By mid-November, central Gothenburg transforms into the Christmas City, mixing a warm sense of tradition with contemporary Swedish design. This winter is Gothenburg’s 16th Christmas city event, full of beautiful Christmas lights and modern, as well as traditional, Christmas markets. The city has many fun things to do in the running up to Christmas. Here’s why you should pay a visit:
1. Liseberg, the biggest Christmas market in Sweden
Since the start in the year 2000, the stylish Christmas at the Liseberg amusement park attracts some 450,000 – 500,000 visitors with 80 rustic market stalls and shops. The small, timbered cabins are selling everything from arts and crafts to seasonal foods such as traditional Swedish marinated herring, roasted reindeer served by Sámi reindeer herders from Lapland, marzipan pigs, and traditional mulled and spiced wine, known as glögg. You’re sure to find something.
There is also an ice-skating rink, which usually opens at the beginning of December. Here you can see fantastic ice-skating shows and go skating yourself.
Children can celebrate Christmas with Julius, the white rabbit. He has come down from the North Pole to visit his green cousins in Rabbit Land.
At Santa’s workshop, children can watch as Santa gets everything ready for the big occasion. They can also write their wish lists and leave them for Santa. A range of children’s rides is also available.
About 25 of the amusement park’s rides and attractions will be open during the Christmas market. A Winter Ride Pass gives you as many rides as you want on all of the attractions; this year it sells for SEK 195.
The park is decorated with five million twinkling lights (almost all the lights are energy-saving LEDs), some 1,300 Christmas trees and a few tonnes of artificial snow. It is Sweden’s largest Christmas market and suits all tastes. Christmas spirit is guaranteed.
Liseberg is open from mid-November, though not every day. Check opening hours here: www.liseberg.com/christmas-at-liseberg/
2. Lane of Lights
Gothenburg has the most extensive illuminations in Sweden with the three kilometre long Lane of Lights along the main boulevard “Avenyn” from the harbour to the Liseberg amusement park.
The first lights are usually lit in mid-November as an appetizer to the Christmas City. The amusement park Liseberg will then open its gates a week later. Finally, all the Christmas ornaments and lights will be set for the première in early December, opening the festivities in the city.
3. “Julbord” Christmas buffets
Many restaurants propose a special Christmas buffet (julbord) starting from mid-November. These Christmas buffets often have a special Gothenburg twist, i.e. seafood in addition to traditional herring, smoked salmon etc.
4. Lucia and Christmas concerts
The Lucia tradition is a key event in the Swedish Christmas calendar. Witness a delightful, candle-lit Swedish national tradition: Every year, towns and cities across Sweden hold Lucia concerts. Gothenburg’s different choirs bring a sense of enchantment to the packed churches around 12 – 13 December.
In addition, there are many Christmas concerts in the city’s churches. Choirs will also be performing at different points throughout the city. Usually, the “Singing Christmas Tree” choirs will perform on Drottningtorget Square.
5. Paddan canal boats
As long as the canals aren’t frozen over, Paddan canal boats cruise along the city canals, passing the lock at the Drottningtorget square and on to Liseberg. Blankets, candles and glögg keep you warm along the way.
6. Cafés with buns and cookies special for Christmas
There are lots of cafés where you can enjoy a Swedish fika (coffee and a bun). Most of them serve buns and cookies special for Christmas – for example ginger bread cookies (pepparkakor) and saffron buns (lussekatter). Try them with glögg or hot chocolate.
Haga, with its early 19th century cobblestone streets, is the perfect area for a fika, and is also great for vintage shopping and Christmas gifts. Don’t miss the Haga Christmas Market with local choirs, food stalls and real festive spirit, open on Saturday and Sunday from late November.
If you fancy trying a traditional cinnamon bun (kanelbulle), don’t miss the giant Hagabullen at Café Husaren, which you’ll find along Haga Nygata – the main street in Haga.
7. A perfect place to find your Christmas gifts
In addition to Liseberg (see above), there are several traditional Christmas markets full of handicraft. There are also many contemporary Christmas design markets where you can find unique jewellery, ceramics and alternative arts & crafts – for example at the Röda Sten Art Centre, Kronhuset, Kvarnbyn (Mölndal) or the Tjolöholm Castle (Kungsbacka).
Gothenburg is a compact city, almost everything is within walking distance. The city offers many personal, unique shops – a perfect place to find your Christmas gifts.
If you love fashion, Gothenburg has a really thriving fashion scene. There is a huge home grown talent who now have international acclaim. Big brands like Nudie, Monki, Velour and KappAhl all call the city home. Nudie Jeans is Gothenburg’s most famous fashion brand and is known for their denim clothes with unique stitching.
Published by “Sweden Tips “