Thinking of visiting Sweden? From the frozen lands up north to the rugged west coast to the picturesque islands in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden is one of my favourite countries in the world. (I love it so much I even spent time living in Stockholm.)
Most people when the visit, hit the major cities and maybe a couple of the big parks but that’s it. Few people spend extended time here (and, if you’re not, I think you should).
But this country that scares people with its high prices is worth the extra time. You have medieval cities, beautiful islands, tons of castles, the Northern Lights, a growing foodie scene, friendly people, incredible art, and just a super high quality of life.
Sweden is just fun to visit.
The country isn’t the cheapest but this travel guide to Sweden will help you plan your visit and give you the lowdown on how to visit on a budget while still getting the best the country has to offer.
Partake in fika
Like “tea time” in the UK, a fika is Sweden’s way of slowing down. Coffee, conversation, and a few baked goods are an important part of the social fabric in Sweden, allowing friends and colleagues to take a break from the day to day and just relax. Be sure to take a few when you visit!
Stay in the Ice Hotel
Located up north in Jukkasjarvi, the Ice Hotel is a hotel built during the winter months out of (you guessed it) ice. There’s an ice bar, an ice dining room, and an ice bed (with big fur blankets!). Be prepared to pay the price for a unique stay like this, as nights cost 10,000 SEK! The hotel is also open for tours, allowing visitors to explore the impressive construction and design. Tours cost 175 SEK and are in English.The hotel has “regular” rooms as well in an adjacent building, which “only” cost 1,900 SEK per night.
Visit the Stockholm Archipelago
Take a boat around different islands that surround Stockholm. During the summer, they become big attractions for locals as they boat around and spend nights on the tiny islands. You can take a day tour or just spend a few nights on some of the islands. It’s super peaceful and relaxing and one of my top things to do during the summer!
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city (and sees far fewer visitors than Stockholm). Walk along the cobblestone pedestrian streets of Haga, window shop along the Avenyn, or visit Liseberg, one the biggest theme parks in all of Scandinavia. The city has a much more laid back vibe than Stockholm and offers plenty of nearby hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities.
Explore the Bohuslan Coast
This beautiful coast is home to over 8,000 islands and almost 300km of coastline. The region is known for its fishing, swimming, and hiking and it’s one of the best spots in the country to get fresh seafood (don’t miss lobster season from late September until the end of November). There is also a UNESCO rock-carving site in Tanumshede with carvings and paintings dating back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age!