Guide to New Year's Eve in Stockholm: Fireworks, Events, Things to Do

Very tall Christmas tree in Skeppsbron in Stockholms old town
 Jens Söderblom/Getty Images

New Year's Eve in Stockholm in the Scandinavian nation of Sweden is a fantastic holiday destination, as the charming capital offers a variety of activities to enjoy. Many locals spend the night having dinner with loved ones or going to a party. In Stockholm, watching the dazzling fireworks above the skyline from various locales is one of the most beloved things to do in honor of the holiday. Another unique option for those who live in Stockholm and travelers alike is a rousing ring-in-the-new-year concert in a historic church. Others enjoy going to a special recitation of a classic New Year's Eve poem at the open-air Skansen museum, thrilling ice skating in the park Kungstradgarden, and plenty of scintillating nightlife.

Visit Old Nyårskonsert: In Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town and a favorite spot for locals and visitors, you can listen to an early evening New Year's Eve concert—called Nyårskonsert in Swedish—at Storkyrkan Church, originally a medieval cathedral that was built in 1279. It has been a Lutheran church since 1527 and houses unique objects such as the St. George and the Dragon sculpture, dating back to 1489; the legendary Vädersoltavlan, the oldest oil painting in Sweden from 1535; and Lena Lervik’s sculpture of Biblical characters Joseph and Mary from 2002. The December 31, 2019, concert for those age 6 and up will feature artists from the Royal Swedish Orchestra, music by Franz Joseph Haydn and Edvard Grieg, and a New Year's speech in Swedish.

Go Ice Skating: Bundle up against the chilly elements and enjoy ice skating in Kungstradgarden. December average temperatures in Stockholm are 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) / 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 degrees Celsius). This central Stockholm park is commonly known as Kungsan; it opened in 1962 and has most its visitors from mid-November until March. The central location and outdoor cafés makes it one of the most popular hangouts and meeting places in the capital. The ice skating rink is typically open daily and was modeled after the famous one in Rockefeller Center in New York City; you'll enjoy the sparkling lights and music as you glide around. There is no charge to use the rink, and children and adults can rent skates for a small fee, which will include the use of a helmet. You can also bring your own skates (and get them sharpened at the rink, if necessary).

Hear Poetry at Skansen: Stockholm's Skansen—which opened in 1891 as the world's first open-air museum—teaches visitors and locals about Sweden's past through historical buildings and crafts displays. On the holiday, you can listen to Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Ring Out, Wild Bells." The New Year's poem has been read by a famous Swede every year at midnight since 1895, and the reading is broadcast live nationwide from the Solliden stage by Swedish Television. Before and after the reading, enjoy music and watch the fireworks as they light the sky over the water next to Skansen. In 2019, attendees can also reserve a spot to eat at Solliden, a Swedish restaurant which has various courses, champagne, wonderful city views, and live music on New Year's Eve. Resturation Gubbhyllan also serves Swedish fare (with a focus on seasonal items), and usually has a special New Year's menu as well.

Explore Fireworks Around the City: Watching fireworks is one of the most popular ways to ring in the New Year in Stockholm. The entire inner harbor in old town is ideal for viewing fireworks, but at Skeppsbron, a street and a dock in Gamla Stan, you have the added bonus of seeing one of the world's tallest Christmas trees as part of the magical backdrop. Some additional worthwhile places to see the fireworks include City Hall (Stadshuset), located just on the edge of Lake Mälaren on Kungsholmen, and Västerbron, the towering bridge between Södermalm and Stockholm which is another excellent vantage point. The Fjällgatan, set up high on the edge of a cliff in Stockholm’s Södermalm district, is additional option. After viewing the fireworks there, you'll find plenty of nightlife choices steps away.

Enjoy the SoFo area: After the fireworks, head to Södermalmstorg, a large, open area where residents and visitors often meet before heading off to local restaurants and nightclubs. Located on Götgatan street in the city's Södermalm district, the trendy SoFo neighborhood may not be large but offers a myriad of vintage stores, eclectic shops, clothing stores, galleries, and an abundance of hot spots to eat and drink. Sofo's hub is the busy square Nytorget, which housed open-air markets from most of the 17th century through the early 20th century. It's a nice area where visitors can find many great restaurants and cafés. You'll also encounter vibrant nightlife in this district where you can wish your companions gott nytt år, or "happy new year," until the wee hours of January 1. 

Dine and Dance at Sodra Teatern: This is the capital's oldest theater, built in 1859 in the heart of the city in Mosebacke, a park, and square. Sodra Teatern is one of Stockholm's best places to go for live music, international and Scandinavian food at Mosebacke Etablissement, and various bars. On New Year's Eve 2020, the venue has a party for those 18 and up, which includes a seafood or vegetarian meal, dancing, DJs, champagne, and a vista of the fireworks from one of their terraces with lovely city views. Note that cash is not accepted, so you must pay by credit card.

Try Global Foods at Eatery Social: Enjoy a worldly menu by chef Johannes Stålhammar that includes South American and Swedish food while you sip on some tasty drinks, mingle, and soak up New Year's Eve at Eatery Social. The festive, vegetarian-friendly restaurant in the Södermalm district boasts a view of the Skanstulls bridges. Online, you can reserve either an early or late night four-course dinner; the later option is pricier. Packages are available for those who want to stay in the four-star Clarion Hotel Stockholm that houses the restaurant.

Party at Sturecompagniet: One of the country's biggest and best-known nightclubs with various dance floors and bars, Sturecompagniet is where many people enjoy spending all night at the venue's Legendary New Year's Party. Buy your ticket in advance for this event for ages 20 and above (prices go up as the date approaches) and make sure to follow the smart casual dress codes. You'll find Sturecompagniet in the Stureplan, a public square in the city center.

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