Best Time To Visit Stockholm

By Holly Stark

Whether you’re after frosty rooftops or sun-kissed lakes and evergreens, Stockholm has a plenty to offer. With four distinct seasons, Stockholm transfigures from a snow-covered playground with locals skiing its slopes and skating its frozen canals into a high-season, sunny paradise that’s perfect for long days spent outside, lakeside swimming, bike rides and picnics. Each season has a distinct vibe and Stockholm weather varies a lot, but with many of the city’s historical museums and cultural attractions accessible year-round; as well as cosy cafes, classy restaurants and the creative district, Stockholm makes a great place to visit at any time. 

The best time to visit Stockholm depends on how you want to spend your trip. Are you a nature lover longing for some summer sun or a winter adventurer craving frosty days wrapped up and exploring in the snow? Really, there is no best time of year to visit Stockholm as you can fill your itinerary whatever the weather. But unsurprisingly, Stockholm is its busiest in its summer months between May and September. Temperatures can reach up to 30 degrees and the sun sets late. Despite this, at night the temperature can drop drastically so its best to always be prepared. In winter, days are extremely short with the sun setting before 3pm. November is quite bleak, dark, cold and usually with no snow to brighten the city. Despite this, you’ll still find plenty of things to do in Stockholm in winter. If you’re here for snow, January and February are the best months to visit. For a chance of beautiful weather, book to arrive during July or August.

Spring

Wondering what to do in Stockholm in Spring? When the first spring flowers start to blossom and the first leaf buds bloom at the end of March, Stockholm transforms into a natural beauty. Dense with greenery and pink cherry blossom trees, Kungsträdgården park makes a great visit. It’s located in the city near Centralen and Östermalmstorg and offers the perfect break for some nature rehabilitation. March to May is the driest time of the year in Stockholm. Bars and cafes start opening their patios and locals head to them to soak up the sun and enjoy a few beers. Blå Porten on Djurgården, Mosebacke Terrace on Södermalm and Mälarpaviljonen on Kungsholmen are great terraces to check out. Although it’s likely to be sunny, the snow could still make an appearance, or days might be gloomy and chilly. So it’s always best to pack a hat and scarf. Head to Hornstull’s weekly food and vintage market, which starts up in April, and Kulturnatt, an annual free celebration of music, art and literature.

 

Summer

Grab a bicycle with a picnic basket, or kayak down the river and enjoy the glittering waters, sprawling islands and sun-kissed parklands of Stockholm. The city is lively in summer, with tourists and locals alike wandering old town Stockholm’s cobbled streets and townhouses of Gamla Stan. With long evenings, Stockholm presents the perfect opportunity for enjoying the city’s nightlife: think bars, nightclubs, free music festivals, salsa and bachata dance classes, comedy clubs and book clubs in small cafes. The biggest national festival of the year, Midsummer, takes place around the summer solstice at the end of June. The sun never quite goes down in Sweden during the summer, and the long days make it an ideal time to visit Stockholm. If you like walking, a local can take you through Stockholm’s neighbourhoods. 

Autumn

As the city cools off, you might consider visiting one of the many museums in Stockholm, the Fotografiska; an absorbing exhibition-based photography museum showing a diverse group of artists, with a café on the top floor that has a great view of the lake and city. If you love the outdoors, wrap up and head to the scenic apple orchards at Edeby Gård in Drottningholm or Rosenhill in Ekerö. Autumn is Sweden's apple season. So soak up the fresh air, exercise, and then enjoy the fruity aromas or indulge in a delicious Swedish apple crumble, or äppelsmulpaj. Then spend the dark evenings inside the cosy Irish bar Wirströms on Stora Nygatan in Gamla stan, Vete-katten on Drottninggatan/Kungsgatan and Under Kastanjen on Brända Tomten in Gamla stan.

Winter

As well as being visually spectacular, the city offers a variety of great things to do during winter. It’s probably the best time to get a true perception of Stockholm life, as in summer many locals head to their summer houses in the archipelago. But if you want to explore a snow-covered playground, January or February is the best time to visit Stockholm. Winter is typically from early December to mid-March. During these months the average temperature is just below 0˚C, however there can be days where it drops to -15˚C. Stockholm gets six hours of daylight in peak winter months, and some days can feel completely absorbed by darkness, so it’s important to bear that in mind when planning your trip. Swedish locals combat the darkness with a plethora of fairy lights and candles, lighting up every window and doorway with a welcoming glow.

 

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