With so many things to do in Sweden, it was hard to choose just 25. Here are our tips for fun things to do in Sweden. We’ve excluded Stockholm, the Swedish capital city, as we already have lots of tips for things to do in Stockholm in our collation post.
Say Hello to the Christmas Goat of Gävle
The Christmas Goat of Gävle is a large, straw Christmas goat and a big tourist attraction. In Sweden, it is a believed that a goat comes on Christmas to deliver presents. Oddly, this attraction is constantly the target of foul play, such as attempted burnings and thefts of the goat.
Image by misterbisson
Play Swedish Bandy
Swedish Bandy is a Winter game that is basically a cross between soccer and hockey and played on ice. You will need skates, two goals, sticks, an orange ball, and minimal padding to play. It is a very fast paced game and can be hard to keep up. Also, be warned that there are no such thing as casual bandy fans.
A Swedish Bandy Match by Marcus Cederstrom
Stay at the Tree Hotel
As you can probably guess by the name, the Tree Hotel highlighted in Marcus’ post Unique Hotels in Northern Sweden is constructed in the trees of the beautiful village of Harads in Sweden. This hotel is designed with ecological values in mind as well as a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Tree Hotel under construction by Sixten Brandt
Stay Cool at the Ice Hotel
The Ice Hotel, located in Jukkasjärvi, is a hotel made completely out of snow and ice. Also, an art project, this accommodation shifts forms each season, so depending on what you want to experience (a free-flowing river or a rock solid ice cube) will dictate when you should stay here. While a bit out-there, it is definitely a unique experience that you should try at least once.
Suite at Ice Hotel near Kiruna, Sweden by bjaglin
Spend Mid Summer in Jarvso
The small town of Järvsö has less than 2,000 people, so you will definitely experience that small-town feeling which is so nice after spending time in the big cities. It’s a great location in which to spend a traditional Swedish Midsummer; there’s lots of folk dancing and singing. Järvsö Church is also worth a visit. Remnants from the 120o’s have been found at the church, as well as rune stones. Along with the history of the church is the beautiful, peaceful setting of being in rural Sweden on an island in the middle of the Ljusnan River.
Midsummer in Jarvso by Marcus Cederstrom
Explore the Brahehus Castle
Located in Småland, the ruins of Brahehus Castle are a beautiful and free attraction. While in the 1650′s it was an impressive country castle, it burnt down leaving just the walls standing.
Brahehus Castle by Marcus Cederstrom
Visit the Medieval Fortress of Kärnan & the Medieval Church in Helsingborg
Kärnan Fortress, which dates back to the 13th centur has been restored and is a great place to take in the view of the Swedish cities of Helsingborg and Øresund. This tower, which was once part of a Helsingborg Castle stands at 35 meters high and visitors can climb to the top. On a clear day, you will be able to see all the way to Denmark and Kronborg Castle. The Medieval church of Helsingborg was built in 1100 and has an impressive brick exterior. On the inside, take in the reliefs, which are stone faces of which the meaning is still unknown, altarpieces, and frescos that are beginning to fade as the years go on. It is a good lesson in history to be able to take in all of these pieces from the past. And the best part is this history lesson is absolutely free.
Stone faces at Helsingborg Medieval church by Marcus Cederstrom
Experience the Cathedral and the Burial Mounds in Uppsala
Uppsala Domkyrka is a 13th century cathedral residing in Uppsala. This beautiful piece of architecture, with its long spires that extend high above the town, has undergone numerous renovations since being built in the 1200′s. Open every day of the week admission-free, patrons can also learn about important historical figures here, such as biologist Carl von Linné, the philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg and Gustav Vasa. There are also the burial mounds of Old Uppsala. Called Gamla Uppsala, the three royal burial mounds from 6th century still dominate the landscape. Many historians believe that Gods used to reside there, and even possibly the old city of Atlantis.
Uppsala Cathedral by Marcus Cederstrom
Learn Some Swedish History in the Viking Town of Sigtuna
Viking and Medieval history combine in the town of Sigtuna. Explore the viking burial ground, Rune stones, and a viking cemetery for a taste of what this region has to offer.
Rune stone at Sigtuna by Marcus Cederstrom
Visit the Swedish Island of Vaxholm
Full of classic Swedish homes, Vaxholm is a tourist favorite during the summer months. Some highlights of the island include the view, the water, and the 16th century fortress fortress guarding the town. Because it is touristy visiting Vaxholm can be expensive, so an ideal dining option is picnicking on the beach.
Vaxholm by Marcus Cederstrom
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Visby
Visby, the largest city on the island of Gotland, gives visitors a chance to explore one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Sweden. In fact, it has even been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Church ruins, medieval houses, and an intact wall circling the city can be found here. However it’s not all about history here, as there’s a week long party every Summer & plenty of lovely beaches on which to soak up the sun.
Visby by Marcus Cederstrom
Ice Skate With Vikings in Vikingarännet
Vikingarännet attracts tourists every February who wish to ice skate the 80 kilometers between Uppsala and Stockholm. The race supposedly follows “an old viking route” on Lake Mälaren which allows athletes to take in Viking sights along the way.
Vikingarnnet by linek
Taste Swedish Cuisine on a Budget
Eating at restaurants in Sweden can become very expensive. That is why everybody who comes to Sweden should learn about dagens lunch (Lunch of the Day). Restaurants in Sweden offer a set menu which usually include salad, bread, a drink, your main entree, and coffee for a reasonable price. Thursday is the best day to enjoy this meal as you will usually find pancakes and pea soup on the menu, a national favorite in Sweden. The thick pea soup filled with chunks of ham is a filling lunch and the pancakes act as a tasty desert. Be prepared to be full for the rest of the day, too, which could you save you money on dinner.
Pea Soup by VirtualEm
Hike Through the Primeval Forest in Tyresta
Tyresta National Park is an ancient forest is full of hiking trails for nature lovers. While 10 years ago a fire devastated about 10% of the woods, it is recovering nicely. Traverse over ancient rock, take in lake views, watch nature revive itself in this unspoilt area of Sweden.
Image by Marcus Cederstrom
People Watch in Lilla Torg in Malmo
Lilla Torg in Malmö is a small, relaxing square that is great for people watching. This little trade square is filled with restaurants, bars, and shops, and is the perfect place to relax with a drink and take in the small town charm. If you want to see something out of the ordinary, visit Form/Design Center in the square where you can take in contemporary Scandinavian and Swedish design.
Malmo’s Lila Torg by jerebu
Scoff Semlor (Cream Buns) on Mardi Gras
Semlor are cream filled wheat buns filled with cream eaten by Swedes on Madri Gras, or Shrove Tuesday, the day before the Lent fast begins. They do look rather yummy.
Picture courtesy of ratexla.
Visit the Eketorp Castle in Oland
Eketorp Castle is a great place to visit on the island of Oland. This fort from the Iron Age has been extensively enlarged over the years and is often used for medieval re-enactments. Come here to visit the museum inside the castle which houses artifacts or take a guided tour of this historical place. There are several hotels in Borgholm, the islands main town.
Image by Allie_Caulfield
Get In Touch With Nature at the Ottenby Naturum
The Ottenby Naturum is also located on Oland and is great for those who love the outdoors, especially birdwatchers. While the park is free to enter, you will pay a fee if you want to go up to the lighthouse where you can take in ocean views. While visiting Ottenby Nataurum you can still see the wall built by King Karl X Gustaf to fence off the deer for hunters.
Contemplate Art at Grafikens Hus
Grafikens Hus is an art gallery located in Mariefred is two floors of exhibitions, conference rooms, collections, workshops, a library, shop, and cafe. Take in some of the professionally made prints or learn the techniques to make your own. Admission is 85 SEK.
Image by Erik
Have Some Fun at Mariebergsskogen
Mariebergsskogen, located in Karlstad, is not only a park, but a playground. Spend time in the playground running through the crazy mirrors or going down the rope slide, take part in an African dance class, get in touch with your inner athlete during a game of beach volleyball or basketball, or wander through peaceful forests and take in your surroundings. There is also an ice rink that is always open to the public.
Take to the Skies in the Swedish Air Force Museum
The Swedish Air Force Museum is located in Malmslätt that is “a technical and cultural history museum with exhibitions that trace the development of military aviation from the early 20th century to the present”. The museum holds many artifacts including planes, uniforms, engines, and more, as well as literature and personal photographs. An adult admission ticket is 50 SEK however there are student, senior, disability, and Swedish Cultural Heritage Society discounts.
Swedish Air Force Museum by aronsson
The Linköping Cathedral is located in Linkoping and is about 800 years old and is the seat for the current bishop in the Church of Sweden Diocese of Linköping. Even before the Cathedral was built there was a church sitting there for over 200 years prior, so there is a lot of history to the site, and there are still remnants from this time. With its 107 metre high spiral, you will be able to find Linköping Cathedral from anywhere in the city.
Linkoping Cathedral by jblyberg
Sail to the Island of Tjaro
Tjärö is an archipelago and an entire island of preserved park. Hiking through Oak Trees and over giant rocks before taking a dip in the clear water. Because this is an island, many people enjoy coming here to enjoy the fresh seafood. Boat trips are also a popular activity as you get the chance to experience the archipelago from smooth waters.
Tjaro by kajsahartig
See the Old Fishing Huts on Smögen Wooden Pier
The wooden pier in Smögen on Sweden’s west coast is a tourist favorite as visitors get the chance to see some of the old fishing huts. There is an excellent fish market here that sells fresh seafood such as prawns and fish. Cafes, small bars, and shopping can also be found around here, and at night, especially in the summer, enjoy the nightlife on the pier.
Eat Underground at Sala Salivergruva Mines
Sala Silvergruva, in Sala, are some of the most well-preserved mines in the world. Take a guided tour, partake in a cheese tasting, or head over to the Southern end of the mine to take part in a high-wire adventure, complete with zip lines. You can also stay overnight in the mines, as there are both hostel and suite accommodations underground. It is basically a subterranean town, with hotels, restaurants, music and entertainment.
Eating underground by freddie boy