Europe & Britain | Destination Guides

Where to find the best Christmas markets in Scandinavia

With medieval buildings draped in Christmas lights and festive stalls stacked with traditional delicacies, the Christmas markets in Scandinavia are something truly special. Whether you wander the cobbled lanes of Copenhagen, marvel at the Old Town of Stockholm, learn the Christmas traditions of Oslo, or listen to carol singers in Helsinki, your Yuletide Scandinavian adventure is sure to be magic. Read on to discover all the best Christmas markets in Scandinavia to visit on your next winter holiday.

Christmas markets in Sweden

Stockholm

 
 
 
 
 
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Stockholm goes all out for Christmas, with many different markets held around the city. The biggest and best is the gorgeous Gamla Stan Christmas Market. It’s also one of the oldest Christmas markets in Scandinavia, dating back to the 1830s.

You’ll find it in Stockholm’s Old Town near the Royal Palace, and you’ll immediately fall in love with the medieval buildings and cobblestone streets covered in fairy lights. You’re sure to spend hours browsing the wooden stalls selling everything from handicrafts to Swedish mulled wine and smoked reindeer. 

RELATED CONTENT: Delicious Scandinavian Christmas Dishes You Must Try

 
 
 
 
 
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There’s also the Christmas Market at Rosendal Palace, with stalls dotted around the palace gardens, the Kungstradgården’s Christmas Market held in the downtown park, and the historic Christmas Market in the Skansen Open Air Museum.

Located on Djurgården Island, the Skansen Christmas Market has been bringing Christmas cheer to the city since 1903. This market is extra special for children, as they can listen to readings of Swedish fairytales, go to craft-making workshops, and dance around the Christmas tree in Bollnäs Square. Simply magical!

GET INSPIRED BY: Capitals of Scandinavia

Gothenburg

 
 
 
 
 
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Hailed as the biggest Christmas market in Sweden, you can’t miss the Liseberg Christmas Market in Gothenburg. It’s held in the Liseberg Amusement Park and the whole place is decked out like a festive medieval village.

Think fairy lights, twinkling Christmas trees and giant snowmen, plus more than 60 stalls stacked with seasonal Swedish food, decorations and handicrafts. There’s even an ice-skating rink and it’s the perfect way to warm up in the chilly winter weather.

Jokkmokk

 
 
 
 
 
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While this market is actually held in early February, you can’t go past the Jokkmokk Winter Market. Held in the tiny town of Jokkmokk in Swedish Lapland, it’s one of the oldest and most authentic winter markets in Scandinavia. The town has put on the market almost every year since 1605, originally as a gathering for Sámi from all over the Sápmi region.

Today the market attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world, along with the local Sámi, and it’s a wonderful celebration of Sámi culture. 

 
 
 
 
 
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When you travel to Sweden with Trafalgar, we’ll take you to Jokkmokk and the famous winter market. You can admire the elaborate Sámi handicrafts (duodji) and colourful costumes, and taste traditional foods like elk, reindeer and smoked capercaillie.

You’ll have the chance to watch Sámi concerts, traditional dancing displays and daily reindeer races, and go dog sledding. We’ll even introduce you to a local Sámi reindeer herder family in the nearby town of Kiruna, where you’ll share a traditional meal in their Sámi lavvu.

GET INSPIRED BY: Scandinavian Northern Lights

Christmas markets in Denmark

Copenhagen

 
 
 
 
 
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As the beautiful home of hygge, you’ll find plenty of cosy and magical Christmas markets in Denmark‘s capital. There’s the Carlsberg Factory markets and the traditional log cabins and ‘secret pixies’ of the Højbro Plads Square markets. There’s also the handmade jewellery and crafts of the Flids Christmas Market, and the winter wonderland found at Nyhavn, with glittering harbourfront cobbled lanes and plenty of spiced glögg.

RELATED CONTENT: Six of the Most Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

 
 
 
 
 
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You also can’t miss out on the Tivoli Christmas Market, held in the iconic amusement park, Tivoli Gardens. It’s said to be the second oldest amusement park in the world dating back to the mid-19th century, and it really comes alive at Christmas.

You’ll be mesmerised by the dazzling lighting covering the wooden rollercoasters and thousands of Christmas trees dotted around the park. Plus you can’t forget the amazing stalls selling traditional Danish foods and handicrafts. 

There’s even special themed areas, like the Russian Christmas region and the Nordic Christmas region, so you can see what festive traditions are like across Europe. Also, be sure to check out the famous Christmas plays held at the Tivoli Concert Hall.

Odense

 
 
 
 
 
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It doesn’t get more magical than the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market. It’s held right in the heart of the Odense Old Town, around the family home of Denmark’s most beloved storyteller. You’ll really get into the Christmas spirit of the 19th century here, with actors and vendors dressed in period costumes and wonderful performances of Andersen’s fairy tales. 

 
 
 
 
 
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There’s also plenty of gorgeous wooden buildings and stalls, where you can shop for Christmas gifts, local treats like candied apples, and lots of fun for the kids including carousel and carriage rides.

GET INSPIRED BY: Scenic Scandinavia and its Fjords

Christmas markets in Norway

Oslo

 
 
 
 
 
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When Oslo puts on a Christmas market, they definitely don’t hold back! There are plenty of amazing Christmas markets in Norway‘s capital, including the Jul i Vinterland (Christmas in Winterland) market on Karl Johan Street in front of the Royal Palace. You’ll find dozens of glowing stalls, with everything from Norwegian cakes and cured meats, to cosy Norwegian sweaters. 

There’s also plenty of fun for the kids, with Santa’s workshop and handmade presents, and even gingerbread-making workshops. Add the glittering ice rink and giant Ferris wheel, and this is one Christmas market in Scandinavia you can’t miss.

 
 
 
 
 
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If you prefer to get indoors in the chilly weather, be sure to check out the Christmas market at Youngstorget. It’s held in heated traditional lavvu tents and you’ll find lots of beautifully handmade souvenirs and Christmas decorations. 

For more traditional Christmas fun in Oslo, head to the Norsk Folkemuseum’s Christmas Fair. There’s over 100 stalls, a candle factory, pony rides, Santa’s workshop, and even displays of Norwegian Christmas traditions.

Admire the historic buildings decorated to reflect the styles of historic regions and eras. Watch Norwegian folk-dancing and actors showcasing Norwegian handicrafts, and sample traditional dishes like marzipan. You’ll even meet some nisse, little elf-like creatures who help with family farms throughout the year… As long as you leave them a bowl of porridge at Christmas! 

GET INSPIRED BY: Capitals of the North

Trondheim

 
 
 
 
 
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If you’re looking for enchanting Christmas markets in Scandinavia, it’s got to be Trondheim. It’s the ancient capital of Norway, famed for its centuries-old Viking heritage. The city is also loved for its Christmas spirit, and you can see the extravagant city lights and decorations from miles away! 

 
 
 
 
 
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Imagine snowy rooftops, tinsel-draped windows and festive ornaments dotted around the streets. Sounds magical right? Once you’re at the markets, be sure to try all the festive delicacies and pick up a few traditional gifts from one of the most historic cities in Scandinavia.

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Christmas markets in Finland

Rovaniemi

 
 
 
 
 
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As the official home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi is the ultimate Christmas destination in Scandinavia. Located in the Arctic Circle in northern Finland, you’ll find the famous Santa Claus Village where you can meet the jolly man himself and even send a real letter home from Santa’s Post Office.

We’ll take you to Rovaniemi and the Santa Clause Village to meet Santa and get a selfie at the Arctic Circle. You might even spot Rudolph – or at least a reindeer or two! 

 
 
 
 
 
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After getting your fill of Christmas cheer, we’ll take you to the enchanting Rovaniemi Hotel, set on the banks of the Kemijoki river. Here you can kick back with a mulled wine and marvel at the breathtaking Arctic landscape views.

RELATED CONTENT: Visiting Santa’s Grotto in Rovaniemi, Lapland, should be top of any Christmas lovers bucketlist

Helsinki

 
 
 
 
 
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As the self-proclaimed ‘Christmas City’, Helsinki sure knows how to throw a festive party! The Helsinki Christmas Market is the oldest in Finland, held in the main Senate Square with the stunning cathedral in the background.

It’s absolutely gorgeous and packed with over 100 dazzling stalls selling local crafts, jewellery and Finnish delicacies. There’s even Christmas karaoke, carol-singing, a tree decoration workshop, visits from Santa on the weekends, and a free traditional carousel in the square. 

 
 
 
 
 
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For more Helsinki festive fun, check out the Jääpuisto Ice Park in Railway Station Square and the spectacular Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu Street. There’s also the free outdoor Christmas sauna and the impressive Christmas decorations in the windows of the Stockmann department store.

Which Christmas markets in Scandinavia are at the top of your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

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