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Whether during the seemingly endless daylight of summer or winter’s biting cold, expats will always be able to choose from a variety of events in Stockholm. A broad selection of events celebrate every aspect of life in the city, giving expats a glimpse into Stockholm’s diverse culture and a chance to interact with local residents.
Whether just visiting the city or planning to stay for a few years, it is worth knowing about some of Stockholm's most popular annual goings-on. Here are a few of the bigger, unmissable events on the city's calendar.
Annual events in Stockholm
Stockholm Marathon (May/June)
Keen runners have been taking part in the Stockholm Marathon since 1979. The course loops around the city twice and finishes in the iconic 1912 Olympic Stadium. Every year more than 20,000 runners take to the course and are cheered on by thousands of spectators. Participants get to enjoy some of the city’s most famous attractions, while spectators can take in the lively atmosphere and cheer on the athletes.
Stockholm Pride (July/August)
Held between the end of July and the beginning of August every year since its inception in 1998, Stockholm Pride consists of a week worth of celebrations, cultural performances and educational events. The highlight of the festival is the Pride Parade, the biggest in Scandinavia, which attracts as many as 60,000 participants and 600,000 spectators every year.
Stockholm Jazz Festival (October)
Having first taken place in 1980, the Stockholm Jazz Festival is one of the oldest festivals in Sweden. Originally an outdoor summer festival, it now takes place indoors in autumn at a variety of the city’s premier jazz venues over the course of the week. The one thing that has stayed constant is that the festival continues to attract jazz superstars from all over the world and is a must-see, whether an expat is a jazz aficionado or uninitiated novice.
Stockholm Film Festival (November)
While not as prominent as its French counterpart, the Stockholm Film Festival is nonetheless the biggest event of its kind in Northern Europe. Festival goers not only get to enjoy some of Europe’s best films and a unique glimpse into Swedish culture, but the festival also hosts a variety of themed parties – a perfect opportunity for expats to mingle.
Nyårsafton New Year Celebrations (December)
Held every year at Skansen, Stockholm's open-air museum, the city’s residents brave the cold to enjoy the lively celebrations, illuminated by spectacular fireworks displays. At midnight, the Skansen bells chime and the New Year is ushered in by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous poem, ‘Ring Out, Wild Bells’. Many city residents simply enjoy the celebrations from the comfort of their homes, or at other sites such as the Västerbron bridge, which provides breathtaking views of its own. Wherever they are in the city, expats should be sure not to miss the revelry.