Sweden Travel Guide

When I dream about Scandinavia I think of viking ships, brooding castles, salty harbors, deep green fjords, churches, farmhouses, vast lakes, mountains, waterfalls and ferry boats. I had the pleasure of spending time within nature while in Norway and a little in Stockholm while kayaking around the archipelagos.

Sweden was so awesome and such a fun city. I can’t wait to come back soon, here’s some of my favorites of Stockholm!

SIGHTS

Gamla Stan (Old Town)

My favorite part of Sweden was Gamla Stan also known as the Old Town. It had the most beautiful architecture and I loved walking down the cobblestone streets and through the colorful Stortorget Square.

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Nobel Peace Prize Museum

One of my favorite museums in Scandinavia. It was so neat and interesting to learn and read about all the Nobel Peace Prize winners over the years. There were a lot of interesting video clip documentaries and artifacts within the museum. It was located right within the Stortorget Square.

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Vasa Museum

The Vasa Museum is a maritime museum located on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm. The museum displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged. The 64-gun warship Vasa sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 and sat for 333 years before being rescued.

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ABBA Museum

Super cute museum about the singing group ABBA. If you’re a fan of anything ABBA, especially Mamma Mia you won’t want to miss this fun interactive site. Lots of opportunities to karaoke to your favorite ABBA song and even dance on the stage to a choreographed ABBA routine.

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Icebar at Icehotel Stockholm

ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL Stockholm is the world’s first original ice bar (built in 2002) and has a constant temperature of -7 degrees celsius (19 degrees fahrenheit). The interior is made out of sculpted ice from the arctic Torne River. The bar has room for up to 60 people. The entry fee includes a cocktail and a visit lasts about 40 minutes. They provide you with a warm coat and thick gloves to wear before you step into the ice room. The ice bar is beautiful and the interior has artistic colorful lighting. When we went there was an ice sculpture throne and pirate’s ship. Each cocktail is served in a glass made of ice. The drinks usually carry a common theme.

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Archipelago Kayaking

Definitely one of the hardest physical activity sports I’ve ever had to do, this gave me such the arm and leg workout. We paddled for so long up and around the islands. The sites were amazing and it was so neat seeing Sweden from afar. It was one of the best unique experiences! I was in a tandem kayak, which was fun.

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Royal Palace

Stockholm Palace or the Royal Palace is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch. Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen, in Gamla Stan in the capital, Stockholm. It neighbours the Riksdag building.

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FOOD

IKEA Swedish Meatballs & Lingonberry

Haha a classic Swedish place! We love IKEA in the states. IKEA is a Swedish company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, among other useful goods and occasionally home services. It has been the world’s largest furniture retailer since at least 2008. IKEA will always remind me of my college days since practically my whole dorm room/apt. was furnished by them. I had to try out the Swedish meatballs from here and they did not disappoint, very much comfort food. They’re definitely better than our IKEA food at home.

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Swedish Meatballs (svenska Köttbullar)/Lingonberry

Can you tell this was my favorite dish to eat in Sweden? I had Swedish meatballs at almost every restaurant for dinner. Each place had their own spin on the sauce which was cool to try. Lingonberries are usually served with the meatballs and are sweet, sour and tart. The flavoring is similar to cranberries. Here’s three of our favorite restaurants that served them:

Restaurang Kaffegillet (Gamla Stan)

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Sallys Restaurang & Bar Sidenhuset Pärlan (Gamla Stan)

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We also tried their bolognese lasagna here which was surprisingly good (see above)!

Carpe Diem (Gamla Stan)

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We also tried the fish & chips and bolognese pasta (see above) here which were amazing and delicious as well! Highly recommend this restaurant.

Cinnamon roll (Kanelbullar)

It’s a must to try a cinnamon roll in every Scandinavian country. Each vary slightly and are delicious. They’re sold at practically every coffee shop and perfect for Fika. I love the ones with lots of cinnamon and there’s even some delicious ones with chocolate.

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Fika

Known as taking a “coffee & cake break”, Fika is a concept or a state of mind or an attitude and is a very important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider it essential to make time for Fika every day. Fika is like a social hour where Swedes make time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and usually cake. There’s so many cute coffee shops in Old Town with the best iced coffee drinks and chocolate cake (see below), yum!

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Lejonet & Björnen

Of course it wouldn’t be a Lauren post without my favorite sorbet place. We loved Lejonet & Björnen located in Gamla Stan. The lemon and berry sorbet were amazing!

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LODGING

Clarion Hotel Stockholm

This is the hotel we stayed at in Stockholm and it was the best. Perfectly located in the center of the city and made it super easy to get to and from Gamla Stan. It was nicely decorated, very modern and we loved our stay here. This hotel is huge and has so many floors. There’s a quaint bar downstairs and it even has a gym and spa.

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SOUVENIR

Dala Wooden Horse

Everyone needs to bring one of these hand painted horses home. These are traditional carved painted wooden horse statues and are a classic symbol of Sweden. They can be found all over the town in various sizes and colors. I got one as an ornament to hang on my Christmas tree to remind me of my wonderful trip to Scandinavia.

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BUCKET LIST FOR NEXT TIME

Experience a traditional Swedish massage

Golden Hall at Stockholm City Hall

Katarina Hissen Tower/Katarina Viewing Platform