The relaxed atmosphere and unspoiled nature make Sweden a joy to explore at any time of the year. Cosmopolitan cities stand side-by-side with extensive forests, vast lakes, a long and varied coastline and mountain ranges.
Stockholm, the capital, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it is easy to see why. Famed as the ‘Venice of the north’, the city is spread over 14 connected islands and is brimming with waterways, open parkland and a rich and varied history. Surrounding Stockholm is an archipelago of 30,000 islands and a lush countryside of open fields, rolling hills, pine forests, vast lakes and manor houses.
Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city stands on the western coastline of the country and is the number one seaport in Scandinavia. It is a bustling, university city and an excellent choice for a city break with wonderful shopping, cultural and culinary opportunities on offer. North of Gothenburg a varied landscape of open fields, forests, beautiful lakes and a long archipelago of 10,000 islands is waiting to be explored.
The southernmost county of Sweden, Skåne, offers the best of both worlds for visitors. The ancient city centre of Malmö – Sweden’s third city – is teeming with sights and attractions to suit those seeking culture and vitality, whereas the surrounding countryside and sandy beaches offer a more serene ambiance.
There’s nothing like summer in Sweden. The days are long and pleasant and, with the midnight sun illuminating the sky, they feel almost never-ending. Outdoor living is embraced: take an evening cycle or a dip in a sun-warmed lake, unwind on a cruise or join in with the midsummer celebrations.
The islands of Gotland and Öland, off the east coast, have a vibrant summer scene attracting visitors and Swedes to their shores. Here history - the walled city of Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Gotland), medieval fortresses and the largest castle ruin in northern Europe (Öland) - is combined with unspoiled nature.
As winter approaches the Swedish countryside transforms into an idyllic winter scene. The towns and cities twinkle with candlelight and there are numerous festive, markets and concerts to enjoy.
The north of the country – Kiruna and Luleå, at this time of year, offers visitors a majestic, snow-covered landscape as well as an extensive selection of winter activities. Home to the Lapps or Sámi, Scandinavia’s oldest indigenous people, this area is steeped in local tradition and history. It is also one of the few places on earth where you can see the magnificent Northern Lights.