Sweden is famous around the world for lots of things: Saab and Volvo automobiles, the music group ABBA, pickled herring and the DIY megastore IKEA. It is equally as famous for its stunning scenery, picturesque fishing villages, being the land of reindeer and endless summer sun.
Sweden is filled with colorful wooden buildings, traditional huts, stone fortresses and cathedrals, and some pretty innovative contemporary architecture. Whether it’s hiking trails or art museums you’re looking for, Sweden has it. An overview of the best places to visit in Sweden:
Stockholm, a pretty city set on 14 islands, has a lot going for it as Sweden’s capital and the largest city in Scandinavia. Founded in the 13th century, Stockholm is where the annual Nobel Prizes are given out. The Vasa Museum, dedicated to a 17th century warship that sank on its maiden voyage, is Scandinavia’s most visited museum. Stockholm is easier on your budget than other Nordic cities, offering free admission to 15 museums, including the Swedish History, Medieval Museum, Royal Armoury and Skokloster Castle. You also won’t want to miss the Royal Palace, Modern Art Museum and City Hall.
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As Sweden’s largest island, surrounded totally by the Baltic Sea, you’d think fishing would be the island’s main industry. Not so. Agriculture, tourism and information technology are among the top industries. The island is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist destinations; sun seekers like it because it has more sunlight during the year than any other place in Sweden. Visby, the only city on the island, is a beautiful walled Hanseatic town which has preserved most of its townscape and historic buildings. There are also around 100 medieval churches and countless prehistoric sites on the island.
Gothenburg, located on Sweden’s west coast, is a green city dotted with numerous parks of all sizes. Many of the parks date back to the 19th century, including Kungsparken, a park that circles the canal that rings around the city center., If you’re more interested in amusement parks, head to Liseberg, which has more rides than any amusement park in Scandinavia. The largest port city in Scandinavia, Gothenburg also boasts the region’s largest film festival as well as numerous music festivals throughout the year. Hungry? Try a haga bulle, a large cinnamon roll at Haga, a district known for its picturesque wooden houses.
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4. Swedish Lapland
If it’s wilderness adventure you’re seeking, there’s no better place to visit in Sweden than Swedish Lapland. Located in the far north above the Arctic Circle where summer shines around the clock. Lapland is for canoers, hikers and viewers of wildlife. Swedish Lapland is inhabited by the hardy, indigenous Sami. Who live in massive forests and barren tundra. A good way to experience the region is to drive the 359-km (223-mile) long Wilderness Way from the canoeing center at Stromsund to the terminus at Vilhelmina, a church town, via Fatmomakke, where you’ll see traditional wooden huts. Winter visitors can buy reindeer hides at Jokkmokk, the center of Sami life.
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Uppsala, located 70 km (44 miles) north of Stockholm, is the religious center of Sweden, and has been since the 12th century. Prior to Christianity, Uppsala was known for idols of Norse gods. The Uppsala Cathedral, seat of the archbishop of Sweden, is the largest cathedral in Scandinavia. Education is important here, too, with Uppsala University, which was founded in 1477, making it one of the oldest colleges in Scandinavia. The Fyris River runs through the city, with the medieval section located west of the river. Both the cathedral and Uppsala Castle dominate the skyline here. Eighteenth century botanist Carl Linnaeus lived in Uppsala, so check out the botanical garden next to the castle.
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