1. Stockholm’s Archipelago
An astounding 43% of more than 2500 Swedes that took part on the survey answered that Stockholm’s archipelago is the most beautiful place to visit in the country. Long-time readers of this blog already know how I avidly encourage anyone visiting Stockholm for 5 or more days to use one of them to get away to the archipelago in one of the many boat tours available. Some boat trips are only scheduled during high season but other all year round.
If you are in Stockholm for a shorter stay, between the end of April and the beginning of September, get on a boat to nearby Fjäderholmarna islands* less than 25 minutes away from the city. The boat trip is included in the Stockholm Pass tourist card.
With plenty on time you can wander through almost unhabited islands like Grinda or visit popular holiday destinations like Sandhamn or Vaxholm. Believe me, Swedes know what they are talking about and they are willing to share their secret regarding the archipelago!
2. Gamla Stan in Stockholm
A 33% of the surveyed Swedes voted for Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old City Center, as one of the most beautiful spots in the country. They are onto something there as the old foundational island is a must-see for all of you who are planning a visit to Stockholm. Remember that you can wander alone through the cobblestone streets but also join a free tour guide of Gamla Stan which will help you unravel the best kept secrets from long ago.
3. Höga Kusten – The High Coast
Unknown for many “non-Swedes” The High Coast ranks 3rd on the list of beautiful destinations in Sweden. The Höga Kusten – high by Swedish standards (being Sweden a “flat country”, 286 meters / 940 ft. above sea level is considered high!) – is a destination located between the cities of Härnosand and Örnsköldsvik (… did you manage to pronounce that tongue twister? Try [oerns-hoelds-veek]), that is 450 km / 280 mi north of Stockholm.
The High Coast works splendidly as a hiking destination and delivers excellent views of the Baltic Sea. The surrounding area features two national parks: Skuleskogen National Park and Ulvön’s Island National Park. This unique place was chosen in the year 2000 by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
4. Gothenburg’s Archipelago and Bohuslän Coast
One of my favourite places in Sweden which I have visited many times is Gothenburg’s archipelago and the West Coast from the Göta river to Strömstad at the Norwegian border. Swedes also think this location deserves to be featured among the loveliest places to visit in Sweden and I’m happy about it. You should come and see! Way different than Stockholm’s archipelago but still by the sea.
Strömma also offers boat tours, cruises and sightseeing in Gothenburg.
5. Lake Siljan
Dalarna is considered to be the most Swedish of all regions. It features the most music-friendly of all lakes too: lake Siljan. Every summer, in the beginning of July, a week long series of events and concerts by the name Musik vid Siljan take place by the lake and attracts a lot of people interested in music. The beautiful natural surroundings offers a place with activities for the whole family: horse riding, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, … Great panoramic views from the lake and the area are available at the top of mount Gesunda.
Don’t forget to visit Orsa Grönklitt to the north of Lake Siljan which is Europe’s largest park for predators and is visited by 100,000 people every year.
6. Gotland’s “raukar”
These monolithic stones are one of the symbols of Gotland (the others being its medieval capital Visby and the uncountable sheep and lambs standing everywhere…). Gotland and its raukar are a tourist mecca both for Swedens and foreigners who visit the island and its coast mainly during the months of June and July.
You can get to Gotland by plane from several cities in Sweden (Stockholm Bromma Airport or Gothenburg Landvetter Airport). During the summer a broader offer of flights is available from other cities and airports like Skavsta, Malmö, Sundsvall or Norrköping. All year round Gotland is accessible by ferry from Nynäshamn or, if you are on a roadtrip through Småland, from the port at Oskarshamn.
The King’s Trail or Kungsleden is one of the world’s most renowned trails and probably one of the best to hike. The trail goes from Abisko in Swedish Lapland to Hemavan (400 km / 250 mi to the south) following a path designed by the Swedish Tourism Organization in the early 1900s. The changes in the landscape are astounding featuring both alpine sceneries in Lapland to forests full of birch trees, clear lakes, small villages and mount tops. In its totality the path goes through 4 national parks: Abisko, Stora Sjöfallet, Sarek and Pieljekaise. During the hike you will also have the chance to meet a lot of reindeer shepperds who are out with their flocks.