Sweden is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in Europe, with stunning landscapes ranging from lush forests to majestic mountains. It also has a long and rich history, dating back to the Viking Age. The country was extremely influential during the Reformation period and is renowned for its strong economy today.

Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm, is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities and a must-visit destination. It is home to the Royal Palace, the Stockholm City Hall, and a plethora of museums, galleries, restaurants, and cafés.

Sweden is often seen as one of the best places to live; its citizens are happier, healthier, and better educated. There’s no surprise that the country’s culture has been so successful!

However, due to their harsh winters and nearly five months of darkness, Swedes tend to go all out during the summer months. From Midsummer to Lucia, you will have a wide range of unique celebrations that make Sweden’s culture come alive.

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Festivals in Sweden

During the Summer season, Sweden is alive with a plethora of festivals and events. Many visitors come for the bigger named festivals like the Stockholm Music Festival.

But there are a few other festivals to participate in that feel closer to the Swedish culture. Here is a list of the best festivals to enjoy when visiting Sweden:

Stockholm Writers Festival

  • When: May
  • Where: Stockholm

Sweden has done an incredible job of raising their generations as bilingual and highly literate. As you travel to this country you will rarely find yourself in a situation where someone doesn’t understand English.

To celebrate this, they host the Stockholm Writers Festival every year. The festival welcomes authors and literary experts from around the world to come and give lectures on a range of topics including literature and politics.

A three-day conference is an event that lures a lot of people in and creates an atmosphere of appreciation, competition, and contemplation. Many of the attendees, and even those that are submitting to the different competitions, have yet to be published.

At the end of the weekend, you will be filled with inspiration and a newfound power to share your work in writing communities. Your appreciation for other writers’ journeys to success will skyrocket exponentially!

Where to Stay

Located right in the center of Stockholm, Downtown Camper by Scandic offers easy access to the metro to make sure you don’t miss a single reading or Q&A.

Midsummer

Midsummer Sweden
  • When: June
  • Where: Delarna

If you are looking for an authentic Swedish festival experience, Midsummer is the festival for you! It’s a traditional celebration dedicated to the summer solstice and its arrival.

Participants dress up in white clothing and decorate their homes with flowers. They dance around a maypole and make beautiful wreaths of flowers to wear on their heads. Because Sweden has such a short summer season, this is typically the first day of everyone’s vacation and is usually celebrated with family and friends in town.

In the evening, they have a large feast and enjoy traditional foods such as herring and schnapps. There is also plenty of singing and dancing to celebrate this special day in style!

Midsummer is one of the most celebrated days in Sweden and is an incredible event to participate in as it’s filled with culture, tradition, and fun!

Where To Stay

Get cozy in this hillside chalet that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped right into a fairytale. Guests are welcome to take full advantage of the sauna.

LOLLAPALOOZA

LOLLAPALOOZA Sweden
Photo: Greger Ravik (Flickr)
  • When: June
  • Where: Stockholm

One of the biggest music festivals in Sweden, LOLLAPALOOZA is held in Stockholm every year. The line-up includes everything from EDM to rap and rock, so there’s something for everyone! It attracts top international acts as well as local Swedish artists, so you get an amazing mix of sounds and styles.

The festival takes place in the beautiful park Gärdet in the heart of Stockholm, close to the city center.

On four stages over 70 artists perform and the atmosphere is electric. This festival also features local food vendors, art installations, fairground rides, and more to make for an unforgettable experience.

Attending LOLLAPALOOZA in Sweden during the summer is an amazing opportunity to dive deep into Swedish youth culture and embrace a variety of music from all corners of the country. Not only has this event earned worldwide recognition, but it also unites people regardless of their backgrounds to honor some of the best talents that exist!

Where to Stay

With all the partying going on you can rest your head at one of Stockholm’s best hostels, STF Zinkensdamm Hostel. Perfect for budget travelers as well as those looking to meet others.

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    SUMMERBURST

    SUMMERBURST
    • When: June
    • Where: Goteborg

    Fireworks, smoke, and the best in EDM and hip hop – this is what you can expect from SUMMERBURST! This festival takes place at Frihamnen, located on the east side of Gothenburg.

    The event features top international acts such as Kygo, Zedd, and Tiësto. It’s a great opportunity to discover new music, as well as hear some of your old favorites.

    The atmosphere is vibrant and the energy is palpable. Combined with spectacular light shows and special effects, SUMMERBURST delivers a unique experience, unlike any other festival in Sweden.

    Scandinavian countries are known for their insane EDM scene and visiting this festival in the summer will give you a true taste of what it’s like to experience the best in Swedish music culture.

    Every year the festival draws thousands of music lovers from all over the globe looking to escape the everyday and immerse themselves in a world of music. So dress up in your best festival outfit, put on some glitter, and get ready to party!

    Where to Stay

    Located in the heart of the city, Gothenburg’s B&B is perfect for a luxurious stay at a lower price. You’ll fall right into bed after a long day of dancing.

    A Taste of Stockholm

    A Taste of Stockholm
    Photo: AleWi (WikiCommons)
    • When: June
    • Where: Kungstradgarden 

    Every summer, the city of Stockholm celebrates its culinary culture with A Taste of Stockholm! This food festival takes place in Kungstradgarden and showcases some of the best restaurants, cafes, and bars in the city.

    As one of the most attended festivals in Sweden, Stockholm welcomes over 650,000 visitors to discover the local flavors.

    Diners can wander through the park and sample delicious dishes from all around the world. You can try traditional dishes such as herring and crispbreads, as well as international cuisines like sushi, tacos, and burgers.

    There are also plenty of activities and music to enjoy, making this a great place for friends and family. The festival also features cooking demonstrations from some of the country’s top chefs, giving you the chance to learn new recipes and techniques.

    So if you’re looking for a summer adventure that features great food, music, and fun activities then be sure to check out A Taste of Stockholm!

    Where to Stay

    Stay at one of the city’s best mid-range hotels such as the Elite Hotel Stockholm. It’s conveniently located in the city center and offers modern amenities and comfort at an affordable price.

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    Drakamöllan Opera Festival

    • When: June
    • Where: Drakamöllan 

    This cultural Swedish festival takes place in the picturesque town of Drakamöllan, located in central Sweden. This is a great opportunity to experience opera performances from some of the country’s most talented artists in an idyllic setting.

    The event features productions such as Carmen and La Boheme, as well as workshops and masterclasses for those interested in the art form. It’s a great way to get an inside look into Swedish operas and the culture of the country.

    This festival also features music from other genres such as folk, rock, and jazz. There are plenty of delicious food vendors on site to keep your stomach full while you take in all the music and culture.

    The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, making this a great place to explore the arts in Sweden.

    Where to Stay

    This little red house is perfect for budget travelers. It’s located in a quiet and serene area of the countryside, while still providing easy access to the festival grounds.

    Stockholm Pride

    • When: August
    • Where: Stockholm

    As a leader in progressive movements, Sweden proudly hosts Stockholm Pride every August to honor LGBTQ+ culture and rights. This event celebrates the diverse individuals that make up their society, offering an opportunity for everyone to gather together in solidarity and joy.

    The event features a vibrant rainbow parade that runs throughout the city center, as well as live music performances from some of the country’s best-known artists.

    Stockholm Pride is one of the largest pride festivals in Europe, drawing over 500,000 visitors every year.

    The event takes place throughout various venues around the city such as City Hall Square, Kungstradgarden, and Östermalmstorg. There are plenty of activities such as concerts, drag shows, and dance parties.

    This is such a fun festival as everyone is so welcoming and happily celebrates diversity. Whether you’re an ally, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or simply curious about what this event has to offer, Stockholm Pride is a great festival to get involved in.

    Where to Stay

    Located right downtown, Hotel Birger Jarl is the perfect place to stay while exploring Stockholm Pride. This hotel offers spacious rooms with modern amenities and a yummy deli downstairs for you to enjoy.

    Stockholm International Film Festival

    • When: November
    • Where: Stockholm

    The Stockholm International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals. Every year, it showcases world-class films from around the globe and celebrates the best in international cinema.

    Lasting for 12 days, this event draws in both film professionals and moviegoers. Along with the screenings, there are workshops, seminars, masterclasses, and panel discussions to attend. The festival also features a lively red-carpet opening ceremony and awards gala that brings together celebrities from all over the world.

    The festival takes place at various venues throughout the city such as Kulturhuset and Skandia Cinema, offering a wide selection of films for any type of movie-lover.

    Many awards are given out at the event, some of which include Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, and a few others. But the highest award to be won is The Bronze Horse, which is presented to the best film of the festival.

    The Stockholm International Film Festival is a great opportunity to not only experience international cinema but to also celebrate the art form in general.

    Where to Stay

    This self-serve apartment is centrally located near different festival venues and offers a comfortable stay. It is also close to public transport, giving you easy access to the rest of the city.

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    The Lucia Tradition

    The Lucia Tradition
    • When: December
    • Where: All Over Sweden

    The Lucia tradition is one of the most religious Swedish festivals and takes place on December 13th every year. This event has become a part of the Christmas season in Sweden, with people all over the country participating in it.

    Lucia is celebrated by having someone dress up as “the Lucia Bride” with white robes, a red sash, and a crown of candles. This person is accompanied by her attendants known as “star boys” who are dressed in white robes with silver paper stars on their chests. Together they visit homes, schools, and churches bringing joy and light to all those around them.

    The event also features traditional Swedish songs such as “Sankta Lucia” and “Nu tändas tusen juleljus” which are sung by the Lucia Bride and her attendants.

    The Lucia tradition is a fantastic way to experience traditional Swedish culture, as it has been celebrated for centuries. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to get together and celebrate the joy of Christmas.

    Where To Stay

    This modern apartment is located in the heart of Stockholm, near many of the city’s historic attractions. It offers cozy accommodations and delicious traditional Swedish cuisine, making it a great place to stay during this festive time.

    Final Thoughts

    Sweden continually comes out on top as one of the happiest countries in the world, and it’s no surprise why. Between their beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture, and an array of festivals throughout the year, there is plenty to explore in this diverse country.

    I love that you can explore traditional celebrations such as Lucia to famous world-renowned music events like the Stockholm Music Festival, it brings out the perfect dynamic of both culture and festivities.

    As a huge music lover, if I could only choose one festival in Sweden to attend I would highly recommend SUMMERBURST. It’s a mix of both EDM and Pop music, perfect for all festival goers, and gives you a look into the Swedish Festival culture!

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