A Modern Nordic Nation with Ancient Roots

Nestled between Norway, Finland and Denmark, Sweden sits at the heart of Scandinavia. It is a country with much to offer visitors, whether they arrive in search of cosmopolitan cities, wild landscapes or fascinating historical sites. To the north of Sweden lies Swedish Lapland with its stunning snowscapes and dancing Northern Lights, while to the south rolling hills and lush green scenery abound. Head west to explore beautiful archipelagos or into the cities to enjoy culture, fika (cake and coffee breaks) and the unmistakable Swedish style.

Sweden is part of the Baltic Sea EU macro-region (EUSBSR), whose strategy aims include saving the seas, increasing prosperity and boosting connections within the region. Following the cultural routes that link the region is a fascinating way to unearth the stories and influences of the past. From Viking ancestors to Megalithic monuments, Sweden’s rich history shapes the modern Nordic nation it is today.

How to get there?

Sweden can be reached by road, train, air and sea. There are four international airports in the vicinity of the Swedish capital. Stockholm Arlanda Airport is the largest and busiest, with Stockholm Bromma, Skavsta and Västerås following suit. Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport and Malmö Airport also welcome international visitors and several smaller regional airports are dotted across the country.

Alternatively, you can easily reach southern Sweden by flying into Copenhagen Airport in Denmark and crossing the iconic Öresund Bridge linking the two countries. Once in Sweden, visitors can enjoy excellent cycling routes covering parts of EuroVelo 7 and 12.

  • Time Zone
    GMT +1
  • Population
    10 million
  • Capital
  • Official language
  • Currency
    kr or SEK (1 EUR = 10.44 SEK)

EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Sweden

Cultural Routes in Sweden

Six unique cultural routes pass through Sweden. As part of the Baltic Sea macro-region, Sweden’s cultural routes regularly pass through its macro-regional neighbours: Denmark, Germany, Finland and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. However, some routes connect Sweden with countries outside of the Baltic Sea region. For example, the European Cemeteries Route passes through an impressive 20 countries spanning all the way from Norway in the north to Greece in the south.

Sweden’s other cultural routes include The Hansa, the Viking Cultural Route, the Impressionisms Routes, the European Route of Cistercian Abbeys and the Route of Saint Olav Ways.

European Cemeteries Route

Much can be learned about a country’s cultural tapestry by studying its burial rites and cemeteries. The peaceful environment found in Europe’s historic cemeteries is wonderfully conducive to contemplating the heritage and traditions unveiled in these often scenic sites. The European Cemeteries route traces a path through 20 countries and four macro-regions, including one itinerary point in Sweden. Discover graves of influential names from history, picturesque churches and fascinating stories along the way.

The Hansa

The Hanseatic League was a unique union of cities, created by medieval German merchants keen to improve their trade links within other regions of Europe. At its peak, the league included almost 200 cities across all seven countries of what is now known as the Baltic Sea EU macro-region (EUBSR). Following the cultural route through the Hanseatic towns and cities of the past provides an engaging glimpse into the way connections within the region have shaped the present.

The Viking Cultural Route

Perhaps the most famous of Sweden’s ancestors, the Vikings spark the imaginations of visitors young and old. Originally from Denmark, the Vikings travelled extensively throughout the 8th to 11th centuries, casting their influence widely. The Viking Cultural Route tours the most important Viking sites in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Poland, showcasing everything from Viking vessels to settlements across the 11 Swedish stops.

Impressionisms Routes

The 19th-century Impressionist movement was one of the most highly regarded artistic styles, encompassing the works of legendary painters like Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Francisco Llorens-Diaz. The Impressionisms Routes consist of several routes celebrating the important galleries, museums and inspiration behind some of the greatest paintings in the history of art.

European Route of Cistercian Abbeys

Founded in France in 1098, the Cistercian Order was, and still is, an active part of the Roman Catholic Church. The order expanded across Europe, building an impressive 750 abbeys and 1,000 monasteries. The European Route of Cistercian Abbeys visits 32 of the most influential, journeying through historic sites in 11 different countries, including five abbeys in Sweden.

Route of Saint Olav Ways

11th-century Norwegian king, Olav II Haraldson, walked a pilgrimage through Scandinavia that now inspires the spectacular Route of Saint Olav Ways. Follow in the footsteps of this much-loved martyr and saint as a network of rural paths and trails wind through Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The route culminates in a stop at Saint Olav’s burial site at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway.

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