15 reasons why you should travel to Sweden right now
This is a country most will recognize for IKEA and Abba, but travel to Sweden, and you will discover a very charming world that is way beyond that. It is not a flashy destination, but its beauty reaches visitors in a very deep and meaningful way. Similar to many other northern nations, also the Swedes are rather reserved, but it comes with more profound interactions and connections. With that said, I guess the best time to travel to Sweden is whenever you are ready to look beyond the weather conditions and instantaneous pleasantries. And especially if your time in Sweden falls in the winter months, then be ready for experiences to bring you inwards mentally - these are months for reflections, after all!
How to travel to Sweden?
The country is well connected; therefore, you can choose the means of travel you like best. A ship from across the pond (read - the Baltic Sea) will bring you from the Baltic states or Helsinki, but you can also travel by train or bus from any Western European city. Sweden is connected to Denmark with the famous Oresund Bridge, and therefore has a direct connection to the rest of Europe. And if you are not eager to spend too much time thinking about how to travel to Sweden, just grab a flight from any European capital!
When is the best time to travel to Sweden?
If you get cold easily, then it is definitely summertime - July and August. If you are keen on experiencing the winter wonderland, then January and February will be your moment. If none of that is really important, try planning your trip around some event. For example, the very liked and widely celebrated Midsummer night is something you should definitely experience at least once in your life, and it happens every year at the end of June.
Where to travel in Sweden?
It really depends on your interests, your cold tolerance, and the time you are visiting. Generally, people would travel to Stockholm, to Lapland, and to the islands. An interesting destination could be northern Sweden - beyond the Arctic Circle. But this article will give you a few ideas more, so keep reading further!
1. The winter is coming
Some might say that this is exactly the reason to avoid visiting a particular place because you know...it gets cold! But it also comes with some particular vibes you could only catch in such conditions. Imagine - it is cold outside, probably also dark. You turn on some cosy music, light candles, make a cup of cocoa and sit under a fluffy blanket reading an enticing book or just enjoying time with your special person. And fully enjoy the warmth and the Sweden lifestyle that allows you to slow down...And in Sweden, there will be plenty of this season very soon!
2. The outdoors is great!
Nowadays, with the Corona restrictions, it might be a tat worrisome to spend time in tight indoor spaces. And this is the time where the vast lands of Sweden come in place - you can hike and bike and do whatever you like in the beautiful forests, mountains, and tundras of this country. On this topic, you should definitely read more about the Allemansratten - the universal Swedish law that gives everyone the freedom to roam. If you are a nature person, this will be very interesting for you!
3. Cheaper travels to North Europe
It is not a secret that the Corona crisis has hit the tourism industry especially hard, dropping the prices for all services in the industry. And whenever you feel safe to travel again, you should use the opportunity to visit countries that would normally be a lot more expensive, but now with the lack of inbound tourism, travelling has become way more affordable. That surely applies to Sweden too!
Sauna is usually associated with Finland, but there is a strong tradition for that in Sweden too! Locals will probably say that you can do it any season, but in my opinion, there is an added value to the moment when you get to warm up your bones after a day in chilling weather outdoors. Ready to sweat it out?
It is one of the most common Swedish traditions and involves leisurely sipping of coffee and snacking on some sweets along with a pleasant socializing with friends. And sometimes even several times a day!
6. Season of harvest
If you are a foodie, this is the best time to travel to Sweden. Just because you understand the golden value of fresh and ripe produce! In Sweden, the richest season comes right after the summer, and if you travel there right now, you will get the best bits of the best. And if the weather allows - use the chance to forage for mushrooms and berries in the forest. A real treat!
7. The Stockholm Archipelago
Remember, I told you about the ways how to travel to Sweden? There is one way that will have a benefit over the others. Travelling by sea, you will have the chance to admire the stunning Stockholm Archipelago! Arriving in Stockholm with a (cruise) ship, you will pass hundreds of beautiful tiny islands topped with small wooden houses. And why should you go there right now? To be honest, this is one of the things I have always loved witnessing. To add another layer of awesome, try island hopping!
8. Less popular destination
In the current situation when many people gathering is not necessarily the best thing, opt for less popular destinations to ensure your safety! And going to Sweden off-season will mean exactly that - lots of physical space for yourself only. And the good news is - it will be perfect also for the introverts!
9. Swedish meatballs...
...are not the only thing you should try there! This staple brought to the attention of the whole world by IKEA isn’t really the best representative of Sweden cuisine. Rather think along the lines of berries, lots of herring and salmon, lots of fresh herbs, and in winter - a myriad of preserved goods. And it doesn’t really need an explanation; why am I mentioning this here. Great food is always a good reason!
10. Fall markets
In ancient times exchanging the produce among farmers during the harvest season was something that didn’t need much explaining. And nowadays it has become a fun activity for locals and tourists. Every autumn, open-air locations like Skansen Zoo organize markets where local farmers and craftsmen can offer their makings. But for you, it will mean two things - yummy for your tummy and the ability to observe the traditional crafts.
11. Stockholms Stadsbibliotek
A question of when is the best time to travel to Sweden (weather-wise) doesn’t seem to weigh as much if you consider indoor activities as your main focus. Besides visiting the magnificent museums, definitely go and admire all the shelves with books in the spectacular Stockholms Stadsbibliotek! Find some quiet corner, enjoy the view, and warm yourself up after the cold outdoors!
12. Giant cinnamon buns
They come in the size of an adult person’s head and are incredibly delicious. I think this does not require any more comments. Stuff yourself with warm cinnamon deliciousness to balance the cold outside!
13. Christmas shopping
Do an early and inexpensive Christmas shopping. Not only tons of great deals in shops you already love (like the H&M, which is also Swedish), but also the very typical candy shops to buy all the best treats for your dearest sweet lovers.
14. Fishing time
The weather cooling off might be great news for you if you are a fishing enthusiast. Particular types of fish, like pike, especially enjoy the bad weather - cool winds and cloudy skies. Even though it is possible to fish any time of the year, autumn is the moment when you will be able to catch those large pikes (or other similar fish) quite easily. And if you are not into this type of activity, it just means a great catch on your plate, in a restaurant!
15. Northern Lights
Your list of where to travel in Sweden should undoubtedly consist of at least one location in the very far North. For example, in and around Kiruna, one can see the beauty of Aurora or the Northern Lights from September to March. Additionally, if you travel overland - you will get to see all the varying landscapes because the country has a very big difference in latitudes from South to North. I tell you - unforgettable!
I hope now you see what I was talking about at the beginning of this article. A well of deep, rich, and way more profound experiences await if you decide to travel to Sweden. And whatever you decide to do or see, I guess there are just two rules you should keep in mind. Go there with an open heart and remember that the time in Sweden will be enjoyed the best with the right pair of boots and gloves!
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.