As one of the biggest countries in Europe, Sweden offers a wide variety of vacation destinations. It is a place with a long and rich history, medieval cities, a gorgeous coastline, Viking legends, inland mountains and vast forests.
Sweden’s landscapes range from the fields and farmlands of Skåne and Småland, to the Nordic wilderness of Lapland and the archipelagos in the Baltic Sea. Its towns and cities are made up beautiful wooden houses or ochre-colored stone buildings. Everything about Sweden is appealing. The people are gorgeous – surprisingly it is one of the most culturally diverse countries in all of Europe – and the ancient cities breathe history.
When planning a holiday in Sweden, there are several vacation destinations to take into consideration. Let’s take a look at a selection.
Vacation Destinations in Sweden
The capital of Sweden can’t be skipped. Located on fourteen islands in Lake Mälaren, Stockholm is a spectacular city. Its city center consists of yellow-colored buildings; the Old Town (Gamla Stan) is an absolute highlight. In addition to waterways and architecture the city is also home to more than seventy museums.
Sweden’s second-largest city is situated on the southwest coast – it has the county’s largest harbor. This old city features several churches, museums and plenty of wonderful parks. Liseberg is a massively popular attraction in Gothenburg; it is the country’s largest theme park.
Lake Siljan lies in central Sweden and is one of the most popular vacations destinations among Swedes. There are several lakes in the area, located on the Siljan Ring, which was created by a meteorite impact 360 million years ago. The area offers great fishing, hiking, cycling and cross-country skiing.
This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on the island of Gotland. It is one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in northern Europe. Visby’s former importance is shown in its city walls, old warehouses and buildings, and the fact that it was the center of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic.
Swedish Lapland is located in the northern part of the country. Home to the Sami people, it is a place that consists of enormous forests, lakes, rivers, tundra and snowcapped mountains. There are four national parks in the region, offering adventurous hiking, climbing and canoeing opportunities. Wildlife, such as moose, lynx, wolves, bears and wolverines, is abundant. In addition, in winter this is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.
Uppsala is one of the oldest cities in Sweden. It is home to the oldest university in Scandinavia (founded in 1477) and is a center of Christianity in Sweden. Major landmarks are the massive Uppsala Cathedral, Old Uppsala (Gamla Uppsala) and Uppsala Castle.
Kiruna is located in the heart of Swedish Lapland and is the northernmost town in the country. The city’s main features are the Esrange Space Center, one of only two spaceports of the ESA, and the world-famous Ice Hotel. Each year this hotel is rebuilt out of snow and ice and offers a unique experience to visitors.
The city of Karlskrona is spread out over no less than thirty islands off the south coast of Sweden. Established in 1680 as a naval base, it is an old city with a great history. The name means ‘Carl’s Crown’ after King Carl XI who ruled Sweden at the time of founding. The entire city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Founded in 1272 as a stronghold on the south coast, Malmö has long carried the reputation of an unsafe harbor town. That’s not the case anymore though; the city is now a vibrant place, home to more than 150 different nationalities. Particularly its old medieval district (Lilla Torg) consists of restaurants, shops and galleries and is worth exploring.
For 400 years Kalmar was one of the most important cities in the Swedish Empire. It was where the Union of Kalmar was founded by the rulers of Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 1397. Remnants of these prosperous times are the cathedral, Kalmar Castle and the Old Town. Visitors can learn about the city’s history in one of the several splendid museums.
Although there are many, many more, this selection of great vacation destinations in Sweden is enough to get started!