With its sprawling birch forests, snow-capped peaks and wandering reindeer, most people visit Sweden for the promise of the great outdoors, less so for its traditional sightseeing opportunities. True, compared with blockbuster sights like the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum Stockholm’s monuments are a little more understated. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less worthy. From architectural millennial marvels to crumbling churches, here are some of the most famous monuments in Sweden.
The Most Famous Monuments in Sweden
1. The Royal Palace, Stockholm
One of Europe’s most magnificent castles, Stockholm Palace is the official residence of the Swiss monarch. The palace is built in baroque style by Nicodemu Tessin, inspired by a Roman Palace. It boasts 600 rooms, spread over 11 floors with a state apartment facing the city. The Royal Apartments also feature three museums – the Treasury, the Tre Kronor Museum and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities.
Don’t miss the changing of the guards, which takes place every summer.
2. Ericsson Globe, Stockholm
It’s the world’s largest spherical building, need we say more? The Ericsson Globe arena hosts major events and is also home to the Swedish national hockey team. Even Nelson Mandela has famously made a speech here. The venue can accommodate an impressive 17, 303 visitors at one time. It’s an architectural marvel, but it also represents the sun in the Sweden Solar System. In fact, it’s the largest scale model of the solar system in the world. If you don’t fancy forking out for an event, take a ride on the cable car to find out all about the history of this globular wonder.
3. Kiruna Kyrka, Kiruna
Also fondly referred to as ‘The Moveable Church’, the Kiruna Kyrka has been voted Sweden’s most beloved building of all time. Built in 1912 by Gustav Wickman, it’s one of Sweden’s largest wooden buildings. Due to the expansion of Kiruna Mine, the church will be taken apart, moved and reconstructed in a new location, along with the rest of the city, in 2025.
4. Turning Torso, Malmö
Scandinavia’s tallest building comes with a twist, literally. The 623-foot skyscraper is the first twisting tower of its kind. It overlooks Öresund Strait, on the west of the city. Designed by Santiago Calatrava in 2005, it’s won countless accolades for its innovative design.
Each of the 54 floors is mostly reserved for residential flats, but there are offices on the bottom two floors.
5. Kalmar Castle, Småland
Set on a handful of islands on the southeastern edge of Sweden is this exquisite fourteenth-century castle. Recognised as Scandinavia’s best-preserved Renaissance palace, the Kalmar Castle boasts over 800 years of history. For a long time, it was one of the country’s most significant fortifications, due to its strategic location just a short distance from the Danish border.
Today, visitor’s can explore its sumptuous interiors and landscaped gardens on a guided tour. There’s also a multi-sensory Van Gogh exhibition, with interactive displays of his work.
6. Svettekörka, Gothenburg
Svettekörka, which translates as “Sweat Church”, is located in a new neighbourhood in Frihamnen, Gothenburg. Local volunteers built the impressive sauna entirely from locally recycled materials. Love it or hate it, the small-scale landmark is certainly distinctive. Inside, you’ll fund luxury-clad rooms and changing rooms made of over 10,000 recycled bottles. To top it off, it’s completely free to use too! We highly encourage a post-sauna dip in the surrounding river too.
7. Stockholm City Hall, Stockholm
Ragnar Östberg completed the Stockholm Stadshus or City Hall in 1923. A total of 365 steps spiral up to its 106-metre bell tower. At the top, you’ll see the golden Three Crowns, Sweden’s national emblem. A masterpiece in Swedish National Romanticism, the building served as the home of Stockholm city government. It’s one of the first major monuments tourists flock to when they arrive in Sweden. You can take a guided tour, as well as climb to the top of the tower for inspiring views across the city.