Stockholm, the largest city in Scandinavia, is worth a visit all year round. You can enjoy your stay here especially in December when the Swedish capital is subtly illuminated for the Christmas period. Colourful decorations make the display windows and front doors of houses shine in a brand new glory, ramblers wrapped in warm layers stroll through the narrow side streets. Once the Christmas magic comes to a halt, the next festivity is already around the corner – New Year’s Eve in Stockholm.
New Year’s customs | Amazing fireworks | Hottest parties
Stockholm – always worth a visit
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Most popular New Year’s Eve traditions
After most of Stockholm’s inhabitants have spent the Christmas time among friends and family calmly and peace, it all looks a bit different come the end of the year. Just like at home, most Scandinavians celebrate the turn of the year with their closest friends and relatives. They book a table at a restaurant, eat out and go wherever their fancy takes them, usually to one of the several bars and pubs in the city. Delicious food, including the traditional lobster and oysters accompanied by a delightful champagne and a party atmosphere, are the typical features of the evening. Exactly at midnight, the bells of the Stockholm Cathedral begin to ring, after which the New Year is warmly welcomed by the merry locals and numerous tourists.
Colourful fireworks illuminate the city
Just like in the other large, European cities, the numerous, large firework displays are the absolute highlight of every New Year’s Eve. Despite the relatively cold temperatures, people gather on the streets outside in their stylish outfits in order to witness the magnificent spectacle and set off a few fireworks themselves. The grand fireworks over the Royal Castle are especially worth seeing and you’ll have a great view from the port promenade in the city centre. The colourful lights are reflected in the water which makes for some amazing light effects. It’s best to stand directly in front of the Grand Hotel, if there’s any space left. According to the insiders, the best view of the firework extravaganza is from the Mosebacke on Södermalm. However a further insiders’ tip is the idyllic Erstabranten Park, also located on Södermalm and not too crowded. You’ll have a magnificent view over the Djurgården island and the picturesque Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm, from here.
A cozy start of the New Year on a small island
If you’d rather watch the large spectacle from a distance, you could retreat to one of the islands on the waters of the archipelago. Rent out a small cabin surrounded by the idyllic Swedish nature and enjoy the view of the beautifully illuminated night skies.
The hottest parties make for a great atmosphere
Let’s clear one thing up: party-lovers will definitely get their money’s worth in the Swedish capital. After a delicious celebratory feast, you can party until the small hours of the morning and the numerous bars and clubs have something to suit every music taste. Especially popular is the lively Södermalm district in western Stockholm with its streets of Götgatan and Folkungsgatan, as it’s regarded as the most hip, trendy neighbourhood in the entire city. Somewhat more decadent is the party district Östermalm around the Stureplan where you’ll find a lot of rather chic venues and you’ll have to adjust your outfit accordingly. Many like to go to the Absolut Ice Bar in Stockholm to really tune into the New Year’s party and a visit to the Solidaritet Stockholm nightclub is definitely a good choice. Other popular locations include the Aladin, Fasching or the Monday Bar and the Café Opera, for example.
Calm and reflective
Those who prefer a bit of peace and quiet, spend New Year’s Eve at home with family and recite popular Swedish New Year’s poems. A very special tradition, observed since 1895, is the reflective New Year’s Eve celebration in the open-air museum Skansen. The calmer minds can enjoy passages from Alfred Tennyson’s Ring Out, Wild Bells until midnight and the traditional event is perfectly rounded off with New Year’s fireworks. You should definitely get your hands on the tickets in advance, as they’re selling real quick this year. Entry costs about £8 per person. And since you’re already there, reserve a seat at the neighbouring Skansen Restaurant for a delicious New Year’s dinner. Apart from an excellent, three-course menu there’s also a cozy atmosphere complete with dance and music.
Stockholm – always worth a visit
From lavish celebrations to hip parties, Stockholm has it all when it comes to welcoming the New Year. The turn of the year is guaranteed to become an unforgettable experience! But that doesn’t mean that you have to leave straight after New Year’s Day. If you have some time to spare, you should definitely not miss a small tour through the Swedish capital, stretching over 14 islands. Apart from magnificent buildings and idyllic squares there’s also a whole load of great, cultural features as well as quaint cafés and restaurants, tempting you to linger for a while.
Guru Tip: If you’re on a budget, staying in an Airbnb could be a cheap alternative to conventional hotels. If you like to have it all organised, hotel, flight and extras, Expedia and Groupon provide excellent packages, so after a couple of clicks its time to start packing!
If you’re looking for a gorgeous city with parties, firework displays & Swedish traditions, Stockholm is a winner!
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For more inspiration on winter destinations or you’re seeking some romance in a luxurious hotel, then check out these helpful magazines!