In Sweden, the further north, the colder it gets. If you plan to visit these areas, prepare for low temperatures. However, regardless of the weather conditions, it is definitely worth discovering this magical and mysterious country.
Swedish winter brings to mind a very quick twilight and cold. A special day is 1 December 3, when the festival of lights, whose patron is St. Lucia, is celebrated throughout the country. The streets of city are filled with processions always led by a young girl dressed in white clothes with a wreath of candles on her head. She is accompanied by boys and girls singing songs.
FORETASTE OF CHRISTMAS
Stockholm is located on fourteen islands, surrounded by the Stockholm archipelago consisting of over 20 000 islands and islets. When the water surrounding them becomes covered with a thick layer of ice, it is a sign that the time for winter activities, such as long-distance skating trips with a guide, has come. The character of the capital varies. You will find there both the perfectly preserved old town as well as modern museums with innovative architectural solutions, which are especially worth visiting in the less crowded winter season. At 22 Stadsgårdshamnen, there is the Fotografiska gallery that exhibits the work of world photographers and promising debutants.
In turn, the island of Djurgården has the Nordic Museum (Nordiska museet), documenting the history of Swedish culture, where you will learn more about Swedish ways for wintertime. In the run-up to Christmas, it is best to go to the beautifully lit Old Town (Gamla Stan) and visit the cozy Cafe Koppen café to drink hot tea. A Christmas market is organized every year on Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm. In the background, you can hear Christmas carols, and the air smells of a fresh Christmas tree, intertwined with the aroma of cinnamon buns.
TO THE CHURCH FOR… FISH
Gothenburg will bring you peace after visiting the loud and definitely larger capital. At the entrance to the city, you are greeted by the characteristic white and red building of the Lilla Bommen office building, commonly called “Lipstick” by the residents. On the top floor, there is a café with a vantage point. The seen from above building of the fish market hall in the city centre, which stands out from the surrounding tenement houses, will be your next goal. The sloping roof and stained glass windows suggest you are heading to the church. However, once there, it quickly turns out that Feskekörka is a spacious market hall where you can buy fresh fish and seafood from local suppliers as well as eat at one of its restaurants. In the evening, go for a walk along the Avenyn, which leads to Götaplatsen, where you will see the most famous symbol of Gothenburg – the sculpture of Poseidon, by Carl Milles.
THE STAR OF SKANE
Malmö, located in the south of Sweden, is situated on the other side of the Baltic Sea, less than 200 km from Świnoujście. When walking around the city, it is impossible not to see the star of modern architecture – the famous Turning Torso. Inspired by the possibilities of modern architecture, you can go to the Västra hamnen district, where the road and railway bridge over the Sound runs. This 8 km construction connects Copenhagen with Malmö, thanks to which traveling between these two countries has become much easier since the bridge was opened.
IN SWEDISH STYLE
One of the Swedish patents for winter cold is the sauna. The Ribersborgs Kallbadhus public sauna has been operating since 1898. It is located on a wooden pier, about a 20-minute walk from the centre of Malmö. You can rent or buy a towel and hygiene products on the spot. After leaving the hot sauna, the brave can jump straight into the sea, whose temperature in December is barely a few degrees above zero.
TRIP TO LUND AND YSTAD
From Malmö you can set off on a day trip to Lund. This small, picturesque town functions as a thriving academic centre – founded in 1666, the university is one of the oldest in Northern Europe. During your stay in Lund, you must visit the Kulturen open-air museum, presenting the daily life of the Swedish community from the Middle Ages to the 1930s. Lovers of detective stories of Henning Mankell and the character of Kurt Wallander, should go to Ystad (about 60 km from Malmö). You can start walking in the footsteps of the fictional police officer from his home on Mariagatan 10, and then stop for dinner at the Continental Hotel for a glass of glögg.