There we were, outside the main entrance on a bitterly cold afternoon, waiting for the doors to this year’s Christmas at Liseberg to swing open. Some were jumping up and down to keep their toes warm, and I’m sure many were wishing they had a cup of warm Glögg* and a ginger snap in their hand. It may be wrong to claim that Christmas has arrived in November, but on the first day of Christmas at Liseberg it’s difficult to deny.
Just before 4 pm, large numbers of warmly dressed people had braved the cold to be among the first to enter the park. Expectations were high and I could hear excited voices behind the tightly wound scarves and clattering teeth as we waited for the doors to open. Then the clock struck four, and it was time.
The first sight that greeted me and my fellow visitors was a large, white Christmas tree towering over the entrance, and a glittering white winter wonderland, with thousands upon thousands of glistening lights all along the facades of the buildings and in the trees. Many visitors walked slowly into the park, savouring the moment, others took their mobiles out to capture the experience on film. Both reactions were entirely understandable. The park was incredibly beautiful with all its lights and masses of artificial snow. Further along, we were hit by the aroma of roast almonds, spruce, Glögg and sausages from the Christmas market, whilst carols played quietly in the background. Liseberg really brings out the festive spirit. Maybe that’s why a visit to Christmas at Liseberg has become a tradition for many swedes.
A happy party made up of Jan and Britt from Varberg, and Jan and Anita from Mölndal couldn’t agree more; Liseberg really is magical at Christmas.
– It is so pretty, amazingly pretty, with all the lights, lanterns and crafts, and very atmospheric.
The four friends believe that this is the reason why many return year after year, just like they do. They all visit Christmas at Liseberg at least once a year, to enjoy the atmosphere, try to win something in the tombola, buy seasonal food, and warm up with a bowl of hot soup at Café Taube.
– Although we sometimes go twice, some years we take the grandchildren too, adds Anita.
There is always plenty of festive spirit at Liseberg at Christmas time, and this is where visitors of all ages can experience the magic of Christmas, To quote Marita from Österlen, ”There is something for everyone”. Adults can wander around the many stalls in the Christmas market, browse the seasonal delicacies, Christmas decorations and clothes, or simply go for a walk around the park, enjoying the lights and the music, whilst the younger children go on one of the available rides. But everyone I met throughout the day agreed that the lights, the decorations, the market and the tradition are what matter most when it comes to Liseberg. Quite simply, this event always lives up to people’s expectations of what Christmas at Liseberg should offer.
Jan, Britt, Jan, Anita, Marita and Louise, recommend Christmas at Liseberg to anyone wanting to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the fact that Christmas is nearly upon us.
– Everyone should have the opportunity to experience this, the festive atmosphere, the lights and the market, concludes Louise.
Christmas at Liseberg is an amazing experience and something you really must not miss if you visit Sweden at Christmas time.
*A spiced (or mulled) red wine. In Sweden we usually drink glögg almost exclusively during Christmas. We also add, raisins and blanched almonds and serve it in special little mugs.
Text and illustration: Frida Tverelv