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      November 2012 > Christmas in Gothenburg

Christmas in Gothenburg

Festive breaks in SwedenGothenburg, Sweden’s second city, doesn’t hold back when it comes to Christmas. And, while the celebrations are on rather a grand scale, they are – as you might expect from the Swedes – full of style and good taste.

You will struggle to find anything gaudy or tacky here. Instead, that renowned sense of Nordic design comes to the fore, with thousands of twinkling candles artfully scattered among the streets and buildings – in fact, the whole of Gothenburg seems to sparkle during December!

The magnificent centrepiece, Scandinavia’s grandest Christmas market at Liseberg amusement park, boasts no fewer than 700 Christmas trees and 5 million lights, and there are 80 rustic stalls groaning under the weight of unique seasonal foods and hand-made arts and crafts. From here, with aromas of glögg (Swedish mulled wine), toasted almonds and freshly made waffles filling the air, you can follow the magical ‘Lane of Light’ as it takes you a full three kilometres towards the harbour.

As you wander, take in a festive film, spectacularly projected onto the giant façade of the Museum of Art; indulge along shop-lined Avenyn, the city’s ‘Champs Elysées’; and enjoy the remarkable Singing Christmas Tree, as local choirs sing Christmas carols from a multi-level, tree-shaped stage.

As if that weren’t enough, there are further traditional markets to be found in the Old City Hall (Kronhuset) and in the districts of Haga and Nordstan. You can also try ice-skating on the open-air rink at Heden, just a stone’s throw from the main boulevard Kungsportsaveyn; or take the Paddan Boat Tour to soak up the festive atmosphere and shimmering lights from the water.

Don’t forget to make the most of West Sweden’s sparkling reputation for gastronomy, either – Gothenburg’s restaurant scene is starting to rival the best in the world, and there is even a market called the ‘Fish Church’ (feskekörka) where locals are said to ‘worship cod not God’! Now is the time of year to savour the freshest of salmon and shellfish, as well as pickled herring: once seen as a poor man’s food, it is now considered a delicacy and is often flavoured with dill, mustard or caraway, or perhaps a splash of aquavit.

And, as well as indulging in the odd lussebullar (delicious, saffron-flavoured Saint Lucia buns), why not see if you can summon up the courage to tackle the Swedish Julbord (literally ‘yule board’)? Served in many restaurants from the start of December, this is perhaps the smörgåsbord to end all smörgåsbords… a traditional feast that includes cold and warm meats, fish dishes, cheese and Christmas sweets – a meal that is fit for a king!

Liseberg Christmas Market takes place each year from 16 November, while the market at Old City Hall (Kronhuset) opens on 1 December. Our 3-night Magical Gothenburg breaks are available until 21 December, and again for Christmas 2013.

Look out for our updates from this year’s Christmas markets in Gothenburg via facebook, twitter and our blog from 14-17 December…

Find out more on the excellent Gothenburg and West Sweden websites.

[Photos courtesy Göran Assner, Liseberg, Lars Ardarve.]
Posted: 23/11/2012 15:27:30 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: festivals, gastronomy, snow, Sweden

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