Top Ten Sites of Sweden

Sweden is many things but it is famed for its engineering and design skills and inventiveness .The original IKEA  store can be seen in Almhult, built in 1958.  (The HQ are now in Denmark and the founder, Ingvar Kamprad, lives in London.) Thecompany was founded in 1943.

Swedish inventors are prolific.

Leif Lundblad patented the ATM, and John Ericsson invented screw propellers for ships, Nils Gustav Dalen developed the automatic marine beacons, Sven Wingquist created the modern ball bearing, Gideon Sundback’s made the user friendly zipper and Alfred Nobel discovered dynamite.

The  paraffin (kerosene) stove, SLR camera, TetraPak food container, the safety match and the wrench are all things invented by Swedes.

But Sweden’s must see sites are varied . In mid summer it’s sparse bucolic landscapes are an attraction and in winter it’s vibrant and enchanting Christmas markets are not to be missed .Here are ten of the best experiences

  • The Vasa Museum, Stockholm

The Vasa is the best-preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world and a unique art treasure. More than 98 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.

The 69 meter-long warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm harbor in 1628 and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. For nearly half a century the ship has been slowly, deliberately, and painstakingly restored to a state approaching its original glory. The three masts on the roof of the tailor-made museum show the height of the ship’s original masts.

  • The Golden Hall, Stockholm

This is a banqueting hall in Stockholm City HallThe building  is where the Nobel Peace Prize is given out every year .The hall is best known as the location of the ball after the annual Nobel Banquet in the City Hall’s Blue Hall.Measuring 44-metres in length, the walls are  decorated by mosaics created by the artist Einar Forseth The mosaics present allegories of events and persons from Swedish history.


  • Stockholm Archipelago :

If you’re into island hopping, then touring the Stockholm archipelago could be just your cup of akavit. Obviously, you won’t have time to visit every island since there are 30,000 of them – big rocks jutting up from the sea count here. Ferries serve major points in the archipelago, beginning with a 10-minute boat ride from Stockholm. Visit a World War I fortress at Starofortet or Vaxholm, the “capital” of the archipelago with its ornate buildings and a history of herring fishing. Indulge yourself at a spa in Nacka, the closest to Stockholm and accessible by motor vehicle.


  • Ystad: 

This is a coastal town in southern Sweden, sure to draw sleuths and murder mystery fans. Noted author Henning Mankell set his Kurt Wallender detective novels in Ystad and the surrounding area. Notable buildings you’ll find used in his books include Greyfriars Abbey, one of Sweden’s best preserved medieval monasteries, and the Church of the Virgin Mary, a large medieval church; both are outstanding examples of Gothic Hansa architecture. A walking tour over cobblestone streets also will take you past picturesque pastel-colored half-timbered buildings. A walk on the town’s pretty sandy beaches is called for, too. East of Ystad is the megalithic monument of Ales Stenar, consisting of 59 large boulders forming a stone ship.


  • 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.


  • 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.



An unique art installation – a tower and corridors of driftwood built on the cliff.  Other installations scattered in the countryside can be equally obscure . The KIRKE MOSS CAR CEMETERY is located  2km outside the village of Ryd, 50km south of Vaxjo.In the dense forest, over 100 cars were abandoned in the 50s and 60s.  Nobody knows who left them here or where they came from.  Nowadays it’s an eerie sire cemetery with classic cars being partially taken over by moss and trees growing through them.



This is Europe’s largest bear park.  The bears roam freely and it’s the people that are confined.  You can visit a lair, hear about the fascinating life-cycle of the bear, study tracks such as scratch marks and clawed-out ant-hills, and locate the bears with position finders.

You can also visit the research station where you can see where the Scandinavian Brown Bear Project’s researchers gather their results. The researchers will tell you how dangerous the bear actually is and how to act should you come face to face with the predator.



One of Europe’s greatest train journeys. Daily trains north from Mora at about 6.35am.  Links Mora withGallivare in Lapland. (you can get the train from further south or further narth than Mora)

The train driver will stop along the way and let everyone off to go strawberry picking!

Done in one go, the journey lasts 2 days, with an overnight in Ostersund. You can break the journey as many times as you like with 1 ticket.

More information at



Sweden’s Right of Public Access means you can hike across the entire country.

Kungsleden means ‘Kings Route’.  The path stretches 460km between Abisko and Hemavan.  The trail  takes in Sweden’s highest mountain. The most popular section is the northern one, from Abisko to Nikkaluokta, usually done north to south. National Geographic describes this as  “one of the world’s greatest hikes”. Added to that there are saunas in some of the overnight huts.