Stockholm definitely offers a ton of opportunities for things to see and do, though you'll be glad to know that there's more to Sweden than the beautiful city of Stockholm. Saying this, whether you’re visiting Sweden for 3 days or long week vacation, you definitely have to visit Stockholm’s three main sights before jetting somewhere else in Sweden!
The must see tourist attractions in Stockholm are the Vasa Museum, Skansen and The Old Town (Gamla Stan), which is the medieval quarter of Stockholm and home to Skeppsbron (Stockholm’s old wharf), the Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral.
The Vasa Museum is Sweden’s pride and joy maritime museum and it’s easily one of the most spectacular museums you’ll ever visit in Europe! The Vasa is essentially a remarkable reconstruction of an old war vessel that sank over 500 years ago...and, best of all, you’re allowed to set foot onboard!
Skansen is located just 10 minutes walk from the Vasa and it’s an open-air museum that recreates life in Sweden back in the 19th century. The site boasts a replica of a traditional Swedish village, which is complete with shops, windmills, food market, and farm where you can see typical Scandinavian wildlife like lynx, wolverine and reindeer.
Spend a thrilling day at Liseberg Park in Gothenburg
Liseberg is one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe and if you’re traveling to Sweden in summer or Christmas, you definitely want to visit Liseberg amusement park for the day.
Christmas time (Nov 15- Dec 23) is a particularly great time to be in Liseberg Park because of the beautiful Christmas lights displays and lovely decorations. Anytime is a good time to visit the Liseberg, though if you’re planning to spend a few days in Gothenburg be sure to check-in to a hotel such as the “Hotel Liseberg Heden” who offers free admission to the Liseberg when you stay with them.
Catch the sunset at the Western Harbor in Malmo
Western Harbor is an elegant district in Malmo that’s bursting with fashionable people and stylish cafes, bars and restaurants. Western Harbor is definitely one of the nicest places in southern Sweden where you can enjoy pleasant walks. You can take walks along the shoreline of Malmo and enjoy gorgeous views of the Sound and Oresund Bridge in the distance (this bridge connects Malmo with Copenhagen Denmark)
While you’re in Malmo, it’s also worth doing a sightseeing boat tour to explore the city since boat tours ride along Malmo’s beautiful canal, which runs through the old town of Malmo passing by Malmo Castle and the splendid harbor.
Enjoy a day in Karlskrona (Blekinge Archipelago)
Karlskrona is a great place to go in Sweden to enjoy canoeing , play a round of golf and visit its fantastic museums dedicated to boating such as the Blekinge Museum and the Marinmuseum.
The Naval Museum (Marinmuseum) is certainly the best of the two since it boasts various exhibits on model boats, sloops (19th century racing boats) and a real battleship (HMS Bremon) from the Second World War. Best thing of all, during the summer months you’re allowed to board the battleship and also set sail on one of these sloops from the museum.
By the way, if you’re a fan of rock and metal, you certainly won’t want to miss attending the biggest rock festival in the Nordic region - the Sweden Rock festival – which is held in Karlskrona between the 6th and 9th of June.
Explore the beaches of Southern Sweden
There’s no doubt that spending time at the beach is one of the most popular things to do in Sweden in summer. If you’re traveling to Sweden for a beach vacation, you’ll find that southern Sweden is the ideal place because it boast dozens of great beaches with lovely soft sand.
The most popular beaches in southern Sweden are Falsterbo beach in Skane, Boda beach in the Island of Oland and Varamon beach in Lake Vattern, though you can also visit the beaches in the capital if you’re looking for beaches near Stockholm.
Take a ferry ride to Visby
If you’re planning to base your vacation in Sweden mostly in the capital city of Stockholm, why not enjoy a mini excursion to Visby in Gotland Island?
Gotland Island is located in the southwest of Sweden and can be easily reached by ferry from the port of Nynashamn, which is just a short train ride (~1 h) from Stockholm onboard the Stockholm commuter rail (pendeltag).
The Nynashamn-Visby ferry costs around $60 for a round-trip ticket and it takes around 2 hours. Once you get to Visby, do hire some bikes to explore the sights like the Cathedral (medieval church), the botanical gardens and Gotland Museum, which has on display beautiful picture stones from the Viking age.
Spend 2-3 days in the Swedish Lapland
A visit to Sweden wouldn’t really be complete without exploring the dramatic region of Northern Sweden. The region is home to the spectacular scenery of the mountains of Sweden, beautiful valleys such as the Lapporten Valley and pristine national parks such as Abisko, Sarek, Stora Sjofallet and Padjelanta, which are popular spots for outdoor pursuits such as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fly-fishing, hiking and trekking.
Padjenta, Stora Sjofallet and Sarek national parks are particularly popular because they’re Europe's last true wilderness and home to Sami camps such as the one at Pietsaure.
The Swedish Lapland region is also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the world and you can view them between September to April in their entire splendor from many places such as Abisko and Aurora Sky Station, which is one of the most popular spots to see the Aurora Borealis
Of course, while exploring Northern Sweden you cannot forget visiting the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi (near Kiruna), which is famously known for being the largest hotel in the world made of ice and snow.
See. Things to do in Uppsala Sweden
Most Beautiful Cities to Explore in Scandinavia
The Northern Lights- What to know and where to see them