Sweden has a wide variety of accommodation that is generally of a very high standard. Book ahead in summer to secure the best prices.
- B&Bs, Private Rooms & Farmhouses Well-priced accommodation and a great way to meet the locals; ask at the tourist office for a list.
- Camping There hundreds of campgrounds all over the country, usually with excellent facilities. Most open only between May and September.
- Hostels Sweden has well over 450 hostels, often in beautiful, remote locations. Most offer singles and doubles, but not all have dorms.
- Hotels A wide range available, from chains to boutique.
Cabins & Chalets
Camping cabins and chalets (stugor) are common at campgrounds and scattered through the countryside. Most contain four beds, with two- and six-person cabins sometimes available. They’re good value for small groups and families, costing between 350kr and 950kr per night. In peak summer season, many are rented out by the week (generally for 1000kr to 5000kr).
The cheapest cabins are simple, with bunk beds and little else (bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared with campers or other cabin users). Chalets are generally fully equipped with their own kitchen, bathroom and even living room with TV. Bring your own linen and clean up yourself to save cleaning fees of around 500kr.
Pick up the catalogue Campsites & Cottages in Sweden from any tourist office, or check out www.camping.se.
Camping is wildly popular in Sweden, and there are hundreds of campgrounds all over the country. Most open between May and September. The majority are busy family-holiday spots with fantastic facilities, such as shops, restaurants, pools, playgrounds, beaches, walking trails, canoe or bike rentals, minigolf, kitchens and laundry facilities. Campgrounds are usually a combination of tent and/or RV sites, primitive camping huts (duvet provided; bring your own sheets) and sometimes more luxurious cabins.
Camping prices vary (according to season and facilities) from around 250kr for a small site at a basic ground to 350kr for a large site at a more luxurious campground. Slightly cheaper rates may be available if you’re a solo hiker or cyclist.
You must have a Camping Key Europe card to stay at most Swedish campgrounds. Buy one online at www.camping.se or pick it up at your first campground. One card (150kr per year) covers the whole family.
Sweden has more than 450 hostels (vandrarhem), usually with excellent facilities – they're often more like budget hotels. Most hostels aren’t backpacker hang-outs but are used as holiday accommodation by Swedish families, couples or retired people. Another quirk is the scarcity of dormitories; hostels are more likely to have singles and doubles of almost hotel quality, often with en-suite bathrooms. About half are open year-round; many others open from May to September, some only from mid-June to mid-August in more remote locations.
Be warned: some Swedish hostels keep very short reception opening times, generally from 5pm to 7pm, and 8am to 10am. The secret is to prebook by telephone – reservations are recommended in any case, as good hostels fill up fast. If you’re stuck arriving when the front desk is closed, you’ll usually see a number posted where you can phone for instructions. (Hostel phone numbers are also listed online with STF and SVIF.)
Sleeping bags are usually allowed if you have a sheet and pillowcase; bring your own, or hire them (50kr to 65kr). Breakfast is usually available (70kr to 95kr). Before leaving, you must clean up after yourself; cleaning materials are provided. Most hostels are affiliated with Swedish Tourist Association (STF; www.swedishtouristassociation.com) or Sveriges Vandrarhem i Förening (SVIF; www.srif.se/en), but there are other unaffiliated hostels also with high standards of accommodation.
About 350 hostels are affiliated with Svenska Turistföreningen, part of Hostelling International (HI). STF produces a detailed online guide to its hostels on its website (in English). All STF hostels have kitchens.
Holders of HI membership cards pay the same rates as STF members. Nonmembers can pay 50kr extra per night (100kr at mountain lodges) or join up online or at a hostel. Prices quoted in our reviews are for STF members. Children under 16 pay about half the adult price.
More than 150 hostels belong to Sveriges Vandrarhem i Förening. No membership is required, and rates are similar to those of STF hostels. Most SVIF hostels have kitchens, but you sometimes need your own utensils. Details and booking can be found online, where there's also a downloadable PDF listing all SVIF hostels and their phone numbers.
Sweden is unusual in that hotel prices tend to fall at weekends and in summer (except in touristy coastal towns), sometimes by as much as 50%. We list the standard summer rates, as that’s when most people will be visiting, but be aware that prices may be nearly double at other times of year. Many hotel chains are now also offering a variety of low rates for online booking. Hotel prices include a breakfast buffet unless noted in individual reviews.
There are a number of common midrange and top-end chains. Radisson and Elite are the most luxurious. Scandic is known for being environmentally friendly, and usually has great breakfast buffets. The top-end Countryside chain has the most characterful rooms, in castles, mansions, monasteries and spas.
- Best Western (www.bestwestern.se)
- Countryside (www.countrysidehotels.se)
- Elite (www.elite.se)
- First (www.firsthotels.com)
- Nordic Choice (www.nordicchoicehotels.se)
- Radisson (www.radisson.com)
- Scandic (www.scandichotels.com)
- Sweden Hotels (www.swedenhotels.se)
- Your Hotel Worldwide (www.yourhotelsworldwide.net)
Mountain Huts & Lodges
Most mountain huts (fjällstugor) and lodges (fjällstationer) in Sweden are owned by STF. There are about 45 huts and nine mountain lodges, mostly spaced at 15km to 25km intervals along major hiking trails, primarily in the Lappland region. Reception hours are quite long as staff members are always on-site. Basic provisions are sold at many huts and all lodges, and many lodges have hiking equipment for hire.
STF mountain huts have cooking and toilet facilities (none has a shower, but some offer saunas). Bring your own sleeping bag. Huts are staffed during March and April and also from late June to early September. You can’t book a bed in advance, but no one is turned away (although in the peak of summer this may mean you sleep on a mattress on the floor). Charges for STF or HI members vary depending on the season, and range from 360kr to 410kr in season, 150kr off-season (children pay half). Nonmembers pay 100kr extra. You can also pitch a tent in the mountains, but if you camp near STF huts you are requested to pay a service charge (members/nonmembers 100/200kr), which gives you access to any services the hut may offer (such as kitchen and bathroom facilities).
At the excellent STF mountain lodges, accommodation standards range from hostel (with cooking facilities) to hotel (with full- or half-board options), and overnight prices range from 350kr to around 1500kr. There are often guided activities on offer for guests, and usually a restaurant and shop.
Private Rooms, B&Bs & Farmhouses
Many tourist offices have lists of rooms in private homes, a great way of finding well-priced accommodation and getting to meet Swedish people. Singles/doubles average 550/750kr.
Along the motorways (primarily in the south), you may see ‘Rum’ or ‘Rum & Frukost’ signs, indicating informal accommodation (frukost means breakfast) from 350kr to 500kr per person.
The organisation Bo på Lantgård publishes a free annual booklet on farmhouse accommodation (B&B and self-catering), available from any tourist office. Prices range from 400kr to 1250kr per night, depending on the time of year, facilities and number of beds.
It’s a good idea to book accommodation in advance in large cities; you’ll rest easier and probably also get a discounted rate. Outside of peak season (mid-June through August) it’s not necessary to book in most parts of the country, though Stockholm is an exception.
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