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Sweden in winter

Enjoy the wonders of jul and the bright lights of the north

Beautiful Sweden is always worth a visit, but mostly so in winter. The cities come alive with the colours and smells of jul (Christmas), while the north of the country becomes a winter wonderland with reindeers crossing frozen lakes and the night sky illuminated by the Northern Lights. This spectacular itinerary will let you see all these things and more!

 

Click here or on the map to view this route in our Trip Planner

Cities visited in this trip:  

 

For this itinerary we recommend:

  • Interrail Pass: Sweden Pass
  • Travel days: 5 days within 1 month

1. Malmö 

 

The city of Malmö is the gateway to Sweden, as it connects the country with mainland Europe via the 16-kilometre Öresund Bridge. This is one of two impressive architectural landmarks in Malmö, together with the Turning Torso skyscraper, Scandinavia's tallest. You can see both from the redeveloped waterfront of Västra Hamnen, as well as making the most of the winter sun from the boardwalk. 


The busiest spot in Malmö and the best place to go for a drink is Lilla Torg, or little square. It's also a great place for people watching! For a day of culture, visit the historic Malmöhus Castle. Within its ancient walls you'll find several museums, including the Malmö Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum.

The Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmö
The Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmö

From Malmö to Gothenburg

Travel time:

2h30m

Transfer:

0

  • Malmö, Sweden

    Malmö Central

  • 2h 30m
  • Gothenburg, Sweden

    Göteborg Central

2. Gothenburg

 

The Haga district is without a doubt the place to be in Gothenburg. Walk along the main street, Haga Nygata, and take your pick from the many shops, bars and restaurants located within charming wooden buildings. Hot chocolate and pastries are waiting for you!

Liseberg amusement park is essential to visit in winter because from mid-November to 30 December it will host Sweden's largest Christmas market. You can enjoy the rides, listen to carol singers and take in the 5 million Christmas lights! If you're a nature lover, you can visit the beautiful botanical gardens or venture out of the city to discover the Desjö lakes and nature reserve.

Christmas in Liseberg, Gothenburg
Christmas in Liseberg, Gothenburg

From Gothenburg to Stockholm

Travel time:

2h25m

Transfer:

0

  • Gothenburg, Sweden

    Göteborg Central

  • 2h 25m
  • Stockholm, Sweden

    Stockholm Central

3. Stockholm

 

Sweden's capital is a beautiful old city, where you can easily enjoy yourself for several days. Take a walk through the old town Gamla Stan to admire its medieval alleyways and coloured houses. From 23 November to 23 December you can also warm yourself up with glögg (mulled wine) at Stortorgets Christmas market.

 

You can find some of Sweden's most important museums within the huge Djurgården park. Skansen, an open-air museum showcasing traditional Swedish life is particularly interesting in winter. In December, its houses are adorned with decorations, while demonstrations of Swedish handicrafts can be viewed throughout the season.

To see where the Nobel Prize ceremony takes place each December, visit Stockholm's City Hall. From there, take a stroll along the shore of Lake Mälaren to see varied architecture and get rewarding views of the city.

 

To find out more about Stockholm, check out our city guide

View on Stockholm in winter
View on Stockholm in winter

From Stockholm to Uppsala

Travel time:

0h37m

Transfer:

0

  • Stockholm, Sweden

    Stockholm Central

  • 0h 37m
  • Uppsala, Sweden

    Uppsala

4. Uppsala

 

Uppsala is one of Sweden's oldest cities, with a history stretching back to the 3rd century. Important landmarks include Uppsala Castle, which played a major role in Swedish history, and Uppsala Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Sweden.

 

Uppsala is a major student city, and the constant presence of students here ensures a lively atmosphere. Uppsala University was founded in 1477, which makes it the oldest university in all of Scandinavia. But, Uppsala is also a place to slow down. You can take a stroll along the River Fyris or join in with the Swedish institution of fika, enjoying coffee and sweet treats with good company at one of the city's many hip cafes. 

 

Before you head to your next destination, you can eat at the Stationen, which houses three diners themed around European cities: Paris brasserie, London bar and Rome café.

View of Uppsala Cathedral
View of Uppsala Cathedral

From Uppsala to Kiruna

Travel time:

16h21m

Transfer:

0

  • Uppsala, Sweden

    Uppsala

  • 16h 21m
  • Kiruna, Sweden

    Kiruna

5. Kiruna

 

Kiruna is located in Swedish Lapland, well above the Arctic Circle. Take a night train here and wake up in a snow-covered wonderland. Check out the stunning natural surroundings in the Abisko National Park: go for a ride on a snowmobile to spot moose, lynxes and wolverines; or spend the day icefishing with the local Sami people.

At night, wrap up warm and watch the beautiful Northern Lights turn the sky into something magical. And if you want your stay to be extra special, spend a night at the famous Ice Hotel in nearby Jukkasjarvi - made completely out of (you've guessed it) ice!

If you're travelling with an Interrail Global Pass, you can take a train to Narvik and combine this itinerary with our Norway itinerary.

Northern Lights above Abisko National Park
Northern Lights above Abisko National Park

Explore all of Sweden (and Europe) with Interrail!

 

Want to explore more of Sweden's welcoming fika-fuelled cities or see its many lakes, forests and islands? Then use an Interrail Sweden Pass to hop on and off any train in Sweden, as well as gaining up to 50% discount on ferries.

 

With an Interrail Global Pass you can explore all of Europe, with access to trains in 33 countries!