Christmas in Sweden sees its cities, towns and villages glow against the white winter landscape. It’s Christmas card perfect.

Come to Sweden and celebrate its Christmas markets, feast at a Swedish julbord, and be utterly charmed by Sweden’s take on the Lucia Festival (read: procession of cute children, carol singing and saffron buns).

Christmas Markets:

Enjoy the fresh nip in the air, get rosy cheeks and take your cheer outside. Just wrap yourself up in a scarf, hat and gloves and hit the skating-rink before strolling through the festive Christmas markets of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

Warm yourself with a glass of glögg (spicy mulled wine) and browse over the most gorgeous handicrafts and Christmas decorations. You can sample typical Swedish Christmas delicacies at the markets too so look out for smoked sausage, reindeer meat and traditional Swedish Christmas sweets.

Lucia Festival:

For a truly enchanting experience plan to visit on or the week before December 13th, when the 400-year old tradition of the ‘queen of light’, St. Lucia, is celebrated with church concerts and processions. On St. Lucia’s day you will see thousands of young girls emerge from the darkness of a Swedish winters day and gently silence the crowds with a procession of light.

Dressed as Lucia’s maidens, in flowing white gowns, each girl holds a candle and wears a wreath of glowing candles in her hair. Witness the charm of the children solemnly proceeding through cities and towns, churches and hospitals, giving out saffron buns and singing Lucia’s beautiful melodies. Just magic.

Christmas ‘Julbord’:

From late November until Christmas, at most Swedish restaurants, you can enjoy the beloved ‘Julbord’, the traditional Swedish Christmas buffet. Enjoy the best of everything Swedish with an endless array of delicacies including pickled herring, gravlax, paté, knäckebröd, ham, meatballs with beetroot salad and lutfisk (a ling dish for the truly curious).

Swedes love their Julbord so they do it all over again on Christmas Eve, the day Sweden celebrates Christmas. (Swedes are no strangers to forward thinking after all).

From the Visit Sweden Newsletter.