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Huskies huddling close in a winter landscape.
Team of huskies
Huskies working as a dog sled team in northern Sweden eagerly await the trail ahead. Going dog sledding or driving your own team of huskies through the pristine landscape is a wonderful way of experiencing Sápmi (Lapland); a dream-like sensation of being close to animals, the cold and nature.
Photo credit: Asaf Kliger/

Top 8 winter activities in Sweden

Winter in Sweden can be pretty cold, but its snowy landscapes and frozen lakes make it the perfect destination for fun winter activities. From dog sledding to cross-country skiing and ice skating to ice bathing, there are things for the whole family to do.

Siberian Huskies are standing ready to pull a dog sled in a snowy forest.
Sleddogs in the woods
Siberian Huskies pulling a dog sled in Swedish Lapland. Jokkmokkguiderna provides dog sledding adventures in the forests and mountains of the North, and their excursions are all approved by the Swedish eco-tourism society.
Photo: Anna Öhlund/

Go dog sledding

Want to get closer to animals, experience the cold, and enjoy nature? Then go dog sledding in northern Sweden! Swedish Lapland is a dream destination for these kinds of experiences. From short dog sledding trips to multiple days excursions, you’ll experience the natural beauty of Swedish landscapes by driving your huskies across frozen lakes, snow-clad forests and lands with magnificent mountains in the background. What winter adventure could give you a more dream-like and thrilling sensation?

People are going down the slopes of Hammarbybacken on skis and snowboards, looking out over downtown Stockholm.
Stockholm ski slope
With four slopes and two lifts, Hammarbybacken provides for downhill skiing in central Stockholm.
Photo: Sara de Basly/

Try skiing on your lunch break

Did you know that you can find cross-country skiing trails in the city centre of Sweden’s major cities? After a day’s work or during your lunch break, buy a sandwich or a cinnamon bun at a bakery, take your coffee thermos (never miss a fika!), pack your bag and head to one of the city’s cross-country skiing spots. In Stockholm, you’ll find trails in Nacka, Gärdet, Stadion, Hellasgården, Djurgården, or Värmdö in the archipelago. And if you’re up for an alpine skiing session, head to Hammarbybacken in the southern part of the capital to slide down a nice slope or two. Sweden’s best alpine resorts include Åre, Riksgränsen, Sälen, Vemdalen and Romme Alpin.

Green northern lights in the Abisko mountain region.
Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a natural light display that is frequently seen during the winter months in northern Sweden.
Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/

Admire the Northern Lights

What is more magical than watching the night sky come alive with beautiful streaks of pinks, greens and purples dancing above your head? The Northern Lights can be seen between early September and the end of March in northern Sweden. This unique natural light show is a bucket list experience for many and deserves a trip to Sweden alone. Did you know that Sweden in general, and Abisko in particular, are known as one of the best spots in the world to admire this spectacular beauty?

A person ice skating on a frozen lake at dusk.
Ice skating on lake Mälaren
A peaceful ice skating tour on lake Mälaren, located close to Sigtuna.
Photo: Sigtunarännet

Perfect your skating skills

During the coldest period of the year, many lakes and rivers freeze, and when the sun shows its happy face on a cold winter’s day, the conditions are perfect for taking your ice skates with you and go gliding on natural ice. It might be a bit scary at first, but once you feel your skates gliding over the frozen water and you hear the wind cradling around you, you will start to enjoy the feeling of freedom while admiring the surrounding scenery. If you don't have much experience in ice skating yet, don’t worry, you’ll find guided tours for both beginners and more experienced ice skaters.

Safety is crucial when ice skating on natural ice. Before going ice skating, make sure you have the proper knowledge and equipment.

Ice-fishing in Dalarna
Ice-fishing in Dalarna
Ice-fishing in Dalarna.
Photo: Richard Lindor/Visit Dalarna

Experience ice fishing

Sweden is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, with 100,000 lakes, majestic rivers, and a long coastline with thousands of islands. For a really cool experience, go ice fishing during winter by drilling a hole in the ice angling pike, perch or an Arctic char. If you want to enjoy the sunny winter days, slightly warmer but at least lighter, you can even go ice fishing in late winter or early spring around March and April. And if you prefer urban, coastline or river fishing, Sweden has it all.

Igloos with small wooden doors are situated on a mountain. A shovel is placed against one of the igloos. In the background is a river, snow-covered mountains, and forest.
Igloo Åre
Igloo Åre is situated on the mountain edge and offers unique accommodation that is entirely built out of snow.
Photo: Mattis Lindqvist

Sleep in an ice hotel

Have you ever spent a night in an igloo or a hotel entirely made of ice and snow? Welcome to Sweden – welcome to something else! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss. Popular destinations offering igloos accommodations include Igloo Åre, with breathtaking views over the Åre valley, or the Ice and Light Village of Kalix in Swedish Lapland where you can admire the Northern Lights. Further in the north, the legendary and world-famous Icehotel is a not-to-be-missed place. Every year, about 40 artists from all over the world gather in Jukkasjärvi and contribute to creating a new edition of Icehotel and one of the most unique overnight experiences in the world.

Five people are sitting in the snow in front of a wooden house in the mountains and having a coffee break from skiing.
Outdoor 'fika' next to the ski slopes
Having a coffee break from skiing in the mountains in Jämtland/Härjedalen.
Photo: Anders Robertsson

Enjoy an outdoor fika

One of the first words you will learn in Sweden (and one of the most important!) is 'fika'. Much more than a coffee break, the tradition of fika is so established in Sweden that you can do it several times a week; there is no limit. You need a lot of coffee and delicious pastries – the Swedish cinnamon buns are the big favourites. Then, share and enjoy it with colleagues, family or friends, inside or outside, in the Swedish nature.

A woman walking towards an open bath in the snow surrounded by a wooden building.
Arctic Bath in Harads
The open-air cold bath at Arctic Bath in Harads.
Photo: Håkan Stenlund

Try the cold bathing trend

Afraid of a winter plunge in cold or frozen water? Cold bathing is a tradition among Swedes that never seems to go out of fashion. The Swedish coastline is studded with open-air public baths, often with direct access to the sea and open year-round. However, many Swedes go cold bathing in their nearest lake, even without a hot sauna nearby. Winter bathing is invigorating, and some say they feel re-born after a dip. Try it, and you'll most certainly feel as brave as a Viking and want to do it again. And again.