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Sweden is one of the most interesting European travel destinations that never seems to get talked about. Often lumped into the broader region of Scandinavia, and specifically paired up with Finland and Norway, it just is not always viewed as a distinct destination.

One of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world, Sweden should be on the bucket list of any European traveller. This country is famous for its Viking heritage, but today there are a thousand reasons to visit Sweden and is one of the best place to travel female solo. Another of the Scandinavian countries that is usually a regular tenant of the lists of the best countries in the world to live.

Sweden is a multi-ethnic country. It has absorbed considerable immigration for the last 50 years and is safe, hospitable, beautiful, modern, peaceful, healthy, with non-existent unemployment. And if in winter you get tired of not seeing the light and having to leave home lined with three or four layers of clothes, you can always make a trip to Southern Europe to see family and friends.

Once you look into what Sweden has to offer, you will begin to discover a beautiful and fascinating country with all kinds of things to offer. There are adventurous hikes, stunning natural phenomena, urban breaks for a bit of relaxation, and even some beaches in Sweden that are surprisingly picturesque (given how far north Sweden really is).

For a country with a population of less than 10 million, Sweden has punched above its weight in terms of its impact on the world at large. From Vikings to IKEA, the Nobel Prize to ABBA, Sweden certainly has certainly made an impression on the global stage. A solo backpacker who visits today is rewarded by stunning landscapes, charming towns and cities and welcoming people.

This is one of the best countries to visit in the world if you are looking for a calm and enriching adventure. Sweden is a nation that proudly boasts about its wonderful natural landscapes, white sand beaches and peaceful little towns with cobblestone streets. In terms of hiking opportunities, there are many exciting locations that you should consider exploring if you visit Sweden.

A captivating nation with dazzling scenes and rich legacy, Sweden is a sanctuary for devoted voyagers. Notwithstanding this, the spot additionally gloats of astonishing climbing trails, customary hovels, church buildings and so on. In general, the nation has such huge numbers of things in store for you that you won't feel exhausted for a second.

Scandinavia have a lot to charm vacationers. It is honored with a rich scene of verdant timberlands, flawless lakes and moving mountains that blend perfectly with dazzling sights. This blend of nature with the imaginative ability of man makes for an amazing place. So, giving a little bit of attention to each of these categories and more, we are going to delve into Sweden, and why it is such an appealing place for a holiday.

Hiking in Sweden

When you imagine hiking in northern Europe, you tend to imagine striking landscapes but, at least occasionally, difficult conditions. This is more or less the case in Sweden as well, and it should go without saying that if you plan a hike in this country, you will want to do so during the warmer months of the year. The depths of winter are fairly forbidding outside.

With that disclaimer out of the way, there are some truly exceptional hiking routes in this country, both on the beaches in the South (which we will get to below) and, more notably, in the more challenging wilderness inland and to the north. The Padjelanta Trail is perhaps the most quintessentially Scandinavian hike in the country.

It is roughly a 150 km trail that takes you through some of the remote northwestern lands of Sweden, through the settlements of the Sami people and alongside rocky lakeside. There is a decent probability of seeing reindeer on this trail, which adds another thrill.

If the Padjelanta Trail is arguably the most interesting, the Kungsleden trek is probably the most famous. It is a grueling trek if you do the whole thing, spanning over 400km far to the north in Sweden. Highlights include several northern villages like Nikkaluokta and Abisko, and you will get a glimpse of Sarek National Park also. It is an otherworldly natural expanse of mountains, valleys, streams, and ponds, well worth going out of your way for.

The Padjelanta Trail is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the most famous and rewarding trails that the country has to offer. You will be treated to stunning views of gargantuan mountain ranges, lakes, and perhaps even wildlife such as reindeer. If you are going to visit Sweden then you should also try to see the aurora lights at some point.

Finally, for a more manageable hiking in northern Sweden that should only take a few days to complete, the Jamtland Triangle is another popular option. According to another piece looking at hikes in northern Sweden (and focusing largely on beach walks), the entire walk is 47 km and runs through various mountain stations with plenty of cabins, saunas, and good places to eat along the way. It is an option that combines adventure with a bit of recreation.

Continue to High Coast. The unexplored trail in the zone is brimming with shocks and raises the fun. Another key point to note is that the trail goes through areas with human settlements and thick timberlands. Assigned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the trail has rough islands and soaks rock bluffs.

Sweden Northern Lights

Northern Lights in Sweden

Sweden came up in a previous piece about celebrating holidays under the Northern Lights, and as you might expect of a northern European country like this, there are indeed chances to see this stunning natural phenomenon. In fact, the lights can be seen all over Sweden, such that even people in the southern cities have occasionally reported a little bit of light activity in the sky.

Still, your best bet is to head north, where you will have far and away the best chance of seeing something amazing. There is not one specific destination that is recommended above others, but the closer you get to the northern borders with Norway and Finnish Lapland, the better your chances of witnessing the Aurora will be. You can also look into booking tours specifically aimed at sightings - including some that also offer dog sledding adventures!

If you want to encounter Aurora Borealis, head directly to Lapland, particularly in winters. Home to untamed life, nature and snow, the spot is an unquestionable requirement visit amid your trek to Sweden.

Kiruna, the northern town offers a superb perspective on the midnight sun and the wonderful Northern Lights from mid-May to mid-July. It additionally houses the world's first since forever Ice Hotel.

Kebnekaise

Prepare yourself for captivating climbing, trekking or mountaineering knowledge as the most astounding mountain top in Sweden anticipates provoking you. You can also investigate diverse climbing here if you are a mountain/trekking lover. These thrills will surely make you go crazy. Skiing is also the best option for thrillers.

Abisko

When it comes to serene experiences, there is nothing quite like seeing the Northern Lights in Abisko for yourself. When people talk about a picture not doing justice to something, this is the perfect example.

Jokkmokk

Get your opportunity to have rendezvous with the Sami family which assemble at a yearly market held at Jokkmokk. For a long time, the town is facilitating the market each year come what may. Remember to purchase nectar, cheddar and other regular produce available to be purchased. The bewildering and fascinating Sami culture alongside bona fide Swedish experience can make you return here frequently.

City Breaks in Sweden

There are wonderful cities and towns sprinkled all over Sweden, and any of them can make for a nice refuge if you do not want to spend your whole time hiking and adventuring.

Lund

On the smaller side, travelers might enjoy Lund, a charming old town of fewer than 100,000 people with cobblestone roads and a Renaissance cathedral.

Stockholm

For a bigger city break though most visitors will want to head to Stockholm. With a population near one million people, Stockholm is the big, bustling capital of Sweden and a fascinating place to see. The city is built, via a network of bridges, on 14 small islands in a Baltic Sea archipelago. Visitors will enjoy the Gamla Stan (the Old Town, effectively), the Nobel Museum, the open-air history museum and zoo, Skansen, and Stockholm Palace - as well as simply walking around and exploring.

There are also some modern attractions to enjoy in Stockholm, including plenty of local bars (check out Orangeriet and Akkurat) and restaurants (try Lilla Ego or Matkonsulatet) and even something of a casino scene. Sweden has actually quietly taken the lead in Europe's casino culture, largely through the development of online games.

So it should come as no surprise that there are some good in-person places for gaming and nights out in Stockholm as well (most notably Casino Cosmopol Stockholm). The Djurgarden Park offers numerous attractions bistros, lodgings, exhibition halls, kayaks, bike, and cable car rides.

When you visit Stockholm, be sure to make time for a visit to the Vasa Museum. Here you will be able to see Sweden's very own Titanic, a giant wooden ship built in the 17th century on the orders of King Gustavus Adolphus which sank on its maiden voyage. The ship was salvaged in the 1980s and is on display today in what has become Sweden's most visited museum. The nation's astonishing history is reflected in various sights. The Vasa Battleship lay soaked in frosty waters for more than three centuries.

Gotland - Visby

The walled town on Gotland Island is an entryway to medieval history, a UNESCO world legacy site; it has delightful dividers that go back to 700 years. The Gota Canal is another fascination that goes back to the mid nineteenth century and offers an awe inspiring journey. Situated at the North of Stockholm, Sigtuna gives you a look at the medieval history of its houses of worship, rune stones, and other old vestiges. In fact, game development has been offered as a subject of choice at the country's Gotland University since 2001.

Uppsala

Uppsala is another destination worth considering, both for its deep history (it is often mentioned in association with Vikings, though these histories have been twisted somewhat) and for the charming university town, it is today.

Malmo

And then there is Malmo, a slightly larger but not massive coastal city that is linked by tunnel to Copenhagen in Denmark. Malmo is the greatest city in Skaine. It is one of the spots in Sweden where you can encounter culture from throughout the world. Brimming with vitality, the city additionally takes the spotlight for its solid natural social character and creative engineering. Any of these places to visit in Sweden can make for a nice place to rest and do a bit of local sightseeing.

Gothenburg

Gothenburg is one of the loveliest spots to find in Sweden. This gives an ideal motivation to investigate the spot at your very own pace. Arranged along the Gota River, the remarkable archipelago is a colossal draw for guests from around the globe. Various waterways that dab the city make it seem to be like Amsterdam.

We dedicate a day and a half to this city to see it. We moved around the city both by tram and by walking. We plan a route from our hotel to see the most important sites in the city. We stayed at the hotel, and from there we went by tram to the Oscar Fredrik church, neo-Gothic building from 1890.

From there we took the tram to the Botaniska Trädgården stop, where the botanical garden of Gothenburg is located. It is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world, and we can see all kinds of flora, forests, meadows, greenhouses and even a small waterfall. After seeing the botanical garden, we took the tram to the station of Valand, in the center.

We crossed the bridge over the canal and took the tourist bus that took us all over the city. After the bus, we decided to eat, next to the canal, at a restaurant. Afterwards, we took a walk through the center and entered the Domkyrka (cathedral). The cathedral is a Lutheran neoclassical building from 1815. The interior, unornamented, is typical of Protestant churches.

The next stop of our plan was the Maritiman, a museum that exhibits 19 boats in the port. We really liked seeing the interior of many ships, such as merchant ships, fishing boats, a warship and a submarine. From there, we toured the port to Lilla Bommen where the Barken Viking is located, a huge sailboat turned into a hotel and restaurant.

After seeing this magnificent museum, we went to the Nordstan shopping center, near the harbor. Then we went to Haga, a neighborhood recommended in the tourist guides. For our pleasure, it did not offer us anything of the other world either. The main attraction is its wooden houses. But it is worth climbing up to Skansen Kronan, a park where on its top you will find a tower with beautiful views of the city.

At the end of the day, we look for a place to dine in Järntorget. We decided to go to the villages of Kungälv and Gullholmen. The first one is located about 20 km north of Gothenburg, on the great Göta river. It has a small church all made of wood decorated with frescoes on the roof. On a fluvial island, very close, are the ruins of the fortress of Bohus. From there, you have stunning views of the town and the Göta.

Gullholmen, located in the archipelago of the west coast of Sweden, is a set of wooden houses clustered together in a small rocky island. It is very nice to walk among the houses painted in colors. A Swedish man stopped us and took us to his small animal museum on the island. He knew some Spanish and was very proud of his work.

We had planned to take a trip to see the surroundings of Gullholmen, but it started to rain and we had to take refuge. Other picturesque villages on the west coast are Mollösund and Marstrand but we will leave them for other trips around Bohuslän (west coast of Sweden). For me, this was the most beautiful place of the entire trip.

We visited Palm House Park, a palm greenhouse next to the Gothenburg Canal. From there, we went to the bus station of Heden to catch the bus that goes to the Kristinedal stop. Near this stop is Gunnebo Slott, an 18th century manor house located near two lakes. We cross the bridge that separates the two lakes and we follow a path under a forest until we reach Gunnebo.

The interior of the mansion, built entirely of wood, can only be seen through guided tours in Swedish and English although you can get some reusable booklets in the same palace (of course) where they explain the visit also in German and French. In the same palace you have a small restaurant with terrace where you can taste an ecological buffet for 115 crowns (with coffee and biscuits included, of course).

Afterwards, the rest of the day we dedicate to continue seeing Gothenburg. We took a walk from the Poseidon fountain to the fish market, where you can have the typical shrimp dish of the area, apart from many fish. We pass through Kungsparken, a park next to the canal, and the Christinae kyrka (also called the German church).

This temple was built by Germans in 1648. The interior is typical of Protestant churches with little ornamentation, although it has interesting stained glass windows. It is worth visiting. Finally, we had planned to go to the Stora Delsjön lake to rent a boat, but the threatening clouds of rain forced us to change our plans.

We got into a tourist boat that runs through the canals of Gothenburg and, at the end of the day, we went to the Liseberg amusement park. We were surprised by the amount of people there and that it was a week day. Regarding the restaurant, the food was good and had a good price. It is a recommended place to eat in the center of Gothenburg, located on a boat anchored in the canal, next to the Kungsportsplatsen bridge.

A curiosity of this trip was the kindness of the people. In Gullholmen, a woman offered to take pictures without us asking. We were taking photos and she saw us and offered herself. We were struck by the fact that, afterwards, she got into the water where, apart from the ice water, there were lots of jellyfish.

On another occasion, when we went to a public bathroom in Kungsportsplatsen, a Swede and his little son explained to us how the bathroom worked without us asking them for help. It is said that the Swedes are somewhat shy but in our case we did not see it that way.

We were also surprised at how little the bus card and bus drivers looked at us. In the end we passed the tram without showing it and nothing happened. One of the times, a driver laughed when we showed the card, as if it were not necessary to show it. It is as if in Sweden they trusted the honesty of travelers. But what most caught our attention on this trip, were the trams of Gothenburg, most of them very old.

They had a system to ask for the almost archaic stop but also very comfortable. It was a rope that ran along the sides of the tram above the windows. Pulling it, you requested the stop. On one occasion, we even saw a woman pushing the tram doors to leave, as they did not open automatically!

Sweden Beaches

Beaches in Sweden

We won't spend too much space on beaches of Sweden, but if you are looking for further outdoor activity in Sweden that is a little more relaxing and less adventurous, the selection of pleasant coastal areas is surprisingly broad and impressive. Because Sweden is recognized as a Scandinavian country many forget all about the fact that much of it runs along the Baltic Sea, which is a famously beautiful resort area.

Among the famous beaches in Sweden are Ribersborg, Tanto Beach, Faro, Lysekil, and Norrfallsviken, and all are pretty and relaxing options.

Faro makes for perhaps the most complete beach getaway. It is its own island, well south of Stockholm and just off of the larger island of Gotland, smack in the middle of the Baltic Sea. It is a charming coastal area complete with restaurants and ice cream shops, beach walks, mini golf, and boating and was one of the locations of Game of Thrones.

Parading an illusory palace, Kalmar is encompassed by water. Shorelines collaborating with harbours and old landmarks add to the provincial appeal of the spot. When titled as Sweden's best summer city, the spot is best seen on a kayak.

Need to remember the existence a Viking? Birka allows you to do as such. Besides, the interesting town is history buff's heaven. Hailed as the most established town in the nation, Birka is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Venturing out to the spot is much like going back in time. Do not forget to take a voyage through the Viking town. And the visit to the very old and famous Birka museum is a must.

Next, we have Kosterhavet. There is without a doubt something unique about this spot. Sweden's sole Marine National Park was introduced here. Offering welcoming drifting and kayaking openings, the recreation centre is around the Koster Islands. Jumpers and Snorkelers can locate the ideal rest while cherishing the coral reefs here.

Old stronghold and cruising are the two imperative parts of Marstrand that make it rank among best vacation destinations in Sweden. Cruising pontoons of every kind nearby the sky blue sea and rough shakes add to the appeal of the spot.

Karlskrona in the middle of the archipelago is really the sunniest city in Sweden. There are endless things to do in Karlskrona. You can visit many of the places to visit on your own, although some must be visited with a guide. Take a walk through the streets and experience how the modern pulse of the city mixes with its historical spirit, a fantastic combination of past and present.

The flagship of the tourist attractions of Karlskrona is its Naval Museum. Many Baroque buildings remain intact, like those on the grandiose main square, Stortorget. After having protected the harbor for more than three centuries, the Kungsholm Fortress and the Drottningskär Citadel reveal a remarkable history. At the fascinating Sea Museum, explore a Soviet submarine, inspect a minesweeper from World War II and observe an 18th century sunken ship through an underwater tunnel.

Hopefully, this paints the accurate picture, which is that Sweden is a remarkable place for an adventure. No matter what your primary reason for going may be, there is a little bit of everything to enjoy, and you might just manage most of it in one trip.

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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

4 comments:

  1. Sweden sounds like such an incredible place to visit. I would love to see the northern lights

    ReplyDelete
  2. It has always been my dream to see the Northern Lights. That and Niagara Falls are both on my bucket list. <3 _ <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sweden looks like just the place I would like to visit next. The pictures are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never been here, but I definitely want to go in the future :) thanks for a comprehensive guide and lots of information x

    ReplyDelete

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