Sweden Map & highlights

Covering an area twice the size of Britain, a list of places to visit in Sweden combines unforgettable nature with unique human imprints. In the north, Lapland's fascinating Sami culture vies with Arctic wilderness lit by unending summer sun or auroral winter darkness. Central Sweden is a fairytale heartland of vast forests teeming with bears and elk, broken by clearings dotted with pretty wooden cottages. Coasts come dotted with fishing hamlets facing enchanting archipelagos: wild Saint Anna, lushly wooded Lulea. Rich history is everywhere: ancient stone circles, majestic medieval towns, rock art as old as the Pyramids.

1. Bergslagen

This mineral-rich region north of Lake Malaren has been mined since before Christ - a history chronicled amid 750 km2 of wilderness by the world's largest open-air museum. Come today for wildlife riches amid vast forests dotted with lakes: seek out plentiful moose and beaver; listen for wolves; watch osprey pluck fish from secluded waters, while red squirrels enjoy arboreal heaven.

2. Kiruna

The northernmost town in Sweden is a gateway to the vast wilderness of Swedish Lapland. Exploring the rich indigenous Sami culture is a highlight of trips here, and so is spending a night at the famous Icehotel, but what may well prove the most memorable experiences are traditional activities such as ice fishing, husky sledding and perhaps if you’re lucky, seeing the Northern Lights.
Lulea archipelago

3. Lulea archipelago

Stockholm may have a larger island retinue but Lulea's 'mere' 1700 offer seclusion far from the capital's tourist throngs and R&R-ing city slickers. In summer, islands like Sandon, Junkon and Kluntarna have mainland ferry links, otherwise get paddling! Forage or fish, camp wild or cosy up in a clapboard cottage, swim or kayak, watch birds or just hang with the fishing folk on Hinderson.

4. Mora

A historic town situated in the heart of Sweden’s idyllic lake district, Mora sits between the northern shore of Lake Siljan and the southern shore of Lake Orsajon, and is a lovely spot to be based when touring picturesque lakeside villages, perhaps by bike. One of the country’s most famous artists, Anders Zorn, who painted three American presidents in his lifetime, lived here.
Saint Anna Archipelago

5. Saint Anna Archipelago

On Sweden’s Baltic eastern coast, the Saint Anna Archipelago is a mosaic of some 6000 islands and islets, most of them uninhabited. This is a simply beguiling destination for sea kayaking trips, with both guided and self-guided options available that involve wild camping on deserted beaches, and the chance to forage for ingredients to be prepared by the camp chef.

6. Skinnskatteberg

West of Stockholm, in central Sweden, Skinnskatteberg offers the chance to really get back to nature with a stay in an ecolodge surrounded by pine, birch and spruce. Expect the most basic of accommodations: outdoor compost toilets, no electricity, dips in the lake rather than showers, and certainly no Wifi. Camping doesn’t get much wilder than this.

7. Sörmland

Just to the southwest of Stockholm, the peaceful Sörmland province is the kind of place where families return for their holidays year after year. They can roam castles, nature reserves, lakes, forests and villages on bike, on foot or by canoe, all at their own pace and following itineraries organised with precision by expert locals.
Stockholm Archipelago

8. Stockholm Archipelago

The amazing thing about the Stockholm archipelago is that it begins just minutes outside the city. Here you can kayak, cycle and hike to your heart’s content around some 3000 islands, ancient castles and seaside communities. Pack a picnic lunch, hop aboard a steamboat, take a chilly dip in the Baltic and see how far you can get crossing suspension bridges from island to island.
Tyresta National Park

9. Tyresta National Park

The perfect place for day hikes outside central Stockholm, Tyresta National Park is an atmospheric wilderness composed of rare primeval forest. There are some 55km of marked trails around the park and the surrounding nature reserve. The silence is the first thing you notice, perhaps only broken by the call of a roe deer or a busy woodpecker at work.

10. Vasterbotten

Perfect for ecotourists looking for a secluded getaway, Vasterbotten in Swedish Lapland is a sublime all year-round destination, where you can experience the epic Swedish wilderness in style with a stay in a modern treehouse. A huge range of activities, from husky sledding to cross-country skiing across frozen lakes, would be right on your doorstep, if you had one.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Sweden or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Sweden travel times

Stockholm - Gothenburg: 3 hours by train Stockholm – Kiruna: 16 hours by overnight sleeper train Stockholm – Harnosand ('High Coast'): 4 ½ hours by train Arsta – Uto: 35 minutes by ferry Vaxholm – Finnhamm: 2 ½ hours by ferry
Written by Norman Miller
Photo credits: [Page banner: Mikael Sundberg] [Bergslagen: Billy Lindblom] [Kiruna: bjaglin] [Lulea archipelago: Joakim Syk] [Mora: Ankara] [Saint Anne Archipelago: Vanerpaddel] [Skinnskatteberg: Mads Bodker] [Stockholm archipelago: Arild Vagen] [Vasterbotten: Anikasober80] [Sormland: Stockholm Country Break] [Tyresta National Park: 2benny]