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There’s more to Sweden than its capital. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still worth a visit, but here’s where else to go while you’re there...

Sweden has a lot more to it than pickled herring and blonde girls with pigtails. Here, TNT offers tips on the hipster cities of the south and west, the swanky, fairytale capital that is Stockholm, and the wonders that lie ahead if you’re brave enough to venture even further north...

Gothenburg:

 The closest Swedish city to the UK, Gothenburg clings to the west coast. You could easily call it the Shoreditch of Sweden, with an abundance of trendy bars, clubs and music festivals to pick from throughout the year. Perhaps its biggest charm, though, is the archipelago it’s based on - it doesn’t take long to be surrounded by serene islands, beaches and fishing villages. Take one of the regular ferries to the island of Styrsö, and enjoy some fresh seafood on this tranquil, car-free island. 

WHERE TO PARTY: Start your partying at Pustervik, one of the city’s most popular live music venues with a varied programme of performances from local and international acts. Nefertiti is a jazz club that turns clubbier as the night goes on, with the smooth, cool vibe of New York or Soho and even smoother drinks. If cocktails are your thing, head to Norda Bar at the Hotel Post and look out for DosaIvanov, Sweden’s Best Bartender 2014, working his magic.

WHERE TO STAY:  Stay at the Pensionat Styrsö Skaret for a unique slice of island life, or at the central Hotel Royal, the oldest hotel in the city, and one with tons of history and charm.

Umeå:

This year’s European Capital of Culture, Umeå is 6.5 hours north on the fast train from Stockholm, just shy of the Arctic Circle. It’s a city of huge contrasts with close to 24 hours of daylight in summer to enjoy the 150 km of nearby beaches,and harsh, dark winters, punctuated by the magic of the Northern Lights.

There’s a huge outdoor art gallery in the form of the Umedalens Skulptur Park that’s well worth a visit. While you’re there, tuck into some reindeer at the Le Garage Bistro (don’t worry, we won’t tell Santa).

The city is bursting with cultural events this year, with music, art, drama, creative installations, dance and film. Highlights include the midsummer celebrations on the weekend of June 20-22, where you can help make the midsummer pole (a decorative, flower-bestooned central pole, similar to a maypole), or sit back and watch while enjoying some ‘fika’ (coffee and cake).

Later in the summer (August 29-Sep 7) there’s the Contemporary Circus Festival, mixing elements of music hall,street performance and contemporary circus arts.

WHERE TO PARTY: Schlagerklubben and Cover Club form one of Sweden’s largest night clubs, with the best in Europop and dance. It has more video screens than any other club in Europe, so you’ll be in for an audio-visual experience beyond compare, which is what you look for in a good night out, we’re sure.

WHERE TO STAY: There are some beautiful summer houses in the area - some of them are available for renting on sites such as airbnb.co.uk, so check these out before booking a standard hotel, of which there are a fair number.


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European break: Sweden
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