Sweden is a peaceful Scandinavian nation in northern Europe, nestled between Norway and Finland. It has a population of little more than 9.5 million people who mostly speak Swedish and English. Its extended landmass is complemented by thousands of tiny coastal islands and inland lakes, immense green forests, and massive glaciated mountains. The wonderfully dancing Northern Lights are arguably Sweden’s most recognized feature. But there’s more: ancient castles and palaces, megalithic structures, medieval architecture, and other cultural treasures from a bygone period of Vikings, berserkers, and explorers.
1. The capital city of Stockholm
The capital city of Sweden is characterized by all of its canals, tiny islets, and islands. The rich history and culture, as well as the surrounding landscape and a diverse selection of entertainment, make for an enthralling experience. A trip to the museum island of Djurgrden, where one might visit Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum, the Vasa Museum, or the Abba Museum, to mention a few. Apart from that, travel enthusiasts can also spend some time exploring the maze of ancient alleys in Gamla Stan, the vibrant Old Town, passing through the chocolate-box plaza Stortorget en route to the magnificent Royal Palace. It is possible to see the customary changing of the guard’s ritual.
2. Twisted Skyscraper or Turning Torso
The Turning Torso in Malmö, built by Santiago Calatrava, is the world’s first twisting skyscraper and the tallest tower in Scandinavia, standing at 190 meters. It turned ten in 2015 and received the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) ’10 Year Award’ that year.
The Mirrorcube is one of a half-dozen modern architecture havens that make up Treehotel in Harads, Sweden’s far north. It is a lightweight aluminum structure suspended around a tree trunk, a 4x4x4 meters mirrored glass cage. The façade mirrors the surroundings and the sky, providing a camouflaged haven. The inside is entirely constructed of plywood, and the windows provide a 360-degree view of the surroundings. The buildings were designed by renowned Swedish architects Tham & Videgard, Cyrén & Cyrén, Inredningsgruppen, and Sandell Sandberg.
4. Birka and Viking Heritage
The Birka archaeological site was occupied in the 9th and 10th centuries and is located on Björkö Island in Lake Mälar. Hovgrden is located on the nearby island of Adelsö. They form an archaeological complex that exemplifies the intricate commercial networks of Viking-Age Europe and their impact on Scandinavia’s subsequent history. Birka was particularly significant as the location of Sweden’s first Christian congregation, founded in 831 by St Ansgar. In the reconstructed Viking hamlet, visitors may feel what it was like to live in this oldest of Swedish towns. The realistic recreation is based in part on knowledge gained from archaeological excavations on the island. Exhibits and models depict life in Birka during the Viking Age at the island museum. It also features numerous intriguing artifacts that have been discovered and are constantly being discovered here.
5. The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi
Icehotel, located in the little town of Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, may be the epitome of ephemeral architecture. The world’s first and largest hotel made of snow and ice is an inhabitable work of art that changes every year. The Icehotel’s survival is totally dependent on the environment and the Torne River, from which 4000 tonnes of ice are extracted each year between March and April. Architecture is also a type of display. Each year, artists are selected to create and build the ICEHOTEL’s Art Suites. The entire procedure took around 100 individuals and took place between November and December.
Dalhalla Amphitheatre has formed as a result of a meteorite strike 360 million years ago. During the summer, music fans attend outdoor events. This one-of-a-kind theatre was erected in the quarry as a musical arena, making it a famous tourist destination in Sweden. The well-shielded structure was ideal for reducing noise pollution.
7. Sala silvergruva
An ancient silver mine has been converted into the world’s deepest hotel. Today, the mine is primarily used as a tourist attraction, with guided excursions down in the pit. Underground lakes can be explored. Concerts and other forms of entertainment are held in the mine’s large vacant chambers. One of these rooms may be used as a bedroom, providing for a one-of-a-kind overnight stay. The original buildings are still in use above ground, although they are primarily souvenir stores and museums, such as an art gallery and a police museum. The Mine’s Days are held every year in July, and there are Christmas markets every weekend until Christmas.
8. Liseberg Christmas Market in Gothenburg
Gothenburg, often underrated in favor of Stockholm, is a hidden treasure in West Sweden just waiting to be found. Gothenburg is establishing a name for itself as the world’s most sustainable destination and the European Capital of Smart Tourism in 2020. The Christmas market and Swedish Fika culture are some of the most memorable experiences in the city. Gothenburg is transformed into a sparklingly gorgeous winter tale in the warm glow of millions of Christmas lights. Liseberg, a massive theme park in Gothenburg, is transformed for Christmas with 5 million festive lights, 700 decorated trees, and hordes of vendors selling handcrafted presents and steaming waffles. It also features a variety of rides, including the traditional trip on the Christmas carousel, as well as dazzling light shows and ice ballet performances.
9. The micronation
In the far southwest corner of Sweden, on a rocky beach in a Kullaberg nature park a few kilometers northwest of the town of Arild. It is distinguished by two monumental pieces of art: Nimis and Arx. Nimis (Latin for “too much”), created by artist Lars Vilks, is a maze-like wooden artwork composed of 70 tonnes of driftwood and nails, ending in a teetering, nine-story wooden tower. Arx (Latin for “fortress”) is a stone and concrete sculpture that is reminiscent of a melting sandcastle. The first of the two sculptures, Nimis, began in 1980. It’s an extraordinary architectural playground in the center of the fictive nation of Ladonia. In 2016, a large portion of it burned down, but it was restored. Visitors may climb into and enter the driftwood-built structures.
10. Sundsvall’s magnificent Stone City(Stenstan)
Sundsvall’s magnificent Stone City(Stenstan) may be explored by taking a historic rooftop tour. This guided walk provides magnificent skyline views as well as intriguing information about Sundsvall’s finest neighborhood, which was built entirely in stone at the end of the nineteenth century amid the city’s industrial growth. One can also get a good view of several of the beautiful spires and turrets from a 25-meter-high vantage point.
- 55 Reasons To Visit Sweden – Daily Scandinavian
- Sweden Travel Guide: Tour the 10 Most Beautiful Places in Sweden (thecoolist.com)
- Swedish architecture – sweden.se
- You Really Want to Know Why You Should Visit Sweden? (travelthroughlife.net)
- Discover the gems of Swedish architecture from the outside | Visit Sweden