Best Places to Visit in Sweden
With its rich history and diverse landscapes, Sweden is a traveller’s paradise. If you love the outdoors, this will definitely be hard to beat. The air and water are crystal clear, and there are thousands of acres of pristine forest and majestic lakes to explore, as well as vast archipelagos stretching along the coast.
The roads and public transport are excellent, the citizens are always friendly and helpful, and in recent years Swedish cuisine has gone through what can only be described as a revolution. Looking back at an incredible piece of history, from notorious Viking raiders to royal dynasties and imperial intrigues, one thing is for sure: you will never be bored.
Sweden’s tourist attractions include palaces and ancient cities, as well as expansive arctic landscapes and the famous ice hotel. With so much to do, you’ll want to set aside enough time to enjoy all of its outdoor adventures and historical treasures.
To help you get the most out of your Scandinavian itinerary, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Sweden.
10 Best Places to Visit in Sweden
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Sweden:
1. Lapland Kiruna
Kiruna in Lapland is at the same latitude as central Greenland and is Sweden’s northernmost city. It is also the main city of the country’s largest commune, on the border between Norway and Finland. The midnight sun can be seen here from mid-May to mid-July.
Originally a Lapp settlement, the town began to develop in the 1900s when iron ore mining began. Incredibly, the entire city is slowly moving towards the foot of northwest Mount Losavala due to mining-induced subsidence.
The world’s first ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi is approximately 17 km outside the city. ICEHOTEL has stunning rooms and furnishings that are rebuilt every year with a new design built from ice from the Torne River.
In the summer it is a hub for rafting, paddle boarding, fishing and canoeing. Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise, is 90 kilometers west of Kiruna and 95 kilometers northwest of Abisko National Park, where the Lapland Railway runs west as far as Narvik on the Norwegian coast.
Address: Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi
Official website: www.icehotel.com
2. Skansen and Djurgården, Stockholm
The world’s oldest open-air museum, Skansen is a historic village made up of houses and farms from all over Sweden. Together, these well-preserved buildings represent both rural and urban cultures from the 1720s to the 1960s. There are churches, school buildings, mansions, shops, mills, workers’ houses, artisan shops, bakeries, funicular railways, Sami camps, reindeer and some completed farms.
In these homes, farms and studios live costumed interpreters who run their daily chores, demonstrating craftsmanship and skills, as well as doing housework and farm work. The zoo includes animals native to Sweden, as well as an exotic animal area and a children’s zoo.
Skansen is located in the big city Djurgården Park and is a favorite spot for locals, especially during the summer months. There are traditional cafes, restaurants, snack bars and even hotels everywhere. If you are feeling energetic, you can also rent canoes and bicycles. Both the Abba Museum and the Gröna Lund amusement park are here.
To get here, you can take the ferry from Gamla Stan or Slussen, or the tram or bus from Norrmalmstorg. Alternatively, the park is a 15-minute walk from the city centre. Visit the Djurgården Visitor Center for more information.
Address: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm
Official website: http://www.skansen.se/en/
3. Drottningholm Palace, Lovö
The fairy-tale Drottningholms slott on the island of Lovo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. About 11km west of central Stockholm, it’s a great day trip from the capital. The palace was built in the 17th century and is currently the official residence of the Swedish royal family.
In the picturesque terraced park, there are bronze statues brought back as trophies from Bohemia and Denmark. Be sure to visit the Chinese Pavilion, built in the late 1700s. The 18th-century Palace Theater is still used for shows during the summer months. You can see ancient stage costumes and stage decorations in the theater museum.
Address: 178 93 Drottningholm
Official website: www.kungligaslotten.se/english/royal-palaces-and-sites/drottningholm-palace.html
4. Göta Canal, Stockholm
Often cited as Sweden’s greatest engineering achievement, the Göta canal dates back to the early 19th century and is 190 kilometers long. It is now one of the country’s leading tourist destinations and offers a unique perspective on the heart of Sweden. It also connects to the lakes Vänern and Vättern and the Trollhätte canal, forming part of a waterway running from Stockholm in the northeast to Gothenburg in the southwest.
With 47 bridges and 58 locks, the canal runs from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern to Söderköping on the Baltic Sea. There are a variety of passenger boats to choose from, or you can charter a boat to experience the canal your way.
Official website: http://www.gotakanal.se/sv/
5. Visby, Gotland
Steeped in medieval history and filled with ruined churches, the rose-walled town of Visby on the island of Gotland is a major attraction for tourists from all over the world. With quaint cobblestone streets running through the town, it’s easy to lose the feeling of being in the modern world while exploring. Decorated with stepped walls, many medieval trading houses and some timber-framed buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries remain.
Clearly, Visby’s reputation as the “Pearl of the Baltic” and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site are well deserved. A guided or guided tour of the magnificent city walls dating back 700 years is a must. There are about 44 defensive towers built inside the building and there are still traces of attacks on the walls in the form of two voids. Stockholm and many other Swedish cities offer excellent ferry connections as well as direct flights.
6. Stockholm City Hall
One of Sweden’s most famous buildings, Stockholm City Hall was built between 1911 and 1923 using 8 million bricks. It is considered one of the best examples of National Romanticism designed by architect Ragnar Östberg. The tower, 106 meters high, is crowned with three crowns.
An informative tour highlights some of its history and the Nobel Prizes presented here each year. During the tour, you will see Blå Hallen, the blue hall where the Nobel dinner was held, and Gyllene Salen, the golden hall covered with 18 million gold mosaic tiles.
Those who want to delve deeper into history can visit the Royal Palace in Drottningholm. After a scenic ferry ride, visitors can explore this 18th-century Baroque palace with over 600 rooms. It is also home to many museums such as the Tre Kronor Museum, the Museum of Antiquities, the Armory and the Treasury. Be sure to plan your visit to catch the daily changing of the guards.
Address: Hantverkargatan 1, Stockholm
7. Liseberg Theme Park, Gothenburg
Liseberg is one of Sweden’s most popular attractions, and the park attracts over 3 million visitors each year. It boasts a variety of attractions, from children’s carousels and fairytale castles to adrenaline-pumping rides with speed demons, bumper cars and four roller coasters.
The park, which also hosts concerts in the summer, is popular with Swedish families and foreign tourists. There is a great market in the park at Christmas. There are many places to eat in the summer and beautiful flowers bloom. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel for the best view of Gothenburg.
Address: Örgrytevägen 5, 402 22 Gothenburg
Official website: www.liseberg.com
8. Kärnan and Fredriksdal Open Air Museum, Helsingborg
The town of Helsingborg is across the sea from Elsinore, Denmark, across the Oresund Strait and has many historical sites. Its most notable feature and famous landmark is a massive brick tower called Kärnan, originally built in the 14th century as a watchtower for the town’s castle. It stands at the top of the 35-metre-high market square. Ambitious visitors can climb 190 steps for breathtaking views of the city, the Øresund Bridge and Denmark below.
After exploring the city’s historic centre, head to the Frederiksdal Open Air Museum and Botanical Garden for a real glimpse into everyday life in Sweden over the centuries. Visitors can see the living history of the working Skåne Farm, as well as visit the beautiful botanical garden Fredriksdal Mansion and the Grafiska Printmaking Museum and Music Museum.
9. Stockholm Archipelago, Stromma Boat Tours
Stockholm is often called the “Venice of the North”. Water is everywhere and there are about 30,000 islands in Stockholm’s wonderful archipelago. Distinctive red and yellow wooden cottages occupy some islands, while others are completely intact.
No matter what time of year you’re visiting, water travel should be your first choice in and out of town or on one of the islands. Many tours include lunch or dinner, and all offer the city’s unique benefits. Hop-on-hop-off options are also available. In the city centre, the unique Stromma boat is not to be missed.
Official website: www.stromma.com/en-se/stockholm/
10. Domkyrka (Uppsala Cathedral), Uppsala
Uppsala Cathedral, the city’s most important jewel, was built around 1270. It has multiplied over the centuries, and each age has left its own legacy. Its most striking exterior features are the neo-Gothic towers added in the late 19th century and the stained glass windows from the same renovation period.
Inside, note the details of the carved Baroque pulpit from 1707 and be sure to visit the North Tower’s Silver Chamber, which contains the gold brocade worn by Queen Margaret (c. 1400) and the Aegis Residence of King Rick’s Last Rest. IX, whose reign ended in 1160.
Uppsala’s medieval university, Uppsala Universitet, runs a museum just opposite the cathedral. It houses a wide variety of artifacts, from Viking weapons and jewelry to Egyptian artifacts, including several mummies. There are also exhibits and art collections on Swedish cultural history.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Sweden. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Sweden, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.