Sweden is a beautiful country with so many opportunities for visitors to learn about the local culture and history. Today we will share some of our favorites. Consider purchasing the Stockholm Pass for discounts on many of the sites we recommend and more!
The baroque style palace, by the architect Nicodemus Tessin, is formed as a Roman palace. The palace has more than 600 rooms across seven floors with a state apartment facing the city and smaller living rooms facing the inner courtyard. The Royal Palace is the official royal residence and the daily workplace of the King, Queen and Royal Court. Be sure to stay for the changing of the guard at 12:15 Monday through Saturday or 1:15 Sundays and holidays. On our last visit we were fortunate to see the Royal Family out in their carriage!
Gamla Stan (Old Town)
One of the oldest and best preserved medieval city centers of Europe, Galma Stan is where Stockholm was founded in 1252. It is a pedestrian friendly area filled with sights, cobblestone streets, shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and museums. There are several beautiful churches including the Stockholm cathedral and the Nobel Museum. The old town is home to the Royal Palace, Stortorget (the oldest square in Stockholm), Kopmangaten (the oldest street in Stockholm) and Martin Trotzigs Grand (Alley) with a width of only 90 cm at its narrowest point. Make sure to visit Riddarholmen church which is a royal burial ground built in the 13th century as a Franciscan Monastery.
Founded in 1891, Skansen is the worlds oldest open-air museum. Here you can learn about 5 centuries of Swedish history including buildings, farms, culture and fashion. The site includes shopping, a zoo, unique buildings from across Sweden and unique festivals. Prices and hours vary by season but currently range from 100-180 SEK ($12-22) per adult.
In 1628, the Vasa ship sank off the coast of Stockholm. 333 years later, it was salvaged and is the only preserved 17th century ship in the world and the most visited museum in Scandinavia. Exhibitions include information on the salvage, restoration, preservation and life on board. Currently the museum is open 10:30-6 in the summer and 10-5 the remainder of the year. Admission is currently 130 SEK for adults ($16) and free for children. The museum provides detailed information on accessibility on their website.
This 16 km road is one very impressive piece of architecture and it is the scenic way of getting from Copenhagen to Malmö by car or train. It includes an approximately 8 km bridge, a 4 km man-made island and a 4 km immersed tunnel. The bridge opened to the public in 2000 linking Denmark and Sweden by car and train and sees about 500,000 visits per month. Driving across the bridge is not inexpensive at 48 Euro for one way travel.
Look for Moose - They are a very common site in Sweden along with the Moose crossing signs (some with bullet holes in them!) and worth keeping an eye out for! The population is estimated at 300,000 to 400,000 and approximately 100,000 are hunted annually. The Swedish Alg is known as a moose in the United States and an Elk in Britain so you will often hear it referred to as Elk when Swedes talk to you in English.
The castle was built around a harbour and soon became “The Key to the Kingdom” and a significant defensive fortification on the then Danish border. Kalmar, a town of 60,000, succeeds in mixing the old with the new; 16th and 17th century buildings find a purpose in modern life and more recent buildings are in tune with the old. The cobblestone streets take you through the centuries of the town’s history and there is an abundance of parkland to enjoy. From here you can take a trip to Öland across the bridge, while making plans to visit ‘Glasriket’ where you can try glass blowing, see the sights and buy some Swedish art glass-ware.
Buy a Dala Horse
The Dala horse is a popular hand crafted souvenir from Sweden. The name comes from the region in Sweden where it was first created - the Dalarna province. The most popular horses are the red/orange ones but many colors are available - I personally have an adorable white one with red, blue, green and yellow markings. You can purchase a horse at many shops throughout Stockholm.
Appreciate and invest in Swedish Glass
Glassriket or The Kingdom of Crystal is located in Southern Sweden and includes 13 glassworks and studios across the towns of Lessebo, Emmaboda, Nybro and Uppvidinge. Artists have been making glass here since 1742 and visitors can both shop for beautiful creations and create their own glass. Kosta Boda and Orrefors are two popular brands.
Try Lingonberry Jam
Just like ketchup and mustard, lingonberry jam is used to accompany a variety of dishes, from meatballs and pancakes But despite its sweetness, it is rarely used on bread. Many Swedes grow up picking lingonberries in the forest, and using these tiny tart red fruits to make a jam-like preserve.
I hope you found this list helpful for planning your visit to Sweden. If you have questions, need help with planning or have suggestions for future articles, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org!