Things to do in Gothenburg at Christmas

I love visiting new places during the festive season. There’s a double whammy of exploring somewhere new and experiencing a new culture, coupled with the realisation that Christmas is coming. Sweden is easy to fall in love with at this time of year. From the mulled wine and fresh St. Lucia buns to the flickering candle bridges in every window, the Christmas markets full of local crafts to the buffets of fresh seafood. We spent an amazing few days in Gothenburg – here are nine things to do in Gothenburg at Christmas.

Make sure you check out my Bohuslän coast blog post, where you’ll find the other half of our West Sweden adventure. For more information and things to do in Gothenburg, head to the Gothenburg website.

Take the Paddan

The Paddan is a large open-top boat that offers tours along the canals of Gothenburg. Although you can take the Paddan all year round, it takes a special route at Christmas towards Liseberg amusement park. You’re also provided with blankets and Glögg (mulled wine) to keep warm. The Paddan offers an interesting perspective on the city, including that of a few low bridges that you need to duck your head under!

Opening information: Friday to Sunday, 24 November – 17 December, plus 20-23 December. Three departures per day (14:30, 16:00, 17:30). See website for more information.
Cost: From SEK 180
For more information:

Gothenburg Paddan - Christmas Things to do Gothenburg Paddan - Christmas Things to do

Liseberg Amusement Park and Christmas Market

Liseberg amusement park was probably my favourite part of our Gothenburg visit. No matter how many photos you look at beforehand, you just can’t get an impression of what the park is like in real life. At Christmas time, Liseberg is illuminated with no less than five million Christmas lights. The park attracts 500,000 visitors during the festive season, and I can really appreciate why. There are markets, rides, shops and restaurants. I spent most of my time taking photos of the lights, they just don’t compare to anywhere else!

Opening information: Selected dates between 17 November – 30 December.
Cost: SEK 100.
For more information:

Liseberg Amusement Park - Gothenburg Christmas Things to do

Liseberg Amusement Park - Gothenburg Christmas Things to doIce Skating Show at Liseberg

If you do include Liseberg in your Gothenburg itinerary (and why wouldn’t you?), make sure you book in time to watch the ice ballet. We enjoyed a performance of The Nutcracker. It’s been over a decade since I last watched either a ballet or an ice skating show. Combining the two is the perfect way to start feeling festive. The performance was met with lots of ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s from the audience. Some of the tricks had my stomach in knots for fear they couldn’t be executed. But it was all perfect and precise.

Opening information: Ice rink is open during park hours for either skating or shows, for timings check the Liseberg website.
Cost: Ice skating SEK 50 (+ SEK 50 refundable deposit); Show cost is included in park ticket.
For more information:

Liseberg Ice Skating Show - Gothenburg Christmas Things to do

Haga Christmas Market

The Haga Christmas market is open on weekends in the festive period. The market has a very traditional feel to it. You’ll find plenty of locally produced goods, antiques and festive foods. Beyond the market, the shops and eateries in Haga are also worth exploring. Again you’ll find lots of small boutiques with locally made clothes and gifts. If you need to stop for fika or a coffee break, look out for the super-sized hagabullen in cafe Husaren!

Opening information: Open Saturday (10:00 – 16:00) and Sunday (11:00 – 16:00) between 25 November – 17 December.
For more information:

Kronhuset Christmas Market

Kronhuset Christmas Market is another traditional Christmas market. This time slightly smaller. The market is situated in one of the city’s oldest buildings, dating back to 1654. In Kronhuset you’ll find a wonderful selection of handmade gifts from local craftsmen. This market is a bit quieter, so it made for a bit of a slower pace after visiting the Haga market. Of course, we stopped in the courtyard for a mulled wine break.

Opening information: Open daily between 2 – 23 December.
For more information:
Kronhuset Christmas Market, Gothenburg

Kronhuset Christmas Market, GothenburgSaluhallen Food Market

Saluhallen Food Market is a permanent covered market in Gothenburg. During the Christmas period, you’ll find a selection of traditional foods such as the marzipan pig, which was a novel find for me. There are forty shops and eateries in Saluhallen market, so it’s worth taking some time to explore.

Opening information: Open Monday – Friday 09:00 – 18:00, Saturday 09:00 – 16:00.
For more information:
Saluhallen Food Market

Gothenburg Walking Tour

We really made the most of every hour in Gothenburg, particularly as there are fewer hours of daylight in the Winter. Taking photos of all attractions can be a difficult task. For that reason, we began our visit with a walking tour. Doing so allowed us to find lots of hidden gems, and tailor the morning in line with the things we wished to photograph. It was particularly useful for pointing out the best Christmas lights, and quaint little coffee shops that we may have otherwise overlooked.

Opening information: Varies
Cost: Varies
For more information:

Gothenburg Christmas Things to do

Christmas buffet at Sjömagasinet

Sjömagasinet was an exciting one for me. I’ve had buffets before, and I’ve been to Michelin starred restaurants before. But never had I encountered an overlap of the two. The Christmas buffet was packed with traditional favourites and delicacies, with an emphasis on seasonal produce. It was an opportunity to try a number of festive Swedish dishes. I would absolutely do it again, I only wish it were near my home!

Opening information: Between 2-3 sittings per day through to December 23, see website for exact timings.
Cost: From SEK 695
For more information:

Christmas buffet at Sjömagasinet, Gothenburg

Gothenburg Palm House

We quickly visited the palm house before heading to the airport, and I was glad that we did. The glasshouses were decorated with a variety of light installations. We watched the light disappear outside as the plants became illuminated. It’s a great attraction and is free to visit.

Opening information: Open daily from 10am.
For more information:

Brunch at Norda Bar

On the last day we called at Norda Bar for brunch. Not only was the food delicious, but the place was super pretty. The huge windows allowed for lots of natural light, and the stylish pink sofas were perfectly Instagrammable.

Norda Bar is located in the Clarion Post Hotel, where we stayed for two nights. The Clarion Post is modern and comfortable, and is worth checking out if you’re in search of a place to stay.

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Gothenburg Christmas Things to do

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These are really lovely, atmospheric photos. Another one of your trips I want to recreate step by step! xxx
Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

SO beautiful <3

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