Exploring the World Through ABBA’s Hits: A Travel Enthusiast’s Guide

Are you one of those who can’t help but tap your feet and bob your head every time an ABBA song comes on? Take a world tour from Stockholm to the Greek Isles’ enchantment, guided by the supergroup’s unforgettable rhythms. It’s a journey blending iconic melodies with ABBA-inspired travel.
A woman singing at an ABBA-themed bar

How ABBA’s Music Inspires Wanderlust

There’s something about ABBA’s music that ignites a sense of adventure and makes us want to see the world. Whether it’s their songs about love, nostalgia, or simply having a good time, they transport us to a place where anything is possible. The lyrics and melodies evoke images of sunny beaches, bustling cities, and breathtaking landscapes.

Imagine yourself strolling through the charming streets of Stockholm, Sweden, where ABBA was formed in 1972. Or when taking a journey to the sunny shores of Greece, you’ll be moved by the familiar places where the iconic musical “Mamma Mia!” came to life. As you explore these ABBA-inspired travel hotspots and picturesque neighborhoods, you can’t help but feel a connection to the music that originated from these very streets or drew influence from the supergroup’s discography.

ABBA’s tunes are like a passport to adventure, and that’s exactly what we’re diving into in this blog. We’re taking cues from their chart-toppers to guide us through five places that tell a part of the ABBA story. At This City Knows, we hope your playlist is ready as we explore the top things to do and sights to see in these destinations. Let the rhythm of your favorite tunes guide your exploration and find out why these spots are a hit with every music-loving traveler.

Dancing Queen: Grooving Through Stockholm’s Heart

Stockholm, the launchpad of ABBA‘s spectacular career, is a pilgrimage for fans. It’s a city where every corner seems to reverberate with the echoes of ABBA’s timeless tunes, serving as a living tribute to their lasting impact. Music lovers will find Stockholm filled with ABBA-inspired travel experiences that will resonate with anyone.

The ABBA Museum is a highlight, promising an interactive journey through the band’s career. But the city’s connection to the group goes beyond. Beyond the museum, Stockholm also lets you immerse in the music like nowhere else, from themed bars where you can dance to ABBA’s hits to walking tours that showcase key locations in their history. The city blends musical nostalgia with cultural exploration, making it a city where the rhythm of ABBA-inspired travel is a backdrop to every adventure.Pro-tip: Consider taking the scenic ferry from Slussen to Djurgården or the tram to Liljevalchs/Gröna Lund to reach the museum, as parking spots are limited.

A female tourist taking the ferry

Waterloo: Echoes of Victory in Belgium

Heading to Waterloo in Belgium feels like stepping into a unique mash-up of ABBA’s pop brilliance and a pivotal historical moment. This is a cool spot for anyone who loves a bit of music with their history. The tune uses Napoleon’s big loss to talk about the ups and downs of love, adding a whole new layer to visiting.

In Waterloo, you can literally walk where Napoleon surrendered, with the battlefield and Lion’s Mound offering a real-life history lesson. Plus, the nearby museum dives into the nitty-gritty of the battle, making the past come alive. ABBA’s hit adds a pop culture twist, turning a visit here into a two-for-one deal of historical insights and musical nostalgia.

Pro-tip: Time your visit with the battle’s annual reenactment for an epic throwback that’s as close to a time machine as you can get. It’s a fun, unique way to see history in action and get a deeper feel for the song’s backdrop.


Fernando: Whisper of History in Mexico’s Breeze

Jetting off to Mexico with ABBA’s “Fernando” playing in the background adds a whole new layer to exploring the ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá. This song, all about memories and reflections, mirrors the vibe of wandering through these historical marvels.

Within Chichén Itzá, the towering pyramid known as El Castillo reminds us of the Mayans’ incredible smarts and spirit, much like how the song connects us to past struggles and triumphs. Imagine the Mayans under the same stars, getting ready for ceremonies at the pyramid. It’s a trip that’s not just about seeing cool stuff but feeling the connection through time — and tunes.Pro-tip: Catch the equinox at El Castillo to see the shadow snake. It’s like the Mayans’ own version of a light show, blending science, nature, and a bit of magic, much like ABBA’s knack for hitting the right emotional notes with their music.

A man on the island of Skopelos

Mamma Mia: Capturing the Greek Isles’ Enchantment Through ABBA-inspired travel

Imagine cruising to the Greek Isles, where every view feels like a scene straight out of “Mamma Mia.” Skopelos, this gem in the Aegean, isn’t just a backdrop for the film; it’s a slice of paradise that brings the movie’s joy, romance, and energy to life. Fans are drawn here not just by the film’s charm but by the island’s authentic beauty — white-washed houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and beaches where the sea sparkles under the sun. It’s here you can walk in the footsteps of your favorite characters, feel the music in the air, and maybe even dance along.

Want to dive deeper into the “Mamma Mia” magic? Specific locations like Kastani Beach beckon with their untouched beauty and cinematic fame, promising the perfect setting for fans to relive their cherished movie moments. Beyond the film sites, Skopelos invites you to embrace its culture, from traditional tavernas serving up local delights to serene spots perfect for watching the sunset. All this, while the hits play in your mind for a truly ABBA-inspired travel.

Pro-tip: Make your way to Agios Ioannis Sto Kastri, the little church on a rock, where the movie’s wedding scene was filmed. The climb might be a bit of a workout, but the panoramic views of the sea and the skyline are your reward. It’s a must for fans wanting to connect with the film on a deeper level, surrounded by the beauty of the Greek Isles.


Chiquitita: Illuminating the Northern Lights

Chasing the Northern Lights is a magical experience, much like the emotional depth of ABBA’s “Chiquitita.” In the heart of Finland, especially around Rovaniemi in Lapland, the sky comes alive with vibrant colors, providing a visual spectacle that’s both heartwarming and breathtaking. This natural phenomenon, paired with the song’s themes of support and friendship, makes the journey profoundly moving.

For those seeking the best views, places like Kakslauttanen and Luosto are gems. For an enhanced experience, choose the dark months from September to March and dress warmly for the Arctic chill.Pro-tip: Stay in a glass igloo or enjoy a night on a reindeer sleigh for a truly immersive Arctic experience. This blends the awe of the Northern Lights with the charm of local culture, just as “Chiquitita” combines emotional depth with uplifting melodies.

A couple taking a selfie with the Northern Lights as their background

A Musical Voyage Ends, Your Journey Begins with This City Knows

As we wrap up our ABBA-inspired travel journey, it’s clear their music does more than get us singing; it invites us to explore the world with fresh eyes. From Stockholm’s lively streets to the magical Northern Lights, we’ve traveled through songs, finding new ways to see and experience our planet. 

“The winner takes it all,” they sing, reminding us that in travel, as in life, embracing the journey brings the greatest rewards. Start plotting your ABBA-themed voyage with This City Knows and create memories that’ll sing through time. With us, every trip is a hit.

Felicity Knowles
Author: Felicity Knowles

With our mantra "Know Before You Go," we’ve dedicated our platform to the uber curious and adventurous. Drawing from well-traveled lives and a collective, insatiable appetite to uncover the best-kept secrets of global cities, our team of seasoned travelers and local experts generously share their treasured experiences and insights with those who want to know everything about each city (and that’s even before they board a plane). As urban trekkers with a penchant for charting maps through travel, each woven narrative aims to bring each city's culture, cuisine, and character to life, making every ThisCityKnows guide and resource essential “pre-visit reads” for travelers worldwide. Let’s discover the world together—because ThisCityKnows, and so should you!