Did you think Stockholm during winter is gloomy, dark, and cold? Think again! Stockholm can be a true winter wonderland. Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, or swimming in ice-cold water are just five of the many winter activities to do in Stockholm that definitely put you in the right winter mood.
Skiing and snowboarding
Stockholm has a ski resort! Located five minutes from Södermalm by the public transport system, the small ski resort offers a snowy opportunity for all ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Called Hammarbybacken, it has five easy downhill slopes, two lifts, a ski school for kids, and a snowboard park. Rent your equipment at the SkiStarShop, located in the valley at the foot of the hill. Get your lift-pass in the shop or buy it online. End your ski or snowboard session with a fika at one of Stockholm’s many coffee shops.
Even though Stockholm has its five slopes that offer downhill skiing, the city is located in an area more suitable for cross-country skiing. The region’s many nature reserves are popular with cross-country skiers. At several information centers in the nature reserves, like Hellasgården in the Nacka Reserve, you can rent the equipment you need. It is easy to be active and enjoy outdoor activities in Stockholm!
Ice skating is very popular among Swedes. During winter, several of the city’s parks and squares are turned into ice rinks for skating. For a unique experience, visit Kungsträdgården and its outdoor ice rink. Skate in the middle of the city, looking either out over the King's Castle in the Old Town or the financial district. The skaters are mostly accompanied by music, and the outdoor lights make it possible to skate even when it is dark.
If you want to get out of the city center, visit one of the parks outside the city. Often frozen during winter, they are perfect for ice-skating. Just make sure that the ice is thick enough! Bring hot chocolate in a thermos to warm up after your icy session.
Swimming during winter?
A Swedish tradition is taking a hot and steamy sauna, and then a quick dip in ice-cold water. Often described as invigorating, it might sound a bit crazy, but don’t say no before you try! Why not end your cross-country ski session in Nacka Nature Reserve with a sauna and a swim at Hellasgården? Another option is to visit one of the floating saunas in one of the lakes surrounding the city. It is precisely as it sounds – a floating sauna in one of the city’s lakes. A favorite is the sauna located in the lake in Rålamshov Park.
Many say that Stockholm lives up during summer. True, but winter has a special charm, as long as you defy the cold and embrace the several winter outdoor activities that the city has to offer!
Maria Lundin Osvalds
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