If you are the type that loves the outdoors, than Sweden is the perfect country in Europe for you to visit.
For tourists who want to travel back in time and revisit Sweden in the early 1700s, than Gamla Stan is the best place to take a stroll. Gamla Stan literally means old town, and this little town was first built in the 1300s. However, most of the buildings you get to see when you go there are from the 1700s to the 1800s.
There are only 3,000 people living in Gamla Stan, so you can expect a peaceful and serene atmosphere.
You don’t really need a tour guide to go around, since it’s only a small town – a little strolling around is all you need to really appreciate this old town in Stockholm, Sweden. Expect a lot of cobble stone streets, old buildings, and a lot of homey restaurants to hang out in with your family and friends.
The oldest restaurant in the area is the Den Gyldene Freden, which has been operating since 1722! It has also made it to the Guinness Book of world records as the oldest restaurant with unaltered interiors.
Other places to visit in Gamla Stan are the Stockholm Cathedral and the statue of David and the Dragon.
For artists and people who want to know what Swedish art is like, better head to the Moderna Museet.
The Moderna Museet is Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art. This is the country’s state museum, and to visit this famed museum you have to head over to the island of Skeppsholmen located in central Sweden.
This is the perfect place for tourists who want to appreciate art to go to since the Moderna Museet houses some of the best Swedish art in the land.
This museum features some of the works of famed artists such as Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, and Marcel Duchamp. Just like most famed museums,
Moderna Museet also has its share of art robberies. Back in 1993 burglars came into the museum and took 6 of Picasso’s paintings and two by Georges Braque. Only three of the stolen Picasso paintings were retrieved.
One very distinctive characteristic of the Moderna Museet is its gigantic handwritten logo seen outside the museum.
For those who want to see more of Mother Nature in Sweden, better go and visit the country’s sixth largest lake, Lake Siljan. To see the lake, you have to go to the heart of Dalarna, which is a small province in Sweden.
Around 360 million years ago, the very area of Siljan was the site of Europe’s largest meteorite impact site. Who would have thought that this once dead giant crater could someday teem with life?
It is now one of the favorite summer destinations for locals and foreign tourists. The place is perfect for family get-togethers and hang-outs with friends. You can just camp by the lake side or bring a canoe and paddle in a serene and quaint environment.
For music lovers, head over to the lake during July because a massive music fest called the Musik vid Siljan is held there every year.
You can also join the short daily cruise that has stops to some of the little towns in Siljan like Rattvik, Leksand, and Mora.
The Gotska Sandon is an uninhabited Swedish island found in the Baltic Sea. This is just a tiny island measuring 9 km long and 6 km wide, but don’t underestimate it because this place is purely sun, sand, and Mother Nature.
There are no houses or cars in Gotska Sandon, so the only way to get around is by foot. A ferry brings the tourists to this island, which was declared as one of Sweden’s national parks in 1963.
The moment you arrive at the Gotska Sandon Island, you will notice a lot of trees; 85% of the island is covered by pine trees, and the rest is plain sand.
Since there are no hotels or inns on the island, camping is really popular and the island has its own campsite, with just a few Swedish houses that serve as kitchens and toilets for people who are not used to “doing their business” the natural, open-air way.
Great Copper Mountain
The Great Copper Mountain, or the Stora Kopparberget, is different from all the other tourist destinations in Sweden. Here you won’t find any fancy restaurants or pretty buildings, because the Great Copper Mountain was actually a mining site.
Today it is considered a museum and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
Archeological finds state that mining in the Great Copper Mountain may have started at around the year 1000 and may have started its official business in the year 1080.
The Great Copper Mountain was a rich source of copper not only for Sweden but also in the building of some of Europe’s palaces and cathedrals.
When you visit the Great Copper Mountain, check out the Great Pit. Caused by a big explosion back in 1687, the pit is almost 65 meters deep.
A few steps from the Great Copper mountain is the mining museum, which houses some of the relics from the mining site, including mining tools used when the mine was still operational.
Another tourist attraction that can truly provide total relaxation for anyone who wishes to visit is the Gota Canal.
This canal, dubbed as Sweden’s Blue Ribbon is one of the top tourist attractions in the country and is visited by almost 2 million foreign and local tourists every year.
The Gota Canal was built in the 19th century, from 1810 to 1832, by 58,000 workers and was recently given the Millennial Construction Accomplishment of the Country award, serving as the main waterway of Sweden.
The Gota Canal stretches from the Baltic Sea to Lake Vanern and serves as the vein that links the country’s main lakes and rivers.
Today, the Gota Canal is no longer Sweden’s largest waterway, but millions of tourists still flock to join the Gota Canal cruise. Some even bring their private vessels and cruise along the canal and are welcomed by Sweden’s peaceful countryside and lush forests.
Others who do not want to cruise along the canal can have picnics by its shores or ride a bicycle along the waterways.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to spend a night in a hotel made entirely of ice?
The Ice Hotel is a temporary hotel in Sweden that is reconstructed every December and closes down yearly in April, when the midnight sun rises and does not set for quite a while.
Everything in the Ice Hotel is made of ice that is taken from the Torne River located just outside the hotel.
The construction of the Ice Hotel starts every spring, during the month of March, when the Ice Hotel staff gathers tons of ice from the frozen Torne River.
The ice is used to construct ice bars and venues for certain events. The remaining ice is stored and used to build the next Ice Hotel.
There is one place in Sweden where tourists can truly experience how to live in a Viking town.
The Foteviken Viking Reserve is one of the top tourist destinations in Sweden. The Viking Reserve isn’t like anything you have ever seen in the world; it is not a museum where you simply look at old relics and remnants of what used to be – this place is a living, breathing Viking town!
There are real houses, real small gardens, and real people who live there. There is no sign of urban life here, so the inhabitants of Foteviken try to preserve the Viking way of living. Every year Foteviken arranges a Viking market wherein Vikings from all over the world come over.
Foteviken is simply here to show you how the Vikings lived years ago, so it’s advisable to have a tour guide accompany you to explain everything that’s happening.
The Drottingholm Palace is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sweden. It is the residence of the Swedish royal family and is a popular tourist attraction.
The palace was built in the 1600s and is the most well-preserved castle in Sweden. It represents what European architecture was all about during that era.
The rooms in the southern wing of the Drottingholm Palace are reserved as the residence of the present royal family of Sweden, but the rest of the castle is open for public viewing. There are guided tours all year round so tourists can visit any time of the year.
The palace has changed throughout the years, and all the people who have lived here have greatly influenced how the interiors of the palace look like.
When taking a visit to the Drottingholm Palace, take note that taking pictures of the interiors of the palace is highly prohibited, so cameras may not be brought to the palace.
Tanumshede is popular for its prehistoric wall carvings. For tourists who want to take a peek into rare archaeological finds from the prehistoric era, then the rock carvings at Tanumshede is the best place to see such a thing.
The carvings are said to have been made during the Scandinavian Bronze Age and Iron Age. Most of the carvings seen here are of large boats, chariots, and animals.
The Tanumshede rock carvings are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the number of petroglyphs found in the area.
If you get to visit the site, you will notice that some of the rock carvings are already painted in red. Some archaeologists did this because the carvings have been highly eroded by the pollution in the area. The red color makes the markings more visible to tourists.
Compared to other rock carvings around the world, the theme of the Tanumshede rock carvings are more of people doing rituals, hunting, holding spears or riding large wooden boats.
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