Scandinavia's heartland, Sweden is far bigger than Denmark and far flatter than Norway. This family-friendly land is home to Ikea, Volvo, WikiLeaks, ABBA, and long summer vacations at red-painted, white-trimmed summer cottages. While nearly 80 percent of its landscape is wilderness, Sweden's capital, Stockholm, is Scandinavia's grandest city.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Stockholm Bustling capital of Sweden, with its charming island core of Gamla Stan, Europe's original — and unsurpassed — Skansen open-air folk museum, the Vasa museum (17th-century warship), and the Nordic Museum's look at five centuries of Swedish lifestyles.
▲ Near Stockholm Good day-trip options: Drottningholm Palace, the lavish royal residence with nearby Baroque-era theater; Sigtuna, Sweden's oldest town with many rune stones and 18th-century buildings; and the university town of Uppsala, with its cathedral and Linnaeus Museum.
▲ Stockholm's Archipelago Sweden's rocky garden of more than 30,000 islands, best seen on a boat trip from Stockholm.
▲ Southeast Sweden Växjö, with a first-rate emigration museum and the Smålands Museum of glass-making; Kalmar, with its massive 12th-century Kalmar Castle and nearby holiday island of Öland; and the touristy "Kingdom of Crystal" Glass Country.