With its numerous lakes, scenic forest trails and long coastline, Sweden certainly makes for an ideal destination to spend your vacation. Sweden is not only famous for its wildlife, but is also one of the few extremely innovative countries, owing to its world-changing inventions such as Skype and IKEA. Visit the various interesting museums, go bird-watching and drive through the beautiful counties enjoying the smooth roads and mesmerizing sights right out of some disney movie!
Sweden is located in Northern Europe and shares its boundaries with Finland and Norway. The largest Scandinavian country, Sweden is also the most populated one. The capital of Sweden is Stockholm and is by far the most populated city in the country with a range of universities and offices.
Culture & Tradition
Swedes are egalitarian by nature and are pretty rooted to their environment. It is no myth when one says that ‘Swedes are green’, the Swedish government takes sustainability very seriously and has taken very steps to renew energy and recycle. Another important fact about Swedish culture is that the locals do not appreciate the art of boasting, that is probably why they don’t find big European cities very fascinating. The Swedish also believe in the concept of ‘Fika’ is an extremely popular activity in Sweden. Fika basically means ‘to take a coffee-break’ and is practiced very seriously throughout. So don’t shy away from taking a Fika break accompanied by some pastries and cinnamon bun!
Places to Visit: Since Sweden may come as an off-beat destination for many, so planning your trip may take longer than expected. Well, to cut down on that time, we’ve compiled a list of places that you mustn’t miss while visiting Sweden.
Aurora Sky Station, Abisko National Park, Swedish Lapland
Sweden is a dream for all wildlife lovers, and what better than to enjoy the spectacular light show put on by earth at its best? The Aurora Sky Station is repeatedly listed as one of the best places to watch the Aurora Borealis in all its glory. Situated about 900 m above sea level, you can find a café, a souvenir shop and the northern lights exhibition at the Aurora Sky Station. Be sure to book in advance as only a few tickets are given out for the Aurora Night Tour.
The island of Oland is definitely one of the most beautiful and oldest places on Sweden. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stora Alvaret, the island boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna and is an extremely famous Swedish family destination during the summer months. Visit the 13th century masterpiece, the Borgholm Castle and the various lighthouses, including the Lange Erik across the various sandy beaches. There are numerous cottages and hotels on the island, so accommodation is easily available. A public Bus Shuttle service runs along the island and is pretty convenient, although a personal car can also do. Plan your time of visit in advance as summer months are crowded and often hard to book.
Nedre Dalalven River Landscape, Central Sweden
The Lower Dalalven River Landscape is a 1.5 hours’ journey from Stockholm and is a must-visit for all those who love fishing! This vast expanse of land, lakes, National Park, and beaches make this land a UNESCO declared Biosphere Reserve and thus, even more appealing to tourists. Stay in a guesthouse, cabin by the lake or simply camp outside the riverside and enjoy being surrounded by the natural landscape that is home to the European Bison. Take part in the various excursions in the National Park or just follow the nature’s trail for a peaceful and blissful hike up the Skekarsbo tower. If your ideal vacation involves boating, walking up nature trails and just admiring the beauty of nature then this destination is surely unmissable!
Smaland, Southern Sweden
Smaland occupies a large portion of the Swedish land. The place is extremely popular among photographers for its rustic beauty and countryside scenery, and it truly does come alive during the Autumn Season. In addition to the beauty, Smaland is the perfect place for a family destination as the place literally has a ‘Kingdom of Glass’ and ‘Kingdom of Furniture’. Try your hand at glass blowing and glass retail therapy, for a unique experience, or simply stay at a glass themed accommodation at the Kubos hotel. Visit the towns of Vadstena and Granna, to enjoy a lakeside country experience. A 3-4-day visit to Smaland will leave you rejuvenated with fresh memories to take back home!
Kiruna, Northern Sweden
The town of Kiruna boasts of hosting the tallest mountain in Sweden and the largest underground iron-ore mine. Geographically, the strategic location of the place is why there still remain over 18000 inhabitants here, despite the cold. The beautiful vast landscape of the region provides for an excellent hiking destination during the summer and autumn months. You can take part in adventure activities like skiing, snowmobile tours and canoeing while learning about Spami-the local culture of the Sami’s who have kept it alive, despite the hardships. During the summer months, be lucky enough to experience the beauty of the midnight sun and if you’re a dog lover then enjoy an entire day with the Huskies!
Just Roam Freely,
Nature is an integral part of the Swedish lifestyle and the Swedes definitely know how to enjoy it fully! If you’re an adventure-seeker and driven by wanderlust, then there’s no other place for you to be. Recently, Sweden Tourism enlisted the entire country on Airbnb and started a #freedomtoroam movement. So go camping in nature with the basic essentials and enjoy hiking, camping, cycling, skiing, berry-picking and the company of nature at its best!
How to Get There?
Lucky for Indian Customers, Air India has recently launched a direct flight to Stockholm, making Scandinavia easily accessible. If you don’t wish to travel for that long, various other airlines like British Airways and Finnair travel to Sweden via a short stop to one of the European cities.
Visa for Indians
For Indians, the Schengen Visa is required to enter all Scandinavian countries. Its advised to apply at least a month and a half in advance from the date of travelling as the visa can take up to 3-4 weeks to process.
Best Time to Visit
The Swedish summer months start from May and go up till September, when there is plenty of light and you have the chance of experiencing the midnight sun. However, to witness the almighty Northern Lights and the Sami culture, a visit anytime between the months of late October and March would be ideal.