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Where to celebrate Midsommar in Sweden?

Find out the some of the best destinations for a wonderful Midsummer celebration in Sweden.

Published at Mon, June 3 2019 • Updated Fri, September 20 2019
A music band playing folk music (violins) at the traditional Midsommar celebration of Leksand, Dalarna.
© Donald Judge / flickr [CC BY 2.0]
A music band playing folk music (violins) at the traditional Midsommar celebration of Leksand, Dalarna.

It is very important to point out that similar to all other religious feasts (Christmas, Easter, etc.) in Sweden, the main day of Midsommar celebration is the Midsommar Eve. Since 1953, Midsommar is celebrated on the weekend between the 19th and the 25th of June and the Midsummer Day is always a Saturday. Even if the celebrations are extended to the whole weekend, the highlight events are occurring at Midsommar Eve which is always a Friday.

Top five places to enjoy Midsommar

During Midsommar Eve the whole country resembles a large open-air party. People celebrate it in their gardens, at their summer houses, and in the countryside while others join common celebrations in parks, open-air museums or squares of their communities. Regardless of the city or the village someone visits during that period, there will be for sure many chances to get into the spirit of the celebration. Here are some interesting places where someone can observe public Midsommar events.

Leksand, Dalarna

Parade prior to the main Midsommar feast.
© Donald Judge / flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Parade prior to the main Midsommar feast.

There is no doubt that the region of Dalarna includes all the typical images related to Sweden.

Here is the home of the red-painted houses with the white gables, the painted wooden horses, and the traditionally dressed people dancing around the maypole. It is probably very difficult to find a Midsommar celebration that is more iconic than this of Leksand.

Every year approximately 25.000 visitors from Sweden and all over the world come to this area which has around 6.000 permanent residents. Since 1939 the Midsommar pole of Sammilsdal is the highest in Sweden and thousands of people are dancing the “little frogs” around it every year. Folklore events where people are dressed up in traditional clothes offer a trip to Sweden of the past.

Skansen, Stockholm

The main entrance of Skansen.
© Holger.Ellgaard / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]
The main entrance of Skansen.

During Midsommar a great number of Stockholmers are leaving their city heading to the countryside or towards the small islands at the Archipelago. For those who stay behind as well as for the visitors of the city, one of the best places to celebrate Midsommar is Skansen.

This is Europe’s biggest open-air museum which was established in 1891 and demonstrates the way of life in different regions of Sweden before industrialization. At Midsommar the visitor has the opportunity to experience a typical celebration of the feast. Music bands and choirs set the festive spirit while everyone can bind his / her own flower wreath and take part in the traditional dance around the maypole.

Skärgården (Archipelago), Gothenburg

Lighthouse at the island of Valö.
© Leif.elsby / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Lighthouse at the island of Valö.

Another area to experience a real Swedish Midsommar celebration is the Archipelago of Gothenburg. Among the numerous, there are some which are inhabited and those are famous for their tranquil pace of life since they are totally car-free.

Visiting one of the many islands of this region gives the opportunity to observe the common celebrations of small communities and follow all the typical rituals of the day.

Some of the alternatives are the Öckerö island in the north as well as Rörö and Hönö islands. All of them are offering magnificent views of their rocky landscapes and the wide sea.

Nääs Slott, Alingsås

The yard of the Nääs Castle.
© Harri Blomberg / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]
The yard of the Nääs Castle.

The contemporary version of the Swedish Midsommar celebration is highly related to Nääs.

It was at the end of the 19th century were the Nääs Slott Midsommar dance around the maypole was recognized as a cultural heritage and started to spread as a major common celebration in the whole country.

The same ritual is followed until today and Nääs Slott is an ideal place to observe a traditional celebration of Midsommar. It is very common for the Swedish Television to cover with live broadcast the Midsommar celebration of Nääs Slott.

Sofiero, Helsingborg

The castle of Sofiero.
© Flora MC / flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]
The castle of Sofiero.

For those who are living or visiting at the southern part of Sweden and more specifically the region of Scania (Skåne), the Sofiero Slott (castle) is one highly recommended Midsommar destination. Locals and visitors start arriving early in the morning and they spend almost the whole day at the castle.

Entering the picturesque area of the castle during the Midsommar celebration is free of charge and the majority of the visitors are equipped for a picnic parallel to the observance and involvement at the traditional events that are taking place.

— Read more —
Friends enjoying the Midsummer meal in a greenery decorated boathouse by the lake Sautusjärvi, Kiruna.
Traditions of the of Swedish Midsommar
Folk dances with pair on traditional clothes around the Midsommar pole in Vaxholm, Stockholm
What is the Swedish Midsommar festival?