At first thought, short dark days and below-freezing temperatures might not sound like a dream winter travel destination. But despite these attributes, Sweden is the perfect place for your winter travels! If there is somewhere that gets winter right, it’s Sweden. And this is coming from a Canadian who lives in -20° temperatures for most of the year. Since experiencing a winter getaway in the province of Jämtland, located in central Sweden, I’ve concluded it’s a perfect winter destination, both for the experienced winter lover or someone who has never even seen snow before.

Although often thought of as a summer destination, and firmly avoided in the coldness of the winter months, Sweden has endless opportunities for enjoyment and immersion into true Swedish culture – despite the short days and cold temperatures. Now picture yourself, sitting by the crackling fire of the wood stove, enjoying a steaming hot sauna and snow-covered trees glistening in the morning light. These are just a few of the special things you can enjoy during a Swedish winter.

While short dark days and below freezing temperatures, there are some very good reasons why you should visit Sweden in winter! We'll let you in on a little secret...

You can get close to Swedish culture

Visiting Sweden in the winter is the perfect excuse to enjoy a relaxing and cozy vacation. Sweden’s sparsely populated nature means that calmness and quietness is not hard to find. For accommodation you can rent a “Stuga”, or in English what we would call a cottage, to spend your relaxing days in. These vacation houses are often located in the forests, just outside small towns and on the lakeside where you can take in the crisp and clean air and enjoy the stillness of nature surrounding you.

While short dark days and below freezing temperatures, there are some very good reasons why you should visit Sweden in winter! We'll let you in on a little secret...

Swedish nature is all yours

Sweden has an abundance of nature that is ready to be enjoyed, and the right to roam means you can freely explore all there is on offer. Visiting in the winter months doesn’t mean there is less to explore, just less people visiting to share it with. If you’re lucky, you might only have to share it with the furry inhabitants, perhaps meeting a moose or reindeer while roaming. Some of my favorite winter memories include watching the steam roll off the icy lake in the morning light while sipping a warm cup of coffee, walking along the trails in the forest hearing the ice crunch under my winter boots, and dipping into the chilly water after heating up in the sauna.

While short dark days and below freezing temperatures, there are some very good reasons why you should visit Sweden in winter! We'll let you in on a little secret...

Skiing at its best

As well as enjoying nature, you can also experience many activities appropriate to the snowy landscape. Across all of Sweden cross country skiing is widely practiced; you can rent gear and head straight to the trails. When the lakes freeze over, often you can find natural ice rinks for a beautiful setting in which to practise some skating. If you are more interested in seeing things from up high, you can explore the mountainous region of Åre. You can go ski touring or even snowmobiling. There are plenty of guide companies that are ready to take you up the mountains, to enjoy the breathtaking views and satisfy your need for adventure. If you are more into well-groomed runs, there are many ski areas spread across the country with some of northern Europe’s best terrain.

Whilst less popular than the alps, these ski towns have maintained a small local town vibe, and when you’re done on the slopes you can enjoy the “Apres-ski” (“after ski”) culture upon which Swedes pride themselves. In addition, many winter sports events are hosted across the country, and Swedes bring a high level of excitement and cheer to all of them. You can try to catch a Biathlon event, Alpine Ski race or even an Ice Hockey match among the local team.

While short dark days and below freezing temperatures, there are some very good reasons why you should visit Sweden in winter! We'll let you in on a little secret...

You might already be thinking that this sounds like the ultimate winter wonderland, and I can assure you that it is. Sweden definitely knows how to make the most of their cold and snowy country.


This is a guest post by Emma Chamberland.

Emma, 20 is from a small city in Canada, but is currently spending a year abroad in both the snow of Sweden and the sun of Australia. An aspiring sports event manager, she is pursuing a sport management degree. She feels most at home in the mountains, and you can bet she’s always up for going snowboarding. This year is filled with adventure and you can follow along on her Instagram @emmachambs.