What to see in Sweden: cities, regions, attractions and recommended itineraries

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Sweden, officially called the Kingdom of Sweden, is the third largest state of the European Union, located on the Scandinavian island. Sweden is rich in natural resources, the its internal territory is mainly composed of forests and its citizens can boast the distinction of being resident in one of the countries with the highest standard of living in the world. Many natural parks, protected areas, canals on rivers, very long coasts: in Sweden every place, even the most touristic, deserves first of all to be protected from an environmental point of view.

Have we intrigued you? Here it is for you a little guise on what to see in Sweden: cities, regions, attractions and recommended itineraries!



Index

  1. The main tourist regions
  2. Major cities of Sweden
  3. 10 things to see: Sweden's most important sights
  4. The main routes in Sweden
  5. Where it is
  6. Travel informed: useful information
  7. What to do in Sweden: activities, excursions and tours
  8. User questions and comments

The main tourist regions

Sweden can be divided into three main areas, in which counties similar in language, traditions and culture are grouped: Northern Sweden (Norrland), Central Sweden (Svealand) and Southern Sweden (Götaland), which also includes the territory of Scania (Skåne).

1 - Lapland and Norrland

The Norrland region includes Lapland and much of central and northern Sweden, occupying 59% of the entire territory. However, adverse weather conditions make only 12% of the region habitable.

It is a very popular tourist destination, especially for those who want to come across uninhabited and natural territories. The major urban centers of Norrland are located along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, and are Luleå, Umeå and Piteå.



  • Reference airports: Luleå Airport, with the longest runway in the country; Umeå Airport, Sundsvall-Timrå Airport, Östersund Airport
  • Main towns: Luleå, Umeå, Piteå, Östersund, Gävle
  • Main attractions: Lapland, Umeå Elk Park, Gävleborg Hamra National Park, Sundsvall's Norra Berget Friluftsmuseum (Open Air Museum), Jukkasjärvi Village Ice Hotel, Abisko National Park
  • Best time: during the winter months it is possible to see the spectacle of the Northern Lights of Lapland, but for mild temperatures you must go in summer
  • Getting around: to move between urban centers use public transport, such as trains and buses, but to reach more remote areas it is preferable to rent a car

2 - Stockholm and Svealand

It is the South-central region, where the capital Stockholm is located. Also worthy of note is the county of Uppsala, with very ancient origins and where the oldest and most prestigious university in Sweden is located.

Among the most important provinces are that of Dalarna (where the Vasaloppet, or a ski marathon, is held every year), the province of Värmland and Södermanland.

  • Reference airports: the Stockholm-Arlanda airport is the main one in Sweden, then there are the Stockholm-Skavsca airports, served by low-cost airlines, Stockholm-Bromma, just 7,6 km from the capital, Dala Airport, in the province of Dalarna, and the airport of Karlstad
  • Main towns: Stockholm (capital), Uppsala, Taby, Avesta, Orebro, Flen
  • Main attractions: Hjälstaviken Nature Reserve in Uppsala County, Farnebofjärden National Park in Uppsala, Falo koppargruva (Mining Industry and Museum), Royal Palace in Stockholm, drottningholm palace in Stockholm, Tyresta National Park in Stockholm
  • Best time: from May to September, as during this period the temperatures rise and the days get longer, making walks and excursions very pleasant
  • Getting around: the region enjoys an efficient network of public services, with trains, buses and the underground. It is also possible to visit the various islands on board the ferries and for those who prefer to travel by car they can rent one (tolls in Sweden are not paid, but you must pay close attention to wildlife, such as moose, roe deer and reindeer).

3 - Goteborg and Götaland

The Götaland region is located in the southern part of Sweden, and is also the most populous area. It seems that the Goths set out from here, ready to invade Europe during the end of the Western Roman Empire.

Inside there are numerous amusement parks and centers with an ancient and medieval aspect. Among the counties we find those of Blekinge, to which a wonderful archipelago belongs, of Kronoberg, and of Kalmar, whose homonymous city is a very popular destination for tourists.

The most important city in the region is Gothenburg, the second for the number of inhabitants of Sweden. The southernmost area is the Scania area, which constitutes a part of the country much more similar in culture, architecture and traditions to Central Europe, in particular it has many similarities with Denmark, as it belonged to this country For centuries.



  • Reference airports: Gothenburg-City airport, Ronneby airport in Blekinge county, Malmö-Sturup international airport, in the Scania area and among the busiest airports in Sweden
  • Main towns: Gothenburg, Malmö, Boras, Mölndal, Helsingborg, Linköping
  • Main attractions: Elfarsker Islands (Gothenburg Archipelago), Carlsten Castle, Rock Carving in Tanum, Läckö Castle, Liseberg Amusement Park in Gothenburg, Gothenburg City Museums, Lighthouse and Mölle Conservation Area
  • Best time: this region enjoys a milder climate than the others in Sweden, with cold winters but not too much. The best time is from April to October.
  • Getting around: public transport is more than efficient, and you can choose between metro, terno and buses and boats. Those who prefer can rent a car.

Major cities of Sweden

  1. Stockholm: in the eastern part of the country, overlooking the Baltic Sea, it is the capital as well as the cultural and economic center of the nation. It houses two Unesco World Heritage sites: Drottningholm Palace and Skogskyrkogården Cemetery - see the Stockholm smart guide
  2. Gothenburg: founded in 1621 by King Gustav Adolfo II, today it is the second most populous city in Sweden. In addition to the well-known Liseberg Amusement Park, several notable museums are located here, from the Modern Art Museum to the Museum of World Culture - see the Goteborg smart guide
  3. Malmo: located in the southernmost part of the country, it is a city full of institutional cultural buildings and since 2000 it has been directly connected to Copenhagen by the Öresundsbron bridge, which is located on the Öresund strait - see the smart guide to Malmo
  4. Uppsala: located 70 km north of Stockholm, it is home to the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477 and which also houses a historic botanical garden. Among the most impressive Gothic buildings are the Cathedral, whose towers are up to 119 m high, and the Royal Castle dating back to the th century
  5. Orebro: located in the central part of Sweden, it is a city in whose historic center there are very old wooden houses, built between the 100th and th centuries. Located km west of Stockholm, it represents a strategic place for the flow of tourists who move to the great lakes
  6. Kalmar: located in the south-east of Sweden and overlooking the Baltic Sea, it houses one of the most important royal castles in the country. Another prominent historic building is the Baroque Cathedral dating back to 1660
  7. Tanumshede: small city in the central region of the country, it is home to an archaeological site declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, in which there are petroglyphs in an area covering 45 sq km
  8. Kiruna: the most northerly city of the country in the area of ​​which the village of Abisko is located, where there is the oldest National Park in Sweden, Lake Torneträsk and the Aurora Sky Station, a station from which to observe the Northern Lights in winter
  9. Visby: located on the ancient island of Gotland, it is a medieval city, famous for its walls, called Ringmuren, and ancient ruins. During the month of August the famous "Medieval Week" is held, during which all the inhabitants dress in period clothes and organize historical themed events
  10. Helsingborg: located in the Scania area, it represents a city where two architectural souls coexist: one ancient, with stone houses and the stronghold of Kärnan, and the other characterized by modern and avant-garde buildings

10 things to see: Sweden's most important sights

  1. Stockholm archipelago: the islands that are part of the archipelago (currently 24) located in the Baltic Sea, which have inspired well-known writers and poets throughout history, are worth a visit. Some of them are characterized by yellow and red wooden houses, others are uninhabited
  2. Stockholm and Stortorget: Stockholm is home to numerous museums and cultural centers, and just as fascinating is the square in the old town, the scene of many events and shows. The square, Stortorget, hosts the famous Christmas markets every year with traditional food and objects
  3. Abisko National Park: located on the border with Norway, in the northernmost part of the country, it is a park that hosts vivid and diverse vegetation, as well as sites organized for practicing various sporting activities, from alpine skiing, to ice fishing, to trekking. From the Aurora Sky Station it is then possible to see the Northern Lights in March
  4. Djurgården and Skansen: this is Sweden's first open-air museum, covering a large area on the island of Djurgården, in Stockholm. The park celebrates nature, the life of animals and that of men in the most remote times. In Djurgården there are also numerous museums, a zoo and the Grona Lund amusement park
  5. Rock Carvings in Tanum: archaeological site in the city of Tanumshede, where there is a vast area of ​​45 sq km with rock carvings of great historical importance
  6. Öland Island and Kalmar Castle: in the city of Kalmar there is one of the most beautiful castles in Sweden, surrounded by the sea. The island of Öland is also very fascinating, connected to the city by a 6 km long bridge. Characteristic of the island is the large number of windmills
  7. Kållandsö Island, Läckö Castle: the island is located on Sweden's largest lake, Vänern. Its main attraction is the medieval Baroque-style Läckö Castle
  8. Historic center and Upssala Castle: the historic center of the city is entirely in Gothic style, and the castle, surrounded by greenery, dates back to the sixteenth century. Today it is the seat of the governor of Uppsala County and houses the Museum of Fine Arts
  9. Sarek National Park: located in the county of Norrbotten, it is a park that includes one of the most remote areas in Sweden, where the flora and fauna are unspoiled and it is possible to hike through wild trails
  10. Lund, Lund Cathedral and Kulturen: in the city of Lund there is a small center of medieval origin, where the splendid Cathedral dating back to between 1000 and 1145 stands. Swedish culture

The main routes in Sweden

Sweden is a very large nation, therefore in a single trip it is impossible to organize as many tours for how many attractions and places there are to visit.
However it is possible to opt for some trips and excursions that in a short time can lead the tourist to the most authentic and natural world of Sweden, between walks in medieval cities and boats from which to observe buildings reflected on the water.
Here are the main itineraries in the country:



  1. Long weekend in the Gulf of Bothnia: to discover the most beautiful places in Norrland just follow a weekend itinerary along the European road E4, where you will find the cities of Umeå, Piteå and Luleå. Recommended itinerary by car.
  2. Tour between the main cities of Svealand: in 6 days you can visit the main cities of the region, starting from Stockholm to discover Mariefred, Västerås, Uppsala, Sigtuna, Orebro, Trosa
  3. From the Baltic Sea to Lake Vanern: one-week itinerary to get to know the southern region of Gotaland, starting from the south, from Malmö, continuing along the coast, stopping in Helsingborg, Mölndal, Gothenburg, inland Borås and infineson Lake Vanern and stops in Mariestad

Where it is

Sweden is the largest country in the Scandinavian peninsula, located in its eastern part.
To the west it borders with Norway, while to the north-east with Finland, while the rest of the territory is bathed by the sea: to the east by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia, to the south-west by the straits of Kattegatt and Skagerrak. The country is between 55 ° 20 'and 69 ° 4' north latitude, 10 ° 58 'and 24 ° 10' east longitude of Greenwich.

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 10.302.984
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Languages: official Swedish language, other languages ​​Finnish, Meänkieli, Yiddish, Sami and Romani
  • Local currency: Swedish krona (SEK) / € 1,00 = SEK 10,60
  • Weather: subpolar climate in the regions of Lapland and the Scandinavian Alps, semi-continental Baltic climate in the central-southern coasts, almost oceanic climate in the southern coasts. Rigid temperatures, even well below 0, therefore mark the north, while more moderate temperatures characterize the center-south
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    What to do in Sweden: activities, excursions and tours


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