Sweden's Top Sights
Collected by Stephen Whitlock, AFAR Local Expert
From the wonders north of the Arctic circle to the islands of the Stockholm archipelago, here are the top 21 sights in Sweden—including palaces, museums, and historic buildings—that should be on your must-see list.
Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
The big one, the unmissable sight that must be seen, is a ship that was launched in 1628 and sailed for only about 10 minutes before sinking beneath the harbor waters, where it rested for 333 years until being raised in 1961. The best...
130 39 Sandhamn, Sweden
The thousands of islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago have something for everyone. Many are tiny and uninhabited. Some, like Sandhamn, are crowded all summer long and attract hundreds of private sailboats. You can find great...
Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
A brief description of Skansen—a 75-acre open-air museum with historic buildings and a zoo—doesn’t convey just how much fun it is. You can easily spend a happy half-day here, looking at wolves, reindeer, moose, seals, and other...
Djurgårdsvägen 68, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Abba, the most successful Swedish group of all time, enjoyed a global return to fame with the success of the musical and the film Mamma Mia! In its home country, however, its popularity never dimmed. The museum allows visitors to guest star...
Exercisplan 4, 111 49 Stockholm, Sweden
New York has MoMA, Stockholm has the Moderna. It’s in a prime location on Skeppsholmen, a small island that is in the heart of the city but reached across a wooden bridge, and that feels like it is a world away from the bustle of...
Hamngatan 4, 111 47 Stockholm, Sweden
On the same street as some of the city’s busiest stores, including NK, Zara and Illums Bolighus, is an archway leading into a courtyard. It’s all too easy to walk past and not realize that this is one of the city’s best free...
Slottsbacken 3, 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden
Tucked away underneath the Royal Palace is Sweden’s oldest museum, founded in 1628 by King Gustavus Adolphus. It’s full of fascinating stuff, mostly of royal or military origins. One of the most dramatic exhibits is the bloodstained...
Gustav Adolfs torg 2, 103 22 Stockholm, Sweden
The Royal Opera House stands right in the middle of the city and is also a key part of its cultural and culinary life. Home to several outstanding restaurants, this is still the country’s main venue for opera and ballet. There’s...
178 02 Drottningholm, Sweden
While the enormous Royal Palace in Stockholm’s Old Town is the king’s official residence, the family lives outside the center at Drottningholm. And this being Sweden, everyone is allowed to stop by. You can visit the interior,...
Örgrytevägen 5, 402 22 Göteborg, Sweden
Since it opened in 1923, Liseberg has grown into one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions, with around 3 million visitors a year. There are 30 or so rides, many of them for younger children. One of the most famous attractions is...
Svartbäcksgatan 27, 753 32 Uppsala, Sweden
It’s a sign of just how revered Carl Linnaeus is in Sweden that for many years many people had a picture of him, and his garden, in their pocket. That's because the botanist, who is famed for creating the two-name system for classifying...
Kyrkogatan 4, 222 22 Lund, Sweden
Once upon a time Lund was one of the most important towns in Denmark. These days, it’s one of the most charming towns in Sweden with its cobbled streets, flower-filled parks, and medieval buildings. Towering over everything is the Romanesque...
598 85 Vimmerby, Sweden
Astrid Lindgren is famous internationally for Pippi Longstocking, but in Sweden everyone is familiar with many more characters from her books, and they are all brought to life in this theme park located in her hometown of Vimmerby. There are...
Arendal Skans, 405 08 Göteborg, Sweden
For a long time Swedes took great pride in the fact that they had two world-renowned car companies. Since the untimely demise of Saab in 2012, Volvo is now the pride of the nation. (Even though the company is now owned by a Chinese company, its...
Many people don’t realize just how big Sweden is. It has a population of less than 10 million, but it is a huge land, the third largest Western European country after France and Spain. As a result, Sweden does wilderness on a grand, majestic...
Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
It is, quite literally, the world’s coolest hotel. Each year the Icehotel is built with blocks of ice from the Torne River, then it melts and is rebuilt to a new, even more dramatic design. It offers visitors a memorable (though not...
Hagaparken, 169 70 Solna, Sweden
This royal park is popular all year round, with swimmers, runners, and walkers in the summer and sledding and sometimes skating on the lake in the winter. Over the centuries, unusual structures have been built by various monarchs, including the...
Stortorget 2, 103 16 Stockholm, Sweden
Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town, is the island that lies at the heart of the city. It’s the most photogenic neighborhood, known for its narrow, cobbled streets, ancient churches, and houses that date back centuries, some of them painted in...
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