Last Updated on January 16, 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.)
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.
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.
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. If you go on a West Sweden road trip, for example, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
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?