Oh Sweden, you land of thousand islands, vast forests, glaciated mountains and bustling cities. Your abundant diversity from the north to the south is unbelievable. Yes, it’s really hard to describe your beauty.
The long country stretches up to the Arctic Circle borders the other two Scandinavian countries Finland and Norway and is just a short ferry or car ride away from Denmark. Although more than 60% of the country is covered in forests, there are numerous manmade and natural landmarks in Sweden.
I wish I could say that I’ve seen all of them already, however, that’s not the case. I’ve been to Sweden only once so far, but I loved my first time in Stockholm and fell in love with the Swedish culture right away.
Thus I had the idea of asking other travel bloggers and Sweden lovers to share their favorite landmarks in Sweden that everyone should see.
While you might have heard of a couple of them, there are probably many who are completely unknown to you. Even for me, many of the here-listed landmarks were totally new.
So let’s visit the Nordic gem and discover its different facets!
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)
Famous Landmarks in Stockholm
1. The Royal Palace
Recommended by me
Let’s start the list of famous landmarks in Sweden with the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Swedish monarch family. A visit there is one of the best things to do in Stockholm!
The entire complex has more than 600 rooms on eleven floors including the royal apartments and three history museums. It is located in Gamla Stan, the island which forms part of the old city, and neighbors the Riksdag building.
It’s open all year round and if you’re lucky, you can even experience an official reception. Tickets cost around SEK170 for adults and SEK85 for people between seven and 17.
After wandering through the royal chambers, head over to visit Kungsträdgården as well. Kungsträdgården, simply called Kungsan by the locals, is a centrally located public park where once the royal gardens were.
In the warm summer months, it’s a popular hangout spot with outdoor cafés, concerts and other events whereas in winter tourists and locals can go ice-skating on an ice rink.
Riddarholmen Church is situated in Stockholm on the island of Riddarholmen, as its name suggests. It’s just a five-minute walk from the old town or Gamla Stan metro station, so is easily accessible if you’re staying in the city.
Riddarholmen is the only surviving medieval Abbey in Stockholm and is thought to have been around since the 1200s. All the kings and queens from the 1630s onwards (except for one) are buried here, so it plays an important role in Swedish history.
The church’s gothic architecture will absolutely blow you away, and if you head there early, you’ll get it all to yourself. It’s a great place to take photographs too so make sure you bring your camera along!
However, if you’re wanting to explore the interior of the church you’ll need to visit Stockholm between May and September. This is when the guided tours run, and concerts are often held here during the summer months too.
Otherwise, you’ll only be able to view Riddarholmen Church from the outside.
3. ABBA The Museum
Recommended by Una of Wandernity
Nestled in the heart of Stockholm, ABBA The Museum is a must-visit for any fan of the Swedish supergroup. The museum offers a comprehensive look at the band’s history, with interactive exhibits and memorabilia spanning their entire career.
Visitors can learn about how the group was formed, try on ABBA’s costumes (virtually) and have a photo session, and even join ABBA in a concert as the fifth member on a large hologram stage.
You can even stay at Pop House Hotel which is in the same building as ABBA The Museum or refresh yourself in Pop House Food & Bar with a 15% discount if you show your museum ticket.
Best of all, the museum is just a short walk from some of Stockholm’s other top attractions and takes around three hours to visit, so you can check out other must-see places in Stockholm on the same day.
The entrance fee is SEK280 for an adult, and the museum is open every day from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm. To avoid queuing, you can buy skip-the-line tickets online.
Whether you’re a diehard fan or just looking for something different, ABBA The Museum is sure to delight and one of the many reasons to visit Stockholm!
Tours you might find interesting:
4. Drottningholm Palace
Recommended by Dhara of It’s Not About the Miles
Drottningholm Palace is a must-visit in Stockholm. Fashioned after the Palace of Versailles, Drottningholm Palace is acomplex with beautiful gardens and grounds.
Located on the island of Lovön, Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. While the royal apartments are not open, you can still tour public reception rooms inside the palace and admire the decorated ceilings and the beautiful artwork.
The complex also includes the Court Theater, which still hosts performances, and a beautiful Chinese Pavilion (China Castle). China Castle holds an impressive collection of Chinese art objects.
The formal gardens are a visual feast, and the grounds, resembling an English park, are well worth strolling. There is even a golden gate, similar to Versailles.
Drottningholm Palace is open every day from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. General adult admission to the palace and China Castle costs SEK210 at the time of writing. You can get to Drottningholm Palace by ferry or by subway and bus.
Allow a morning or an afternoon to tour the whole complex at leisure.
Stockholm City Hall is located at the end of the southeast point of Kungsholmen island and is hard to miss. Its red brick tower, topped with a green copper cupola, is a dominant part of Stockholm’s skyline.
A visit there is a must-do activity when you visit Stockholm. You can wander around the grounds for free, and take in the sculptures, the gardens and the views.
The City Hall is the site of the Nobel Prize winner’s dinner each December. The dinner is held in the Blue Hall, a large inner courtyard that is dramatic – but not blue. The original design was blue and the name stuck, though the eventual room is dark red brick.
45-minute tours are offered throughout the day, seven days a week. Tickets must be purchased from the onsite ticket office on the day and cost SEK130 for adults.
The ticket office opens at 8:30 am and the last tour leaves at 3:00 or 4:00 pm depending on the time of year.
In summer, the tower is also open. It costs SEK80 and is a separate ticket from the main tour. If you are there when it’s open, it’s worth it for the incredible views over Stockholm from the top, but it is necessary to walk up half the tower, as the lift only goes halfway.
To see the gardens, the tower and the main building on a tour, you should allow about three hours.
Another one of the most famous landmarks in Sweden is also located in the capital city of Stockholm. Avicii Arena or Stockholm Globe Arena, also known as Ericsson Globe or just Globen is the biggest hemispherical structure in the world.
With 110 meters in diameter and a height of 85 meters, it’s an impressive building that hosts many great concerts. It has also the incredible attraction of SkyView, an exterior glass elevator that allows you to admire panoramic views of Stockholm.
During summer visitors can enjoy a ride on a glass gondola between 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. There is a fee of SEK160 for adults and SEK120 for seniors and kids between 5-12 years old. You should allow around two hours for exploring Ericsson Globe.
Inside the Avicii Arena, you can also enjoy watching many sports such as ice hockey or indoor football. It is an amazing place to visit for everyone who loves cultural events, beautiful views, and architecture.
Skansen is an open-air museum and without a doubt one of the best historically and culturally interesting sights in Stockholm. Especially if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center or the tourist-popular Gamla Stan alleys, Skansen is the place to be.
Skansen has an animal park that is reserved for Nordic animals only. But the most famous objects in the park are the many historical original buildings from all over Sweden. You can experience for yourself how it must have felt living on the farms and in villages deep in the country hundreds of years ago.
Moreover, there are also many live demonstrations, especially in the summer. For example, the bakery still bakes fresh on a regular basis and the blacksmith’s shop is also in operation.
From the long discovery tour through the park, you can recover in the inn or the cozy old cafes.
You can get to Skansen on the Stockholm island of Djurgarden either by takinga relaxing walk or by ferry. The museum is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and tickets for adults cost SEK220 and for children between 4-15 years SEK70.
The Oresund Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Sweden.
It is an eight-kilometer-long bridge connecting the island of Amegar in Denmark with the city of Malmö in Sweden. It consists of both railways and a road making it the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe.
If you’re traveling to Sweden by car or train, it is very likely you will cross it, coming from Denmark. Crossing the bridge is an adventure in itself because of the magnificence of the architecture and structure.
It takes around ten minutes to cross it by car and around 30 minutes by train. Driving a car over the bridge will set you back €130 for a return ticket. The price doubles up for large motorhomes or campervans.
However, an intercity train will cost you only €27.
If you don’t plan to cross it but would like to get a good view of the bridge, look for this viewpoint near Malmö on Google Maps.
Tours you might find interesting:
9. Malmöhus Castle
Recommended by Fiona of Travelling Thirties
Malmöhus Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in Sweden and among the best things to do in Malmö. It is a UNESCO heritage site and was built in the 13th century.
The castle has been used as a royal residence, a prison, and a museum. It is now open to the public and is a popular tourist attraction.
The large and imposing structure, with thick walls and numerous towers, is situated on a hilltop overlooking the city of Malmö. It is surrounded by a moat and there is a drawbridge over the moat which leads to the main entrance.
The interior of the castle is just as impressive as the exterior and contains a number of beautiful rooms and halls. Moreover, the castle also has a museum that contains a number of artifacts from its history.
The entrance fee for the castle is SEK40 for adults and SEK20 for students. The opening hours are from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, except for Monday when the castle is closed and Thursday when the castle is open until 7:00 pm.
You could easily spend a couple of hours exploring the castle and its grounds. Plus, if you are interested in the history of the castle, then you may want to visit the museum which is located inside the castle.
10. Turning Torso
Recommended by Anjali of Cheerful Trails
Malmö has one of the best skylines in Sweden thanks to its iconic Turning Torso. This 190-meter-high tower is known to be the tallest tower in Scandinavia.
Interestingly, the structure of the tower rotates at an angle of 90 degrees from the bottom to the top. The tower is also known to be the first twisting skyscraper in the world on its completion in 2005.
Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Turning Torso has inspired the world to create such rotating and distinctive structures. It also brought Malmö much-needed recognition on the architectural map.
You can simply admire the structure of Turning Torso from afar or catch a few glimpses of its interiors if you go close. It is located very close to Malmö’s stunning harbor.
You can also enjoy an incredible sunset view over the Oresund Bridge from the observation deck of the Turning Torso. Due to its proximity to Denmark, it’s possible to plan a day trip from Copenhagen to Malmö and the Turning Torso.
However, for your visit, it’s necessary to pre-book tickets.
Lake Siljan in Dalarna, Sweden, was created by a huge meteor impact. The collision formed a 75 km wide crater, the lake at present. This lake is at a distance of 307 km from Stockholm and in the midst of the Swedish countryside.
The green hills and mountains surrounding the lake create a quaint, scenic background and several villages can be found around the lake. These are some of the oldest settlements in the country.
You can enjoy the authentic Swedish culture and heritage in these villages. The lake is open to all at all times so you can take a stroll along the water and enjoy nature whenever you like.
Lakeside biking and fishing are also allowed.
There are tourist cruises that sail on the lake in the summer. They start from Långbryggan, a wooden dock, and head for Mora, the largest village, or Leksand. Enjoy quality food with music and entertainment on your voyage.
These cruises allow you to explore the lakeside regions for a few hours before returning to the starting point.
Summer is the best time to visit as the temperature remains warm and soothing. The nearby villages are equipped with hotels to provide accommodation.
12. Kiruna Icehotel
Recommended by Ellie of El On The Move
A trip to the north of Sweden would not be complete without a visit to the world-famous Icehotel.
The Icehotel is located just outside of Kiruna in the arctic circle and is made completely of ice. Ice artists from all over the world create stunning rooms that are artwork in themselves.
The seasonal hotel opens each winter and melts in the spring sun. In contrast to this, there is an Icehotel 365 which is airconditioned to -5C with ice rooms available all year round.
Luckily, it is not necessary to sleep in the hotel to be able to visit. The rooms are available for a visit during the day for an entrance fee of SEK295. This includes a visit to the seasonal rooms, Icehotel 365 as well as the Icebar.
The opening times are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and the hotel is cashless so make sure to have a card that works in Sweden. One day and one night are enough to experience the full magic of this hotel.
However, to experience more of the magic of the arctic circle such as the northern lights, dog sledding and snowmobiling, more days are needed.
Kalmar Castle, also known as Kalmar Slott, is a 12th-century medieval palace on the southeastern coast of Sweden.
The gorgeous structure is worth a visit just for Renaissance-style architecture and incredible restoration work. Walking into the castle truly feels like stepping into the past, especially when characters from the Middle Ages start explaining the history!
The actors provide immersion and entertainment and they can get any kid excited to learn in no time. You can continue your time travel in the town center of Kvarnholmen, which also boasts an extraordinary history.
Kalmar Castle is a great place for kids with discounts for students, teens, and younger kids. Even the full-price adult ticket is only SEK155, which equates to about $15.
The castle is wheelchair accessible. You can expect to spend two or three hours fully touring the castle and grounds, which is easy since it’s open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Since the castle sits on its own peninsula, surrounded by water, you can also pass by at sunrise or sunset for some truly stunning pictures.
14. Läckö Castle
Recommended by Bradley of Dream Big Travel Far
Exploring the country’s enchanting castles is truly one of the best things you can do in Sweden. Nestled on the cliffside near Lake Vänern, Läckö Castle is undoubtedly among the most impressive ones. This is on Kållandsö island, which is north of Lidköping in Västergötland.
Embodying the glamorous charms of Baroque architecture, the grounds also feature a sensual garden, striking treasures, and impressive medieval vaults – a truly magnificent oasis of ancient history!
Its origin dates back to 1298 when the bishop of Skara place its first foundations, and 1527 when the royal crown took it over.
It’s easy to get lost in time when discovering the alluring interiors of the castle, which haven’t changed throughout the centuries. Outside, wander through the beautiful gardens and old trees, and enjoy the view of the spires from afar.
Läckö castle is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm during summer, in which visitors can roam the entire property for SEK140 or just the courtyards, church, and shops for SEK50. Children under 18 years of age are free to enter either way.
For the rest of the year, the castle is open only for guided tours.
15. Haga, Gothenburg
Recommended by Melissa of Parenthood and Passports
Haga is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Gothenburg. Known for its traditional wooden buildings and car-free cobblestone streets, this 17th-century historic district is not only a landmark in Sweden but is also one of the top destinations for visitors to Gothenburg.
Spend a couple of hours wandering through the streets which are lined with antique stores, souvenir shops, and quaint cafes.
Because of its many bakeries and bistros, Haga makes for an ideal place to partake in the Swedish tradition of fika, a daily afternoon break usually enjoyed with coffee and something sweet.
Nestled in the heart of Sweden’s second-largest city, Haga was originally Gothenburg’s first suburb, but as the city became more populated and expanded, this charming district is now in the center of the city rather than on the outskirts.
Often considered the most beautiful corner of western Sweden’s seaport town, Haga is just one of the reasons that Gothenburg is one of the best Scandinavian cities to visit.
Oval in shape, Ale’s Stones is an arrangement of 59 large boulders quite similar to England’s Stonehenge. The researchers differ on the exact date, but the origins of Ale’s Stones date at least 1,400 years to the iron age.
It is unknown who built it but it is believed that it was built for ritualistic purposes.
The burial chambers found here, the ship-like formation of stones, and its proximity to the sea seem to indicate the site had significance with events of death and the afterlife.
Located on a green meadow on a cliff, the area offers a fantastic view of the Baltic sea. From the top, you can also walk down to the small sandy beach. In fact, Ale’s Stones is one of the stops on the long sea-side trails that pass through here.
There is no entrance fee to get in here, and the site can be accessed also throughout the day.
To reach here by public transportation, hop onto bus number 392 from Ystad, which is more frequent in summer but not in winter.
Moreover, in the summer, you can take advantage of the travel card that the county of Skane offers, which comes at a cheap price and with unlimited validity.
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Do you want to travel like me? Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:
Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!
Accommodation:Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.