Sweden in 2-3 days

A weekend break in Sweden is all about coming to grips with Stockholm. Even 2-3 days is not much in the cosmopolitan capital.

Make sure you visit Gamla Stan — Stockholm’s charming old town is on its own compact little island, criss-crossed with cobblestone streets and topped with the massive bunker of the
Royal Palace. There are tonnes of souvenir shops but it’s still a great place for a pleasant stroll, especially around Storkyrkan, the central cathedral.

Next jump on a bike or walk around the island of Djurgarden, chock-a-block with museums. Don’t miss Skansen, Stockholm’s pride and joy, a sprawling open air affair that shows what life in the city was like during Viking times. The Vasa Museum, where you can see Sweden’s most extravagant war ship, is also well worth a visit.

Spend a few hours or a whole day island hopping by boat, ferry or cruise liner. The capital is built on the fringe of a vast archipelago that’s magical in summer and icy but beautiful in winter.

Your wallet will hate you for it, but no visit to Stockholm would be complete without a big night out on the town. Even the cafés have DJs after dark here.

In 7-9 days

Limit yourself to 2-3 days in Stockholm as detailed above, then focus on seeing some more of this beautiful country. Spend the rest of your week exploring the archipelago around Stockholm and check out Goteborg and the Bohuslan Coast, or fly up to Kiruna and stay at the Icehotel and ride the huskis.

In two weeks +

Spend your first week as detailed above, then head up to Swedish Lapland for a good dose on winter extremes. Visit the Icehotel, spend a night waiting for the northern lights to appear, go ice fishing, warm up in a sauna and take a snowmobile for a dash across a frozen lake. Lapland in winter is a truely magical landscape and well worth exploring for a week or more — just make sure you rug up!