Combining contemporary Swedish design and a warm sense of tradition, Gothenburg lights the way to Christmas. From the central harbor, a three kilometer (about 2 miles) ‘Lane of Lights’ guides you through the city to stylish outdoor lighting displays, along the main boulevard to Liseberg Amusement Park and its famous Christmas market.
Gothenburg the Christmas City
Central Gothenburg is transformed into the Christmas City from 15th November, kicking off with the opening of the traditional Christmas market at Liseberg Amusement Park and the illumination of white fairy lights along the Lane of Light. By 6th December all of the festive light installations in the city centre are shining – bringing to life buildings, bridges and trees. There’s also a graphic sound and light show on the façades surrounding Götaplatsen culture square, and choirs performing in the shape of a Christmas tree providing extra Yuletide enjoyment.
Shops and boutiques along the Lane of Light and adjoining shopping districts are open every day of the week, decked out in their Christmas finery. As well as the Christmas market at Liseberg, there is an array of other markets across the city and surrounding countryside. City restaurants get into the seasonal spirit too from the end of November, serving a mouth-watering julbord – a festive smorgasbord – and being Gothenburg, it is often served with a maritime twist.
The Lane of Light
The Lane of Light leads the way to Christmas – literally. Stretching from the central harbour along the main boulevard Avenyn, to the glimmering magic of Liseberg, the Lane of Light is 3km of festive magic. Combining innovative lighting design with a love of Christmas the old-fashioned way, the city architects and light designers have created this year’s Lane of Light around the theme of dreams. The illuminations take place from 6th December until 5th January.
Witness a spectacular visual display of color at Götaplatsen culture square, where a specially-produced graphic light and video show is projected onto the façade of the Art Museum. On display from 6th December.
Listen to the choirs performing in the shape of a Christmas tree. The choirs perform from 6th December on Drottningtorget square.
Liseberg Christmas Market
Close to five million glimmering lights adorn the 700 Christmas trees and buildings of Scandinavia’s largest Christmas market in Liseberg Amusement Park. There are 80 rustic market stalls and shops selling arts and crafts, as well as festive foods – from the traditional Swedish marinated herring, roasted reindeer meat served by Sami (indigenous people from Lapland), to seasonal Swedish goodies, such as marzipan pigs and glögg, traditional mulled and spiced wine. One of the new features is the Traditional Christmas, inspired by the time around 1930s -1940s. Enjoy markets, choirs and buy your own Christmas tree. Let the children celebrate Christmas with the rabbits in the new Rabbit Land.
What’s more, there is an ice-skating rink, a chance to meet Santa Claus and a range of children’s rides. Visitors can even see white reindeers from Sweden’s far north and enjoy a sleigh ride in the park. Open from 15th November on weekends (Friday – Sunday until 25th November and Thursday – Sunday until 1st December) and daily from 4th until 23rd December, and this year also open 26th to 29th December.
Christmas in Haga, the Old Quarter
The early 19th century cobblestone streets of Haga, lend a distinctive charm to its Christmas market. Outdoor market stalls sell home-made and locally-produced wares, compete with the trendy as well as vintage boutiques that line the main street Haga Nygatan. The many cafés provide the perfect pit-stop for coffee and typical Christmas pepparkakor (ginger snaps) and lussebullar (buns spiced with saffron). Open on Saturday-Sundays from 30th November until 22nd December (Saturdays 10-16, Sundays 11-16).
Traditional Christmas market at Kronhuset
Dating from the 1600s, the Crown-house building is a genuine step back in time and its Christmas market captures this theme. Inside, the building is packed with traditional Swedish handicraft stalls, sold by artisans dressed in old-fashioned costumes. The old chocolate works next door has its finest Christmas confectionary on display. Outside, old-style hot dogs and Swedish glögg is on offer. Open from 30th November until 15th December, but closed on Mondays (open 11-16).
Christmas at Nordstan Shopping Centre
Some 40 festive stalls offering high-quality traditional and contemporary handicrafts that have been made in Sweden, add to the Christmas buzz inside Nordstan shopping centre. Meet the craftsmen in person at the stalls. Set by the Lane of Light and open from 14th November until 30th December.
Christmas at Röda Sten Art Centre
The former boiler house at the entrance of the harbor will house a Christmas market in their large and spectacular exhibition room The Cathedral. Open 29th November until 1st December (Friday 17-20, Saturday and Sunday 12-17). The Christmas market offers unique pieces of art and crafts.