is located in the Nordic region, there are several unique features that come with the territory, especially during winter.
- Unexpected sunsets at 3 p.m. Can you imagine being able to watch the sun set every day in the middle of the day?
- Saunas are a big part of the Swedish culture, and they can be found in many places in the city, including at hotels and hostels.
- There are ice bars all over the world, but how unique would it be to actually go to an ice bar in an icy country – especially when it is sponsored by the country's leading Absolut Vodka and Ice Hotel. At the hotel, you can have drinks at the Nordic-themed ice bar at minus 7 degrees and learn how to create ice sculptures.
Since Stockholm is the capital of Scandinavia, leading the region's commerce, education, fashion and sustainability, it is no surprise that the country functions extremely well, providing a stress-free trip.
- English is fluently spoken by the majority of the people, so if you are lost in the middle of Gamla Stan (Old Town) and ask someone for help, they will most likely be able to help you.
- There is easy access to Wi-Fi almost everywhere at cafés, restaurants, stores, malls, convenience stores and other places, making it much easier to find your location on maps and decide where to go next.
- Swedish tap water is extremely clean and every café, restaurant and bar offers free water.
Winter is the off-season in Stockholm, making round-trip flights super affordable! Flights from New York can be found as low as $315 and from LA for just $342.
Swedes are very private and reserved, so if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing trip where people won't disturb you, Stockholm is the perfect place for you.