Is January a good time to visit Sweden? It is if you want to witness the Northern Lights! While the Lights can be seen from as early as September till as late as April, they are at their brightest in January. And this is when they are visible over the largest area of the country.
Northern Lights in Sweden in January
The Northern Lights are also known as the Aurora Borealis. The best place to see them is as far as possible from city lights.
And the best time to see them is on cold winter nights when the sky is clear and there is little to no moonlight.
The Northern Lights can appear as early as the beginning of September in Northernmost Sweden. And they can sometimes be seen as late as in April.
However, you will have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights in January. In fact, you can see them about one-fourth of the country.
But don’t expect to see them in Stockholm! It’s too far south. And the city lights are too bright.
The Northern Lights can last from a few minutes to several hours.
Winter Sports in Sweden in January
Sweden is a winter wonderland in January. And the best place to practice winter sports is in Northern Sweden.
For example, you can go skiing, cross-country skiing, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, and snowboarding.
And what about curling? Have you ever tried it? Players slide stones on a sheet of ice toward a target.
If you are up for a challenge, you can try ice-fishing. In fact, most Swedes wait until spring to do that. Certainly, few would brave the frigid temperatures in January!
On the other hand, you might want to try glamping in the snow. Who said roughing it couldn’t be luxurious?
Above all, ice-skating is popular throughout Sweden. First, you can ice-skate on rivers and lakes. Secondly, there are indoor and outdoor rinks in most cities and towns.
Finally, you can play ice hockey. Surely it is every bit as popular in Sweden as it is in Canada!
Holidays in Sweden in January
There are only two official holidays and one de facto holiday in Sweden in January.
New Year’s Day 1 January 2021
After an uproarious New Year’s Eve, most Swedes sleep in on New Year’s Day. While New Year’s Day is the first national holiday of the year, it tends to be quiet.
Twelfth Night – 5 January 2021
Twelfth Night is the night of the Twelfth Day of Christmas. While it is not an official holiday in Sweden, it is a de facto half-holiday. In other words, many employers give their employees half a day off.
Epiphany – 6 January 2021
Epiphany is an official holiday in Sweden. In fact, many secular Swedes aren’t even sure what it’s all about.
Consequently, many Swedes take advantage of the day off to return or exchange unwanted Christmas gifts.
Weather in Sweden in January
Northern Sweden gets the most snowfall. And it can be bitter cold in January. Consequently, it is a great place to practice winter sports.
However, the rest of Sweden isn’t as cold as you might expect. Because of a warm Gulf Stream, the weather tends to be warmer than other countries at this latitude.
However, that does not mean the weather is warm. And it can be quite windy along the coast. But there is little to no snow south of Stockholm.
However, be prepared for very short days and very long nights throughout the country. In fact, the short days and long nights can make the place downright gloomy.
Stockholm Weather in January
Stockholm is Sweden’s largest city. In addition, it is the nation’s capital.
Because it is built on a series of islands, Stockholm is a stunningly beautiful city. For example, it has countless lakes, bays, canals, and wetlands.
The average high temperature in Stockholm in January is -0.5 degrees Celsius, or 27 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the temperature drops to an average low of -4.9 degree Celsius, or 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is an average of 0.8 hours of daily sunshine in Stockholm in January.
There is an average of 18 days of rain or snow in Stockholm in January. The average humidity is 95%.
Gothenburg Weather in January
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city. It is located on the country’s west coast.
The average high in Gothenburg in January is 2.5 Celsius, or 29 Fahrenheit. And the average low is -12 degrees Celsius, or 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, January is the coldest month of the year in Gothenburg.
There is an average of one hour of sunshine in Gothenburg in January.
There is an average of 16 days of rain or snow in the month. The average humidity is 96%.
Malmo Weather in January
Malmo is Sweden’s third largest city. It sits at the southwestern tip of Sweden. It is across the Oresund River from Copenhagen, Denmark.
The average high temperature in Malmo in January is 1.6 degrees Celsius, or 35 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the temperature drops to an average low of -2.4 degrees Celsius, or 31 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is an average of 1.1 hours of sunshine in Malmo in January. There is an average of 17 days of rain or snow in Malmo in January. The average humidity is 92%
Uppsala Weather in January
Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city. It is 71 kilometers, or 44 miles, north of Stockholm.
The average high temperature in Uppsala in January is -1.9 degrees Celsius, or 24 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the temperature drops to an average low of -7.4 degree Celsius, or 19 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is an average of 0.8 hours of sunshine in Uppsala in January. There is an average of 16 days of rain or snow in Uppsala in the month. The average humidity is 98%.
Umea Weather in January
Umea is Sweden’s 13th largest city. It is the gateway to Swedish Lapland.
The average high temperature in Umea in January is -4.7 degrees Celsius, or 17 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the temperature drops to an average low of -11.7 degrees Celsius, or 11 degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, January is the coldest month of the year in Umea.
There is an average of 0.6 hours of sunshine in Umea in January. There is an average of days of precipitation in Umea in January. The average humidity is 96%.
What to Take to Sweden in January
January is cold so bring warm clothes. If you will be visiting coastal regions, make sure to include windproof clothes as it can get very windy.
Moreover, if you plan on practicing winter sports, bring the proper gear. Otherwise, you can rent equipment on site.
Weather Data: VisitSweden.com and weather2visit.com
Things to Do in Sweden in January is part of a series of monthly travel guides to Sweden.