Best Places to Visit in Sweden – Should You Visit Stockholm or Gothenburg First?

Best places to visit in Sweden

Sweden is one of the largest countries in Europe. Much of it is covered by forests and you will also find multiple impressive lakes – so Sweden is rich in nature. There are many great places to visit, and cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg rank among the most popular.

If you’re curious about where to go in Sweden, browse our suggestions here. We are sharing a list of the best places to visit in Sweden.


Gothenburg is located on the west coast of Sweden. It is the second-largest city in the country and the fifth-largest in all of Scandinavia. While not as historic as Stockholm or Uppsala (Gothenburg wasn’t founded until the 17th century), it makes up for it in natural beauty, modern culture, and several yearly world-famous events.

In Swedish, Gothenburg has a different name – Göteborg. The name is often abbreviated to Gbg in text. It has decent weather; summers are very nice in Gothenburg. The city center is beautiful and modern, and Gothenburg also sports some nice green areas.

The Gothenburg Landvetter Airport allows you to easily fly in and out of the city. However, Gothenburg is also well-connected to other Swedish cities by rail. Due to its large port, you can also sail to Denmark in a matter of just a few hours. There are also regular ferry departures to Norway, and Gothenburg has always been a popular destination for cruise ships.


There’s no doubt that Stockholm is an interesting city. Not only is it the largest in Sweden, but actually in all of Scandinavia.

You can basically find anything in Stockholm. Museums, great restaurants, a fascinating nightlife, cultural events, classic attractions, and everything else you could possibly be interested in as a tourist.

The weather in Stockholm is bad for most of the year, but due to the fact that it has so much culture, it’s a city you can’t miss when you visit Sweden. The capital certainly lives up to its nice reputation.


Uppsala is mostly known as a university, but it is bigger than you would expect: With 168,000 inhabitants, it is actually one of the largest cities in Sweden. Furthermore, it is located close to Stockholm, so you can easily visit both cities on the same trip. Many Stockholm tourists take a day-trip to Uppsala – something we highly recommend as well.

In Uppsala, you can see Scandinavia’s largest cathedral. The city has historically been known as the religious center of Sweden. The archbishop of the Church of Sweden still has the official seat in Uppsala. It is a beautiful city, especially when taking a walk at night.


Situated on the western coast right between Gothenburg and Malmö, there is no doubt that Halmstad also ranks as one of the best destinations in Sweden.

This city has impressive pieces of architecture (check out the castle) as well as magnificent art (pay attention to the many statues spread across the city, plus the museums). Despite the fact that Halmstad is only home to about 70,000 inhabitants, it has a significant amount of culture to experience. Thanks to the long coastline near the city, Halmstad gets a lot of visitors in the summer. It is one of the top summer resorts for Scandinavians. Near Halmstad there are also impressive forests, lakes and sports facilities. Many great golf courses are located near the city.

Read this article if you are going: Where to Stay in Halmstad, Sweden


Skåne is the southern region in Sweden. It has close ties with Denmark, and it generally has the best weather in Sweden.

The main city in Skåne is Malmö, and while we could easily just recommend this city rather than the region, it feels more correct to recommend the entire region. In fact, you will probably find some of the smaller towns more interesting than Malmö, since they are closer to the idyllic Sweden that you might have been imagining. The old university city Lund is a fine example of an interesting place to visit near Malmö.

Another benefit of visiting Skåne is that you can very easily cross the bridge and visit Copenhagen in Denmark!


The island Gotland is another fine place to visit. Located in the Baltic Sea, it is Sweden’s largest island, and it is known for its great agriculture.

Gotland has nice beaches and it is generally best to go during the summer. Visby, Gotland’s largest town, is the location in Sweden with the most sunshine hours per year.

Many Swedes like to visit Gotland for bathing in the sea. Statistically, it is the fifth most popular destination in Sweden based on the number of nights booked in hotels and holiday apartments. The Swedes themselves usually travel to Gotland by ferry from the mainland. As a foreign traveler, you can either fly into Visby by plane (they have a small airport there), or you can copy the approach of the Swedes by staying on the mainland and taking a ferry into Gotland as you please. Many cruises stop in Gotland: If you do a journey on a Baltic cruise, there’s a good chance it will stop in Gotland.

Swedish Lapland

Not a city, but a whole region. Lapland is a large area in the far north of Sweden. It gets cold here, so you have to prepare for that. But it is an absolutely gorgeous area, perfect to explore if you are into natural sights.

You can see the northern lights here if you arrive during the winter season. That remains the highlight of the region. There won’t be any big cities to visit, so you’ll have to stick to small towns. But even in those, there are decent options for accommodation.


You may have heard of Kalmar already – namely because of the Kalmar Union. In 1397, a meeting took place in Kalmar, uniting Denmark, Sweden and Norway for a bit over a century. Sweden left it first, but Denmark and Norway stayed in a union until 1814.

Kalmar is absolutely worth visiting from a historical perspective. It is one of Sweden’s oldest towns. It is not particularly large, so you can easily visit it for a single day and then move on to a bigger city.

In the old part of Kalmar, you can see remains of the wall that once surrounded the town. Be sure to visit the castle and the many museums in Kalmar. Generally, you can expect to see a lot of nice architecture simply by walking around in the historical center!


Located on the island Björkö, Birka is one of the oldest settlements and it was an important place for trading goods during the Viking Age.

You can easily visit Birka if you are traveling to the capital Stockholm – it is located just about 30 kilometers away, and there are many tours headed there. It’s perfect for a day trip.


Sigtuna is a small but important town. It was founded over a thousand years ago, and it has a historic center which is popular among tourists. The old main street, the old church, and the runic stones are the highlights. There are many restaurants considering it is a small town – in other words, you can easily grab a bite of food when you get hungry. Most restaurants are traditional.

Since Sigtuna is located near Stockholm (and only 10 kilometers away from Stockholm Airport) so it is very easy to visit it. Like Birka, Sigtuna works well as a day trip.


Kosterhavet is a maritime national park. It attracts many visitors every year, both Swedes as well as foreigners.

It is located in the western part of the country and it is part of the Skagerrak Sea. The environment is quite unique since many different species are found in the area. If you are into bird watching, it’s the perfect place to go. Fishing is popular here, although only professional fishing because of many regulations.

You can visit Kosterhavet as a day trip from Gothenburg – the city we consider the best place to visit in Sweden. But due to close proximity with Norway, you can also visit Kosterhavet if you are staying in the south of Norway. And of course, a trip exclusively to Kosterhavet is also an option!

If you made it to the end of the article, we wish you a great trip to Sweden. Enjoy your journey and see if you can visit several places when you’re there. Let us know in the comment section if there are other places in Sweden you recommend other travelers to visit!

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