It is Christmas Market (Julmarknad) season in Europe and Sweden has some of the most darling Christmas markets. Glögg (mulled wine), reindeer meat, and candles on evergreen trees are all part and parcel of a good Swedish Christmas market.
Kickstarting the Christmas spirit for me entails switching over to the Christmas carols on our Spotify playlist and piling into the car to our local Christmas markets.
My kids love the idea of going for a pony ride, drinking warm chocolate, and possibly participating in a fiskdam (where they "fish" for a present and the fees for "fishing" go back into the local community.)
I love finding handmade goods from small businesses and local artists.
I absolutely love finding small handmade gifts that are perfect for stockings or adding a little flourish to our bookshelves. If you make a cute little elf or anything featuring a long Santa beard, I will probably buy it.
This December, we are heading to a different Christmas market every weekend in hopes of finding authentic markets that offer unique experiences to help families feel the Christmas spirit.
Steninge Slott's Julmarknad is always a fun trip out to Sigtuna, Sweden. The Christmas market is housed in the stone barn behind the 17th Century palace and the interior is stunning.
The vaulted ceilings of the barn give it an airy atmosphere and illuminated advent stars hang from the ceiling begging to go home with you.
Our favorite purchases usually involve buying a paper sack of candied almonds and some warm glögg while we walk around the property among the tree-lined pathways.
A recent development and different from years past, is that Steninge Slott now sells furniture and home decorations year round so the Julmarknad is located in a tent-like structure behind the barn (no longer on the second floor of the barn).
Unfortunately, this has resulted in a loss of the authenticity that the julmarknad had in the past as it felt like we were touring an IKEA showroom rather than a festive Christmas market. It was extremely disappointing to experience and although it was our first Christmas market of the season, we will probably not return to it in the future.
You can still purchase handicrafts and local meats, but we only saw about five local vendors in total. The rest of the items for sale were also items you could find in your local toy store.
Head to the Christmas market with plenty of patience as they have changed their parking lot to accommodate for larger crowds.
Make a day of it and head to the Sigtuna Julmarknad when you're through at Steninge.
Things to know
- Address: Steninge Slottsby, Sigtuna, Sweden
- Parking: Free
- Entry: Free
- Dogs are allowed
- The restaurant is on site and is usually packed, so arrive early if you want to eat lunch
- Bathrooms are located on the lower level
- Julmarknad is open Nov 18-Dec 23
- Mon-Fri 11-18
- Sat-Sun 10-17
My Christmas Market Rating: C+
This used to be one of my favorite Christmas markets to visit but after they prioritized selling living room furnishings over the local vendors and relegated them to lower-trafficked real estate behind the barn, this market dropped significantly in quality and authenticity.
Check out my video here for why I'm a bit sad that Steninge Slott's Julmarknad isn't as joyful as it was in the past.
We only have three more weekends until Christmas but we will be visiting as many as our kids will tolerate. We have found that plying them with hot chocolate and candy usually helps their disposition.
Stay tuned for more personal reviews of Christmas Markets in the Stockholm-ish area.
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