Home of the Nobel Prize and the ferocious Vikings, Sweden offers visitors some absolutely stunning scenery and some of the most unspoilt nature areas in the world. Stretching 1572 kms from Denmark all the way to the Arctic Circle, Sweden offers a staggering amount of diverse sceneries and landscapes that are simply breathtaking.
Sweden is an outdoor adventurers dream, not only offering great hikes, but also lots of activities from skiing and ice skating to sailing and horse-riding. Get a warm jacket ready, arrange travel insurance for Sweden, and explore the home of the Vikings.
Stockholm is Sweden's capital city and a beautiful place to explore. More than 30% of the entire city area is taken up by waterways, and another 30% is covered in green spaces.
Moreover, the inner city of Stockholm is actually built on 14 islands that are connected by canals and bridges.
Altogether, this creates an amazingly open and spacious feel to the city, and it also makes it a lot less stressful than many other busy European capitals.
Gamla Stan is Stockholm's Old Town and is a true pleasure to explore on foot. Make sure you check out the following attractions:
- The Royal Palace, which is the official residence of the King of Sweden.
- The 13th century Stockholm Cathedral,
- Riddarholmen Church, where many Swedish regents are buried.
- The Nobel Museum is an interesting place to explore and offers lots of information and material about the Prize itself as well as a video archive of the speeches, which range from interesting to truly inspiring.
- For a little bit of a different experience head to the Storkyrkobadet, an 18th century bathhouse. Pools and Saunas are offered here, and it’s not only wonderfully relaxing but also a very Swedish thing to do.
Not far from Stockholm itself is an area known as the Stockholm archipelago. This stunning area is home to some 24,000 islands, of which roughly 150 are inhabited. While most islands are only accessible by private boat, the larger ones tend to have a ferry service. Värmdö is the largest island, is quite easy to get to, and offers some wonderful forests, lakes and beaches.
However, the further out you manage to get, the better the views become. Utö is on the outer-archipelago and offers some tremendous views of its surrounding area. For the brave, or those unafraid of cold water, swimming is an option on these islands! Before jumping in the water though, sort out your travel insurance for Sweden.
Norrland is the name of the northern region of Sweden and contains many of the big national parks. Here you will find few people, and a stunning amount of pristine wilderness.
Coming here is about hiking and exploration, so make sure you have all the equipment you need. The important UNESCO site of Höga Kusten (High Coast) is located here, and notable for helping scientists understand the effects of glacial movement on land formation.
Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaisa, is also here and there are many popular hiking tracks. When coming to this area, make sure to take lots of mosquito repellent with you, as this part of Sweden is utterly infested with them.
For very ambitious hikers, the Royal Trail also starts here and runs from Abisko to Hemavan, covering 430kms
However, the north is not all desolation, isolation, and stunning nature, it’s also the site of the internationally famous ice hotel. Famous for being made completely out of ice, including bar stools and beds, this hotel is only around for a couple of months a year during the winter months. The vodka bar in it is iconic, and they offer tours for the curious.
Sweden is a very safe country for travellers. If you plan on any nature activities though, it is recommended that you first check the local weather forecast and secondly that your travel insurance for Sweden is up to date. Snowstorms can move in quickly, and depending on where you find yourself, you may well get snowed in for a while, so make sure you are properly equipped for any adventures.
Swedes are famously friendly, and they love connecting with international travellers. They love to eat, especially herring, sit around in coffee shops, and tackle life with a very relaxed attitude.
If you happen to be in Sweden in the last weekend of June, you get to celebrate Sweden’s biggest festival: Midsummer! From public dances to folk music, from traditional pickled herring to local Schnapps, this festival is well worth the journey.
For more information on Sweden, visit the Sweden Tourism Website.