Visit Sweden News – Summer 2023
Six places to enjoy a truly authentic Swedish Midsummer
Plan a holiday to Sweden in the month of June this year and you will be rewarded with double helpings of celebratory joy. Not only is it the month when Sweden turns 500 years old, but also the month of Sweden’s most longed-for festival – Midsummer.
On June 23rd (Midsummer´s Eve), which is the longest day of the year, you will have the chance to meet with a group of cheerful Swedes, dressed in traditional costumes, dancing around the maypole. Make sure you join the “Små Grodorna” (The Little Frogs) dance and hop away from all worries. Treat yourself to traditional Swedish fare including smoked salmon, pickled herring and, of course, fresh strawberry cake.
Over this long weekend, cities are usually quiet as most local people head off to the countryside and celebrate the Midsummer holiday with their families and friends. Here are a few places where you can join the fun, celebrate like a local and experience this truly authentic tradition.
Please note that celebration programs from the below list may only be updated at the end of May or early June. Make sure you check the latest information before leaving.
Dalarna – Sammilsdal
Midsummer in Leksand, Dalarna gathers 20,000-30,000 visitors every year to Sammilsdal (Gropen) . It is also the world’s largest & longest-running midsummer celebration.
Dalarna is home to many of Sweden’s timeless treasures. The centuries-old UNESCO-listed Falun Mine is only an hour away from Leksand by train. Or after the Midsummer feast go hiking along the route of the world’s oldest long-distance cross-country ski race ‘Vasaloppet’.
Stockholm – Skansen
Midsummer celebrations at Skansen are the real highlight of the summer in Stockholm. Follow the folk dancers and dance through until Sunday, the summer will then officially have arrived. Pay a visit to both wild and domestic Nordic animals living in the world’s oldest open-air museum and learn from Skansen’s approach to species conservation and biodiversity.
It is worth noting that Skansen has recently earned the honourable distinction of Sweden’s most sustainable brand in the travel industry, according to the “Sustainable Brand Index 2023”. Such recognition is no surprise, as Skansen has consistently played an active role in preserving and making Sweden´s cultural heritage accessible. Top of Form
Göteborg – Slottsskogen
Slottsskogen in Gothenburg is a well-designed city park combined with a natural forest. It creates a large open area for people to gather and celebrate festivities. Both locals and visitors alike are invited to the big lawn in front of Björngårdsvillan every year to enjoy this classic Midsummer event.
This year’s celebration promises to be different as the city also celebrates its 400-year anniversary in the same month. A variety of festive activities are lined up throughout the year and the city will be filled with music, dance, culinary experiences, and fun for all ages.
Småland – Getnö Gård.
We often say Småland is ‘Sweden for real’ thanks to its rich culture and undisturbed nature. If you want to treat yourself to a real authentic Swedish midsummer as well as their enchanting countryside, you should not miss Getnö – Lake Åsnen Resort in Småland.
The resort is a natural paradise, nestled by the Åsnen National Park , Sweden’s 30th national park. Enjoy a magical Midsummer night by the tranquil Åsnen lake, old beach forests and its unique archipelago landscape.
Gotland – Paviljongsplan.
Gotland off the east coast of Sweden embraces both wild nature and rich culture. Its mild summer weather and long hours of sunshine make it a holiday paradise for Swedes. Visby , the main town of Gotland, listed by UNESCO World Heritage, preserves a beautiful walled town dating back to the 12th century.
The Midsummer celebration in Visby on June 23rd starts at noon with a parade from Södertorg Square with horses and carriages, down to Paviljongsplan (Pavilion Square). Other than the traditional activities like raising the May Pole and folk dances, live music performances and fun activities will also be arranged for the children.
This event is made possible by a non-profit organisation, that loves the midsummer traditions.
Lund – Friluftsmuseet Kulturen
If you are travelling through Southern Sweden , Lund is a wonderful option for experiencing the Midsummer festival with youthful enthusiasm in a traditional setting.
The students from Lund University will perform a folk dance at the Kulturen open-air museum. Come early and help decorate and raise the maypole! Buy your midsummer lunch on site or bring your own picnic to the beautiful museum park.
Dogs need holidays too! Bring your best friend on holiday to Sweden
Bringing a dog along on holiday is popular among pet owners. During the pandemic, many people greatly appreciated the physical and mental health benefits of owning a dog. With the companionship of a dog helping you feel more connected with the world, it seems a shame to leave them at home when travelling.
While bringing a dog on holiday can be a fun and rewarding experience, it also comes with a few challenges that pet owners need to consider before embarking on their travels. But do not worry, Sweden, at least, has got it all covered for you!
Fortunately, there is plenty of accommodation, lots of restaurants, and other places in Sweden where four-legged friends are welcome. The boutique hotel Pigalle in Gothenburg has a special dog room, and in the castle hotel Häringe near Stockholm, dogs are even allowed in the dining room. The Scandic and Best Western hotel chains have offers for guests with pets in several places throughout Sweden. At Hotel Svea by Best Western they offer dog-rooms with your own terrace, along with a delightful location near cycling and hiking routes in Simrishamn. Camping with your dog can be the ultimate adventure, and the camping.se platform provides access to nearly 200 pet-friendly sites across the country. Even hikers who bring their furry friends can find over 180 STF hostels across the country – offering authentic, regional accommodation in beautiful rural settings.
Having bed and board covered, it is time to go out and enjoy the country. At this point, if you do not already own a dog, you can always rent one and go hiking for a day at Fjälläventyr in Dalarna. If you are in the bigger cities, parks such as Konradsbergsparken in Stockholm, or Slottsskogen in Gothenburg welcome dogs. In Malmö, Ribersborg beach of has a dedicated exercise area, and even a dog swimming area. Dogs are generally not allowed at bathing areas, but pretty much every Swedish municipality has at least one beach for four-legged friends. We particularly recommend Gålö Havsbad in southern Stockholm. A few amusement and theme parks also allow four-legged friends including Astrid Lindgren’s World and High Chaparral in Småland, Kneippbyn on Gotland and the zoos in Ystad and Färjestaden (on Öland ).
After all this activity it is time for a refill of energy. Dogs are accepted in many restaurants and cafés, as the decision is left to the owner. Some establishments even explicitly invite dogs and their fur parents. Dog Bakery recently opened their second restaurant in Gothenburg after the success of the first restaurant in Stockholm. At other places like Himmelska Hundar in Stockholm, Café Zoomarket i Visby and Anklevska Kompaniet in Nyköping, you can meet other dog owners. It´s a great way to get to know locals and discover top tips and inside information on the local area.
Please note: Dogs must be kept on a lead in the countryside between 1 March and 20 August, further practical information can be found on the websites of the Swedish Customs and Naturvårdsverket.
Take a stylish and sustainable second-hand safari in climate-friendly Gothenburg
Gothenburg, the friendly port city on the west coast, has earned its place as the top spot for sustainable travel for the sixth year running. This is thanks to its numerous hotels that prioritise renewable energy sources, use of regional products and reduced plastic use.
Shopping sustainably is becoming more and more fashionable, with Gothenburg boasting over 125 second-hand and vintage shops. Whether you’re looking for exclusive vintage pieces or unsorted flea markets, there’s something for everyone. Emelie Norberg, a finalist in Sweden’s Second-Hand Pro award, is a big fan of Gothenburg’s second-hand scene. She says, “Gothenburg is one of my favorite cities in Europe for second-hand and vintage. The mix of street style and luxury brands is perfect. The city makes it easy to choose second-hand.”
In Gothenburg, there are many initiatives where products can be rented, swapped, borrowed, shared, donated and preserved. A special highlight, for holidaymakers and locals alike, is to join a second-hand safari. Green influencer and sustainability stylist Theresa Skjolden guides you through the best range of vintage and second-hand shops in Gothenburg. “The guided tour includes five hours of sustainable shopping, style advice and other tips. Everything to help you shop more consciously, while also being friendly on your wallet and the planet,” says Theresa Skjolden. The curated style hike will take place on three Saturdays this year (May 13, June 10, and September 16; always 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), costs SEK 795.00 (approx. £60) per person and can be booked at [email protected] . Lunch together is included, as are discounts in stores and a final drink.
Shoppers interested in sustainability can also find great options at the renowned “Fish Church” Feskekôrka, offering a wide selection of fresh regional fish and seafood. Nature-lovers will find plenty of green spaces in Gothenburg, like Slottsskogen Park, an ideal place for walks and picnics, as well as home to many native animals. The city also boasts the largest botanical garden in Sweden, a must-see destination.
Public transport in Gothenburg is also environmentally friendly. The city has an excellent public transport network consisting of buses, trams and ferries. If you want to explore the city on your own, rent a city bike via Styr & Ställ. With a single ticket, each started half hour costs SEK 20 (approx. £1.50). For those on holiday, it is worth considering buying an annual or monthly subscription. An annual subscription costs SEK 300 (approx. £23), and a monthly subscription costs SEK 90 (approx. £ 7). These include 60 minutes of free travel per rental, after which a fee of SEK 10 kronor (approx. £0.80) per half hour is charged.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to get to Gothenburg and don´t want to fly there are a number of options. This February, the Dutch-Belgian rail company European Sleeper , launched an overnight sleeper service from London to Berlin. Passengers board a Eurostar train at London’s St Pancras and then change trains in Brussels about two hours into the trip. The changeover is quick, and the journey takes just under 16 hours in total. You can then take the train from Germany with a direct connection on an InterCity Express to Copenhagen, and then from there to Gothenburg. This second section of the journey is around 12 hours. Alternatively, there are numerous direct bus services from Germany to Gothenburg. Lastly, the overnight ferry trip from Kiel to Gothenburg with Stena Line is another stress-free option once you´ve arrived in Kiel by whatever chosen means.
So, in Gothenburg, there are plenty of opportunities to be eco-friendly, from shopping and sightseeing to selecting hotels and transportation. For more information, please visit:
https://www.goteborg.com/en/events/secondhand-safari https://www.goteborg.com/en/guides/gothenburgs-best-thrift-shops .
Escape to West Sweden´s NEW Island Boutique B&B: Kläpphagen Koster
An exciting new place to stay on South Koster island opens on 15th May. Kläpphagen Koster have built up a charming destination on the island – a new Boutique B&B with 6 new apartments, each equipped with a terrace and galley kitchen, 2 glamping tents and a cosy farmhouse on two floors. On-site there is even a brewery, farm shop, bakery and restaurant as well as a bar and a private lounge area for 4. Guests can prepare food over an open fire using local ingredients, learn how to make beer and have a beer tasting, as well as go fishing and hiking.
While on the island, take a moment to explore the Kosterhavet National Park, Sweden’s first marine national park, with underwater trails and a visitor center. Get there by ferry from Strömstad, which is reached by train from Gothenburg. On South Koster you can also hike and cycle. Visit the Naturum Kosterhavet to learn all about the marine national park, go on guided boat trips and hire kayaks.
Starting price for two from: 1197 SEK/night; Glamping tent and 1977 SEK/night in the Superior Suit; and 2697 SEK/night in the Farmhouse.
Read more about the stay here: https://www.klapphagen.se/en/stay/
- There´s a game of bowls, a brewery training course and beer tasting, fishing, board games, hiking and a hairdresser available
- In the moment: Cars are not allowed on the Koster Islands, you are totally immersed in a protected natural environment that lends itself perfectly to exploring the many hiking paths that cross the island
- Book a guided boat trip and seal safari, go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding
A stay can be combined with a visit to the brand new Strömstad Spa and Lagunen on the mainland (the harbour you travel to the Koster Islands from), which opened on the 31st March 2023.
Internationally renowned outdoor venue, Dalhalla starts unique guided tours with dinner
The restaurant at the Dalhalla Arena in Sweden is now open on more occasions than just concert nights. Visitors start their evening with a guided tour, learning about the arena’s history, its green water, and the famous artists who have visited. After the tour, guests enjoy a three-course dinner prepared by Dalhalla’s talented chefs, followed by a visit to the VIP area. This is a unique opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the arena in a more relaxed setting.
Dalhalla , in Dalarna Sweden is already recognised as a unique festival arena with exceptional acoustics of international repute. The natural amphitheater, a former 55m deep lime quarry, has been carefully designed to ensure the highest quality sound and acoustics, making it an ideal place for music events. The arena has hosted a variety of concerts , operas, and other cultural events, drawing visitors from around the world. These include the first outdoor performance of Mamma Mia the Musical and bands such as First Aid Kit, Robert Plant and KISS etc.
Lake Siljan and its beautiful surroundings in Dalarna are the result of a meteorite impact which happened 360 million years ago. Dalhalla is one of only three places in the world where it is possible see how the natural surroundings have been formed by a meteorite. It is a truly remarkable place where music and nature come together to create a magical experience.
Visitors travelling a long distance or if you simply want to enjoy a comfortable night away, book one of Dalhalla’s popular glamping packages just a short walk away from the restaurant. For a proper start to the day, a breakfast basket is delivered straight to the tent. For those who wish to stay in their own caravan or motorhome, there are spots available to book in conjunction with a dinner reservation.
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