Ultimate Guide for the Best Things to Do in Sweden

April 26th, 2022

Northern Europe’s biggest country is everything a traveler dreams to experience. From contrasting waterfronts to glorious mountains, from mesmerizing natural scenery to rich culture and history, Sweden really has it all. There are many things to do in Sweden, especially if you like to explore nature and indulge in outdoor activities.

If you want to follow the history of Vikings and royals, there are historic buildings, open-air museums, and exhibitions of all sorts. Because we know how vast this country is and how much it has to offer, we compiled a list of the best things to do in Sweden, with a little something for everybody.

Swedish National Parks

The unspoiled nature is the one thing that Sweden is most known for, and let’s not forget about the Vikings. The lakes and the forests all over the country often combine to create captivating scenery and leave visitors speechless. The Swedes take enormous pride in their natural resources, so they established thirty national parks. There are plenty of things to do in Sweden, but visiting some of these places will be a memorable experience for nature lovers.

Most of the land that the Swedish Environment Protection Agency protects is mountain terrain, but there are also archipelagos and forests with unique landscapes and species. We chose two exceptional national parks, one mountainous and the other flat. One is smaller and closer to the North pole; the other has enormous lakes.

Abisko National Park

Abisko National Park is one of the two northernmost national parks in Sweden. One of the fascinating things to do in Sweden is to hike along the Kungsleden hiking trail that follows the Scandinavian Mountains. Start from the shores of Lake Torneträsk, where you can find the village Abisco and the tourist station.

What is special about this hiking trail is that the passengers of the Arctic trail use it for one part of their journey. Out of all the things to do in Sweden, looking at aurora borealis during the winter months is probably the most breathtaking. Northern lights are visible if there is a low pollution index. Don’t worry, if you are a summer traveler, the midnight sun will be waiting for you in Abisko National Park.

Even if you do not get to see these northern phenomena, there is a unique and famous view of the Lapporten Mountain in the shape of the letter U.

Padjelanta National Park

Padjelanta National Park is the biggest national park in the whole country. Located in the north part of Sweden but southwest of Abisko, it is a vast, flat land with large lakes. Unlike the mountainous region north of Padjelanta, you will encounter plateau scenery around two large lakes.

Two major hiking trails are more than 85 miles long, and there lies the Swedish center of inaccessibility - the point of maximum distance from civilization. Of course, the 30-mile stretch is only from the nearest road, and there are still cabins and cottages nearby.

Explore Sweden’s Countryside

If you are looking for picturesque scenery, one of the best things to do in Sweden is to take a road trip or travel the country by train. The Swedish countryside will be a particular form of therapy for your mind, and you will probably meet fun and polite locals in the pubs of the villages you decide to visit.

Road Trip

Either alone, with a partner, or with your friends, southwest road trips are the most relaxing things to do in Sweden. The landscape is so diverse that the drive will look like you are traveling in a movie. From the shores to the farmlands, you will see towns tucked in the forests, surrounded by lakes and castles.

Eat Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns in the local cafes. Rent-a-car is very accessible for tourists, and roads are very well connected. If you do get lost - find a friendly local; he will be a friendly and knowledgeable guide.

Railway Adventure

An epic, 800-miles-long journey awaits you on the rails of Inlandsbanan. This railway connects Gällivare in the north and Kristineham in the country's south. Railways could be the way to explore Swedish vineyards, one of the most romantic things to do in Sweden.

Some other fun things to do in Sweden are taking a railway to Narvik in Norway, a one-way ticket trip from Stockholm to the Arctic Circle, or traveling to Denmark from Malmö, the southernmost of all the places in Sweden.

Palaces and Castles

If you like fairytales and stories about princesses, then the most appropriate things to do in Sweden are visiting the castles and exploring the royal palaces that this country has. The castles are located across the urban areas and the countryside, so you never know what part of history awaits you in a small town nearby.

The royal history of Sweden begins in the 11th century; it transformed and adapted and lasted until today. The castles are a piece of history, and you will feel like you are time-traveling by exploring the castles. Some other fun things to do in Sweden is going on a castle-inspired road trip, where you drive around visiting different palaces. Here we listed two, to get you started.

Drottningholm Palace

The permanent residence of the Swedish Royal family, Drottningholm Palace, was built in the 17th century. The property of the castle is enormous, there are gardens, fountains, and structures all around the palace. The palace itself is built in the French Baroque style, with golden yellow walls on the outside and 220 rooms inside. Twenty of those rooms are occupied by the Royal Family, but the rest is open for visitors.

Gripsholm Castle

The 16th-century Gripsholm Castle adorns the shore of Lake Mälaren. This is a castle-turned-museum with one of the richest royal portrait collections in the world. Visiting their exhibition is one of the best things to do in Sweden if you like art.

Unlike the Drottningholm Palace, Gripsholm Castle is a red-bricked fortress, thirty-something miles away from Stockholm. It used to be a royal residence until the 1800s, now is a museum but is still at the King’s disposal.

Swedish Beaches

Swedish Beaches

There is no way you couldn’t find fun things to do in Sweden. Just look at the map and imagine how many miles of coastline and beaches there are, not to mention how beautiful the scenery is. Here we chose just three beaches, all in different parts of Sweden, just so you can see how incredibly diverse and mesmerizing the shores are.

Visby

In the best-preserved medieval town of Scandinavia, there is a collision of amazing beaches and medieval churches. Visby really is one of the dreamiest places to visit in Sweden. Located on the island of Gotland, the nearby beaches are one of the best places to visit in Sweden if you like refreshing and crystal clear water.

On the northern part of Gotland Island, there is a Sudersand Beach, a long and sandy beach near the historical buildings - Avakaeken and Färö fyr. The whole island’s coast is unique because of the different rock formations on the shores. If you are there, visit the Visby City Wall - a medieval defense wall from the 12th century.

Stenshuvud

Stenshuvud is a national park that follows the coast of Hanö Bay and is located near Malmö. The climate is almost exotic and when you visit it you don’t feel like you are in a Nordic country. Here are hiking trails that you can follow for the amazing view and fresh air.

If you are a family traveling with small children in the summer, one of the best things to do in Sweden is to visit Stehshuvud beaches - long stretches of white sand surrounded by the forest-created shade.

Sandhamn

The outermost island on the Stockholm Archipelago keeps a sacred loved by the locals. Sandön Island is a northern paradise, and it is all you would expect a beach in Sweden would be. The water is chill, but the swim is enjoyable if you are not sensitive to the cold.

The island is a haven for pleasure, and you will see yacht clubs and other boat enthusiasts. This is one of the many places in Sweden that a young traveler would enjoy, as there is rich nightlife. The beaches are petite and encircled by rock formations but easily accessible if you follow the road signs.

Museums and Historic Sites

Taking into consideration the rich history of Scandinavia and Sweden, the fact that there are plenty of museums comes as no surprise. The city of Stockholm alone has more than 50 historic buildings. Here we laid out four of our favorite things to do in Sweden - absorbing the past of this incredible country.

Volvo Museum

Volvo Museum honors this brand’s development and contributions to the country’s economy. This is a real Sweden tourist attraction and the best thing to do in Sweden if you are a car enthusiast.

You can visit the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg and see the exhibition of Volvo vehicles covering the whole development from the 1920s. From Volvo ÖV4 to Volvo aircraft, get familiar with one of the Swedish biggest exporters.

Vasa Museum

One of the most visited places in Sweden is certainly the Vasa Museum, honoring maritime and transport history and culture from the 17th century. It is there where you can see the best-preserved warship in the whole of Scandinavia.

Vasa is actually the name of the warship which is the museums’ main attraction. If you are traveling with your kids and you are staying in Stockholm, this is the best thing to do in Sweden. Kids get mesmerized by the sights, and you will not stay indifferent to them, either.

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan Sweden

Gamla Stan is the name of the Old City of Stockholm which dates back to the 14th century. It has medieval planning, architecture with German influences, historic buildings, and old churches. The colorfulness is what attracts the visitors, but the charm of the place is what makes them stay longer, and come back. One of the most romantic things to do in Sweden is to explore the narrow, medieval alleyways in Gamla Stan.

Skansen

Another Stockholm museum, but this one is an open-air museum and the first such in Sweden. Located on the Djurgarden island, it is near an amusement park, a zoo, and a botanical garden. This museum honors the life of Sweden before the industrial revolution in the 19th century.

Swedish Fun Facts

Sweden is a unique country. One of the most fun things to do in Sweden is to go to the metro because there is most likely an open art exhibit. Sweden has a hotel made of ice, and you can stay there for around 1,300 Swedish kronor. The Swedish krona is the official currency of this country, and one dollar is around 9,45kr.

The best cities in Sweden for your vacation are Stockholm throughout the year, Malmö and Gothenburg during the summer, and the area around Kiruna in the winter.

Before Your Visit

Only the Swedish krona is used only in Sweden, so don’t forget to exchange your money before you travel to you avoid unnecessary high fees. You can contact US First Exchange and buy Swedish kronor, and we will deliver it straight to your address.

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