Sweden may be a bit off the usual tourist path due to its northerly haunts and reputation for being an expensive destination. While the current weakness of the US dollar can cause a dent in your wallet, there are several reasons why the trip may be worth it. Sweden offers everything from four-star design hotels and spas for luxury travelers to rough ‘n tumble cabins for backpackers looking to hole up for awhile in the middle of nowhere.
If there is one thing that Sweden has plenty of, it’s wide open spaces. Swedes themselves go nuts for the great outdoors. Whether you are looking for an overnight adventure, a relaxing getaway in a lakeside cabin or three-week trek through the mountains, you’ll be able to plan a trip with a little bit of research and planning. For the real deal, look north to the province of Lappland for a 425 km journey in the Kebnekaise mountain range along Kungsleden, the King’s trail, or west to the province of Värmland, where you’ll find the country’s best white water rafting.
Even if you are just planning a few days in Stockholm, nature is close at hand. The Stockholm archipelago offers plenty of opportunities for boating, kayaking and camping, although a guide is recommended unless you really know your way around. Stockholm is also home to the Ecopark, which claims to be “the first national city park in the world.” Ecopark offers easy access to nature and outdoor activities such as canoeing, biking, bird watching, horseback riding, fishing and hiking. It strethces from Skeppsholmen in the west, to the Fjäderholmarna islands in the east. It also includes the royal parks of Djurgården, Haga and Ulriksdal, which are situated around Brunnsviken bay.
You can book your own guide through the Stockholm Visitors Board, which is located on the main shopping street of Drottninggatan in Stockholm. There are currently around 280 guides who speak 30 languages. These include archipelago guides, taxi drivers and authorized guides for other types of tours. Examples include walking tours of the city, visits to museums, guided tours with special themes, and guided bus and boat tours. There are also several options for boat tours to the royal castle at Drottningholm or through the archipelago through tour operators such as Stockholm Sightseeing.
To see Gothenburg by water, check out Paddan boat tours and information on guided tours of the city can be found at the Gothenburg tourist offices. Visitors to Malmö should check out Malmö Tourism at the Central Station for more information.