Sweden is everything you’d want in a travel destination. Northern Lights, gorgeous lakes, dynamic cities, and friendly locals – inspired yet? Plan the perfect trip with my travel guide packed with insights and tips.
What comes to your mind when you hear “Sweden?” Is it the bustling city of Stockholm with its majestic waterways and colourful houses? Or is it the excitement of the gorgeous Northern Lights dancing around over snow-capped peaks?
Sitting in Scandinavia’s heartland, Sweden is an alluring country with thousands of lakes, national parks, archipelagos, and that iconic Scandi-style well-known to most of us. Each of its cities presents a different and unique vibe that’s easy to fall in love with.
Oh, and let’s not forget, the Swedish Lapland is the home of the Midnight Sun that most travellers hope to experience.
So, are you excited to get your trip to Sweden going? When is the best time to go? How do you get there? I’ll cover everything you need to know in this Sweden travel guide.
Spread across 14 islands, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Sweden’s capital, including visiting the Royal Palace. Consider staying at the Haymarket by Scandic.
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second-largest city and is very charismatic. Its idyllic streets house graceful neoclassical-inspired buildings, while its waterfront is always abuzz with activity. I suggest staying at the contemporary Jacyz Hotel.
Malmö is possibly Sweden’s most unique city because there’s a bridge that connects it to nearby Copenhagen, Denmark. Its unusual location makes it easy to take a day trip to Sweden’s Nordic neighbour. The Elite Plaza Hotel is a stunning accommodation worth considering.
Åre is Sweden’s skiing paradise. Nestled in a mountain valley and surrounded by a mesmerising lake, it’s a wonderful place for a vacation in Sweden to get away from the busy cities. My top pick is Holiday Club Åre.
I can’t stress taking out travel insurance enough because, as Murphy’s Law suggests, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. So stay on the safe side and look at taking out AXA Travel Insurance to cover everything from medical emergencies to loss of personal items.
Sweden Visitor Guide: What to Do During Your Sweden Trip
Top Things to Do
Walk Around Stockholm
Stockholm is Sweden’s beating heart, spread over 14 islands along the Baltic Sea. I’d suggest starting your Stockholm adventure with a stroll through Gamla Stan – the city’s Old Town.
Stockholm is famous for its scenic waterways, including the Strandvägen and Djurgården Canal. An archipelago cruise is a fantastic way to visit the islands and their surroundings.
Explore the Gothenburg Archipelago
When planning a trip to Sweden, Gothenburg should naturally make it to your list of places to visit. Sweden’s second-largest city has 20 islands for you to explore. So, a Gothenburg archipelago cruise is your best bet to see all of the islands.
Gothenburg’s picturesque Old Town – Haga, Botanical gardens, canals, and the famous Liseberg Amusement Park all await you as well.
Malmö is a gorgeous coastal city. It sits at the end of the mind-blowing Öresund Bridge, which connects the city with Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen. If you’re an art lover, you’ll enjoy the Malmö Art Museum, as it displays some of the finest Scandinavian art.
This charismatic city has numerous markets in the Möllevångstorget square, selling everything from Swedish food to vintage street items.
Wander Through Swedish Lapland
Swedish Lapland sits at the northernmost corner of Sweden, bordering Norway and Finland. Lapland is the home of Santa Claus, so you can only guess it’s a pretty special place.
The Abisko National Park is a great place to chase the Northern Lights and immerse yourself in the local Sámi culture.
Stay in an Ice Hotel
One attraction that’s becoming increasingly popular in Sweden is its pop-up ice hotels. Every winter, sculptors create these hotels completely out of ice, featuring everything from hotel rooms to bars.
Staying in an ice hotel is not for the faint-hearted, but it sure does make for an interesting experience.
Take a Hike
With an endless amount of lakes, mountains, and forests, Sweden has no shortage of hiking trails. Whether you’re up for a long multi-day trek into the Arctic wilderness or a short hike just outside Stockholm – there’s a hike for everyone.
Sweden is one of the best places to ski because of its ample ski resorts. While you can do traditional runs, opt for something adventurous like skiing in an old military mountain tunnel. There’s one in the small town of Gällö. It’s one of the longest ski tunnels in the world and a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Experience a Swedish Sauna
Any Scandinavian holiday probably isn’t complete without a trip to a sauna. There are numerous saunas and bathhouses around Sweden, but Malmö’s scenic Kallbadhus at the edge of the sea offers gorgeous views of the Öresund Bridge.
Suggested Sweden Itineraries
Visiting Sweden – For First Timers
If you’re staying in Sweden for the first time but don’t have much time, your best bet would be to concentrate your time in Stockholm and Gothenburg and their surroundings.
The Bohuslän Coast is western Sweden’s rugged and beautiful coastline. It extends all the way from Gothenburg to the border with Norway. Along the way, you’ll find thousands of islands, charming towns, lakes, and picturesque little houses.
Check Out The King’s Garden
This idyllic park is the oldest in Stockholm and sits in the city centre. It’s definitely one of the most photogenic places in Sweden, as its pathways boast stunning pink cherry blossom trees. There are a few cafés and eateries around the area, so grab a bite and take a leisurely stroll.
Wander Around Rosendals Garden
Sitting on Djurgården Island, this public garden boasts incredible orchards and flower beds. You can learn more about the ecology of the area and also enjoy a tasty lunch at the garden café.
Hang Out At the Östermalmshallen Food Hall
If you’re a food lover, then this is the place to be. The Östermalmshallen Food Hall in Stockholm boasts every kind of food stall. It’s the perfect place to sample Swedish cuisine.
How to See the Best of Sweden for Free
Travelling to Sweden doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. There are loads of free things to do, including complimentary walking tours in the major cities.
There are numerous museums in Stockholm that offer complimentary admission. You can learn more about Swedish history, culture, and art without spending a cent.
For unbelievable (and free) views of Stockholm, visit the Katarina Elevator, a 124-foot (38 metres) vantage point that overlooks Gamla Stan.
Dishes to Try in Sweden
Pickled Herring – A Swedish classic usually eaten at celebrations.
Kroppkakor – A hearty potato dumpling served with fried pork and a creamy sauce.
Kalops – A tasty stew served alongside boiled potatoes and pickled beetroot.
Top Drinks in Sweden
Gotlandsdricka – A unique beer blend produced on Gotland Island.
Söderblandning – A Swedish tea blended with tropical fruits and flowers.