Sweden Holidays: An Overview

One of our all-time favourite destinations, Sweden combines an immaculate capital city with a serene west coast and a far north that is essentially one big arctic adventure playground.

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Victoria and Lucy G are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The Swedes are über-stylish and this comes across in their fashion, music, food and hotels
  • Swedish Lapland is one of the best places in the world to see the magical Northern Lights
  • Sweden is home to a selection of the quirkiest hotels imaginable - how about spending your sleeping in a replica spaceship, or in a room made entirely out of ice?

Luxury Sweden Holidays: The Detail

The gateway to this magical country is Stockholm - a sophisticated, elegant, manageable and thoroughly civilised city with the added attraction of an archipelago which can be explored by boat. A must-visit to kick off any Sweden holiday. Design hotels and excellent restaurants abound, and Swedish hospitality is legendary. Head for the bohemian area around Rörstrandsgatan, in west Stockholm, where you'll find cosy cafés and cheapish antique shops.

Stockholm is also perfect launch pad for adventures in Swedish Lapland, the scene of some of Original Travel's favourite Big Short Breaks. Experience the thrill of dog-sledding, leading your team of eager huskies through snowbound forests, staying in totally private and comfortable woodland cabins each night and eating traditional Swedish delicacies such as reindeer stew with cloudberries. Alternatively, stay at the world-famous Ice Hotel or the equally original Treehotel near Lulea.

Did you know

  • The world's first Ice Hotel was built in Sweden
  • The Nobel Prize Ceremonies are held in Sweden and Norway every year
  • Apparently moose crossing signs are a popular souvenir from Sweden. Every year a large number of signs are stolen from the roads by tourists (this doesn't mean you have to…)
  • Forests cover 50% of Sweden
  • After its main official language, Swedish, the country has five other official languages: Finnish, Yiddish, Sami, Meaenkieli and Romani
  • Lingonberry jam is widely used in Sweden to accompany a variety of dishes, such as meatballs, pancakes, porridge and black pudding

Swedish Lapland is also one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, the extraordinary natural light show that occurs in the depths of winter. Shimmering bands of colour drift across the night sky as particles hit the Earth's atmosphere.

Even further north, right on the Norwegian border, lies the tiny ski resort of Riksgränsen. Skiing here starts in February, when the 24-hour darkness of mid-winter begins to lift; come June, you can head back out on to the slopes after supper to ski in a t-shirt under the midnight sun. More conventional skiing is available at the slick resort of Are (pronounced oar-e).

Away from all things snowy, the West Coast is a delight that barely flickers across the radar for most Brits considering a Sweden holiday, yet there are regular direct flights to the lovely second city of Gothenburg which is worth a weekend in its own right. Better still, explore the beautiful coastline and (another) archipelago including the remote Weather Islands and a place famed for its fabulous fresh food. West Sweden is all about good clean fun, and it's a potentially perfect place for an idyllic summer family holiday. From action packed snow adventures to cosmpolitan city exploration, Sweden is a fantastic holiday destination.


Top picks for Sweden

Bar at  Nobis Hotel, luxury hotel in Stockholm, Sweden

Nobis Hotel

Stockholm

Despite being housed in two historic 19th Century buildings in Norrmalmstorg, Nobis Hotel remains thoroughly modern.

Where to stay

Huskies, Swedish Lapland

Dog Sledding in Swedish Lapland

Swedish Lapland

Dog-sledding through the snowbound forests and mountains of Swedish Lapland will leave even the hardiest ‘been there, done that’ traveller with an indelible memory.

What to do

Salt & Sill, luxury hotel in Sweden

Salt & Sill

Gothenburg and the West Coast

The owners first established Salt & Sill as a restaurant, where 40% of Sweden’s herring comes from. Such was the demand for rooms at the popular eatery; they decided to add a hotel to their burgeoning success, and a floating one at that.

Where to stay

A Skier Speeding through the Snow

Are

Sweden

Åre is difficult to pronounce, and difficult to forget once you've experienced this sophisticated Swedish ski resort.

Where to go

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Swedish Lapland

Swedish Lapland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, the extraordinary natural light show that occurs in the depths of winter.

What to do

Skis

Skiing in Sweden

Sweden

Devotees of the Alps, your attention, please. Yes, the respective resorts of Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy represent a pretty attractive snowy smorgasbord, but don’t rule out the spiritual home of the smorgasbord itself – Sweden.

What to do

Villa Sjotorp, luxury hotel in Sweden

Villa Sjötorp

Gothenburg and the West Coast

Villa Sjötorp began life as a private summer residence and still has an air of old school glamour about it. Owner Ellika has carefully hand-picked every item in the house, and her sharp attention to detail and careful restoration is apparent throughout.

Where to stay

Snowmobile, Sweden

Winter in Swedish Lapland

Swedish Lapland

The winter season in Lapland is brimming with endless opportunities, and the frozen archipelago begs for adventure.

What to do

Summer Fishing, Swedish Lapland

Summer in Swedish Lapland

Swedish Lapland

There is a general misconception that Lapland is a lot better in the winter months. We however have proved this not to be true, and have selected a few of our favourite activities that make the most of the stunning landscape.

What to do

Elite Plaza, luxury hotel in Sweden

Elite Plaza

Gothenburg and the West Coast

The Elite Plaza is a design hotel in every sense – both part of the capital ‘d’ Design Hotel group, and beautifully designed, from the mosaic floor in the entrance hall to the immaculate new top floor with its 12 additional rooms.

Where to stay

Gothenburg and the West Coast

Gothenburg and the West Coast

Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden's charming second city, is the gateway to the beautiful west coast archipelago of some 8,000 islands.

Where to go

Swedish Lapland

Swedish Lapland

Sweden

The Northern Lights, dog-sledding and ice-driving are just snippets of what is on offer in Swedish Lapland.

Where to go

Brandon Lodge

Brandon Lodge

Swedish Lapland

Overlooking a vast expanse of frozen sea, Brandon Lodge is a cosy and comfortable lodge in the heart of Swedish Lapland.

Where to stay

A Lake and Mountains

Riksgransen

Sweden

The most northerly ski resort in the world, where skiing is possible under the midnight sun even in June.

Where to go

Hotel Skeppsholmen, luxury hotel in Stockholm, Sweden

Hotel Skeppsholmen

Stockholm

The Hotel Skeppsholmen expertly combines a stylish modern design interior with a historic and beautiful 18th Century exterior.

Where to stay

Lydmar Hotel

Lydmar Hotel

Stockholm

Once upon a time (that time being the 90’s) the Lydmar Hotel was achingly hip and trendy; so hip and trendy in fact, that it was destined to go the way of most of that decade’s fashions. However the Lydmar is back once again, and is an altogether more elegant affair this time round.

Where to stay

Meeting room at Hotel J, luxury hotel in Stockholm, Sweden

Hotel J

Stockholm

Standing on the edge of Nacka Strand Marina and with a recurrent nautical theme throughout, Hotel J is Stockholm’s answer to Newport, Rhode Island.

Where to stay

The Stockholm Waterfront at Dusk

Stockholm

Sweden

Stockholm is one of the most appealing cities in Europe.

Where to go

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