Seven fun things to do this Swedish holiday

It's a public holiday in Sweden on Thursday, with many companies shutting up shop from Wednesday afternoon until Monday morning. From outdoor yoga to al fresco dining, here are our top tips for making the most of the country's second May mini-break.

Seven fun things to do this Swedish holiday
Gothenburg in the evening sunshine. Photo: Werner Nystrand/Image Bank Sweden
1. Dine outdoors in Gothenburg
A new car-free street opened up for al fresco dining on Sweden's west coast this month in what has become one of the city's chicest culinary spots. Situated in the rather aptly named Olivedal area, the stretch between Linnégatan and Nordhemsgatan is set to remain pedestrianised until September 30th. From European fine dining to pizza and tacos, the zone is fast gaining a reputation as a hip place to grab an after work beer or while away a weekend afternoon. For some alternative gorgeous outdoor venues in Stockholm, check out our guide to the city's unmissable open-air bars.

Gothenburg has plenty of outdoor drinking spots. Photo: Göran Assner/Image Bank Sweden
2. Get your yoga mat out in Malmö
It might be a holiday weekend, but that doesn't mean Swedes will be taking take a rest from exercise. There are plenty of free outdoor running and military fitness clubs opening up around the country, but for a more serene experience, we've picked out this yoga and meditation camp deep in woodland just outside Malmö. You can bring your own tent and camp or drive in for the day – but you miss might out on evening swimming, fires and dancing. 

Outdoor yoga is hot in Sweden right now. Photo: Shutterstock
3. Go to a Loppis 
Loppis fairs (flea markets) are huge in Sweden and range from high-end, high-price vintage affairs to cute suburban table-top sales where if you don't spot a bargain you'll likely be treated to home-baked cakes and coffee prepared by local children or pensioners. Bagarmossen's Megaloppis in southern Stockholm on Saturday is being hyped as one of the best events this week, or try Hornstull's weekly waterside affair, where you can also feast from a multitude of hipster food trucks.

Hornstull Loppis in 2014. Photo: TT
4. Turn back time in Uppsala
If you arrive at Linneaus Hammarby, an historic manor house, in eighteenth century clothing this weekend you can get in for free. Situated in the grounds of Uppsala University, the adjacent botanical garden is the oldest in Sweden. Here, you can learn about 9,000 plant species and check out the annual 'release of the sheep' on Sunday when the animals mingle with visitors in the vast grounds. This is as close to Downton Abbey as it gets in Sweden.

Uppsala University boasts numerous historic buildings. Photo: Cecilia Larsson/Image Bank Sweden
5. Check out the hottest young Nordic photographer
Let's face it, on a public holiday weekend in Sweden, it's bound to rain at some point. With wet weather expected in the capital on Sunday, why not stay cosy inside Stockholm's Fotografiska photography museum and enjoy some of the dark, sometimes eerie snaps that won Johan Strindberg the Nordic Photographer of the Year prize in 2014. The exhibition runs until May 30th.

Johan Strindberg has picked up several top photography prizes in Scandinavia. Photo: TT
6. Grab an ice cream in the capital
Whether or not the sun is shining, Swedes are obsessed with ice cream. Stikki Nikki's stores around Stockholm regularly get top scores on travel sites and with one situated just around the corner from The Local's HQ, we can confirm they are delicious. With flavours changing regularly and even the chance to pre-order your dream combination, we're pretty sure you'll be coming back for seconds before the weekend is out.

Yum yum. Photo: Stikki Nikki
7. Pretend you're in the Mediteranean in Umeå
The largest and in our opinion most charming city in northern Sweden has already transformed into a bustling marketplace this week, with street traders bringing food flavours from all corners of Europe until Sunday. If you're not into gobbling Greek olives or chomping on chorizo, you can also sample more locally sourced delights such as Swedish cider and mustard. If you're after an Italian pashmina, a Swedish wool jumper or some Transylvanian glassware, this is also the place to spend your kronor. The market is moving on to other Swedish locations in the coming weeks including Visby, Örnsköldsvik and Härnösand.

The city of Umeå in the sunshine. Photo: Visit Umeå