Given its relatively small population Sweden has a surprising abundance of cultural treasures. This has been recognised in recent years by UNESCO who have awarded 14 Swedish sites with World Heritage status.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that most of these places are completely unknown even to those visitors who have made several visits to Sweden. Here we provide a listing of Sweden’s UNESCO accredited sites. Take a look and see which ones inspire you to visit Sweden.
In and around Stockholm
The Royal Domain of Drottningholm
Drottningholm is an imposing royal palace built in the 18th century and inspired by the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles in Paris. The accompanying Chinese pavilion was considered an essential palace accessory at the time.
Birka and Hovgården
These long-abandoned islands not far from Stockholm have revealed archaeological remains that have helped historians greatly in their understanding of the Viking culture and trade.
The finest example of an ironworks from the 17th century, when Sweden led the world in iron production. Over 50 buildings from the original complex have been preserved.
This early 20th century cemetery is highly praised for its sensitive design. Many visitors consider it the beautiful cemetery in the world. It is also the resting place of Greta Garbo.
North of Stockholm
The mining area of the Great Copper Mountain, in Falun
This small mining settlement, built to plan in the 17th century, has been carefully preserved and represents what was once a vital industry in Sweden.
In and around Gothenburg
Rock Carvings in Tanum, from the Bronze Age
These 3500 year old carvings show animals, boats, people and weapons and offer a priceless insight into the lives of the Bronze age people who inhabited this region.
Varberg Radio Station
This complex is now 90 years and is thought to be the only surviving major transmitting station that pre-dates the electronic era. It is no longer in operation but the building have been carefully preserved.
Gotland and Öland
Hanseatic Town of Visby
Considered the best preserved medieval walled city in northern Europe, Visby was once an important Baltic trading centre. Today the buildings provide a vivid impression of life in Visby in the 13th century.
The agricultural landscape of Southern Öland
The Stora Alvaret is a barren plain some 40 km long and 10km long on the island of Öland in the Baltic. Its inhabitants have had to adapt to a hostile environment over many centuries, creating the landscape that exists today.
Naval port of Karlskrona
An excellently preserved 17th century planned naval town, built at a time when Sweden ruled the waves of northern Europe. The original wooden buildings have mostly been destroyed by fair and replaced, but the street layout remains original.
Church village of Gammelstad, Luleå
A unique concept to northern Scandinavia. Gammelstad was created in the 15th century. Its 424 wooden houses surrounded the church and were only used on Sundays as a place to stay for those who lived so far from the church that their weekly visit required an overnight stop.
The Laponian Area
The home of the Lapps straddles the Arctic Circle and is considered to be the largest area in the world where the indigenous people still lead their lives dominated by the seasonal movement of their livestock.
High Coast or Kvarken Archipelago
This is an area of the northern coast where the land has been rising rapidly for around 10,000 years (since the last Ice Age). There are 5,600 islands in the archipelago and presumably as the land keeps rising the number of islands will increase.
Struve Geodetic Arc
A line of survey triangulations running along the spine of the country, these points are the result of the work of astronomer Friedrich Georg and his colleague Wilhelm Struve. Originally involving over 250 points, the UNESCO site covers 34 of the original station markings across the country.
Visit our site for more information about holidays to Sweden.