The beginning of the festive winter season at Haga, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2022
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2022

The plan was to head to the Design Christmas Market happening at the Culture Arena in Gothenburg, but as plans go these days, we found ourselves walking the nearby cobbled streets of the oldest quarters of the city, at Haga. We had a window of fair weather under a clear blue sky in the morning, which promised sunshine and crisp winter for the whole day.

Having lived in Tromsø for the past four years, with snow on the beach, I haven’t had the opportunity to walk these streets in a long while. So, I was totally happy to be peering through the various café windows. In the background was the soft murmur of crowds and the symphony of clunking boots on stone.

Because the Design Christmas Market was ongoing just a block away, I was absolutely convinced that the Haga Christmas Market would also be open this weekend. It was about noon when we joined a fairly large crowd at Haga, calmly strolling up and down the narrow street of the Old Town, enjoying the dressed up shop fronts and the many businesses that had moved outdoors.

It took a while for us to realize this was a normal Saturday noon at Haga, albeit the winter version, tinted by a touch of Christmas just around the corner. Basically, just a dress rehearsal before the real, full official Christmas Market at Haga which doesn’t open until next weekend on 26 Nov.

Still, they served glögg on the street amongst knitted wool gloves, vintage jewellery and antiques, and craft oils and spices that made our visit plenty festive. It seems at Haga, you can easily find excellent yuletide gifts for people who already have everything – a hanger for a hanger to a champagne bottle? Sure. For sale were also oversized lussekatter and cinnamon rolls, probably the largest in the world (what looked like). Inviting heated seating outdoors was irresistible, so we took a warm drink and sat for a time to watch the weekend crowd go by.

So it was all good even if there wasn’t an official Christmas Market this weekend at Haga. And sure, I’ll be back in the next few weeks for the real Christmas fair here, when the real Santa comes to town with Rudolf and gang. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a pair of nicely knitted wool knit gloves, or socks… or both. Because, baby it’s cold outside.