Beautiful cities where everything works like clockwork, countryside that has remained untouched for thousands of years and some of the most laid back and friendly people in Europe. Welcome to Sweden.
When you think of Sweden the first things that pop into your mind are probably Volvos, IKEA and Abba – age-old clichés, right? What you really should be thinking of are stunning lakeside vistas, never-ending forests, summers of eternal sunshine and sophisticated cities that lead the world in terms of quality of life. So, whether you’re after a romantic city break, looking to take the kids somewhere different for a summer holiday, or want to experience some of Europe’s most unspoilt countryside, have no doubt that Sweden will tick all your boxes.
Sweden’s modern and sophisticated cities make for great weekend breaks. Its vibrant capital Stockholm is spread across 14 islands and is one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world, while Gothenburg, Sweden’s biggest port, is famous for its fabulous cuisine and eclectic nightlife. And both have their very own archipelagos just waiting offshore to be explored – now how many cities can offer visitors that? Get off the beaten track and you’ll discover another side of the country. One full of lakeside resorts like Östersund, perfectly preserved medieval towns such as Visby, and hotels made completely of ice – yes we said ice!
Summers in Sweden are surprisingly warm and involve hopping around the country’s many islands, relaxing in log cabins deep in the wooded countryside or getting to grips with the many music festivals across the country. And winters? Well this is Sweden, so expect more than 200 different ski resorts to choose from, Christmas markets galore, and to the north, the spectacular Northern Lights. And no matter whether you come in the height of summer or the depths of winter, you’ll find plenty of resorts offering up a whole host of activities from dog-sledding and white water rafting to hiking and mountaineering. In short, Sweden is a country where you’ll find plenty to do no matter what time of the year you visit.
Despite what you might think, Sweden’s weather is actually rather mild, thanks to the Gulf Stream. Although things in the northern part of the country can get a little on the cold side, in the south, summers last from late May through to September and see maximum temperatures in the low 20s. Add to this days lasting up to 17 hours and you have plenty of time to see all the sights. Winters can get chilly and you’ll normally get a dusting of snow, but this along with the Christmas markets add to the country’s festive feel.