Sweden is the best Scandinavian country to visit in winter snow slope ski relax sitting people

Why Sweden is the Best Scandinavian Country to Visit in Winter

When you talk about Scandinavia, you think of its beautiful winter wonderland, snow covered trees, cold breezes that would freeze your breath, and rich cultural heritage. Among these northern countries, Sweden stands out as the best Scandinavian country to visit in winter. Sweden not only have endless natural beauty, but also vibrant cities and towns.

Visitors would get unique experiences that are perfect for any snow lover. Here are 10 reasons why Sweden should be your next winter getaway destination.

Northern Lights Aurora Borealis north sweden night

1. Best Spot for Spectacular Northern Lights

Sweden is one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), particularly in its northern regions like Abisko and Kiruna. Known for its clear skies, Abisko is often referred to as one of the leading destinations on earth for Aurora Borealis sightings. It is due to the fact that there is essentially not light pollution there and less chance of clouds.

The phenomenon typically lights up the pitch-black winter night sky with breathtaking colours that seem almost alien. You can see the phenomenon easily with the naked eye. It is also your greatest chance to witness the different colours of the Northern Light, such as red, violet, pink, and even white!

winter swim sauna cold frozen lake

2. Thrilling Winter Activities

For adventure seekers, Sweden offers plenty of winter sports. From downhill skiing at resorts like Åre, which is known as one of the best ski resorts in Northern Europe, to cross-country skiing in the vast wilderness. For a more unique experience, you can try ice skating on natural frozen lakes, dog sled, reindeer rides, and much more.

For those truly curious minds, join a safari tour and trek through snowy forests to watch wild moose and other animals in their natural habitat. Or jump into a hole in the frozen lake and rush back up into the hot sauna. These are activities that make a Swedish winter unforgettable.

Winter Landscape snow trees cross country ski

3. Breath-taking Winter Landscapes

Sweden’s landscape transforms into a winter wonderland from December to February. The Swedish Lapland, with its snow-covered forests and frozen lakes, offers the perfect conditions for winter relaxation. Imagine yourself in a warm cabin holding a cup of hot chocolate and watching the snow fall outside.

The scenery is not only breathtaking, but also provides you with a peaceful feeling and escape from every day grind and hustle. Enjoy the slow pace, not every thing has to be an adventure! No more noise, just sounds of wood crackling in the fireplace.

snowmobile mountains red

4. Accessible Arctic Adventures

Unlike its more remote Scandinavian neighbours, many of Sweden’s Arctic attractions are easily accessible. The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, for example, is not only the world’s first hotel made of ice, but also accessible via a short flight from Stockholm. You can also go on a road trip or train journey to reach Jukkasjärvi. It is also rebuilt every winter entirely from ice and snow.

With its stunning landscapes and natural light phenomena, Northern Sweden is a photographer’s paradise. You can join photography tours or go on your own adventure. For those looking for a bit more speed, snowmobiling and ice-karting are popular activities in the arctic. Operators offer tours that can cater to all levels of ability, or discover the artic on your own!

Christmas market houses display model

5. Busy Christmas Markets

Christmas is a huge deal in Sweden. Experience the joy of the Swedish Christmas spirit by visiting one of the many local festive markets. For example, Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamla Stan) hosts one of the most famous Christmas markets, where you can find everything from Swedish handicrafts to traditional holiday foods like saffron buns and mulled wine (glögg).

These markets are not just shopping experiences, but are deeply connected with the Scandinavian traditions, and you can always expect a warm and festive atmosphere. People of all ages can join in on the fun and playful environment.

christmas dinner table julbord sweden tradition

6. Cozy Winter Cuisine: The Christmas Dinner Table

Swedish winter cuisine is all about comfort. The Christmas Dinner Table (Julbord) is basically a buffet with various types of traditional foods, including classics like meatballs, Christmas ham, and pickled herrings, served around Christmas. It is the rare occasion when so much food is prepared and guests can eat till their heart’s content. Historically, it is so that people could survive the harsh long winter in Sweden.

Moreover, Sweden’s coffee culture with the beloved “fika” (coffee break) accompanied by pastries like freshly baked warm cinnamon buns is perfect for the cold days. You will find many cafes doing seasonal baked goods and brews, such as saffron buns and latte.

Sami Cultural Experiences reindeer girl woman feed

7. Sami Cultural Experiences

In the northern parts of Sweden, particularly around Jokkmokk, you can immerse yourself in the indigenous Sami culture. This includes experiencing their traditional reindeer herding, enjoying Sami clothing, crafts, and storytelling, as well as staying in a “lavvu” (a tent similar to a teepee).

These cultural experiences offer insights into a way of life that has persisted in Scandinavia for thousands of years. Discover how they survived during the cold months and how they became the master of handling reindeers.

bonfire cold winter

8. Sustainable Travel

Sweden is a leader in sustainable travel, with eco-friendly options that make exploring its winter landscapes both enjoyable, and environmentally and socially responsible. From hotels heated by renewable energy, to tours that emphasize conservation, Sweden is ideal for the eco-conscious traveller. You can almost reach everywhere with the train!

Here at FarmstaySweden, we have developed rigorous environmental and sustainability criteria for our member farms to meet. This includes having efficient waste management systems, locally source, when possible, reuse as much as possible, and such. So, when you booked with us, you can be assured that you are contributing to a better tomorrow!

heritage church snow

9. Rich Cultural Heritage

Sweden’s rich cultural heritage comes alive in winter through its numerous museums and castles. For example, the open-air museum, Skansen, in Stockholm hosts many winter events, including Lucia celebrations and festive spreads from different time periods laid out in various decorated houses.

Meanwhile, the Kalmar Castle on the south-east shores of Sweden promotes plenty of Christmas events. For example, go on a guided tour about how Christmas came to be at Kalmar Castle, or explore their historical exhibitions only available for a limited time.

laughing woman and man in snow winter fika coffee

10. Friendly and Welcoming People

Swedes are known for their friendliness and hospitality, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas. Their welcoming nature makes travelling around Sweden pleasant and easy, even if you are unfamiliar with the language (though most Swedes speak excellent English). You will also find most information to be available in English.

Also because of the Swedish philosophy of “lagom” (just right or balanced), that guides much of a Swede’s daily life, we are encouraged to consider the comfort and needs of others. It promotes a balanced attitude and harmonious way of living that is often expressed through polite and friendly social interactions.

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