How to Celebrate Christmas in Gothenburg

How to Celebrate Christmas in Gothenburg

As the autumn months come to a close and the first inklings of the long winter ahead appear, Gothenburg locals start anxiously counting down the days until that one glorious mid-November day when the official lights are switched on and the entire city erupts into a snow globe of festivity. And oh what a furiously festive time it is. The beautiful cobbled streets of the old town are stippled with Christmas market stalls, the crisp air is filled with infectiously-joyful carols and the city’s elegant eateries are serving their finest seasonal delights. With all this, it’s not too hard to see why Sweden’s second-biggest urban hub has been nicknamed the nation’s ‘Christmas City’. Keep reading to discover exactly how to celebrate a memorable Christmas in Gothenburg.


  1. Soak up the Festive Cheer at the Liseberg Amusement Park
  2. Go Gift Hunting at the Christmas Markets
  3. Celebrate Festive Traditions Like a Local
  4. Spoil Yourself Silly With a Christmas Feast
  5. Admire the Beauty of the Gothenburg Archipelago


Soak up the Festive Cheer at the Liseberg Amusement Park

The dizzyingly delightful Liseberg Amusement Park is one of our favourite attractions in Gothenburg at any time of year - but it has to be said: it’s holly, jolly Christmas set-up is sure to remind even the Scrooges among us that it really is the best time of the year. And while yes, it is a theme park, the winter-wonderland atmosphere is oozing with a classic, classy charm, without even a hint of tinsel-town tackiness. You can ice skate under the glow of golden fairy lights, dine in the heartiest of restaurants, hop onto an authentic carousel and even watch Charles Dicken’s classic fairy tale, A Christmas Carol, performed by some of Sweden’s best figure skaters. And the cherry on top? The amusement park is also home to Scandinavia’s biggest Christmas market, making it possible to enjoy some quality gift shopping in the most authentic way.


Go Gift Hunting at the Christmas Markets

If Christmas markets hold a top spot on your mid-winter agenda, then you’re in luck as we have plenty more in store for you in Gothenburg. The cobbled streets of Haga are lined with excitable vendors flogging their finest festive fare - be that ceramics, jewellery, antiques, toys, seasonal delights and other Swedish souvenirs. Come Christmas, one of the city’s oldest buildings, Kronhuset, plays host to the Kronhusjul Christmas Market and its marvellous mixture of stalls and art studios selling everything from sweet treats and seasonal knitwear to handmade ceramics and aromatic candles. And finally, just one-hour south of Gothenburg is Tjolöholms Slott, a beautiful old manor house that transforms its three stables into Christmas markets every December. You can tuck into some local seasonal delights and soak in the charming countryside setting all the while browsing through some beautiful handicrafts.


Celebrate Festive Traditions Like a Local

One of the biggest dates in Sweden’s Christmas calendar is St. Lucia Day, which sees local youngsters across the country dressed in long, white gowns take part in beautiful candlelit processions. You can catch a glimpse of the activity all around the city, but some of our favourite spots include the Haga Church, Gothenburg Concert Hall and Nordstan. There is also the unforgettable Singing Christmas Tree, in which the choirs of Gothenburg gather together in a fir-tree formation to fill the air with harmonious Christmas carols. About halfway through December there is also a Christmas carol bonanza at Vallgraven, which sees a Paddan boat of singers dock at various points along the river to spread their festive cheer to eager ears.  


Spoil Yourself Silly With a Christmas Feast

Food lovers spending their Christmas in Gothenburg have cause for some serious celebration, as this coastal gem of a city is not only the Christmas capital of Sweden, but also the nation’s culinary capital. It’s not too hard to come across inviting, candle-lit restaurants serving an indulgent julbord (Christmas banquet) complete with pickled herring, cold meats, meatballs, smoked sausages, ham and a range of fresh salads. For something a bit different, you can switch out your go-to game with some succulent seafood, because, hey, you’re in Sweden’s Mecca for seafood lovers. For this, make sure to weave a trip to the Feskekörka (‘fish church’) Fish Market into your itinerary to enjoy some high-end delights from the sea. And for an indulgent desert you can head to the trendy old town of Haga to enjoy fika (a coffee and a sweet treat) - we particularly recommend trying the seasonal delight of Lussebullar (saffron-flavoured pretzel) or a good old-fashioned cinnamon roll.


Admire the Beauty of the Gothenburg Archipelago

We wouldn’t blame you if hopping onto a boat and heading out to sea in the middle of winter might not seem like your idea of fun, but do bear with us, as this is one of our favourite activities for a memorable Christmas in Gothenburg. The sprawling network of idyllic islands that make up the Gothenburg Archipelago are awash in their own Christmas charm - we’re talking snow-topped red clapboard houses aglow in the golden hues of the early evening sunset. For something extra special, you can also hop onto an elegant cruise ship to enjoy the views of the beautiful bay while tucking into some seasonal culinary delights.