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Hiking
Hiking in Swedish Lapland.
Photo credit: Carl-Johan Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

Top 8 autumn activities in Sweden

In Sweden, the arrival of autumn is marked by milder temperatures, shorter days and a shifting scenery. The crowds are gone with the summer season, making this the ideal time to take tranquil advantage of Sweden’s colourful landscape. The autumn is when you really can explore Sweden with all your senses and at your own pace.

Here is a selection of 8 activities to enjoy in Sweden this autumn:

Sweden's railway system
Sweden’s domestic rail system is among the most environmentally friendly in the world. Sweden strives to encourage and promote responsible travel in all areas by investments and expansion in the infrastructure and public transport.
Photo: Jann Lipka/imagebank.sweden.se

Take time to contemplate the autumn colours

Make the most of these calmer yet still-sunny months to enjoy a different sort of holiday. Explore Sweden – from north to south or the other way around – at your own pace and in a sustainable way. No matter the destination, a trip by train will give you time to quietly contemplate the authentic autumn landscapes with their flamboyant colours while enjoying a cup of coffee or maybe reading a book.

Take time to contemplate the autumn colours
Kayaking in the High Coast
Kayaking is a perfect way to explore the vast archipelago and varied coastline of the High Coast.
Photo: Leif Wikberg

Paddle on Swedish waterways

Its many archipelagos, lakes, rivers and waterways make Sweden an ideal place for kayaking. Take to the water in complete freedom and let yourself be lulled in the tranquil atmosphere as you paddle by orange-coloured autumnal landscapes. As with any outdoor activity at this time of year, check the safety regulations before setting out and make sure that you are properly equipped.

Paddle on Swedish waterways
Hiking in Dalarna
Hiking in Tänndalen, Dalarna.
Photo: Julius Aspman

Go hiking with scenic views

With milder temperatures (and fewer mosquitos!), the conditions are perfect for hiking. Sweden has a range of different hiking trails – from long and adventurous signature hikes to accessible day hikes. Make sure you have appropriate clothing and footwear, then set off to admire the splendour of the Indian summer in the south, or head further north for breathtaking views and the first snowflakes!

Go hiking with scenic views
Picking mushroom
There are plenty of delicious berries and mushroom in Sweden in the autumn, which you are free to pick. The right of public access, Allemansrätten, allows anyone to roam freely in Swedish nature, as long as you cause no harm or disturbance.
Photo: Alexander Hall/imagebank.sweden.se

Pick and cook your meal in the outdoors

In September and October, many Swedes go walking in the forest to collect mushrooms, such as chanterelles and ceps, and to pick berries. Thanks to the right of public access, or ‘Allemansrätten’ as we call it, everyone can enjoy Swedish nature, provided they don’t disturb others or damage the area. Through the Edible Country initiative, you can even use your gatherings to prepare a gastronomic meal outdoors, using recipes specially created by renowned Swedish chefs.

Pick and cook your meal in the outdoors
Jump into a Swedish lake, Småland
You're free to enjoy a swim in the Swedish lakes and sea.
Photo: Patrik Svedberg/imagebank.sweden.se

Enjoy a dip in the lake after a sauna

An authentic experience, the invigorating tradition of the Swedish sauna accompanied by a dip in a lake is one not to be missed. Immerse yourself for a few minutes in the sauna and then do it as the locals: dive into the nearby lake. Most importantly, take the time to relax and connect with the peaceful and soothing natural surroundings. And why not choose, for your next holiday here, to stay beside a lake?

Enjoy a dip in the lake after a sauna
All Saints' Day
In Sweden, it is custom to visit cemeteries on All Saints Day, to remember friends and family members who have passed away. People light candles and place flowers on graves or so-called minneslund (remembrance grove).
Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/imagebank.sweden.se

Join in some popular Swedish traditions

Swedes are forward-thinking and great innovators, yet attached to traditions and customs. Make the most of your autumn break to celebrate Halloween as a family in an amusement park or an open-air museum, such as Liseberg in Gothenburg or Skansen and Gröna Lund in Stockholm. If you’re in Stockholm on 5 November, Swedish All Saint’s Day, you could also visit The Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården), a cemetery listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Autumn is also a time to discover a variety of culinary traditions: crayfish parties, ‘surströmming’ (fermented herring) season and lobster and truffle safaris.

Falun Mine
Aerial photo of the Falun Mine and the surroundings. The mining area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo: Visit Dalarna

Explore Sweden’s key cultural sites

Autumn is also an ideal season for discovering the country’s cultural heritage. From modern art, outdoor art and architectural masterpieces to unusual Swedish homes and iconic design sites in the north, middle and south of Sweden – the cultural heritage is rich and varied. Sweden also has no less than 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered throughout the country – make sure to visit at least one before you leave.

Explore Sweden’s key cultural sites
Tjolöholm slott i Halland
Opplev Skördetiden i Halland på vakre Tjolöholm slott.
Photo: Will Rose

Enjoy the flavours of autumn by taking part in a culinary festival

Savour the country’s rich culinary culture by visiting one of the many food and drink festivals taking place during autumn.

  • North: Umeå Taste Festival and Taste of Sundsvall.
  • Centre: Festivals in Dalarna, Värmland, Örebro County and Sörmland. The Swedish capital will also be hosting the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival.
  • South: Many events are planned, including the Kivik Apple Market, the Wild Boar Festival near Linköping and the Gotland Truffle Festival.

For more information on these festivals and those taking place at other times of the year, read our dedicated article.

Enjoy the flavours of autumn by taking part in a culinary festival