Read and learn about the full unexpected beauty of Sweden in Part I!
Sweden has very beautiful cities to offer as well as little villages and of course endless nature to get lost in. So let us hit the ground running and go!
I have only felt such a compelling magic in three cities in the world: London, Paris and Stockholm.
A sentence I have read one quite a lot of blogs. Sweden’s capital does not fail to amaze. It invites you to spend at least three days there in order to discover its full magic. The city kind of has two faces: outside, you will find medieval streets, blooming parks and vibrant promenades along the waterfront. But when you go a bit more into the inside of the city and also inside buildings etc., you will see Stockholm’s edgy and creative side with eco-archtitecture and all kinds of clubs. You should definitely visit the district of ‘Gamla Stan’, which is great for small cafes, evening strolls and enjoying drinks. The capital is a compact city so exploring it by foot will allow you to see the most of it – trainers, you are now needed!
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and not far from Norway (2 hours) an Denmark (3 hours). A great way to establish first contact with Gothenburg is to start with a canal tour – plus it is also a great way to maybe get to know other travelers as well. A district i fell in love with was ‘Haga’. It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city and has this unique and special vibe with its cobblestone streets and small individual shops. I, as an art lover, also visited the ‘Gothenburg Museum of Art’ , which is considered to have the world’s finest collection of Nordic art in the new century. And another place or activity I would never want to miss out on is the ‘Feskekorka’ (Sw.: fish church’). As the name already reveals, it is heaven for all those who love fish and sea food. Feskekorka is an indoor fish market built in 1874 (and a perfect Instagram spot 😉 ) Furthermore, the ‘Gothenburg Botanical Garden’ is majestic and the place to go if you just want to reflect on everything.
Malmö – which frankly sounds like a piece of IKEA furniture to me – is a perfect day trip when you are driving from Gothenburg to Kopenhagen, Denmark. My personal tip is to just cluelessly go into Sweden’s third-largest city, drink a coffee and start exploring on your own a bit. No tourist guide, no big tips on where to go, no plan, no destination. But this tip could be useful to some: if you like castles very much, the city hosts the ‘Malmöhus Castle’, Sweden’s oldest renaissance castle. It gives you a closer look into how life was there a few centuries ago and you will also be regarded with a fantastic view over the city. The rest is up to you!
In Sweden (and the rest of Scandinavia as well), the sun does not really set during summer. You have days in June and July which are 18-19 hours long, with the sun setting at 10 P.M. and rising at 3 A.M. This nature phenomena is celebrated by Swedes with the ‘Midsummer Festival’. They dance around a maypole, eat, drink and enjoy their lives. Every city organizes Midsummer Festivals for everybody to come, as well as locals privately. During Midsummer’s Eve – traditionally the longest day in the year, now it is always set on a Friday – the shops are usually closed and the Swedes are looking forward to dancing into the sun.
Brave the cold in Sweden! In the far north of the tundra-like landscape in Sweden is the border to Lapland in Finland. Scattered along the Arctic North the so-called ‘Sami’, Sweden’s indigenous people, live isolated in the cold. But you can also visit and talk to them, find out about their lives, go skiing and even see some reindeer. The north is breathtaking, it is far from anything you have ever seen. It is also the perfect place to experience the ‘Aurora borealis’, also known as the Northern Lights. In this case, a picture really says more than a thousand words.
The most popular and famous hiking trail is the ‘Kungsleden’ (Sw.: King’s Trail). It is 440 km long and will take you a month discovering the remote places in Sweden. Yet, there are also parts of the hiking trail which are a lot shorter for those who are feeling more adventurous than bethinking. Another top trail is ‘Sörmlandsleden’. It goes along the southern part of Middle Sweden and is not far from the major cities. The 1000 km long trail is subdivided into 100 daytrips and different difficulties. So you choose: up in the North, isolated or down in the South, civilized?