Stockholm looks beautiful throughout the year. It looks even more spectacular for tourists visiting from the more southerly locations; for them, this is like a winter wonderland. The city is situated on 14 of the 30,000 islands that constitute the larger Stockholm archipelago. During winter, the water surrounding the city freezes over and snow dust cover the hilltops of Södermalm, making Stockholm look like a city straight out of a Christmas card. Apart from its striking look during winter, this city offers a variety of things to do during this season. And the good thing is, most of these activities are affordable. Let’s take a look at 7 things to do in Stockholm.
Visit Vasa Museum in Stockholm
Let’s be honest: the winter season in Stockholm can be brutal. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to spend too much time outdoors.
A better way to spend your time would be to explore some of the coolest museums in the city, starting with Vasa Museum. This museum is actually named after the 1628 Vasa Ship that sunk in Stockholm, just a couple of minutes after taking off. After almost three centuries, remains of the ship were found and preserved in the museum.
Currently, this is the only conserved ship from the 17th century in the whole world. If you’d like to see this and more stunning things, you should enrol for one of the museum’s guided tours and screenings.
Go Skiing at Hammarbybacken Ski Resort
I am not an expert skier. Many are the times I’ve injured myself trying to go down a hill when strapped to planks of wood.
But if you love skiing, Stockholm has some of the best ski resorts. One particular one that has become a hotspot for locals and visitors alike is the Hammarbybacken Ski Resort. This resort comprises a snow park with multiple slopes. Whether you want to go snowboarding or skiing, this resort is the perfect place to go to. And the good thing is these slopes are tailored for people across all ages and levels. So, even kids can go skiing while enjoying a beautiful view of the city.
Take a Walking Tour at Gamla Stan
One of the things that shouldn’t miss in your itinerary is taking a walk through the old town. Gamla Stan is one of the oldest towns, and it boasts stunning buildings, a cobblestone street and a rich history. It’s a beautiful town to visit and it becomes more fascinating when you get to know the history behind these buildings.
As we mentioned earlier, Stockholm city sits on at least 14 islands. Thus, the most adventurous way to explore this city is by paddling.
Take a tour on a boat and enjoy the views while you sip the traditional Swedish mulled wine or “glogg”.
You can even go fishing on a fishing kayak. The waters in downtown Stockholm are teeming with different species of fish, the most common being salmon and sea trout. If you don’t want to go that far, there are fishing spots right at the heart of the city. For instance, Stromgatan is a good place to fish and also see beautiful sites like the Swedish parliament building.
If you’re worried about the draughty chill outdoors, well, you don’t need to. You see most fishing tour companies provide a set of blankets and warm clothes to tourists who are daring or rather bold enough to go fishing or kayaking.
With most football and basketball pitches covered in snow and the seasons on hold for the next few months, many Stockholmers turn their attention to another kind of sport- ice hockey. In fact, the Swedish hockey team is ranked as one of the best worldwide. According to the Hockey website Eyes on the Prize, only the U.S. NHL and the Russian league beat the Swedish team in terms of quality and tactics.
Now if you want to watch this hockey team in action, you should visit Hovet, which is the main hockey stadium. Whether you have an interest in this sport or are just looking for something to do on a budget, Hovet is the perfect place to be.
Christmas Market Gamla Stan
Stockholm has a variety of Christmas markets spread out across the city, but one that has become a favourite is the one in Gamla Stan.
Granted, it’s a very popular place, which means it’s usually crowded. On the plus side, this market is full of places to shop. Apart from apparel, you will also find a host of handmade Swedish craftwork that you can purchase.
If you’re not big on art, then perhaps you can walk into one of the restaurants and enjoy a cup of coffee. Swedes are among the biggest coffee drinkers. In fact, it’s ranked the 6th biggest consumer of coffee worldwide. That said, you can visit a café or coffee-house and enjoy a coffee while you chat with the very cordial locals. You can also try one of their customary Christmas buffets (jullboard).
Enjoy a Sauna
After a long day at the Christmas market, you can wind up by going for a bastu (sauna) session. Initially, this was a tradition famous in Finland, but it’s now common among Swedes. So common that you can enjoy this warm and relaxing activity from just about anywhere- gyms, yoga studios and hotels.
No other place in the world feels as cosy during winter as Stockholm. If you don’t mind the cold and have some time to spare, you should consider visiting this incredible city. One benefit of visiting Stockholm during winter is that it’s quieter because there aren’t that many people visiting the area. This means that you have the entire city to yourself. Also, most hotel owners lower the prices of their services.
If you’re considering exploring Stockholm in winter, there are several things you can do without breaking your bank. For instance, you can enlighten yourself on Stockholm’s rich art and history by visiting any one of their famous museums such as Vasa Museum, Skansen and Spritmuseum.
Another way to spend your time would be to enjoy their delicious cuisine. The list of cafes and restaurants that offer traditional Swedish dishes is endless. You’ll be able to choose between fruits, veggies, coffee and savoury dishes. Alternatively, you can go skiing, snowboarding sailing or simply enjoy a sauna.