Do you prefer traveling to new places, enjoying the scenery, and indulging in what they offer? Not sure where to head next?
If you want to experience the beauty only a Nordic country can offer, you’re in for a treat when visiting Sweden.
To help you know what places to visit in Sweden, we have the popular destinations, the top places to visit, and the 15 most beautiful places in Sweden, all in one place.
The 15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Sweden
Sweden, or the Kingdom of Sweden, has a total land area of 450,295 square kilometers, which houses its ever-popular share of lakes, islands, and forests.
It’s also known for its mining sector, owning a big chunk of the Scandinavian Peninsula, and its 10,040,995-strong population.
Sweden has a steady stream of beautiful places for tourists and travelers to visit, as well as some of the best places to live in for others. So, let’s start our journey across Sweden with these must-see places.
1. Stockholm’s Archipelago
The Stockholm Archipelago in the Baltic Sea has more than 30,000 islands with a land area of 650 square miles, making it the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea.
You get to enjoy the soothing serenity of the beach located in the Stockholm Archipelago and appreciate the natural resources while doing different adventure-based activities, such as:
- A Boat trip
- Riding an ice yacht
- Sea Kayaking
When visiting Stockholm, you can also go camping in early autumn and grill food. Aside from that, it offers well-known restaurants that can fill your stomach with gourmet servings.
2. Gamla Stan in Stockholm
History buffs are the type of people who enjoy immersing themselves in historic buildings. With that in mind, Gamla Stan in Stockholm is undoubtedly one of the best historical sites in one of the best cities in Sweden to visit.
Gamla Stan is the Old Town, the original city center, containing the oldest square in central Stockholm, the Stortorget.
Aside from that, Gamla Stan is known for its historical sites from the 1600s to the 1700s, such as the Royal Palace of the Swedish Royal Family, the Stockholm Cathedral, the Royal Armory, and the Skokloster Castle.
You can even tour Gamla Stan and find in-depth information on Sweden’s lesser-known history through the Medieval, Jewish, and Nobel Prize Museums.
3. Höga Kusten – The High Coast
The great outdoors is best for people who enjoy fresh air, highlands, and the thrill of outdoor excursions. If you’re among that number, the High Coast is the place for you.
Höga Kusten, or the High Coast, is Northern Europe’s first natural environment site to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.
Aside from the climbing and watersports being offered at the site, you can also enjoy the culture and heritage through the following:
- High Coast Art Valley (filled with museums and galleries)
- 100 nature preserves
- Skuleskogen National Park
4. Gothenburg’s Archipelago and Bohuslän Coast
The archipelago of Gothenburg, located on the nation’s west coast, is Sweden’s second-largest city, known as a world-leading green city with many parks. It also showcases the following attractions:
- The cobblestone streets of Haga;
- Wooden houses built in 1870;
- Gothenburg Museum;
- Natural History Museum;
- Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft, which has been open since 1916; and
- The 100-year-old theme park Liseberg
On the west coast, Gothenburg also holds part of the gem called the Bohuslän Coast, extending up to the Norwegian border.
The west coast is a must-see place, as the Bohuslän offers hiking spots around the coastline, the Contemporary Nordic Watercolour Museum, and world-famous rock carvings.
5. Lake Siljan
Lake Siljan, or Silja, is located in central Sweden and has an area of 354 square kilometers, making it Sweden’s sixth-largest lake.
If you are the type of person who enjoys the outdoor view of lake water and green scenery, Lake Siljan is the perfect countryside lake for you.
Aside from the lake, you can also go around the surrounding vicinity for a hike or a tour of the Geopark Siljan and the other reserves. You can even feel the 13th-century vibe of the nearby churches.
6. Gotland’s “Raukar”
The places to visit in Sweden are numerous, including Gotland and its ever-famous Raukar or sea stacks.
With the Raukar, you can experience the ocean and observe how the environment formed the stack of stones (through limestone erosion). You can even discover the surrounding area without the need to swim.
Aside from the Raukar, Gotland offers a medieval time capsule in the form of the quaint town of Visby, which became a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995 thanks to its well-preserved townscape.
Kungeleien is not the King’s trail for nothing, as this place is famous for its total hiking path of approximately 450 kilometers.
To finish the entire Kungsleden trail means allocating a month of your Sweden trip. However, you do not need to worry, as there are about 16 sturdy mountain cabins you can rent along the trail.
If the cabin is out of your budget, you can opt for a camping hike in Kungsleden; just ensure you have everything you need, especially lights (e.g., head torch) at night!
When walking through the King’s Trail, you will also encounter four national parks in Sweden:
- Abisko National park
- Stora Sjöfallet National Park
- Sarek National Park
- Pieljekaise National Park
8. Ales Stenar
Ales Stenar, or Ale’s Stones, is a puzzling yet incredible sight in Sweden that showcases 59 megalithic stones formed in a seemingly oval shape.
The Ales Stenar is believed to have existed since the Iron Age approximately 1000 years ago.
There are different beliefs about what and why the Ales Stenar was built. Some say it is for burial or astronomical calendar, while some view it as a miracle.
Regardless of what the Ales Stenar truly means, one thing’s sure: it is worth seeing when you visit Sweden.
When your interests align with the sea, boat adventures, sailing, fishing, and swimming, you can do all these and more through a short ferry ride (less than an hour) into Sweden’s sailing capital city – Marstrand.
Marstrand, an island in Sweden, was previously known as the herring capital of Europe in the 16th century.
Fast forward to today, and the city is now filled with tourist attractions showcasing Marstrand’s fascinating history, culture, and heritage worth seeing and appreciating, such as:
- The Strandverket Art Museum
- Bergs Konditori (restaurant since the 20th century)
- Carlstens Fortress (constructed in the 1660s)
10. Lake Vättern
Complete your next trip to Sweden by visiting the second-largest lake in the country and the fifth overall in Europe – Lake Vättern.
This lake is located in the south-central part of Sweden and has a total area of 1,912 square kilometers. It measures 130 kilometers long and 31 kilometers wide, with Jönköping on its southern shore.
Aside from the prototypical Scandinavian lake, you can also observe cliffs, harbors, ruined castles, historic villages, and other culturally-grounded sites.
Sweden is not just home to cobbled streets, aquatic life, colorful houses, modern art, and modern architecture, as it also displays the beauty of nature through the mountain – ÅReskutan.
ÅReskutan stands 1,420 meters above sea level and has been visited by people for skiing, eating at Sweden’s highest cafe, and other winter activities.
So, enjoy this wintery wonderland by putting Mt. ÅReskutan on your Swedish to-visit list!
If you are visiting Sweden during the summer, the best decision you can make is to visit one of the country’s liveliest summer places – Smögen!
Smögen, the most famous pier in Sweden, offers must-see harbors, wooden boardwalks, family attractions, sightings of indigenous Swedish animals, and more.
Smögen has existed since the 1500s. Until today, most, if not all, of its remnants are still intact, mostly revolving around fish. This makes it a must-see for rich history and fishing enthusiasts alike.
13. The Ice Hotel in Jukkäsjarvi
Your stay in Sweden will be one for the books when you explore the Ice Hotel in Jukkäsjarvi, Northern Sweden.
The Ice Hotel has been tagged as a part of Swedish history as a landmark since 1989.
The Ice Hotel offers two kinds of hotel rooms:
- The Ice Hotel Winter is available from December to April and melts once springtime comes; and
- The Ice Hotel 365 is the first in the world that operates all year round, regardless of the season.
Whichever you choose, you will experience the ice magic and the rooms that are made to feel like art galleries featuring distinct ice artworks.
14. Rosendal’s Palace and Gardens
Why not feel like royalty by visiting the Rosendal Palace and Gardens during the summer months when they’re open to the public?
The Rosendal Palace and Gardens, built in the 19th century by King Karl XIV, is located in Stockholm, specifically on the Swedish island of Djurgården.
It is a perfect place for history buffs and individuals who love taking walks and sightseeing to remedy their melancholy.
Aside from the palace halls, you can also see the prefabricated wooden buildings and houses made by Architect Fredik Bloom, the palace park, the sculptures, and many more.
In Rosendal Palace and Gardens, you can venture through time via personal tours, guided tours, and group visits.
15. Tylösand Beach
Enjoy the four-kilometer beach of Tylösand, as you include this on your list of beautiful places to visit in Sweden.
Tylösand Beach is known for its pristine waters and historical landmarks, such as St. Olof’s Chapel, built in 1721.
Aside from that, you also get to enjoy different activities, like hiking, cycling, and attending music festivals.
Popular Destinations in Sweden
Sweden not only has the most beautiful places to visit, but it also features popular destinations, notably the Abisko National Park and the Sarek National Park.
Read the descriptions below to catch a glimpse of what these parks offer!
Abisko National Park
The Abisko National Park is a longstanding attraction established in 1909 in the heart of the Swedish Lapland.
The good thing about visiting the Abisko National Park is that you can enjoy its serenity throughout the year. Activities are widespread during early and late autumn, winter, and early spring.
In Abisko, you can also witness the northern lights gracefully dancing in the night sky.
However, if you want to see their bird sanctuary, visit Sweden from May 1 to July 31, as it is the only time it is open to the public.
Activities to Do in the Park
There are a lot of other activities that you can do in Abisko’s National Park, such as the following:
- Visiting the Abisko Naturum, which houses nature guides, exhibitions, films, talks with different themes, lecture halls, the library, and a shop;
- Visiting the Abiskoeatnu Canyon;
- Visiting the Bird Hill; and
- Visiting the Sami Camp that highlights the life of the local Sami people
You can also choose full and half-day tours, which mainly include going to these places:
- Kårsa waterfalls
- Nissonjåkka’s suspension bridge
- Ridonjira nature path
Sarek National Park
In the North of the Arctic Circle, you will find the Jokkmokk Municipality, where the high alpine area of the Sarek National Park is situated.
The Sarek National Park includes six of Sweden’s highest mountains, roughly 100 glaciers, and vast wildlife, making it a must-visit in Sweden.
It is also in Sarek where you can find the job and båskkå, which the Sami people have used as food and medicine sources.
Activities to Do in the Park
When in Sarek National Park, here are the activities that you can do:
- Visit the Guohpervágge, where reindeer husbandry takes place;
- Stay at the Swedish cabins of Aktse;
- Learn about a part of Sweden’s culture by visiting Álggavárre;
- Visit the Hambergstugorna;
- Hike Bårddetjåhkkå, Guhkesvágge, and Nammásj (sacred mountain);
- Ski and visit the wildlife in Ráhpavuobme; and
- Take a look at the Skierffe
Top Places to Visit in Sweden
To complete your Sweden tour, you can go to the beautiful and popular places and have fun, learn, and make memories in Sweden’s top places you can’t miss.
The Swedish Lapland
The Swedish Lapland is the arctic region (within the Arctic Circle) of Sweden, bordering Norway and Finland, and features the ever-beautiful northern lights, among others.
In our experience, the Swedish Lapland allows visitors to experience authentic Sami culture as the indigenous Sami people have preserved it for thousands of yours.
Aside from the wonderful experiences, the Swedish Lapland also takes pride in its outdoor activities, especially during the winter.
Aurora Borealis Sightings
In the Swedish Lapland, you can experience the dancing northern lights that glow red, blue, pink, green, and purple. These lights are also known as Aurora Borealis.
Based on scientific explanations, this sighting is often more visible in the region from August to April.
If you visit Sweden after these months, the dancing light show is often replaced by the midnight sun. The midnight sun is the phase of the sun that never sets from May to July.
The best place to see the northern lights show in this region is through the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko.
Winter Activities to Do in the Region
There are so many things you can do in this Swedish region, and we listed most of these activities below:
- Fly fishing in the region’s pristine lakes
- Skiing at the region’s famous skiing resorts
- Snowmobile tours in snow-covered mountains
- Winter glamping (Aurora Safari Camp)
As mentioned earlier, Gotland boasts its famous Raukur and the medieval city of Visby.
One of the things that we liked most in Gotland is its natural scenery, especially the fresh waters from the coastline.
We are also in awe of how Gotland has preserved its Viking history by maintaining old burial grounds, silver hoards, and more.
Visby, the Island’s Medieval City
Visby is a small city in Gotland known for being one of the 1995 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is known for the following remnants still found in the city:
- The 15-hectare burial area in Stenkyrka;
- The 1,000 graves;
- The silver hoards found in the Gotland Museum;
- The reconstructed village called Vikingagård
Natural Beauty on the Island
It’s undeniable that Gotland’s 800-kilometer coastline, the Raukar, and the more than 100 nature reserves are sights to behold.
Skåne is a county and province in Sweden created in 1997, but it has its roots in the 9th century, as shown in written records.
Skåne is among the top places to visit in Sweden because of its mixed coastal and countryside beauty. It contains rural landscapes and white sandy beaches, which we will expound on in the following sections.
Much more than the scenic routes, Skåne is known for its UNESCO biosphere reserve, the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve, which holds regional, national, and international environmental significance.
The coastal beauty of Skåne is a hit among Swedes during the peak of summer and remains one of the relevant tourist attractions during the off-season.
Being a tourist destination, the coastline of Skåne is the place to go for boating and other water sports.
The countryside is also a must-see because of the trails suitable for hikers and bikers, such as the trails of Skåneleden, Kullens Fyr, and Hällevikslingan.
Kosterhavet National Park
The marine life in Sweden is alive and breathing, accommodating different species, thanks to their first marine national park – the Kosterhavet National Park.
Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden) was established in September 2009 to preserve marine life and the wide range of species in Sweden’s bodies of water.
Approximately 20,000 people living near the national park co-exist with more or less 6000 species of plants, animals, and other living things.
Underwater Natural Beauty
To give you an idea of the scope of the underwater natural beauty Kosterhavet has within its environs, here are some of the species that can be found here:
- Acesta excavata (European giant file clam)
- Geodia barretti (marine sponge)
- Kophobelemnon stelliferum (unique to Kosterhavet)
Your Sweden escapade is only complete when you pass by one of the top places – the Oresund Bridge.
The Oresund Bridge is Europe’s longest roadway and railway, with an almost eight (8) kilometer bridge length. It connects Sweden and Denmark.
Overview of Oresund Bridge
The Oresund Bridge came to be in a 1991 contract signing between Sweden and Denmark. It aimed to address the Oresund region’s socio-political and economic issues. Construction only began in 1995.
The Oresund Bridge was placed above the Oresund Strait, which witnessed World War II, and how Jews from Denmark were transported to Sweden.
Thousands of people cross the bridge as part of their daily commute.
PRO TIP: Other great places to visit include the Uppsala Cathedral, Malmo’s Turning Torso (the city’s skyline of the third largest city in Sweden), and Skansen (an open-air museum).
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about Sweden’s most beautiful places and stand-out icons.
What Food Is Sweden Famous For?
Sweden is most famous for Köttbullar, or meatballs, the recipe of which was introduced by King Charles XII in the 18th century.
What Is the Best Place to Visit in Sweden During Winter?
The best place to visit in Sweden during the winter is the Swedish Lapland, as evidenced by the winter activities you can witness and participate in.
What Is the Best Place to Visit in Sweden in Autumn?
The best place to visit in Sweden during autumn is Stockholm’s Archipelago or the Abisko National Park.
Taking that long-planned Sweden trip will be one of the best decisions you can make, as you can finally visit the most beautiful places, popular destinations, and top places to visit we listed in this article.
Plan your next Sweden trip and enjoy life to the fullest by visiting an old town during their medieval week, the largest port city, picturesque fishing villages, sandy beaches, fancy restaurants, cozy cafes, beautiful lakes, and more.