Swedish nature when it isn’t freezing

Don’t get me wrong, I quite like the Swedish winter. But when the snow melts and the days get longer, I find myself more inclined to do fun stuff outdoors. So we’re going to manifest the arrival of spring by talking about all the fun things you can do in Sweden when it isn’t freezing.

Sweden has a reputation that makes it sound like it’s cold all the time, but the spring, summer, and early autumn are full of warmth (sort of) and light. Without further ado, here are some ideas for fun things to plan now that winter is fading!

Hiking

You will never run out of hiking trails and places to explore, even within a few hours of Stockholm. For some context on just how much there is to explore, nearly 70% of Sweden’s landmass is covered with forests according to Statistics Sweden.

You never have to go far to find fields, parks, or forests even in Stockholm itself; you can find some popular nature spots on View Stockholm’s webpage. I can personally recommend Djurgården and Tyresta National Park since you can easily modulate the length of your hike based on your preferences.

Lake & river activities

As someone who spent most of my life doing pool and ocean swimming, I was a bit hesitant to swim in lakes in Sweden. They’re pretty clean but often look murky. The water can be chilly too, but I got used to it once I stopped expecting tropical waters when Swedes said that the water is “so warm!”.

People flock to the water as soon as the sun is out. Image by: Inika Prasad

The murkiness still bothers me a bit, but I get past it once I remember that there is virtually no creature in the water that can actually harm you. I’m looking at you, Australia.

Other fun activities include kayaking or canoeing, which are quite popular in Stockholm. Do a quick google and you’ll quickly come across places that organize these activities or lend equipment.

Take a ferry someplace nice

The Stockholm archipelago is home to many beautiful islands. One I visited some summers ago was Birka, where there is a lot of viking history. You can hop on the ferry to Birka in Stockholm and it is a fun day-trip.

You can also take the overnight ferry to Helsinki, Finland. This ferry ride is popular amongst university students, so don’t be surårisef if you see hungover groups of friends trudging out of the ferry when you arrive at your destination.

Consider taking a trip to an island in the archipelago. Image by: Inika Prasad

Berry and mushroom picking

A fun part of the summer is picking wild blueberries, lingonberries, wild strawberries, cloudberries, and so on. Some of the berries are more common than others–I would be envious if you found cloudberries in abundance in Stockholm.

In the autumn, the mushroom-picking season will begin. If you do any type of foraging, please make sure you know what you’re doing or are with someone who does. If you’re a beginner, stick to the easily recognizable berries and mushrooms that don’t have similar-looking dangerous relatives. Know the most poisonous mushrooms and stay far, far away from them. Some mushrooms have to be treated a certain way (dried, boiled several times, etc.) for them to be edible, so keep that in mind before making any foraged-mushroom omelettes.

They say you should never ask a Swede where they picked their mushrooms. You can, however, plead ignorance as a foreigner and ask anyways. You may find yourself lucky. No guarantees.

Cherry blossoms

For a brief period in the spring, one can find beautiful cherry blossoms in Stockholm. Kungsträdgården is one of the most popular spots, but there are others too! Even though it can be crowded, the blossoms are beautiful ✨

Image credits: Inika Prasad

Camping and the freedom to roam

In Sweden, you have Allemänsrätten – The Right to Public Access which says that you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation.

This means you have a lot of flexibility if you want to go camping. An important thing to remember this freedom to roam comes with its responsibilities. Make sure you don’t disturb wildlife, destroy natural features or spaces, or litter.

If you go up north, I highly recommend Skuleskogen National Park. Not to mention, the Kungsleden is famous for being a great hiking and camping trail in northern Sweden. You can read Lauren’s blog for tips on hiking the Kungsleden.

A valley full of weathered stones, reminiscent of trolls in Nordic folklore. Photo at Skuleskogen National Park. Image by: Inika Prasad

Beware of ticks

Springs and summers in Sweden bring forth an army of ticks. Thes arachnids look like small fat beetles, drink blood, and sometimes carry disease. Two important tick-borne diseases I hear about in Sweden are TBE (Tick-borne encephalitis) and Borrelia (Lyme disease). Consider getting a TBE vaccination in preparation for the summer.

Some tips I want to pass on is to brush off yourself and your clothes after you have rampaged through grass or been in a forest. Ticks also seem to love fur, so you may spot one on your pets. If you suspect you have a tick bite, keep track of its size and shape and consult a healthcare professional.

Finally

I hope this blog gave you some ideas for outdoors activities as the snow melts and the days get longer. Let me know in the comments if you end up taking my suggestions or if you have any questions. As always, you can find me at inika.prasad@stud.ki.se</p>

❤️ Inika

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Hello, Inika here. I’m a third-year Biomedicine bachelor’s student at KI. I'm from India and a little bit from Sweden. As a Digital Ambassador Blogger, I'll be writing about my programme, things happening in and around KI, and giving insights into university life.

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