A same-sex couple opens a gift together.

In the spirit of giving


Tackling the yuletide chaos of Christmas gift-giving can feel like navigating a maze with a blindfold on – exciting, yet riddled with potential pitfalls. To make things easier, we have taken it upon ourselves to seek out the most one-of-a-kind gifts and experiences in Stockholm that capture the essence of the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.

The land of snow-draped landscapes, log fires, reindeer, frost, fika and folklore; some would argue that Scandinavia is as close to Christmas idyll as one could possibly get – and we’d wholeheartedly agree. Amidst this winter wonderland, Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, invites OutThere travellers to experience the magic and merriment of Christmas in true Scandinavian fashion, and to take a piece of it home in the form of a heartfelt gift… your loved ones will thank you for it.

Jingle all the way to Skansen’s Christmas Market

Nowhere does Christmas quite like Skansen. Cobbled pathways lined with traditional houses and farmsteads, visitors young and old participating in festive activities, the sweet scent of freshly baked goods and warm glögg (mulled wine) wafting through the air: just thinking about it gives us goosebumps. Then, of course, there is the annual Christmas Market, a tradition as timeless as that holiday sweater you bring out every year (but far less embarrassing).

Much loved by Swedes and tourists alike, it’s often hailed as one of the best Christmas markets in the world, owing to its authenticity, unmistakable Swedish charm, and bountiful market stalls, each bursting at the seams with comfort foods, decorations, spices, leather goods, and sentimental gifts. And if you’re truly in the spirit of giving, we recommend making a beeline to the Stockholm Glass Studio to watch as skilled glassblowers turn molten glass into one-of-a-kind works of art, which you can purchase in the adjacent boutique.

Discover regal treasures at The Royal Gift Shop

Having meandered through opulent corridors and admired the throne of queer icon Queen Christina at the Royal Palace, visitors can prolong their regal romp with a jaunt to The Royal Gift Shop. Conveniently located in the Outer Courtyard of the palace in Stockholm’s Old Town, this fabulous boutique is a treasure trove of heritage gifts and keepsakes, from luxurious tableware and interior design articles based on original patterns from the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s, to jewellery inspired by the rich tapestry of Sweden’s monarchy.

For those intrigued by the personal stories of the Swedish Royal Family, the best-selling book ‘Royal Palaces of Sweden – People and Stories’ is a must-have. Now available in English, it provides new insights into the everyday life and interests of the Royals, uniquely mirroring the female Royal perspective often overlooked in other historical accounts.

Clockwise from top: Established in 1903, Skansen’s Christmas Market features numerous stalls showcasing traditional Swedish craftsmanship, homeware, decorations, and festive treats; The Royal Gift Shop is a boutique for exclusive presents and souvenirs, featuring items linked to the Royal Collections; Rival, owned by ABBA’s Benny Andersson, houses a well-known theatre that serves as a popular venue for shows, concerts, and theatrical performances in Stockholm; Wellness wrapped with love – Dagmar Spirit & Retreat delivers top-notch services in skincare, beauty, and holistic health.

Lose yourself in a breathtaking show at the Rival hotel theatre

In a world where closets groan under the weight of forgotten gadgets and dust-collecting trinkets, the notion of gifting experiences over things is often the preferred choice. And what better way to gift an experience than by donning your finest threads and taking a loved one for a night out at Stockholm’s very own slice of theatrical paradise – Rival hotel?

The dual charm of being co-owned by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and occupying a space within a vintage cinema built in 1937 should tell you that this boutique hotel lives and breathes show business. It’s in everything from the red velvet upholstery to the numerous murals of silver-screen legends Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. If that weren’t enough, the hotel flaunts a 700-seater theatre, hosting unforgettable performances spanning stand-up comedy, plays, and live music of many genres. 

Did we also mention that Rival once hosted the Stockholm premiere of the hit film, Mamma Mia? Yes, you could be standing in the very spot where Meryl Streep once stood.

Immerse yourself in the art of wellness at Dagmar Spirit & Retreat

Continuing the theme of experiential gifting, here is something a little more ‘hands-on’ for all the wellness aficionados. As the Nordic winter chill tightens its grip, there’s no better place to unwind and thaw out those frozen muscles than at Villa Dagmar’s holistic health and wellness centre, Dagmar Spirit & Retreat. 

This retreat goes well beyond your typical lounge-by-the-pool-drinking-champagne spa experience (as much as we love them), offering a repertoire of treatments that read like a love letter to those you truly care about – think chakra balancing, gong healing, facials that work like magic, and massages that could turn even Ebenezer Scrooge into a cheerful believer.


Photography courtesy of Skansen, Once Upon a Journey, Rival, and Villa Dagmar

This article is in partnership with StockholmLGBT.


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