Sweden is at its autumnal best in October as fall blazes across much of the south and center of the country. This transition between the shoulder and low season is a month for crowd-free activities in the big cities, for a final wild swim before the water gets too cold, and for quiet hiking or biking through forests full of fall colors.


The crisp chill of fall is in the air in October, with temperatures between 38°F (4°C) and 51°F (10°C) in Stockholm and 25°F (-4°C) and 36°F (2°C) in the Arctic. Snow is already blanketing the north, but the forest-covered south is brightened by the oranges, reds, and yellows of fall, especially in the country's famous beech forests.

There is low rainfall in the Stockholm region, but Gothenburg experiences the highest amount of precipitation this time of year. Pick your destination right, though, and this is a great month to be outside and observe the change between fall and approaching winter. You'll get enough mild days, but nights will now be cold. 

Crowds & Costs

October marks the transition between shoulder season and low season in most of Sweden, although, in winter sports, tourism marks the transition from low to shoulder. Either way, expect to find deals as seasonal businesses are open but not busy. This is especially true of ski resorts and associated accommodation. Overall, this is a laid-back month and pleasantly crowd-free. 

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Where to Go

With its jazz festival, Stockholm is probably the liveliest destination in Sweden this month, although Lund in Southern Sweden also comes alive with its International Fantastic Film Festival. Meanwhile, Stockholm's Sodermalm Island or Gothenburg's Haga neighborhoods are great places to partake of the Swedish tradition of fika (socializing with friends over coffee and pastries) in the cozy cafés.

Meanwhile, the Stockholm Archipelago, containing thousands of islands and islets you can explore by kayak and stopping your excursion for a swim, remains an attractive destination in October, with water temperatures still warm from the summer.

The best places to head, though, are to Sweden's forests, colored by fall for most of October. Consider visiting Soderasens National Park near Helsingborg, with some of the country's best beech forests, or walking part of the Skåneleden Trail in Sweden's southernmost county, Skåne. The trail is 807 miles (1,300 km) long, but if you pick a section in mid-Skåne, you will be guaranteed plenty of trail through pretty autumnal forests. 

What to Do

Spending time in the cities is starting to seem more appealing in October, as the days shorten and the temperatures drop. It's still a good month for a walk in one of Stockholm's or Malmö's parks, perhaps followed up with some time in a cozy café or bar. And now is a great time to take up photography in Sweden, too, as the sun is low in the sky and capturing images full of golden fall light is easy.

Alternatively, taking to the waters for a swim in one of Sweden's many lakes or paddling off the island-dotted east and west coasts is enticing in October as water temperatures are still comparatively warm.

The weather is also pleasant enough for hiking, particularly in Southern Sweden. Head for any of the beautiful beech forests, now turning shades of orange, red, and yellow (you will also be sheltered from the rain if it comes!). Visit Soderasens National Park for some of the loveliest old-growth beech forests. To combine cycling with wild swimming, there is nowhere better than Sweden's and the European Union's largest lake, Lake Vänern, which has a 2022-built cycle trail of almost 400 miles (640 km) stretching right around its shoreline.

Wherever you are in the country, it's the month to feast on one or more of Sweden's traditional cinnamon buns, which have a day in their honor on October 4.

Events in October

Kanelbullens Dag, nationwide. Cinnamon Bun Day, celebrated nationwide on October 4, is in honor of the sweet treat popular in Sweden and Finland. 

Stockholm Jazz Festival, Stockholm. Sweden's biggest jazz extravaganza happens over 10 days this month and has been going since 1980.

Lund International Fantastic Film Festival, Lund. Focusing on sci-fi, horror, and fantasy films, this festival takes place in the southern city of Lund.

More Helpful Information

Sweden in September
Sweden in November
Best Time of Year to Visit Sweden
How Many Days to Spend in Sweden