Sweden Vacation Planner
Planning your holiday to Sweden? Explore Sweden and its destinations. From fields and rolling hills in the south, to the archipelagos in west Sweden. Experience the history and culture in our capital Stockholm or travel north to look for the northern lights in Swedish Lapland.
Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö
Sweden's three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are all great for a city break. All three have culture and history in abundance, great restaurants and bars, cosy cafes for a Swedish Fika and they are small enough to walk around. Read about things to do in the Swedish cities
Northern Sweden and Swedish Lapland are unique. There is nowhere else in the world where you can visit the ICEHOTEL and Treehotel. Or sit around the campfire with a Sami guide, sharing stories of the day’s dog sledding adventure.
Central Sweden is home to capital city Stockholm, the provinces of Dalarna and Värmland, as well as the beautiful city of Uppsala.
Southern Sweden probably gives you pleasant surprise since the landscapes and scenery here probably differ from the image you have in your head. Here you can visit Småland, Öland, Malmö in Skåne, and the amazing summer island destination Gotland. On the west coast of Sweden you find Sweden's second largest city Gothenburg and the region of West Sweden
Often called "the Venice of the North", Sweden's capital city was founded in 1187. Its eclectic architecture juxtaposes the ancient with the ultra-modern, and yet somehow it all works perfectly. To really know the city, you should amble through the Gamla Stan ("Old Town") and see Renaissance structures like the Royal Palace and Parliament. Stockholm embraces the performing arts; enjoy its opera, ballet and philharmonic orchestra. For the more athletic, there are dozens of downhill ski slopes nearby and many paths for hikers and cyclists.
You might know that Stockholm is the second most prolific tech and start up hub in the world, second only to Silicon Valley. Stockholm attracts the most innovative people from all corners of the world and what meets them is a capital known for its beauty and closeness to nature. You are likely to see people both riding horses and stand up paddling while you wander the streets of Stockholm. Stockholm may be liberal and forward-looking when it comes to collective mindset, but it’s rich in history too. When in town, don’t miss out on the maritime Vasa Museum and the world’s first open air museum Skansen, both located on the island of Royal Djurgården.
Island-hop Gothenburg's archipelago for swims and catching rays and be back in time to freshen up, put on your glad rags and hit the clubs and pubs of the Avenyn district? Only in Gothenburg.
Worship fish and shellfish? Do it in Gothenburg’s Fish Church, or Feskekyrka food market and restaurant. Gothenburg is Sweden’s culinary capital and is jam-packed with fine eateries that don't cost the earth (literally). But if you prefer to spend your cash on a weekend rock-out, blow them on a ticket to the Way Out West music fest in the middle of August. Otherwise, the fantastic cafés, or the Swedish design and fashion boutiques of the cobble-stoned Haga quarter would be delighted if you paid them a visit.
All roads in the gorgeous province of Skåne in southern Sweden lead to Malmö. The city is part of the expanding Öresund region and is joined to Copenhagen in Denmark by the mighty, arching Öresund bridge. National Geographic Travel has named Malmö one of its Best Trips 2018!
For all the expansion, Malmö is a small, friendly city with a good choice of cultural attractions, including the new Moderna Museet Malmö. Look out for Malmö’s many quality restaurants and bistros and great cafés. And the shopping isn’t bad either, especially if you’re looking for Swedish design-ware and hip, new Swedish fashion labels.
Things to do in Sweden
Sweden offers a lot of exiting things to do. We have gathered some of them here.
Things to do in Gothenburg
Gothenburg’s attractions, cultural sights and museums are within walking distance of each other and most are paired with excellent restaurants and cafés.
Art and design
Things to do with art and photography? Then head first for the Guide Michelin three-starred attraction Gothenburg Museum of Art at Götaplatsen sqaure for the world’s finest collection of national-romantic Scandinavian late 19th century art. Look out for works by Edvard Munch, Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson. Just around the corner from here is the Röhsska Museum, or as someone somewhere prefers to call it the Swedish Museum of Fashion, Design and Decorative.
Want to know how people lived where Gothenburg is today 12,000 years ago? Or why and how the city was laid out by Dutchmen? Then visit the Gothenburg City Museum for answers and explanations on these facts and much, much more about the history and culture of Gothenburg. This museum is also home to Sweden’s only surviving Viking ship. Universeum is a science discovery center combining science, technology and adventure in an exciting building by Gothenburg´s own international star architect Gert Wingård.
Liseberg is a pretty busy place. As well as the fun in the amusement park, there are gardens, a sculpture park, hotels, bars, and restaurants. At Christmas-time Liseberg becomes one huge Christmas market.
For some fishy architectural history and delicious west coast seafood visit the Feskekörka (the Fish Church) at Rosenlundsgatan. This architectural experiment built in 1874 does look like a church and does have the best, freshest seafood in Gothenburg at its fish market and restaurants.
Trendy old Haga
The oldest and one of the most characterful areas of Gothenburg is the Haga district from the 18th century. Formerly a low-rise, wooden-housed area falling into disrepair it is now officially cool. Tread the cobblestone streets, find cool gear at its vintage and second-hand stores and stop-off at one of the area’s excellent cafés.
For a glimpse into how the other half lived in the 18th century in Sweden visit creamy colored, neoclassical-architecture Gunnebo House and Gardens, just 10 minutes by bus or car from downtown Gothenburg.
Things to do in Malmö
Things to do in Malmö include visiting its city center parks and strolling its beautiful cobbled street areas. Malmö sight-seeing is easy to do by foot, by bike or even in a kayak.
Billed as Scandinavia’s biggest festival, Malmöfestivalen covers all styles and types of music, cultural events and ‘happenings’, art and design, kids events, sport & lifestyle, food & drink and much, much more. Join the party in Malmö in the last week of August.
Western Harbour Malmö
Western Harbour is on the shoreline of the Öresund Sound and sits on what used to be the Kockums shipyard. The city took on this formerly contaminated, run-down area and working with internationally renowned property developers and architects, has turned it into a paragon of sustainable living and working. And an exciting place to visit.
The 2.5 kilometer long Ribersborg beach is where the young, the old, the bold and the beautiful of Malmö and visitors from around the world enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or just generally lazing around in the summer months. It is a walk from the city center.
Malmö art, sciences and history
If you want to do the Malmö Art Museum, the City Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Science and Maritime House Museum in one day, you’re in luck. They all reside in the imposing Malmöhus Castle building. Other museums in Malmö that you should tick off your checklist include Moderna Museet Malmö, housed in a disused power station and exhibiting prominent contemporary international works of art. Malmö Konsthall meanwhile, is renowned for the function and aesthetics, as well as the use of space and light in its gallery.
Malmö makes for eclectic shopping. It’s got a 16th century shopping market square, a beloved flea market, a catalog of shopping centers and new up-and-coming shopping areas.
Things to do in Stockholm
The Stockholm archipelago of 30,000 islands, skerries and rocks fans out 80 km east into the Baltic Sea from the city.
Explore the Stockholm archipelago year round
The most popular way to see the Stockholm archipelago, called the 'skärgården' by locals, is by ferry. You can book a range of trips with ferry service Cinderella and ferry company Waxholmsbolaget with boats departing from central Stockholm multiple times a day.
You can boat, hike, fish, sea kayak, bike and swim and even ice yacht in the Stockholm archipelago. Forage for wild berries and mushrooms in early autumn, cook your own fish at BBQ stations at camp sites, or go gourmet at some of the well known restaurants on Fjäderholmarna, Grinda and Värmdö.
Where to stay
Once refuge of farmers and fishermen, the Stockholm archipelago – the largest in Sweden – is now home to some of the poshest Stockholmers and has over 50,000 holiday homes ranging from red-painted, wooden one-room cottages to full-scale 'I’ve-won-the-lottery' villas. But you don’t have to be a local to stay overnight. You can stay at a campsite or hostel and cottage rentals are common, and you can also stay in traditional country guesthouses, as well as swish hotels.
Swedish weather and climate
Winter and summer temperature differences in Sweden are extreme, but generally the country enjoys a temperate climate, thanks to the Gulf Stream.
Above the Arctic Circle, winter is severe with temperatures going below -30°C, while summer temperatures here, and in the rest of the country, regularly hit +20°C. In the south, winter is generally mild with an average temperature above 0°C/32°F degrees. Sweden's northerly position has a definite summer advantage in that temperatures are rarely extreme and humidity levels are not high.
For up to date weather info in Sweden you can visit the SMHI site, here you can also find maps and graphs with weather information: smhi.se
Sweden's regions and their differences in climate
You can divide the country into three regions; central and southern Sweden, the northeast, and the northwest, or far north to describe the weather in Sweden.
In central and southern Sweden the winters are short and quite cold, and summer temperatures are similar to those in southern England, but with a lot more hours of sunshine and daylight.
In the northeast meanwhile the winters are severe, the more so as you travel further north, while the summers can be surprisingly warm.
In the far north the winters are also severe, with snow lying the year-round on elevated areas, and the summers are short and changeable. And because Sweden lies at a high latitude much of the country has very long hours of daylight in summer and very long nights in winter.
So, no Polar bears we’re afraid, just the wonderful Swedish weather and all the fantastic things you can do in it.
When to go to Sweden: a quick guide
- For warm weather and sunshine, the best time to visit Sweden is May to September.
- If you want snow, aim to go between late November and March.
- You can visit the country all year round, but you’ll need to wrap up during winter.
- To see the midnight sun, visit in the height of summer (June and July).
- The northern lights are best seen during the winter, from late September to early April.