11 Must-See Landmarks in Sweden Recommended by Travelers

Are you planning a trip around Scandinavia and are looking for the best landmarks in Sweden? We’re here to whisk you away on a whimsical journey through the captivating sights of this delightful Nordic wonderland.

From charming towns that seem straight out of a fairytale to islands that will steal your heart with their untouched beauty, we’ve got you covered with our handpicked recommendations, courtesy of travel bloggers who know their way around.

So, grab your camera, put on your explorer’s hat, and let’s dive into the magic of Sweden, where each destination is a page waiting to be turned in your travel story!

Top Landmarks in Sweden

1.Vasa Museum in Stockholm

Vasa Museum Stockholm

Nestled in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden, the Vasa Museum stands tall as a testament to history’s grandeur. Its claim to fame? The awe-inspiring warship Vasa, which met a rather unfortunate fate on its maiden voyage in 1628, only to be rescued from the depths of the harbor 333 years later.

Stepping inside the museum feels like stepping back in time, yet you can’t help but be amazed by its remarkably preserved state. The exhibits paint a vivid picture of life onboard and the events leading up to its ill-fated journey.

The Vasa Museum is easily reachable by public transport in Stockholm. Guided tours, audio guides, and signs in different languages are provided in the museum and ensure you won’t miss a beat.

This was my most favourite museum from our whole Stockholm trip and I keep recommending it to anyone visiting. You can buy your entry tickets in advance from here (that’s how we did it) and get a guided tour for free on the spot. Read my article on everything you need to know about the Vasa Museum here.

2. Drottningholm Palace

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Photo by Oleh Holodyshyn on Unsplash

Located on an island near Stockholm, the 17th century UNESCO World Heritage site is the historic home of the Swedish Royal Family. These days it still plays that part, however, while there are private residences within the palace, much of the palace and grounds are open to the public. The palace is a perfect day trip from Stockholm with visits to the incredibly well preserved castle and gardens.

The palace was built with inspiration from French styles and in addition there is the Chinese pavilion and gardens to visit on the property of the palace. There are both self-guided and guided tours of the site. The guided tours do a great job explaining both the history of the site as well as the fascinating story of the royal family. The palace and gardens are a must visit for tourists to the site and the Chinese pavilion also is regularly open during the summer months.

Getting to the site is possible by car, bus, or boat. During the summer boat and bus service is more frequent, with boats departing regularly from the City Hall to Drottningholm. Tickets are required for entry to the palace and pavilion, and recommended to purchase online prior to arrival.

3. Gothenburg’s Archipelago 

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Gothenburg’s archipelago is a beautiful natural landmark in western Sweden that you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city.

There is both a northern and a southern archipelago with the southern one being more popular for day-trippers since it’s easy to get to. From the city center, take a tram out to Saltholmen and then ride the ferry from there to the islands.

Gothenburg’s archipelago is beautiful with a mix of larger, populated islands and smaller ones which may only have a few smaller fishing huts on or nothing at all!

On the larger islands, you’ll find cafes and restaurants and cycling and walking trails through forests or along beaches. One of the best ways to explore the archipelago is to go kayaking!

Several islands, including Donsö and Strysö, have companies which rent kayaks or you can pick up a kayak from Fiskehamn and kayak across to the islands.

The best time to go is during the summer, from May to August when the weather is best with long daylight hours and more sunshine.

4. Smögen

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Smogen Sweden Landmarks
Photo by Jesse De Backer on Unsplash

The tiny fishing village of Smögen is home to one of the most picturesque landmarks in Sweden. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, Smögen is renowned for its famous wooden boardwalk lined with colorful wooden houses. In fact, the colorful pier is perhaps one of the most recognizable places in west Sweden.

The village is a popular tourist destination in summer. Europeans flock to the small village for its relaxed and idyllic atmosphere which makes it a peaceful retreat for vacation-goers.

Visitors can stroll along the famous wooden boardwalk, take photos by the row of colorful houses, watch the fishing boats come in, and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at one of the restaurants in the village.

From Smögen, you can also explore the stunning archipelago along the country’s western coastline. Whether you want to explore the rugged coastline, indulging in fresh seafood delicacies, or simply soaking up the serene ambiance of this tiny village, Smögen’s beauty and tranquility is not only landmark worthy, but well worth visiting.

5. Turning Torso in Malmo

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Turning Torso Malmo Sweden

The Turning Torso is an iconic architectural masterpiece in Malmo, Sweden. Standing tall at a height of 190 meters (623 feet), it is the tallest building in Scandinavia and has become a symbol of modernity and innovation. Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Turning Torso is a striking structure that captivates visitors with its unique twisting form.

The building’s one-of-a-kind design, which features a 90-degree twist from the bottom to the top, is a stunning feat of engineering and design. Its distinctive twisting form adds not only aesthetic appeal but also structural stability.  It is located in Malmo’s Western Harbour district, overlooking the Resund Strait.

To get to the Turning Torso, you can take a bus from Malmo Central Station to Western Harbour, which is only a short walk away from the building. There is no entry fee to view the landmark from the outside and the interior is reserved for the residents. Group tours of the interior are available during the summer but you would have to check first.

Malmo’s Turning Torso is a captivating architectural gem that exemplifies the city’s modernity and innovation. Whether you’re a fan of architecture, or art, or simply want to take in the scenery, a trip to the Turning Torso must be included in your Scandinavia Itinerary.

6. Skansen, Stockholm

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Skansen Sweden Landmarks

The capital city of Stockholm is full of famous landmarks, but none of them are quite like Skansen. It’s the world’s oldest open-air museum and is the best place to visit in the city if you’re looking to appreciate the country’s culture.

Skansen is located on the island of Djurgården and the best way to get here is by ferry from Allmänna gränd. You can also catch the tram from T-Centralen or there’s a bus that runs from Odenplan.

For the best experience, you’ll want to spend at least 3-4 hours in Skansen. There is so much to do here, so it’s not a place you want to rush.

Some of the highlights of this open-air museum include Stockholm Zoo, Skansen Aquarium, and the Baltic Science Centre. Here, you can learn about Sweden’s native wildlife and the threats that face them.

You’ll also be able to appreciate the country’s history dating all the way back to 1720. Within Skansen, you’ll find a variety of miniature historic villages, farmsteads, and manor houses, so take your time walking through them.

As Skansen is such an iconic attraction, it can get pretty busy so try to visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds.

7. Uppsala Cathedral

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Photo by Oscar Ekholm Grahn on Unsplash

Uppsala Cathedral isn’t just the tallest church in all of Scandinavia – this stately monument is a postcard-perfect blend of history, architecture, and spiritual inspiration.

Snuggled in the heart of Uppsala, one of Sweden’s oldest cities, getting here is super easy. Direct trains from Stockholm Central will zip you there in under an hour and if you’re already in Uppsala, just follow the charming cobblestone streets and let them lead you to the cathedral, as it’s impossible to miss.

After all, this grand gothic masterpiece towers over the city with its twin spires, hinting at the treasures within. Once inside, the stunningly beautiful stained glass windows and the celestial ceiling will take your breath away.

From the tombs of Swedish monarchs to the relics of Saint Eric, Uppsala Cathedral is the VIP room of Sweden’s past. And make sure to pop into the Cathedral Museum too, it’s like a time machine – in a very cool, old-world-gothic-architecture kind of way!

The cathedral is open every day and guess what – it’s free! Though it’s a sight to behold at any time of year, visiting during the long, sunny days of summer will let you see the stained glass windows (and Uppsala in general) in all their glory.

8. Gothenburg and its western islands

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Hono, Sweden

The archipelago chain west of Gothenburg Sweden is a must visit to explore Sweden’s beauty.  Primarily the islands of Foto, Hono, Ockero, Halso, Skarvik, Kalvsund, Groto, Hyppeln and Roro.

The islands are easily accessible from Gothenburg, via a public ferry. Regular ferries operated by Västtrafik take you to the islands free of charge.

Foto is an island of tranquility. It has great swimming spots and is popular in the summer.  Similar to summer in places such as Poland, this location can get overrun with tourists, so it is best to plan ahead.

Hönö has picturesque fishing villages and rocky landscapes. The harbor, Hono Klava, has restaurants, bakeries, and unique shops selling local crafts and seafood. Eating at one of the harbor restaurants will showcase the island’s fresh catch.

Roro has been a nature reserve since 1987. It has rugged and rocky landscapes and an extraordinary array of flora and fauna.  You can easily reach this northernmost island by ferry and spend the entire day hiking the island’s shore.

Make sure to check current ferry schedules and museum opening hours before planning your trip to any of the islands.

9. Abisko

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Photo by Dylan Shaw on Unsplash

If you’re traveling to Sweden in hopes of seeing the northern lights, Abisko should be on your list. This small town is located above the Arctic Circle and is known as the “Blue Hole” where the specific weather patterns create more clear nights than anywhere else within the auroral oval. Thus, your chances of seeking the aurora borealis in Abisko is especially high.

Given its remote location, most people will reach Abisko by train, plane, or car. Although Abisko is far too small to have its own airport, you can fly into nearby Kiruna.

Once you’re in Abisko, you’ll want to stay for a few nights for the best chance at seeing the northern lights. During the day, you can cross country ski or snowshoe in Abisko National Park. If you’d like to try ice climbing, there are even some tours that leave from Abisko that provide all of the gear you’ll need.

The best place to stay in Abisko is at the government-run STF Abisko Turiststation. This little outpost offers modern hostel, hotel, and lodge accommodations within the national park. It’s also directly along the train line, so it’s accessible even without a car.

10. Jakkmokk

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Photo by Anna Kubiak on Unsplash

Jokkmokk in Sweden is a small town just north of the Polar Circle. It is often overlooked by visitors to Sweden, but it is definitely one of the country’s more interesting landmarks. Being in Swedish Lapland, the town is surrounded by spectacular nature, but is also a historical and cultural hub in the region.

Jokkmokk is located in the heart of the traditional lands of the indigenous Sami people. The town is known for its Sami heritage. It is the only city in Sweden that has higher education that teaches Sami language and subjects like reindeer husbandry and craft making. It is also home to a large museum that provides insights into the Sami culture.

Besides the famous museum about the Sami there are plenty of things to do in Jokkmokk. First of all, Travelers can experience the Arctic phenomena, such as the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. Secondly, the surrounding landscapes offer breathtaking natural beauty. The area is characterized by vast forests, pristine lakes, and rolling hills and provides outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, canoeing, and wildlife watching.

Jokkmokk is in the far north of Sweden. It is best to take the night train from Stockholm to Lulea and then continue your journey by bus to Jokkmokk. In summer you can take the scenic Inlandsbanan train from Ostersund to Gallivare that stops in Jokkmokk.

11. Göta Canal

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The Gota Canal is one of Sweden’s greatest engineering achievements and now, one of its most famous landmarks! Stretching 1,900 kilometers and connecting Lake Vattern and Lake Vanern in Sweden, it was opened for shipping in 1822 and fully completed in 1832. The canal was dug out entirely by hand over the course of 22 years by a workforce of 58,000 Swedish soldiers, and features 58 locks to regulate water levels.

For over a century, the canal served as Sweden’s primary transportation route until the rise of the trucking industry in the 1930s. However, the canal experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1970s as leisure boating gained popularity in Sweden, making it a popular tourist destination.

Today, visitors to the Gota Canal can witness boats being lifted and lowered through locks, you can cycle alongside the canal, or explore the towns along the way by renting a boat or joining a passenger cruise vessel. The best time of year to visit is definitely in the Summer months from June to August when you can really explore everything the canal has to offer along the way.

As our tour of Sweden’s incredible landmarks comes to an end, we hope you’ve been inspired to add this extraordinary country to your travel bucket list.

Whether you’re seeking the grandeur of historic sights, the tranquility of idyllic islands, or the charm of picturesque towns, Sweden has something to offer every traveler.

So, start planning your adventure and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime. Remember, Sweden is waiting to welcome you with open arms and a host of unforgettable experiences. Happy travels!


You may also enjoy:

3 Days in Stockholm Itinerary: Canals, Castles and Culture

6 Enchanting Day Trips From Stockholm, Sweden

All You Need to Know Before Visiting the Vasa Museum in Stockholm

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Lyubomira Doncheva
Lyubomira Doncheva

Lyubomira is the creator and author behind Bulgarian On The Go. With a background in journalism and experience in the field of tourism and marketing, her mission is to show travellers many beautiful places they might have never thought of visiting or even knew existed.

Find me on: Instagram

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