Known as the land of Vikings, Sweden is actually an odd mix of cosmopolitan cities and vast stretches of wide-open spaces. For budget travelers, Sweden is a bit expensive.
An incredibly beautiful city in the summer, Stockholm is the Venice of Northern Europe. Like Venice, Stockholm is built on the water with canals and waterways criss crossing the city. Instead of marshland, Stockholm is actually a collection of dozens if not hundreds of little islands.
Despite the beauty, Stockholm can seem a bet sterile for a big city. Large parts of the city seem to be devoted completely to either providing working spaces or residences. With a little digging, however, you’ll find the city has much to offer.
To get a taste of the real Stockholm, throw away your travel guide and head to the Sodermalm area. Sodermalm predates the modern areas of the city and provides a glimpse into the past. In the neighborhood, you’ll find authentic old pubs, hole in the wall shops selling all manner of strange things and artist enclaves. During the summer, Sodermalm has plenty of outdoor cafes and a friendly feel.
If naval history is your thing, Karlskrona gives even St. Petersburg a run for the money. The entire city has been designated a historical site and is rife with the naval history of Sweden. Attractions include naval museums, submarines and a variety of ships from differing eras.
While naval history dominates Karlskrona, the city has much more to offer in atmosphere. The older sections of the city have a heavy baroque style whether for architecture, streets or epic park areas. There isn’t anything particular to point out, but it is a good city to relax in during the summer. If you need a couple of days off from racing around Europe, Karlskrona is a good place to recharge.
Like all of the Nordic countries, Sweden is visually stunning during the summer. While the long days give you plenty of opportunity to roam, high prices can put a crimp in the ol’ travel budget.