Travel Showdown: Sweden Vs. Norway (Where To Go?)

For those looking for a Scandinavian adventure, both Sweden and Norway will be excellent choices that will leave you with many great memories. Both enjoy safe travel, beautiful nature, friendly people, uniquely Scandinavian towns and cities, and interesting historical sites. But what if only one of the countries could fit in your itinerary, and you had to pick one?

There are of course differences—small as they may be—and after having scoured the internet for relevant data points to compare the two Nordic countries in a scientific manner, we see the Swedes ultimately score higher than the Norwegians when you compare a comprehensive list of reliable travel & tourism data points.

So what does this mean–is Sweden better than Norway? This of course depends on your own personal preferences and circumstances. It should be said that Norway is generally seen as the more beautiful country to visit and for many it will be the better choice. But if we compare available, significant, and relevant travel data, Sweden looks like the better destination than Norway for most travelers.

Here Are the Main Reasons Sweden Score Higher Than Norway:

  • Sweden is easier to reach than Norway; closer to the continent and part of the EU
  • Sweden is a more popular and in-demand destination; more visitors and longer stays
  • Sweden has a slightly higher reputation globally; mostly due to higher cultural impact
  • Sweden wins the battle of the capitals; Stockholm beats Oslo in most areas
  • Sweden is significantly cheaper than Norway; cost of food, drinks and accommodation

Sweden vs. Norway: A Comprehensive Travel Data Comparison

Sweden vs. Norway – Final Score:

7NP Score
Travel Rating: Sweden 🇸🇪

The Nordics’ largest and most populous country offers visitors great accessibility, good quality of life, budget-friendly travel for the region, popular attractions, a high cultural impact, and a great capital city. Being a Scandinavian country, Sweden is still fairly expensive for travelers, although it is still cheaper than its neighbors.

Visitor Accessibility
8
Visitor Popularity, Demand, and Reputation
8
Quality of Life Index
6.5
Quality of Life Surveys
6.8
Reported Cost of Food, Drinks, and Shopping
5
Attractions, and Travel Community
7.1
Capital City Rating
7.6
6.5NP Score
Travel Rating: Norway 🇳🇴

Norway has some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes, a high quality of life, and a booming capital city. The distance from the European continent in travel time brings down the average a bit, but not as much as the cost of travel does (with Norway being one of the more expensive travel destinations).

Visitor Accessibility
6
Visitor Popularity, Demand, and Reputation
7.5
Quality of Life Index
6.5
Quality of Life Surveys
7.7
Reported Cost of Food, Drinks, and Shopping
2.5
Attractions, and Travel Community
9.5
Capital City Rating
5.9

The cumulative score is calculated based on a collection of data points signaling level of visitor accessibility, popularity, satisfaction, demand, and cost of travel.

🤔 Curious to how this score is calculated?
Keep scrolling to look at exactly how we arrived at these ratings, one by one.
1

Visitor Accessibility

Easy to Reach and Get Around In?​
The Öresund Bridge, connecting Sweden to Denmark and the European continent

For this category, we’re trying to establish how convenient it is to travel to the country, and how easy it is to get around within when you’re visiting.

If you’re visiting as part of a bigger trip, we’ll look at distance in travel time from different European cities, and we’ll also try to gauge how the country’s infrastructure holds up compared to other countries in order to figure out if it’s easy to get around in.

Visitor Accessibility Score – Sweden vs. Norway

8NP Score
Sweden 🇸🇪

With 2 major airports and fairly close proximity to the European continent, Sweden is very easily accessible — whether you come by car, bus, train, or air. Transportation infrastructure is very high with great roads and fairly reliable public transportation (although train reliability could be better).

6NP Score
Norway 🇳🇴

With only 1 major airport and quite a far distance via roads and rail from the European continent, Norway isn’t the easiest to access. The country isn’t part of the EU, although it is a part of the Schengen agreement. Transportation infrastructure is not very high, but public transportation ranks much better.

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
EU member
Country is part of the European Union
YesNo
Number of major airports
Number of airports servicing international airlines and 10M+ pax that visitors can fly in to/out of
2 (ARN + CPH)1 (OSL)
Car drive from Berlin
How long it takes to drive from Berlin to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
6 hrs 30 min12 hrs 9 min
Train ride from Berlin
How long it takes to drive from Berlin to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
7 hrs 48 min15 hrs 2 mins
Car drive from Amsterdam
How long it takes to drive from Amsterdam to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
8 hrs 30 min14 hrs 38 min
Train ride from Amsterdam
How long it takes to drive from Amsterdam to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
11 hrs 16 min21 hrs 55 min
Road connectivity
Out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
96% / 8th66% / 94th
Quality of road infrastructure
Out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
72% / 20th59% / 46th
Railroad density
Out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
59% / 37th28% / 53rd
Efficiency of train services
Out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
49% / 40th58% / 28th
Airport connectivity
Out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
67% / 35th68% / 34th
Efficiency of air transport services
Out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
78% / 13th76% / 21st
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
80%60%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Visit Accessibility ScoreWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
80%
VS
60%
🇸🇪 Sweden wins this round 
Sweden is more easily accessible by car, bus, train and air compared to Norway, and scores higher in infrastructure.

2

Visitor Popularity, Demand, Total Area, and Global Reputation

Crowds flocking to Malmö Food Truck Festival, Malmö, Sweden. Photo: Karl Andersson

Looking at how popular Sweden is for visitors, how long they stay, and how the country’s reputation ranks globally, we can get a good sense of how people in general rate Sweden.

I’ve also chosen to include total area to get a sense of how much there is to explore in the country as a whole.

Visitor Popularity, Demand, Total Area, and Global Reputation Score – Sweden vs. Norway

8NP Score
Sweden 🇸🇪

Sweden is fairly popular, in high demand, and ranks 1st in global reputation, which has a lot to do with the country’s high global cultural impact.

7.5NP Score
Norway 🇳🇴

Norway is a fairly popular destination, in high demand, and ranks 4th in global reputation. In other words, visitors seem to like Norway.

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
Number of visitors
Number of yearly foreign visitors to country – World Tourism Organization 2019
7.62 million5.88 million
Length of stays
Nights spent in accom. by international guests – World Tourism Organization 2019
16 million10.7 million
Total Area
Land + water area in square kilometers – CIA The World Factbook 2020
450 000 km²323 000 km²
Reputation
Out of 55 countries – Country RepTrak study 2018
1st4th
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
80%75%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Visitor Popularity & ReputationWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
80%
VS
75%
🇸🇪 Sweden wins this round
Sweden is more popular, in higher demand, larger, and enjoys a slightly higher global reputation than Norway.

3

Quality of Life Index – Global Dataset

Happy Swedes

To get a sense of how Sweden ranks as a destination for expats and visitors, we’ve looked at a massive global index that ranks countries based on factors relating to quality of life.

Quality of Life Index Score – Sweden vs. Norway

6.5NP Score
Sweden 🇸🇪

Sweden places 48th out of 91 countries when we look at quality of life indicators for visitors and expats from a massive global dataset gathered by WorldData. The country scores in the top of every sub-category except for climate, cost, and travel popularity.

6.5NP Score
Norway 🇳🇴

Norway places 49th out of 91 countries when we look at quality of life indicators for visitors and expats from a massive global dataset gathered by WorldData. The country scores in the top of every sub-category except for climate, cost, and travel popularity.

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
Stability
Political & economic stability – WorldData 2020
100%100%
Rights
Legal system, civil rights & freedom of expression – WorldData 2020
100%100%
Health
Life expectancy, water cleanliness, health services – WorldData 2020
87%91%
Safety
Crime/homocide rate, displaced persons – WorldData 2020
96%99%
Climate
Assuming optimal climate is 25 C / 77 F and 55% humidity – WorldData 2020
18%15%
Relative cost
Cost of living, ease of doing business – WorldData 2020
18%15%
Popularity
Happiness, migration rate, number of tourists – WorldData 2020
39%37%
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
65%65%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Quality of Life Index – Global DatasetWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
65%
VS
65%
🇸🇪 Sweden and 🇳🇴 Norway tie this round
Looking at massive global data sets indicating quality of life for expats and tourists, Sweden places just in front of Norway (48th vs 49th) with basically the exact same average score.

4

Quality of Life Surveys

What Do Actual Expats and Visitors Think?
Happy Norwegian

We can definitely learn a lot from looking at the big data in the previous section, but I also wanted to include how actual visitors of the country rate Sweden in different areas related to quality of life, which can give a good idea of how it is to visit the country. A great way to find out how good a country is for travelers is to ask the people who have actually visited the country.

I looked at three independent surveys which asked expats and visitors what their experience in Sweden was:

Quality of Life Surveys Score – Sweden vs. Norway

6.8NP Score
Sweden 🇸🇪

Sweden places very high in Mercer’s quality of living index for employees working abroad and in Numbeo’s user survey for visitors as well. However, we start seeing some interesting trends in Expat Insider’s survey where Sweden places somewhere in the middle compared to the other countries surveyed, which ultimately brings down the overall score in this category. In this survey Sweden scores very low in ease of settling in, feeling at home, friendliness, and finding friends; so it seems the Swedes have a lot to learn when it comes to hospitality and openness towards expats and visitors.

7.7NP Score
Norway 🇳🇴

Looking at the smaller survey results, Norway places 23/231 in Mercer’s quality of living index for employees working abroad, and 10/83 in Numbeo’s user survey for visitors as well. In Expat Insider’s 2019 survey, Norway places toward the middle, which ultimately brings down the overall score in this category. In this survey Norway scores low in categories such as “ease of settling in”, “feeling at home”, “friendliness”, and “finding friends”.

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
Quality of living – employees working abroad
23rd out of 231 cities – Mercer 2019
90%89%
Quality of life – expats survey
Out of 60 countries – Expat Insider 2019
29th20th
Quality of life – user survey
Out of 83 countries – Numbeo User Survey 2020
13th10th
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
68%77%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Quality of Life SurveysWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
68%
VS
75%
🇳🇴 Norway wins this round 
Looking at two smaller user surveys on quality of life, Norway (10th & 20th) scores significantly higher than Sweden (13th & 29th)

4

Reported Cost of Food, Drinks and Shopping

Travel Expenses

We’ve touched on the cost of travel in Sweden already, but I wanted to give an idea of actual costs travelers may be interested in, as reported by visitors (and confirmed by myself).

Reported Cost of Food, Drinks and Shopping Score

5NP Score
Sweden 🇸🇪

As mentioned earlier Sweden is a fairly expensive place for travelers internationally speaking, but it looks like the country is still cheaper than its Scandinavian neighbors so there is some value to be found regionally at least.

2.5NP Score
Norway 🇳🇴

Norway is subjectively looking a very expensive place for travelers, and the country scores worse here than its Scandinavian neighbors do, which mostly is caused by Norway’s higher wages (which you as a visitor isn’t too affected by).

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
Cost of eating out
Basic meal with drink at inexpensive restaurant – MyLifeElsewhere 2020
$12.00$21.01
Cost of drinking
Cost of a domestic beer in an inexpensive bar – MyLifeElsewhere 2020
$7.82$10.24
Cost of shopping
Cost of a regular dress from H&M or similar store – MyLifeElsewhere 2020
$43.29$55.86
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
50%25%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Quality of Life SurveysWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
50%
VS
25%
🇸🇪 Sweden wins this round 
When we compare travel costs such as food, drinks, and shopping, Sweden offers a significantly cheaper vacation.

5

Attractions & Travel Community

Travel Expenses
Senja Island, Norway

Other important factors for travelers to consider before deciding on their travel plans are how many attractions there are, how excited other travelers seem to be about the country, how attractive the country’s natural assets are, and what the country’s main attraction categories are:

Attractions & Travel Community Score

7.1NP Score
Sweden 🇸🇪

There is definitely a lot of buzz about Sweden as a travel destination in online communities, and Sweden’s natural assets rank fairly high globally speaking.

9.5NP Score
Norway 🇳🇴

Norway offers some of the most striking landscapes in the world. There is a lot of buzz about Norway online, and Norway’s natural assets rank fairly high globally speaking.

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
Number of attractions
Number of attractions listed on Tripadvisor June 2021
7 000+6 000+
Community topics
Number of community topics listed on Tripadvisor June 2021
17 36339 371
Attractiveness of natural assets
Out of 140 countries – World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism report 2019
41st7th
Most popular attraction categories
Most popular attraction types – Lonely Planet 2021
Culture, Nature, Cuisine, Old TownsRecreation, Scenic Landscapes, Skiing
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
71%95%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Attractions & Travel CommunityWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
71%
VS
95%
🇳🇴 Norway wins this round
Although Sweden looks to have more attractions, the travel community seems a lot more excited about the Norwegian ones. Norway also places way higher than Sweden when it comes to level of attractiveness of natural assets (i.e. parks, beaches, mountains, wildlife, etc.), resulting in a clear Norwegian win in this round.

6

Capital City Rating

How Good of a Travel Destination is it?
Stockholm at night

Finally, you get a pretty good sense of a country by looking at its capital city and how it stacks up against other capital cities, specifically when it comes to factors that are relevant for travelers.

Capital City Rating – Sweden vs. Norway

7.6NP Score
Stockholm 🇸🇪

The capital of Sweden was founded in 1252, spans over 14 islands where Lake Mälaren flows out in to the Baltic Sea, has a medieval old town, a royal palace, and many unique and picturesque neighborhoods. The city ranks in the top 20 in a quality of life survey from Mercer comparing how it is to live in 231 different major global cities.

5.9NP Score
Oslo 🇳🇴

The capital of Norway was founded in 1040, and is one of the fastest-growing European cities over the last few decades. The city is located at the mouth of a fjord, and is an important maritime hub. The city ranks 33rd in a quality of life survey from Mercer comparing how it is to live in 231 different major global cities.

Data PointsSweden 🇸🇪Norway 🇳🇴
Average temperature
Average maximum temperature
11°C / 51.8 ℉9.4°C / 48.2 ℉
Rainy days
Average amount of rainy days in a year
99116
Universities
Number of universities in city
1613
Museums
Number of museums in city
10050
Theaters
Number of theaters in city
64
UNESCO World Heritage Landmarks
Number of UNESCO World Heritage Landmarks in city
20
Cost of living
Estimated monthly living expenses for a single person (excluding rent) – Numbeo 2021
$ 1068 USD$ 1202 USD
Quality of city living
The annual survey ranks 221 cities using 39 quality of life criteria – Mercer 2021.
20th33rd
Michelin restaurants
Number of restaurants listed in Guide Michelin that are currently open – Guide Michelin 2021
4429
Population density
How densely populated the city is
4600 people/km²3200 people/km²
Average salary
Average yearly salary in USD
$ 31 524 USD$ 39 084 USD
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
76%59%
Sweden vs. Norway
VS
Capital City RatingWeighted score out of 100%, higher is better
76%
VS
59%
🇸🇪 Sweden wins this round 
Stockholm beats Oslo in almost every area relevant to the attractiveness, quality, and value of a capital city visit.

Data sources: 1234567891011121314151617, 18

And the winner is: Sweden 🇸🇪

While both countries are great travel destinations, Sweden ultimately scores higher as it is more popular, more in-demand, offers a similar quality of life, has earned a higher global reputation, and is a significantly cheaper country to visit – making it the better travel destination for most people (depending on your budget and preferences of course).

Why Sweden is Better Than Norway – According to the Data

Looking at publicly available, neutral data points to see what separates the two Nordic countries, we see that Sweden ultimately scores slightly higher than Norway. In the end, the countries score very similarly for most of the indicators included in this comparison. But, there are a few areas where Sweden stands out as a slight winner for most of us:

Sweden is easier to reach than Norway, being closer to the continent and part of the EU

You will be able to reach Sweden easier and faster by train, bus and plane from the rest of the world but even more so from continental Europe. There are essentially two major airport hubs to fly in and out of Sweden: Stockholm Arlanda (ARN – located an 18 min train ride from Stockholm C) and Copenhagen (CPH, located a 21 min train ride from Malmö C), making it easier to reach Sweden for those traveling by air (even if the latter happens to be located in Denmark).

For those not travelling by air the differences will be more about time and distance, with Norway being located further away from continental Europe than Sweden.

You will be able to take the train to Sweden from major cities on the European continent in a shorter time, and a bus or car drive would be shorter to Sweden than it would to Norway (as one would have to drive through Sweden or take a ferry in order to reach Norway).

So if you are on a European trip and have limited time, going to Sweden instead of Norway could mean higher chances for an easier and shorter direct flight if you’re traveling by air, or an additional day of travel if you get around by means of a car, bus, or train.

It’s also easier for tourists to see more of the attractions due to proximity and transportation options available to said attractions. Sweden has more total attractions, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are better than the Norwegian ones (which we will expand on further down in the article).

Sweden is a more popular and in-demand destination, with more visitors and longer stays

If you believe in the “wisdom of crowds” model one may look at the number of visitors and nights spent in the countries in order to gauge the country’s popularity and draw.

This is not necessarily a good thing for everyone, but if we want to trust travelers’ opinion Sweden stands as the more popular choice for tourists and the country where they spend the most time as well. 

Sweden has a slightly higher reputation in the global community due to higher cultural impact

Looking at the Good Country Index there is very little separating the two countries, but one area where Sweden pulls away from Norway significantly is the Creative Goods Export and Creative Services Export categories.

In those categories Sweden delivers more good (Goods) and much more good (Services) than average to culture. The goal of this index is to measure “what countries contribute to the world outside their own borders, and what they take away”.

Sweden is cheaper than Norway

Cheaper isn’t always better, but for most of us the cost of a trip is a very important factor when deciding where to go. And, if all other things are equal-ish, the cheaper destination would generally be where we would choose to go.

That being said, Sweden isn’t very cheap if you compare it to the US, but quite significantly cheaper than the neighbouring Norway, at least according to comparisons by Suitcase SixMy Life Elsewhere, and the last one.

Sweden has more World Heritage Sites than Norway

Wander around on cobblestone streets from medieval times, visit one of the many castles and manors scattered around the country, explore the rune stones and other remains of the viking age.

The four largest cities (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and Uppsala) all have historical old town districts and viking-related sights ready to explore, mixed with modern urban planning, ease of transportation, and excellent access to technology.

Stockholm ultimately beats Oslo in the battle of the capital cities

Striking modern architecture meets cozy medieval old town in Stockholm and many more Swedish cities, making for a unique travel experience for anyone interested in both the past and present.

Compared to Oslo, Stockholm has a warmer average temperature; more museums, theatres, and universities; more UNESCO World Heritage Landmarks; a lower cost of living; and a higher quality of living.

The Capital of Sweden: Stockholm

  •  Biggest city in Scandinavia
  •  The city’s subway is called “world’s largest art gallery”
  •  The city is called the “World’s Smallest Big City” and the “Venice of the North”
  •  Birthplace of Greta Thunberg, Avicii, Alfred Nobel, Spotify, ABBA, the Skarsgård family, Minecraft, Björn Borg, August Strindberg, Zara Larsson, Greta Garbo
7.3NP Score
Stockholm

The capital of Sweden was founded in 1252, spans over 14 islands where Lake Mälaren flows out in to the Baltic Sea, has a medieval old town, a royal palace, and many unique and picturesque neighborhoods.

Average temperature
5
Museums
7.8
Theatres
6
Universities
8
World Heritage Sites
8.9
Cost of living
5
Quality of living
9.1
Michelin restaurants
8.1
Population density
8.4
Average salary
6.6

How about if money doesn’t matter – Is Norway better than Sweden?

If you are in to natural experiences in epic landscapes, there are few places that will top Norway. The country offers a wealth of fjords and beautiful mountainscapes that you can explore by foot, car or ship, and that will take your breath away more than once.

Norway also scored slightly higher than Sweden in certain quality of life surveys, but it does come with much higher living and food costs, and it is not as convenient to see the major attractions as they are generally a bit more remote than the Swedish sights.

To sum it up; if money and time don’t matter to you, Norway offers more natural beauty and might be the better destination.

norway-village-evening-lake-mountains

Norway is generally seen as more beautiful

The scenic fjords and unique costal landscapes of Norway were not only the pride of the fictive planet designer Slartibartfast (from the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy series), but are also arguably some of the more breathtaking natural sights you can see. This is evident in World Economic Forums Travel & Tourism report where Norway places 7th vs Swedens 41st in “Attractiveness of natural assets”

Norway enjoys a slightly higher quality of life than Sweden

Although the two countries are neck and neck when it comes to happiness and quality of life, Norway does seem to have a slight edge here when looking at the smaller expat surveys, which means (all other things being equal) Norway may be the better destination for you.

Norway is less crowded

Although Sweden wins the popularity contest, that might be a win for Norway in the end for a lot of people. A lower visitor count can after all lead to a less crowded tourist experience, which is usually preferred if the attractions are similar.

But of course… Norway is a lot more expensive

According to a user survey by MyLifeElsewhere Norway is 46.3% more expensive than Sweden, which can likely be attributed to the much higher GDP per capita in Norway ($67,645 vs $51,443). As a tourist a higher GDP is generally a negative factor though, as you will not earn the higher wages to account for the higher costs when you visit from abroad.

The Capital of Norway: Oslo

5.9NP Score
Oslo

The capital of Norway was founded in 1040, and is one of the fastest-growing European cities over the last few decades. The city is located at the mouth of a fjord, and is an important maritime hub. The city ranks 33rd in a quality of life survey from Mercer comparing how it is to live in 231 different major global cities.

Average temperature
4.7
Museums
5
Theatres
5.5
Universities
7.8
World Heritage Sites
0
Cost of living
2.5
Quality of living
9.1
Michelin restaurants
6
Population density
9
Average salary
9

Sweden vs. Norway – Summary

7NP Score
Travel Rating: Sweden 🇸🇪

The Nordics’ largest and most populous country offers visitors great accessibility, good quality of life, budget-friendly travel for the region, popular attractions, a high cultural impact, and a great capital city. Being a Scandinavian country, Sweden is still fairly expensive for travelers, although it is still cheaper than its neighbors.

Visitor Accessibility
8
Visitor Popularity, Demand, and Reputation
8
Quality of Life Index
6.5
Quality of Life Surveys
6.8
Reported Cost of Food, Drinks, and Shopping
5
Attractions, and Travel Community
7.1
Capital City Rating
7.6
6.5NP Score
Travel Rating: Norway 🇳🇴

Norway has some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes, a high quality of life, and a booming capital city. The distance from the European continent in travel time brings down the average a bit, but not as much as the cost of travel does (with Norway being one of the more expensive travel destinations).

Visitor Accessibility
6
Visitor Popularity, Demand, and Reputation
7.5
Quality of Life Index
6.5
Quality of Life Surveys
7.7
Reported Cost of Food, Drinks, and Shopping
2.5
Attractions, and Travel Community
9.5
Capital City Rating
5.9

Sweden scores slightly higher overall in travel data points — due to being more accessible, considerably cheaper, and with a higher-scoring capital — so if you can only travel to one of the countries, Sweden would be my recommendation.

However, both countries are well worth a visit in the end, and both score very high on a global scale. If you can fit both of them into your travel itinerary and budget, you’ll get two uniquely Scandinavian travel experiences in close proximity to each other, with different types of offerings and attractions.


Sources:

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Tourism_statistics

https://www.worlddata.info/europe/sweden/tourism.php

[expander_maker more=”More sources” less=”Less sources”]

https://www.worlddata.info/europe/norway/tourism.php

https://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/compare/sweden.norway

https://www.worlddata.info/quality-of-life.php?expats=1#tab

https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/cost-of-living/sweden/norway

https://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2019/the-nordic-countries-39838

https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_current.jsp

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2963875/_PDF/RepTrak/2018_Country_RepTrak_180621.pdf

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/sweden

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/norway

https://maps.google.com/

https://www.roughguides.com/gallery/most-beautiful-country-in-the-world/

[/expander_maker]

Karl Andersson

As a native Swede with a Finnish mother, Karl identifies as both Nordic and Scandinavian. He left Sweden at 19 to explore the world, and stayed abroad for almost 8 years—during which he backpacked, worked every job there was, earned a degree from UC Berkeley, and met the future mother of his children. He ultimately returned to his native Malmö with his love, where they now have 3 Swedish-American boys eager to explore the world.

What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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