This is a guest post from Alex Waltner, a travel blogger and photographer from Sweden who runs the extremely popular site Swedish Nomad with his girlfriend Chris. Here he outlines the absolute top things to do in Sweden in Summer (with a few fun winter activities thrown in), in the hope to get more people to visit his beautiful homeland!
Things To Do in Sweden in Summer
25. Celebrate midsummer
Our most celebrated day of the year. Midsummer is the brightest part of the year, and we celebrate by dancing around a big pole like frogs while singing silly songs, and of course drink lots and lots of Snaps. Strawberries iare also important as well as other traditional festivity food from Sweden. This is by far one of the most unique things to do in Sweden during the summer!
24. Have a fika
Drinking coffee is deeply rooted in the Swedish society. Having a fika is literally taking a break with friends, colleagues or just by yourself and enjoy a cup of coffee and of course cookies or some pastries.
It’s not uncommon to do this several times a day.
23. Go to a music festival
Sweden is home to many music festivals, and some of the biggest names in EDM and Pop music are of Swedish origins. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we really love music, and of course festivals! Going to one of the biggest music festivals in June or July should be one of the top things to do in Sweden in summer.
Some of the biggest festivals in Sweden are Summerburst, Bråvalla, Way out West, Sweden Rock and Peace and Love.
22. Free camp
Did you know that you’re allowed to free camp almost all over Sweden? As long as you respect nature and other people’s property, you can pitch your tent wherever you like. This means that you can travel around Sweden and stay close to nature in a tent, and wake up with amazing scenery! Plus, it has to be one of the cheapest things to do in Sweden! Best thing about Sweden in summer? Camping in the wild for free!
21. Explore the Canola Fields
The golden fields of Southern Sweden takes place each year in May, and they’re so beautiful. When you drive around in the southern countryside, you will see yourself in the middle of yellow everywhere.
Southern Sweden is full of beautiful places to visit, many of which Alex has photographed and shared on his site.
20. Eat herring and drink Snaps
They say that you either hate it or love it, but both herring and snaps is deeply rooted in the Swedish food culture and traditions.
There are many different flavours, but my favourite ones are herring with mustard sauce and snaps with black currant.
19. Stockholm Archipelago
Thousands of small islands and islets make up the archipelago just outside Stockholm. Here you will find the classic red cabins that many Swedes use as summer houses.
It’s always nice to go for a boat ride around the archipelago when it’s sunny!
18. Experience medieval times in Visby
In the summertime you can enjoy the festivities on the island of Gotland, also known as the place where we go “abroad” but still stay within Sweden. In the summer you can relive the medieval time, and watch the knight games.
17. Go Castle hunting
Did you know that there are more than 100 castles in Sweden? Most of them are located in the southern part and also the region around Stockholm.
Some notable castles: Trolleholm, Marsvinsholm, Drottningholm, Gripsholm, Kalmar slott and Läckö.
16. Explore the old towns
Sigtuna, Ystad and the old town of Stockholm is probably the most famous old towns. However there are many smaller villages that have kept their charm and traditional character.
If you drive through the countryside you will know exactly what I mean. Also many of the bigger cities have an old part where you can see architecture from different eras.
15. Celebrate Valpurgis night
Like bonfires? Well, then you might just want to join our Valpurgis night, where we light up a huge fire and get drunk.
14. Ice hockey
While football is considered a national sport, we don’t play it during winter due to the cold. So when the football season is over, many will instead go to hockey games.
If you like ice hockey, you probably already know that Sweden is home to some of the best players of all time, such as Peter Forsberg, Nicklas Lidström and Henrik Lundqvist.
13. See the Vasa Ship
One of the most well-preserved ships of all times. It’s a very majestic ship, so it’s no wonder that the museum is one of the most visited ones in Sweden.
12. See the Northern lights
From late October to early March it’s possible to see the Northern lights in the northern parts of Sweden. The best place to do so, is usually in Abisko, which is just a short drive from Kiruna.
There are daily flights to Kiruna from Stockholm.
11. Hit the beach
Beaches in Sweden? Yes we do have quite a lot of them. Mostly in the South though, but there are rock beaches and smaller sand beaches in other parts as well.
One of my favourites is Sandhammaren in Skåne. A fantastic sand beach with clear water in turquoise and blue color.
10. Midnight sun
During summer there are times when the sun never sets in the upper part of Sweden. Especially around the arctic circle. 24 hours of daylight is a cool experience that you shouldn’t miss if you come during summer.
9. Ghost hunting in Stockholm’s old town
If you know some Swedish history, you might have heard about the Stockholm blood bath.
A brutal event where blood flooded along the streets of Stockholm’s old town. Today, some claim that the area is haunted, and there are many reports of ghosts and spiritual beings. So if you find that interesting, you can come along on a ghost hunt tour.
8. Blueberry and mushroom picking
Roam the forests of Sweden and pick your own golden mushrooms and Blueberries.
7. A Snowmobile ride
Not every country offers a possibility of driving snowmobiles, but in Sweden you can during the winter, and if you visit the Northern parts, make sure to try this fun activity!
6. Explore Lapland and visit the Sami people
They say that Lapland is the last wilderness of Europe, and in many ways that is true. Lapland is also in Finland, and the Lapland region is home to the indigenous swedes, also known as the Sami people.
5. Go skiing
Being a destination where it can snow all over the country it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we like to ski and snowboard.
The ski slopes are mainly located in the upper parts of Sweden, but there are some in the south as well. And if you go to Stockholm, there is one in the city, called Hammarbybacken.
Other famous places to ski in the northern parts are Idre fjäll, Sälen, Hemavan and Åre.
4. Kayaking and Seal safari in kosterhavet
The Koster islands are located in West Sweden, and no cars are allowed here. It’s a marine national park where you can see wild seals or go kayaking, or just enjoy being out in nature.
3. Join a Crayfish party
If you go to Sweden in August, make sure to join a crayfish party. It’s another one of those weird Swedish traditions. We decorate our homes and put on silly hats on our heads and of course get drunk and sing a lot of Schnapps songs while eating Crayfish.
2. Liseberg or Gröna Lund
Depending on if you’re in Gothenburg or Stockholm, you can go to the amusement parks Liseberg (Gothenburg) or Gröna Lund (Stockholm). Here you will find rides for everyone, and during summer there are lots of concerts as well. If you travel to Sweden with children this is a great thing to do!
1. Shopping at Mall of Scandinavia
Stockholm is home to the largest mall in all of Scandinavia, so you won’t have a hard time to find a place to fill your shopping needs and desires.