14 In Destinations

5 Free Things to Do in Sweden

Last Updated on September 1, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow

If you’re thinking about visiting Sweden you probably know it’s an expensive country (albeit not as expensive as Monaco). But don’t worry, I’m here to help you. That’s why I wrote this post on my top five free things to do in Sweden. (I also have a post on the best free thing to do in London.)

free things to do in sweden pin lemons and luggage

Sweden is located in the north of Europe and is one of the most expensive countries on the continent. But the people are so kind and there is so much to see for everyone that you have to travel there at least once.

Despite its small population size, Sweden has been dominating pop music for decades. But the country is also famous for its excellent welfare system, open-minded people, and the Northern Lights.

I’ve been to Sweden three times: to Gothenburg to visit friends with my sister, on a weekend trip to Stockholm with a friend, and to Malmö on a day trip when I was in Copenhagen (check out my post on the best things to do in Denmark!). On all these trips, I experienced a different side of Sweden which helped me to come up with this list of free things you should absolutely do in Sweden.

From the first time I went there, I was amazed by how friendly the people were. And I hope to go back soon.

I know that visiting only three cities is not a lot in such a huge country (which is why I want to go back). But for those who don’t have time to explore everything either, here are my five free things to do in Sweden.

Go to Malmöfestivalen, Northern Europe’s Biggest Festival

Sweden is an expensive country in terms of pretty much anything: food, accommodation, entrance fees.


And since we cannot change the cost of things in Sweden there’s no point in complaining either. You should expect to spend quite a bit of money on your trip to Sweden.

But that’s why it’s all the more exciting that some things are actually free in Sweden. Even the amazing one-week festival Malmöfestivalen in the southern Swedish city Malmö. Yes, it’s entirely free!

Because while many things in Sweden are expensive, there is also a strong belief in improving people’s quality of life.

Malmöfestivalen takes place every year in August for an entire week. There are tons of events and food stalls during this week with something for every taste.

When I was there in 2013 I saw incredible performances by Concha Buika and Cody Chesnutt. Check the festival’s website to find out the lineup before you go.

Visit Stockholm’s Old Town

Even though it’s a tourist magnet and admittedly features some tourist traps, visiting Stockholm’s Old Town is definitely one of the best free things to do in Sweden. I absolutely loved the narrow cobblestone alleys and colorful buildings. And since cars are not allowed in this part of the city you will enjoy your comfortable stroll and the beautiful medieval houses even more.

old town stockholm

Take a Look at Some Swedish Churches

To be honest, when I think of churches, I imagine Catholic cathedrals decorated with tons of gold. Swedish Lutheran churches are a lot more understated than that. And that definitely has its own charm.

Enjoy Swedish Midsummer

Even if you’ve never been to Sweden you probably know that midsummer (midsommar in Swedish) is a huge thing there. There are all kinds of traditions associated with midsummer. But the most amazing thing is that the days are super long. You can party all night without it ever getting dark.

midsummer in stockholm sweden

Visit One of the Parks or Botanical Gardens

I’m a sucker for greenery, and so are the Swedes. There are free botanical gardens and an abundance of parks in the country. And if the weather is good (it’s not always as cold as people think!) you can have a picnic instead of eating lunch at a restaurant, saving you even more money.

view of stockholm
in stockholm

So these are my tips for the best free things to do in Sweden. These obviously only scratch the surface. But if you only have a few days in Sweden make sure to experience some of them. And I’m sure you’ll be back to see more of this gorgeous country!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Where exactly? And what are your favorite free things to do in Sweden?


  • Reply
    Susan Whitehead
    January 20, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for all these ideas. Sweden is on our family’s list of countries to visit during the summer. I would love to explore the different churches and botanical gardens.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      January 21, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      That’s fantastic, Susan! I believe you will have so much fun. And, as a family, it’s particularly important to keep the costs down.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    This is a great post! I’ve always loved Sweden so much and it’s at the top of my bucket list to go someday! My dream is to be there during the midsummer celebration. Great tips!

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      January 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Katrina! I really hope you get a chance to visit the country during midsummer, it’s so much fun!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    I’m all for doing cheap things (especially FREE) when traveling. Not every experience has to blow your budget! This is a great guide, pinned it to use when I travel to Sweden one day.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      January 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks a lot, Ney! I hope you get to visit one day, it’s such a beautiful country.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Great pictures and great ideas.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      January 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you, LaRena!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Travel AND free!! These are two of the best things right!! haha. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      January 27, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      Right? Sweden is expensive enough as it is. Might as well take advantage of all the free stuff to do!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    I had no idea it was so expensive to visit Sweden. Thank you for this list! The architecture is gorgeous.

    • Reply
      Nina | Lemons and Luggage
      February 16, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Yes, it’s a gorgeous but expensive country.

  • Reply
    Jason Reid
    March 5, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Great suggestions! I’ve yet to visit Sweden but definitely want to explore it, might have to look in to the festival in Malmo and see if 2020 is doable! Always planned to do as you did and see Copenhagen at the same time.

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      March 6, 2020 at 11:54 am

      You’ll have so much fun. If there’s just one artist that you enjoy it will already be worth it!

    Leave a Reply

    I accept the Privacy Policy

    The following GDPR rules must be read and accepted:
    This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.