Although I am more of a nature person myself, I usually enjoy visiting a city in Sweden during my travels as well. I visited Stockholm no less than four times for a city trip (what a lovely place) and I also went to Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden for a city trip. The other best cities in Sweden to visit I mention in this article I visited during my nature trips as part of the trip.
Personally, I always enjoy exploring northern cities. The atmosphere is generally relaxed, I love the fine shops and the special architecture that are so characteristic of Scandinavia. In addition, I regularly sit down on a terrace or visit a café for a fika: a coffee with a tasty treat. I also share an urban outdoor tip for every city, or something active that you can do in nature in and/or around the city. Enjoy reading this article about the best cities in Sweden!
Stockholm is of course one of top of my list. This metropolis is very touristy so my tip here is to go there in winter, when it’s a lot quieter. Sights are of course the busy Gamla Stan, the government buildings, the Vasa Museum and the Djurgården peninsula. Abba fans can visit the Abba museum, Skansen is a lot of fun for children. There are also tons of free things to do and the best fikas in town are at Chokladkoppen in Gamla Stan, a small and cozy coffee house. The white chocolate cheesecake is highly recommended!
Urban outdoor tip: go ice skating in Stockholm in winter with ICE Guide
Book your flight to Stockholm here
Find an accommodation in Stockholm
Göteborg (or Gothenburg) is a lot smaller than Stockholm and therefore a lot less crowded, which makes it a perfect destination for a city trip in Sweden for me. You have seen most of the compact city center within a day so that you can also spend some time in the parks around the city or, for example, the islands off the coast. It is also recommended to walk along the harbor. For a good fika, go to Kafferosten on the Linnegatan. Also check my video below that I made during my city trip to Gothenburg that I made in early spring.
Urban outdoor tip: visit the island of Styrsö by ferry
Book your flight to Göteborg here
Find your accommodation in Göteborg
In addition to the large cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg, there are also a number of small but nice cities in Sweden that are more than worth a visit. One of them is Linköping, which can be reached directly with KLM from Amsterdam. You land at Saab Airport and are quickly in the city. Recommendations to visit are the open-air museum Gamla-Linköping, the old cathedral and the Flygvapenmuseum (aviation museum). From Linköping you will also be in the middle of Swedish nature in no time, I combined Linköping with a visit to Östergotland, where I camped in the Swedish wilderness.
Urban outdoor tip: go freedom camping and hike the Östergotlandleden
Book your flight to Linköping here
Find an accommodation in Linköping
A town similar to Linköping is Växjö, the main town in Småland. This is the birthplace of Ikea and because of the many parks and natural surroundings, Växjö is also called the greenest city in Europe. The Linneauspark and the cathedral are the main sights in the city. You can get a fika from Kafé de Luxe. From Växjö you are in nature within no time, you can read all about it in this article.
Urban outdoor tip: rent a canoe and set off on one of the many lakes surrounding the city
Book your flight to Växjö here
Find your accommodation in Växjö
Have you ever heard of Trolhättan? Neither had I, until I first came here two years ago to camp on the shores of Lake Väner, one of Sweden’s largest lakes. Trolhättan’s nickname is ‘Trollywood’ because there are several film studios here. The Hollywood of Sweden, I’d say. It is a real industrial city though because Saab originates here. View the locks and take a trip by car to the Halleberg and the Huneberg, where with a bit of luck you will just find a moose next to the car.
Urban outdoor tip: take a walk on the Halleberg and enjoy beautiful views over the Vänervatten
Find your accommodation in Trolhättan
You’d better skip this city
Although I didn’t particularly like Kiruna, I still wanted to mention it. It is the northernmost city in Sweden and the place to fly if you want to visit the northern part of Swedish Lapland. Due to the mining near the city, part of the buildings have been moved and rebuilt further away, very bizarre to see and notice. We left Kiruna behind after one night. We were here on a Saturday night and it was super quiet on the street and there was nothing to do. So skip Kiruna, you better just go to nature right away! In short, the city itself is quite desolate.
Urban outdoor tip: hike (a part of) the Kungsleden Trail
Find an accommodaton in Kiruna
Conclusion and disclaimer of the best cities in Sweden to visit
Hopefully you found this article with the nicest and most beautiful cities in Sweden useful and I have provided you with a good portion of northern travel information. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. Want to read more about Sweden? Then go to my Sweden page for more inspiration.
This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or reservation via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no extra cost for you.