Spotlight on Sweden
Sweden is quite affordable, and the simple joys of fresh air, landscape and culture are free. Its forests are starkly beautiful, its lakes giant. Stockholm, the country's capital, is a progressive city with pockets that maintain a village feel. Gothenburg and Malmö beckon with urban delights. Away from the cities, Sweden has vast areas of scenic coastline and idyllic islands. The wilderness areas of Norrland have the legendary midnight sun in summer, Arctic Scandinavia's highest mountain and marvelous hiking trails.
Stockholm is Sweden’s strikingly elegant and beautiful capital. Stockholm, noted for its outstanding architecture, is one of Scandinavia’s most attractive cities. In addition to its many man-made monuments, Stockholm boasts natural beauty - with one-third of the city’s total land area devoted to parks. As the country’s major city, Stockholm offers a wealth of monuments and sites, fine museums, and a rich culture. There are also hundreds of excellent restaurants, as well as a great selection of trendy boutiques and exciting nightclubs. Visitors should start their exploration of Stockholm with the Gamla Stan, the Old Town on Stadsholmen; an island in the center of the city, it has retained its medieval charm. The maze of narrow, cobbled streets, full of art studios, boutiques, antique shops, nightclubs and bars, is best explored on foot.
Goteborg is Sweden's second largest city and a thriving industrial center. Research and sample local beers. The most widely drunk today, and still Swedish owned, is Falcon from Falkenburg, less than 100 miles south of the city. The arts in the city are most spectacularly apparent in the Opera House - with its own resident symphony orchestra. Architecture is on the grand scale not least in the Head Offices of the East India Company - now the City's Museum. Other magnificent tourist attractions are the Botanical Gardens, the Horticultural Society's Gardens including a scaled down replica of Paxton's Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, and the Klippans Industrial Heritage Reserve. Visits to Liseberg Amusement Park and the old wharves by the Goth Alv now transformed for walking and eating and including the Maritime Museum are a must. Liseberg was built to celebrate the City's tri-centenary in 1923 and still attracts 3 million visitors each year and rising. The high statue of Poseidon, Greek God of the Deep Sea, was also created for the celebrations.
Malmo is called the City of Parks, and is also known for its culinary cuisine, with more restaurants in Malmo than any other city in Sweden. While in Malmo be sure to explore the city's architecture by visiting the Malmohus Castle and the Turning Torso, a remarkable contemporary building. Visitors are also encouraged to visit Kallbadhuset, which is a popular site for saltwater swimming, and also features a splendid wood-fired sauna.
Karlskrona is beautifully situated on the south-east tip of Sweden, built upon 33 islands around the island of Trossö in the Blekinge archipelago. A baroque city founded in 1680 and inspired by Venice. The beautiful archipelago surrounding Karlskrona is now open to everyone. The larger islands of Hasslö, Senoren, Sturkö and Tjurkö are accessible by bridge. Reach the outskirts of the archipelago by skerry boat. The genuine charm and lovely surroundings. In the very far distance are the harsh, fascinating islets of Utklippan, frequented by the migrating birds. Call in at the crafts workshops or curing houses with their wide range of smoked fish and enjoy the harvests of the season. Experience, as well, the Oak Kingdom, with genuine handicrafts, ceramic workshops and a host of other attractions. Among the many other activities one can partake of in Karlskrona and its surroundings, are the well-known Sail Festival, golf, fishing, canoeing, cycling, bathing and camping.
Kalmar - Located on a narrow waterway between the mainland and the island of Oland, Kalmar at one time played an important strategic role by controlling trade in the Baltic Sea. Once the third largest city in Sweden, Kalmar has a well-preserved medieval old town located just below the fortified Kalmar castle, parts of which date from 1160 A.D.