Sweden may not be your typical summer destination, but, I’m here to tell you why it should be.
From the vibrant cities of Southern Sweden to the charming regions of Swedish Lapland, this incredible country is packed with beautiful cities waiting to be discovered. Whichever city you chose to visit, I promise, without a doubt, it will leave you captivated.
One of the things that Sweden is known for is its cold winters and short daylight hours. However, the summer months are the complete opposite. From around March/April the days get warmer, the snow disappears, and the dark hours become shorter, making Sweden a spectacular country to explore.
Here’s what I mean when I say the dark hours become shorter. In the winter Southern Sweden gets around 5-6 hours of daylight each day. The further up north you go the less daylight there is. Especially the Northern part of Sweden, they can get up to 20 hours of darkness.
Whereas, throughout the summer, Sweden gets up to 18 hours of daylight and high up in the North daytime can reach up to 24hours. This is known as the midnight sun (more on that later).
Temperatures are an average of 15 degrees but can reach up to 30 degrees in July. Making it the hottest month.
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Things To Do
This Scandinavian beauty is also known for its tranquil lifestyle, clear lakes, and delicious food. No matter what part of the country you are in, there will be something waiting to be explored.
With over 90,000 lakes, swimming is a popular activity on warmer days. There’s always a lake or beach nearby.
You can take a boat ride to one of the surrounding islands and spend time in nature. The Island of Grinda is a great option and only a 1-hour ferry journey from Stockholm. Here you will be able to do water sports such as kayaking or visit a peaceful nature reserve which is perfect for hiking and enjoying the picturesque views.
Visit stunning cities packed with culture. Offering a range of museums, activities, and amazing restaurants. Each city has its reason as to why you should visit. So you won’t want to miss out on any.
My favourite website to book activities is on Viator.com. You can book any tour available and their policies are super flexible allowing you to change or cancel bookings if needed.
Above the Arctic Circle, in Northern Sweden, from mid-June for about one month, the sun doesn’t set. Therefore, they experience 24 hours of daylight. This phenomenon is known as the Midnight Sun.
The midnight sun is a huge thing to the Swedes and something that is obviously celebrated. A day of celebrations is dedicated each year. This celebration is called Midsummer and happens on the year’s longest day. This year you can celebrate Midsummer on the 24 June.
How To Get There
The majority of cities in Sweden will have daily flights arriving from big airports. However, if you are flying into a smaller city, for example somewhere like Kiruna in Northern Sweden then you would likely need to fly via Stockholm. Usually, the waiting time between flights is short but you can always check for different dates to find the best flight.
Did you know Sweden is also home to some of the most unique hotels from around the world? That’s right. Here you will find the original Ice Hotel, the first one ever built. Located in Jukkasjarvi in Swedish Lapland and is open all year round.
Also in Swedish Lapland, you will find the Tree Hotel. Offering unique accommodation high up in the trees in the middle of a forest in Harads.
Best Cities In Sweden
Visiting Stockholm should be on everyone’s bucket list. It has been named as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, which is unquestionably well deserved. There are many incredible things to see & do.
The first thing you will notice is the relaxed atmosphere from the locals. People love to take their time and take in the moment in Stockholm. This is definitely how you will want to explore this cool city.
Some of the world’s best museums can be found in Stockholm. One I recommend is, the ABBA Museum, because, well, why wouldn’t you want to see this museum?
Also, The Vasa Museum, which is about the Vasa battleship that sank in 1628. It has since been restored. You can now take a tour and learn about the history of this ship.
Museums aren’t the only exciting thing Stockholm has. Take a walk along the canal or go on a 1-hour ferry ride to see Stockholm from the river. While walking around make sure to stop and take a look inside some of the quirkiest train stations in the city that are beautifully painted and decorated.
Gamla Stan is known as the Old Town, in Stockholm. Here is where Stockholm was founded and you will definitely want to check this place out. You will find more museums, great restaurants & cafes and many more attractions.
Malmo is an interesting city. It is located in Southern Sweden and has the largest bridge in Europe which connects to Copenhagen in Denmark.
It is a great city in the summer with lots of green space, gardens, and parks, allowing you to relax in the sun.
Did you know Sweden also has beaches? Yep, it’s true, and one of them is right here in Malmo. You can turn your trip to Sweden into a beach holiday. Ribersborgsstranden is a white sand beach by the city centre within easy access to all main attractions, restaurants, and hotels.
The Little Square is a popular place to visit in Malmo. It is a local favourite and offers an open-air market, shops, restaurants, and beautiful historical buildings for you to admire.
To learn some history, you have the Malmo Castle. It is the oldest surviving Renaissance castle in Scandinavia and an important part of Swedish history.
Gothenburg is a cultural city and without a doubt, a great choice for a summer weekend away. It is also the second-largest city after Stockholm.
One of the most popular attractions is the Museum of Art. Here you can appreciate artwork dating back to the 15th century including paintings from artists like Picasso and Van Gogh.
Next to Gothenburg, you have the stunning archipelago. You can take a boat trip to explore some of the islands. Most of the islands will have nature reserves to explore or lots of swimming spots to choose from.
There are two places to learn more about this charming city. First, we have the Gothenburg City Museum, which takes inspiration from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Secondly, there is Gothenburg Cathedral which was built in 1815 and is the second-largest cathedral in Sweden.
Gothenburg hosts many concerts, festivals, and sports events, keeping the city alive throughout the summer.
Although Skane is actually a county rather than a city, it definitely deserves to be on this list. Within this coastal beauty, you will find historical towns, stunning beaches, and peaceful nature reserves.
Skane is known for being home to the most beautiful beaches in Sweden.
Some of the best ones include Mölle – a small fishing village which gives you the perfect location for breath-taking views and incredible sunsets.
For a child-friendly beach, they have Lomma-Bjärred. Here you are met with white sand and clear blue shallow water.
There is even a tropical beach. The beach in Knäbäckshusen is named by many locals as the most beautiful beach in Sweden. At this little gem, you will find sand dunes and exotic pine trees making this beach a must-visit when in Skane.
For exploring, there is Helsingborg, not only is there a beach near the city centre, there is a medieval castle, 19th-century palace, and elegant gardens.
On a 40-minute train journey from Stockholm, you will find one of Sweden’s oldest cities, Uppsala.
Uppsala is a university city. The University of Uppsala was built in 1477 and is the oldest in all of Scandinavia. Therefore, making this the city’s famous landmark.
This beautiful city is not only a great summer destination due to its outdoor space but also a dream for nature lovers.
There are many walking and bike trails throughout Uppsala and its surrounding areas, as well as beautiful parks and a botanical garden.
Some fun summer activities include, canoeing and kayaking on the river.
Moving up to the North of Sweden you will find Jukkasjarvi. As previously mentioned, it is known for being home to the first-ever Ice Hotel. The Ice Hotel is open all year round and you can either spend the night or just visit during the summer.
If you are not staying overnight in Jukkasjarvi you can still go visit the Ice Hotel and admire the rooms made of ice and the incredible artwork which is also made of ice.
Despite this incredible hotel, that’s not all this city is about. Jukkasjarvi is a great base to have an active summer break.
A popular activity is going on a hike up the mountains surrounding Jukkasjarvi, where you will be met with stunning views of the Torne River. If you do this hike in the evening, you will experience the amazing midnight sun.
The midnight sun is described as a magical experience so a lot of activities are based around that. This includes dining in the wilderness (meals are included in most activities too).
Other fun things to do in Jukkasjarvi are sightseeing boat trips along the Torne River, Photo Tours, and water sports.
Finally, the coastal town of Lulea is a great choice if you want to spend time in nature.
There are many outdoor areas to enjoy a drink or have some delicious local food. There is even a rooftop bar.
Surrounding Lulea, you will find a forest where you can go on nature walks and explore the nature reserves.
One of the best ways to get around is by bike, giving your the freedom to explore the city of Lulea as well as the nearby beaches.
Sweden is undoubtedly an incredible country. Have you been to any of these beautiful cities? Let me know in the comments.