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Sweden Travel Guide

Isles of style. Snow-and-silver tundra. The ultimate night sky. And inner warmth.
Sweden is one of the healthiest and happiest countries in the world - and it’s no wonder why.

Life here is warm and light, full of laughter, adventure, and experiences you can only have here. Just imagine riding a sleigh through snow under a starlit sky. Or sitting in a warm cafe in Stockholm with a giant cinnamon whirl in hand. Sleeping in a bed carved of ice, wrapped snug in blankets. Partying in summer for 24 hours. Singing ABBA songs with gusto loudly, badly, and unabashedly. 

There are a thousand different ways to have a perfect holiday in Sweden. Whether via a solo trip, a family holiday or Sweden group travel package, you’ll be spoiled for choice.


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Sweden is one of the healthiest and happiest countries in the world - and it’s no wonder why.

Life here is warm and light, full of laughter, adventure, and experiences you can only have here. Just imagine riding a sleigh through snow under a starlit sky. Or sitting in a warm cafe in Stockholm with a giant cinnamon whirl in hand. Sleeping in a bed carved of ice, wrapped snug in blankets. Partying in summer for 24 hours. Singing ABBA songs with gusto loudly, badly, and unabashedly. 

There are a thousand different ways to have a perfect holiday in Sweden. Whether via a solo trip, a family holiday or Sweden group travel package, you’ll be spoiled for choice.


Location

Sweden is located on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. The Nordic country is bordered by Norway on the west, Finland in the northeast and the Baltic Sea to the south. Its proximity to these countries as well as Iceland and the United Kingdom make it a popular European destination. Flights from India to Sweden can take as little as 9 hours. 

When to go

The best time to visit Sweden is between June and August when the weather is warm and most attractions are open to the public. Between November and May, travellers can enjoy winter activities and the appearance of the Northern Lights. There’s something for everybody here, in every season.

Where to go

Take in the best of Sweden with time spent in its cities as well as in the countryside. Visit the creative hub Gothenburg for insight into Sweden’s propensity for design and innovation (everyday items like the GPS and the iconic Coca-Cola bottle were dreamt up in Sweden, and its famous capital Stockholm, where you can sing along with ABBA (virtually) at the ABBA: The Museum, and shop in endlessly stylish boutiques. 

There’s plenty of wilderness to explore, from hiking the mighty Kungsleden (King's Trail) to heading up north to visit the Sami, who are the indigenous people of the northern parts of Sweden, Finland and Norway.
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At a glance

Language

Swedish
The local and official Sweden language is Swedish. Finnish is also widely spoken, as is English.

Currency

Krona
The Swedish currency is Krona. At the time of posting, the Swedish currency to INR conversion rate is 1 SEK = 7.38 INR.

Weather

Sweden’s weather is much milder than one would expect, regulated by its many lakes and the warm ocean wind that comes from Norway’s west coast into mainland Sweden. The country is often powdered in snow between December and April, but ice-breaking boats ensure that significant ports of entry remain open even during the peak of winter.

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Explore Gamla Stan, the “Old Town”   

Recommended by Nomadic Matt

“This is the “Old Town” of the city, with gorgeous architecture and cobblestone streets. This was the original part of the city, and here you’ll see centuries-old buildings, the Nobel Museum, the Royal Palace, and the ancient homes of the aristocracy. The winding roads and alleys make for some great exploring and photography.”

Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, has travelled to nearly 100 countries. He shares proven tips and advice on his website which has been featured on major media sites including the New York Times, the BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and TIME magazine.

Cruise the Gota Canal   

Recommended by Black Blue Green and a touch of Pink

“I sailed on a four-day cruise from Stockholm to Göteborg, during spring…This is Sweden at its best, with the two major cities and a full immersion in the countryside...you can’t be closer to the landscape; you sail IN the landscape and you can touch it, smell it (the cows, the flowers), hear it (the cows again, trains, and silence), hike it, bike it etc..”

Black Blue Green and a touch of Pink is run by Mike and Véronique. Together they write for CRUISE (Japan), Shippax (Sweden), Cruise & Style (Belgium), EVA Magazine, Goodbye (Belgium).

Live it up at a festival   

Recommended by Adventure In You

"Just like most places in Europe, Sweden has a big festival culture that is incredibly fun. While most of these festivals happen during summer time when the midnight sun makes late nights easy to enjoy, you can either plan your trip around attending one or simply just head there and pray you get lucky."

Tom and Anna share the best destination advice, travel tips, and more.

Hike the King’s Trail   

Recommended by Emelie Forsberg

“The Kungsleden (King’s Trail) is a 450km hiking trail in the Swedish Lapland that hikers usually cross in no less than 15 days. The spectacularity and the wilderness of the aspects make it for a very popular hiking destination in summer and for cross country in winter.”

Emelie Forsberg is an award-winning Swedish athlete specialized in trail running and ski mountaineering.

Take a selfie in the Canola fields of southern Sweden   

Recommended by Journalist On The Run

"The golden fields of Southern Sweden takes place each year in May, and they’re so beautiful. When you drive around in the southern countryside, you will see yourself in the middle of yellow everywhere."

Janet’s adventure travel blog gives readers an insight into what life is like in far flung corners of the planet.

Incredible places to visit in Sweden

Gotland

Gotland is the Baltic Sea’s largest island and an underrated gem when it comes to cookie-cutter Sweden travel packages. Gotland has an abundance of beaches that you can easily reach with a bike ride. While there are plenty of activities to do here, some of your most memorable days in Sweden may just be of cycling leisurely along cliffsides, pine forests, and fields filled with sheep, and spending hours at a golden beach. It’s ideal for a family holiday.

Visby

The walled old town, with its red roofs, the three cathedral black spires, and rose bushes everywhere, is one of Sweden’s most camera-ready destinations, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site to boot. There are beautiful ruined churches dating from the Middle Ages. And a 150 year old botanical garden where white butterflies flit between wild fig trees, mulberry bushes, and water lilies. If you’re here during summertime, head on down to the seafront to drink and party at the bars and nightclubs with Swedes on holiday.

Visby’s Medieval Week

The second week in August sees thousands of visitors in Visby for Medieval Week, and if you’re travelling to Sweden during this time, it’s an experience you just can’t miss. If you attend, you’re in for jousting, markets, church concerts, street theater, fire shows, storytelling, walks, and lectures. Your kids can take a ride on the medieval carousel. You can eat everything from wild boar burger to grilled lamb. You can watch knights fighting each other. All in the company of locals dressed up in period costume as minstrels, nobles, paupers, and jesters.

Lummelundagrottan

Lummelundagrottan is a karst cave north of Visby. It’s one of the longest ones in the country and is one of the few places in the world thought to be formed before the last ice age! With a guide by your side, you can venture into the underworld through narrow passages and underground lakes.

Island of Fårö

Fårö - meaning Sheep Island - is located above Gotland’s northern tip. Remote and windswept, it feels as though it exists in a little bubble of time. The island has no bank, post office, A.T.M., ambulance, doctor or police force.  No one on the island locks their doors, cars or bicycles. Limestone pillars dot the coastline; there are fields of purple wildflowers and forests filled with strawberries and mushrooms. It’s no wonder that one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Ingmar Bergman, chose to make his home here.

Bike along Gotlandsleden

Cyclists and pillion riders will love the winding, well-marked cycle route through the pastures, almost looping in on itself at a point. A harbourside survey will turn up a bike rental shop and a few route maps to take along. If you feel like a bite to eat along the way, stop by one of the many hostels along the route, including places in Lärbro and Lummelunda.

Malmö

Sweden’s third-largest city is cosmopolitan, and thrumming with creative energy. Ingenuity is everywhere you turn, from its mix of architectural styles to its thought-provoking museums, its alternative art studios to cutting-edge restaurants. Malmö is linked by the Öresund Bridge to Copenhagen, opening up an easy way for travellers who want to holiday in both Denmark and Sweden, or elsewhere in Europe.

Öresund Bridge

Top on Sweden’s list of human-made marvels, Öresund Bridge connects Denmark’s Copenhagen to Malmö. The rail and road bridge stretches 8km out to sea before turning downwards into the world’s longest underwater tunnel that takes you to the artificial island where the bridge begins. The whole trip, by car, takes about 10 minutes.  An award-winning engineering feat, it’s a must-see (or a must-ride) when in Malmö.

Malmö Castle

For a glimpse into Malmö’s past, pay a visit to Malmöhus Castle. It originally belonged to Denmark, and is Sweden’s oldest remaining Renaissance castle. It has been in turn,  a war-time fortress, a royal residence, a prison, and then a museum. Inside, there are a wide variety of exhibits. You can see an aquarium, a natural history section, centuries-old portraits and more.

Folkets Park

This huge recreational park is a favourite with the locals, and is one of Sweden's most visited sites. It has a dance venue, a playground, a terrarium, a cultural centre and even a miniature golf course for children. All-inclusive holidays to Sweden may miss out on this vibrant space in favour of the more common sightseeing hotspots, but do try to make a stop here. Its live music scene is what brings the crowds– the concert stage has hosted no less than the likes of ABBA and Frank Sinatra.

Skåne

Skåne county is in the south of Sweden. It has all you might need: both peace, life and lightheartedness. In the endless countryside, you come across large fields of bright yellow canola, and tall beech trees. White farmhouses turned eateries offer a smörgåsbord of homemade fare - bowls of crayfish, green salads, mounds of buttery cheese, and knicke bread - shared with generosity and without affectation. Along the way, you’ll find little farm shops where you can pick up mementos of the region’s treasures: sheepskins, pears and cherries, and fresh-pressed apple juice. Skåne county is a must-see during any Sweden travel plan, impromptu or not!

Stockholm

The capital of the Swedish archipelago, Stockholm is, at its heart, a historic city. There’s quite a collection of medieval and Renaissance buildings and palaces you can visit. But the city is also a cultural storm of modern-day cosmopolitan life, an unmatchable sense of design and some of the happiest people on the planet. If there was one piece of advice to offer travellers on trips to Stockholm, it would be to carry an extra bag for classy purchases and the motto “calories don’t count when you’re on vacation.”

Stadsbibliotek (Stockholm Public Library)

The Stockholm Public Library is known to many as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It is a circular book hall containing more than 40,000 books on three levels, with mahogany furniture and leather chairs.

Stockholm’s Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Stockholm is one of the biggest palaces in Europe and remains the official residence of the King of Sweden. More than  600 rooms inside are decked in finery from the 18th and 19th centuries, complete with jewelled swords and golden carriages. Keep in mind though that only some sections are within the Palace are open to the public. And also that you can catch the changing of the guards around lunchtime most days.

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan has been Stockholm’s city centre since the 13th century! It is the world’s oldest preserved medieval city, made up of a maze of alleyways and streets dotted with rust-and-mustard coloured houses that look great on Instagram, and an ever-present smell of cinnamon and cardamom buns in the air. Stop by Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm, and keep an eye out for a building with a cannonball embedded into its corner.

ABBA the Museum

The city’s monument to the pop supergroup is an essential stop for die-hard fans and curious travellers alike. It’s full of memorabilia - the band’s original costumes, guitars, gold records, and the helicopter from the Arrival album cover. And there’s an interactive space where you can dance and sing along with the band on a virtual stage, and record it as a unique memento! As this unique attraction does not feature on all Sweden group travel packages, make sure you plan ahead to visit it. Online booking is recommended as the museum does not accept cash.

Stockholm City Hall

One of the most famous buildings in all of Sweden, the Stockholm City Hall boasts richly-decorated ceremonial halls and exquisite pieces of art and design within its walls. It’s only fitting,then, that the City Hall is the venue of the much-awaited Nobel Prize Banquet in December each year. Tours include access to both the Blue Hall (where the prizes are awarded), and the Golden Hall, which is decorated with millions of glittering gold mosaic tiles (where the Nobel Ball is held). For those who would like to attend the ceremony but do not see an invite in their future, a visit to the Stadshuskällaren restaurant that serves a menu of dishes from previous Nobel banquets might suffice.

Gothenburg

Gothenburg, or Göteborg to the Swedes, is Stockholm’s hipster sister-city. It is a hub for art, design and culture. There are talented musicians on street corners, and gallery exhibitions and art shows in every district. Most bars, restaurants and clubs are within walking distance. Needless to say, Swedish holidays are incomplete without a visit to this waterfront city.

Liseberg

As Scandinavia’s largest amusement park, Liseberg is on almost everyone’s list of things to do in Sweden. It has some of the most impressive rides in all of Europe! Find yourself shrieking with joy and terror on the continent’s highest free-fall tower and Valkyria, a rollercoaster with the longest dive. During Christmas, Sweden’s biggest Christmas Market opens at Liseberg. There will be more than five million Christmas lights, a thousand Christmas trees, over a hundred stalls stocked with homemade sweets, shiny Christmas decorations, and handmade gifts, and plenty of festive cheer.

Explore the city’s waterways

You can wander around Gothenburg by foot or by cycle, but using the city’s waterways offers travellers a unique point-of-view, not least because of  all the Swedes sunbathing on the shores by the water. You can kayak through the city’s old canals from the 17th century, or opt to go aboard a Paddan, a sightseeing boat.

Haga Nygata

A ribbon cutting through the city’s oldest suburb, Haga Nygata is all cobblestone and oldtimber. The strip hosts mini markets that merge into bigger markets during Christmas and on summer weekends, making it one of the best places to visit in Sweden for souvenirs, trinkets and mementos. The Haga district itself has many cafes, shops and boutiques for a quick round of shopping and finger food.

Feskekörka

Literally translating to ‘Fish Church’, Feskekörka is an indoor fish market located inside a church-like building in the centre of Gothenburg. It is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Inside, you’ll find a huge selection of fresh fish or shellfish from the region: crab, cod, catfish, monkfish, salmon, plaice, mackerel, langoustine - we could go on. During your visit, stop by Restaurant Gabriel for a little chat with Johan Malm, the World Oyster Opening Champion!

The Southern Archipelago

The southern section of the Gothenburg Archipelago is just a ferry ride away from the city. No cars are allowed in this part of the islands, which means you can be calmed by the quiet, the water and the sunshine, and enjoy a more leisurely pace of life featuring picnics, nice little beaches, and a plate of freshly grilled herring. Make sure to take the time to include a seal safari on your list of things to do here.

The Swedish Lapland

The  Swedish Lapland is a wilderness wonderland; pine and birch forests that turn into snow-and silver in the winter; the lakes are full of crayfish; and the landscapes colours are of bird’s eggs, fern and moss, wild berries, and stone. Here, you’ll feel cleaner, stronger, and more connected to the earth.

Stay in the Ice Hotel

The famous Ice Hotel is the world's first hotel made entirely of ice and snow. It’s a truly spectacular feat of creativity. The hotel has furniture, bathrooms, shimmering chandeliers, art suites, an Ice Church (where more than 100 – short – weddings are held every year), restaurant and an Ice Bar all of ice. Very, very few people can claim to have slept in a room, and in a bed made of ice, but you’ll be one of them.

Visit the town of Kiruna

The mining town of Kiruna has an unusual story of its own. Kiruna’s iron ore mine is making the ground collapse, so the whole town is due to be moved three kms away, to prevent it from sinking into the ground! That’s right. See this for yourself.

See the Northern Lights

In the midst of a snow-covered wilderness and surrounded by the Lapland’s mighty mountain peaks, is the ultimate place to watch the Northern Lights in Sweden. For instance, Abisko National Park receives only 300mm of rainfall annually, resulting in Sweden's clearest skies makes it perfect for watching the Aurora. Every sighting is different, a glorious, shifting dance of light and colour that is a humbling and spiritually uplifting experience.

Go dog sledding with huskies

Sit in a sled pulled by huskies under a starlit sky, beautiful both without the Aurora or ablaze with it.  These adorable dogs are expertly trained, and enjoy the thrill of zooming through the snow as much as you do! This is a must-do experience on any Sweden group travel package - doubly-so if it’s during the Christmas season!

Get to know the Sami

The Sami are the indigenous people of the northern parts of Sweden, Finland and Norway. With a Sami guide by your side, you’ll get a completely unique point-of-view into their world, tales, beliefs, and way of life. Eating dinner with the Sami is to learn how to harness the essence of the surrounding forest and lake: cloudberries, reindeer stew, mushrooms and freshly caught fish, made from recipes handed down through generations. And to track the Northern Lights with them is to watch the glimmering sky as you listen to the story of the  mystical Fire-Fox sweeping his tail over the lands, causing sparks to fly up into the night and creating the Aurora. Any time spent with the Sami is a special, treasured experience.

Top things to do & experience in Sweden

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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