If Stockholm and Gothenburg mirror the distinct Swedish style, it is the small towns and villages that bring out the true cultural flavor of the country. It is simply irresistible to leave them unexplored. Idyllic scenic villages, frozen plains, coastline, pastel-shaded house, the indigenous Sami culture, the Arctic snow cover in Lapland, Viking folklore and reindeer, medieval era churches and castles – they have it all. Step out of the cities and get the ultimate Swedish experience through a most pleasurable journey to the charming small towns in Sweden listed below.
10 most beautiful villages and small towns in Sweden:
Here we have rounded up 10 choicest villages and small towns in Sweden starting from the frozen north to the sparkling seawaters and picturesque patchy landscape in the south.
One of the small towns in Sweden, Jokkmokk is located in the northernmost province sheltering the only indigenous people of Scandinavia – The Sami. For its location in the Arctic Circle, it is one of the best sites to watch the supernatural phenomenon Northern Lights.
Jokkmokk is ideal for exploring the wild in this part of the country not to leave out forests, lakes and famous national parks of which the Sarek National Park is worth mentioning. Join thousands of visitors to catch a glimpse of Sami tradition in the “Great Winter Market” held every February since last 400 years featuring reindeer racing, traditional cuisine and handicrafts.
This northernmost town of Sweden is getting relocated creating reasons strong enough to visit soon. Another ideal location to visit the natural spectacle “Northern Lights” and a great spot for winter sports, the Kiruna Kyrka church is voted as the prettiest building in Sweden.
Enchanting lakes, mesmerizing snow-covered forests and chocolate box-like cottages cropping up in between have made it one of the scenic villages, a haven for nature lovers. Sadly enough, Kiruna is being forced to move eastward by 2033 for its iron ore mining, which is providing daily bread to a major chunk of the population.
You cannot miss out this oldest town in Sweden found in 980 by Erik Segersall, the Swedish king. Just 40 miles to the north of Stockholm, the town stands on the beautiful lake Malaren. History-buffs can find interest in the 13th-century ruins of St. Lars Church that labeled Sigtuna as the first Christian town of the country.
Other attractions of this small town in Sweden include the beautiful medieval town center decked with shops and restaurants and the 18th-19th-century wooden buildings lining the streets. The main street Stora Galan also draws visitors’ attention as it dates back to the reign of Erik Segersall.
Visby is the gateway to Gotland and is one of the historically enriched small towns in Sweden. The most attention-grabbing feature is the finest town wall commemorating the country’s medieval past and has been rightfully declared as the World Heritage Site in 1995. The wall was meant for fortification which included towers and churches.
The annual Medeltidveckan festival (or the Medieval week) held every August is worth watching. The botanical garden, Gotland Art Museum and a galaxy of restaurants and cafes add colorful shades to this city.
One of the scenic villages along the southwest coast of the country, Molle has been popular since long as a seaside resort. The town once a lively fishing village earned a negative reputation for mixed-sex bathing in the late 19th century.
However, it still stands as one of the most beautiful places in Sweden with its harbor dotted with shops and cafes. The Kullaberg Natural Reserve is a big tourist puller especially for the bird-watchers and hikers not to mention about the archaeological ruins of Stone Age bearing the testimonials of a long forgotten past.
Another old small town in Sweden rich in history, Ystad is also famous for being home to the popular fictional detective Kurt Wallander portrayed by the Swedish crime-writer Henning Mankell. This is also a bustling ferry port located in the southernmost Skane County. Ystad’s history dates back to the 11th century.
Grand heritage buildings like the town hall surrounding the Stortorget or the Main Square and the 12th-century Gråbrödraklostret monastery reminisces the medieval era of this town. Pastel-shaded houses, cobbled streets and the gorgeous seascape of Baltic Sea and extended coastline and rolling hills give off the essence of medieval European village life even today.
If you want to get a feel of the 19th-century European village life, you need to step into this small Swedish town located overlooking the Lake Storsjon. The place is well known for the Swedish version of anecdotal monster Loch Ness. An entire museum dedicated to the history and anecdotal sightings of this monster is a big tourist drawer but the biggest attraction is the Jamtli Open Air Museum.
Nestled amidst the edges of the Siljan Lake, you will find one of the most beautiful places in Sweden here. This charming small town with a great past is also one of the popular destinations of the country and center of Swedish folk music. The town is known for the famous Musik vid Siljan festival hosted by the Folkmusikens Hus, the organization noted for preserving folk music.
Rattvik can certainly take pride in housing Sweden’s first tourist-oriented hotel in 1984. It is a great experience to take a stroll along the 625-meter long pier, the largest of its kind in Sweden viewing the picturesque setting of the lake.
While talking of small towns in Sweden, it would be hard to leave out the picture-perfect Nora, the home to brightly colored traditional Swedish wood houses. Stepping into this town means going back to a laidback lifestyle of the yesteryears.
Truly, this small town gives off a lot of memorable flavors to carry back home. The houses are iconic, spared from destruction and demolition with neat cobbled streets running in between. The town is reachable by just a couple of hours train journey from Stockholm and undoubtedly is a pleasurable destination for the tourists.
A city in technical terms but its ample natural beauty and small-town vibes perfectly fits in this list. Rated as the Greenest City in Europe, Vaxjo is a haven for anglers and canoeists. Scenic lakes and waterways surrounding the town have added to its charm. The place is noted for well-designed parks notably Linnetragarden designed by the famous landscape designer Ulf Nordfjell and Vaxjo Stadspark beside the lake.
The bustling center of the town dotted with award-winning restaurants and chic boutiques are much to the likings of the cosmopolitan crowd. Other great tourist pullers are the Swedish Glass Museum and the 12th-century cathedral.