22 Apr 2024
How to Celebrate Swedish National Day
Swedish Culture What's on: Stockholm

How to Celebrate Swedish National Day

Rumour has it that Sweden’s National Day began in 1523 when Gustav Vasa was crowned, but it wasn’t made a public holiday until 2005. But either way it’s a cause to celebrate – choose a century and go from there!

Although Swedish National Day on June 6th isn’t actually that big of a deal for many Swedes – they don’t dance around the Maypole or have any specific traditions for it – over the past few decades and in recent years, a plethora of celebrations (and even a cake) have popped up. You can celebrate folk-style, beach-style, or head off to the races…so you better do something!


Celebrating National Day at Skansen is really the classic choice. Skansen started observing the day way back in 1893. For years the royal family have attended the festivities, where guests can participate in folk-dancing, face-painting, flag-making, history lectures, and more. And since it takes place at Skansen, the kids will never get bored – you can always skip history for the petting zoo!

Where: Skansen, Djurgården
When: June 6th, all day long
Damage: Adults 180 SEK, children 70 SEK, pensioners 160 SEK

Drottningholm. Photo: Ola Ericsson/Imagebank Sweden
Drottningholm. Photo: Ola Ericsson/Imagebank Sweden


18th Century Drottningholm

If you’d rather invade Marie Antoinette’s closet than take a folk-dancing lesson, then Drottningholm may be the place for you on June 6th. Face-painting and makeup artists will be available from 11:00, there’s a costume parade at 12:45, a concert at 13:00, and much more. Ride a horse and wagon around the park or enjoy a performance in the theatre. The Chinese Palace also has free entrance for the day, with tours in Swedish and English.

Where: Drottningholm, Ekerö
When: June 6th, festivities begin at 11:oo
Damage: Free

Gärdet Horse Races 

Off to the races! Grab your finest hat and have a charming day at Svensk Gallopp in Gärdet. There will be horse racing, a hat contest, and activities for young and old alike. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Swedish nobles have been racing their steeds there since 1831. It may be the least typically-Swedish of them all, but it’s certainly a national day you won’t forget!

Where: Svensk Galopp, Gärdet
When: June 6th. Gates open around 11:30 and festivities begin an hour later. Things round up around 17:00. Damage: Depends on what you want to do! 

Horse races and glamour
Image: John Athayde/Flickr

Beach Party at Rålambshovsparken

Alright, we admit it. True Swedish style means partying it up near the water with food, drink, and song. So why not a beach part? Hit up Rålamshovsparken for food, performances, activities, a “Samba train”, and tropical rhythms! Children’s activities are available in the day and as evening approaches the DJs arrive and the “Mosquito Beachparty” will be in full swing!

Where: Rålamshovsparken, Kungsholmen
When: June 6th. Activities begin at 12:00 and end at 20:00, beach party 15:00 to 21:00
Damage: Free

Featured Image: Bengt Nyman/Flickr 

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