The midnight sun, the snowbound winters, meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos, ABBA and the Hives – whatever your pre-existing notions about Sweden may be, a visit to this multifaceted country is bound to both confirm and confound them. Though you’re unlikely to be greeted at the shore by throngs of mead-swilling berserkers in longships, evidence of the Vikings and their pillaging days is easy to find.
A stroll through the Swedish countryside will often lead to a picnic on some ancient king’s burial mound. Cycling routes frequently pass through fields crowned with ship-shaped stone graves. In cities and alongside roadways, rune stones staunchly declare the historical equivalent of ‘Ingmar was here’. But Sweden’s days as a warlike nation are long gone. Instead, its domestic and international policies serve as models of neutrality and consensus-building. This is, after all, the birthplace of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Travelers today are more likely to be slayed by visions of pastoral beauty – intense green countryside, impenetrable forests, little red cottages atop remote islands and, everywhere, Sweden’s famously clear blue water. That’s not to say all the excitement ended thousands of years ago – far from it. While tradition reigns in places like Dalarna in the Swedish heartland and the Sami territory up north, much of Sweden today buzzes with a more contemporary energy. A wave of immigration in recent years from other countries in Europe and elsewhere has added spark and variety to the cultural milieu.
With a multifaceted country like Sweden, more and more people from allover the world want to know what sights and attractions await them. Here are a few of the most visited places when going to Sweden with your family or your friends. When you travel you always look after your budget and finding an accommodation takes most of it.
The Vasa Museum
On of the most extraordinary museums in Europe, the Vasa Museum is home to the royal flagship Vasa. Built to fight the kingdom of Poland in the early 1600s, it sank in Stockholm harbor before it could ever engage another ship. More than 300 years later it was successfully raised, preserved and restored by Swedish divers and scientists.
The Vasa is the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world, and a unique art treasure. More than 95 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.
The 69 meter-long warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. For nearly half a century the ship has been slowly, deliberately and painstakingly restored to a state approaching its original glory. The three masts on the roof outside the specially built museum show the height of the ship’s original masts.
Today the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia, with over one million visitors a year. There are nine different exhibitions around the ship to tell about life on board the ship. The film about the Vasa is shown in 16 different languages. In addition there is a well-stocked shop and a pleasant restaurant. Tours of the museum take place every day.
Haga in Gothenburg
Gothenburg’s oldest suburb is now a lovely neighbourhood in the centre of town. Pedestrian paved streets and well-preserved brick and wood houses give this neighbourhood an old-fashioned touch. Plenty of cafés, boutiques, fashion, antiques and second-hand shops for the discerning shopper.
Sweden’s Ice Hotel is built from scratch every year. A new design, new suites, a brand new reception – in fact everything in it is crisp and new. The Ice Hotel is situated on the shores of the Torne River, in the old village of Jukkasjarvi in Swedish Lapland.
10,000 tons of crystal clear ice from the ‘ice manufacturing plant’, the Torne River, and 30,000 tons of pure snow generously supplied by Mother Nature are needed to build the Ice Hotel every year. The hotel sleeps over 100 guests, and every bedroom is unique.
Covering more than 30,000 square feet, the Ice Hotel includes an Ice Chapel, the hotel itself, an ice art exhibition hall, a cinema, and last but not the least, the world famous ‘Absolut Ice Bar’.
There are so many other places to travel to and so many things to do in Sweden. Aside from the places mentioned above, tourists could check out Lapland, Gotland and Stockholm. For those people visiting Sweden for the first time, see the northern lights for yourself and take amazing pictures of yourself and the beauty of Sweden.