Sweden is a big country and everyone seems to know only Stockholm and maybe Malmö. But there are a lot more cities in Sweden to visit. We did a road trip around Sweden and even though we didn’t visit any national parks, we still the cities in Sweden were one of the best ones that I have ever visited. There is a lot of history and culture but at the same time, you have an opportunity to see a lot of nature in the middle of the city as well.
7 best cities in Sweden to visit
There is certainly a lot of places in Sweden to visit. In general, when it comes to Sweden, people tend to think more about nature. And they are right. Sweden has quite extraordinary nature. But Sweden also has a lot of cities that are quite interesting and certainly one of the best one’s cities to visit whether you are a solo traveler, couple, or even family on vacation. The cities that I’m posting here are full of both old architecture and castles but also something new and modern.
Göteborg is the second biggest city in Sweden. It is also a city that seems to be very different from Stockholm. Stockholm is filled with history and it is a typical Scandinavian city. Well, Göteborg looks very new, filled with new buildings, old and historical center it is more similar to Copenhagen rather than the Swedish capital. You will find there some older buildings as well, but it is the new ones that kind of sparkle in your eye.
Attractions in Göteborg
What to do there? Göteborg is one of the cities that is great to visit as a family. The city is very much ready for family travel. There is an amusement park Liseberg, that is open every day. There you may experience a lot of fun on roller coasters and other attractions.
You can always visit Göteborgs archipelago with typical Nordic style buildings there is also a possibility to go kayaking in the archipelago if you are very outdoorsy.
If you are a bit nerdy like me, there is a science museum – Universum with a rain forest inside. The museum is very interactive and you get to see there all different kinds of workshops. Not to finish with the museums, there is also a Volvo museum, interactive and pretty good for both children and car lovers.
Another recommended activity – for example, what we did on our trip, is to walk around the harbor, see the architecture and feel the vibes of the city. But if you want to go for something very original, go for a boat trip around Göteborgs canals. It is with a guide that will tell you all about the buildings around. You can visit all the local attractions if you buy a Göteborg city card, you can save up to 1000 Swedish krona. However, it pays off only if you are going to stay here for 3 days.
Practical info about Göteborg
Göteborg is an interesting place to visit, but more like spend a weekend there, rather than take a week vacation to be there.
There are a couple of ways how to get here. Among others, Göteborg has its airport. Just a small one with not too many flights, but, if you prefer air traffic, it can be certainly arranged.
Otherwise, there is also a train station right in the heart of the city. It would be great to try, especially if you are planning to travel around Sweden.
Malmö is the capital of the Skane region or county if you will. It is very famous for being a part of the series called The Bridge – a crime series about crimes between Copenhagen and Malmö. I recommend you to watch it. Otherwise, it is also a popular place to go for a day trip from Copenhagen.
Except for this, Malmö has the tallest building in whole Sweden and possibly in Scandinavia as well. It is called The turning torso and it is modeled as a body that is turning around. Quite interesting. However, unfortunately, you cannot go inside, because people are living in the building, so observing it is possible only from the sidewalk.
There is also a great view of the bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen, which is interesting especially when you want to watch sundown there. There are a couple of great views around the sea, that you can visit to see the bridge between those two nations. You can see it even in the park around.
Another activity to do is to visit a museum of disgusting food – you got to see 80 meals that are considered disgusting in some cultures around the world. Moreover, you can also taste some. Good luck with that. But if you are interested in normal and very good food, there is a lot of good restaurants in Malmö, so check them out.
I also recommend to visit a castle, that is here, it is in the middle of the parks and they have interesting exhibitions. It was built in the 16th century and it was actually built by Danes as this used to be part of their country as well.
Practical info about Malmö
Malmö is worth visiting even just for one day. You can get here by taking the train either from Copenhagen or even from Stockholm. But keep in mind that from Copenhagen it is just 20 minutes, from Stockholm it is more about 3 hours on the train. Besides from Copenhagen site, you would get to try the famous Oresund bridge.
You can also consider flying to Malmö because they have their little airport with actually a lot of flies outside of the country.
And here is my favorite. Jönkopping is a very small city, that might look like it doesn’t have anything to offer. It is in the middle of the country with a big lake around and a lot of forests.
However, there is a university here and quite a nice architecture. The center of the city is a small but rather charming mix of both old and new architecture. It might seem a little bit odd but it is rather tasteful and certainly great for walk around.
But more importantly, Jönkopping would be a great place for hiking around the lake. Any activity with the lake could be awesome, even in the fall, we saw people there to do fishing, during the summer you can be bathing in it.
Practical info about Jönkopping
The best way of how to get to Jönkopping would be possibly by train. You would need to change once, whether you will be traveling from Stockholm or Göteborg. But either way, the trains there are quite nice.
Jönkopping is great all year around. In the winter, you might see a frozen lake, or there are also blooming trees in the spring, the possibility of swimming in the lake during the summer. In autumn, you can see how all the colors are changing, so it is magical at any time of the year.
This historic town in the south of Sweden, not too far away from Malmö. It has a big university campus, that dates back to the 17th century. You might not be able to go in, however, if you just walk around for a little bit, you will get to see the oldest university in northern Europe.
Similar to that spirit, Lund has also a very historic cathedral. That is even older than the campus. It was founded back in 1080 and it works up till now. You can still visit it either on the calm hours when nothing is happening or at the time of messes. Alternatively, sometimes there are concerts in there.
If you are seeking for more history, there is a museum called Kulturen. The whole museum is dedicated to the history of south Sweden and the region of Skane. You will get to see how people were living here over centuries. It is similar to Skansen in Stockholm but it is specialized in southern Sweden that belongs to Danes for a very long time and because of it, it is a little bit different.
Practical info about Lund
Lund isn’t big but it is great for a day visit. The easiest way to get to Lund is actually by train. Lund isn’t too far away from Malmö, so you can get here very easily. It is also only about 40 minutes from Copenhagen or 2,5 hours from Stockholm.
Uppsala is another university town in Sweden. It is north of Stockholm and it is a little bit off the beaten path in Sweden. However, the city has still a lot to offer. And when I say a lot I mean not one but even two castles and a historic cathedral. Yey!
And let’s start with the cathedral. The Uppsala Cathedral is very close to the university in the city, so you will have a chance to see both the church and the campus. The building was founded in 1272 but continue to grow over the centuries. It was finished just in 1893. So it has all kinds of historical glance from several centuries.
Moving on to the second attraction in Uppsala that you shouldn’t miss, which would be the local castle. It is a renaissance building founded in the 16th century. It is a place, where you do have a chance to learn more about the history of the city but about the whole country as well. The other castle is Skokloster and it is a bit younger than the first one, with a lot of baroque architecture elements in them. This castle might be a little bit more out of the city, but either way, if you have a whole day in Uppsala, you should be able to visit all these three attractions.
Practical info about Uppsala
The city of Uppsala is the only couple of kilometers away from Stockholm. And you can get there comfortably either by train or by bus from the heart of Stockholm. Alternatively, if you want to go to Uppsala just after you land, there may be shuttles that are going straight from the airport to the city.
I would recommend spending just one day in Uppsala. It is not that big city after all. It is also one of the places that are easy to visit at any time of the year.
Unlike other cities I talked about, Kiruna is a city in the north in the heart of the Swedish part of Lapland. Most of the people would come here to see nature in the winter, enjoy the national parks around and perhaps try some things that Lapland has to offer like a reindeer farm experience or husky safari. All of it is great.
But some other things shouldn’t be overlooked in Kiruna. One of them would be the local wooden gothic church. It has a very unique architecture and it is all built just out of wood.
Kiruna is great especially if you come here in the winter. You would get to do all the winter activities that I have already mentioned, but also if you are a sports lover, you can come here to ski or hike in the mountains.
Most of the people would come to Kiruna in the winter for winter activities and local paradise. If you do that, you should come here for at least 3 days to be able to see all of it.
The easiest way to get to Kiruna would be actually by plane. There is a lot of local planes that you can catch all around Sweden. You can also get here by train but it would be a long way to go.
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the city of Kalmar is one of the places with a very rich history. Especially here you can visit Kalmar castle, which looks like it is from a fairy tale. The castle is in renaissance style and it was built in the 16th century. It is built right on side of the baltic sea and the view is very magnificent from here.
Similarly to the castle, there is also in the cathedral in the heart of the city. Also in the renaissance style. Both of the buildings are quite fun to visit. But enough of old buildings. This town is a direct neighbor to the baltic sea and it is surrounded by nature. There is a lot of beaches, nature parks but also small museums that are also quite interesting but not something that you cannot leave without. The city is mainly great to visit because of the castle that is certainly a dominant of the city.
Practical info about Kalmar
Kalmar is named after the union between nordic countries that fell apart in the 16th century. That is why is the city so known for its history.
One day in the city is certainly worth it. Perhaps it can be taken as a day trip from Malmö or Copenhagen. You can get here but you will most likely have to change the train in Karlskrona. Otherwise, there should be buses to the town.
The city is better to visit in the summer, where you can enjoy some sunshine and the castle won’t be as cold as it could be in the winter.
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