Sweden in winter promises an escape like no other
Sweden in winter promises an escape like no other. Between December and March, this Nordic nation is shrouded in snow and comes alive with a myriad of winter traditions.
SWEDEN IN WINTER: WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO
This is a kingdom of frozen lakes, reindeer and snowy plains that glisten under the Northern Lights. Here you can discover the ancient traditions of the Sami, sled dogs, visit ski resorts and experience the most magical Christmas of your life.
Read on for more inspiration or start exploring these Sweden winter tours today .
Spending a winter holiday in Sweden means going out on the snow and immersing yourself in local customs and traditions. So where should you go?
1. SWEDISH LAPLAND
Head north to Swedish Lapland, where an abundance of winter activities await. Think dog sledding, snowmobiling, and visits to the ICEHOTEL. Also, Lapland is the best place to see the Northern Lights in Sweden .
Fall in love with Kiruna , the main center of Swedish Lapland, with its rustic, authentic and relaxed atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Abisko National Park and learn more about indigenous Sami communities.
If you love city breaks, discover the Swedish capital in its winter splendor. Explore Stockholm's Old Town, Gamla Stan, visit the famous Town Hall and go ice skating in the famous Kungsträdgården.
You could visit Stockholm as part of a winter tour of Scandinavia , a region in the Nordic countries that includes Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Immerse yourself in the charm of Scandinavian capitals and enjoy a mix of world-class art, history, cuisine and nightlife.
Sweden: what to do in winter
Here is our best selection of things to do in Swedish Lapland in winter.
1. HUNTING THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
One of the main reasons to travel to northern Sweden in winter is the Northern Lights. Marvel at the brilliant curtains of green, purple and red light that ripple in the night sky.
Lapland is located within the Arctic Circle, in a region known as the "aurora zone". Between December and March you have an excellent chance to see the world famous Northern Lights for yourself.
An excellent place to spot them is the Aurora Sky Station , an observation tower perched on the side of Mount Nuolja in the Abisko National Park.
2. SLEIGH DRIVEN BY DOGS
Riding a dog sled through the northern wilds of Lapland is the quintessential Swedish winter activity. It is also, in our opinion, an unmissable experience.
Cover up and sit back as your guide and her pack of huskies take you through the snow-covered nature. After some training, you can also try to lead the pack on your own.
3. SIGHTING OF ARCTIC WILDLIFE
With their thick coats and towering structures, the animals native to northern Sweden are terrific to observe, especially when seen in their natural habitat.
Come to Lapland in the winter and you may spot wild moose and reindeer roaming the snowy plains. You may even catch a glimpse of some wolves, obviously from a safe distance.
Adrenaline junkie or not, snowmobiling is an absolute must if you plan to travel to Sweden in the winter. You will have the opportunity to explore remote and scenic areas that would otherwise be impossible to cross.
Don't worry if this is your first time snowmobiling, as full training is provided and safety equipment is always provided.
5. LIVE THE SAMI CULTURE
The ancient Sami culture originated in Lapland and is characterized by a semi-nomadic lifestyle of fishing, trapping fur and reindeer herding. Immerse yourself in the life of the Sami during your trip to Kiruna, learning all about this civilization that dates back 6,000 years.
When traveling to this part of Sweden, you can visit traditional reindeer herds and discover local arts and crafts (“slöjd”). Why not also try local specialties such as raspberry jam?
Get ready to come away with more souvenirs!
6. TOUR OF KIRUNA
Visit Sweden's northernmost city, Kiruna, and you'll have plenty of hotels, shops, tourist spots and public transport links at your disposal. You will also be close to the incredible snowy scenes that envelop this northern center.
Visit the iron mine and explore the iconic Kiruna Church, built in the shape of a traditional Sami mansion.
In nearby Esrange and Jukkasjärvi, more delights await you. You can visit an 18th century church and, quite unexpectedly, visit the largest civilian space center in Europe.
7. SNOWSHOEING AND CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Snowmobiling and dog sledding may be the quickest way to get around. But there is something special about exploring the wilderness on a snowshoe hike or cross-country ski tour.
Following an expert guide, you will cross the snow, enjoying a serene exploration of the quieter regions of Lapland.
8. STAY AT THE ICEHOTEL
Both an art installation and a luxury retreat, ICEHOTEL offers you the opportunity to sleep in a room built entirely of ice.
Kept at a temperature of between -5 and -8 ° C (23 and 17 ° F), it is undoubtedly one of the most unusual hotels in the world. Don't worry though, you'll be protected from the cold with thermal sleeping bags and reindeer skins.
What makes this experience truly unique is that the hotel melts every spring, which means that every winter it is rebuilt from scratch. Spend a night here and it will stay with you forever.
9. CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S EVE
What's more festive than a snowy landscape dotted with pine and reindeer? Beyond the magical scenery, Sweden is full of things to do at Christmas.
Visit the Christmas markets, go ice skating, enjoy a candlelit church service "Santa Lucia" and taste the festive foods. Try Swedish gingerbread, mulled wine, cured salmon, meatballs and ham with cloves.
And of course, kids will love meeting Santa in his homeland, including older children!
10. TO SEE IN STOCKHOLM
During a winter break in Stockholm, spend your days enjoying the buildings, art galleries, architecture and restaurants of the Swedish capital.
Discover the atmospheric Gamla Stan (“Old Town”) and admire the Royal Palace, parliament, medieval houses and ancient churches.
Stroll down the famous street, Drottninggatan, for shopping and people watching. Take a stroll around Östermalm, a trendy neighborhood where you can stop for a bite to eat. Channel Swedish culture by savoring a fika (“coffee break”).
Tips for visiting Sweden in winter
1. WEATHER AND AVERAGE WINTER TEMPERATURE IN SWEDEN
The average winter temperature in Sweden is quite freezing. In southern Sweden, you can expect the thermometer to hover just below freezing.
Head north to Lapland and even colder temperatures await. In Kiruna, the average January temperature is -11 ° C (13 ° F), with snow covering the ground from November onwards.
2. WHAT TO PACK AND WHAT CLOTHES TO WEAR IN SWEDISH WINTER
It goes without saying that warm clothes should be at the top of your list. We recommend that you bring plenty of insulating inner layers, as well as a suitable winter coat and good, thick socks.
When you book a winter Lapland tour with Nordic Visitor, we provide you with warm clothing to wear. You will also receive protective clothing for any day trips or activities such as dog sledding.
3. HOW TO GET THERE
Many international airlines fly directly to Stockholm, which is a major transport hub.
The easiest way to get to Lapland is to fly from Stockholm. Kiruna Airport is a fantastic entry point to the region, with daily flights arriving and departing from the capital all year round.
The flight between Stockholm and Kiruna takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.
If we've whetted your appetite enough for a winter trip to Sweden , now is the time to book. Here at Nordic Visitor, we offer a variety of exciting tours to help you explore this magical corner of the world.
Whether you are taking a Kiruna holiday in Lapland or a package tour in Scandinavia , visiting Sweden in winter will not disappoint!
Our Sweden travel consultants are based in Stockholm and will plan your perfect vacation. They will arrange your accommodation, activities, and transportation, so you can relax and leave all the planning to the local experts.
Plus, you'll have access to our 24/7 helpline during your trip should you need our support at any time.
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