Things to see and do on a trip to Sweden

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Preparing your next holiday? If so, you should consider Sweden as an option as it is one of the most interesting and scenic countries in Europe. On the one hand you can’t miss the main cities with monumental buildings such as Malmö, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala or Stockholm. There are also other sights to see in Sweden such as Lund, some monolithic ruins, royal palaces and huge nature parks with a thousand kilometres of hiking.

Sweden is a country quite different from Southern Europe, so it’s a trip you’ll find very interesting. Some of the country’s traditions are the Fika, a snack based on coffee and buns that can take place at any time of the day, or early dinners, something to keep in mind if you want to eat in a restaurant. In this post, we tell you everything you need to know before setting off on your trip and the main points of interest to include in your itinerary.

What cities to see in Sweden?

1. Malmo, the most modern city to see in Sweden

Malmo is Sweden’s third largest city and one of the most modern and international cities in the country. You can see enough of it in one day, but it is a very good strategic place to stay for more days as it is well-connected to the surrounding attractions such as the beautiful town of Lund or Helsingborg. In fact, it’s a good place to start a Swedish itinerary as flights to Copenhagen, which is only a 30-minute train ride from Malmö, are cheaper and more frequent than to Stockholm.

The main sights to see in Malmö are in the old town (Gamla Staden), where you’ll see old buildings such as the town hall and pretty squares such as Lilla torg. This is also where you’ll find the city’s main shopping street, Södergatan. In the middle of the city there is a fortress where the Malmö Museum, the Art Museum, an aquarium and the Museum of Natural Sciences are located. All of these can be accessed with a single entrance fee of 44SEK. On the other hand, the Turning Torso is the tallest rock tower to be seen in Sweden and the Scandinavian countries, and a symbol of the city. In this post you can read much more about what to see in Malmö: What to see and do on a trip to Malmö Sweden

Malmo Sweden
Malmö @pixabay

2. Gothenburg

Gothenburg is the second largest city to see in Sweden, and one of the most modern with a bohemian feel. The city has become one of the most important in the country thanks to its port, the largest in Europe. If you’re looking for a place to eat, don’t miss the harbour restaurants where you’ll find the freshest fish and seafood. The main sights to see in the city are Götaplatsen Square and Kungsportsavenyen Avenue, as well as the Art Museum, which costs around €6 to enter. You can also book a canal cruise.

3. Uppsala, the university town to see in Sweden

Uppsala, along with Lund, has the country’s most prestigious university. This student city is full of life, canals and bicycles that go from one side to the other. The city is also very quiet and pleasant to walk around. The Linnaeus Garden is the city’s most famous landmark. Its origins date back to the 17th century, when it reached its peak with over 3000 plant species thanks to botanist Carl Linnaeus, in whose honour there is a museum in the garden itself.

Other sights to see include the cathedral, the university library and the Gustavianum Museum, which tells the story of the university’s history and various scientific curiosities. Uppsala is a must-see in Sweden, but it’s easy to see in a day. From Stockholm you can get there by train, which runs every 20 minutes and takes less than an hour.

Uppsala, the university town to see in Sweden
Uppsala @pixabay

4. Stockholm, the city of islands

Stockholm is one of the most incredible cities to see in Sweden and Europe in general. It’s built on numerous islands, so to get around the city you have to cross bridges or take boats that take you across the canals between monumental buildings. It is a real beauty. We recommend taking a tour of the most modern part of the city, where the parliament is located, and another of the old town.

There are many museums in the city, but the most spectacular is the Vasa Museum, which houses a ship rescued from the depths of the sea. There’s also an amusement park on one of the islands, and more museums ideal for children, such as the Viking Museum, the ABBA Museum and Skansen, an open-air museum. Ideally you should spend at least 3 days in the city if you want to see everything.

Other points of interest in Sweden

 1. Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace, built in the 17th century, is the best preserved palace in the country and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The royal palace was ordered to be built by Queen Hedwig Eleanor, and since then many kings have lived within its walls, because let’s not forget that Sweden still has a monarchy. As well as visiting the interior of the palace and appreciating the ostentatiously decorated rooms, you can visit the French-style gardens and other small buildings scattered around the grounds.

The palace is open daily from 10am to 5pm and admission costs 130 SEK. From Stockholm there are several ways to get there. By bus it takes 50 minutes and costs €3 on line 515. The metro is the best option as it only takes 18 minutes and costs €6. Alternatively, although not the best option, you can take the ferry, but it takes over an hour and costs €18.

Drottningholm Palace vacations in Sweden
Drottningholm Palace @pixabay

2. Kungsleden, Swedish Lapland

Northern Sweden is home to Kungsleden, a large nature park with spectacular views, lakes and more than 400km of hiking trails. It is the ideal place for nature lovers. Due to its location, during the summer the sun hardly ever sets and the temperatures are very pleasant. In fact, between June and September is when it is recommended to go, as all the hostels are open.

It’s also possible to visit during the winter, when you’ll find white landscapes and completely different conditions. For starters, it’s night all day, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the famous northern lights. During winter it’s much colder, but it’s worth it for the experience.

3. Ales Stenar, the ruins to see in Sweden

The megalithic complex at Ales Stenar is a must-see in Sweden. It consists of 59 stone blocks arranged in a row in the shape of a boat. The monument dates back to the year 600 and its function is unclear. There are theories that say it could have been a place for funeral rites, or a calendar or some kind of clock. In any case, it is worth climbing the small hill where it is located as the views are incredible. Next door is also the town of Ystad, one of Sweden’s oldest and best-preserved cities, with buildings that look like monuments.

Ales Stenar Sweden
Ales Stenar @pixabay

4. Smögen, the fishing village to see in Sweden

Sweden is a country of islands, most of which are populated and well connected to the mainland. Smögen is one of the most famous for its colourful wooden houses, which are typical of fishermen and can be seen in many of the country’s other coastal towns. These villages have always lived from fishing, so you can’t miss a meal in one of the restaurants where you can taste fresh seafood and fish. The island can be seen in a day as the main attractions are the harbour and the colourful houses.

Gastronomy in Sweden

Swedish cuisine is famous for its clever use and diverse methods of preserving its scarce produce. It’s not one of the most varied cuisines in the world, but it does have some dishes worth trying. Probably the most famous is Swedish meatballs, which can be found frozen in any supermarket, but there are also other dishes such as Räksmörgås, a slice of bread with various ingredients on top that is usually eaten for lunch. Another curious dish is Smörgåstårta, a savoury tart with a very diverse combination of ingredients. And let’s not forget the salmon, which is baked in the oven with dill.

The most famous sweet treats are the cinnamon or cardamom roll, or the chocolate cake. When it comes to eating out you should know that it’s not exactly cheap, and alcohol is even less so. A beer can cost around €8. Supermarkets don’t sell alcohol, so if you want to buy it you’ll have to go to Systembolaget, the only alcohol outlet (monopolised by the government) and with very restricted opening hours.

What should I consider before travelling to Sweden?

  • The official currency of Sweden is the Swedish krona (SEK)
  • The best time to travel to Sweden is from May to September.
  • There are many establishments where cash is not accepted.
  • The tap water is safe to drink.
  • From Spain it is not necessary to have a visa to travel to Sweden. With the DNI is enough.
  • Be covered for possible medical emergencies: travel insured.
  • The country is generally very safe, but just in case, be careful with your belongings.
  • To take public transport, it’s best to download the apps for each region.
  • Alcohol can only be bought at Systembolaget, a state-monopolised shop.

How to prepare what to see on your trip to Sweden?

Register or download the Passporter App and discover all its possibilities.

  • Get inspired by the experiences of other travellers.
  • Create your own itinerary and add suggestions from the app to it.
  • Add the stops you’re most interested in, as well as the restaurants and bars where you want to eat (you can use the points of interest listed in this post as a reference).
  • Organise your itinerary by route days according to their location on the map (you can take inspiration from the routes presented in the post).
  • Check out the travel budget that the app calculates for you based on your travel stops, restaurants, and leisure activities.
  • Make any modifications you need to make and you’re all set for your trip.
  • Share your experience. Upload photos of the places you’ve visited on your trip to the app and recommend other travellers what things to do in Sweden.

If you have doubts about how to do it, you can check our post: How to create a travel itinerary in Passporter.

Frequently asked questions about travelling to Sweden

What are the typical dishes in Sweden?

The most typical dishes are Räksmörgås, herring, meatballs, Smörgåstårta (savoury pie with ingredients you never thought would go well together) and salmon. And for dessert, don’t miss the cinnamon roll and chocolate cake.

When is the best time to travel to Sweden?

The best months to visit Sweden are between May and September. During these months there are more daylight hours and the weather is very pleasant.

Do I need a visa to travel to Sweden?

As citizens of the European Union, you do not need a visa to travel to Sweden, your ID card or passport is sufficient.

Is tap water drinkable in Sweden?

Yes, tap water is safe to drink throughout Sweden.

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