Sweden travel guide, including map of Sweden, top Sweden travel experiences, tips for travel in Sweden, plus the best islands in Sweden
Home to ABBA, IKEA and the Nobel Peace Prize, but also uninhabited islands, pristine national parks and Arctic wilderness, Sweden is a fascinating place. Here, the mood of the nation depends on light. Summer days are endless and carefree while in winter, at the northerly latitudes, the sun scarcely bothers to raise its head and a gloomier attitude descents – leavened by the sparkle of the northern lights and Christmas markets.
The Swedish are never happier than when outside, making this a great destination if you’re a fan of outdoor fresh-air fun. History buffs can explore Sweden’s stone circles and Bronze Age rock carvings, while fashionistas will love pottering and partying in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Peddle past traditional windmills on the tiny island of Oland and then gorge on black caviar when you’re done. In the summer, head north to experience the midnight sun or go during winter to stay in a snowy suite at the Ice Hotel.
Be careful with the Swedish word mil. The Scandinavian ‘mile’ is actually 10km.
Pre-book hostels wherever possible. Swedish hostels often refuse to check people in outside of their reception opening hours.
The idea of a smörgåsbord is that you keep popping back to the table; avoid looking like a glutton by not overloading your plate.
Sweden is at its best during the long summer days between May and September, although if you’re planning to spend a lot of time outside, you might want to avoid mosquito season (June and July).
To experience the midnight sun you need to be above the Arctic Circle between 31 May and 14 July.
Winters are very cold, but offer a different range of activities – head north for husky-sledding, Ice Hotel stays and the northern lights between November and March.
Arlanda (STO) 45km from Stockholm; Skavsta (NYO) 100km from Stockholm.
Sweden has an excellent network of public transport. The bus and regional train networks are integrated. ScanRail has a flexible rail pass which covers travel in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Domestic flights can be expensive.
Cycling is a joy in Sweden and cyclists are well respected by other road users.
Boats are also popular. Gotland is served by regular ferries.
Swedish people love the great outdoors making camping and country cabins far more popular than drab hotels. Campsites with excellent facilities are everywhere, although most are only open between May and September. Sweden has a a good hostel network too.
Tourist offices have lists of homestays. Look out for the sign ‘Rum & Frukost’ when driving – it indicates cheap B&B-style accommodation. Hotels are mostly operated by big chains.
Fermented herring, reindeer stew, meatballs, stuffed pike with horseradish – Swedish cuisine may not be to everyone’s taste but you can’t fault the quality of the produce. Fresh fish is abundant in Sweden and wild berries and mountain-reared meat are staples. If you’re short on time, a smörgåsboard is a great introduction to Swedish food.
Alcohol is expensive in Sweden but it’s an important part of the culture – just be sure not to start necking your drink until your host or hostess has toasted you with a resounding ‘Skål!’
Sweden is a great destination for vegetarians: most major towns have a selection of veggie restaurants.
Check with your GP before travelling that your immunisations are up to date. Tap water is safe to drink.
Bring mosquito repellent if you’re planning to be in Sweden during the summer.
Phoebe Smith picks out some of the best places and ways to take things slowly, so we can all be a little more mindful on our travels… More
Had your fill of glühwein? On the hunt for alternative stocking-fillers? Want to experience some quirkier Christmas traditions? Our festive round-up has it covered... More
The Mayor of London recently announced plans for the UK capital's first car-free day, which will take place on 22 September. Like the idea? These places are permanently car-free, and open to visitors... More
From jostling floating markets in Thailand to islands made from reeds in Lake Titicaca, these incredible attractions are colourful, uplifting and gravity-defying … and guaranteed to float your boat... More
You can see bears - brown, black, grizzly and polar - in a number of different, and slightly unusual, ways. All are equally thrilling. Phoebe Smith shares the best ways to try bear watching for yourself... More
Bright, festive and a lot of fun, these 9 fabulous markets from around the world are proof that not all the best Christmas markets are in Germany... More
Team Wanderlust joined 100 readers, a panel of polar experts and explorer Sara Wheeler for an evening of drinks, inspiring discussions and serious trip planning. See what we got up to... More
If you don't join the revellers at Stonehenge in the UK this year, head further north for a Nordic or Baltic midsummer travel experience you'll never forget... More
Midsummer is just around the corner. Discover the weird and wonderful ways that different cultures celebrate the longest day of the year, 21 June, in the Northern Hemisphere... More
Don’t just watch the Northern Lights. 'Experience' them. From snowshoeing in Lapland to sleeping in a Sami tent, you’ll encounter the lights in a way you will never forget. But spaces are limited... More
Picking one single country to visit can be a challenge – so why not cross a few borders while you’re away? These trips pack in a glut of different cultures, food and experiences... More
Stunningly beautiful, both playful and serene, these harbours offer something for everyone – from water sports and walking to simple views guaranteed to soothe the soul More
Get your sunglasses ready, because these natural wonders and man-made must-sees are the most blindingly white spots on the planet… More
Ahead of the results being announced on Friday, we take a look at the top 10 photos from the Landscape category of this year's Wanderlust Photo of the Year competition... More
Sleep under giant ice sculptures, eat from frozen plates and have a go at building your own igloo for the night. Whichever hotel you choose, be sure to brace yourself for the cold... More
From Copenhagen to Prague, European cities seem perfectly suited to cycling. We've picked out the European capitals that are ideal for exploring by bike More
From tracking chimps in Rwanda to celebrating Havana's 500th birthday, 2019 has no shortage of once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Which one will you choose? More
Belizean blue waters, Greenlandic isolation, Argentinian bargains, Rwanda’s remarkable recuperation – they're all here in our scrupulous pick of must-visit destinations for the coming year… More
Crowd-free crescents, UNESCO-listed dots, the map's hardest-to-reach corners. Here's the world's most enchanting and well-hidden islands... More
These wildlife encounters are best experienced when the temperatures drop: wrap up and head into the wild, white yonder – to encounter polar bears, wolves, and dancing cranes... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
From: £1170.00More …
From: £1700.00More …
From: £1070.00More …
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!