Reasons Why You Should Travel to Stockholm During the Winter

Slussen

December can be a stressful month for everyone, with final exams, Christmas planning and the end of the year! So visiting the Swedish capital at this time of year will give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful Nordic city.

What makes Stockholm unique is that it is incredibly busy while at the same time very quiet and relaxing. The streets are always filled with people and activities, such as sports, museums, shopping and seasonal events. Here are a few ways you can spend your serene vacation.

Outdoor activities

Sweden is the dream destination for sports lovers. With an average temperature of minus 1 degree Celsius in December and minus 3 degrees Celsius in January, there are several activities you can try out such as:

❄ Ice skating at a rink in the center of Kungsträdgården.

❄ Ice-fishing or long-distance skating at a frozen lake.

❄ A day trip to Hammarbybacken, located right outside of the city, where you can go skiing and snowmobiling.

Sollentuna during winter

Museums

Stockholm has plenty of interesting and educational museums for all tastes in history, music, art and science.

❄ Because of the country’s rich Viking and medieval history, there are several museums dedicated to different decades, such as the Vasa Museum, Swedish History Museum and the Nordic Museum.

❄ For science-based ones, there is the Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Science and Technology.

❄Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, lets you experience Swedish life before the industrial era.

❄ For music lovers, there are many music-related museums such as the ABBA Museum, dedicated to the Swedish band.

❄ Swedes are fans of modern art and photography, and you can check out their work at the Museum of Modern Art and the Fotografiska Museum.

Cafés & seasonal treats

Since it is cold for a large part of the year, the city is filled with cozy cafés, restaurants and bars where people can hang out indoors and enjoy Christmas-y treats.

❄ Warm glögg (mulled wine) and pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) are served at all times of the day during this season in cute booths and restaurants.

❄ Espresso House is a beloved coffee shop that serves delicious drinks and traditional Swedish snacks. In Stockholm you will find coffee shops on almost every street.

❄ Swedish cafés have a laid-back and casual style to them, with candles, cozy couches and plants that will make you feel right at home.

Fashion

Sweden, especially Stockholm, has been acknowledged for being an iconic fashion location due to its simple but elegant style.

Kungsgatan at 4:30PM

❄ Many high fashion brands such as ACNE, Filippa K, Tiger of Sweden, WesSC and others hail from Sweden.

❄ Walking down the streets of Stockholm is like being on an outdoor runway, since Swedish people are so effortlessly fashionable. In winter, it might be difficult to be able to see outfits, but it is nice to see how Stockholmers get fashionably creative in this season.

❄ Youngsters who want more affordable clothes should check out Bik Bok, GinaTricot, Cheap Monday and Monki, which are Scandinavian brands found all over Stockholm.

❄ Make sure not to miss H&M. Their Swedish stores are even better than the ones around the world because not only do they have clothes, but they also have a large section of beauty products and H&M Home, which sells home decor.

Unique experiences

Hötorget at 4:30 PM

Since Stockholm is located in the Nordic region, there are several unique features that come with the territory, especially during winter.

❄ Unexpected sunsets at 3 p.m. Can you imagine being able

to watch the sun set every day in the middle of the day?

❄ Saunas are a big part of the Swedish culture, and they can be found in many places in the city, including at hotels and hostels.

❄ There are ice bars all over the world, but how unique would it be to actually go to an ice bar in an icy country – especially when it is sponsored by the country’s leading Absolut Vodka and Ice Hotel. At the hotel, you can have drinks at the Nordic-themed ice bar at minus 7 degrees and learn how to create ice sculptures.

Convenience

Since Stockholm is the capital of Scandinavia, leading the region’s commerce, education, fashion and sustainability, it is no surprise that the country functions extremely well, providing a stress-free trip.

❄ English is fluently spoken by the majority of the people, so if you are lost in the middle of Gamla Stan (Old Town) and ask someone for help, they will most likely be able to help you.

❄ There is easy access to Wi-Fi almost everywhere at cafés, restaurants, stores, malls, convenience stores and other places, making it much easier to find your location on maps and decide where to go next.

❄ Swedish tap water is extremely clean and every café, restaurant and bar offers free water.

Stureplan

Cheap flights

Winter is the off-season in Stockholm, making round-trip flights super affordable! Flights from New York can be found as low as $315 and from LA for just $342.

Swedes are very private and reserved, so if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing trip where people won’t disturb you, Stockholm is the perfect place for you.

Romantic European Destinations for Valentine’s Day

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than to go on a spontaneous trip with your Valentine? Here’s a list of romantic European cities you should check out that will give you the ultimate romantic feeling.

Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace

If you want to spend Valentine’s day feeling like a queen and king, Vienna is your place. The Austrian capital is one of the most glamorous and elegant cities in the world because of its rich history, music, art, cuisine and architecture.

Wonderful chandelier-lit cafés where you can have the delicious Sacher cake, restaurants and bars. Make sure to order the Viennese Schnitzel that is so big, you’ll have to share it in two, perfect for a dinner date.

The city has kept remarkable features throughout the centuries, such as offering horse-drawn carriage rides along the beautiful Danube River and regularly having plays and musicals at the city’s numerous opera houses. You can also go on a romantic Ferris Wheel ride at the Riesenrad Amusement Park that overlooks the city.

The Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in the world, decorated with incredible Viennese art pieces and a lot of gold. The palace also consists of an enchanting park, a maze, fountains, and a ball house, located above a hill overlooking the city.

Vienna is also home to the waltz dance, so naturally, you can find many jazz bars and clubs all over the city during the week and weekends where you can dance the night away.

Amsterdam

Amstel Canal Bridge

The Dutch capital is the picture-perfect Valentine’s day destination. The city has endless amounts of fairy-lit canals with swans swimming through, flower arrangements and cute restaurants. The city is the literal definition of the word “aw”.

Dutch people usually eat their favourite foods from local food trucks, where you can try authentic fried seafood with their homemade sauces, the delicious thick Dutch fries with the Oorlog sauce (half mayo, half peanut sauce) or grab a burger or a frikandel at a hole-in-the-wall café where you put a coin in the slot next to the display of the food you want and voilà, just open the door of the display and grab your food. These unique foods are really fun to try that don’t take too much time that you can spend exploring the city.

Amsterdam also has many fun museums to explore like the cheese museum, tulip museum, electric ladyland, marijuana museum and even a sex museum. If you are more of an outdoorsy kind of couple, you can rent bikes and ride them around the city, parks and even to nearby towns.

The city is very lively at night with lots of bars and clubs where you can drink the nation’s delicious Heineken beer and dance to EDC music.

If you want a more relaxing night, book a romantic dinner in a boat, that gives you a whole different perspective of the city. The trip is so romantic, it will make you feel like the only two people in the world.

Swiss Alps

For the sports lovers, skiing at the amazing Swiss Alps and staying at a wooden cabin surrounded by snow is incredibly romantic. Skiing resorts are always very quiet and preserved, giving the guests plenty of privacy.

After a full day of skiing, you can go relax and have a delicious Swiss hot chocolate or warm wine in a café overlooking the snow.

For dinner, make sure to try the delicious Swiss cheese fondue for two in front of a fireplace. Then go relax at a Jacuzzi that many of the cabins have.

The Swiss Alps is not only known for being one of the best skiing destinations in the world because of their numerous long slopes and incredible nature but because of their diversity of winter activities. Such as exploring the Matterhorn mountains and the Bettmersee Lake with their beautiful colourful sky, stargaze at Majing Lake and hike at the Aletsch Glacier.

Porto

Dom Luís Bridge

Porto is an exquisite city on the coast of Portugal filled with monumental and artistic heritage. So much so, it has been nominated 2017’s Best European Destination. It has everything a couple wants for a romantic weekend; endless amounts of wine, colourful architecture, delicious gastronomy and markets.

Porto is home to the sweet Porto wine, making the city full of wine tasting factories where you can take tours and try the delicious wines poured in chocolate cups. You can find wine stores spread around the city’s incredible landscapes, bridges and colourful houses with matching tiled roofs.

The Bolhão Market is an exciting place to go in Saturdays where you can get local food and wine for a good price. The market gives you the opportunity to see how the locals live an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. Discovering a new place with your Valentine is a great experience.

Porto is the warmest and most colorful destination from this list. In February the temperature can go up to 15°C degrees which makes a great weather to eat lunch outdoors by the River Douro (River of Gold). While having a glass of wine across from where it was made at the Sandeman, Croft, Offley, Churchill’s, Kopke House and Cálem wineries, on the Gaia side.

Since Porto has a large river and is by the ocean, you can take boat trips on historically designed Portuguese boats and take a tram to the Foz do Douro’s beaches on the Atlantic sea.

Paris

Arc de Triomphe

Last but not least, the capital city of romance, Paris. Where you can walk along the beautiful streets of the Seine River. Have a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon at a pavement terrace while watching the Eiffel Tower light up at sunset.

Paris is the coldest city in the list, but don’t let that discourage you. It just increases the need for candlelit dinners and cuddles. For a great place to cuddle, book one of the city’s many bed and breakfasts, where you can also have your morning meal in authentic Haussmain style bedrooms.

French cuisine is considered to be a delicacy, always dominating lists of romantic dishes. So eating at an authentic French restaurant, at the heart of France, can’t get any more romantic. A popular menu to try is coq au vin (chicken with mushrooms and vegetables braised in red wine) as the main course and chocolate fondue for dessert with a side of Pinot noir wine.

The city is also full of extraordinary museums, such as the Louvre and the extravagant Versailles Palace where you will feel like a true royal couple while having a divine lunch at the Angelina restaurant.

For a romantic Valentine’s day, you cannot go wrong with these amazing cities. Each city has its own charm, elegance and adventures that add contribute to the romantic atmosphere.