The Weather in Stockholm

What to Expect From the Weather in Sweden's Capital

Spring weather at Kungsträdgården in Stockholm
••• © Ravi Kalyanaraman

The weather in Stockholm has several sides to it. Luckily, Stockholm is located in on the protected southeast coast of Sweden, where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren. As such, Stockholm is shielded from the worst of the arctic weather by the mountains of Norway, so the weather here is more pleasant than foreigners imagine.

Summer

Summers in Stockholm are reasonably sunny with perfect weather conditions for sightseeing and open-air activities.

The average maximum temperature in July is a pleasant 20 degrees Celsius in the south but can reach scorching heights of 30 degrees.

A typical summer night will be spent outdoors drenched in sunshine. During midsummer in Stockholm, you can expect daylight to last more than 18 hours, as opposed to a bleak six hours in the heart of winter.

The most popular time to visit Stockholm is undisputedly in summer when the weather is mild and warm and the locals take to the streets. Going for a swim in the middle of the city is a special treat, along with island hopping trips. Needless to point out though, the time of year will determine how you will experience Sweden and the capital.

Autumn and Spring Are Best

Many locals will argue that the best time to visit is during late spring and early autumn when the weather in Sweden is mild, the light soft, and tourists are few and far between. You can expect average temperatures of 14 to 15 degrees and approximately 9 hours of sunlight.

Winter

The harsh Scandinavian winter will last from October to April, depending on the region you find yourself in. The winters in the south are milder and much more bearable. Temperatures will range from -5 to 1 degrees, but have been known to drop below -15. The lowest temperature for Sweden has recorded 100 years ago when temperatures reached a mind-numbing -31 degrees.

However, it has not dropped below -25 degrees since. Snowfall usually occurs in December, and the north will experience some serious snow-rich winters with depths around 40 centimeters. The far south, on the other hand, can only expect rain.

Winter travel is somewhat restricted in certain areas, and the smaller towns go into a hibernation-like state. However, don't knock the Stockholm winter. It definitely has a certain charm to it as the city is turned into a picturesque fairytale town. Go skating on the frozen lakes and waterways, and best of all, experience the Christmas cheer that is so unique to Scandinavia.

Remember, Swedes themselves enjoy a good holiday, and the entire city can shut down for a couple of days over Christmas and midsummer, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. Regarding clothing, light to medium weight articles will do just fine for summer months, but for those traveling from countries closer to the equator; I would suggest some proper heavyweight jackets and coats for winter. Packing a raincoat is also well advised, regardless of the time of year you travel.

Rain and Snow

The rainfall in Stockholm is nothing to get excited about, averaging at about 61 centimeters annually.

The maximum rainfall occurs in late summer and August and September can be especially wet.

As if to make up for its poor display of proper rainstorms, Sweden overall boasts a very considerable snowfall, and in the northernmost regions, snow covers the ground in a thick blanket for up to 6 months. But Stockholm's halfway location makes it ideal, literally offering you the best of all seasons.

North of the Arctic Circle, the sun barely sets in summer, and night seems unending in winter. The Midnight Sun and Polar Nights are part of Scandinavia's natural occurring phenomena.