Sweden is an incredible place to visit when in northern Europe. Swedens stretches up into the Arctic Circle, borders Norway, Finland and is easily accessible from Denmark. Famous for ABBA, Ikea, meatballs and Vikings, Sweden has more to explore than flatpack furniture. There is an incredible diversity of landmarks in Sweden. Approximately 63% of Sweden is covered in forests, giving the landscape a beautiful and wild feel. Within these forested landscapes, moose roam freely. Sweden also has more than 90,000 lakes.
Sweden is a pioneer of renewable energy sources, with more than 50% of the country powered by alternative fuels. Sweden citizens have received more than 950 Nobel Peace Prizes since 1901. Sweden even once had a Pirate King. After Erik XIII was forced away from the crown, he became Krik of Pommern, Pirate King of the Baltic Seas, in 1439.
- Landmarks in Sweden
- Natural Sweden Landmarks
- Stockholm Landmarks
- Historical Landmarks in Sweden
Landmarks in Sweden
Sweden is a unique country filled with breathtaking landscapes, rich history dotted with myths and stories passed down through the ages, incredible architecture, and a modern and young scene in its cities. Exploring the country’s amazing landmarks is one of the top things to do in Sweden. Here are 20 stunning historical and natural Swedish landmarks to see when visiting this Nordic marvel.
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Natural Sweden Landmarks
1- Lake Siljan
Lake Siljan was formed more than 365 million years ago when a meteorite hit the earth.
Several lakes were formed following this astrological event including lakes Orsasjon and Skattungen; commonly referred to as The Silver Ring of Silver and Iron.
Lake Siljan is Sweden’s sixth largest lake but, it is its natural beauty and not its size that draws tourists from all over the world to its shores.
The lake is a popular location for cruises and boat rides, which stops at the picturesque towns and villages along its shore.
Lake Siljan is at Dalarna.
2- Gotlands Raukar
The unusual rock formations standing out of Gotland’s limestone bedrock have long been a source of myth, historical curiosity, and natural beauty.
Millions of years ago, the island was closer to the equator where the limestone bedrock was built up.
Over time the island was moved, and with the help of an Ice Age, Gotland’s unique natural environment emerged and its sea stacks created.
The stacks are known locally as “Hoburgsgubben” or the Hoburg gentleman.
This stack is the largest and best-known sea stack in the area, however, many smaller ones are pushing their way out of the water.
Gotlands Raukar is at 623 30 Burgsvik.
Åreskutan is a mountain in Jämtland standing 1420m (4660ft) high and lies in a region famous for its ski resorts.
The mountain resort of Åre is easily accessible by train, making a hike up the mountain a pleasant one to arrive at.
There are cable cars that take visitors partway up the snow-covered mountain.
From Åreskutan’s summit views over mountains in nearby Härjedalen, Sylarna and even Norway are visible on a clear day.
Åreskutan is at 837 52 Åre.
Kebnekaise is Sweden’s highest mountain and stands at 2096m (6877ft).
The mountain is part of the Scandinavian mountains and unusually has two peaks.
The southern peak is covered by a glacier, which sadly due to global warming is melting, and decreasing in height.
As the mountain lies within the Arctic Circle,the best time to visit is in April when the snow has settled and is stable, making for excellent climbing and skiing conditions.
Kebnekaise is at 981 99 Kiruna.
First explored in 1924 before three teenage boys began detailed cave system documentation in 1948, Lummelundagrottan is one of the more unusual cave and rock formations in Sweden.
Lummelundagrottan is locally known as the Rövarkulan or Robbers Den.
The 1948 expedition into the cave caused some disturbances to the natural formation and widened previously narrow passages due to falling rocks.
During this expedition, a large chamber and underground lake were discovered.
The boys returned to the caves in 1955 intending to cross the lake, where they found other chambers on the far side.
Lummelundagrottan is at Lummelunda Lummelundsbruk 520, 621 71 Visby.
6- Tandövala Ancient Woodland
Tandövala is an incredibly picturesque location in Dalarna county.
The ancient woodland, primarily of old-growth pine, covers the landscape with the occasional log cabin nestled amongst the greenery visible.
Within this ancient woodland is a myriad of wildlife, including bears, wolves and lynx.
Plantlife is equally rich, with an abundance of mountain vines and currants.
Tandövala is locally described as a cairn, a high mountain covered partially in the forest, with the bare areas caused by a forest fire or climate change.
Tandövala Ancient Woodland is at 780 64 Lima.
Skierfeklippan is a mountain within Sarek National Park.
The summit of the mountain is a rocky, flat crag with incredible views over the Rapa River and Laitaure delta below.
Skierfeklippan is popular with advanced mountain climbers as the climb can be challenging, and the western face of the mountain is nearly vertical.
The mountain is 1179m (3868ft) about sea level and is one of the highest in the surrounding area.
Skierfeklippan is at 962 99 Jokkmokk.
8- Höga Kusten
Höga Kusten is Sweden’s High Coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Höga Kusten is a less visited area of Sweden, particularly by tourists, however, this landscape captures the truly incredible beauty of Sweden and has even been officially named the most beautiful place in the country.
The forest floors of Höga Kusten are covered in thick, green moss.
Forest-covered mountains and hills within the area offer spectacular views of the towns, villages and other natural places of interest.
The area is a favourite destination for campers, hikers and mountain climbers.
Höga Kusten is part of Swedens coast line. Höga Kusten is at Gulf of Bothnia, Ångermanland.
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9- Royal Swedish Opera House
Gustav III founded the Royal Swedish Opera in 1773 and Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz designed the building.
Gustav III was murdered during a masked ball held at the opera.
His creation stood proud in Stockholm until it was declared unsafe due to its dilapidated condition and was demolished in 1892.
The current opera house was named after Oscar II, king at the time of its completion.
The new opera house was designed by Axe Anderberg in a neoclassical style.
Norwegian marble fills the entrance hall symbolising a union with the two countries.
An extensive restoration of the opera house has ensured its former glory is not lost to the ages.
The foyer is filled with gold stucco on the walls, crystal chandeliers and delicate Florentine brocade fabric curtains.
Royal Swedish Opera House is at Kungliga Operan AB, Box 160 94, 103 22, Stockholm.
10- Skeppsholmsbron Bridge
Skeppsholmsbron Bridge is a 165m (541ft) bridge connecting the island of Skeppsholmsbron with Stockholm.
King Karl commissioned the bridge, with Motala Verkstad, the oldest engineering firm in Sweden, constructing the bridge in 1861.
Motala Verkstad is referred to in the novel ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea’ by Jules Verne, where the submarine was said to have been built by Motala Verkstad.
The bridge is forged from iron and is the first of its kind in Sweden.
The bridge was classified as a historical landmark in 1935.
Skeppsholmsbron is at Skeppsholmsbron, Stockholm.
11- Hallwyl Museum
In the heart of Stockholm is the Hallwyl Museum.
The museum is a Swedish National museum that has seen the house of Count and Countess von Hawwyl transformed into exhibitions on life during Swedens history.
Gustaf Clason, a renowned Swedish architect, designed the house completed in 1898.
The house was built in Venetian Late Gothic and Early Spanish Renaissance styles, as the von Hawwyls wanted to create a slice of the Mediterranean in central Stockholm.
The house was always intended to be a museum, and its doors opened to the public in 1938.
It is frozen in time with objects left where they were when the house was transformed into a museum.
Some of the more unusual objects displayed include a slice of wedding cake belonging to the Count and Countess, and a piece of the Count’s beard.
Hawwyl Museum is at No 4 Hamngatan, 111 47 Stockholm.
12- Riddarholm Church
Standing tall in Stockholm is the brick and limestone marvel of Riddarholm Church, which is Sweden’s best-preserved medieval abbey.
The church is part of the Royal Palaces of Sweden and is the final resting place for many of Sweden’s rulers, primarily from 1632 to 1950.
Kings from the Middle Ages including Magnus Ladulås were also laid to rest here.
The church is open to anyone to visit but it does not hold services inside its walls.
Many concerts are held here, including the Order of the Seraphim bell ringings.
Riddarholm Church is at Kungliga Slottet, Stockholm 107 70.
13- Stockholm Cathedral
Stockholm Cathedral Storkyrkan, meaning The Great Church, is in the centre of Stockholm.
The 13th-century church is the oldest church in Stockholm.
The cathedral’s interior features red brick columns, vaulted ceilings and incredibly detailed and intricately carved pulpits.
Stockholm Cathedral houses many important objects and sculptures, including St George and the Dragon’s statue dating from 1489.
Legendary painting Vädersoltavlan is also housed within the cathedral.
The painting depicts an atmospheric phenomenon of glowing halo-like rings seen over Stockholm in 1535.
The painting was created following this event.
Stockholm Cathedral is at Trångsund 1, 11129 Stockholm.
Riksdagshuest is Sweden’s Parliament House and is in central Stockholm.
Unusually, compared to the parliaments of other European countries, the Riksdagshuset is open to the public if they wish to attend a debate or are visiting to study.
Guided tours run during parliamentary sessions allow visitors to understand more about how the country is run, and learn a little about Swedens political history.
One of the most famous areas of Riksdagshuest is the library which dates from 1851.
The library has many books the public can borrow.
Riksdagshuest is at Riksgatan 1, 100 12 Stockholm.
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Historical Landmarks in Sweden
15- Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace is the residency of the Swedish Royal Family, which is built on an island named Lovön.
Nicodemus Tessin, the Elder, designed the palace on Queen Hedvig Eleonora’s commission, and construction began in the early 1600s.
The palace has an unusual architectural style influenced by a French design, featuring a Chinese Pavillion and a range of influences spanning Europe’s varying design styles of the time.
The palace is still the residence for the King and Queen of Sweden who occupy the southern wing, allowing the rest of the palace and its spectacular grounds to be open to the public.
The palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Drottningholm Palace is at 178 93 Drottningholm.
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16- Kalmar Castle
Kalmar Castle was originally a medieval castle that underwent a rebuild during the 16th century.
Vasa Kings Gustav, Erik XIV and Johan III all contributed to the current castle’s design and structure.
The kings favoured the Renaissance style of architecture, creating a spectacular palace surrounded by water.
The castle is the key to the kingdom due to its strategic location close to the Swedish-Danish border.
During the Kalmar War, the Danes occupied the castle for two years but it lost its status as a military stronghold and key strategic location following the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658.
Today the castle serves as a monument to Sweden’s military history, its royal families, and the peace that now exists across Scandinavia.
Kalmar Castle is at Kungsgatan 1, 392 33 Kalmar, Sverige.
17- Gamla Uppsala
Gamla Uppsala is the most significant and possibly largest burial sites in Sweden, with burial mounds dating between the 6th and 12th centuries.
Gamla Uppsala was once an important and sacred location before widespread Christianity reached Sweden.
According to legend, inside the three oldest mounts lay pre-Viking Kings’ remains, including Aun, Egil and Adils who were written about in Beowulf.
Burials here were carried out according to Norse pagan beliefs, where the body is burnt in a great fire to transfer the soul to Valhalla.
Gamla Uppsala is at Uppsala.
18- Tanum Rock Carvings
Tanum Rock Carvings is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important historical landmark to see during your trip to Sweden.
The rock carvings are referred to as the Tanum petroglyphs.
There are approximately 600 panels covered in thousands of images carved into the stone and coloured with red pigments to make them more visible to tourists.
Many of the petroglyphs depict boats, humans hunting, and early examples of farming.
The petroglyphs date back to the Scandinavian bronze and iron ages; around 1800 to 500 BC.
Tanum Rock Carvings is at 457 93 Tanum.
19- Kiruna Kyrka
Kiruna Kyrka was designed by Gustav Wickman and was completed in 1921.
The church in Swedish Lapland is designed to resemble a tent cot, known as Sami goahti, and is a shrine of the Nomadic people.
The church is Gothic Revival in style, with an Art Deco altar and adorned with art by Prince Eugen, who painted the altarpiece, Albert Engström and Christian Eriksson.
In 2025 to 2026, there are plans to move the church to make way for ongoing transformations of the city.
Kiruna Kyrka is at Finngatan 1, 981 31 Kiruna.
20- Ales Stenar
The Ales Stenar or Ale Stones are a longship shaped stone formation in Skåne that sits on a flat plane looking out over the sea.
The stones were placed around 1400 years ago and stand above a burial site dating back 5500 years.
According to legend, King Ale the Strong, a popular figure in Sweedish mythology, is buried under the stones.
Altogether 59 stones make up the henge, whose longship shape may have links to the burial ground, as longships would be used to lead the dead to their fate beyond this life.
Ales Stenar is at 52 Killevägen, Ystad, 271 78.
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