Best Time to Visit Sweden’s West Coast

Best Time to Visit Sweden’s West Coast

Sweden’s west coast stretches from Gothenburg up to the border with Norway. Locals refer to it as the ‘best coast’ for good reason; it’s bursting with natural beauty, culture and culinary excellence. Although it’s an easier place to explore when the weather is warm, come rain or shine, this area has you covered. Mild spring days are all about exploring the great outdoors, whether on foot or by bike. In summer, you can holiday west coast-style, island hopping to your heart’s content. Or why not visit in autumn to catch the lobster premiere and feast on the ‘black gold’ of the ocean? In winter, you can celebrate the festive season in Gothenburg, a warming glass of glögg in one hand and a sticky cinnamon bun in the other. Let’s explore the best time to visit Sweden’s west coast.



March – May

The west coast weather is changeable in spring. March tends to be very cold, whereas by May, temperatures can nudge 20°C. It’s a comparatively dry time; although showers can hit at any moment, March and April are less likely to experience heavy rainfall. Fair weather is ideal for cycling and walking, two of the best ways to discover this stunning coastline, and the days are getting longer too, which is a signal to grab a coffee street-side and watch the squares filling up. Those looking for a relaxing getaway can plan a coastal trip around food. Each May, the town of Grebbestad holds the Nordic Oyster Opening Championship, or you can head to Smogen for classic crayfish sandwiches, delicious in any weather. Wildlife lovers are in luck, too. Head inland to Lake Hornborga, which is particularly attractive for the dance of the cranes in March and April. 



June – August

The west coast’s peak season extends from the end of June to the beginning of August, when the Swedish summer is at its most reliable with sunny, bright skies until 11pm. The hottest months of the year are July and August, followed by June, with daytime highs of 25°C. The sun does set, but not for very long, with west Sweden averaging three hours more daylight than mainland Europe. More time then to be beside the seaside. Hop on a boat and you could find yourself on a remote island or spend sunny days kayaking the west coast’s beautiful waterways. Sailing is especially popular in summer as well. Many people visit in their own boats, but there are plenty of places where proficient sailors can rent. Thanks to Allemansrätten – the Swedish right to roam – you can berth at deserted islands as long as you don’t disturb.



September – November

By October, the mercury has dropped to around 5-10°C and the winds begin to pick up as the rain sets in. September, October and November are among the region’s wettest months, but those who don’t mind the rain will still find plenty to do. Autumn is harvesting time, both on land and at sea. Go foraging in the forest for mushrooms and berries or savour freshly caught seafood in one of the many picturesque fishing villages. This is also a particularly pretty time of year for hiking with the fiery autumn foliage and there are plenty of fabulously scenic walking and cycling trails to take to including part of the long distance Kustigen route which passes Lysekil and skirts the coast, with beautiful sea views.



December – February

Winter on the west coast of Sweden is generally milder but wetter than the rest of the country. The average temperature is around zero to -2°C, making this a good time to discover Gothenburg’s many indoor attractions. Warm up with a fika break in a cosy coffee shop or head to a festive market for an authentic taste of Christmas Swedish-style. Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-biggest city is delightful at this time of year with a lively cultural scene, a walkable centre full of snug restaurants and shops, and Liseberg amusement park, which hosts Sweden’s largest Christmas market.


Year-Round Highlights of the West Coast

Island hopping is a must when visiting the west coast of Sweden. From the upmarket resort of Marstrand to Sweden’s first marine national park – Kosterhavet — in the Koster Islands, visitors will find old-school charm and a warm atmosphere year-round. Fishing trips and seafood safaris also take place year-round. Practically every photogenic town or village on the coast offers excursions, from crayfish parties in August to lobster hauling in autumn. Learn how to cast a fishing line in Marstrand, or Käringön and Fiskebäckskil, or join a mussel expedition between April and October.