When you think of visiting Sweden, what do you think of? Stockholm, right? You might think of long, dark, cold winters, but no other specific place in Sweden really stands out to you, probably, than Stockholm. So, what else is there to do in Sweden? You have come to the right place to find your answer.
Of course you should visit Stockholm when you visit Sweden. In fact, you will likely fly to or take a ferry into Stockholm when you arrive, so you may as well see some of the sites. Stockholm has a lovely old section of town called Gamla Stan that you must visit. Walk the narrow cobblestone streets, check out some of the shops and perhaps a cafe. Visit the Nobel Museum, take a free walking tour, take a boat ride through the canals, or visit the Nordic Museum. There is so much more to do, so check out my in depth post; Two Days in Stockholm, Sweden.
Go to a Lake
What do the locals do in the summer? Like lots of people all over the world, they go to a lake. When the sun is shining, it is warm out, and you have time off, who wouldn’t want to spend some time on a lake. You can swim, take a boat ride, and take in the beautiful scenery, including the mountains in some parts of the country.
How do you choose which lake? Most are probably beautiful, but here’s how I figured out which one to visit. I read about Lake Siljan in a guide book, found that the train travels there, and found a hostel in one of the towns on the lake, so I went. This lake had what I was looking for, and it was in the direction of my next stop, so it was perfect.
For two glorious days, I rented a bicycle and took in the views around the lake, visited a small, rural island with a Viking cremation grave, cycled on some nice, out of the way dirt roads and paths, visited the place where they make the iconic dala horses, learned about the world famous Vasaloppet ski race that ends in Mora, and walked around the cute downtown of Mora, Sweden. Lacking the busy entertainment of many cities, but rich in scenery and cultural things to do, this was the perfect place to visit. For more detailed information, check out my post, Two Days in Mora, Sweden.
Visit a National Park
Sweden boasts 29 national parks sprinkled throughout the country. They range from rugged mountain landscapes to sand dunes, coral reefs, forests and more. The best part? They are all free to the public.
Which one do you choose? That is a highly personal question. It depends on how much time you have, what kind of nature experience you want to have, and what part of the country you will be in. For me, it was an interesting experience choosing the park I would visit. I literally typed, “hostel” into google maps and found one on the edge of Fulufjallet National Park and had a wonderful three days there.
I was able to take some beautiful hikes, seeing the country’s largest waterfall, one of the world’s oldest trees, lots of lakes with mountains in the distance, and more. It is a very peaceful place, surrounded by natural beauty everywhere I looked.
Just outside of the park, I did a beautiful hike, Fulufallen, which consists of a series of cascading falls that I really loved. I visited Nipfjallet and the Magic Road. You drive high up into the mountains and there is a sign where you put your car into neutral and it rolls uphill! Really! I tried it two times facing each direction and it worked every time. It’s a little drive from the national park, but you should go try it for yourself. For more in depth information about the park, check out my post: Fulufjallet National Park, Sweden.
Did I cover everything in Sweden? Of course not. This country is large and has a lot of variety of experiences to be had. You can visit the bustling cities and beaches, as well as the quiet, tranquil natural areas that fewer travelers visit. I can say that I am quite happy with the variety of experiences I chose to have while in Sweden, and would definitely return to explore more areas.
Have you been to Sweden? Where did you go and what activities did you enjoy?