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Beyond Stockholm: 5 Cities of Cultural Influence Outside the Swedish Capital

Look past the glitz and glamour of Sweden’s capital city to see the understated elegance that’s so pronounced in Swedish culture. Universities, churches, and castles abound in Sweden’s lesser-known cities, which offer authenticity and antiquity. These five cities have so many things to do that they also warrant a spot on your travel itinerary plan.

1. Uppsala

Uppsala

Georgios Karamanis

The best of both worlds, Uppsala offers both a historic Old Town and a big city strip. Home to two major universities, the city represents Scandinavia’s oldest center of higher education. Stroll through the Old Town, where you’ll be charmed by Scandinavia’s oldest medieval castle and the cathedral. Then switch it up with a Sweden trip to the glitzy shopping avenue or world-renowned museum, including the Swedish Railway Museum. Be sure to check out the ancient burial mounds on the edge of the city. Unwind at one of the lively nightclubs once you’ve absorbed all the history.

2. Gothenburg

Gothenburg

Göran Höglund

Get in touch with your inner hippie in Gothenburg, home to trendy cafes, chic stores, and several cultural festivals. A walk down the streets of Gothenburg reveals its healthy mix of classical and modern architecture, brought to life by the youthful and energetic atmosphere. Visit the harbor for a taste of a bustling tourist attraction, plus it’s also home to many fine museums. Or, use a trip itinerary planner to hop on a guided boat tour to escape the hustle and bustle, and you’ll cruise through the city’s renowned 17th-century canals.

3. Helsingborg

Helsingborg

Patty M.

Affectionately referred to as “the gateway to Europe,” Helsingborg’s strategic position along the Danish border led to its historical significance in the Swedish-Danish wars. Today this scenic coastal town boasts tree-lined streets and pedestrian walkways. You’ll find the city’s industrial roots and historical presence preserved within the many museums, shops, and restaurants. Check out the Karen Blixen Museum, or the Sofiero Slott royal castle and gardens.

4. Malmo

Malmo

mr.donb

The most densely populated Scandinavian city, Malmo is Sweden’s hidden gem. This cosmopolitan city offers an authentic impression of Sweden’s day-to-day life away from top tourist spots. Explore the Old Town, decked out with three historical public squares, a 15th century castle and residence to the Danish royalty, plus plenty of well-preserved medieval architecture. This multicultural city offers plenty in the way of parks and museums. Malmo is also home to one of Europe’s longest bridges, which connects the city to Copenhagen.

5. Lund

Lund

Wojtek Gurak

Home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Lund exudes a historical charm. The picturesque university campus is marked by its elegant white building, and a towering 12th-century Romanesque cathedral watches over the city. The large student population lends a youthful exuberance to the city. You can wander the cobblestone streets, in fact, the city is small enough to be walked in a day. Tour the botanical gardens, or stroll the halls of the many museums that preserve Lund’s rich cultural and artistic heritage.

By Julia Nugent

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