Things to Do in Sweden in Winter

February 8, 2018 11:01 pm1 commentViews: 30

From snowmobile safaris to cross-country skiing, and from Christmas celebrations to admiring the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland, here are the best things to do in Sweden in winter.

Christmas in Sweden

There is nothing like a genuine Scandinavian Christmas, and the holiday season is one of the most memorable times to visit any of the Scandinavian countries. Christmas in mainly a family celebration in Scandinavia, but many hotels and resorts offer special Christmas packages for visitors wanting to experience Swedish holiday traditions and to try traditional Christmas food.

The Kiruna Snow Festival

The Kiruna Snow Festival is an annual festival designed around everything to do with snow and ice. Kiruna is located above the Arctic Circle in the Swedish Lapland, and the festival has been going on for 25 years. Events include an international snow sculpting championship, a reindeer race and a winter fair.

Stay in the Ice Hotel

Near Kiruna, the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi is one of the largest and most famous of its kind in the world. The whole hotel is made of blocks of ice, including the beds, and the temperature inside the Ice Hotel remains at -5 °C to -8 °C regardless of outside temperatures. Mattresses, reindeer skins and sleeping bags provide warmth, and after a night in the hotel visitors can head to the sauna to warm up.

See the Northern Lights

The winter months are the darkest time of the year in Sweden. In the south, winter brings short days and long nights, but in the northernmost parts of the country the sun does not rise at all for weeks or months. The darkness is, however, is brightened up by the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), the magical light phenomena that can be witnessed in the northern parts of Sweden during the mid-winter months. The Abisko mountain station is one of the most popular places to see the Northern Lights in Sweden.

Snowmobile Safaris

Winter activities in the Swedish Lapland include snowmobile safaris, dog sledding and reindeer safaris through icy landscapes and uninhabited wilderness. There are marked trails for independent trips on snowmobiles, or visitors can arrange dog sledding and reindeer safaris with hotels and travel agents.

Skiing in Sweden

Some ski resorts in Sweden open as early as in December, giving visitors the opportunity to combine a ski holiday with traditional Christmas celebrations. The best time to go skiing in Sweden is in February, when all resorts are open and there is practically guaranteed snow. In February and March the days also get longer and the weather in the mountains can be surprisingly sunny.

Sweden has a wide range of ski resorts for both cross-country and alpine skiing. The best part is that once you have bought or rented your equipment, cross-country skiing is absolutely free. There are ski trails in the Swedish Lapland and there are mountain stations and cabins along the routes, making it possible to plan a daytrip or a longer journey on skis. Many cabins come with beds, kitchens and even saunas.

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