Magical Christmas at Liseberg

This year’s ice show, Hansel and Gretel offers first class figure skating.

This year’s ice show, Hansel and Gretel offers first class figure skating.


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.


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In West Sweden Christmas is celebrated on piers, in castles and at Santa Land

Pickled herring and schnaps. Photo: Göran Assner5

Pickled herring and schnaps are necessities on the Swedish Christmas table.

In the different parts of West Sweden, Christmas is celebrated in castles and cottages, in boathouses by the sea, or among tall trees in the snow-covered wilderness. And in all these settings, in the counties of Bohuslän, Dalsland and Västergötland, well-stocked Christmas Buffets are on offer. Try some local food traditions, customs and legends – it will give your Christmas celebrations a touch of West Sweden. Continue reading…

God Jul – Merry Christmas from West Sweden!

Sweden is a hive of activity at this time of year, with preparations being put in place for Christmas celebrations and Christmas concerts galore. However, by mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve, everything is ready and the whole country puts its feet up in front of the TV to enjoy the annual tradition of watching Disney movies!

Swedish Christmas tree decorations. Photo: Helena Wahlman/

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Lucia − the Bearer of Light

Lucia, together with Midsummer, is one of main cultural Swedish traditions. The festivities around Lucia have been going on for 400 years and  Lucia herself is an ancient mythical figure with an long-lasting role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters.

Lucia and her maidens! Photo: Cecilia Larsson/

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Gothenburg the Christmas City

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. Photo: Gillberg

The Christmas City. Photo: Gillberg

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Escape the City this Christmas

Throughout this article Katie Watson from Off the Map Travel  shows you ways to combine the Christmas City of  Gothenburg with activities in the wonderful winter landscape of Dalsland. 

Gothenburg in West Sweden is full of festivities throughout November and December and it is a fabulous city to visit and experience in the run up to Christmas to enjoy some traditional foods, concerts and activities. Here at Off the Map Travel we wanted to give our customers the chance to enjoy this experience but also really get to know the beauty and nature that rural west Sweden has to offer!

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Christmas Magic in West Sweden

Christmas Magic at Liseberg in Gothenburg. Photo: Göran Assner/

Christmas is the pinnacle of the Swedish year. In late December, walking the streets in the towns and villages of Sweden is like being transported to some old-world fairy tale. Every public surface is ablaze with lights, decorated with trees and wreaths to ward off the compact midwinter darkness. Continue reading…

Light, natural and preferably safe – this is how Swedes like to decorate their homes at Christmas

It’s been said that we Swedes are a nature-loving people. This is very noticeable when we decorate our homes for Christmas.
– Many use natural features like moss, spruce, hyacinths, amaryllis, straw dolls, oranges, apples and cinnamon sticks, says Anna-Lena Wigton of the flower shop Aveny Blommor.

Photo by Hannu Sarenström

Photo by Hannu Sarenström

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A House by the Sea – Villa Sjötorp

Villa Sjötorp

High above the sea, just outside Ljungskile in Lyckorna, West Sweden, a beautiful white Swiss – style villa has been standing since 1901. During the two last decades of the 1800-hundereds, people from Sweden’s high society streamed to the seaside resort where they could find exclusive facilities at that time – an open-air swimming pool, an indoor bath house, a restaurant and daily steamboat- and railroad connections.

Carl Emil Haeger, a successful engineer and foundry proprietor from Lilla Edets paper factory decided to build his summer resident here over one hundred years ago. It came to be called Villa Sjötorp. During the 40:ies, the house was sold and used as a lodging house for one decade, where after it was bought back by the paper factory and used as a summer house for the factory employees. Decades later, the paper factory was sold, and the Haeger family succeeded the house.

Since the mid 90:ies, Villa Sjötorp is a 14 room boutique hotel with an award winning restaurant run by great grandchild Ellika Mogenfelt. We managed to get an interview with the chef and hotel proprietor and learnt a lot more about this ultra-charming hotel. Find out how Ellika managed to win it back and follow her dream to start up a guesthouse after a long dispute… Continue reading…