The easiest way to get to Sweden is to fly to Stockholm. We would also recommend pre-booking and hiring a car here. Last-minute rentals tend to be significantly more expensive. The first stop on your trip through the south of Sweden is the city of Uppsala. It’s located just an hour north of the capital.
Uppsala is one of the country’s most popular university cities and the perfect introduction to the country and its people. The most important sight of the city is also the university, which was founded in 1477 and is the oldest one in the country. The university library is located in the Carolina Rediviva building. Next to the university is the Botanical Garden, which is the perfect place to relax a little bit, especially in the summertime. Take something to read or even a little picnic with you in order to enjoy the warm Swedish summer evenings.
The next sight you definitely shouldn’t miss while you’re in Uppsala is its castle. It is located near the Botanical Garden on top of a small hill. The castle originally dates back to the 16th century, but it was completely renovated after a fire in the 17th century. There are various exhibitions by local artists in the castle, so make sure to check out which event is happening during your stay.
If you’re longing for some peace and greenery, you can take a trip to Stadsskogen, which is located just outside the city in the southwest of Uppsala. Here, you can find various hiking routes, which make the area a popular destination on weekends.
There are several hostels available in Uppsala’s city centre, where most of the sights, restaurants, and bars are also located. The price for a night in a 4-bed dorm is around €24.
The next stop on your trip requires a fairly long drive to the west. After about four hours, you will reach the Dalsland Canal. Don’t worry, though – the drive won’t be boring. It will lead you along numerous fjords, along the shores of Lake Vänern, and through lots of small, typically Swedish towns.
All parts of the 254-kilometre-long Dalsland Canal are navigable. This way of travelling is especially popular in the summer months, and there can be quite a lot of traffic on the water during this time. Most of the road you’re following runs directly alongside the canal, so you can watch the activities on the water while you’re driving. The route along the Dalsland Canal is also great for long cycle tours. We recommend staying in one of the nearby hotels. A private room will cost you about €45.
Continue your trip along the shores of Lake Vänern and head south. A three-hour drive will take you to the Store Mosse National Park in the province of Småland. It is Sweden’s largest marsh area.
Especially nature lovers get their money’s worth on this 8,000-hectare site. There are countless hiking trails here, and the area is also very good for birdwatching. In the winter months, you might also come across moose, deer, and foxes, as they are fed in the national park. In the summer months, the meadows are lush and green, and you can enjoy the fresh clean air. Finally, the sunrises and sunsets in this area are famous for being absolutely breathtaking.
We would recommend staying somewhere nearby, so that you can enjoy the landscape as much as possible. Double rooms are usually around €48 per night in this area.
The next stop on your trip is Öland, an island off the Swedish east coast. The island, which you can reach by driving across the longest bridge in Sweden, is approximately six hours away from the Store Mosse National Park. Öland is mainly an “alvar”. This is an Old Swedish word and describes an almost treeless landscape, which is not suited for agriculture. The island’s population is fairly small, but its beautiful and untouched scenery attracts a lot of Swedish tourists in the summer.
The Stora Alvaret area of Öland, which is about 500 km² big, consists of a limestone plateau and a moorland. Although it’s often sunny, you should also be prepared for the wind that is more or less constant because of the absence of both mountains and forests. The 13-kilometre long hiking trail through the area allows you to explore the plateau, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the southern end of Öland, it is possible to find the Lange Jan lighthouse. It is Sweden’s tallest lighthouse and an extremely popular meeting point for birdwatchers. Öland is definitely a place to get away from everything – not least because there’s hardly any network coverage. There are some hostels on the island, where a single room comes at about €48 per night.
From Stora Alvaret, you’ll set off for the last stop of your journey, Stockholm. The city consists of 14 islands, which are connected to each other by numerous bridges and will make you feel like you are not really on the mainland. The city has a population of over 1,000,000 people, and you can easily explore it on foot, by bike, or even by boat.
We highly recommend starting your day by ordering a coffee and a sweet pastry on Stockholm’s main square, Stortorget. In Sweden, people love coffee and sweet treats so much that their traditional coffee break even has its own name – fika.
The old town of Stockholm is on the island Gamla Stan, where merchants and monarchs settled in the 13th century. This is the place to experience the Sweden of the past! Due to their long history, Sweden and its capital city have a lot to offer. You definitely shouldn’t miss the National Museum and the Museum of Natural History, for example. Skansen, an open-air museum founded in 1891, is another attraction that’s very popular with visitors.
At the end of your trip, you can return your car rental at the airport in Stockholm and then make your way to your gate.