When to Go to Sweden

There's plenty to do and see any time of year

Midsummer's Eve
••• Midsummer's Eve celebration. Bengt Nyman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

If you're planning a trip to Scandinavia and have never been before, you may wonder: When is the best time to visit Sweden? 

There's no simple answer to that question since Sweden has much to offer visitors any time of year. If you're on a budget, you may want to avoid the summer high season. If you like winter sports, skiing and dogsled riding are huge attractions. While it's up to the individual traveler to decide what most appeals to them, here are some suggestions for planning your trip to Sweden.

Tourist Time in Sweden: Summer

The most popular time of year to visit Sweden, at least as far as tourist activity goes, is mid-to-late summer. The weather is warm and pleasant and there are plenty of outdoor events and activities, including swimming at some of Sweden's beautiful beaches. This includes many clothing-optional beaches if you're feeling a little Bohemian.

During the month of June, you can avoid the late-summer crowds and can experience outdoor events (like Midsummer's Eve) and activities, warm weather and the long hours of daylight known as the Midnight Sun.

May and July are also good options for the visitor who likes outdoor recreation. Be advised that Sweden typically sees more rain in May than in June, and while July is warmer, it also has larger tourist crowds.

July and August can also be slightly more expensive than the earlier summer months. This is considered peak tourist season in Sweden and much of Scandinavia.

Traveling to Sweden on a Budget

If you're a budget traveler trying to decide when to go to Sweden, late August and September are your best bets. Flights to Sweden will be cheaper than during the high season, as will local hotel prices. And the weather in Sweden is still mild enough for outdoor attractions at this point in the year.

Best Times to See the Northern Lights in Sweden

The natural phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights, occur when electrons stream towards the Earth along its magnetic field and collide with air particles. The air then lights up, providing a spectacular visual display. 

While Norway is typically the best place to view the Northern Lights, they are visible any time of year from most points in Sweden. The further north you go, the better the view of the Northern Lights.

Sweden in Winter: Cold but Busy

Any month between November and March will be cold and snowy in Sweden. There are times when the winter sports areas are busier than others, however. The most popular times to visit Swedish ski resorts are late February, March, and December.

There are 200 ski resorts in the country of Sweden, with the most popular downhill ski slopes at Åre, in central Sweden. Resorts in Dalarna, Härjedalen, Jämtland and Swedish Lapland are also popular with visitors and local skiers. 

If you're in search of an authentic Scandinavian experience, you can tour Swedish Lapland via dog sled.  

Sweden is also quite beautiful at Christmas time when traditional Christmas markets are open in the larger cities.

No matter what time of year you visit, your trip to Sweden is sure to be memorable.