Sweden is divided into three large regions: Norrland in the north, Svealand in the center, and Gotaland in the south. You can cover one of the three regions in five days, but taking 10 days or more to cover two regions at an unrushed pace is ideal. And in two weeks, you can see what these three regions have to offer on a grand tour of the Nordic country.

Planning Your Trip to Sweden

Taking 10 days to experience Sweden is ideal. During this time, you can visit Stockholm and choose to either go on a road trip through the southern region of Götaland or pop up to Norrland in the north to catch a glimpse of the northern lights.

With two weeks in Sweden, you can have more of an off-the-beaten-path experience in Lapland and extend your itinerary to Finnish Lapland. Or, get a more in-depth look at Stockholm and beyond by cruising across the country through the Gota Canal, hitting many cities and cultural highlights along the way. 

With only five days in Sweden, it's best to pick one region to explore as traveling by car can take several hours between destinations. There is plenty to do in Stockholm, and you'll still have the opportunity for a short trip to the countryside. 

Sweden in 5 Days

Explore the medieval history in Gotland
Explore the medieval history in Gotland

Five days in Sweden allows you to explore one region. Northern lights chasers will want to head north, city explorers will want to stay in central Sweden, and nature lovers will want to see the countryside in the south. 

Exploring the northern region is a must for those seeking a wintery Arctic Circle adventure. Visit Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, and the mountainous Abisko National Park, the best place for northern lights hunting. Read this Sweden in January article for more on the auroras.

Another option is to stay in central Sweden. Begin in Stockholm to cover the highlights, like the Old Town, Royal Palace, and National City Park, set out on the scenic biking trails in Klaralvsbanan, and get acquainted with sauna culture. On the third day, take a side trip to nearby Gothenburg for the rest of the itinerary. Its botanical gardens come alive with snowdrops and cherry blossoms during the springtime, and the Liseberg amusement park offers some thrilling rides. 

You can also choose a five-day road trip in the southern region of Sweden, full of lakes, green fields, and thick forests. If you like to move at a fast pace, you can fit several places into an itinerary. In spring, stop by the Gothenburg Botanical Garden for a sea of tiny white flowers and Skane for its yellow blooms and beechwood forests. Then venture around Malmo for its "Twisting Torso" skyscraper (and a festival if here in the summer) before checking out Kalmar for its Renaissance history and castles. Next, Gotland Island is a bit farther east but worth the drive for its sandy beaches and Viking-era history.

Plan your trip to Sweden
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Sweden in 10 Days

Sweden, Stockholm - Summer sunset over Stockholm's Old Town of Sodermalm district
Summer sunset over Stockholm's Old Town of Sodermalm district

In 10 days, you can visit Stockholm, take a road trip through the southern lands, and explore the southeastern coast.

Start in Stockholm and extend your itinerary through the small towns and countryside of Smaland, where you'll be mesmerized by glass-blowing factories in the cities. In the country, make the most of outdoor activities like canoeing, fishing, climbing, and golfing. Take a city break in Sormland County, where castles, gardens, and Lake Malaren await for you to kayak in its surrounding water and untouched nature. 

After touring Stockholm's ABBA The Museum or its Vasa Museum for a massive 17th-century battleship, visit Jonkoping, a scenic city on the southern shore of Lake Vattern. The lake is the second largest in Sweden and is known for its delicious crayfish. While you're here, visit must-see Granna, just outside Jonkoping, and try polkagris, a hard peppermint candy handmade by candy masters. Ferry across to Visingso Island to hike and cycle.

And if you're a nature lover, opt for a visit in the spring and follow this itinerary, beginning with a boat ride from Stockholm to Gallno Island, where you can explore the dense pine forests and designated nature preserve. Hike Angso National Park, when thousands of elder-flowered orchids flower and color the meadow red. Then, venture farther west to the countryside for a respite in nature. Rent a bike and head to the scenic biking trails in Klaralvsbanan for a fun way to experience the wilderness. Immerse yourself in cabin life by renting canoes and paddling around while admiring the foliage at Glaskogen Nature Reserve.  

Spend a few days in Stockholm, fulfilling a little high-end shopping in Ostermalm and visiting architectural highlights like Storkyrkan, a church from the 13th century and the city's oldest. Treat yourself to a view of the city on a SkyView gondola ride to the top of the world's largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe, and one of Stockholm's modern landmarks. 

Sweden in 2 Weeks

Reindeer, traditional classics Sami dresses are part of the Jokkmokk market festival
Reindeer and traditional Sami dresses are part of the Jokkmokk market festival

In two weeks, you can have a more in-depth experience in Lapland and cross over to Finnish Lapland. Another option is to sail from Stockholm on a cruise that takes you through the Gota Canal and across the country. 

For cultural experiences in Lapland, visit a Sami village in Jokkmokk, home to one of the world's oldest nomadic cultures. Its colorful market features unique food experiences and reindeer races on the frozen Talvatissjon Lake. Then, visit Pajala Village, a culturally vibrant town with festivals and natural wonders. If the timing is right, you might catch the "romp week" cultural festival with live music and street stalls selling food and handicrafts.

For a festive experience, go dogsledding around the ice hotel in Jukkasjarvi, where plenty of mushers and huskies are waiting, then cross over to Finnish Lapland. Rovaniemi is home to Santa Claus and Santa Claus Village. Skiers will want to begin the second week visiting Are, one of the world's best ski resorts due to its natural cross-country trails and pristine, snowy hills. Or choose Riksgransen for a quieter slope experience. Here, you'll find fewer crowds and the chance to ski beneath the northern lights or the midnight sun.

Take a deeper dive beyond Stockholm's highlights and explore some of its 30,000 islands in this archipelago. Ferry around quaint-looking cottages and fisherman villages stretching out into the Baltic Sea. Then, for an easygoing experience of Stockholm and central Sweden, spend up to a week cruising along the Gota Canal, an iconic waterway and popular tourist destination that takes you across the country.