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How is Midsummer Celebrated in Sweden? A Complete Guide for First-Timers

  • Post last modified:May 13, 2024
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Last year we were determined to experience Midsummer celebrated in Sweden. But it wasn't something we planned out well, and we definitely wished we had a bit of guidance before just booking our flight to Sweden.


Midsummer is a unique celebration, and you can experience it in a variety of places!


So how is midsummer celebrated in Sweden, and which is the best place to celebrate? How do you prepare? Well, after an incredible Midsummer celebrated in Sweden in 2023 we're here to help you experience the same this year.

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When is Midsummer?

Midsummer is the weekend on or after summer solstice, which is on June 21st each year. (This year falls on June 21st-23rd).


This is the longest weekend of the year, and is the purpose of why Midsummer is celebrated.


Midsummer weekend is full of different events, starting from Midsummer Eve on Friday evening through Sunday, with the main events always being on the Saturday, which is considered Midsummer Day.


Midsummer in Sweden
Midsummer in Sweden
Midsummer Celebrated in Sweden

Where is the Best Place to Go For Midsummer?

Midsummer is celebrated all over the Nordics, mostly in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland. The biggest Midsummer celebrations are in Sweden, and this is the number one place to go to experience Midsummer.


Midsummer Celebrated in Sweden

Midsummer is celebrated in Sweden all over the country! There are certain areas that are better to celebrate than others though, and you'll only be able to really experience one place - so it's important to decide in advance where you'd like to celebrate so you can plan accordingly.


Where to Stay in Sweden for Midsummer

There are a ton of a great places to go for Midsummer in Sweden, but here are a few popular options:


Dalarna

If you're looking for the most traditional Midsummer celebrated in Sweden, then you'll definitely want to head to Dalarna, a county in Central Sweden.


When we first decided to go to Dalarna, we felt extremely lost on which town to go. There are actually quite a few towns that have big celebrations, and the most popular ones are Mora, Leksand, and Rattvik, all of which are along the shores of Lake Siljan.


We chose to celebrate Midsummer in Leksand, and highly recommend it as we had an incredible time.


Dalarna, Midsummer in Sweden
Dalarna, Midsummer in Sweden
Dalarna, Midsummer celebrated in Sweden

Dalarna is the most traditional area where Midsumemr is celebrated in Sweden.


Stockholm

Stockholm is certainly one of the most popular cities in Sweden, and the easiest for tourists to flock to.


While tourists may come to the city, the true Swedish way is to head to one of the many islands surrounding Stockholm.


We visited Stockholm the Friday of Midsummer weekend and all of the docks were full of groups of families and friends lined up to sail to the nearby islands for their Midsummer celebrations.


Gothenburg

Gothenburg is another popular city destination for Midsummer celebrated in Sweden.


For inside the city, there are large parties in Slottsskogen, Gunnebo Castle, and Tjolöholm castle, and outside the city you can celebrate on one of the several beautiful islands of the Gothenburg archipelago.


Smogen

On our way back from Dalarna we decided to stop by Smogen, an adorable seaside town on the west coast.


The popular summer destination has colorful houses, chic seafoos restaurants, and boats lined up playing music.


Smogen, Sweden
Smogen, Sweden
Smogen, Sweden


A lot of Swedes head here for the entire weekend, and we found people still celebrating on Sunday when we went there. They also have a massive concert with a foam party Sunday morning, which we ended up just missing!


Smogen is the perfect place for those that want a cool party atmosphere with a lot of young Swedes.


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How is Midsummer Celebrated in Sweden?

Now that you have some options for where to go for Midsummer, we're going to share our experience of Midsummer celebrated in Sweden.


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Midsummer celebrated in Sweden pin
Midsummer celebrated in Sweden pin
Midsummer celebrated in Sweden pin

We wanted the most authentic experience of Midsummer celebrated in Sweden, so we decided to make the trip to Dalarna. Each town has their own celebrations, but we're going to share about our particular experience in Leksand.


The easiest way to get to Dalarna is to rent a car and drive. Stockholm is a little over 3 hours from where Midsummer in Dalarna is, and Gothenburg is about 5 1/2 hours driving.

driving to Dalarna, Sweden

Midsummer in Dalarna

When we first arrived to Lake Siljan, we stopped at a supermarket to speak with some locals about where to go. There are various towns around the lake, but we were suggested to go to Leksand, which ended up being a great choice!


Originally we were recommended to head to a camping area, but it seemed if there were any parties there we clearly had missed them.


beach in Leksand, Sweden
beach in Leksand, Sweden
beach in Leksand, Sweden

The beach at Leksand


We were told Friday night is a big night out for Midsummer Eve, but just got to celebrate Midsummer Day. Midsummer Eve is also when all of the leaves and flowers are picked by all of the ladies to decorate the maypole.


Midsummer Day in Dalarna

The morning of Midsummer is when the maypole is decorated, which is a tradition in each village. During the daytime families and friends gather to have a large lunch of traditional foods such as herring, potatoes, and salmon, finished off with fresh strawberries and cream, and drinking Aquavit.


The Midsummer Maypole Ceremony

In the late afternoon is when everyone starts to gather around the maypole.

Midsummer celebrated in Sweden

Everyone sits on the grass (we suggest bringing a blanket), while local musicians play, and there are speakers presenting the ceremony. Little by little the crowd cheers and the maypole is slowly lifted a little every few minutes.


musicians at Midsummer in Dalarna
musicians at Midsummer in Dalarna
musicians at Midsummer in Dalarna
musicians at Midsummer in Dalarna

Once the maypole is lifted everyone gets up and dances around it. They hop around, sing, and dance to songs about little frogs, and everyone is laughing and stumbling around from being a bit tipsy.


Midsummer celebrated in Sweden (Dalarna)
Midsummer celebrated in Sweden (Dalarna)
Maypole at Midsummer in Dalarna
Midsummer celebrates in Sweden, festivals around the world

One of the most fun things to do in Paraty is to visit a Cachacaria.


The Midsummer After Party

Dancing around the maypole is really only 15-30 minutes, and after you'll see crowds of people buying food and drinks from the stalls nearby, and lining up for the long lines for the portapotties.


candy stand at Midsummer
candy stand at Midsummer


As the sun starts to set you'll find people pretty inebriated by this point, and also a lot of young people with very old cars that look like they came from MTV's Pimp My Ride blasting music and driving slowly around the streets. (This was definitely one of the weirder moments for us).


This is because the cars are very sought after there, and because there are very few months they can enjoy the good weather, especially the convertables!


cars in Sweden during Midsummer
cars in Sweden during Midsummer
cars in Sweden during Midsummer


The evening is then time for the big festival, where you can find a carnival outside (games, rides, and food stalls), and a concert inside of many local djs and artists performing.


This is a paid event, but definitely worth it in our opinion. it goes all hours of the night, and was definitely the wildest part of Midsummer celebrated in Sweden.