Sweden’s attractions are endless. Visitors here encounter untouched nature, world-class museums, fascinating history, beautiful cities and towns, living traditions and a creative spirit that makes itself known in everything from science, technology and art to the country’s ever-changing culinary scene.
Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, city attractions or a combination of both, you will find it in Scandinavia’s largest country. Here are some of the best things to do in Sweden to experience its magic to the fullest.
Fall in love with beautiful Stockholm
“Of cities I know in the world, you are the one who has everything”, wrote the Swedish singer-songwriter Lasse Berghagen in a famous musical love letter to Sweden’s capital, “Stockholm in my heart” (Stockholm in my heart). Berghagen was right: Stockholm is a charmer.
Island hop in the Stockholm archipelago
About 30,000 islands and skerries make up the scenic Stockholm archipelago, spread over an area of almost 1680 square kilometers (650 square kilometers). If you have limited time, you can soak up some of the island’s taste on Fjäderholmarna, just a 25-minute boat ride from central Stockholm, or take a guided archipelago cruise. Year round passenger ferries and faster summer excursion boats operates destinations throughout the region, including Vaxholm, Grinda, Finnhamn, Möja and Sandhamn, which make good day trips but also have accommodation if you would like to stay for a while.
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Take a hike
Cross the Göta Canal
One of the most ambitious construction projects in Swedish history, the Göta Canal connects the Baltic Sea with the country’s largest lakes, Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern, and connects to Trollhättan’s canal for a complete coast-to-coast crossing, complete with 66 locks and two aqueducts. A canal cruise is a wonderful way to experience the lush countryside, picturesque villages and other attractions along the route, with itineraries ranging from day trips to multi-day trips on historic canal boats. If you prefer a do-it-yourself cruise, you can do it rent a boat and travel at your own pace.
Experience southern Sweden by bike
Another good way to experience the Göta Canal is through cycle along the towpaths – A total of 87 car-free km (54 mi). Be sure to stop at Berg and Borenshult to see boats passing through impressive multi-lock stairs.
Further south, Sweden’s three interconnected national tourist cycle paths are perfect for day trips or long-distance travel. 274 km (170 mi) Sydostleden The trail runs south from Växjö through Småland’s fields and forests and along the coast of eastern Skåne. In Simrishamn, The South Coast Trail takes over and continues 260 km (162 mi) along the south coast past white sandy beaches and historic towns and cities. From Helsingborg, Kattegattleden follows the scenic west coast in 390 km (242mi), all the way to Gothenburg.
Ride the rails on the Inlandsbanan
For a train journey through some of Sweden’s wildest and most beautiful landscapes, take a trip further Inlandsbanan (Inlandsbanan). Starting in Mora in Dalarna, the train goes north to Gällivare, about 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, and makes many stops where you can visit sights such as the Arctic Circle, Östersund’s local history museum Jamtli and Ájtteberget and the Sami Museum in Jokkmokk. A wonderful way to see the interior of northern Sweden, the route also provides access to long-distance hiking trails and the opportunity to discover some of the region’s rich wildlife.
Search for northern lights
Sweden’s far north is widely recognized as one of the best places in the world to experience the incredible northern lights, a frequent occurrence between September and March. Few sights can be compared to the magic of seeing luminous waves of green, red, blue and purple dancing across the darkened sky, the result of electrically charged solar particles colliding in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Abisko National Park is known as one of the world’s best destinations for the Northern Lights, thanks to its clear skies, lack of light pollution and position within the Northern Lights Oval, a band around the earth’s magnetic pole where the Northern Lights are most likely to form. East of Abisko, Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost city, is also a good base, with many travel companies offering Northern Lights-seeking excursions, including skis, snowshoes and dog sleds.
Paddle a scenic waterway
Sweden’s long coastline, thousands of lakes and many islands make it an ideal paddling destination. In Stockholm, you can rent kayaks, canoes or stand-up paddleboards in various places, among others Långholmen, Kungsholmen and Djurgården. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available in other cities, including Gothenburg and Malmö.
For something less urban, the Bohuslän coast, Skåne’s barren Kullaberg peninsula and the High Coast region are all fantastic kayak destinations, as well as St. Anna’s archipelago near Söderköping and the islands around Piteå and Luleå in the far north. Sweden’s inland waterways, including about 100,000 lakes, also offer endless opportunities for kayaking, with equipment rental and guided tours throughout the country.
Enjoy the lifestyle on the west coast
Some call Sweden’s west coast the “best coast”. Although eastbound and roller coasters can clutter, there is no denying that there is something special here. The region’s undisputed hub is Gothenburg, a lively port city with popular festivals and outstanding restaurants, shopping and attractions. After a taste of urban entertainment, head north to Bohuslän, an almost impossibly beautiful region with deeply drawn rocky coastline with picturesque fishing villages filled with life during the summer months. If you prefer beaches to rocky beaches, head south from Gothenburg to Halland, where you will find lovely stretches of sand around Varberg, Falkenberg and Halmstad.
Eat your way through Sweden
Although Sweden is perhaps best known internationally for meatballs and pancakes, in recent decades Sweden has developed an exciting culinary scene that mixes classic dishes with international influences, with an emphasis on sustainability and locally produced, seasonal ingredients. From Michelin-starred restaurants to relaxed cafes and vibrant urban market halls, you will find a wide range of fantastic places to try Sweden’s flavors all over the country.
Visit castles, palaces and fortresses
Sweden has hundreds of historic castles, palaces and mansions, concentrated in the southern third of the country. Visit Stockholm’s enormous royal castles, walk through the beautiful gardens by Drottningholm’s castle by the lake or go back in time to the towering Renaissance castles Gripsholm, Vadstena and Kalmar. On Öland, do not miss the fire-ravaged ruins of the 13th century Borgholm Castle. There are also many interesting smaller castles such as SkoklosterSofiero and Läckö.
Various historical fortresses are also reminiscent of times when Sweden was much less peaceful and secure. For centuries, Vaxholm’s fortress helped defend Stockholm against Danish and Russian attacks. North of Gothenburg, the well-preserved Carlsten Fortress, from 1658, occupies a command position on Marstrand’s island, while the 14th century Bohus Fortress in Kungälv witnessed many significant events before they fell into atmospheric ruin.
Roadtrip through the Swedish countryside
With well-maintained roads, good signage and interesting sights scattered throughout the countryside, Sweden is perfect for a car holiday. Although large motorways quickly take you from point to point, the great joy of a Swedish road trip winds along secondary routes through dense forests and beautiful small towns, past sparkling lakes, spectacular coastlines and rolling farmland dotted with red-painted cottages with white. trim.
The disadvantage of driving in Sweden is the high price of rental cars and fuel, but you can reduce the costs of the latter – as well as your environmental impact – by renting a hybrid or even an electric car. Electric charging stations are located throughout the country; Charge finder is a good resource.