Travel - Hot Spots - Sweden
Sweden is the largest of the Scandinavian countries. Glacial activity has formed much of the country’s landscape.
Top Attractions in Sweden
The old town centre and the most popular of all Stockholm sights. On this island Stockholm began – and never changed, at least not here. Medieval streets and buildings create an atmosphere where time stood still. Almost fairy-tale like at night. Most sightseeing trips start here.
The world’s first open air museum, and still the most beautiful. Houses, farms and cottages from all over Sweden were rebuilt in this park-like area on the Djurgården island. Includes a zoo with Nordic animals. This is the only museum everybody loves. A great family attraction!
The biggest of all Stockholm sights: thousands and thousands of small and medium-sized green, rocky or sandy islands. The archipelago stretches out from the city centre to (almost) Finland. You haven’t seen Stockholm without a boat trip through the archipelago.
Stadshuset (city hall)
One of Stockholm’s landmarks, on the eastern point of the Kungsholmen island. The stately bell tower of the Stockholm city hall has become one of the city’s symbols. Bell tower and garden of this architectural masterpiece offer great views on other parts of the capital.
Another Stockholm landmark, Sergels plaza is the heart of the modern city. The area symbolizes the Swedish welfare state. The architecture is cool, controversial and timeless altogether. Underneath Sergels Torg is a shopping mall.
The Vasa Museum was built around a warship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. One of the 100 museums in this wonderful city - some of the best Stockholm sights are in fact museums.
Located at the north eastern end of Gamla Stan, this square royal castle was finished in 1754. It has no less than 608 rooms. Magnificent interior with all luxury you’d expect from a king, although he uses the castle only for official meetings.
The garden of the king, translated. It now belongs to the people. This intersection between garden, park and event ground is one of the main meeting points of the Swedes. Great place to sit and relax. Free concerts make this one of the most popular places in summer.
Often overlooked by tourists, the island of Södermalm is one of my favorite Stockholm sights. The impressive traffic junction Slussen connects it with Gamla Stan. The neighborhood is for a large part old, quiet and picturesque. But you will also find here trendy boutiques and busy restaurants.
The palace where the royal family lives. It is located on an island just outside the city. You can reach it by car, bus and (recommended!) ferry. Drottningholm is nicknamed the Nordic Versailles, which is not far removed from the truth. The most posh of all Stockholm sights!
Lapland is regarded as the largest intact wilderness in Europe covering a quarter of the total area of Sweden yet with only 5% of the population. Lapland is probably best known as the home of Santa Claus, indeed a visit to Santa World at Mora in Dalarna is what most children dream of. Lapland is both an inviting as well as a magical and unusual place. There are plenty of outside adventures to be had - climb Sweden's highest peak, Kebnekaise; walk in the national parks of Sarek and Padjelanta; or try cross-country dog-sledding, snow-mobiling and skiing. Stay in the Ice Hotel at Jukksjärvi, a very unusual experience!
Skokloster Slott Castle
Skokloster Slott Castle is a magnificent 17th-century castle as well as being one of the most fascinating baroque museums in Europe. It is renowned for its unusual interiors as well as its vast collections of paintings, furniture, applied art, tapestries, arms and books. The castle also houses a restaurant, conference facilities and an automobile museum.
The Viking Town of Birka
Birka is situated on a lush island in Lake Mälaren, about 18 miles from Stockholm. It was a major port over 1,200 years ago. A new museum houses finds from extensive excavations around the site. Visit the museum and see how the Vikings lived.
The Hanseatic town of Visby
A former Viking site on the island of Gotland, Visby was the main centre of the Hanseatic League of the Baltic from the 12th to the 14th century. Its 13th-century ramparts and more than 200 warehouses and trading establishments from the same period make it the best preserved fortified commercial city in Northern Europe.
Gripsholm Castle is located in the small town of Mariested on Lake Maaleren outside Stockholm. A stunning renaissance castle, it was first built in 1540. The castle contains exceptional Renaissance interiors as well as a theatre and the world's oldest and largest portrait collections.
Sareks National Park
The enchanted landscape of Sareks National Park plays hosts to over 100 glaciers as well as mountains reaching over 2,000m. It should only be experienced with the help of a guide unless you’re an expert in outdoor survival. The best views are over the lake and delta of Laiture on the Rapa älv, near the eastern edge of the park.
Öland Öland is a tiny island boasting many ruins, fortifications and nearly 400 windmills! The biggest Iron-Age ring fort on the island, Gråborg - with a diameter of 200m - is an incredible sight. Nearby, Eketorp has been partly reconstructed as a museum to show what a fortified medieval village must have looked like. Equally impressive are the ruins of Borgholm Castle which was eventually burned and abandoned early in the 18th century. Also prominent are the lighthouses at the northern and southern tips of the island. Öland is reached from Kalmar via a 6000m bridge - the longest in Europe. Öland is a popular place to celebrate Midsummer.
Located just outside modern day Uppsala, Old Uppsala is regarded as the most important prehistoric monument in Sweden and the cradle of Swedish civilization. The three "Kungshögarna" or royal mounds are situated on a ridge and can be seen from miles away. There is a cairn in the centre of each mound where the actual grave was situated. The dead king was burned on a funeral pyre together with his grave gifts which generally included jewellery and gold. There is information provided nearby in numerous languages in addition to an exhibition. A fascinating site, there is plenty of interpretive material on site to guide you through the long and interesting history of the area.
The Kingdom of Crystal
The Kingdom of crystal is located in the province of Småland, in southeastern Sweden. Many of the world’s most famous glassworks can be found here. The Kingdom of Crystal came into existence when the first batch of glass was melted at Kosta in 1742. Kosta is now the oldest glasswork in Sweden and is still making handmade glass. In the Glasshouse see the glass-workers work in front of the furnaces. This trip is a must, especially if you are looking for bargains in crystal treasures.
Swedish weather is best during the summer (late May to early September). If you like snow, go to Norrland or Dalarna in November to April.
Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Stockholm, the sun sets at 3 PM in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and Arctic night. However, even at Stockholm's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July.
The major holidays are Easter, Midsummer (celebrated from the eve of the Friday between June 19 - 25), Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays), and the "industrial vacation" throughout July. Expect closed establishments, heavy traffic (for the holidays) and crowded tourist resorts (for July).
Note that most Swedish holidays are celebrated on the day before (Midsummer's Eve, Christmas Eve etc), while Swedish people do hardly anything on the holiday proper.
Sweden Travel Tips
The most important domestic airlines
* SAS - the international airline has many domestic routes as well.
* Skyways - the largest number of domestic routes, several from Copenhagen.
* Nextjet - has many domestic routes to smaller places, has taken over some of Skyways routes.
* Direktflyg - several domestic routes and also flights to Norway.
* FlyNordic - several domestic and a few international destinations.
* Malmö Aviation - serves domestic destinations, Brussels and Nice.
* Gotlandsflyg - connects Stockholm and the island of Gotland.
Sweden has an extensive railway network. Most major lines are controlled by the government-owned company SJ. To buy a railway ticket, or to obtain information, phone +46 771 75 75 75. Tickets are cheaper the earlier you buy them,Swedish Rail passes are also available for International guests to Sweden.
The national public transport authority is called Rikstrafiken , and it has online timetables in English, which include schedules for trains, buses and ferries. The service is called Resplus .
Restaurants & City Life
Sweden offers the traveler a rich variety of world-famous foods for almost every taste and budget. From local specialties in cozy restaurants or country inns to "nouvelle cuisine" in elegant hotels or sophisticated restaurants of international standard. Restaurants offer excellent values, especially lunch, served from 11am-2pm. Look for the daily special, or "Dagens." It can be a big meal, so you won't have to worry about holding out until dinner. Tipping is also no worry: most hotels and restaurants include a service charge, though some restaurants expect a 7-10% gratuity for evening meals.
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