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Exploring the Best Places to See in Sweden

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Sweden, one of the cleanest countries in the world, is well-known for its music, food, tradition, fashion, landscapes, and the Northern lights. Apart from being one of the best countries to study in, Sweden is also quite popular in the tourists’ community. Its beautiful landscapes and rich history make it a traveler’s paradise. If you’ve plans to visit Sweden, you must know about the best places to see in Sweden

This travel guide describes the places that are worth seeing in Sweden with the hope that the list of these places will make most of your Sweden vacations. Moreover, this guide will also let you know about top Swedish dishes that you shouldn’t miss out on, some fun and free things to do in Sweden, and the best hotels you can stay in as well. 

Best Places to See in Sweden

1. Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town. The city began in this small concentrated area in the middle of the 13th century. Its architecture is the main reason for it being a top tourist attraction in Sweden. To keep this typical Scandinavian style architecture everlasting, it’s regularly brushed and painted. 

The cobbled streets around the squares and the narrow stone-paved lanes invite the world-class architectures to admire their beauty. Stortorget, the cobbled street around the square that’s surrounded by old merchant’s houses, has the hearts of many artists as well as architecture. There are many cafés, restaurants, and shops around Gamla Stan. So, you can explore the art and have fun at the shops and cafés too at the same time.

2. Vasa Museum, Stockholm

The Vasa Museum is one of the popular museums in Sweden, and thus, it’s one of the best places to see in Sweden. This museum was opened in 1990 and more than 20 million people have visited it till now. 

The reason this museum is an attraction for many tourists is the presence of the 64-gun warship Vasa here. This ship was the pride of the Swedish Imperial fleet, but sadly it sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. More than three centuries were passed, but the ship still lay below the icy waters. It was in 1961 when the ship was taken out through an aspiring salvage operation. 

As the Swedish are warm and welcoming, so are the museums in Sweden. Vasa Museum treats tourists of all nationalities well. Moreover, audio guides and guided tours are also available in the English language. Vasa Museum houses four museum ships and 10 separate exhibitions. There’s also a restaurant and a shop at this site. So, it’s the best place for a day-out tour. 

3. Skansen and Djurgården, Stockholm

If someone wants to walk back in time and want a glimpse of Sweden’s culture from 1720 to the 1960s, Skansen is the best-recommended place for that. 

Skansen is one of the world’s largest and oldest open-air museums. It’s a historic village that is made up of farmsteads and houses from all over Sweden. These buildings represent both ruler and urban culture. The way these buildings are preserved is magnificent.

There are manor houses, schoolhouses, churches, mills, shops, artisan’s shops (such as a print shop, bookbindery, tinsmith, shoemaker, glassworks, and comb makers), workers’ homes, a funicular railroad, a bakery, many complete farmsteads, and a Sami camp with reindeer.

Costumed interpreters who carry on the everyday work here inhabit these workshops, farms, and homes. There’s also a zoo that has some animals native to Sweden, a children’s zoo, and also sections for exotic animals.

Apart from the above-mentioned characteristics of Skansen, its location is another thing that makes Skansen one of the best places to see in Sweden. It’s located in the huge urban Djurgården Park. The locals love to go here, especially in summers. Apart from the restaurants, traditional cafés, and snack bars that are here to lift your energy, you can also have some adrenaline experience as you can hire a canoe and bicycle here as well.

4. Stockholm Archipelago, Stromma Boat Tours

It’s the place in Sweden where you can spend the whole of your day with your kids, family, or friends. Stockholm is often called Venice of the North. You can see water everywhere here. There are around 30, 000 islands in Stockholm’s miraculous archipelago. 

The boat tours here are one of the not-to-miss things in Sweden. All of the tours provide a unique vantage point of the city. Moreover, many tours also include lunch or dinner. So, make sure that you don’t miss a trip on the water here, either to one of the islands or in or around the city.

5. Drottningholm Palace, Lovö

This UNESCO World Heritage Site lies on the island of Lovo about 11 kilometers west of Stockholm city center. This Fairy-tale Drottningholm Palace has been an official residence of the Swedish Royal Family since the 17th century.

Drottningholm Palace is one of the best places to see in Sweden because it has entertainment for both kids and adults. Adults can enjoy exploring the history that dates back to the 17th century while kids have fun watching art performances at the 18th-century Palace Theatre here. The art performances are usually held in the summers. There’s also a Theatre Museum, the stage scenery and the stage costumes of which are worth seeing. English guided tours are available here.

6. The Göta Canal, Gothenburg to Stockholm

This marvelous attraction, which is here from the early 19th century, is often described as Sweden’s greatest endeavor of engineering. Gota Canal is 190 kilometers in length. This tourist spot is the heartland of Sweden now.

It’s connected with lakes like the Trollhätte Canal, Vänern, and Vättern. Apart from connecting with lakes, a water link is also formed by it. This water link goes all the way from Stockholm, in the northeast, to Gothenburg, in the southwest.

Stretching from Sjötorp at Lake Vänern to Söderköping on the Baltic Sea, the canal features 47 bridges and 58 locks. If you want to experience this beautiful attraction on your own, you can hire yourself a boat. The option of passenger cruise vessels is also available.

7. Kiruna and the Ice Hotel, Lapland

Located in Lapland, Kiruna is Sweden’s northernmost town and it shares the same latitude as central Greenland. Bordering both Norway and Finland, this town is also called the chief town of the largest commune in Sweden. The beauty of this town lies in its visible midnight sun from mid-May to mid-July.

About 17 kilometers outside the city, at Jukkasjärvi, there’s the world’s first-ever Ice Hotel, which is the main attraction here. It’s built from the ice in river Torne. People from all over the world come to experience the luxury of its stunning rooms and furnishings. The reason that it’s recreated every year in a new design is what draws many artists and architectures here as well.

It becomes a hub of various fun activities in summers such as stand-up paddleboarding, river rafting, canoeing, and fishing. The enthusiastic mountain climbers also stay in this hotel as the highest mountain of Sweden, Kebnekaise, is 90 kilometers west of Kiruna.

8. Visby, Gotland

Tourists from across the globe come to visit this rose-entwined, walled town of Visby located on the island of Gotland. This town is endued in medieval history and it’s crowded with ruined churches. It’s one of the best places to see in Sweden for history lovers. 

It’s most probable that you’d lose your sense of the modern world and feel as if you’ve walked back in the 17th and 18th centuries. The towns’ old-fashioned cobbled streets, traditional houses adorned with stepped gables, and some timber buildings capture the heart of the viewers. 

Visby is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also named ‘the pearl of the Baltic’. However, guided sightseeing tours of the glorious walls are available, one can go on a self-guided tour as well if one wants to. 

9. Liseberg Theme Park, Gothenburg

Liseberg attracts more than three million people each year and thus, it’s a famous attraction in Sweden. It offers a range of attractions for kids and adults alike. Kids have fun at the fairy-tale castle and children’s carousels, on the other hand, adults can have some adrenaline-boosting experiences such as speed demons rides, four roller coasters, and bumping cars.

A concert is also held in the park each summer and Swedish and people of other nationalities attend it alike. An excellent market is also hosted by the park each Christmas. You can take a ride on the Big Wheel for taking the best view of the park.

 10. Stockholm City Hall

It’s one of the most famous buildings in Sweden, and thus, it is one of the best places to see in Sweden. Using amazing 8 million bricks, this building was built between 1911 and 1923. This building was designed by architect Ragnar Östberg and portraits a fine example of National Romanticism. Noble Prize is represented here each year. Guided informative tours are held here.

Top 11 Dishes to Eat in Sweden

Now that you’ve known the best places to see in Sweden, we have something more that will make most of your Sweden vacations: the best traditional dishes in Sweden. We recommend the following list of traditional dishes in Sweden to food lovers.

1. Wallenbergare

Named after one of the wealthiest Swede’s families, the Wallenbergare family, it’s a delicious Sweden dish. It’s made from egg yolks, ground veal, and cream coated in bread crumbs. It’s traditionally served with mashed potatoes and peas on the side.

2. Köttbullar (Meatballs)

It’s one of the most iconic Sweden dishes. Though this dish is served in various ways, most commonly it’s served with cream sauce, mashed potatoes, and lingon. These meatballs are specially served to kids with macaroni and ketchup. 

3. Raggmunk

Exploring the best places to see in Sweden and eating the best traditional foods in Sweden hits different. Raggmunk is a dish that people of every age would love to try because everyone likes potatoes, and this is a potato pancake. This potato pancake is fried in butter and served with lingonberries and bacon. 

4. Toast Skagen

It’s another dish that Swedes love to eat. It’s a toast with a mix of shrimp, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Sometimes löjrom, which is an extensive type of Northern Sweden caviar, is also added on the top of toast to make it more delicious. Toast Skagen is more like delicious street food in Sweden.

5. Gravad lax (salmon)

It’s a traditional dish for seafood lovers. Swedes even ate this dish in the 1600s. Though it’s not prepared now the way it was prepared in the 1600s, the concept is still the same. It’s made both with herbs, but it can be made without herbs as well. Hovmästarsås, which is a sauce, is also added on the side to make it more delicious. It’s a commonly eaten dish in Midsummer and Christmas celebrations. So, do try this dish if you visit Sweden in Midsummer or at Christmas and explore the best places to see in Sweden along with eating the country’s traditional food.

6. Kalops

Kalops is a meat stew that’s cooked slowly for a long time. This tasty dish is one of Swedes’ most favorite dishes. This dish is originated from Skåne, the region in the southernmost part of the country. It’s served in most of the restaurants of Sweden. So, if you see this dish in the menu list of a restaurant, do order it.

7, Ärtsoppa (yellow pea soup)

It’s a soup made with yellow peas and it’s usually served with bacon. As yellow peas are a source of nine amino acids and they’re even called “a complete protein”, this dish is healthy traditional food for adults and kids alike. Though it’s easily available in almost every supermarket in Sweden, restaurants make a more delicious version of it. So, when you get tired while visiting the best places to see in Sweden, and want to regain your energy, this soup can help you.

8. Falukorv

This special kind of traditional sausage is a favorite dish of Swedish kids. It can be baked in the oven with mustard and cheese, but it’s usually served with stewed macaroni and ketchup in many restaurants in Sweden.

9. Surströmming

Eating this tasty dish will make your Sweden experience more memorable. It’s available in supermarkets in cans. So, you can buy one for yourself and take it along with you while exploring Sweden.

10. Pyttipanna

If you’re good at cooking or you’re just tired of eating the restaurant or hotel’s meal while your stay in Sweden and want some home food, this dish is for you. You can easily prepare it wherever you are staying in Sweden. This classic family food is potato cubes, chopped onions, and ham. It’s usually served with red beets and one or two fried eggs on the side. Ketchup can also be added for enhancing its taste.

11. Bruna bönor med fläsk (Brown beans and bacon)

It’s a simple dish, but tasty as well. This readymade food is easily available in utility stores and supermarkets in Sweden. You just have to fry the bacon and warm up the brown beans.

So, these were top of Sweden’s traditional dishes that you can try. Apart from knowing what to eat in Sweden and what the best places to see in Sweden are, you must know about some free and fun things to do in Sweden. Consider our following list for having some fun in Sweden that will cost you nothing.

Some Free and Fun Things to do in Sweden

NOTE: The following free things to do are available in Stockholm. Stockholm has many stunning and beautiful attractions, but there are also some things that you can do there for free.

1. Solna Centrum Station

This subway system of Stockholm, also called the world’s longest art gallery, lures many artists of other nationalities to admire the art of Swedish artists. There are more than 100 underground stations here, and Stockholm’s artists have transformed the drab concrete walls of these underground stations into stunning artwork. There are paintings, sculptures, and colorful mosaics. The sculptures and paintings here cover interesting themes among which the ‘gates of hell’ is the most popular theme and it’s installed at Solna Centrum Station.

2. Hellasgården

If you are staying in Stockholm, there’ll be a time you’d want to get away from the inner city’s hubbub. In this case, Hellasgården is a free place you can go to. You’ll find endless stretches of forest, a lake, an inexpensive sauna, and tracks for walking, cycling, running, and skiing.

3. Free outdoor gyms

If you are the one who takes care of one’s fitness even when you are in another country, Stockholm offers you over 40 free outdoor gyms. 

4. Långholmen beach

This beautiful beach is a family-friendly sand spot. People of every age can come here for free and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Moreover, Långholmen was once used to be a prison island in history. So, visiting this place for free would be an interesting thing for you to do.

5. Moderna Museet (the modern art museum)

It’s also one of the best places to see in Sweden and it’s so delightful to know that you can visit this medium for free on Fridays from 18.00–20.00. This museum hosts one of the finest art collections of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Best Hotels to Stay in Sweden

You might also like to know about the best hotels you can stay in Sweden. So, we recommend you the following list of the best hotels to stay in Sweden.

1. Ett Hem, Stockholm

This hotel, located close to the city center, is a luxurious hotel to stay in. It’s one of the top-rated hotels in Sweden due to its homely atmosphere. Since Stockholm is the city for the best places to see in Sweden, it’s a highly recommended hotel from where you can easily access the beautiful places to see in Sweden.

2. Loggers Lodge, Lapland

If you are more attracted to the beauty of Lapland, we recommend this hotel to you. Not only you can explore Lapland from here, but you can also feel extremely comfortable in the stunning luxury of this hotel. A boreal forest surrounds this hotel which blesses the hotel with a welcoming picture. In every room, at the foot of the bed, there’s a glass-framed fireplace. Moreover, you’re also provided here with a sauna and an outdoor hot tub. 

3. Wanås Restaurant Hotel, Skåne

This hotel is itself one of the best places to see in Sweden. The rooms are decorated keeping in mind the medieval history. Rolling hills and woodland surround this hotel. Apart from that, all rooms are cozy and luxurious. Staying for a night there while exploring the Skåne region will be one of the best things to do in Sweden.

4. Sandhamn Seglarhotell, Stockholm

It’s another best hotel to stay in when you want to the Stockholm archipelago. It’s also known as Yacht Hotel. This hotel’s building is deep-red and is set in the poshest summer getaway in the Stockholm archipelago. It’s the region’s historic epicenter. Staying in this luxurious and historic hotel is an amazing thing to do in Sweden.

5. Story Hotel Riddargatan, Stockholm

Last, but not least, is the Story Hotel in Stockholm. It’s an industrial boutique hotel and it’s located in Östermalm district in Stockholm. This hotel is close to restaurants, bars, and shopping centers. Here you’ll enjoy the great East Asian cuisine offered by them. Even if you don’t stay in this hotel mostly, the jazzy vibe in the cocktail bar here will lure you out for a weekend getaway. 

There are also many other beach houses, resorts, and boutique hotels that will make your stay memorable. 

The Final Words

The above-mentioned list of the best places to see in Sweden, the list of traditional foods to eat in Sweden, the list of some fun and free things to do in Stockholm, and the list of the recommended hotels will hopefully make the most of your Sweden vacations.

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