Hello! I’m Victoria – a travel content creator from the Swedish west coast. I have always wanted to be a free bird and my curiosity to explore the world has been with me forever. So far I have visited 91 countries. There are nine left until I reach my bucket list goal of 100. I have appreciated Sweden more since the pandemic and have now traveled the whole country – from south to north and west to east, discovering the best hidden gems of Sweden.
People think Swedes are introverted and hard to get to know (which unfortunately is true) but as soon as you have a Swedish buddy you will understand how open we are, and how interested we are in your culture (rather than just talking about ours). The best way to get to know each other in Sweden is through a “fika” which means coffee break with a deeper meaning. Everyone loves “fika” with a coffee and cinnamon roll.
If you prefer traditional food, head to the nearest IKEA (yes, IKEA is from Sweden) and order a plate of the Swedish national dish: meatballs with potatoes, brown sauce and lingonberry jam. In addition to this meal, you can also try a less appetizing dish that most people here eat as a delicacy called fermented Baltic herring. It stinks very very bad though. You are welcome to try it but be warned: the smell might put you off beforehand.
Sweden is Scandinavia’s biggest country and it offers a lot. Skane County in the south has epic nature, pristine beaches, fascinating history and a vibrant city pulse courtesy of the country’s third largest city – Malmo. In the second biggest city Gothenburg, on the west coast, you can feast on seafood and buy the catch of the day in a market called Feskekorka, as well as visiting the biggest theme park in Scandinavia named Liseberg.
Sweden’s east coast is home to Stockholm – a must visit city. Where else in the world can you visit the ABBA Museum, spot the royal family or get lost among the world famous architecture of the Old Town? You can also island-hop in the archipelago of the capital. In the north of Sweden you can sleep inside the world famous Ice Hotel, enjoy husky rides or sleep among the treetops of the Treehotel accompanied by the dancing northern lights.
10 Best Hidden Gems of Sweden
- Treehotel in Harads (Northern Sweden)
- Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi (Northern Sweden)
- Molle Krukmakeri (Southern Sweden) – They serve the best Neapolitan pizza in the whole country and the staff who work there are the best.
- Erikson Cottage (Southern Sweden) – Here you can leave all your stress behind and stay inside a glass house right in the middle of nature.
- Marstrand (West Coast) – The sail capital of Sweden. I spent a lot of time here when I was young. Marstrands Havshotell is a great place in the area to stay overnight. Not far from Marstrand there is one of the top hidden gems of Sweden called the Slipens Hotell & Brygghuset. Here you can taste heavenly food and sip whiskey in a massive whiskey bar.
- Branno – A car-free little island in the archipelago of the Swedish west coast. It’s a summer paradise, so be sure to go from June – August.
- Try the biggest cinnamon roll in Sweden at Cafe Husaren (Gothenburg).
- Did you know that Sweden also produces world-class wine? The best wine can be found at places like Kullaberg’s Vineyard in Skane County.
- Strandflickorna (the Seaside Girls) in Lysekil. The three unique villas are all located only a few steps from the ocean and two of the rooms are situated on piles in the fjord. One of the best hidden gems of Sweden.
- My home (DM me for the location). I live in the middle of the forest in front of a lake. This is where I find peace and nature in its purest form.
Need to Know Before you Go
I suggest hiring a car when traveling in the north – due to long distances – but further down south it’s easy to get around with public transport. And it’s safe to stroll freely wherever you are in Sweden. Also, don’t ever talk trash about Zlatan – we are proud of this football player – and never jump the queue in a store – that is a big deal here. Finally, make sure you participate in a bit of “fika” (not to be confused with the Italian meaning).