Sweden draws thousands of visitors every year, eager to delve into the country’s rich cultural heritage and admire its exquisite natural surroundings.
Scroll through the reviews on travel website TripAdvisor, however, and you’ll find the country isn't to everyone's taste. Indeed, some tourists have been distinctly underwhelmed.
We’ve collected together some of the harshest – and most baffling – comments about Sweden’s major tourist attractions. Warning: to be read with a giant pinch of salt.
Vasa Museum, Stockholm
This museum, devoted to an uniquely well-preserved 17th century ship – is a favourite with locals and tourists.
But some visitors just couldn’t get their heads round why it should be on display at all.
“Why design, build and invest a fortune in an old warship that was a failure?” mused one reviewer, referring to the fact that it sank minutes into its maiden voyage.
Another tourist demanded a definitive answer to the mystery surrounding the ship’s demise.
“It is basically a great ship that sank, which is quite interesting from a historical perspective. But the actual museum provides no interesting information – neither the information at display nor the staff knew why the ship sank!”
One visitor couldn’t even bring himself to enter the museum.
“Didn’t go in, but it seemed like a lot of money to see a ship museum. I read a book about the ship in the gift shop. Didn’t see a need to wait in a long line to see the museum.”
The Vasa Museum. Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Stockholm City Hall
Another well-known attraction in the capital is the City Hall (Stadshuset), venue for the annual Nobel Prize and home of the Municipal Council. In fact, it’s often described as one of Sweden's foremost examples of national romanticism in architecture.
Impressive, right? Well, not by some people’s standards.
“Sweden doesn't do ‘impressive’ very well. Save your money until you get to Italy,” advises one reviewer.
Others complained that the building was just too touristy.
“The place was overrun with tourists – I felt I would be beaten to death with a selfie stick at any point!” wrote another.
“It’s a nice building with a lot of history but really there's not too much to see.”
City Hall in Stockholm. Photo: Björn Olin/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se
Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi
You’d think the name alone might ring some alarm bells. But, apparently, some tourists just didn’t expect this unique hotel made of ice to be so cold.
“I would not stay in a cold room again. There’s no pleasure in this… It’s freezing and the beds are rock-hard,” complained one.
“The ice suites are beautiful to look at,” wrote another.
“Do you pay a lot of attention to this stuff whilst you’re sleeping in your room, though? No. You’re zipped head to foot in a sleeping bag.”
The (yes, perhaps a bit cold) Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi. Photo: Lars Thulin/Wikicommons
Southern Archipelago, Gothenburg
Many visitors to Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg, take day trips to the southern archipelago, an area renowned for its natural beauty and peacefulness.
But for some, the place is nothing short of depressing.
“Extremely sad and desolated. We have been in Styrsö (pictured below) days ago and still trying to figure out why is so popular,” commented one reviewer.
For another the trip was “the worst choice of my life”.
“Nobody were there on the island, I was alone on that little island where there were houses and a man shearing the lawn. In fact the only sound was his mower.”
Gothenburg's Southern Archipelago. Photo: Adbar/Wikicommons
Royal Palace, Stockholm
It’s the official residence of Sweden’s king and queen and houses no fewer than five museums dedicated to the monarchy.
The majority of the reviews on TripAdvisor are positive with visitors praising the crown jewels and luxury apartments.
But a small minority of visitors were less than impressed. In fact, some weren’t even convinced it was a palace at all.
“It’s NOT a palace,” insisted one. “It's some building, like hundreds of others in Stockholm.” While another described it as a “Soviet monstrosity”.
What about the inside?
“The treasury is small, and only has like five crowns and five swords,” complained one.
Another was even more disparaging.
“A mishmash collection of royal junk. They should have had a garage sale.”
For one hapless tourist, his dislike of the palace was more personal.
“When my eight-year-old son was about to take a picture at the palace entrance, the guard came and pushed my son and he fell on the ground. How could a child know where he can take a picture?”
The Royal Palace. Photo: Holger.Ellgaard/Wikicommons
Still want to visit Sweden? Take a look at The Local's ultimate travel guide