When we moved from the United Kingdom to the USA, one thing I regretted most was not having visited many more European countries while we lived there. I would have loved to visit Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. The country I would have loved to visit though is Sweden.
Of course, the major reason for visiting Sweden would have been the Northern Lights. It is my dream to visit and more so to complete the visit while on a cruise. What could be more breathtaking than the view from the waters? Definitely on my bucket list. While Stockholm is high on my list of must-visit places, I would absolutely love to visit the more tucked away cities and towns and witness the culture of this magical place first hand.
So here goes – my top 5 destinations in Sweden
- Stockholm – Popularly called ‘beauty on water’, Stockholm would be my first stop. Yes, I’d obviously have to hightail it to the airport all the way from sunny California to make this happen but it’s doable, right? And since the cold is not a problem with me (in fact I love the cold), I’m not going to be complaining about the weather either. The magic waterways, cobbled streets (my weakness) and what I believe is top-notch cuisine and shopping will make it a destination to remember.
- Kiruna – Next on my list and definitely the highlight of this visit, Kiruna seems tucked away and aesthetically unappealing to some. Not to me. I love raw nature and places off the beaten path. And it seems Kiruna is the best place to catch that husky ride to the Northern Lights. I do believe that you can also drive your own snowmobile to Lapland. I may just leave that one to the husband and take a more conventional form of transport but hey – Santa, Lapland? Did I say that with the cold, I also love Christmas?
- Gotland – Together with the cold, Christmas and cobbled streets, I’m a sucker for old buildings, churches, castles, and history. Now I never liked studying history in school but really enjoyed teaching it when I was a teacher. And I actually enjoy helping my children learn it. Ask them who helps with their history projects? Anyway, I digress. Gotland sounds like the perfect mix of old architectural delight and modern beach city – just what I love for a holiday destination.
- Gothenburg – I can’t visit Sweden without a visit to the top cities, can I. Gothenburg has to be on the list for what seems the culture capital with bustling streets and amazing nightlife. Besides, it goes by the nickname ‘Little London’ and London is my favorite city in the world.
- Sigtuna – I mentioned I’m a sucker for cobbled streets, right? I’ve heard this is the first town in Sweden founded in AD 980. It’s quaint and it’s old and it has castles! What’s not to love?
While writing up this I learned a whole lot more about Sweden than I ever knew – like what a Fika is and that Snus are popular in Sweden, especially the tobacco-free ones. I know I’ll be taking many Fikas (coffee and cake breaks) while there. I now want to visit Sweden more than ever before and hope to make this dream of mine come true soon.