Exploring SwedenOur Travel Guide
Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains. Its principal cities, eastern capital Stockholm and southwestern Gothenburg and Malmö, are all coastal. Stockholm is built on 14 islands. It has more than 50 bridges, as well as the medieval old town, Gamla Stan, royal palaces and museums such as open-air Skansen.
Sweden at a Glance
In Sweden, the standard is 230 volts. You will need Plugs C & F.
The Swedish currency is the Swedish Krona (SEK).
Sweden’s water supply is well filtered and incredibly clean, so bring a long a portable water bottle and make sure to fill it up when you go exploring!
In most homes it is customary to remove your shoes.
- Sight Seeing 75% 75%
- Cost 90% 90%
- Ease of Travel 80% 80%
- Activities 95% 95%
We love Sweden and spent Christmas there. With the snow, dog sledding, forests, sledding and a nice sauna at the end, it was magical.
Top Experiences in Sweden
1. Stockholm Archipelago
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on an extensive Baltic Sea archipelago. The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of Gamla Stan (the old town) are home to the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral, the Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, which focuses on the Nobel Prize. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between the islands.
Our favorite Stockholm experiences are:
The Vasa Museum – The Vasa Museum in Stockholm is Sweden’s most popular museum and now attracts around a million visitors annually. More than 20 million people have visited since the museum opened in 1990, and it’s not hard to see why. In 1628 the pride of the Swedish Imperial fleet, the Vasa battle ship, sank on its maiden voyage. The ship lay below the icy waters for more than three centuries until, in 1961, an incredibly ambitious salvage operation took place.
Gamla Stan – Stockholm’s Old Town is known as Gamla Stan, a small concentrated area where the city began in the middle of the 13th century. Much of the medieval enclave remains, although in typical Scandinavian style, it is freshly brushed and painted. Its charm is in the architecture along its narrow stone-paved lanes and around its squares, especially the main one, Stortorget, surrounded by old merchants’ houses. In this neighborhood, along with plenty of shops, restaurants, and tea rooms, you’ll find the Nobel Museum, the Post Museum, the Royal Coin Cabinet, and several churches.
Drottningholm Palace – Fairytale Drottningholm Palace on the island of Lovö is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and lies about 11 kilometers west of Stockholm city center (45 minutes by boat). Dating from the 17th century, the palace is now the official residence of the Swedish Royal Family. In the picturesque, terraced park are bronze sculptures from Bohemia and Denmark, brought back as trophies of war. Be sure to take in the Chinese Pavilion which dates from the late 1700s. The 18th-century Palace Theatre (Drottningholms Slottsteater) is still used for performances during the summer months. In the Theatre Museum, you can see period stage costumes and stage scenery.
Boat Tours – Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North. Water is everywhere, and around 30,000 islands lie in Stockholm’s wondrous archipelago (skärgården). Distinctive red and yellow timber summerhouses occupy some islands while others remain totally unspoiled. A trip on the water, either in and around the city or to one of the islands, should be top on your list. Many tours include lunch or dinner and all give a unique vantage point of the city. Hop-on hop-off options are available too. When downtown, the distinctive Stromma boats are impossible to miss.
Stockholm City Hall – One of Sweden’s most famous buildings, the Stockholm City Hall was built between 1911 and 1923, using an astonishing eight million bricks. It is considered one of the finest examples of National Romanticism, designed by the architect Ragnar Östberg. The 106-meter-tall tower is topped by three crowns. A very informative tour recounts some of its history, as well as information about the Nobel Prize, which is presented here each year. On the tour, you’ll see the Blå Hallen, the Blue Hall, where the Nobel dinner is held, and the Gyllene Salen, the Golden Hall, lined by 18 million gold mosaic tiles.
Stockholm is a great location to start in Sweden and then spread out from there.
2. Kiruna Lapland
Kiruna is unique. If you follow our latitude, 68° N, around the world, you’ll discover that it runs through uninhabited wilderness on much of the globe – Kiruna has quite an extraordinary geographical location. Here, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, you will experience contrasts from Northern Lights to the midnight sun, the highest mountain in Sweden to the world’s largest underground iron-ore mine, ancient Sámi culture to an ongoing city transformation.
Fishing, camping, Dog Sledding and in winter the Winter Festival are all amazing experiences in Lapland. Stay in a cabin or the Ice Hotel and experience the Sami culture.
This truly is the Europe’s last true wilderness.
3. Other Areas of Sweden
Besides Stockholm and Lapland is there any other areas that we would recommend traveling to? Absolutely. The entire country is an outdoor paradise with swimming in waterfalls, camping, hiking, fishing, sightseeing and in winter skiing, sledding and dog sledding.
In Sweden, everyone has the right to access and camp on land expect in private gardens, the immediate vicinity of a dwelling and land under cultivation. You can forge as well (please don’t pick any protected species). Canoeing and swimming in rivers, lakes and the sea is allowed unless specifically forbidden. Just remain respectful of the land and the people.
Discover what in many ways might be considered a hidden gem in Sweden. Travel through out the country and meet some wonderful people. Experience the country and culture. We love Sweden and plan on returning again and again.
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