One of the largest countries in Europe is also the largest country in the northern part of the continent. Sweden is becoming increasingly popular with tourists and there’s a good reason why.
This Scandinavia country features an amazing mix of fascinating architecture and natural beauty. It offers loads of amazing places to visit, ranging from grandiose palaces and castles to magnificent nature parks.
The country is bordered by Norway to the west, Finland to the east, and connected to Denmark in the south. Even though it’s the third-largest country in the European Union, it’s sparsely populated with just 10.4 million inhabitants
Over 20% of Sweden’s population lives in the metropolitan area of its capital city as well, Stockholm, a fascinating city built on 14 islands.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous buildings in Sweden, and hopefully, our list can help you to create your bucket list when visiting the country.
1. Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is the main residence of the monarch of Sweden and is also referred to as the “Stockholm Palace,” a reference to its location in the heart of Sweden’s capital.
The current version of the palace was built between 1697 and 1760 and is one of the largest and most fascinating palaces in Europe. It features a whopping 1,430 rooms but only 660 of these have windows.
These rooms are divided into 3 floors and the entire structure has a length of 230 meters (750 feet) and a width of 125 meters (410 feet), a huge palace complex.
Apart from serving as the main residence and office of the Swedish monarchy, it also houses 4 museums named the Livrustkammaren, Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, The Treasury, and The Tre Kronor Museum.
A popular attraction outside of the palace is the changing of the guards, a ceremony that takes place at the Outer Courtyard of the palace. This is a must-see event while you’re in Sweden.
Official website: Royal Palace Stockholm
2. Uppsala Cathedral
Uppsala Cathedral is one of the most prominent landmarks in the fourth-largest city of Sweden, Uppsala. This amazing Gothic Cathedral is located in the heart of the city between the Uppsala University Hall and the Fyris River.
The church has an extended history and is one of the most important buildings in Sweden. King Eric IX (1120-1160), the patron saint of the country, was buried here.
The original structure was completed in the late 13th century and it has been renovated and expanded several times until the 19th century. The spires of the two towers reach a height of 119 meters (39 feet).
3. Turning Torso
One of the ultimate architectural highlights in Sweden can be found in the city of Malmö, the third-largest city in the country after Stockholm and Gothenburg.
This city in the utmost southern tip of the country isn’t particularly known for its towering skyscrapers, but still features one of the most enthralling structures you’ll ever come across.
It was a revolutionary design and multiple fantastic skyscrapers all around the world have since been constructed with a similar design.
Visiting the tower (the top 2 floors) is possible if you pre-book with HSB, the company that owns the tower.
Official website: HSB
4. Øresund Bridge
This bridge is often referred to as simply the “Öresund” and combines rail and road traffic. It’s the longest bridge of its kind in Europe with a total length of 7,845 meters (25,738 feet).
It crosses the Øresund Strait and connects the metropolitan area of Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark with the Swedish city of Malmö.
Yes, this means that you can see the Turning Torso from a distance when you drive across this astounding bridge, a pretty amazing experience, that’s for sure, and an amazing way to enter Sweden.
Official website: Oresunds Bron
5. Gripsholm Castle
Gripsholm Castle, locally known as “Gripsholms Slott,” is one of the most fascinating castles in Sweden. It has been owned by the Royal Family of Sweden since the 16th century and was used as one of their main residences until the 18th century.
The castle was completed between 1537 and 1709 and is situated on an outcrop of lake Mälaren, just west of the country’s capital city, Stockholm.
Even though it’s referred to as a castle, it’s considered to be a palace as well and is one of the so-called “the Crown palaces in Sweden.”
Today, its main purpose is to serve as a tourist attraction. Part of the castle was transformed into a museum that houses the National Portrait Gallery of Sweden way back in 1822.
The complex was heavily renovated between 1889 and 1894, a project that saw many of the original parts of the castle being destroyed.
One of the most peculiar attractions is a bad case of taxidermy in the form of a badly stuffed lion. This 18th-century lion now has a pretty comical face and is on public display inside the museum.
Official website: Gripsholm Castle
6. Ice Hotel
When we look to book a hotel, comfort is pretty high on the list of things we look for. We’re not pretty sure if an Ice Hotel can fulfill this mandatory requirement, though.
Regardless, the permanent Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, a town in northern Sweden, is a popular tourist attraction in itself. As the name implies, you step into a world of ice, including the rooms you sleep in.
This remarkable hotel was established in 1990 as well, which means it’s not just a fad. The temperature inside the hotel remains at −5 °C (23 °F) at all times, which means it’s always freezing.
The walls of the hotel, the beds, the closets, and just about everything else are all made out of ice, quite astonishing!
Official website: Ice Hotel
7. Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm City Hall is one of the most famous buildings in Sweden and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Stockholm. It’s the main seat of the Stockholm Municipality and features several ceremonial halls.
The building is located on the utmost eastern tip of Kungsholmen island ad was constructed between 1911 and 1923. It combines Venetian and Gothic architectural elements and was built using nearly 8 million red bricks.
The tower of the building is a prominent landmark in Stockholm as it reaches a height of 106 meters (348 feet). This tower is topped with 3 crowns, the national symbol of Sweden.
Official website: Stockholm City Hall
8. Avicii Arena
The Avicii Arena isn’t just one of the most famous buildings in Sweden, it’s one of the most amazing buildings in the world. This huge indoor arena was originally referred to as the Stockholm Globe Arena and is located in the Johanneshov district.
The entire area is referred to as Stockholm Globe City, a reference to the largest hemispherical building on Earth which is located just south of Stockholm’s city center.
The arena has a seating capacity of 13,850 seated spectators for ice hockey events and 16,000 for concerts. It’s adjoined by the Tele2 Arena, a football stadium with a capacity of 30,000 spectators which is home to football clubs Djurgårdens IF and Hammarby IF.
The building was constructed between 1986 and 1989 and has been one of the most fascinating buildings in Sweden ever since.
Official website: Avicci Arena
9. Lund Cathedral
Lund Cathedral is another famous church in Sweden located in Lund, a city in the province of Scania in the southern part of the country. It’s the main church in the city and the seat of the Bishop of Lund.
The structure can be described as the epitome of Romanesque architecture in Scandinavia. The building was largely completed in 1145 and although it has been damaged throughout its history, it was repaired and restored just as many times.
The interior of the church features several works of art and original Gothic choir stalls. An astronomical clock from the 15th century can also be admired inside this fascinating building.
The original exterior is best reflected in the apse, an area that has been well-preserved since the 12th century.
Official website: Lund Cathedral
10. Kiruna Church
The Kiruna Church is a church building located on the other side of the country. The town of Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden in the northern province of Lapland.
This is reflected in the architectural design of the church because it’s one of the largest wooden buildings in Sweden. It was built between 1909 and 1912 in the Gothic Revival style. The altar of the church features an Art Nouveau design, a style that was popular in the early 20th century.
The church has been one of the most popular structures in Sweden since it was completed and is sometimes referred to as the “Shrine of the Nomadic people.” It does look stunning, that’s for sure!
11. Kalmar Castle
Kalmar Castle is located in the city of Kalmar in the southeastern part of Sweden. It was initially constructed as a medieval castle in the 12th century.
The building was expanded several times throughout its history and got its current appearance during the Renaissance era in the 16th century.
Kalmar Castle can easily be described as one of the most important Renaissance buildings in Swedish history. It’s referred to as “The Key to the Kingdom” because of its strategic location.
It was severely damaged during a siege in the 17th century but was completely restored during the 19th and 20th centuries and is now open for visitors.
Official website: Kalmar Castle