Must-Sees in Sweden

Must-Sees in Sweden

Much like Sweden’s catalogue of famous figures (we’re looking at you Alfred Nobel and ABBA), the list of things to see and do in Sweden is as varied as they come. From kayaking through icy waters to exploring medieval city centres, the possibilities are practically endless, and the prospect of planning can be a little daunting. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our list of five must-sees in Sweden, which you can use as a starting point for exploring this country’s scenic natural sites and bustling cities.



Sweden is packed with stunning waterfalls, each with their own claim to the title of the country’s most beautiful. But Strömsund’s Hällingsåfallet, a dramatic cascade of water gushing from a height of 141ft into Sweden’s longest canyon, is undoubtedly one of the most mesmerising. Perched at around 1,300ft above sea level, Hällingsåfallet is surrounded by a 150-year-old coniferous forest that’s full of unusual plant and bird species. A hike through the lush green nature reserve, dotted with lookout points from where you can admire the explosive falls, gives you a real sense of Sweden’s natural beauty – if you’re lucky, you might see a shimmering rainbow arching through the mist. The vibrant colours of autumn are particularly magical at Hällingsåfallet, but each season allows you to appreciate this natural wonder in a different light. Bear in mind, however, that in the height of summer, the moist conditions are a breeding ground for mosquitos, so come prepared!


Uppsala Cathedral

Uppsala is home to several of Sweden’s most prestigious buildings, including the country’s oldest university and the Carolina Rediviva library, one of the largest in Sweden. But its greatest claim to fame comes in the form of a vast gothic structure that’s the tallest church building in Scandinavia: Uppsala Cathedral. You don’t have to be an architecture enthusiast to appreciate this building’s imposing 89ft ceilings, bright stained-glass windows and life-like statues (though if you are one, prepare to be wowed). The cathedral’s impressive museum, The Treasury, can be found in the north tower, housing a fascinating collection of objects including Renaissance men’s costumes and shimmering golden objects used in religious services centuries ago. 


Bohüslan Archipelago

Don’t let the Stockholm Archipelago steal the limelight – the Bohüslan Archipelago is just as worthy of a spot on your list of must-sees in Sweden. Located on the country’s west coast between Gothenburg and the Norwegian border, this collection of 8,000 islands and islets is a place to escape racing thoughts and let your mind relax to the rhythm of the tranquil water. While summer is the ideal season to spend some time hiking, cycling and swimming at sandy coves, winter brings stillness and serenity, perfect for kayaking across open waters alongside seals and guillemots (just be sure to wrap up warm, and travel with a guide if you’re not experienced). This region is famous for its spectacular fresh seafood, best enjoyed in spring or autumn. Think fried chilli mussels, oysters in the country’s oyster capital, and world-class lobster caught with your own two hands, possible between September and November. Whenever you choose to visit, set aside plenty of time to experience what each island has to offer, whether the picturesque pier of Smögen, the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Tjörn, or Marstrand’s idyllic hiking trails. 


Gamla Stan

The cobbled streets of Stockholm’s old town are lined with colourful 17th and 18th century buildings housing boutiques, bistros and patisseries. Gamla Stan is the capital’s historic heart, a wonderful place to get a feel for the city’s past and present. A good place to start is Stortorget Square, the oldest square in Stockholm, which is located in the heart of Gamla Stan’s main island. Although the square has somewhat of a dark past, as the site of the infamous Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520, today it’s a convivial spot full of restaurants and terraces where you can sip coffee and watch the world go by. You’ll also find the Nobel Prize Museum here, a place to learn about the brilliant minds who have been honoured with this prestigious prize, and even pick up a Nobel medal of your own (a chocolate one, that is). With a vibrant atmosphere and unmatched concentration of Swedish history and culture, Gamla Stan is not to be missed.


Abisko National Park

The emerald grasses of Abisko’s alpine meadows are studded with wildflowers in every shade. ‘Flower mountain’ (Mount Nuolja) stands tall above them, its limestone slopes a haven where rare plants can thrive; at its foot lies Torneträsk, Sweden’s largest alpine lake. Abisko National Park is located in the heart of Lapland, and covers an area of 30 square miles. From Torneträsk, it extends 121 miles into the Arctic Circle, making it one of the best places in the world to catch that coveted glimpse of the aurora borealis streaking across the inky sky. It’s not difficult to see why this is one of our top must-sees in Sweden, a place to experience nature’s magic whether you’re wandering beside a river carving its path through glistening slate, or hiking up tree-covered hillsides, their slopes coloured auburn by the mountain birch. Summer brings the opportunity to see the midnight sun, while during winter, the park is cloaked in a mystic darkness.