Landmarks In Sweden

Famous landmarks in Sweden: The most famous Swedish landmarks

Landmarks in Sweden perhaps don’t get the level of attention they should. And when you compare them to other things Scandinavia’s largest country by population is famous for, that rings especially true.

When you think of Sweden, you can probably think of several things off the bat. The iconic music group ABBA needs no introduction, and you’re probably well-versed in Swedish design. Similarly, Swedish meatballs have become famous across the globe — as has Spotify.

While many major landmarks in Sweden don’t get as much attention as some of the other Nordic countries, that doesn’t mean they’re worth ignoring. In fact, that could not be further from the truth.

In this article, you will learn more about some of the most famous landmarks in Sweden. We’ll cover man-made landmarks before covering some of the country’s most stunning examples of nature.

So, without delay, let’s get started!

Man-made landmarks: Famous buildings in Sweden and more

From monuments in Sweden to an intriguing mixture of architecture, many landmarks of Sweden have been made by other people.

Let’s look at some of the most famous examples…

Landmarks In Sweden

Turning Torso, Malmö

What’s the most famous building in Sweden? If you ask us, it has to be the Turning Torso in Malmö. That’s probably the same for all of Northern Europe, too.

When you head toward Malmö from Copenhagen on the train, it’s impossible to ignore this domineering structure as it imposes its presence over the Västra Hamnen district.

The Turning Torso is the second-tallest building in the Nordic region. It was actually the tallest for 17 years; Karla Tornet in Gothenburg surpassed it in 2022. The building was completed in 2005 and designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Today, you can see the Turning Torso from many parts of Malmö; depending on which direction you fly, you may also go over it when approaching Copenhagen Airport.

The building is largely residential; unfortunately, it’s shut to visitors for most of the year. Nonetheless, you can walk around the neighborhood at its foot — and doing so is pretty pleasant.

Landmarks In Sweden

Øresund Bridge

Another of the most iconic landmarks in Sweden is the Øresund Bridge, and it’s amazing to think that there was once a time when it didn’t exist. For over 20 years, the bridge has connected Sweden with Denmark and made traveling between Copenhagen and Malmö *much* easier.

The Øresund Bridge, styled as the Öresund Bridge in Swedish, opened in 2000; construction concluded in 1999. The project took four years to complete and cost over $2 billion. It spans seven kilometers across the Øresund Strait that separates Sweden from Denmark.

Perhaps the greatest catalyst for the Øresund Bridge’s global fame was the iconic Nordic Noir TV series named “The Bridge”. The show, which ran for four seasons, commences with the discovery of a dead body on the roadway.

Today, the Øresund Bridge carries several passengers between the Danish capital and Sweden’s third-largest city daily. It’s also used as one of the earlier stages of longer-distance trips to other parts of Sweden, including Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Landmarks In Sweden

Lund Domkyrka, Lund

Sticking in Southern Sweden and we’ll next head to the cute university town of Lund. The undisputed main attraction here is its imposing cathedral, known in Swedish as Lund Domkyrka. The entire old town circles around the cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.

While Lund Cathedral is part of Sweden today, the church has — in the past — been a part of the Danish crown. Like many European churches, Lund Domkyrka has been damaged by fire in the past — but restoration works have been significant.

At the time of writing in October 2022, Lund Cathedral is undergoing renovation works on the tower. When that has been completed, we recommend paying a visit; it’s one of the most iconic structures in the Nordic region.

Landmarks In Sweden

Gamla Stan, Stockholm

You can find many major landmarks in Sweden in Stockholm, and the capital of Sweden is an intriguing mixture of traditional architecture and new builds. Perhaps its most iconic landmark is Gamla Stan, which is the city’s beautiful old town and one of Scandinavia’s top tourist attractions.

The old town of Stockholm centers around its main square, and the island features several meandering cobblestone streets. You’ll find countless beautiful houses, along with numerous churches.

If you visit in late November or early December, you will also be able to enjoy one of Stockholm’s several Christmas markets.

Today, you will also find numerous cafés, restaurants, and souvenir shops around Gamla Stan. The neighborhood is easy to reach from other parts of central Stockholm by both foot and public transport.

Landmarks In Sweden

Stockholm City Hall

One of the most famous buildings in Sweden is Stockholm City Hall, which sits prettily close to the waterfront. The structure hosts the annual banquet for the Nobel Prize every December; construction took 12 years and concluded in 1923.

If you happen to find yourself in the Swedish capital, Stockholm City Hall is perfect for an early-morning wander. You can access the gardens for free and enjoy a wonderful view toward Södermalm and Riddarholmen.

Stockholm City Hall also has an observation deck, which you can visit during the summer months each year. Inside the building, you will also find a museum.

Landmarks In Sweden

Vasamuseet

Vasamuseet has become one of the most famous monuments in Sweden, and it focuses almost exclusively on the huge Vasa ship. The vessel famously sank in Stockholm’s waters on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was recovered from the harbor over 300 years later.

When you visit the Vasa Museum, you can see the ship in all of its glory — if that’s the right word to use. And when you view it in person, it becomes pretty clear to see why the ship did not survive its maiden voyage.

Vasamuseet is open year-round; you’ll find the museum on the island of Djurgården. It’s easy to reach from the city center by foot, tram, bus, and ferry.

Landmarks In Sweden

The German Church, Stockholm

Of all the churches in Stockholm’s downtown area, the German Church — also known as St. Gertrude’s Church — is one of the most famous landmarks in Sweden. The church is instantly recognizable by its distinct green roof and architectural style.

Over the years, St. Gertrude’s Church has undergone several transformations. The structure you see today is from the 19th century; before that, the roof was black.

Despite being one of the taller buildings in Stockholm’s old town, it’s unfortunately not possible to visit the top of the tower.

Landmarks In Sweden

Liseberg Amusement Park, Gothenburg

Heading over to Sweden’s second-biggest city, we’ll discuss what is arguably Gothenburg’s most famous attraction next. Liseberg has been voted one of the world’s best amusement parks in the world and first opened in May 1923.

Liseberg has six roller coasters in total, along with several other rides. The theme park is just outside of Gothenburg’s city center and is visible from several parts of the city.

The amusement park is open for most of the year, with the exception of January through March. It’s worth visiting whenever you’re in the city, but you can enjoy the Christmas market if you come here during the festive period.

Landmarks In Sweden

Gröna Lund, Stockholm

Another famous landmark in Sweden is Gröna Lund, which is the main attraction of its kind in Stockholm. It’s a little older than Liseberg, having originally opened in August 1883.

Gröna Lund is slightly smaller than Liseberg, but you will still find several rides worth checking out. The amusement park also hosts various music events throughout the year, which attract large crowds of locals and tourists alike.

Gröna Lund is, like the Vasa Museum, on the island of Djurgården. The ferry from Gamla Stan stops directly outside the amusement park, and you can also take the bus or tram from other parts of Stockholm.

Landmarks In Sweden

Fish Church, Gothenburg

One of the most famous landmarks in Sweden, but perhaps the strangest, is the Fish Church in Gothenburg. The building is also known as Feskekôrka, and if it wasn’t for the distinct smell of seafood, you could easily feel like you had just stumbled across an actual church.

Feskekôrka first opened in the 19th century, and today, it’s a sizable fish hall close to Gothenburg’s downtown areas. Thanks to the city’s location and its sizable port, you can find some of the best seafood in Scandinavia here.

Feskekôrka is attractively located right next to one of the main canals in Gothenburg, making it the perfect place to visit on a summer’s day.

Landmarks In Sweden

Skansen Kronan, Gothenburg

Sticking in Gothenburg and we’ll head atop one of the hills overlooking the city. Skansen Kronan is one of Sweden’s most famous attractions and dates back to the 17th century. It had a pretty good stint as a functioning building, too, having been in use from 1698 until 1904.

Skansen Kronan was largely designed to protect the city from a potential attack from the south. From 1900 until 2004, a museum was also inside the building.

You can visit the hill that Skansen Kronan is perched on top of, and you will get an excellent view of Gothenburg’s downtown areas from there. The building is still open to the public for conferences, parties, and more.

Landmarks In Sweden

Växjö Domkyrka

Växjö is a relatively small city in the county of Kronoberg, which is in the south of the country. You will find the ruins of a castle here, but perhaps the most iconic structure is the imposing Växjö Domkyrka — also known as Växjö Cathedral.

The church dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most beautiful buildings in Sweden. You will notice its distinct two-tower structure, both of which are relatively narrow.

Its dark red bricks are also distinct and in a different shade compared to what you will find for most religious buildings in the country.

Växjö Cathedral is a listed building by the Swedish National Heritage Board. The building features several glass paintings, along with various other things when you step inside.

Landmarks In Sweden

Kärnan, Helsingborg

Helsingborg is one of the largest cities in Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost province. Overlooking the city, you will see Kärnan — a fortress that was previously part of Denmark.

Kärnan is one of the most famous landmarks in Sweden’s southernmost stretches. It was one of the important structures for controlling traffic in and out of the Baltic Sea, along with Kronborg Castle in the Danish town of Helsingør.

Kärnan dates back to the 14th century, and it was part of Denmark until 1658. That year, the Danes had to give Skåne, Blekinge, and Halland to Sweden. Bornholm was also given to the Swedes that year, but its residents did not tolerate that; one year later, Bornholm became Danish again.

Today, Kärnan has an observation deck at the bottom of the structure. Here, you can see over Helsingborg and toward Denmark. You can also enjoy another view over the city from the top of Kärnan.

Landmarks In Sweden
Credit: Holger.Ellgaard

Hötorget Towers, Stockholm

Stockholm doesn’t have many high-rise modern buildings in the city center. You can thank local groups that work hard to preserve the Swedish capital’s beauty for that. One of the most notable exceptions is the five buildings that form Hötorgsskaparna, or the Hötorget Towers.

The Hötorget Towers look quite out of place, admittedly. You can see them from several parts of the city, including as part of the view from Monteliusvägen on the other side of the water. The buildings were constructed in the mid-20th century.

Today, the towers are primarily office blocks. You will find them close to Sergels Torg, which is where the entrance to T-Centralen Metro Station is.

Landmarks In Sweden
Credit: Andrzej Otrębski

Kuggen, Gothenburg

While Gothenburg is full of cute cobblestone streets and picture-perfect older buildings, you will find some striking modern landmarks. One of the most notable landmarks of Sweden is Kuggen, which is a circular building in Sweden’s second-largest city.

Kuggen, which means cog wheel in Swedish, forms part of Chalmers University of Technology. The building has been recognized for its sustainability in the past, and the structure itself was completed in 2011.

The Kuggen building is in several shades of red and green. It’s on the opposite side of the water from many of the major landmarks in Gothenburg.

Landmarks In Sweden

Lilla Bommen, Gothenburg

Perhaps the most notable building in Gothenburg is Lilla Bommen, which is more commonly referred to as The Lipstick. It’s part of the namesake district, which is just outside the main part of Gothenburg’s city center.

The Lipstick has been part of Gothenburg’s skyline since it was completed in 1989; construction took a total of three years. Today, you will find several offices within the building — along with various restaurants.

At the top of Lilla Bommen, you can enjoy an excellent view over the rest of Gothenburg from the viewing platform.

Landmarks In Sweden

Gammelstad Church Town, Luleå

We haven’t yet been to northern Sweden on our adventure, so let’s change that now. We’ll head to perhaps the country’s most iconic landmark in this region: Gammelstad. The church town is just outside Luleå, which is just south of the Arctic Circle.

Gammelstad features several red timber houses that surround a lovely parish church called Nederluleå Kyrka. The area was originally a trading area, and it is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For one weekend in the lead-up to Christmas, Gammelstad hosts a small Christmas market. To get to the church town, you can take the bus from downtown Luleå. Walking around the area is free.

Landmarks In Sweden

Drottningholm Slott Royal Residence

To round off our list of famous man-made landmarks in Sweden, let’s head back to the Stockholm region. Drottningholm Slott is one of the best day trips from the city, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In English, it’s known as Drottningholm Palace.

Drottningholm Slott dates back to the 17th century, and the Swedish Royal Family still resides here. Having said that, you can still visit the palace and enjoy its interior.

At Drottningholm Palace, you can also check out the external garden areas. The complex is around 10 kilometers from downtown Stockholm.

Natural landmarks of Sweden

Okay, so we’ve now discussed some of the most prominent man-made landmarks in Sweden. With so much variety, it’s easy to forget about the country’s incredible natural beauty.

Landmarks In Sweden

The High Coast

One of the most popular hiking routes is the High Coast, which stretches up a significant portion of Sweden’s east coast. In Swedish, the region is known as Höga Kusten; like Gammelstad and Drottningholm Palace, the region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The High Coast stretches for over 100 kilometers, with dozens of trails dotted throughout the region. It’s the origin of the notorious Surströmming dish, which is fermented herring that often needs to be opened outside because of its smell.

The region features a diverse range of plants, animals, and foods. You can drive here from Sundsvall in an hour; the northern part of the area is accessible from Umeå in just under 90 minutes.

Landmarks In Sweden

Abisko National Park

Also in the north of Sweden is Abisko National Park, which is in Swedish Lapland. The park is located inland and close to the Norwegian border; it’s one of the best places in Scandinavia to watch the Northern Lights.

Abisko National Park is one of Sweden’s most famous national parks, and it has a wide range of activities year-round. While the Northern Lights dance over the park during the winter, you can also enjoy some of Europe’s best hiking in the summer.

And if you come during the summer, you can also witness the Midnight Sun.

The area has had national park status since 1909. If you want to enjoy the iconic Kungsleden trail, you can begin or end your journey here.

Landmarks In Sweden

Kullen

It’s easy to think of Skåne as being flat, and that’s true in some areas. Malmö, for example, is perfect for cycling thanks to its topography. But the further north along the coast you go, the hillier things get; Kullen is a prime example of that.

Kullen peninsula is home to the Kullaberg Nature Reserve, and Kullaberg — at 188 meters high — is taller than any natural point in neighboring Denmark.

Kullen is home to cliffs, beaches, and several quaint fishing villages. It’s not far from Helsingborg, making it the perfect day trip if you plan on visiting said city.

Landmarks In Sweden

Stockholm Archipelago

Stockholm’s glitz and glamor are impossible to ignore, but its beautiful surroundings are just as attractive. The Swedish capital has a huge archipelago that spreads out into the Baltic Sea; if you catch the ferry to Finland, you can effectively enjoy a tour of them from the comfort of your boat.

The Stockholm Archipelago consists of around 24,000 relatively small islands, some of which are habited. Nynäshamn is one of the best-known islands with people living there, and Dalarö is another.

Ferries depart regularly from Stockholm’s city center to the archipelago, but schedules will vary depending on when during the year you visit. The archipelago is the largest in Sweden.

Landmarks In Sweden
Credit: Jorchr

Ribersborg Strand, Malmö

To round up our list of natural landmarks in Sweden, we’ll venture south and close to where we started the article altogether. Ribersborg Strand is a popular beach in Malmö and a short bike ride from the city center; it’s an excellent spot to enjoy those long summer evenings.

Ribersborg Strand is most famous for its sea bath, which you will find in a distinct green building. But beyond that, the area is also excellent for cycling and running — with well-designed trails for these.

You can also enjoy an excellent view of the Øresund Bridge on a clear day.

In the other direction, you can enjoy another great view toward the Turning Torso and Västra Hamnen.

Landmarks in Sweden are plentiful

With years of history behind them, landmarks in Sweden will give you an intriguing experience. From timber houses of centuries gone by to daring modern designs, and from beaches to mountains, Scandinavia’s most populous country has something to offer every kind of traveler.

We missed out plenty of others for word count purposes, including Uppsala Cathedral and Kiruna Kyrka (which is being moved to a new location soon).

Where in Sweden should you go to experience these, then? That’s hard to say. Stockholm is perfect for urban pursuits, but Skåne has a huge range of activities — and you’ll enjoy some fantastic culinary experiences on top of that.

If you travel to Sweden, you might want to use a VPN to access content from your home country. Similarly, you may wish to consume Swedish Netflix shows from where you live. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Sweden.

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