12 magical Christmas markets in Scandinavia (2023 update!)

Christmas markets have been a tradition across Central and Northern Europe since the Middle Ages, when traders and farmers would set up stalls in the town squares at the start of Advent to sell the townsfolk supplies for the coming winter.

There are lots of fun Christmas markets in Scandinavia

Over time, the markets became a way to mark the start of the Christmas season, offering handicrafts, food, and drinks, plus a nice festive atmosphere that brings the whole town together.

Nowadays these markets have become major events for both tourists and city residents, and they offer a great way to kick off the holidays and stock up on creative presents for friends and family.

Scandinavia is no exception to this festive tradition, and each year dozens of great Christmas markets take place throughout Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Some are major tourist attractions in the central cities, while others are small, traditional country markets at local farmsteads.

Below we’ve listed some of our favourite Christmas markets here at Routes North – they’re divided by country and include free and paid-for options.

Give them a visit if you’re in the area!



Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

19th Nov–31st Dec

Maria Eklind
Pic: Maria Eklind (CC)

Christmas at Tivoli in Copenhagen is without doubt one of the most magical festive markets that Scandinavia has to offer.

Each year the entire theme park is expertly decorated with thousands upon thousands of lights, completely transforming the already beautiful park into a twinkling wonderland of colour.

Various themed areas, such as a Nordic Christmas region and Russian Christmas region, allow you to see holiday traditions from across Europe.

At the centre of the park is a market offering classic Danish Christmas dishes and handicrafts, as well as special performances for the kids.

There are firework displays, a Danish pantomine-style horror/comedy show and the park is open on Christmas Day, Boxing day and New Year’s Eve too.

If you’re not already in Copenhagen this festive season, consider making a special trip just to experience Christmas at Tivoli – believe us, it’s worth it. This guide to visiting Copenhagen in winter has more.

And if you’re not sure about whether to visit Tivoli or not, check out our guide to the Tivoli Gardens: is it worth the hype?

Tickets available here

Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market, Odense

2nd–3rd Dec, 9th–10th Dec and 16th–17th Dec

Christmas market in Odense, Denmark

Step back in time at the Hans Christian Andersen market, centred around the family home of Denmark’s most famous storyteller, right in the heart of Odense’s old city centre.

Actors and vendors dressed in period costumes will help you experience Christmas just as Hans would have back in the 19th century.

Wander among the beautifully decorated wooden buildings, browse the stalls for great Christmas gifts, and sample a delightful mix of local produce and candied apples.

There are performances of Andersen’s fairytales for the kids, along with a carousel and carriage rides. The market opens at 10am and closes at 6pm on Saturdays and 5pm on Sundays – and is free to visit.

For suggestions on what to do in odense the rest of the year, see our guide to 34 free and cheap things to do in Odense.


Christmas Market, Aalborg

17th Nov–23rd Dec

Aalborg in Denmark is home to a classic Christmas market
Anton Nikolov (CC)

Aalborg offers a classic Christmas market with crafts, food, and warm drinks at Gammeltorv, as well as fun games and activities for the kids at the nearby City Hall.

Be sure to sample the classic Danish drink called gløgg, a delicious spiced wine that’s sure to keep you warm on a chilly winter’s night.

There’s a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and illuminate ferris wheel with great views over the festival fun and a children’s carousel.

And a Christmas train will run around the city giving rides to children – and adults.

For more ideas of things to do in Aalborg at any time of year, see our guide to 25 free and cheap things to do in Aalborg.



Stortorgets Julmarknad, Stockholm

20th Nov–23rd Dec

The Christmas market in Stockholm's Old Town
Pic: Holger Ellgaard (CC)

Stockholm’s Old Town, or Gamla Stan, is the perfect setting for a traditional Christmas market.

The cobblestoned central square by the Nobel Museum is packed with wooden stalls selling Christmas crafts and Swedish delicacies, such as smoked reindeer and elk meat.

This is Sweden’s oldest Christmas market, dating back to the 1830s, and retains the feel of the winter marketplaces of old.

It’s the most popular market in Sweden and is totally free to explore, so be ready to jostle your way through the crowds if you visit on the weekend.

Rather not go it alone? You can visit this market as part of a special Christmas walking tour of Stockholm.


Skansen Christmas Market, Stockholm

24th–26th Nov; 1st –3rd, 8th–10th, 15th–17th Dec

Festive market in Stockholm, Sweden
Pic: Holger Ellgaard (CC)

Stockholm’s beautiful open-air museum helps you get in the Christmas spirit with a wide variety of food, gifts and events on offer in late November and throughout December.

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the museum’s central square hosts a bustling Christmas market that has been running for well over 100 years, and features Swedish handicrafts for sale, along with traditional Christmas foods and warm drinks.

Bonfires are lit around the museum to give warm and light in the dark winter nights, and full Christmas dinners will be prepared at several of the historical buildings for visitors to sample.

Children can make their own Christmas decorations at the craft-making workshop, listening to readings of Swedish fairytales, dance around the Christmas tree in Bollnäs Square, and even watch a traditional Lucia procession through the museum grounds.

Entry is 245 SEK for adults; 225 SEK for students and seniors; kids aged 4–15 can visit for 70 SEK.

Tickets are available here

Övedskloster Christmas Market, Skåne

15th–17th Dec

Övedskloster in Sweden’s southwest Skåne has a great Christmas market

Originally a medieval monastery, Övedskloster in Sweden’s southwest Skåne province is a large farm estate with vast fields and a stately manor house dating from the 18th century.

The annual Christmas market, held on just one weekend every December, is the best way to experience this cultural pearl and to find the best food and crafts the Swedish countryside has to offer.

This year, more than 100 exhibitors will be on hand selling delicious Christmas treats, fresh produce, smoked meats, and seasonal drinks, all with a focus on regionally-sourced products from local producers and even the estate’s own grounds.

Entry is SEK 110 per person, and kids under 14 go free.


The Gammelstad Christmas market

9th–10th Dec

The Hägnan open-air museum in the Gammelstad Church Town is a beautiful location for a Christmas market.

The Hägnan open-air museum in the UNESCO Heritage Gammelstad Church Town is a beautiful location for a Christmas market.

Gammelstad is the largest and best-preserved church town in the world, with medieval church and pretty red cottages.

With stalls set up around the preserved farm buildings, it’s an authentic location for a traditional market where you can buy hand-crafted gifts, listen to traditional fairy tales and learn about old Swedish festive traditions.  

Children can meet Father Christmas and go for a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Tickets cost 50 SEK.


Jokkmokk Winter Market

1st–3rd Feb 2024

Let Ideas Compete (CC)

Well, it may not actually be at Christmas but it’s certainly one of Scandinavia’s oldest and most authentic winter markets.

Almost every year since 1605, the tiny town of  Jokkmokk (population 3000) has welcomed 30-40,000 visitors who come to eat, drink and make merry with the local Sámi, many of whom are dressed in full, traditional colourful costume.

Originally an annual gathering of Sámi from all over the region, the market has now become a celebration of Sámi culture, with stalls selling local Sámi arts, crafts and jewellery, plus traditional dishes such as reindeer, elk and smoked capercaillie.

Visitors can watch displays of traditional dancing and Sámi joik concerts, go dog-sledging and have reindeer rides, but the highlight of the market is the daily reindeer races, which Sámi come from all over the region to watch, and take part in.

The market is always held on the first Thursday to the first Saturday of February: for more on this amazing winter gathering see our Events guide.

And check out our post on how to get to Jokkmokk.



Helsinki Christmas market

1st–22nd Dec

Helsinki Christmas market, one of Scandinavia's top Christmas markets
Edwardina von Boxis (CC)

Held in the main Senate Square in Helsinki, with the city’s impressive cathedral as a backdrop, Helsinki’s Christmas market is the oldest in Finland.

With stalls selling local arts, crafts, jewellery and gifts plus Finnish fare (most of it plant-based and all served on biodegradable plates, of course), the market attracts around 350,000 visitors a year.

But they’re not all just here to do their Christmas shopping. There’s a variety of festive activities on offer too, from carol-singing to Christmas karaoke, a tree decoration workshop to vegan ham bingo (well, this is Finland!).

And, of course, Santa Claus is here at the weekends and there’s a free traditional carousel in the square to keep the kids amused.

A great way to explore Helsinki at any time of the year is from the water on this fun cruise round the Helsinki archipelago. Boats leave just a short walk for the Senate Square.


Christmas market at Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi


You can’t get more Christmassy than the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, right on the Arctic Circle.

You can’t get more Christmassy than the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, right on the Arctic Circle.

As the “official” home of Father Christmas, there are festive activities here all year, with shops and stalls selling handmade Christmas crafts and traditional food.

Santa Claus’ main post office is here too, and it receives thousands of letters a year from children all around the world.  

But a month before Christmas, Santa Claus declares the Christmas season open and the activity really ramps up. 

Reindeer sleigh rides, husky sled rides, snowmobile trips and visits to Father Christmas grotto are all available. 

For the full festive experience, you can even stay at the Santa Claus Village in a comfortable chalet, some of which one with their own saunas.

For more Christamssy things to do in Rovaniemi, see our guide to snowmobile tours and the best northern lights tours.

And for other suggestions on where you can visit Santa Claus, read our guide to the best places to see Father Christmas in Scandinavia.

Tickets available here


Julemarked, Røros

7th–10th Dec

Christmas in Norway

A picturesque mining town famed for its well-preserved 17th- and 18th-century wooden buildings, Røros (around 400km north of Oslo, near the Swedish border) is the perfect place to experience an authentic old-time Christmas market.

Locally produced food is the highlight here, particularly their regional variety of smoked sausages. And there are elves and carol-singers in the streets.

If you get tired after trudging through the snow-covered streets, then just borrow a traditional kick-sled or hitch a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh for a brisk tour through the town.


Norsk Folkemuseums Julemarked, Oslo

2nd–3rd & 9th–10th Dec

Rennings (CC)

The Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo hosts a special Christmas market the first two weekends in December.

The historic buildings are exquisitely decorated in styles matching their respective region and eras, and costumed reenactors showcase Norwegian craftworks and prepare samples of traditional Christmas dishes.

Wooden stalls line the street selling all sorts of delights, including the Norwegian Christmas favourite, marzipan.

Santa’s workshop will also be in full swing, and you’ll even have a chance to meet some nisse, the small elf-like creatures who are said to live in Norwegian barns and help care for the family livestock throughout the year – so long as you remember to leave them a bowl of porridge at Christmas.

You can listen to some Christmas jazz, watch Norwegian folk-dancing with Father Christmas and grill marshmallows on a bonfire.

Admission is 180 NOK for adults; 140 SEK for students and seniors; and under 17s are free.

The Norwegian Folk Museum is one of the stops on this fun hop-on/hop-off bus tour of Oslo, which also calls in at the Viking Ship Museum and the Vigeland Sculpture Park


Julebyen, Egersund

7th–10th & 14th–17th Dec

The 'Christmas City of Norway', Egersund  transforms into a Christmas wonderland each December.

Voted the ‘Christmas City of Norway’ in a national poll, the quaint coastal settlement of Egersund –around 75km south of Stavanger – transforms into a Christmas wonderland each December.

A massive Christmas tree stands in the main square, surrounded by dozens of small wooden huts offering the classic Christmas market treats of warm drinks, good food, and local crafts.

There are plenty of activities for kids here as well, including the chance to meet Santa and take ride around town in his sleigh.


Bonus: Tregaarden’s Julehus, Drøbak

Year round

This isn’t really a Christmas market but if you just can’t wait to get into the festive spirit, then head on over to Tregaarden’s Christmas House, an incredible cornucopia of Christmas décor that’s open almost year. Yep, even in summer. It’s only closed in January and February.

Located in the city of Drøbak, just 40 minutes south of Oslo, this wondrous and massive collection of everything Christmas is spread over two storeys in a beautifully-preserved wooden house in the centre of town.

Step inside and you’re greeted by thousands of smiling Santas and nissar, along with all the lights, garlands, and holiday tunes you need to get you in that Christmas spirit any time of year.


See also:
Christmas in Sweden
Visiting Copenhagen in winter
Christmas in Denmark

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6 years ago

Great roundup! I visited several of these last Christmas – Tivoli was my favorite!