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Things to do in Sweden

Things to do in  Sweden

Welcome to Sweden

Travelers to the Scandinavian country of Sweden could be forgiven for arriving in Stockholm and never wanting to leave, but there's much to explore beyond the chic, history-drenched capital city made up of 14 islands. Sure, Stockholm is a blockbuster: sleek, modern, with plenty of Scandinavian design, oodles of cultural attractions, an impressive palace on the waterfront, and the medieval Gamla Stan—start with a walking, bike, or bus tour to get your bearings. But it's easy to get out in the Stockholm archipelago from there and it's worth the trip. The string of more than 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks is ripe for exploring, and its contents range from tourist-centric towns to uninhabited, unnamed rocks emerging from the sea. Gothenburg is Sweden's second city and is home to highlights such as Lilla Bommen, the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, Feskekörka fish market, and Liseberg amusement park, which are accessible by hop-on hop-off bus and boat tours. Moving north into central and northern Sweden uncovers a forested, farmed landscape that's sparsely populated. Swedes take full advantage of this terrain, regularly engaging in active pursuits such as cycling, fishing, boating, skiing, and foraging for the natural bounty that is the foundation of sophisticated Scandinavian farm-to-table cuisine.

Top 10 attractions in Sweden

#1
Öresund Bridge

Öresund Bridge

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Opened in 2000 and made famous by the popular TV showThe Bridge, the 5-mile (8-kilometer) Øresund Bridge dominates the Øresund Strait—the stretch of water separating Denmark and Sweden. The total length of the road and rail link is 10 miles (16 kilometers), which allows you to travel between the two countries in just 10 minutes.More
#2
Haga

Haga

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Once run-down and on the verge of demolition, Gothenburg’s oldest district underwent a much-needed facelift in the 1980s and today, the historic quarter is one of the city’s liveliest and most fashionable neighborhoods. With its cobblestone lanes and distinctive 19th-century artisan buildings, Haga oozes character and the largely pedestrianized district is crammed with vintage clothing boutiques, independent designers and quirky antique shops.Join the city’s creative types for a stroll around Haga and once you’ve finished browsing the shops and admiring the unique architecture, stop by the legendary Café Husaren, famous for its giant cinnamon rolls – a Swedish specialty – or relax at the stylish Hagabadet Spa. Another popular pastime is climbing the nearby Risåsberget hill, where the 17th-century Skansen Kronan fortress offers stunning views over Haga below.More
#3
Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet)

Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet)

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Built to house the wreckage of the mightyVasa warship, Stockholm’s Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet) is now one of Scandinavia's most-visited attractions, drawing over one million annual visitors. Part of Sweden’s National Maritime Museums system, the Vasa Museum is located on the island of Djurgarden and remains the only place in the world where visitors can see a fully intact 17th-century ship.More
#4
Feskekorka Market

Feskekorka Market

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With a history dating back to 1874, the Feskekôrka is Gothenburg’s oldest market hall, Scandinavia’s largest fish market and the much-celebrated focal point of the city’s legendary fishing industry. Owing its peculiar name (literally: the ‘Fish Church’) to its church-like appearance, the Feskekôrka’s unique surroundings only add to its charm and a stroll around the lively marketplace is a popular pastime for tourists.Today the busy market remains largely unchanged from its 20th-century heyday, with elaborate displays of fresh, seasonal produce and a steady stream of top chefs, local families and visiting foodies haggling over the morning’s catch. From fresh-off-the-boat cod and halibut, to live spider crabs and lobsters, seafood lovers will find everything they need here, but even if you’re only browsing, head to one of the food stalls or restaurants, where you can sample local delicacies like pickled herring, smoked salmon or seafood smörgås (open sandwiches).More
#5
Uppsala Castle (Uppsala Slott)

Uppsala Castle (Uppsala Slott)

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Uppsala is one of Sweden’s most historic cities; squatting on the banks of the River Fyris, it sophisticated, leafy and dominated by its landmark castle, cathedral and university. The royal castle overlooks the town from its perch at Kasåsen and began life in 1549 at the behest of King Gustav Vasa, who built his fortified home in neat, symmetrical Renaissance style. Over the centuries, it has seen its share of ceremony, intrigue and violence, from coronations to political assassinations and abdications. The shocking murder of three members of the Sture family by the despotic and schizophrenic King Erik XIV took place here in 1567 and their tattered doublets and breeches are on show in Uppsala Cathedral.The castle was virtually burnt down in 1702 – and much of its fragmented remains plundered to build the Royal Palace in Stockholm – but was subsequently reconstructed in 1740 with its dusty pink façades punctuated by towers on each wing. Today it has a distinctly more peaceful role as the home of three museums: Uppsala Art Museum, where funky modern ceramics from Uppsala Ekeby pottery are displayed along with contemporary Swedish artwork; the Fredens Hus (House of Peace), which highlights social and political conflicts and attempts to resolve them; and the fascinating Vasaborgen in the ruined bastions of the original castle, where the dark deeds of past Swedish monarchs are recounted in graphic detail.More
#6
Abisko National Park

Abisko National Park

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Located on the North Calotte Trail in Sweden’s Lapland, Abisko National Park covers 77 square km (30 square miles) of sparkling fjords, stumpy mountains, birch forest, cave complexes carved into the rock, and spectacular waterfalls crashing through canyons. Elk and reindeer populate the landscape and the 440-km (275-mile) national hiking and Nordic skiing route of Kungsleden (King’s Trail) starts within the park.During the endless days of summer, Abisko is a paradise for hikers and cyclists, carpeted with rare orchids and Alpine flowers; in winter there’s a permanent mantle of snow and the chance to ski or try out dog sledding and ice fishing adventures at the STF Abisko Mountain Station, which is 250 km (156.25 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. High above sea level on Mount Nuolja, the Aurora Sky Station is considered the best place in the world to view the elusive Northern Lights, thanks to the clarity of the air and lack of light pollution. The awesome cable-car journey up to the Sky Station provides amazing views over the wild landscape of the national park. Visit between June and mid-July to witness the midnight sun and from November through March to catch the Northern Lights.More
#7
Uppsala Cathedral (Uppsala Domkyrka)

Uppsala Cathedral (Uppsala Domkyrka)

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The laid-back and charismatic university city of Uppsala is bisected by the River Fyris and dominated by its landmark castle and cathedral. The latter began life in 1270 to house the reliquary of King Eric IX, who spread Christianity through Sweden and is the patron saint of the country. Constructed in austere red brick and today much renovated, the cathedral is Gothic in style and has two spiky spires that stand 120 m (394 ft) above the city’s rooftops. Its vaulted interior is delicately ornamented with biblical scenes and illuminated through slender stained-glass windows; the side chapels contain the relics of Eric IX in a gold-plated coffin as well as the marble tombs of several Swedish monarchs, including King Gustav Vasa, who commissioned the building of Uppsala Castle in 1549. The botanist Carl Linnaeus, who lived in Uppsala in the 18th century and introduced a classification system for plants that is still in use today, is also buried in the cathedral.A small treasury museum in the northwest spire exhibits royal funeral crowns and a collection of medieval Far and Middle Eastern textiles. However, pride of place in the museum goes to the tattered doublets and breeches belonging to three members of the Sture family who were murdered at Uppsala Castle in 1567 by the schizophrenic King Erik XIV. Close inspection of the surrounding burial ground reveals Viking runes carved on several gravestones.More
#8
Stockholm Old Town (Gamla Stan)

Stockholm Old Town (Gamla Stan)

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With its tangle of cobblestone streets, brightly painted buildings, and bustling squares, Stockholm Old Town (Gamla Stan) is one of Stockholm’s most photogenic districts. The historic center also boats the city’s oldest quarter, dating back to 1252, and home to some remarkably preserved medieval monuments.More
#9
Turning Torso

Turning Torso

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Dominating the city’s skyline, Malmö’s 623-foot (190-meter) Turning Torso is the tallest building in Scandinavia. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the structure comprises nine 5-story pentagons, and features a top segment that twists 90 degrees from the building’s base.More
#10
Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset)

Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset)

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Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset) looms over the Kungsholmen waterfront and is one of the capital’s most impressive landmarks, with a redbrick façade and 328-foot (100-meter) tower topped with the Three Crowns of Sweden. Dating back to 1923, the hall contains elaborate ceremonial chambers which are open to visitors via guided tours.More

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