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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.