The Perfect 5 to 7 Days in Sweden Itinerary

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by Olivia Ellis


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From lush boreal forests to cobblestone streets, this 5 to 7 days in Sweden itinerary will take you off the beaten path and give you a look into what makes this country what it is as well as such a happy place to visit.

Being the largest Nordic and Scandinavian country as well as one of the largest countries in Europe, it can become a daunting task to plan a trip across Sweden. Tourists typically tend to flock directly to the capital city of Stockholm, but in reality, the country has so much more to offer.

With this itinerary, you’ll have a remarkable trip full of delicious food, nature, sleek and classic Swedish cities, and everything in between.

How Many Days in Sweden?

While 2 days are probably enough if you’re just hoping to visit a major city such as Stockholm or Gothenburg, you’re just dipping your toes into the country.

For those searching to get a good feel of Sweden and experience nature as well as city life, 5 days in Sweden should suffice at a minimum.

If you’re hoping to take a bit of a slower pace and be in less of a rush, I suggest spending 7 days exploring Sweden.

Any time beyond that will only enrich your experience, as it’s such a vast country and to see most of the regions, it’ll take more time if you want to spend multiple days in various areas.

For example, Swedish Lapland is more popular in the winter months when visitors can view the Northern Lights and due to the distance from Stockholm or other major cities, you’ll want to plan for at least 4 days in Lapland beyond 1-2 days in Stockholm.

In the warmer months, southern Sweden is quite popular and worth visiting and most things are quite close, so it’s more feasible to do a shorter trip. 

Scenic Swedish countryside
Scenic Swedish countryside

Getting To & Around Sweden

This itinerary starts in Stockholm, so the easiest airport to fly into is Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport, located in Arlanda, a town about an hour away from the Stockholm archipelago.

Another option when looking to plan a Sweden itinerary is to fly into Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport which is conveniently located just a short train ride from the city of Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city. 

As for getting around while spending time in Sweden, the best ways are either by hire car or by Swedish train transportation. Both modes of transport are great and efficient, but the one you’ll ultimately decide to go with depends on your needs during your trip.

As this trip goes to quite a few destinations within Sweden, the cost will likely come out around the same whether you decide to hire a car or strictly travel by train.

If you decide on a Sweden road trip with a hire car, you’ll have more independence and freedom to decide when you’ll travel and exactly where you’ll go but in comparison to train transport, if you’re not super keen on driving throughout a trip, train transport will give you more relaxed journeys.

The time of year will also make a big difference regarding your method of transport. Swedish winters can be quite brutal, snowy, and icy, so if you’re visiting in the winter and are hoping to make it to Lapland, train transport is the best option if you’re not an incredibly experienced driver with the appropriate hire car. 

Whether you decide to travel by car or train, it’s good to keep in mind that the longer you wait to book a car or a train ticket, the higher prices will be — especially if you’re hoping to travel to Sweden during the summer high season. 

For those who think a road trip in Sweden is their best bet, then we suggest browsing Rentalcars.com to compare prices across several companies. Alternatively, you can book train tickets in advance here.

Arlanda Airport
Arlanda Airport

5 to 7-Day Sweden Itinerary

As a country with such varying landscapes and history, Sweden is truly a joy to visit. One moment you’re surrounded by dense nature; whether it be solemn seas or deep forests, and another moment you’ll find yourself in the high-tech, stylish Scandinavian big brother that it is. 

Day 1 – Stockholm

Day 1 begins in the vibrant capital city of Stockholm. Spending one or two days in the capital city is a great way to acquaint yourself with Sweden in general and you won’t be at a loss for ways to spend your time while in Stockholm.

Stockholm is quite a large city and you could easily spend a number of days wandering around the center and the deeper corners of the city. However, if you’re short on time, one or two days is enough to experience most of the important parts and to explore the capital of Sweden

Make sure to wander around the medieval, cobblestoned, and colourful Gamla Stan (Old Town) neighborhood, check out one of the city’s many fantastic museums (the Vasa Museum is the most loved and appreciated museum in all of Scandinavia), and wander around the Royal Palace of Sweden while also witnessing the changing of the guard.

To maximise what you see during your time in Stockholm, consider taking a walking tour, bike tour or short archipelago cruise. You should also consider a Stockholm Go City Pass if you plan to visit many paid attractions.

Old Town of Stockholm
Old Town of Stockholm

Where to Stay in Stockholm

Scandic No 53 – This 3-star hotel located close to the top attractions in Stockholm makes for a great base in the Swedish capital. Perfect for mid-range travelers, they have a number of comfortable rooms available and there’s even an on-site bar.

Downtown Camper by Scandic – Luxury visitors to Stockholm will love this plush, 4-star hotel in the centre of the Swedish capital. Perfectly located to see all the city has to offer, they have a number of elegant rooms to choose from and countless other amenities to ensure you have a wonderful stay.

Gamla Stan Apartments – For those who like to have their own flat while traveling, these apartments are an excellent choice. Centrally located for exploring all that Stockholm has to offer, they have a range of flats on offer and they’re all fully furnished with everything you may need.

Castanea Old Town Hostel – This hostel is an excellent choice for those visiting Stockholm solo or on a budget. They have a range of dorms and some private rooms available, great common areas and a location perfect for exploring the Swedish capital.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Stockholm hotels!

Day 2 – Sigtuna

One of the great things about Sweden is the proximity of special small towns to major cities. On day 2 of this itinerary, you’ll head about an hour away from Stockholm to Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna.

Sigtuna dates back to 970 CE and as Sweden’s first city, it just shows how far back and rich the history of the country is. Sigtuna is quite a small and quaint city and that makes it the perfect day trip and is one of the best places to visit in the country.

Begin your day on the idyllic Stora Gatan (Sweden’s oldest pedestrian street) meandering through shops, enjoying a Fika with coffee and a Swedish treat and taking in the traditional architecture and homes.

It’s also worth checking out the Runestones of Sigtuna, the oldest known texts in Swedish dating back to the 4th century CE. There’s a large amount of them in the city, so head to the city hall (worth a visit in itself) to obtain a map to direct you to their locations.

Afterwards, head back to Stockholm for your last night in the city.

If you prefer to do this day trip on an organised tour, this full-day tour goes to Sigtuna and Uppsala, focusing on Viking history. Alternatively, this half-day tour focuses primarily on Sigtuna.

Alternatively, if Sigtuna doesn’t suit, consider heading out to visit the grand Drottningholm Palace.

Sigtuna. Sweden
Sigtuna, Sweden

Day 3 – Orebro 

After spending two nights in Stockholm, day 3 will bring you about 2 hours away from Stockholm to the 13th-century town of Orebro located in the central part of Sweden.

While much of this trip to Sweden route, visiting Orebro is a great opportunity to experience a town in central Sweden.

Like most other cities and towns in Sweden, Orebro has a stunning city center, and many will even say that it’s one of the nicest in the country.

During your visit make sure to visit the Orebro Castle, located on a picturesque islet in the city, wander around the city center, and head to the Svamp Water Tower to get incredible Panoramic views of the city.

I suggest staying in Orebro on the third night of this itinerary as it’s a really lovely city to have a break from large-city Swedish life and enjoy a slower pace. 

Orebro Castle
Orebro Castle

Where to Stay in Orebro

Livin Station Hotel – This small, 3-star hotel in Orebro is a great accommodation choice for those visiting Sweden on a mid-range budget. They have a range of modern and comfortable rooms on offer and a great location in order to explore all this lovely town has to offer.

Clarion Collection Hotel Borgen – If you’re looking for luxury in Orebro, then this hotel is an excellent choice. They have a range of plush rooms available, a fantastic location for exploring the city and a great restaurant on site (along with many other amenities).

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Orebro hotels!

Day 4 – Gothenburg

On the southwest coast of Sweden, you’ll find Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city after Stockholm.

After enjoying a day in the city of Orebro, you’ll head about three hours away to Gothenburg on day 4. If you’re driving, consider making a detour to visit the charming town of Kalmar on the Baltic Sea and explore the historic center.

While Stockholm is easily the tourist center of Sweden, Gothenburg offers the best of Sweden without tourist crowds as well as tourist prices.

The city itself is full of Dutch-style canals (Gothenburg was mainly built by the Dutch), pure Scandinavian style, classic green boulevards, and a tremendously impressive food scene.

When in Gothenburg, I recommend checking out the 17th-century Domkyrkan (Gothenburg’s Cathedral), the hip and characteristic Haga neighborhood for lunch, and Slottsskogen, the city’s main park.

Gothenburg is full of a mix of sustainable and classically elegant architecture, and even just wandering around the city is a marvel in itself. If you’re looking to try a wide array of foods, head to the Saluhallen Food Hall to enjoy a tasty bite while marvelling at the architecture of the 1800s building. 

Gothenburg Cathedral
Gothenburg Cathedral

Where to Stay in Gothenburg

Hotel Royal – This hotel in the centre of Gothenburg is a great option for mid-range travelers. They have a number of great rooms on offer, a fantastic, central location and they also offer a wonderful breakfast each morning.

Hotel Pigalle – If you’re looking for a luxury escape in Gothenburg then you are sure to love this elegant hotel. There are a range of wonderful rooms to choose from, an excellent location for exploring the city and amenities like room service and more available for guests.

Slottskogens Hostel – Those visiting Gothenburg on a budget (or simply looking for a lively social atmosphere) will love this centrally-located hostel. They offer both dorms and private rooms and also have good common areas and self-catering facilities.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Gothenburg hotels!

Day 5 – Southern Gothenburg Archipelago

The city of Gothenburg is in a unique location with 20 islands spanning Sweden’s western coast making up the Gothenburg Archipelago. The Gothenburg Archipelago consists of two parts; the northern archipelago, and the southern archipelago.

While both parts are worth the visit, the southern archipelago is better connected to the city and easier to access on a day trip.

Gothenburg’s Archipelago islands are one of the prime spots for Swedish local’s summer getaways and visiting one or two of the archipelago islands is the perfect way to experience what local life is like for Swedes spent by the sea, on the beach and under the sun.

The southern archipelago can easily be reached by Gothenburg’s public transport system in around 30 minutes and due to all of the archipelago islands being car-free, cars aren’t allowed on ferries so keep this in mind if you’re hiring a car during your trip.

Styrso Island is the main hub of the southern islands and is a great spot to head to during your day trip, you’ll find numerous places to swim as well as airy and pleasant cafes/restaurants throughout the island.

If you’re spending 5 days, today will conclude your Sweden travel itinerary. The best options are to continue onward by train if you’d like to see other destinations or make your way to Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport or Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport for your return flight.

From Gothenburg, there are numerous direct train services to each city, and directly to Copenhagen Airport.

Southern Gothenburg Archipelago
Southern Gothenburg Archipelago

Day 6 – Malmo

For those continuing to enjoy Sweden in 7 days, days 6 and 7 of this itinerary will bring you to the city of Malmo. The city of Malmo dates back to the 13th century and is the third largest city in Sweden located about a 3-hour drive or train ride away from Gothenburg.

Malmo is located in a unique location, on the southern tip of Sweden and just 30 minutes away from Copenhagen, Denmark across the Oresund Strait. The city of Malmo is a unique mix of urban industrial architecture, classic medieval architecture, and sustainable futuristic architecture all creating the center of the city.

Make a point to spend time at the 15th-century Malmo castle (the oldest surviving Renaissance castle in Sweden), stroll down the Sodergatan and maybe even visit the most unique museum you’ll come across, the Disgusting Food Museum

Malmo Old Town
Malmo Old Town

Where to Stay in Malmo

Mayfair Hotel Tunneln – This small hotel is located within a stone’s throw from Malmo’s train station and is the perfect base for exploring the city. They have many comfortable rooms to choose from and other amenities including an on-site bar and restaurant for guests to enjoy.

The More Hotel Mazetti – If you’d like to have your own flat in Malmo, then this aparthotel is an excellent option. Centrally located, this combines the convenience of having your own apartment with all of the amenities of a hotel. There are a number of fully-furnished and stylish flats to choose from.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Malmo hotels!

Day 7 – Lund

While Malmo is an engaging city to visit in its own right, the city itself is quite small, so this leaves you with the perfect day trip opportunity to the university city of Lund.

Lund is a charming, cobblestoned medieval town known for having one of the best universities in the world and is just a short 15-minute train ride from Malmo Central Station. The city center is quite small but large enough to make a day/half-day trip out of by stepping back in time through the city’s quaint and studious old town.

Lund has an incredibly relaxed atmosphere and this itself makes one of Sweden’s oldest cities a great getaway from city life in Malmo. The spectacular Romanesque Cathedral of Lund is one of the most sought-after attractions in all the Nordics, and religious or not, the cathedral is a truly peaceful splendor to walk through.

If you’re looking for a unique experience on your Lund day trip and last day in Sweden, I highly suggest heading to Kulturen, an outdoor open-air museum/experience with replicas from medieval times through the 20th century. 

If you’re trying to sort out the most convenient option for a return flight from Sweden, Malmo is located on train lines with direct connections to Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport in just under half an hour. If it’s not feasible to return from Copenhagen, you’ll also find convenient routes to Stockholm Airport as well as Gothenburg Airport. 

Lund, Sweden
Lund, Sweden

Have More Time?

Perhaps you find yourself with more time beyond the 7 days of this Sweden travel itinerary. In that case, you’re in luck. Sweden is such a large country with plenty more interesting places and things to do, with varying unique options depending on the time of year.

If you’re a winter adventurer and are visiting Sweden in the winter, one of the best ways to enjoy Swedish winter is to head to the northern region of Swedish Lapland.

Witness the dancing, colorful aurora borealis in the arctic after a day of snowy activities and enjoy local Sami culture amongst locals and friendly animals. You can fly into the northern town of Kiruna and also opt to visit the incredible Abisko National Park.

If you’re visiting Sweden in the summer and would like to extend your trip with a unique location, the island of Gotland is a UNESCO Heritage Site located off the east coast of the Swedish mainland and the home of Pippi Longstocking.

Spend time in the city of Visby while wandering through its enchanting streets and corners of this fairytale Swedish island, a magical place without a hoard of tourists. 

You could also opt to spend a few more days in Stockholm and experience the sites and places close to the city.

Visby
Visby

There are plenty of reasons that Sweden is such a joyful destination that visitors long for and experience when they visit. The country itself is massive, offering a variety of adventures and experiences, the people are generous and kind, it’s one of the most forward-sustainable countries today and the towns bring you back to your childhood fairytale dreams.

After spending one week in Sweden, you’ll likely find yourself looking to come back soon to explore even deeper corners of this especially peaceful haven of a country.

Are you planning a trip to Sweden? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this itinerary. We love all of it and will avoid Gothenburg as we will see it as part of our biking trip on the west coast a week later. Is the island of Oland worth visiting as well as Gotland.

    Appreciate your input. Have you also done an itinerary for Denmark?

    Reply
  2. Greatly helpful article for us who are planning a week long self-driving trip to Sweden in Sep. we will pretty much follow your itineraries, and try to see as many places as possible. We’ve been in Stockholm for a couple times but have not seen anywhere else in Sweden, so we’re excited about the trip!

    Reply
  3. Yes am planning a trip to Sweden sometime in December and will likely spend my Christmas over there. That will be my first time in Sweden so I would really want to have a swell time while am there.

    Reply

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