Sweden Travel Guide
Most visitors to Sweden must decide how to divide their time between its cities—shopping, drinking, and eating—and exploring the country's vast wilderness, from summer days in the sun-kissed Stockholm Archipelago in the south to the land of the Lapps and reindeer in the north. Here are some stops to consider in planning your Sweden itinerary:
Cruise Stockholm's canals. One of many cities that refers to itself as the "Venice of the North," Stockholm is built on 14 islands and is crisscrossed by canals. Many operators offer canals tours, giving you a unique perspective on the capital's monuments.
Visit the Vasamuseet. The centerpiece of this museum is the Vasa, a 17th-century warship that sank near Stockholm and was recovered in the 1950s. Other exhibits cover Sweden's nautical heritage.
Get lost in Stockholm's old town. Known in Swedish as Gamla stan, the historic heart of Stockholm is an evocative maze of medieval streets.
Explore the nightlife of Malmö. Almost one in ten residents of Malmö is a student at the university, and the city's nightlife scene is always buzzing, from happy hour bars to after-hours clubs.
Don't leave Stockholm without indulging in a real Swedish massage. At Sturebadet, masseurs knead out knots in treatment rooms surrounding a 1902 Art Nouveau pool.
The market transforms an anonymous corner of the hip Södermalm neighborhood into a bustling weekend fair, filled with vendors selling everything from antique embroidered linens to exquisite wooden dolls by Swedish toymaker Fredrik Hillerborg.
The spare storefront and neon sign on Sveavagen don't hint at the gifts and pieces of art to be found in the Society for Swedish Handicrafts (Svensk Hemslojd).
A meal among the city’s elite in Café Opera a gilded and frescoed salon with a rich, seafood-heavy menu, is a must. Then head through to the Opera House to catch a performance.
Karl Lagerfeld was so smitten with the duo's jewelry that he snatched up 11 designs for one of his recent collections. Their first store opened last December, where standouts include 18-karat-gold chicken-bone necklaces and gold-plated cuffs with circular cutouts.
An entire island is given over to this peaceful park, full of shaded walkways and encircled by paths that run along Baltic shores. Within its canopy of trees lie a zoo, theater, several museums (natural history, Nordic art), and restaurants with outdoor tables.
If you're lucky, you can catch a classical music concert at Stockholm's central cathedral. Take a seat on a wooden pew and enjoy the dusky evening light as it filters through the leaded glass windows and shimmers off the golden angels on the high brick ceiling. Divine.
The iconic Swedish designer Carl Malmsten opened his shop in 1940 and promoted rustic, simple furniture of quality craftsmanship and materials.
Check out the Swedish royal family’s Tullgarn palace, famous for its Rococo interiors and English gardens.
Echoing the scene outside, the interior is snow-white and theatrically lit.
A shrine to the whimsical patterned fabrics of the late Josef Frank, who became the store's designer in 1934. Choose from 45 of his vibrant animal, avian, or floral prints, and create a lampshade, sofa, or bag (the store will custom-make and ship your items home).
The Vasamuseet, located on Djurgarden, is the most popular museum in Sweden. It houses the Vasa, the oldest known completed ship, built in 1628 during the reign of King Gustavus Adolphus II.
The UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as Woodland Cemetery, is one of Stockholm's most surprising architectural landmarks. Its rolling pine forest landscape holds memorials designed by two of Sweden's most important Modernists, Sigurd Lewerentz and Gunnar Asplund.
Acne (Ambition to Create Novel Expression) began when Jonny Johansson gifted friends and relatives with 100 pairs of raw denim, red-stitched jeans. The fashion company then grew to 21 stores (called studios) worldwide, with the flagship studio on Norrmalmstorg and another in Gamla Stan.
Why It’s Cool: Frank Lloyd Wright used some guesswork to make sure Fallingwater didn’t fall; today, computers do the heavy lifting.