The current raft of Scandi-based TV series – think The Bridge and Wallander – is seriously inspiring us to hotfoot it over to explore Scandinavia’s cities, culture and landscapes, starting in the uber-cool country of Sweden...
Sweden’s breathtaking natural landscape is punctuated with walled medieval cities, ancient Viking settlements and seaside fortresses. It also boasts some seriously cool cities too; vibrant capital Stockholm oozes charm from its orange-hued buildings set against azure blue skies; Gothenburg excels at exquisite architecture set around historic streets, and Sweden’s third city Malmo – famous for hosting last year’s Eurovision Song Contest – is uber-trendy right now. Further north, the Sami people highlight the Swedish way of life from ages past.
Stockholm – Admire the most impressive shipwreck in the world at the Vasa Museum, wander Stockholm’s streets which are lined with brightly painted multi-storey houses and float away along the canals, which are an enduring symbol of this city. Sweden's cities don't come much more glam than this! And as a former Capital of Culture (1998) and Capital of Sport City (2002), Copenhagen wears its eco credentials with pride too as one of the European Green Capitals.
Gothenburg – See the city from a different angle; a kayak journey along the southern Goteborg archipelago really warms the bones. Check out the myriad of themepark rides and attractions on offer at the traditional Lisebergs Nojespark. And learn more about the history of one of Sweden’s greatest exports at the Volvo Museum, which alongside Stockholm’s ABBA museum, is one of the most popular in the country.
Malmo – The newly constructed Oresund Bridge is both an engineering marvel and a practical investment, as it connects Malmo to Copenhagen; prefect for ferry and flight phobics! Soak up some authentic Swedish ambience within the Lilla Torg, aka Little Square, stop by Malmo Castle (pictured) and learn about Malmo’s place in history at the fascinating Technology and Maritime Museum.
Umea – Currently reigning supreme as the European Capital of Culture 2014 – this is one seriously arty city to check out! Throughout the year Umea will showcase its fascinating heritage and culture, in particular the Gammlia Museum district, where staff don traditional garb. Don’t miss the packed annual summer calendar of lively music, film and sports festivals.
See Sweden on screen; The Bridge, Wallander and new thriller Crimes Of Passion, which is set in the 1950s in the atmospheric region of Bergslagen and will be screened soon on BBC4.
Image credit; 2; JLogan, 3; sv:User:Jorchr. CC-ASA-3.0