What Sports Are Popular in Sweden?

Sweden is regarded as one of the healthiest and happiest countries in the world, but it’s also known for being a nation that enjoys sports. So, what is the official sport of Sweden, and which sports are most popular?

Popular sports in Sweden include football (soccer), tennis, ice hockey, handball, golf, and bandy.

There are many famous and talented Swedish athletes, including Zlatan Ibrahimović (football), Björn Borg (tennis), and Sarah Sjöström (swimming). 

Want to learn more about the most popular sports in Sweden? Keep reading to find out more!

Also, see What Is Nordic Skiing? to learn more.

What Is the Official Sport of Sweden?

There is no official sport in Sweden, but football (soccer) is the most popular and considered the national sport by many.

The Friends Arena is where the men’s national football team plays its home matches. 

It has a capacity of 50,000 people for games but can hold even more for concerts.

Many Swedish football fans gather at the Friends Arena for friendly and competitive games throughout the season.

There are also plenty of famous Swedish football players, including:

  • Zlatan Ibrahimović. He is the most popular and famous Swedish football player due to his excellent striking capabilities and is considered one of the best strikers in Sweden and the entire world. 
  • Henrik Larsson. Larsson is another well-known footballer and coach from Sweden.
  • Olof Mellberg. A former Aston Villa defender, Mellberg is now a professional football manager and is one of the most well-known Swedish players.
  • Anders Svensson. Svensson is a famous retired Swedish footballer who was captain of Sweden and played as a midfielder (and was a captain) for Southampton.

The Swedish national football team did well in the 2018 World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals in 2018, where they lost to England. 

Although Sweden doesn’t necessarily have one of the best national teams in Europe, many of their players play for successful football clubs across the continent.

Swedes enjoy going to football games more than any other sport in the country!

Other Popular Sports in Sweden

While football is the most popular sport in Sweden, plenty of other sports are well-liked across the nation. Below are some examples of popular sports in Sweden other than football.


Many Swedes enjoy watching and playing tennis, and the country has produced some excellent players. Famous Swedish tennis players include:

  • Bjorn Borg. Borg is not only the world’s most famous Swedish tennis player, but he is one of the most famous Swedish sportsmen in general. He won 11 grand slams throughout his career, making him one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
  • Stefan Edberg. Edberg is another well-known retired Swedish tennis player who won a total of 6 grand slams in his tennis career. He is regarded as one of the best Swedish tennis players.
  • Jonas Bjorkman. Another Swedish tennis legend is Jonas Bjorkman, who was ranked number 4 (singles) at the height of his career in November 1997.
  • Mats Wilander. Wilander won 7 grand slams in his career, making him another Swedish tennis legend. At the height of his career, he was ranked number 1 worldwide.

Sweden is also home to different tennis tournaments, most notably the Swedish Open. The Swedish Open is usually held in Båstad, Sweden, each year.

Swedish and foreign players come to Båstad annually to participate in the tournament.

Ice Hockey and Floorball

Ice hockey is one of Sweden’s most popular sports. Its men’s national team is widely regarded as one of the world’s top teams, so it’s no surprise that it’s an incredibly popular sport. 

Sweden has been a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation since 1912 [1].

Besides the national men’s team, Sweden has national women’s and junior teams.

Sweden also has its own Swedish Hockey League (SHL) league.

The games are held in hockey rinks across the country.

Floorball is another popular sport in Sweden, and the International Floorball Federation (IFF) was founded there in 1986 [2]. There is a men’s and women’s national floorball team.


Golf may not be as popular in Sweden as football, but it’s still a beloved sport around the country. There are plenty of talented and famous Swedish golfers, including major champion Henrik Stenson.

Sweden is an excellent place to play golf because of the beautiful courses and venues it offers [3].

Although many Swedes like to watch professional golf, many also like to play it recreationally, mainly when the weather is at its best through the spring and summer.


Handball is considered one of the most popular sports in Sweden, with many successful Swedish handball teams competing in tournaments around Sweden and the wider world.

Sweden has the Swedish Handball Federation and the men’s and women’s national handball teams.

The men’s team has been performing relatively well recently, coming in 6th place at the 2017 World Championships for handball [4].


Bandy, another popular sport in Sweden, is similar to ice hockey in that the game takes place on an ice rink between two teams.

However, there are a few differences. For example, ice hockey teams have fewer players than bandy teams.

The sport was introduced in Sweden in the 19th century, so it’s an integral part of the sporting culture (even if it’s no longer as popular as it once was) [5].

There is a men’s and women’s national bandy team in Sweden. Alexander Hart is a well-known player in the Swedish bandy community.


Swimming might not be the most popular commercial sport in Sweden, but many Swedes enjoy it as a pastime. During the summer, it’s common for people to visit lakes and rivers around the country and go swimming. 

While the winter months in Sweden are far too cold for outdoor swimming, summertime is typically very warm, so many Swedes take advantage of the warm weather to visit one of the beautiful lakes.

An example of a famous lake for swimming in Sweden (during the summer) is Lake Vänern.

Swedish swimmers have done well in the Olympics throughout the years, with Sarah Sjöström winning bronze in Rio 2016 and silver in Tokyo 2020.

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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