Camping In Sweden

Camping in Sweden: Exploring the best campsites in Sweden

Camping in Sweden offers a rare opportunity to rediscover and appreciate nature. Few places are better than Scandinavia for those in search of truly amazing outdoor adventures. Of course, there are some aspects of camping in Sweden you need to understand before pitching your tent.

Sweden has no shortage of adventurous experiences to offer anyone with a passion for exploration. You can check out the phenomenal Swedish cities if you’re looking for culture, community, and exceptional shopping opportunities.

Alternatively, if you want to spend some time way from the hustle and bustle, Sweden has a huge selection of lakes and ski resorts to offer.

For outdoor afficionados, camping could be the ultimate way to enjoy Sweden at its most organic. You can choose to rent a camper van (ideal during the winter months), hang out in a lodge, or simply sleep with nature in a tent.

Today, we’re going to be exploring all the important things you need to know about camping in Sweden.

When to visit campsites in Sweden

If you want a wide range of options for camping in Sweden, it’s best to visit when the weather isn’t too cold. While lodges and cabins will keep you warm, they can be heavily booked during the colder months of the year — if they’re open at all.

Save the winter months for your trip to the slopes, and consider visiting in Spring or Summer instead. Spring usually hits around March to May, while summer lasts from June to August. Thanks to the gulf stream, Sweden isn’t quite as icy cold as some other Scandi regions — but it’s still not particularly warm.

If you don’t like the idea of sleeping under the stars and blinking away rain, then it might be worth travelling in Summer only.

Do be aware of the possibility of the Midnight sun, however. Visiting certain parts of Sweden when the midnight sun is rising could mean you struggle to get any sleep. Whole evenings without a setting sun can be difficult to manage for outsiders.

June and July are the warmest months of the year, but they’re also the most popular for campers (both international and local). Book your space early to avoid disappointment.

Camping In Sweden

Can you sleep in your car in Sweden?

In certain parts of Sweden, you can camp virtually anywhere, so finding a place to relax for the night shouldn’t be too difficult. Sweden is a huge place with tons of attractive destinations to visit.

For camping, we’d recommend staying away from the North and Swedish Lapland. Unless you’re a professional, camping in this icy-cold destination can be very dangerous.

The Swedish archipelago is a good place to visit for campers, but there may be different rules to consider based on where you go — so keep this in mind.

The National Swedish Campsite Association, responsible for looking after campers, has around 400 campsites to manage across the region. There are also various apps and tools available online which can help you to search for sites and book a reservation.

If a standard camping experience isn’t for you, you may want to answer these questions:

Sleeping in your car in Sweden

Ultimately, it’s not illegal to sleep in your car in most parts of Sweden, but it is possible for this act to be prohibited due to municipal regulations. It’s best to check the local rules and restrictions carefully before you simply assume you can stop for the night somewhere.

Is Sweden motorhome friendly?

There are a wide number of places where you can hitch up your campervan for the night around Sweden. However, it is worth noting you won’t be able to drive through natural lands like beaches and fields in your motorhome.

There are also rules and regulations around how you can park your van. In general, you’ll be able to stay in approved destinations for up to 3 days before you’re required to move to a new area.

What are the rules for camping in Sweden?

Most countries have specific rules to follow about how and where you can camp. Following these rules carefully will help you to avoid any common issues.

The first thing you should know if you’re asking, “Can you camp anywhere in Sweden?” is like many Scandinavian countries, Sweden allows for wild camping. This basically means you can set your tent up almost anywhere, if you don’t mind your facilities being limited.

While you’ll definitely find more comfort at a campsite, you can find a more rustic or “authentic” experience with raw camping.

Crucially, the most important rule for camping in Sweden is respect nature. Any plants, animals, and other environments you discover should be kept safe and protected at all times. Don’t walk over crops or other campsites, and always take your litter with you.

Other rules for camping in Sweden include:

Know land crossing rights

You have a limited right to cross another person’s path or land and stay on it for a short period of time. This is allowed even if the owner of the land doesn’t give specific consent. However, you will need to ensure you don’t pitch up near any buildings or disturb the owner’s business interests.

Obey specific rules

Make sure you know the rules around campfires and sites in your area. These rules might apply in areas where rare species of animals and plants are common, or where there’s a higher risk of forest fires.

Don’t stay too long

Camping for a night or two in a forested area isn’t a problem in Sweden, but don’t stay too long, or you’ll begin to look like you’re squatting. This could lead to problems with the local authorities.

Use equipment carefully

You can ski, cycle and hike as much as you like, provided you don’t cause any damage to the surrounding area. While you can bring cars or motorbikes to the point where a road ends, you can’t bring it with you into a camping space in a forest or field.

Take a dip

You can swim in lakes as long as you aren’t too close to any private homes, and you can even take a boat or kayak out if you like. When the lake freezes in winter, you can even ski or ice skate over it if It’s safe.

Sweden also allows you to jump into the jetty belonging to another person if they’re not using it.

Grab a bite to eat

You can go fishing when camping in Sweden, and you can eat what you catch, provided you follow local rules about fires and hunting. You can also go foraging in some cases to collect mushrooms and berries. Just make sure they’re safe to eat.

Use campfires carefully

As mentioned above, it is possible to create a campfire to help you stay warm, but you’ll need to make sure you follow local rules. It’s also important to control the campfire carefully so the flames don’t spread.

Can you camp anywhere in Sweden?

If you decide to go camping in Sweden, the country is pretty open to you. You can even take dogs camping in most parts of Sweden, provided your canine friend isn’t going to cause issues with other animals. Dogs need to be kept on leads in certain spaces to avoid scaring the livestock.

It’s also possible to camp overnight in a campervan or caravan, provided you’re not causing any danger. Just keep an eye out for any signs expressly forbidding you from hanging around overnight. Carry on until you find somewhere else to go instead.

Is it safe to wild camp in Sweden?

If you’re planning on wild camping in Sweden, keep in mind the weather can be extremely cold during the winter. You’d need to be prepared for very low temperatures. If you don’t have any experience with extreme camping, it might be best to stick to the warmer months.

Keep yourself safe by buying outdoor gear appropriately designed to suit your needs. The right tools will help you to stay safe. It’s also important to remember you still need camping insurance. Though camping in Sweden is relatively safe, it’s best to be extra protected, just in case.

The best campsites in Sweden

While wild camping in Sweden can definitely be a lot of fun for some, it’s not the right option for everyone. If you feel uncomfortable about camping on your own in a place with somewhat unpredictable weather, you can always access an organized campsite instead.

Organized campsites are located throughout Sweden, offering a more comfortable alternative to the true “wild camping” option. You can also find some sites designed to be as basic as possible. These are intended to give you the most natural camping experience, without the added threat of being “truly alone”.

Of course, you can also go in the complete opposite direction, and choose a camping option that’s more luxurious. You can find locations with their own saunas and hot tubs these days.

One point to keep in mind before you go checking out the best campsites in Sweden, is around 400 of these sites are affiliated with the Swedish Campsite Union. To stay with these sites, you’ll need to be a member of the Camping Key Europe Club, which usually costs around 160 SEK per year.

You can also find campsites which accept the Camping Card International, which costs a little more, but can offer significant discounts on off-season stays.

9 of the best campsites in Sweden

There’s no shortage of options if you’re looking for great campsites in Sweden. The right option for you will depend on the exact experience you’re looking for.

1. Gotland (Strandby)

There are plenty of beautiful places to stop for a night or two in Gotland, the largest island in Sweden. This island sits in the midst of the Baltic Sea on the Southeastern coast.

It’s well-known among Swedes as the perfect destination in Summer, thanks to its wild selection of birdlife, flowers, long beaches, and beautiful sand dunes.

One particularly popular place to check out is Visby Strandby, located within the medieval stronghold of Visby. The location comes with access to ready-erected tents if you don’t want to pitch your own, as well as simple cabins, glamping tents, and caravans.

2. Mora Camping (Dalarna)

Located close to the stunning lake Siljan in central Sweden, the Mora Camping campsite has a charming selection of grass pitches to explore, surrounded by tall pines, if you feel like a stroll through the forests one morning.

If you don’t feel like staying in a tent, there are various bungalows and wooden cabins to rent instead.

Thanks to the handy lakeside location, Mora Camping is also ideal for water lovers. If you visit during the months when the weather is still decent, you’ll be able to hire a kayak and take it out into the lake for a few moments of serenity.

Camping In Sweden

3. Fulufjallet (Dalarna)

Ideal for those who do want a more comprehensive “wild” camping experience, Fulufjallet is a national park located in the Dalarna region.

This camping destination is positioned right next to the Norwegian border, so it might be a good pick if you’re planning on exploring a few regions in the Scandinavian area at once.

This location is perfect if you’re looking for a fresh, alpine experience, close to the highest waterfall in Sweden, Njuiperskar. There are three zones dedicated specifically for wild camping.

The only rules you need to follow are you need to keep your distance from overnight cabins, and take any trash away with you when you leave.

4. First Camp, Malmö

Malmö is a popular location to visit in Sweden no matter whether you’re planning on taking a camping trip or not. As a location packed full of culture and history, it attracts countless visitors every day.

For a camping experience still close to the city, head to the First Camp Malmö beach plots. Here, you can easily access the wonderful nature of Sweden, and the more urban environment too.

As an added bonus, First Camp is located within photo-taking distance of the Oresund bridge. It’s a short ride from the town center in Malmö to the campsite here, and there are plenty of local swimming spots nearby if you want a dip.

Camping In Sweden

5. Skuleskogen National Park

Another great pick if you’re looking for a wild camping experience in Sweden, Skuleskogen National Park is one of almost thirty national parks dotted throughout Sweden, and one of the many places you can go to set up your tent.

This particular destination sits on the coast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Sweden, with Umea around 130km away for transportation purposes.

Home to one of the Swedish coast’s few remaining forests for “old growth” trees, rocky grounds, and high mountains, this is a must-visit destination. There are plenty of amazing spots where you can pitch your tent, but you will be required to leave within 3 days.

You also have access to free cabins around the park if it starts raining.

6. Lijusdal Camping

Positioned in the wonderful Halsingland region of central Sweden, Ljusdals Camping runs through the shores of Lake Vaxnan, with a beautiful selection of lakeside cottages, grassy pitches for tents, and cabins to choose from.

The camping spot sits conveniently next to a long, sandy beach, with its own swimming jetty, so you can leap into the lake from anywhere.

The Ljusdals Camping Center comes with access to a range of added luxuries you wouldn’t get from a wild camping experience. This includes access to free Wi-Fi from the central space. You can also travel with pets if you want.

7. Glaskogens Camping

Located within the heart of the amazing, Glaskogen nature reserve, the Glaskogen campground is a beautiful place to visit if you’re a camping fan with experience spending a few days away from common amenities.

While there aren’t a lot of luxuries to discover here, you will be able to enjoy more than 28000 hectares of forests and lakes, alongside a wide selection of flora and fauna.

Within the park, visitors can rent a kayak for around $25 per day, so it’s easy to find something fun to do. You’ll also be able to rent mountain bikes and purchase fishing permits if you like too.

There are a host of camping pitches, cabins, and cottages to choose from within this location, but you will need to buy a special card so you can access trash cans and fireplaces.

8. Duse Udde Camping

Committed to helping travelers discover the wonders of the outdoors, Duse Udde is a well-managed and clean campsite for people of all ages. Situated close to one of the most attractive beaches on Lake Vanern, Duse Udde is ideal for fans of outdoor activities.

There are around 220 pitches for tents, as well as cottages, motorhomes, and caravans.

If you’re looking for things to do before you settle down for the night, you can access things like charter boats and jetties around the river. There are hot tubs, if you’re willing to pay a little extra for them, as well as opportunities for windsurfing.

Camping In Sweden

9. Kungsleden

Finally, for a wild and wonderful experience of camping in Sweden, you can check out the Kungsleden trail. Combining camping and hiking into one fantastic outdoor experience, Kungsleden is around 450 km long, and located towards northern Sweden.

Passing through the stunning Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, which is one of the largest protected areas in Europe, Kungsleden will even give you opportunities to discover some wild animals like reindeer, small mammals, and even bears.

If you’re planning on staying for the night, make sure you follow the instructions provided by the local camping spots to keep you and your family safe.

How much do campsites in Sweden cost?

The price you’ll pay for camping in Sweden, and the kind of experience you’ll get, depends on a number of factors.

If you’re planning on just hanging out in one of the many wild camping locations, and you have a tent or campervan of your own, you shouldn’t have to spend too much to enjoy the wonders of camping in this beautiful Scandinavian country.

Alternatively, you can look at a lot of more luxurious options too, including campsites with their own hot tubs, saunas, and swimming pools. It all depends what kind of interaction with nature you’re looking for.

Good luck with your Swedish camping trip, and don’t forget to check out our other guides to camping in various other regions of Scandinavia.

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