Stockholm archipelago

Whether you’re a photographer, a writer, a filmmaker or an architect, one of the best ways to gather creative inspiration is through travel. By breaking out of your routine and leaving the familiar for unchartered territory, your senses will be exposed to all sorts of new flavours, colours, landscapes, buildings, and patterns, giving you material and ideas ripe for creation.

Sweden is a magnificent stop for your next inspiration vacation. From IKEA to ABBA to H&M, this Nordic country is a worldwide icon in a variety of art and design fields. Draw up your ideas in the rousing cultural hub of Stockholm and then escape to a cottage in the largely uninhabited, densely forested countryside to execute them.

Fashion

Swedish fashion is both timeless and trendy, minimal and intriguing, practical and avant-garde. With the explosion of H&M and Acne Studios, Sweden has become known all throughout the world for its fashion industry. Expect to bump into endless style inspiration while walking down the streets of Stockholm.

Architecture

From limestone cathedrals to Baroque castles to rural farmhouses, Sweden is littered with interesting architecture that spans countless time periods and genres. Colourful Scandinavian row houses line up along seas and city streets. Particularly prevalent is the country’s signature Falu red, originating from the copper mine in Falun (Dalarna), and it’s painted on cottages all throughout the countryside.

Design

There’s a reason Swedish furniture design company IKEA has taken the world by storm. Minimalism is gaining a huge following, and no one does it quite like the Swedes. Design in Sweden is the ultimate in practicality while still being affordable and attractive; they’ve got the best of all worlds.

Although well known for their furniture designers, this combination of functionality and style can be spotted everywhere in Sweden, from textile design to graphic design to ceramics. To top it all off, design in Sweden is now heavily focused on sustainability.

Music

Sweden is the world’s King of Pop music, and it’s not just thanks to ABBA. Rather than shunning the prevalence of music streaming, the country’s recording industry has gotten behind it, making Sweden one of the first countries to fully integrate with Spotify. This understanding of the future of the music industry has kept them ahead. Between Avicii, Tove Lo, and Swedish House Mafia, they’re obviously rocking into the 21st Century.

Looking for the best new music festivals to attend? Try Sweden’s Peace and Love, Summerburst, or Sweden Rock festivals.

Writing

There’s no place like Sweden to live out that alluring image of the isolated writer, submerged in his or her typewriter authoring a novel in a remote winter cabin, surrounded by endless pine forests and frozen lakes. Seriously, 97% of the country is uninhabited!

Although between The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and Henning Mankell’s popular Inspector Kurt Wallander mystery novels, you might want to bring a friend to keep from getting too spooked if you’re not planning on writing a thriller.

The next time you need to get your creative juices flowing again, consider Sweden!

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