Skip to main content

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience and to provide additional functionality on our website. If you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time. See our cookie policy.

Boardwalk at Ribersborg beach in Malmö
The boardwalk along Ribersborg beach in Malmö.
Photo credit: Apelöga

Soft adventures – all the adventure, less of the effort

Sweden’s cold bath houses are an institution and they range from the traditional to the bracingly modern, from spa-style luxury to simple wooden sheds on lakes. Gothenburg boasts perhaps the most modern variant, with the corrugated iron ‘Sauna in Frihamnen’ that rises out of the harbour like a scene from a science fiction film. You could barely get more traditional than Malmö’s Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, opened in 1914, where you can get sweaty facing the Copenhagen skyline before leaping into the water. Centralbadet, on one of Stockholm’s main shopping streets, Drottninggatan, offers a luxurious sauna but it’s worth a visit for its art nouveau architecture alone.

1 / 3

The public sauna, Gothenburg

The public sauna in Frihamnen, Gothenburg, is made of recycled materials. Its changing rooms was made from 12,000 recycled bottles.

Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

/ 3

The public sauna, Gothenburg

Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

Bathing at Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

Photo: Tina Axelsson

Kallbadhuset in Varberg

Photo: Philip Liljenberg

At Hellasgården, a 15-minute bus ride away from Stockholm’s centre, you can sauna with locals before jumping into the lake (through a hole in the ice in wintertime). Hellasgården is also a popular place to go ice skating or cross-country skiing in winter. You can hire the gear there. In summer, you can simply walk, jog or cycle around its forest trails, and also hire kayaks. It might be more fun however, to hire kayaks in the city centre. In Stockholm, head to Kayak Shop on the island of Djurgården, Kungsholmen’s Rålis Kayak or Långholmen Kayak on the island of Långholmen. All three make great starting points for getting a duck’s eye view of central Stockholm and its medieval Gamla Stan. Långholmen also offers two of the best swimming spots in the city.

1 / 4

Winter swim

Most people prepare for their icy winter swim in a sauna. When they are warm enough, it's time to brave the cold water through a break in the ice.

Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se

/ 4

Winter swim

Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se

Saunas at Hellasgården, Stockholm

Photo: Agence les Conteurs

Saunas at Hellasgården, Stockholm

Photo: Agence les Conteurs

Sauna in Stockholm archipelago

Photo: Anna Hållams

In Gothenburg, hire kayaks or Stand Up Paddling boards (SUPs) at Kajakbryggan in the city centre. Lake Rådasjön is popular with ice-skaters as are the ponds in the main city park Slottsskogen. In summer, the public pool by the sauna in Frihamnen is an unforgettable place for a dip.

In Malmö, you can hire open canoes at the Malmö Canoe Club in Kungsparken, pedal boats near Gustaf Adolfs Torg, and electric picnic boats from Goboat Malmö near the station.

Cycling is another excellent way to see Sweden’s cities, taking you through parks, along canals and waterfronts. In Stockholm you can hire a ride at Rent a Bike at the dock of Strandvägen or Cykelstället on Kungsholmen. In Gothenburg, rent bikes at Cykelkungen or Rent a Bike, and enjoy the main city park, Slottsskogen.

1 / 2

Kayaking in Malmö, Skåne

Kayaking is a fun way to explore Malmö city.

Photo: Apelöga

/ 2

Kayaking in Malmö, Skåne

Photo: Apelöga

Cycling tour in Gothenburg

Photo: Anna Hållams

Three climate zones means varied nature

Sweden’s wealth of nature, which stretches from Arctic tundra in the north, to the mountains of the north west and the thick forests and mighty rivers at the centre, right down to some of Europe’s largest beech forests in the southern county of Skåne.

A trip to Sweden – an experience that truly offers something else

With its inventive food scene, thrift and designer stores and enlightened city planning, there are many reasons to travel to Sweden besides its vast forests, picturesque islands and thousands of lakes.