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Sweden travel guide - Travel S helper

Sweden

travel guide

Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden, is a northern European Scandinavian nation. It is bounded on the west by Norway and on the east by Finland, and on the southwest by Denmark through a bridge-tunnel across the resund. Sweden is the third-largest nation in the European Union by size, covering 450,295 square kilometers (173,860 square miles), and has a population of over 9.9 million. As a result, Sweden has a low population density of 21 people per square kilometer (54/sq mi), with the southern part of the nation having the greatest concentration. Around 85 percent of the population lives in cities.

Since prehistoric times, Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden, developing as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear and becoming the sea people known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is mostly agricultural, while the northern part of the country is largely wooded. Sweden is located within the Fennoscandia geographical region. Due to considerable marine influence, the climate is often very moderate given its northerly latitude, yet maintains warm continental summers. Sweden is now both a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy, with a monarch serving as head of state. Stockholm, the capital city, is also the country’s most populated city. Legislative authority is vested in the Riksdag, a 349-member unicameral legislature. The government, headed by the prime minister, exercises executive authority. Sweden is a unitary state comprised of 21 counties and 290 municipalities at the moment.

During the Middle Ages, Sweden became an autonomous and united nation. It extended its holdings in the 17th century to create the Swedish Empire, which remained one of Europe’s major powers until the early 18th century. Swedish holdings beyond the Scandinavian Peninsula steadily dwindled during the 18th and 19th centuries, culminating in Russia’s acquisition of modern-day Finland in 1809. Sweden’s last active involvement in a war was in 1814, when Norway was forced forcefully into personal union. Since then, Sweden has remained at peace, adhering to an official posture of foreign policy neutrality. Sweden’s union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, resulting in the establishment of the country’s present boundaries. Though Sweden maintained a nominal neutral position throughout both world wars, it participated in humanitarian initiatives, such as accepting refugees from German-occupied Europe.

Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but rejected NATO and Eurozone membership after a vote. Additionally, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the European Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that offers universal health care and access to post-secondary education for its people. It has the eighth-highest per capita income in the world and scores highly on a variety of performance indicators, including quality of life, health, education, civil rights protection, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity, and human development.

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Sweden - Info Card

Population

10,481,937

Currency

Swedish krona (SEK)

Time zone

UTC+1 (CET)

Area

450,295 km2 (173,860 sq mi)

Calling code

+46

Official language

Swedish

Sweden | Introduction

Geography Of Sweden

Sweden is located in Northern Europe, west of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia, and comprises the eastern portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Scandinavian mountain chain (Skanderna) divides Sweden and Norway to the west. Finland is situated to the north-east of it. It has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and the resund Bridge connects it to Denmark (southwest). Its border with Norway (1,619 km long) is Europe’s longest unbroken border.

Sweden is located between latitudes 55° and 70° N, and mainly between longitudes 11° and 25° E (with the exception of Stora Drammen island, which is located slightly west of 11°).

Sweden is the 55th-biggest nation in the world, the 4th-largest country completely in Europe, and the largest in Northern Europe, with 449,964 km2 (173,732 sq mi). The lowest point in Sweden is 2.41 meters (7.91 feet) below sea level in the harbor of Lake Hammarsjön in Kristianstad. Kebnekaise, at 2,111 m (6,926 ft) above sea level, is the highest peak.

Sweden is divided into 25 provinces or landskap (landscapes), which are based on culture, geography, and history. While these regions have no political or administrative function, they are significant in shaping people’s self-identities. The provinces are often divided into three major lands: northern Norrland, central Svealand, and southern Götaland. Norrland, which is sparsely inhabited, covers almost 60% of the nation. Sweden also includes the Vindelfjälllen Nature Reserve, which is one of Europe’s biggest protected areas, covering 562,772 hectares (approx. 5,628 km2).

Around 15% of Sweden is located north of the Arctic Circle. Southern Sweden is mostly agricultural, with growing forest cover to the north. Forests comprise about 65 percent of Sweden’s entire land area. The greatest population density is found in southern Sweden’s resund Region, along the western coast up to central Bohuslän, and in the basin of Lake Mälaren and Stockholm. Sweden’s biggest islands are Gotland and land, while its largest lakes are Vänern and Vättern. Vänern is Europe’s third biggest lake, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia. Together with the third and fourth biggest lakes, Mälaren and Hjälmaren, these lakes cover a considerable portion of southern Sweden. With the construction of the Göta Canal in the nineteenth century, Sweden’s vast waterway availability across the south was utilized, reducing the potential distance between the Baltic Sea south of Norrköping and Gothenburg by using the lake and river network to assist the canal.

Climate In Sweden

Despite its northern location, much of Sweden enjoys a moderate climate with four distinct seasons and pleasant temperatures all year. The country’s climate may be classified into three types: oceanic climate in the south, humid continental climate in the center, and subarctic climate in the north. However, due to the Gulf Stream, Sweden is considerably warmer and drier than other locations at a comparable latitude, and even somewhat farther south. Central and southern Sweden, for example, enjoys considerably warmer winters than many areas of Russia, Canada, and the northern United States. The duration of daylight fluctuates significantly due to its high latitude. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets during the summer and never rises during the winter. In late June, daylight lasts more than 18 hours in Stockholm, but only around 6 hours in late December. Every year, Sweden gets between 1,100 and 1,900 hours of sunlight.

Temperatures vary dramatically from north to south. The southern and central parts of the country have warm summers and cold winters, with average high temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F) in the summer and 4 to 2 °C (25 to 36 °F) in the winter, whereas the northern part of the country has shorter, cooler summers and longer, colder, and snowier winters, with temperatures frequently falling below freezing from September to May. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Sweden was 38 °C (100 °F) in Mlilla in 1947, while the lowest temperature ever recorded was 52.6 °C (62.7 °F) in Vuoggatjlme in 1966. Temperatures in Sweden are strongly affected by the vast Fennoscandian landmass, as well as continental Europe and western Russia, which enables hot or cold inland air to be readily transferred to the country.

As a result, most of Sweden’s southern regions have warmer summers than virtually anywhere else in the neighboring British Isles, with temperatures even equal those seen along the continental Atlantic coast as far south as northern Spain. During the winter, though, the same high-pressure systems may cause the whole nation to drop far below freezing temperatures. Because of some coastal moderating from the Atlantic, the Swedish continental climate is less harsh than that of neighboring Russia. Despite the fact that temperature trends vary from north to south, the summer climate is remarkably consistent throughout the nation, despite significant latitudinal variations. This is because the south is surrounded by more water, with the larger Baltic Sea and Atlantic air flowing over lowland regions from the south-west.

Apart from the ice-free Atlantic bringing marine air into Sweden, which tempers winters, the mildness is explained further by prevalent low-pressure systems delaying winter, with lengthy evenings frequently remaining above freezing in the south of the nation owing to plentiful cloud cover. By the time winter finally arrives, daylight hours have increased rapidly, guaranteeing that daytime temperatures surge in spring. Because of the increased frequency of clear nights, frosts are still frequent as far south as April. When low-pressure systems are weaker, frigid winters ensue. For example, the coldest month on record in Stockholm (January 1987) was also the sunniest month on record.

Summers are also defined by the relative intensity of low and high-pressure systems of marine and continental air. When hot continental air blows into the nation, the long days and short nights often cause temperatures to reach 30 °C (86 °F) or more, even in coastal regions. Nights are usually chilly, particularly in the inland regions. Because to the moderating sea effect during warmer summers, coastal regions may experience so-called tropical nights with temperatures over 20 °C (68 °F). Summers in the United States may be chilly, particularly in the north. The transitional seasons are usually very long, and the four-season climate applies to the majority of Sweden’s area, with the exception of Scania, where some years do not record a meteorological winter (see table below), and the high Lapland highlands, where polar microclimates occur.

Most of Sweden gets between 500 and 800 mm (20 and 31 in) of precipitation per year on average, making it much drier than the worldwide average. The south-western portion of the nation gets higher precipitation, ranging from 1,000 to 1,200 mm (39 to 47 in), with certain mountain regions in the north receiving up to 2,000 mm (79 in). Despite their northerly position, southern and central Sweden may get little snow in certain winters. The majority of Sweden lies under the rain shadow of the Scandinavian Mountains, which run across Norway and north-west Sweden. The blockage of cold and wet air in summer, as well as the larger landmass, results in warm and dry summers further north in the nation, with fairly mild summers at the Bothnia Bay coast at 65 degrees latitude, which is unheard of at such northerly beaches elsewhere in the globe.

Demographics Of Sweden

On November 30, 2015, the entire population of Sweden was projected to be 9,845,155 people. According to Statistics Sweden, the population surpassed 9 million for the first time on August 12, 2004, and 9.5 million in the spring of 2012. The population density is 20.6 people per km2 (53.3 people per square mile), with the south having a much greater density than the north. Cities are home to about 85 percent of the world’s population. Stockholm, the capital city, has a municipality population of about 900,000 people (with 1.3 million in the urban area and 2 million in the metropolitan area). Gothenburg and Malmö are the second and third biggest cities. Greater Gothenburg has a population of over a million people, as does the western portion of Scania around the resund. Together with Greater Copenhagen, the total population in the resund region is close to 3 million people on a geographical area of fewer than 6000 km2. The agricultural region of stergötland has a much greater population density than the rest of Sweden. Even outside of Scania and Greater Gothenburg, the western coast is very densely inhabited. Also outside of Greater Stockholm is the region surrounding Lake Mälaren, as well as the agricultural area near Uppsala.

While Norrland (which accounts for about 60% of Swedish area) has a relatively low population density (below 5 people per km2). The highlands and the most of the coast’s isolated regions are virtually unpopulated. Large areas of western Svealand, as well as southern and central Smland, have low population density. Finnveden, situated in the south-west of Smland and mostly below the 57th latitude, may likewise be regarded almost devoid of inhabitants.

Between 1820 and 1930, about 1.3 million Swedes, or one-third of the country’s population, immigrated to North America, the vast majority to the United States. According to a 2006 US Census Bureau estimate, there are more than 4.4 million Swedish Americans. There are 330,000 people of Swedish origin in Canada.

There are no official data on ethnicity, but according to Statistics Sweden, about 1,921,000 (20.1 percent) of Swedish residents were of a foreign background in 2012, defined as being born abroad or born in Sweden to two parents who were born abroad. The most frequent countries of origin, according to the same criteria, were Finland (2.38 percent), former Yugoslavia or its successor nations (2.06 percent), Iraq (1.74 percent), Poland (0.91 percent), and Iran (0.84 percent ).

Religion

Prior to the 11th century, Swedes practiced Norse paganism, worshiping the gods in the Temple at Uppsala. The country’s laws altered after Christianization in the 11th century, banning worship of other deities until the late 19th century. The authority of the Roman Catholic Church was removed after the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s, which was headed by Martin Luther’s Swedish colleague Olaus Petri, and Lutheranism became popular. The Uppsala Synod in 1593 completed Lutheranism’s adoption, and it became the state religion. During the period following the Reformation, known as the period of Lutheran orthodoxy, small groups of non-Lutherans, particularly Calvinist Dutchmen, the Moravian Church, and French Huguenots, played an important role in trade and industry and were quietly tolerated as long as they maintained a low religious profile. The Sami traditionally had their own shamanistic religion, but Swedish missionaries converted them to Lutheranism in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Religious liberalisations in the late 18th century enabled followers of other religions, such as Judaism and Roman Catholicism, to live and work freely in the nation. However, it was unlawful for Lutherans to change to another faith until 1860. The advent of different evangelical free churches in the nineteenth century, as well as secularism towards the end of the century, caused many people to separate themselves from church rites. With the so-called dissenter legislation of 1860, leaving the Church of Sweden became permissible, but only under the condition of joining another Christian denomination. In 1951, the Law on Religious Freedom officially guaranteed the freedom to stand independent of any religious group.

The Church of Sweden was abolished in 2000. Sweden was the second Nordic nation to abolish the state church (after Finland did so in the Church Act of 1869).

At the end of 2014, 64.6 percent of Swedes belonged to the Church of Sweden, a figure that has been declining by approximately one percentage point each year over the previous two decades. Sunday services are attended by around 2% of the church’s members on a regular basis. The high number of inactive members is due, in part, to the fact that, until 1996, children automatically became members if at least one of their parents was a member. Since 1996, only baptized children have been admitted as members. Some 275,000 Swedes are currently members of different Evangelical Protestant free churches (with considerably greater congregation attendance), while immigration has resulted in 92,000 Roman Catholics and 100,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians residing in Sweden.

The first Muslim congregation was founded in 1949, when a small group of Tatars arrived from Finland. The presence of Islam in Sweden remained minor until the 1960s, when Sweden began to accept migrants from the Balkans and Turkey. Further immigration from North Africa and the Middle East has boosted the Muslim population to an estimated 400,000 people. However, only around 110,000 people belong to a congregation, and only about 25,000 of them actively practice Islam by praying five times a day and attending Friday prayers.

According to sociology professor Phil Zuckerman, despite their lack of belief in God, Swedes often dispute the word atheist, preferring to call themselves Christians while remaining members of the Church of Sweden. Other study has shown that religion continues to have a role in cultural identity in Sweden. This is shown by the fact that, despite having to pay a church tax, about 70% of people continue to be members of the Swedish Church; furthermore, baptism rates remain high, and church marriages are rising.

Language In Sweden

Swedish (Svenska) is the official language of Sweden, although many Swedes, particularly those born after 1945, also speak English well — an estimated 89 percent of Swedes can communicate in English. While Finnish (the biggest minority language) and the less spoken Sami, Meänkeäli, Yiddish, and Romani languages are legally recognized, Swedish is spoken by almost everyone born in Sweden. Whatever your home language is, Swedes appreciate any effort to speak Swedish, and starting discussions in Swedish, no matter how fast your comprehension fades, can help you ingratiate yourself with the locals.

Hej (hey) is the most often used greeting in Sweden, and it is appropriate for both monarchs and commoners. You may even say it while you’re leaving. The Swedes seldom say “please” (snälla, pronounced SNELL-la), preferring to use the phrase tack (tack), which means “thank you.” A simple “ursäkta” (pronounced “OR-sek-ta”) (“excuse me”) can do the job if you need to catch someone’s attention, whether it’s a waiter or you need to pass someone one in a busy scenario. You will be pushed to overuse it, and you may sometimes witness individuals practically repeating it like a mantra while attempting to leave a packed location such as a bus or train.

Some English names are given to objects that do not match to the original English term. Light, which is used for diet goods, and freestyle, which means “walkman” are two examples. Sweden utilizes the metric system, hence the usual term mil, “mile,” in the sense of distance, means 10 kilometers, not an English statute mile. Because of the distances involved, mil is used in spoken language, despite the fact that road signs always use kilometers.

Foreign television shows and films are nearly usually shown in their original language, with Swedish subtitles. Only kids’ shows are dubbed into Swedish.

Internet & Communications in Sweden

The international dialing code for Sweden is +46. Payphones are available (albeit very uncommon), with older versions only taking cards (special smartchip phone cards as well as credit cards) and never accepting coins (Swedish as well as Euros). Collect calls may be made by dialing 2# from a pay phone.

Except in the country’s center and northern core, Sweden has good wireless GSM and 3G/UMTS coverage, especially in remote regions. Telia, Tele2/Comviq, Telenor, and 3 are the main networks (Tre). Swedish GSM uses the European 900/1800 MHz frequencies (Americans would require a triband phone), whereas 3G/UMTS uses the 2100 MHz frequencies (currently with 7.2–14.4 Mbit HSDPA speeds). Telia’s network is the only one that supports EDGE. Some operators may need a Swedish personnummer (or samordningsnummer) to get a number, however most operators provide prepaid without requiring a “personnummer” or ID, and these are available and refilled at most supermarkets and cigarette shops. If the term “prepaid” is not understood, request a Kontant Kort.

Prepaid USB 3G modems are available in a variety of stores. In Sweden, they are a viable alternative to WiFi. They cost around 100 SEK per week and 300 SEK per month to use. Data caps are high (usually 20 GB per month). The number of WiFi access sites is increasing, and fast food restaurants, libraries, motels, cafés, and shopping malls, among others, may provide free wireless internet access. There are also fixed terminals where you may pay for internet access, but many libraries can offer the same service for free.

The prepaid 3G data plan purchased in Sweden by provider 3 may be used in Denmark without incurring any roaming charges. Refill coupons for these items, however, are not available in Danish shops.

Tethering is supported by COMVIQ, making it simple to connect more than one device to the internet if you bring along an old smart phone or dual SIM mobile.

Sweden is the world’s second-most-connected nation to the Internet (second to Iceland). The Swedish postal system (PostNord or just Posten) is often regarded as efficient and dependable, with franchisees located in supermarkets and convenience shops (look for the yellow horn logo). Ordinary letters (to anyone in the world) cost 14 SEK in stamps, and the mail typically takes 2 days inside the EU. Stamps are available at most supermarkets; just ask the clerk.

Economy Of Sweden

Sweden is the seventh-richest nation in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, and its people enjoy a high quality of life. Sweden has a diversified economy that is geared toward exports. The resource basis of an economy with a strong focus on international commerce is comprised of timber, hydropower, and iron ore. Sweden’s engineering sector contributes for half of its production and exports, although telecommunications, the automobile industry, and pharmaceuticals are all important. Sweden is the world’s ninth-largest weapons exporter. Agriculture contributes 2% of GDP and employs 2% of the workforce. The nation has one of the highest rates of telephone and Internet penetration in the world.

Sweden had the third lowest income Gini coefficient among industrialized nations in 2010, at 0.25—slightly higher than Japan and Denmark—suggesting Sweden has minimal income inequality. However, Sweden’s wealth Gini coefficient of 0.853 was the second highest among industrialized nations, and it was higher than the European and North American norms, indicating significant wealth inequality. Even on a disposable income basis, the geographical distribution of Sweden’s Gini coefficient of income inequality differs between regions and municipalities. Danderyd, just outside Stockholm, has the highest Gini coefficient of income inequality in Sweden, at 0.55, while Hofors, near Gävle, has the lowest, at 0.25. The income Gini coefficient in and around Stockholm and Scania, two of Sweden’s most densely populated areas, is between 0.35 and 0.55.

In terms of structure, the Swedish economy is distinguished by a big, knowledge-intensive, and export-oriented industrial sector; a growing, but relatively small, commercial service sector; and a substantial public service sector by worldwide standards. The Swedish economy is dominated by large corporations, both in manufacturing and in services. Manufacturing of high and medium-high technology accounts for 9.9 percent of GDP.

Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Electrolux, Volvo Personvagnar, TeliaSonera, Sandvik, Scania, ICA, Hennes & Mauritz, IKEA, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas, Nordstjernan, and SKF were the 20 biggest (by turnover Unlike many other industrialised Western nations, the overwhelming bulk of Sweden’s industry is privately managed, and government owned companies are of little significance, according to historical standards.

An estimated 4.5 million Swedish citizens are working, with about one-third having completed higher education. Sweden had the world’s tenth highest GDP per hour worked in 2006, at US$31, compared to US$22 in Spain and US$35 in the United States. GDP per hour worked is increasing at a rate of 2.5 percent per year for the economy as a whole, with trade-terms-balanced productivity growing at a rate of 2 percent. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), deregulation, globalization, and the development of the technology sector have all been major productivity boosters. Sweden is a global pioneer in privatized pensions, and pension financing issues are minor in comparison to many other Western European nations. A pilot study using Gothenburg municipal employees to investigate the viability of a six-hour workweek without pay will begin in 2014. The Swedish government is attempting to save expenses by reducing sick leave hours and increasing efficiency.

After taxes, the average worker gets 40% of his or her labor expenses. Sweden’s total tax collection as a proportion of GDP peaked at 52.3 percent in 1990. In the aftermath of the country’s real estate and banking crises in 1990–1991, tax reforms were enacted in 1991 to execute tax rate reduction and tax base expansion over time. Sweden’s taxes as a proportion of GDP have been falling since 1990, with overall tax rates for the highest income earners falling the greatest. In 2010, taxes accounted for 45.8 percent of the country’s GDP, ranking second among OECD nations and almost twice that of the United States or South Korea. Tax-financed employment accounts for one-third of the Swedish workforce, a far larger percentage than in most other nations. Overall, GDP growth has been rapid since the early 1990s, when reforms, particularly in manufacturing, were implemented.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013, Sweden has the world’s fourth-most competitive economy. According to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index, Sweden is the best performing nation (GGEI). According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013, Sweden is rated fourth. According to US economist Professor Richard Florida of the University of Toronto’s book The Flight of the Creative Class, Sweden is rated as having the greatest corporate creativity in Europe and is projected to become a talent magnet for the world’s most purposeful employees. The book created an index to assess the kind of creativity that it believes are most beneficial to business—talent, technology, and tolerance.

Sweden retains its own currency, the Swedish krona (SEK), as a consequence of a vote in which the Swedes rejected the euro. The Swedish Riksbank, the world’s oldest central bank, was established in 1668 and is now focused on price stability with a 2% inflation goal. According to the OECD’s Economic Survey of Sweden 2007, average inflation in Sweden has been among the lowest among European nations since the mid-1990s, owing mainly to deregulation and rapid adoption of globalisation.

Germany, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland have the highest trade flows.

Financial deregulation in the 1980s had a negative effect on the housing market, resulting in a bubble and, ultimately, a collapse in the early 1990s. Commercial property values dropped by up to two-thirds, forcing the government to take over two Swedish banks. The property industry grew during the next two decades. By 2014, lawmakers, economists, and the IMF were once again warning of a bubble, with residential property prices skyrocketing and personal mortgage debt increasing. Household debt-to-income ratios surpassed 170 percent as the IMF urged lawmakers to explore zoning reform and other methods of increasing housing supply as demand outstripped supply, driving up prices. By August 2014, 40% of house borrowers had interest-only loans, while the other 40% were repaying principle at a pace that would take 100 years to completely repay.

Entry Requirements For Sweden

Visa & Passport for Sweden

Sweden is a signatory to the Schengen Agreement.

Border restrictions are usually not required between nations that have signed and implemented the pact. This covers the majority of the European Union as well as a few additional nations.

Before boarding foreign planes or boats, passengers’ identities are typically checked. Temporary border restrictions are sometimes used at land boundaries.
A visa issued to any Schengen member is also valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty.

Citizens of the countries listed above are allowed to work in Sweden without the requirement for a visa or any other authorization for the duration of their 90-day visa-free stay. This right to work without a visa, however, does not necessarily apply to other Schengen nations.

When entering Sweden, be aware that you must register cash worth €10,000 or more, pets, and weapons. The Swedish Customs (Tull) is a law enforcement body with the authority to arrest individuals using reasonable force.

How To Travel To Sweden

Get In - By plane

Visit Luftfartsverket – Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Services for arrival and departure times, as well as a wealth of additional information about flights and airports in Sweden.

Major airports:

  • Stockholm Arlanda (IATA: ARN) is by far the biggest airport in the country, servicing the majority of major international and domestic carriers.
  • Göteborg Landvetter (IATA: GOT) serves many international airlines and offers a handy bus connection to downtown Gothenburg (approximately 20 minutes).
  • Copenhagen Airport (IATA: CPH) – This is Scandinavia’s biggest aviation hub, located on an island between Copenhagen and Malmö in Denmark and serviced by the majority of major airlines. The airport’s direct rail connection to southern Sweden enables it to easily service the majority of the area.
  • For destinations in western Sweden, Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (IATA: OSL) in Norway may be considered.

Smaller airports:

  • Stockholm Skavsta (IATA: NYO) is mostly serviced by low-cost carriers like as Ryanair and Wizzair. In Nyköping, approximately 100 kilometers from Stockholm.
  • Stockholm Bromma (IATA: STO), 6 kilometers west of downtown Stockholm, used mostly for short-distance flights.
  • Stockholm Västerås (IATA: VST) – International flights to and from Copenhagen and London are available. It’s also approximately 100 kilometers from Stockholm.
  • Malmö-Sturup (IATA: MMX)- offers domestic flights as well as low-cost flights Malmö is approximately 30 kilometers away.

Get In - By train

Sweden may be reached by rail from the following neighboring countries:

  • Denmark: Trains leave Copenhagen and Copenhagen Airport every 20 minutes for Malmö and cost about SEK 100 (“Öresundståg / Øresundstog” regional trains). In less than 30 minutes, the train over the beautiful resund Bridge and arrives in Sweden. In addition, direct trains (SJ) run from Copenhagen to Stockholm. Please keep in mind that the two operators do not recognize each other’s tickets. The Elsinore-Helsingborg ferry route, which is one of the busiest in Europe, may potentially be utilized (local trains from Copenhagen, change to ship).
  • Norway: Connections between Oslo, Stockholm, and Gothenburg, as well as Trondheim–re–stersund and Narvik–Kiruna–Boden–Stockholm.
  • Germany: The “Berlin Night Express” connects Berlin and Malmö. There are also several trains each day from Hamburg to Copenhagen, as well as night trains from Munich, Basel, Köln, and Amsterdam to Copenhagen.
  • Finland: By bus, go from Kemi to Tornio–Haparanda–Lule/Boden. Interrail tickets are accepted on this bus. There is no railway link since the rail gauges in Finland and Sweden are different.

Get In - By bus

Eurolines or Gobybus connects Western and Central Europe through Copenhagen.

Toptourist, also operates buses from and to the Western Balkans. For additional information, please call + 46 (0 ) 42 18 29 84.

Buses go from Tornio in Finland and, in Norway, from Oslo, Bod, and Mo I Rana.

Get In - By car

A vehicle ferry or two is required from Germany. See the By Boat section for further information. The Great Belt Bridge and the resund Bridge, however, may be utilized for a ferry-free trip to Sweden (drive Hamburg-(road 7)-Flensburg-(road E45)-Odense-(road E20)-Copenhagen-Malmö). However, it is a 170 km detour, and the bridges have high tolls, and it is great to take a break from driving and dine on board.

Get In - By boat

Prior to the completion of the Öresund Bridge in the year 2000, the Scandinavian peninsula could only be accessed by boat, unless traveling very far north. Nonetheless, boat travel remains vital to Sweden.

Belgium

  • From Ghent to Gothenburg by DFDS Torline(cargo line with limited passenger capacity)

Denmark

  • From Grenå to Varberg by Stena Line.
  • From Frederikshavn to Gothenburg by Stena Line.
  • From Elsinore to Helsingborg by Scandlines and Sundsbusserne.

Estonia

  • From Tallinn to Stockholm (via Helsinki) by Viking Line
  • From Tallinn to Stockholm (direct connection) by Tallink

Finland

  • From Helsinki to Stockholm (via Åland) by Tallink Silja and Viking Line.
  • From Naantali to Kapellskär by Finnlines.
  • From Turku to Stockholm (via Åland) by Tallink Silja and Viking Line.
  • From Vaasa to Umeå by Wasaline.

Latvia

  • From Riga to Stockholm by Tallink.
  • From Ventspils to Nynäshamn by Stena Line.

Lithuania

  • From Klaipeda to Karlshamn by DFDS Seaways.

Germany

  • From Travemünde to Trelleborg by TT-Line.
  • From Travemünde to Malmö by Finnlines.
  • From Kiel to Gothenburg by Stena Line.
  • From Sassnitz to Trelleborg by Scandlines .
  • From Rostock to Trelleborg by Scandlines and TT-Line.
  • From Puttgarden to Rødby (Denmark) by Scandlines. Continue by the Elsinore to Helsingborg ferry, or the bridge to Malmö.

Norway

  • From Sandefjord to Strömstad by Color Line

Poland

  • From Gdańsk to Nynäshamn by Polferries.
  • From Gdańsk to Visby by Polferries.
  • From Gdynia to Karlskrona by Stena Line.
  • From Świnoujście to Ystad by Polferries.

Russia

  • From Saint Petersburg to Stockholm by St. Peter Line.

UK

  • From Immingham and Tilbury to Gothenburg by DFDS Torline (cargo line with limited passenger capacity).

How To Travel Around Sweden

The ancient right to access (allemansrätten) gives everyone the freedom to freely travel in nature on foot, swimming, horseback, ski, bicycle, or boat, even on others’ private land – but not via private yards. With the right comes the responsibility to protect people’s privacy and the purity of nature. It is critical to understand the constraints.

Get Around - By plane

Domestic flights are mostly used by those who have more money than time, as well as to cover the enormous distances of Norrland. There are low-cost tickets available, but they must be purchased well in advance.

The following are the most significant domestic airlines:

  • SAS – The international airline, as well as the flag carrier, has a large number of domestic routes.
  • Blekinge Flyg – Blekinge Airport is Sweden’s most south-east airport and the only one in the county.
  • Nextjet – offers numerous domestic services to smaller towns, and has taken over certain Skyways routes
  • Direktflyg – Several domestic routes are available, as well as flights to Norway.
  • Norwegian – a number of local and international destinations
  • Malmö Aviation – covers domestic destinations, as well as Brussels and Nice
  • Gotlandsflyg – links Stockholm with the Swedish island of Gotland

Get Around - By train

Sweden has a well-developed railway network. SJ, a government-owned corporation, operates the majority of long-distance lines. To purchase a train ticket or for further information, call +46 771 75 75 75 or visit their website. Because point-to-point tickets are rather costly, an InterRail (for European nationals) or Eurail (for non-European citizens) pass may be helpful for additional train trips in Sweden.

For multiple-leg travel, the national public transportation providers offer an alliance service called Resplus.

Each county usually has one carrier for regional public transportation. For example, while traveling regionally in the province of Scania (Skne in Swedish), use SkånetrafikenTrafik i Mälardalen is a cooperative website that lists all rail and bus companies in the area of Mälardalen. Many of Sweden’s main cities, including Stockholm, Uppsala, Västers, Linköping, Norrköping, Rebro, and Eskilstuna, are part of this regional traffic cooperation, which serves over three million people.

Get Around - By bus

Swebus and gobybus operate a number of bus routes in the country’s southern third, Götaland and Svealand. If you can’t take advantage of SJ’s young discounts, they’re usually less expensive than using the train. Between Stockholm and Norrland, Y-buss, tapanis, and Härjedalingen operate.

Swebus also travels to Oslo from Stockholm and Göteborg. Buses are an excellent way to travel small distances from town to town at the county or län level since they are more frequent and less expensive than trains. For routes and timetables, it is advisable to contact the local transportation authority.

City buses

The counties’ public-transportation corporations run city buses.

If you want to use city buses, find out how to get tickets in your area. In several Swedish cities, city bus tickets cannot be purchased on the bus. In this situation, no cash, bank cards, or credit cards are accepted. Instead, you’ll need an electronic bus card, which is unique to each area and must occasionally be loaded with a minimum amount of money, usually 100 SEK. This bus card is sometimes only available at specialized ticket offices and not on the bus, although it may frequently be refilled with money for travel at local businesses or refill machines located in public areas.

Passengers on long-distance buses may usually purchase tickets from the driver.

Get Around - By car

Distances in Svealand and Götaland may be covered in a day by vehicle, while in Norrland, distances can be tens of kilometers, and towns can be tens of kilometers apart. Air or train travel is frequently quicker when it is available. Traveling at night may be hazardous owing to the presence of wild creatures on the roadways and the chilly evenings of winter. Two of the major roads are the E4 across Sweden and the E6 between Sweden and Norway. While traffic in Sweden is less aggressive than in Denmark or Central Europe, traffic jams are frequent in the Stockholm and Gothenburg areas.

Sweden has one of the lowest rates of car accidents in Europe. Everyone in the vehicle is required to wear a seatbelt. Driving when fatigued is prohibited and is regarded the same as driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Animal crashes involving moose, deer, and wild boar are a significant risk; these animals are often seen on the road, particularly at dawn and night. Because the moose is such a large and hefty animal (up to 700 kg and 2.1 m shoulder height), a collision may be fatal.

Drunk driving is a severe offense, and the rules are rigorously enforced, with heavy penalties by worldwide standards. The legal limit of 0.02 percent is lower than in most other Western nations, and one drink may put you over the limit. Infractions are punishable by a substantial fine and/or a jail term of up to 6 months, while severe violations of 0.1 percent or greater are punishable by a guaranteed prison sentence of up to 2 years. If you intend to drink, bring a designated driver, hire a cab, or take public transportation.

Get Around - By thumb

Sweden has a reputation for being a tough nation to hitchhike in, but it is nevertheless feasible. Ordinary folks are frequently wary about picking up strangers. Target truck drivers since they are the most likely to pick up hitchhikers. Asking at petrol stations is a good way to start. Bus stops are popular locations to draw attention; position yourself ahead of the bus stop so that the vehicle may stop there. This works best if the road near the bus stop is expanded to enable vehicles to easily turn off.

Get Around - By bike

Most Swedish cities have good bicycle routes, and hiring a bike may be a fast and healthy way to get about. Borrowing bicycles is available in certain cities. Inter-city riding is an excellent choice for experienced cyclists.

Unlike in most other European nations, bicycles are not permitted on trains, with the exception of folding bicycles, which count as normal baggage.

Get Around - By foot

Cars are obliged by law to stop at any unattended crosswalks (zebra stripes on the road without red lights) to allow people to cross. However, bear in mind that you must establish eye contact with the driver so that they are aware that you are going to cross the street.

Destinations in Sweden

Regions in Sweden

Sweden’s three ancient lands, Götaland, Svealand, and Norrland, are further subdivided into 25 provinces, landskap, that constitute the cultural character of the Swedish people.

The provinces are essentially the same as the 20 counties, or län, which are the mid-level governmental units. The municipality, kommun, is the lowest level of government, usually consisting of a town or metropolis and the surrounding countryside, including minor villages. Some municipalities used to have city (stad) privileges and still refer to themselves as such, despite the fact that there is no legal difference. The majority of municipalities have their own tourist center.

Though most Swedes have no strong emotions for their nation, most are patriotic about their region or hometown and enjoy anything positive that a visitor may say about them.

  • Norrland (Norrbotten County, Västerbotten County, Västernorrland County, Jämtland Countyand Gävleborg County)
    A sparsely inhabited region that encompasses more than half of Sweden. There is a lot of wildness near the Norwegian border, with woods, lakes, huge rivers, vast marshes, and towering mountains. Excellent for outdoor activities and winter sports.
  • Svealand (Dalarna, Närke, Värmland, Södermanland, Stockholm County, Uppsala County and Västmanland)
    The center portion of the nation and the Swedes’ heartland, including towns such as Stockholm, Uppsala, and Rebro, as well as a mining and metallurgical history.
  • Götaland (Blekinge, Småland, Öland, Östergötland, Halland, Västergötland, Bohuslän and Dalsland)
    The Geats’ homeland and the most likely origin of the Goths. There are many cultural and historical attractions, ranging from Medieval towns and cathedrals to amusement parks and Sweden’s two biggest lakes, Vänern and Vättern.
  • Scania (Part of Götaland)
    Sweden’s breadbasket and continental gateway, having Danish ancestors.
  • Gotland (Part of Götaland)
    A limestone island with beauty unrivaled on the mainland.

Cities in Sweden

  • Stockholm is the capital and biggest city of Sweden, and it is sprawled over many islands.
  • Gothenburg (Göteborg) is Sweden’s biggest port and industrial center, as well as its second most populous city.
  • Karlskrona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having served as Sweden’s naval station from the 17th century.
  • Kiruna is Sweden’s northernmost and perhaps most unique city, notable for its huge mine, space flight center, and Jukkasjärvi ice hotel.
  • Linköping is the home of Sweden’s aircraft industry and boasts a major university.
  • Malmö – The resund Bridge connects Malmö, which has a population of a quarter million people, to Copenhagen, the Danish capital.
  • Umeå is a university town in the Swedish province of Norrland.
  • Uppsala , Sweden’s fourth biggest city, is a vibrant, picturesque university town with Viking Age roots.
  • Visby is the sole city on Gotland, a Medieval commercial center with an outstanding city wall.
  • Örebro is a modern industrial city with a magnificent Medieval castle.

Other destinations in Sweden

  • Abisko is a national park in northern Sweden.
  • Bohuslän is Sweden’s most prolific fishery, with a plethora of marine animals.
  • Ekerö is a freshwater archipelago that includes Drottningholm, the Royal family’s home, and the Viking Age town Birka.
  • Laponia is the biggest wilderness in Western Europe, located in the Arctic.
  • Siljansbygden is a Swedish folk culture archetype in central Dalarna.
  • Stockholm archipelago is made up of islands of various forms and sizes.
  • Sälen is a ski resort famous for being the starting point for the Vasaloppet.
  • Ystad is a beautiful seaside village made famous by the Wallander series.
  • Åre – With 44 lifts, it is one of Sweden’s biggest ski resorts.
  • Öland is the second biggest island in Sweden, featuring extensive beaches.

Accommodation & Hotels in Sweden

Car camping is both easy and cost-effective since you can stay overnight almost anyplace.

Camping

The Right to Access (Allemansrätten) enables anybody to camp in uncultivated areas (including private land, but not near homes) without requesting permission. There are certain restrictions, such as the fact that you may only remain in one location for one night before having to move on. Check out the local conditions for camp fires if you’re visiting Sweden in the summer. Sweden’s forests may get very dry, and short restrictions on starting fires are not uncommon.

If you want a more structured camping experience, most cities offer campgrounds with showers and power. A tentsite should cost between 100 and 150 SEK. More information may be found at the official Swedish campground website, camping.se. First Camp is the leading chain.

Hostels

Svenska Turistföreningen, STF, is by far Sweden’s largest operator of hostels, vandrarhem, with a network of over 300 hostels throughout the nation. Foreigners pay 175 SEK for membership, and if you intend to spend four nights or more in Swedish hostels, you should join since non-members pay an extra 45 SEK each night. STF is connected with Hostelling International, or HI, and anybody who is a member of any HI organization is automatically a member of STF.

STF provides overnight accommodations in dormitories, single and double rooms. The idea is uniform across Sweden, and it only covers the price of the bed or room, as well as access to communal kitchens, bathrooms, and showers. Some hostels offer double rooms with en suite bathrooms and showers.

Another national hostel association is Sveriges vandrarhem I förening, or SVIF.

The cost of a hostel night per person ranges from 80 and 280 SEK, depending on where the hostel is situated and how elegant or tacky it is. Sheets are needed (a sleeping bag is not sufficient), and if you do not have any, you must buy them at the hostel for approximately 50 SEK. When you leave, you are required to tidy your room. Cooking equipment is often provided at all hostels for individuals who want to self-catering.

Some hostels are more remarkable than others, such as Jumbostay at Arlanda Airport, which is housed within a decommissioned Boeing 747, and Lngholmen Hostel in Stockholm, which was formerly a jail.

Apartments and bed and breakfasts are not the same thing, although many Swedish internet booking sites believe they are. Renting an apartment may be an intriguing alternative if you intend to stay in one of the main cities for a few nights and want more solitude than a hostel provides.

Road signs with the word Rum do not direct you to the closest drinking establishment for pirates; rum in Swedish means “room,” and that sign directs you to a B&B.

Hotels

Normal Swedish hotels are clean, uninteresting, and reasonably priced. A single room may easily cost 1000 SEK. Most towns, even the smallest, still retain a typical stadshotell, Statt, (town hotel) in the city center, which generally houses the town’s biggest restaurant and/or nightlife. On a more positive side, breakfast buffets in Swedish hotels are often excellent, with enough to select from – try not to be in a rush in the morning! Scandic and First are two major hotel chains.

The Icehotel is the trendiest hotel in Sweden, regardless of how many circumflexes Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel employs or how many celebrities stay there. It is a hotel made of snow and ice located in the far north town of Jukkasjärvi. Every winter, it melts and is rebuilt. There are ice hotels in other countries, but the one in Jukkasjärvi is the first. A single room for one night costs SEK 2850 if booked in advance.

Things To See in Sweden

Sweden, despite its contemporary culture, is a nation rich of apparently unspoiled environment and ever-present history. Many tourists’ first destination is ancient and small Stockholm, which is rich in history, home to the Vasa Museum, and the entrance to the Stockholm Archipelago. Gothenburg’s canals and cobblestoned streets, with its renowned botanical park, or Malmö’s contemporary architecture, are also worth a visit. For additional history, visit Visby, a Unesco World Heritage Site, or Ystad, a medieval town made famous by the Kurt Wallander books set here, as well as Ales stenar, one of the country’s oldest iron-age grave mounds.

Nature

However, you haven’t visited Sweden until you’ve experienced its nature side. Its diverse natural environments provide a plethora of magnificent views and attractions, ranging from thick woods to crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, and rolling mountains. Sarek National Park, dubbed “Europe’s last wilderness” by some, is a difficult yet extremely rewarding place to explore. It was the first of 29 created national parks and is part of the large and Unesco protected terrains of Laponia, together with the national parks Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet (with its snowy peaks), and Muddus National Park’s taiga and ravines. Visit in the summer to view elk, wolverines, and other Swedish wildlife, or in the winter to experience the beautiful Northern Lights. Kosterhavet Maritime Park is the place to go if you want to go on a lobster or seal safari.

Palaces

Sweden has the most palaces (slott), castles, and manors of any Nordic country. Eleven of them are owned by the Royal Family and are accessible to the public to some degree. Greater Stockholm includes Stockholm Palace (Stockholm/Gamla Stan), Rosendal (Stockholm/Djurgrden), Haga, Gustav III’s pavilion, and Ulriksdal (Solna), Drottningholm and Kina (Ekerö), Tullgarn (Södertälje), and Rosersberg (Sigtuna). Gripsholm (Mariefred) and Strömsholm (Hallstahammar) are farther distant. The agricultural regions are densely packed with aristocratic and bourgeois manors dating from the 17th century and later, many of which are now utilized as hotels.

Industrial heritage

While the Bergslagen district, Roslagen, and other parts of Sweden became world leaders in mining and metalworking during the 17th century, Sweden did not fully industrialize until the 20th century, when Swedish product brands such as Volvo, Ericsson, SAAB, SKF, AGA, IKEA, Tetra Pak, and Atlas Copco conquered the world. During the past several decades, the majority of the Swedish labor has shifted to high technology and the service sector, resulting in the conversion of numerous mines, factories, and canals into museums. Among the industrial historical sites are Göta Kanal, which runs from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, the Falun copper mine, and the Nobel Museum in Stockholm.

Things To Do in Sweden

Outdoors

During the summer, Kungsleden in northern Sweden draws a large number of tourists who enjoy a solo walk between cottages or camp sites in the magnificent mountains. According to the Swedish Right to Access, everyone has the right to walk across another person’s land as long as they do not damage or disrupt it. This implies that you may go sailing or canoeing and camp on an island in the Stockholm Archipelago, or go trekking and camp nearly anywhere, but it is prohibited to build a campfire on a rock surface. Natural scenery, less crowded than the rest of Europe. During the winter, there is ice and snow. Small towns along the west coast, such as Marstrand, Skärhamn, Mollösund, and Lysekil, are worth visiting for their unique architecture and food, which is best enjoyed during the summer.

Sweden is ideal for outdoor activities such as winter sports, hiking, canoeing, sailing, horseback riding, and, depending on the season, berry or mushroom harvesting. The Swedish Classic Circuit is the ultimate test of aerobic fitness; four yearly events of cross-country skiing (Vasaloppet, from Sälen to Mora), running (Lidingöloppet), cycling (Vätternrundan beginning in Motala), and swimming (Vansbrosimningen).

In Sweden, boating may be done in a sailing boat, a motor boat, or a canoe.

City-life

Stockholm and Gothenburg offer excellent nightlife and shopping, but they are hardly the cheapest cities in Europe.

Music

Swedish popular music is well-known throughout the globe, including artists such as ABBA, Roxette, Swedish House Mafia, and others. Sweden offers hundreds of music festivals featuring worldwide performers as well as rising talents, the majority of which take place during the summer. Sweden Rock Festival (Sölvesborg) and Way Out West (Gothenburg) are only two examples. There are also folk, classical, and jazz music events.

Some of the music performances planned during Christmas festivities include live concerts, music galas, DJs, and more.

Choir (kör) music is popular in Sweden, with frequent performances even in tiny towns, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Gambling

In Sweden, gambling is provided by the state (Svenska Spel) and a few favored companies.

Casino Cosmopol is a government-owned corporation having locations in Stockholm (Norrmalm), Gothenburg, Malmö, and Sundsvall. Horse racing is a popular sport in many Swedish cities, and there are tracks all across the nation. The most common kind is harness racing, often known as trav. ATG operates bookmaking, including on-line agents along the tracks and in most towns. Several pubs and eateries, Jack Vegas, have legalized slot machines.

Food & Drinks in Sweden

Food in Sweden

Swedish cuisine is characteristic of the Nordic cuisine, with a focus on meat (particularly pig and game), fish, dairy products, potatoes, and bread, as well as berries and wild mushrooms. Fresh fruits and vegetables have just recently been added to the menu.

Husmanskost refers to traditional daily dishes (pronounced whos-mans-cost). Among them are:

  • Pickled herring (sill) is served with bread or potatoes for a summer meal or as an appetizer on the smörgsbord during traditional holidays.
  • Many types of salmon (lax), particularly cured salmon (gravlax).
  • Meatballs (köttbullar), the most renowned Swedish dish throughout the world. With potatoes, brown sauce, and lingonberry jam.
  • Hash (pytt i panna) made of chopped and fried meat, onions, and potatoes. Sliced beets and fried or boiled entire eggs are required accompaniments.
  • Pea soup (ärtsoppa) – Thursdays are usually served with pea soup (ärtsoppa) with chopped pork, followed by thin pancakes.
  • Blodpudding, is a black sausage prepared from pig’s blood and flour that is eaten with lingonberry jam.
  • Falukorv, a big baloney from Falun.
  • Bread (bröd) is widely available in Sweden. Many of them are whole-grain or mixed grain, including wheat, barley, and oats, and are dense and high in fiber. Tunnbröd (thin wrap bread), knäckebröd (hard bread – may have a dull flavor, but is almost always available), and various types of seasoned loaves are some noteworthy examples. Bread is often consumed in the form of simple sandwiches with thin slices of cheese or cold meats. Messmör (whey butter) and leverpastej (liver pâté) are two Swedish spreads.
  • Reindeer, or ren, have historically been herded by the Sami people. Renskav is sautéed reindeer meat served with wild mushrooms, lingonberries, and potatoes.
  • Tunnbrödrulle, is a fast food meal made out of a bread wrap filled with mashed potatoes, a hot dog, and veggies.
  • Kroppkakor Similar to the German Klöße, a potato dumpling filled with chopped pork. Originally from Smland, there is also a northern variation from Pite known as pitepalt.
  • Hard cheese (ost): In a typical grocery store, you may find 10 to 20 different kinds of cheese. The most well-known Swedish hard cheese is Västerbotten, which is named after a Swedish area.
  • During meals, milk (mjölk) is frequently consumed. Filmjölk is a Nordic yoghurt that is often consumed with morning cereal.
  • Rose hip soup (nyponsoppa) and bilberry soup (blbärssoppa) for heat and energy recovery during winter activities.

Other Swedish favorites:

  • Raggmunk, wheat flour, milk, egg, and shredded potatoes fried thinly and served with fried pork (bacon) and lingonberries.
  • Soft whey butter (messmör), a bread spread with a sweetish, difficult-to-describe flavor.
  • Caviar, not the pricey Russian or Iranian kind, but a cheaper form prepared from cod roe that is sold in tubes and eaten on sandwiches. Kalles Kaviar is the most well-known brand.
  • Julmust is a Christmas soft drink that tastes like a stout. Also available around Easter, when it was known as Påskmust.
  • Crayfish (kräftor), which are very popular in August when Swedes feast on them at large crayfish feasts (kräftskivor). There will be silly paper hats and plenty of booze.
  • Surströmming; is the stinkiest dish in the planet.
  • Semla, a cream-filled pastry typically eaten on Tuesdays in February and March, will be available beginning on Fat Tuesday.
  • Rabarberkräm/Rabarberpaj or rhubarb pie with vanilla sauce ( other cakes or pies on fresh blueberries, apples, or just strawberries with cream or ice cream are also very popular in the summer)
  • Spettekaka Scania is a native cake in south Sweden consisting of eggs, sugar, and potato starch.
  • Smörgåstårta A cold sandwich layer cake, often including salmon, eggs, and shrimps. (It’s also often served with tuna or roast beef.) Swedish people enjoy it on New Year’s Eve, as well as during birthdays and celebrations.
  • Lösgodis sweets from boxes that you mix yourself, marketed by weight, is one of the most popular candies in this sugar-crazed country. There is usually a selection of chocolate, sours, sweet, and salt licorice.
  • Swedish biscuits and pastries such as bondkakor, hallongrottor, bullar, and cakes such as prinsesstrta are quite popular. When invited over for coffee, it was customary to provide 7 different cookies. If you like sweet things, try chokladbollar, mazariner, biskvier, rulltrta, or lussebullar.

Sweden has numerous regional specialities due to its location between central Europe and the Arctic. Among the most unusual are:

  • Surströmming, a foul-smelling tinned fish common along the Norrland coast.
  • Spettekaka, a Scanian meringue-like cake.

Cheap pizza and kebab restaurants are common in Swedish cities, as they are in the rest of Europe, and may also be found in virtually every small town. It is important to note that Swedish pizza differs considerably from Italian or American pizzas; American pizzas are often marketed as “pan pizza.” Sushi and Thai cuisine are also popular. For stylish Scandinavian decor, clean toilets, no trans fats, and complimentary coffee with meals, the local hamburger business Max is rated ahead of McDonald’s and Burger King. In certain areas of Norrland, hamburgers are traditionally eaten with a fork and knife, which are provided at Max. Another Swedish company, Frasses, provides a delicious vegetarian option – a quornburger – in addition to all sorts of carnivorous burgers. The gatukök (“street kitchen”) is another kind of fast food restaurant that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, kebab, and tunnbrödrulle.

Highway eateries, vägkrogar, provide large portions but may be of low quality, oily, and expensive. A downtown eatery is better if you have time. Gas stations offer good salads and sandwiches in pre-packaged form.

If you search for signs that say “Dagens rätt” or simply “Dagens” (Today’s special or literally meal of the day), you may obtain a reasonably priced lunch. This usually costs between 50 and 120 SEK (-) and nearly always includes a bottle of water, soft drink, or light beer, bread and butter, salad bar, and coffee afterwards. Monday through Friday, Dagens rätt is served.

If you’re on a limited budget, self-catering is the most cost-effective option.

Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are more prevalent in cities, but less so in rural areas, where fishing and hunting are popular pastimes. You should be able to locate a falafel in any medium-sized town; alternatively, you may negotiate a fee to just access the salad bar, which is available at any well-diversified restaurants.

Drinks in Sweden

Coffee

The consumption of coffee (kaffe) in Sweden is among the highest in the world. The act of drinking coffee at home or at a café, known as fika, is a popular Swedish social ritual that is used for organizing events, courting, gossiping, or just wasting time and money. Swedish coffee is filtered and typically stronger than American coffee – yet it is still not as powerful as the espresso found in France or Italy. In bigger city cafés, Italian variants (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte) are offered. One cup costs approximately 25 SEK, which typically includes a refill, påtår.

Every city and town has at least one konditori, which is a typical Swedish café. They provide hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and cocoa, as well as a variety of cookies, pastries, and perhaps smörgs, the Swedish open sandwich, and fralla, the Swedish closed sandwich. The sandwiches available differ greatly depending on where you are in Sweden.

Alcoholic beverages

Absolut Vodka, one of the world’s most renowned vodkas, is the most well-known Swedish alcoholic beverage. There are many brands of brännvin, which is distilled and typically seasoned liquor. Brännvin is distilled from potatoes or grain and does not have the same stringent distillation standards as Vodka. Akvavit is a liquor seasoned with dill and caraway. When brännvin is served in a shot glass with food, it is referred to as snaps (not to confuse with the German “Schnapps”). Snaps are traditionally consumed on special events such as Midsummer’s Eve, Crayfish parties, Christmas, and student parties. It is often done in conjunction with a snapsvisa to each drink (a typical snapsvisa is a short, energetic song; its lyrics typically speak of the delicacy and splendor of the drink, or of the singer’s desire for snaps, or about anything in a cheeky manner).

Glögg (similar to mulled wine or Glühwein) is a popular hot drink in Sweden during the months of December and January. At the julbord, it is often served with ginger bread and lussebullaror (Christmas buffet). Red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and possibly stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy are the primary traditional components (of alcoholic glögg). Glögg is also available in non-alcoholic varieties.

Sweden produces some excellent beers and has witnessed an increase in the number of microbreweries in recent years. If you’re searching for excellent local beer, try Slottskällans, Nils Oscar, Närke kulturbryggeri, Jämtlands ngbryggeri, and Dugges Ale- & Porterbryggeri. You may have a hard time locating them unless you go to a pub that specializes in unusual beer or one of the well-stocked Systembolaget, but there are a few of them in every large city. Despite this, the most popular beer is the very uninteresting “international lager.” The beer sold in grocery stores is called folköl and has 2.8 or 3.5 percent alcohol. In grocery shops, you may buy a range of beers, including Swedish, English, and even Czech beer. Julöl, a seasonal beer in Sweden, is brewed during the Christmas season. It is sweeter than regular beer and typically seasoned with Christmas spices; it is mainly of the ale kind. Every Swedish brewery produces at least one variety of julöl. Wine is popular, although Swedish output is little.

If no notices indicate otherwise, drinking alcohol in parks and public places is usually permitted. Drinking is banned at public transportation terminals, with the exception of restaurants, trains, and boats, where alcohol must be purchased on the spot.

Systembolaget

Beer and lager up to 3.5 percent ABV are easily accessible in supermarkets for 10-15 SEK a piece, but strong alcoholic drinks are only sold over the counter from the state-owned retailer, Systembolaget, like in Norway, Finland, and Iceland (also sometimes referred to as Systemet or Bolaget). They are typically open from 10:00-18:00 on Mondays through Wednesdays, 10:00-1900 on Thursdays through Fridays, and 10:00-15:00 on Saturdays, with large lines on Fridays and Saturdays, shutting at the minute no matter how long the line outside the shop is, something the Swedes themselves laugh about. On Sundays, they are always closed. The majority of stores are of the supermarket kind. The selection is excellent, and the personnel is generally very knowledgeable. Systembolaget does not service clients under the age of 20, and younger-looking individuals will most likely be asked for identification. This also applies to any companions, regardless of who makes the purchase.

Beverages are heavily taxed based on alcohol content, and some liquor is very expensive (vodka is around 300 SEK a litre at Systembolaget), but the monopoly has brought some benefits – Systembolaget is one of the world’s largest bulk-buyers of wine, and as such, receives some fantastic deals that it passes on to consumers. Mid-to-high-quality wines are often less expensive in Sweden than in their place of origin; in some cases, they are even less expensive than if purchased straight from the vineyard. Due to the volume-based tax on alcohol, this does not apply to low-quality wines or hard liquor.

There is no large-pack discount and all brands are handled similarly. As a result, microbrews are about the same price as big brands and may be a more appealing option. Beverages are not kept cold. With a few exceptions, such as retail malls, playgrounds, and public transportation zones, drinking alcohol in public is generally permitted.

Bars and nightclubs

The minimum age to enter bars and purchase ordinary (3.5 percent ABV or less) beer in stores is 18 (some shops have chosen to impose a minimum age of 20 for 3.5 percent beer as well, to avoid adolescent intoxication), and 20 in Systembolaget. Many bars have an age restriction of 20, although others (particularly downtown on weekends) have age limitations as high as 23 or 25, however this regulation is arbitrary. Bring your passport or identification.

Some high-end nightclubs have a dress code, vrdad klädsel is informal attire, which is also arbitrarily enforced. Proper shoes (not sneakers or sandals), long-legged trousers (not blue jeans), and a dress shirt are nearly always appropriate for male visitors.

The age and clothing standards are not stringent, and doormen have the authority to refuse any client for any reason other than gender, sexual orientation, creed, handicap, or race, which is unlawful discrimination. Nonetheless, certain nightclubs are notorious for refusing “immigrants,” particularly males of African or Middle Eastern descent, under guises such as “members only,” “too intoxicated,” or “dress code.” Patrons who dress good, act well, and come early have an easier time getting into a club.

Sweden has made smoking prohibited in all bars, taverns, and restaurants, with the exception of outside spaces such as terraces and dedicated smoking rooms (where drinks are not allowed).

In comparison to other nations, club and bar pricing are often exorbitant: a (0.4 L) glass of draft beer, stor stark, typically costs 45-60 SEK, although some dive bars offer it for as low as 25 SEK early nights. A lengthy drink costs between 60 and 130 SEK. As a result, many Swedes will hold a little pre-party (“förfest”) before going out to get drunk before hitting the town and going to nightclubs.

Large clubs may have a cover fee, typically in the range of 100 SEK, or more for exceptional performances. They typically give you a rubber stamp on your hand so you may re-enter as many times as you like without having to pay again.

You should be informed that you may have to wait in line to enter a pub or a club. Many establishments purposefully make their clients wait in line for an extended period of time, since a lengthy line signals a popular club. The line is frequently replaced by a chaotic throng at the most upscale restaurants in large cities, and the doorman merely gestures to indicate who gets in and who does not (to be sure to get in, be famous, extremely good-looking, or a friend of the doorman). Or just a regular).

Most bars that shut at 01:00 a.m. or sooner have a no-entry policy. Most pubs and clubs that stay up until 3 a.m. will charge an admission price. Some clubs in major cities stay open till 5:00 a.m. Their admission charge is often about 200 SEK, and their admittance policy normally favors the non-rich, non-well-moisturized, non-Swedes, non-friends, and non-regulars.

The wardrobe (or coat-checking) charge at the club is often required, typically about 20 SEK.

Ordningsvakt badges are worn by authorized security personnel. Entrévärd is a symbol worn by the club’s own doormen. These need to be treated seriously.

Moonshine (hembränt) is popular in the countryside, despite the fact that it is prohibited. Though some shipments are as excellent as legal vodka, the most are awful, so stick to the genuine stuff.

Money & Shopping in Sweden

Currency

The Swedish krona (SEK, plural kronor) is the national currency, as opposed to other currencies such as the Norwegian or Danish krone. Major credit cards are accepted at automated teller machines. All major credit cards are accepted at the majority of shops, restaurants, and pubs. When using a credit card, you may require an ID card or a passport, but not at supermarkets or other places where the PIN code reigns supreme.

Many Swedes translate the term krona (crown) into English. In English, for example, instead of stating 50 kronor, they could say 50 crowns. One krona = 100 öre, however the lowest coin denomination nowadays is one krona. Ren is exclusively used in electronic transactions; when paying with cash, prices are rounded to the closest full krona.

Counterfeit Swedish currency is very uncommon. Holograms may be seen on newer 50, 100, 500, and 1000 SEK notes. Older banknotes without holograms are no longer legal tender, although they are nevertheless accepted at banks.

Coins and banknotes will be changed beginning in October 2015. The former 20 SEK, 50 SEK, and 1,000 SEK notes were demonetized on June 30, 2016. On June 30, 2017, the former 100 and 500 SEK notes, as well as the old 1, 2, and 5 SEK coins, will expire. The 10 SEK coin is still legal tender.

Because many commercial banks are cashless when it comes to foreign money, it is preferable to convert cash with a company that specializes in this. Forex has locations across the majority of Sweden. There are X-change locations in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. Tavex has locations around Stockholm.

Tipping

Tipping, known as dricks in Swedish, is not common in Sweden, although a tip is sometimes given as a show of gratitude for excellent service, generally by rounding up the price, but really great service may be recognized with a 5-10% tip. Tipping is entirely optional and should only be offered as a genuine expression of gratitude for the service provided. Be aware that tips are often divided between waiters and the kitchen. Taxi drivers do not anticipate gratuities; any additional services (such as bag carrying) will be included on the receipt in accordance with the tariff.

Cash machines

Bankomat is the most commonly used Swedish name for automated teller machine, but it is legally a trademark of the Trade Bank Consortium, similar to the phrase cash point in the United Kingdom, and therefore not used by many banks. Uttagsautomat is a more general term; Uttag, Minuten, and Kontanten may also be used. Almost all machines will take MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron, and American Express, independent of operator. You may withdraw up to 10,000 SEK each transaction. A maximum of 20 000 SEK may be withdrawn during a seven-day period.

You will have three chances to enter the correct PIN code. If you fail three times in a row, the system keeps the card and closes it. To assist the visually challenged, the keys on the machines are outfitted with Braille. If you have spoken instructions, hit the TALK button. If you have a Swedish bank card, you may withdraw euros from certain ATMs. You may utilize the maximum number of times each day. You may withdraw several times in a row, but you can only withdraw a total of 20 000 SEK each week.

Costs

Sweden is a somewhat costly place to live as of 2015. A 33 cl bottle of Coca Cola costs around 10 SEK, a beer in a bar costs around 45 SEK, the average price of hotel accommodation is around 1300 SEK, a room in a hostel costs between 150 and 350 SEK, a bus/subway ticket in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö costs around 25 SEK, one meal costs around 100 SEK, 1 litre of petrol fuel costs around 13 SEK, and a pack of 19 cl A daily budget of about 1000 SEK would enough if you are a little frugal with your spending. Outside of urban regions, house costs are likely to be among the lowest in Western Europe, and cheap shops like as Lidl, Netto, and Willys provide a broad variety of goods at affordable rates. Stockholm is less expensive than most other Western European cities for lodging and eating.

Taxes

The value-added tax (moms or mervärdesskatt) in Sweden is divided into three tiers. VAT is not levied on financial transactions, gaming, healthcare, dentistry, or prescribed medicines. Passenger transportation, books, publications, sports, movie tickets, performances, zoos, and museums are all subject to the 6% tax. The 12% limit applies to travel accommodations and food (including restaurant meals and soft drinks, but not alcoholic beverages). Clothing, wine, cigarettes, non-prescription medicine, cosmetics, hair and beauty services, appliances, souvenirs, amusement parks, nightclubs, office supplies, electronic services, cars (including rental), gasoline, and so on are all subject to a 25% VAT.

Except in the case of business-to-business transactions, all prices include tax (wholesale stores, etc).

Shopping

Bargaining is not frequently practiced, although it may be effective in certain situations, particularly when purchasing more costly items at flea markets and antique stores.

Most stores, at least large chains in central regions, are open seven days a week, including Sundays, but they do shut on Christmas Day, Midsummer’s Eve afternoon, and the whole day on Midsummer’s Day. Closing hours are strict, usually on the minute.

It is common practice in grocery shops and supermarkets to position each product on the conveyor belt such that the barcode faces you or upwards, allowing the cashier to scan it more quickly. Do not stack things on top of one other; instead, arrange them in a line and remember to put the divider on the conveyor belt when finished. Also, keep in mind that shops charge for both plastic and paper bags (typically 1-3 kronor for plastic and double for paper), and you must bag your own purchases.

  • The Dala Horse (Swedish: dalahäst), an unofficial national emblem, is the souvenir to bring from Sweden. These tiny wooden horses, named for their origin region of Dalarna, have been present since the 17th century. They are usually painted orange or blue and decorated symmetrically. They are reasonably priced: anticipate to spend about 100 SEK for a little one and several hundred SEK for larger ones. The horses may be purchased at souvenir stores across Sweden. If you want to learn more about how the horses are produced, go to Dalarna and Mora, where the horses are carved and painted in tourist-friendly workshops. And, if you’re traveling from Stockholm to Mora, keep an eye out for the world’s biggest (13-meter-tall) Dala Horse, which stands guard over the highway.
  • The beauty of Swedish glass is well known across the globe. Several talented glass artists have contributed to this reputation by creating creative, complicated (and costly) art pieces, but mass-produced Swedish table glass has also been a global success. The Kingdom of Crystal is located in the province of Smland, between the cities of Växjö and Kalmar. This tiny region has 15 glassworks, the most well-known of which are Orrefors, Kosta, and Boda. Tourists are allowed to see the glass blowers as they transform the blazing melt into sparkling glass, and you may even attempt it yourself.
  • Systembolaget’s high-end wines.
  • Swedish design, which includes anything from furniture to jewelry, is renowned for its purpose, efficiency, and simplicity. Designtorget is a shop chain that sells a broad variety of daily items; Lagerhaus is another. Svenskt Tenn is another shop that sells lovely goods by designers like Josef Frank.
  • The cheese slicer, adjustable spanners or adjustable wrenches, safety matches, paraffin cooking burner (Primuskök), or a good old Celsius thermometer are some household goods developed by Swedes that may be enjoyable to bring home.
  • Flea markets, also known as loppmarknad or loppis, are one of the few locations where bargaining is acceptable.

Festivals & Holidays in Sweden

In Sweden, public holidays are created by acts of Parliament (the Riksdag). The official holidays are split into two categories: Christian and non-Christian festivals. The Christian festivals are july and august (Christmas, though it has strong roots from the Norse paganism). trettondedag jul (Epiphany), psk (Easter), Kristi himmelsfärds dag (Ascension Day), pingstdagen (Pentecost), and alla helgons day Non-Christian festivals include: nyrsdagen (New Year’s Day), första maj (International Workers’ Day), Sveriges nationaldag (National Day), and midsommar (Midsummer) (Midsummer).

Furthermore, all Sundays are official holidays, although they are not as significant as the major holidays. The titles of the Sundays are based on the liturgical calendar, and they should be considered Christian festivals. Easter and Pentecost are usually on Sundays, although they are regarded as major festivals rather than regular Sundays. When the Riksdag lowered the normal working week in Sweden to 40 hours, all Saturdays became de facto public holidays. De facto holidays include Holy Saturday, Midsummer’s Eve, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.

The celebration of Lucia is a Swedish custom (Saint Lucia Day). She is the sole saint honored in Lutheran Sweden (as well as those parts of Norway and Finland, where Swedish influence has historically been prominent). The event, which is not an official holiday, is always held on December 13 and maintains many pre-Christian customs. The same may be said for many Swedish vacations.

A public holiday in Sweden is often referred to as röd dag (red day), since it is written in red on most calendars. It is customary for certain companies to shut at noon the day before certain holidays, and if a holiday comes on a Tuesday or a Thursday, Swedes will often take off the klämdag (squeezed in days or squeeze day) that falls between the holiday and the weekend.

Tradition

Many holidays in Sweden have their major festivities not on the day itself, but on the eve of the holiday, which is one day earlier. This is particularly noticeable on Christmas Eve and Midsummer Eve, but also on New Year’s Eve, but not in this instance. Christmas Eve, Midsummer Eve, and New Year’s Eve may be the three most significant holidays for the Swedes during the year. However, they are merely de facto holidays. Twelfth Night, Maundy Thursday, Walpurgis Night, the day before Ascension Day, and the day before All Saints’ Day are also de facto half-day holidays (with minor variance depending on employer).

Special flag days are also included in the Swedish calendar. Flag days are statutory holidays in certain instances, as are royal birthdays and namedays, as well as informal festivals such as Gustavus Adolphus Day (November 6) and Nobel Day (December 10). There is no official link between flag days and holidays. Many flag days are regular working days.

Sweden’s official national holiday is observed on June 6, a title that was ultimately given in 2005. The name days in the Swedish calendar are also indicated. It has a lengthy history; it was originally a calendar of saints; some names have remained unchanged throughout the years, while others have been updated.

Several observances at once

There are times when official holidays, de facto half days, official flagdays, and other observances conflict, and several festivities may take place at the same time. One such example is the 30th of April, which is immediately followed by the 1st of May. Because it is Walpurgis Night and the primary day for celebrating the beginning of the spring season, April 30 is a de facto half day. The next day is Walpurgis Day; however, on the calendar, it is mainly referred to as May Day or Labor Day. This implies that, depending on your sympathies, you may celebrate it as either May Day or Walpurgis Day. In addition, April 30 is the birthday of the King of the United Kingdom and an official flag day. May 1 is also an official flag day due to May Day or Walpurgis Day. If either day falls on a Sunday, it will also be an official holiday and a Christian holiday, as one of the Sundays after Easter.

Because of the abnormally early Easter in 2008, Ascension Day fell on May 1. This was the first time this has occurred since May Day was declared a national holiday in 1939. The next time these holidays coincide will be in 2160. The next time Ascension Day and Walpurgis Night occur on April 30 (the earliest feasible date) is in 2285.

Traditions & Customs in Sweden

By Germanic standards, most Swedes, like the rest of the Nordic nations, have liberal, cosmopolitan, secular, egalitarian, and ecological ideals. This protects Western visitors from potential cultural conflicts in other nations. Some stringent etiquette standards, on the other hand, are virtually unique to the Swedish people.

  • Though drugs are not uncommon, most Swedes, young and old, are fiercely opposed to them. Possession and intoxication with non-medical substances (including cannabis) result in a fine and a criminal record entry. The police have the authority to compel a suspected drug user to provide a urine or blood sample.
  • Swedes are as contradictory as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to booze. One drink before work or driving is too much. Drunkenness, on the other hand, may be a regular element of many Swedish customs (e.g., Midsommar, Valborg, etc.) – bear this in mind if you abstain from alcohol. Some Swedes frown on individuals who are sober during a party and reject explanations other than driving or being pregnant.
  • The Swedish people value their privacy and personal space. Salespeople, waiters, and other service workers are often less attentive than their counterparts in other countries when it comes to respecting clients’ privacy, with the exception of a brief “hej” to entering customers. Customers are expected to request assistance. When boarding a bus or other mode of public transportation, it is generally considered rude to sit next to another person if another twin seat is available.
  • It is traditional in most households to remove your shoes. Whether you just assume that you must remove them upon entrance, you will have done the correct thing in most instances, but you could check to see if other visitors have left theirs by the front door. Bring indoor shoes if you are dressed up and feel naked without them, since many of the visitors will. Wearing outside shoes may also be appropriate at more formal events. Indoor shoes may also be carried for warmth (particularly at cottages and similar establishments): most Swedish houses have wood floors; wall-to-wall carpeting is rare.
  • Despite rumors of the “Swedish vice,” public nudity is usually frowned upon in Sweden, save on designated nudist beaches. If you are above the age of four, do not go skinny-dipping on public beaches. Female toplessness is tolerated but rare in public baths. Public breastfeeding is a protected right that may be exercised anywhere, even business meetings and high-end restaurants. Male toplessness is acceptable in the country and at the beach, although it may be frowned upon in cities.
  • Greetings between men and women who know each other (e.g., are close friends, relatives, etc.) are often expressed with a hug. Swedes do not welcome with a cheek kiss, but are aware that other cultures do. If you cheek-kiss a Swede as a tourist from France, they will reciprocate the gesture but will probably feel a little uncomfortable doing so.
  • Arrive on time for meetings and meals, ideally five minutes before the scheduled time. In Sweden, there is no such thing as “fashionably late.” Arriving early for a private invitation, on the other hand, is considered impolite. If arriving late is allowed, it is typically stated explicitly (e.g., “…arrive after 1700”) or there are established norms (some universities apply an “akademisk kvart”, an academic quarter hour, within which it is acceptable to arrive to lectures).
  • Homosexuality is tolerated in Sweden. Same-sex weddings have legal status in Sweden as of May 2009. Because Sweden has anti-discrimination and hate crime legislation, the chances of encountering severe criticism or homophobia are minimal. Violence against gays and lesbians is very uncommon.
  • Sweden is a multiethnic nation. Make no judgments about individuals based on their looks. Racism, sexism, and homophobia will be greeted with hatred on the outside. Even little preferences may be observed and recorded.
  • Begging was formerly unheard of in contemporary Sweden. Beggars from the Balkans (usually of Roma descent) may be found in most towns and cities as of 2015. Begging, as well as giving money to beggars, is allowed in Sweden, and the majority of begging transactions are unobtrusive.
  • Hunting and wildlife management are contentious topics in Sweden, particularly when it comes to the number of wolves and other predators. People in the rural have strong feelings about the issue.

Sweden – a country of numbers

Swedish people are known for their rigidity and organization. Almost everything has a number attached to it. Swedish citizens have a ten-digit personal identification number (beginning with the date of birth in the format YYMMDD) that they use when interacting with various government agencies, and it is typically stated before their name. Customers at Swedish stores and banks must get a queue number note from a computer in order to be serviced in order.

At Systembolaget, each product is recognized by its product number (which is frequently simpler to remember than foreign-sounding names), and the most significant factor in choosing is the alcohol level (often divided by price to find the most cost-efficient product). If you order a cocktail at a bar, be prepared to specify how much liquor you want in centiliters. Most supermarkets sell milk with four or more fat content levels (including organic versions, barista milk, and low lactose milk, not to mention filmjölk, yoghurt, and all other milk products). Swedes monitor the air temperature before stepping outside, and they check the water temperature before swimming in open water.

Many Swedes also possess barometers, hygrometers, and rain gauges to add data to the never-ending discussion about weather. Swedes identify their apartments by the number of rooms (En trea – “a three” – is simply a three-room-and-kitchen flat) and often ask each other about the size per square meter. They have week numbers ranging from one to fifty-two. IKEA, the world’s most renowned furniture store, deviates from this trend with Nordic product names.

Several observances at once

There are times when official holidays, de facto half days, official flagdays, and other observances conflict, and several festivities may take place at the same time. One such example is the 30th of April, which is immediately followed by the 1st of May. Because it is Walpurgis Night and the primary day for celebrating the beginning of the spring season, April 30 is a de facto half day. The next day is Walpurgis Day; however, on the calendar, it is mainly referred to as May Day or Labor Day. This implies that, depending on your sympathies, you may celebrate it as either May Day or Walpurgis Day. In addition, April 30 is the birthday of the King of the United Kingdom and an official flag day. May 1 is also an official flag day due to May Day or Walpurgis Day. If either day falls on a Sunday, it will also be an official holiday and a Christian holiday, as one of the Sundays after Easter.

Because of the abnormally early Easter in 2008, Ascension Day fell on May 1. This was the first time this has occurred since May Day was declared a national holiday in 1939. The next time these holidays coincide will be in 2160. The next time Ascension Day and Walpurgis Night occur on April 30 (the earliest feasible date) is in 2285.

Culture Of Sweden

Sweden is home to several well-known writers, including August Strindberg, Astrid Lindgren, and Nobel Prize winners Selma Lagerlöf and Harry Martinson. Swedes have received seven Nobel Prizes in Literature in total. The country’s most well-known artists are painters Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, as well as sculptors Tobias Sergel and Carl Milles.

Pioneering works in the early days of film by Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström are notable examples of Swedish 20th-century culture. In the 1920s–1980s, director Ingmar Bergman and actresses Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman rose to worldwide prominence in the film industry. Lukas Moodysson’s and Lasse Hallström’s films have lately gained worldwide acclaim.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sweden was seen as a worldwide pioneer in what is now known as the “sexual revolution,” with gender equality being emphasized in particular. At the moment, the number of single individuals in the globe is among the highest in the world. I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967), an early Swedish film, represented a liberal perspective of sexuality, featuring sequences of love making that drew worldwide notice, and established the idea of the “Swedish sin,” which had been popularized earlier in the US with Ingmar Bergman’s Summer with Monika.

“Hot love and frigid people” developed as a metaphor. Sexual liberalism was seen as part of the modernisation process, which would lead to the liberation of natural energies and desires through breaking down conventional boundaries.

Sweden has also grown extremely tolerant towards homosexuality, as shown by the widespread acceptance of films like Show Me Love, about two young lesbians in the tiny Swedish town of ml. Sweden has abolished its “registered partnership” regulations and completely replaced them with gender-neutral marriage since 1 May 2009. Sweden also allows domestic partnerships for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Cohabitation (sammanboende) is common among couples of various ages, including adolescents and elderly couples. Sweden has recently seen a baby boom.

Music

Sweden has a rich musical heritage that ranges from medieval folk songs to hip hop music. The music of the pre-Christian Norse has been lost to history, but historical re-creations based on instruments discovered at Viking sites have been attempted. The lur (a kind of trumpet), basic string instruments, wooden flutes, and drums were utilized. It’s likely that some of the ancient Swedish folk music carries on the Viking musical heritage. Sweden has a thriving folk music culture, both in the traditional form and in more contemporary versions that often include elements of rock and jazz. There is also Sami music, known as joik, which is a kind of chant that is part of traditional Saami animistic spirituality but has achieved worldwide prominence in the realm of folk music. Carl Michael Bellman and Franz Berwald are two of Sweden’s most famous and legendary composers.

Sweden also has a strong choral music history, which stems in part from the cultural significance of Swedish folk melodies. In reality, it is believed that five to six hundred thousand individuals sing in choirs out of a population of 9.5 million.

Sweden was the world’s third-largest music exporter in 2007, with over 800 million dollars in income, behind only the United States and the United Kingdom. According to one statistic, Sweden had the most chart hits per capita in the world in 2013, followed by the United Kingdom and the United States. ABBA was one of the first globally well-known popular music bands from Sweden, and it remains one of the world’s most famous bands, with over 370 million albums sold. Sweden began a new era with ABBA, during which Swedish pop music achieved worldwide popularity.

Since then, several more globally popular bands have emerged, including Roxette, Ace of Base, Europe, A-teens, The Cardigans, Robyn, The Hives, and Soundtrack of Our Lives, to mention a few.

Sweden is also well-known for its heavy metal bands, such as Bathory, Opeth, Amon Amarth, and Ghost. Yngwie Malmsteen, the famous neo-classical power metal guitarist, is also from Sweden.

Denniz Pop’s Cheiron Studios became an international hit factory beginning in the 1990s, with his disciple Max Martin responsible for Britney Spears’ breakthrough songs as well as shaping the entire boy-band boom at the turn of the millennium with global hits for groups such as the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync. Martin returned in the mid-2000s with a more rock-tinged style, producing big successes with singers such as Kelly Clarkson, Pink, and Katy Perry. RedOne, a Moroccan-Swede who has created a plethora of songs for Lady Gaga, is another producer worth noting.

Sweden is one of the most successful participating countries at the Eurovision Song Contest, having won six times (1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, and 2015), behind only Ireland, which has seven wins. In the Eurovision Song Contest, each participating country submits an original song to be performed live on television and radio; however, there are no restrictions on the nationality of the songwriter and artist, resulting in countries being represented by songwriters and artists who are not nationals of that country. In recent years, Swedish composers have been engaged in the composition of entries from a variety of nations, including Sweden. For example, in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, Swedish songwriters and producers appeared in 10 of the 42 songs that qualified for the competition; in 2013, the figures were 7 songs out of 39 songs in the contest; in 2014, 7 songs out of 37 songs in the contest; in 2015, 8 songs out of 40 songs in the contest; and in 2016, 12 songs out of 42 songs in the contest.

Sweden has a thriving jazz scene. It has achieved a very high creative quality during the past sixty years or more, fueled by both local and foreign inspirations and experiences. Lars Westin’s summary of jazz in Sweden has been published by the Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research.

Architecture

Prior to the 13th century, nearly all structures were constructed of wood, but a move toward stone started. The Romanesque churches in the countryside are examples of early Swedish stone structures. Many of them, as it happens, were constructed in Scania and are therefore Danish churches. This would include the 11th-century Lund Cathedral and the slightly newer church in Dalby, as well as numerous early Gothic buildings constructed under the influence of the Hanseatic League, such as in Ystad, Malmö, and Helsingborg.

Cathedrals were also constructed in various areas of Sweden to serve as the seat of Sweden’s bishops. Skara Cathedral was built in the 14th century, and Uppsala Cathedral in the 15th. The foundations of the Linköping Cathedral were laid in 1230; the material used was limestone, but the construction took almost 250 years to complete.

Among the older constructions are several important fortifications and other historical buildings, such as those at Borgholm Castle, Halltorps Manor and Eketorp stronghold on the island of Land, Nyköpingfortress, and Visby city wall.

Around 1520, Sweden emerged from the Middle Ages and was unified under King Gustav Vasa, who promptly began the construction of magnificent palaces, castles, and fortifications. The Kalmar stronghold, Gripsholm Castle, and Vadstena Castle are among the most impressive.

Sweden was defined by Baroque architecture and, subsequently, rococo architecture throughout the following two centuries. Karlskrona, which has since been designated a World Heritage Site, and the Drottningholm Palace are two notable constructions from the era.

The great Stockholm exhibition of 1930 heralded the breakthrough of Functionalism, or “funkis” as it became called. In the decades that followed, the style began to dominate. The Million Programme, which provided inexpensive housing in huge apartment complexes, was a noteworthy example of this kind of initiative.

Media

Swedes are among the world’s largest newspaper users, with a local paper serving almost every municipality. Dagens Nyheter (liberal), Göteborgs-Posten (liberal), Svenska Dagbladet (liberal conservative), and Sydsvenska Dagbladet are the country’s major quality morning newspaper (liberal). Aftonbladet (social democratic) and Expressen (conservative) are the two biggest evening tabloids (liberal). Metro Worldwide, an ad-financed, free international morning daily, was established in Stockholm, Sweden. The Local, among others, covers the country’s news in English (liberal).

For a long time, state broadcasting firms in Sweden had a monopoly on radio and television. Radio transmissions were first licensed in 1925. In response to pirate radio stations, a second radio network was established in 1954, followed by a third in 1962. Non-profit community radio was legalized in 1979, and commercial local radio began in 1993.

In 1956, the government-funded television service was formally established. In 1969, TV2 was established as a second channel. These two stations (owned by Sveriges Television from the late 1970s) had a monopoly until the 1980s, when cable and satellite television were introduced. TV3, which began transmitting from London in 1987, was the first Swedish language satellite channel. Kanal 5 (then known as Nordic Channel) followed in 1989, and TV4 in 1990.

The government stated in 1991 that it would begin accepting proposals from commercial television firms interested in broadcasting on the terrestrial network. TV4, which had previously aired via satellite, was given a licence and started terrestrial transmissions in 1992, becoming the country’s first private station to broadcast television programming.

Cable television is available to about half of the population. In Sweden, digital terrestrial television began in 1999, while analogue terrestrial transmissions were discontinued in 2007.

Literature

The Rök Runestone, engraved during the Viking Age about 800 AD, is Sweden’s earliest written text. Sweden entered the Middle Ages after being converted to Christianity about 1100 AD, when monastic authors chose to write in Latin. As a result, there exist just a few manuscripts in Old Swedish from that time period. Swedish literature thrived only when the Swedish language was established in the 16th century, owing to the complete translation of the Bible into Swedish in 1541. This translation is known as the Gustav Vasa Bible.

The 17th century saw many famous writers further refine the Swedish language as a result of better education and the freedom brought about by secularisation. Some important figures include Georg Stiernhielm (17th century), the first to write classical poetry in Swedish; Johan Henric Kellgren (18th century), the first to write fluent Swedish prose; Carl Michael Bellman (late 18th century), the first to write burlesque ballads; and August Strindberg (late 19th century), a socio-realistic writer and playwright who achieved worldwide fame. Selma Lagerlöf (Nobel laureate 1909), Verner von Heidenstam (Nobel laureate 1916), and Pär Lagerkvist were among the prominent writers of the early twentieth century (Nobel laureate 1951).

In recent decades, a number of Swedish authors, notably Henning Mankell, a detective novelist, and Jan Guillou, a spy fiction writer, have achieved worldwide acclaim. Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish children’s book author, has had the greatest enduring impact on global literature with her novels about Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and others. Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium trilogy of crime novels is being released posthumously to great acclaim, was the world’s second best-selling fiction author in 2008. By modeling his main character, Lisbeth Salander, on Longstocking, Larsson relied significantly on Lindgren’s writings.

Holidays

Aside from conventional Protestant Christian festivals, Sweden observes a number of unique holidays, some of which date back to pre-Christian times. They include Midsummer, which commemorates the summer solstice; Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton) on 30 April, when bonfires are lit; and Labour Day or Mayday, which is devoted to socialist rallies on 1 May. The 13th of December is the feast day of Saint Lucia, the giver of light, and it is widely celebrated with extravagant festivities that reflect its Italian origins and kick off the month-long Christmas season.

The 6th of June is Sweden’s National Day, and it has been a public holiday since 2005. In addition, there are official flag day observances and a Namesdays calendar in Sweden. Many Swedes celebrate kräftskivor in August (crayfish dinner parties). Martin of Tours Eve is observed in Scania in November with Mrten Gs celebrations that include roast goose and svartsoppa (‘black soup’ consisting of goose stock, fruit, spices, alcohol, and goose blood). The Sami, one of Sweden’s indigenous communities, enjoy their festival on February 6th, while Scania celebrates Scanian Flag Day on the third Sunday in July.

Cuisine

Swedish food, like that of the other Scandinavian nations (Denmark, Norway, and Finland), has historically been straightforward. Fish (especially herring), beef, potatoes, and dairy items all played important roles. The spices were scarce. Swedish meatballs, usually served with sauce, boiled potatoes, and lingonberry jam; pancakes; lutfisk; and the smörgsbord, or extravagant buffet, are all popular dishes. Snaps are a popular alcoholic distilled beverage, and their use is culturally significant. The classic flat and dry crisp bread has given way to many modern variations. Surströmming (fermented fish) is a regionally significant food in northern Sweden, while eel is a regionally important cuisine in Scania in southern Sweden.

Despite the fact that modern-day Swedish cuisine incorporates many foreign foods, Swedish traditional recipes, some of which are hundreds of years old, others maybe a century or less, remain an essential component of Swedish daily meals.

Swedes consume a lot of crayfish cooked with dill during the annual crayfish celebration, kräftskiva, in August.

Cinema

Throughout the years, Swedes have been very prominent in the film industry. Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, and Max von Sydow are among the Swedish actors who have achieved success in Hollywood. Several filmmakers who have produced globally successful films include Ingmar Bergman, Lukas Moodysson, and Lasse Hallström.

Fashion

Sweden has a strong fashion industry, with renowned companies such as Hennes & Mauritz (doing business as H&M), J. Lindeberg (doing business as JL), Acne, Lindex, Odd Molly, Cheap Monday, Gant, WESC, Filippa K, and Nakkna headquartered inside its borders. These businesses, on the other hand, are mainly made up of buyers who purchase trendy products from all over Europe and America, continuing the trend of Swedish business toward international economic dependence, as is the case with many of its neighbors.

Sports

Sport is a national movement, with half of the population actively engaging in organized sports. Football and ice hockey are the two most popular spectator sports. Horse sports, second only to football, have the most participants, the majority of whom are women. The most popular team sports are handball, floorball, basketball, and bandy, followed by golf, track and field, and the team sports of handball, floorball, basketball, and bandy.

The Swedish national men’s ice hockey team, known colloquially as Tre Kronor (English: Three Crowns; Sweden’s national emblem), is often considered as one of the finest in the world. The team has won the World Championships nine times, ranking third all-time in terms of medal count. Tre Kronor also won gold medals in the Olympics in 1994 and 2006. Tre Kronor became the first national hockey team in history to win both the Olympic and World Championships in the same year in 2006. The Swedish national football team has previously had considerable success in the World Cup, finishing second when they hosted the event in 1958 and third twice, in 1950 and 1994. Athletics has seen a rise in popularity in recent years as a result of successful athletes like as Carolina Klüft and Stefan Holm.

Sweden hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics, the 1956 Summer Olympics, and the 1958 FIFA World Cup. Other notable sporting events include the UEFA Euro 1992, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1995, the World Championships in Athletics in 1995, the UEFA Women’s Euro 2013, and many championships in ice hockey, curling, athletics, skiing, bandy, figure skating, and swimming.

Gunnar Nordahl, Gunnar Gren, Nils Liedholm, Henrik Larsson, Fredrik Ljungberg, Caroline Seger, Lotta Schelin, Hedvig Lindahl, and Zlatan Ibrahimovi are all successful football players. Former world number one tennis players include Björn Borg, Mats Wilander, and Stefan Edberg. Other well-known Swedish athletes include heavyweight boxing champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Ingemar Johansson, World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam, and Jan-Ove Waldner, a multiple World Championship and Olympic medallist in table tennis. Sweden has produced a number of world-class winter sports athletes due to its northern latitude. This includes Olympic gold medalists in alpine skiing Ingemar Stenmark, Anja Pärson, and Pernilla Wiberg, as well as cross-country skiers Gunde Svan, Thomas Wassberg, Charlotte Kalla, and Marcus Hellner.

The Swedish Poker Federation (Svepof) joined The International Federation of Poker in 2016. (IFP).

Stay Safe & Healthy in Sweden

Stay Safe in Sweden

In general, Sweden is a safe country to visit. Keep in mind that your own nation is likely to be less safe than Sweden, so follow any cautions you might get in your own country and you will be OK. Drunken brawls on weekend evenings are a significant risk factor. Swedes, in general, avoid making direct eye contact, particularly in hazardous circumstances. Directly looking at someone who is acting violently may irritate them. Do not dispute with security guards or bouncers; they have the legal right to use force if necessary.

Although there is a considerable police presence in the city centers, particularly on weekends, the countryside is very poorly policed, particularly Norrland, where the closest patrol vehicle may be a hundred kilometers distant.

Knife carrying in public is illegal in Sweden, regardless of size or form, unless it is required for employment or other activities. It’s legal to bring a knife along with your camping gear.

Pickpockets often operate in tourist locations such as airports, train stations, urban rail, retail malls, and festivals. Most Swedes keep their wallets in their pockets or handbags and feel quite comfortable doing so. Nonetheless, nearly all shops and restaurants take most major credit cards, so there is no need to carry large amounts of cash. If you have a bike, secure it or risk losing it. While there is organized crime in certain Swedish neighborhoods, it poses no threat to legal tourists.

Keep an eye out for vehicles near road intersections. In Sweden, there is a legislation known as “The Zebra law,” which states that vehicles must stop at zebra crossings. Many Swedes think that all drivers behave in this manner. By keeping an eye out for vehicles, you may save not only your own life, but also the life of a friend, since recorded injuries have risen as a result of the legislation. If you must drive, obey the law; police vehicles may not be visible everywhere, but you never know when they may arrive.

The Swedish police have erected so-called alcogates for vehicles at the Stockholm port of Frihamnen. It is an automated breathalyzer procedure that takes around 112 seconds to perform. If a motorist exceeds the legal limit, the gates stay locked, and police in the area will conduct more extensive examinations.

In Case of Emergency

In the event of a fire, medical or criminal emergency, call 112 immediately. It does not need an area code, regardless of the kind of phone used. The number is usable on any mobile phone, with or without a SIM card, even if it is locked (without SIM, you will be asked to press “5” before the call will be answered).

The Swedish police force is overburdened throughout the nation. Officers are seldom on patrol and may be too busy to investigate small offenses. To report a theft or call the police in general, dial 114 14 for a national non-emergency phone number that will connect you to an operator at a police station (usually nearby, but not always).

Predators

The Swedish wilderness is home to brown bears (brunbjörn), wolves (varg), lynxes (lo), and wolverines (järv), but they are seldom seen. There are no wild polar bears in Sweden, contrary to common assumption elsewhere. Bears are more prone to attack if they are wounded, provoked by a dog, hibernating, or defending their young. Since 1900, bears have murdered just a few humans in Sweden. Wild wolves may attack pets and cattle, but generally avoid humans.

Stay Healthy in Sweden

Certified pharmacies are identified by a green cross and the word Apotek. For minor medical issues, a trip to the drugstore is all that is required. Every major city has at least one drugstore that is open at night. Non-prescription items such as bandages and antiseptics are widely available in supermarkets. Only pharmacists sell strong analgesics.

Swedish health care is often of extremely high quality, although it may be difficult for foreigners to get. The majority of medical facilities are operated by the government, and their accessibility varies. As a result, obtaining an appointment within a week at certain medical centers may be challenging. In the event of a medical emergency, most provinces (and, of course, large cities) have a regional hospital with an emergency department open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, if you are unfortunate, you may have to wait a long time before receiving medical care.

Sweden’s tap water is of high quality and has almost no bacteria. Water in mountain resorts may contain rust, while water on offshore islands may be brackish, although both are safe to drink. In Sweden, there is no compelling need to purchase bottled water. There is also bottled water that does not satisfy the standards for usage as tap water in Sweden.

In Sweden, there are few severe health hazards. Your main worry in the winter will be cold weather, especially if you are hiking or skiing in the northern regions. Northern Sweden is sparsely inhabited, therefore it is essential that you register your trip intentions with a friend or the authorities so that they can come searching for you if you do not show up. Dress warmly in layers and carry a good pair of sunglasses to avoid snow blindness, which is particularly common in the spring. Avalanches may be a concern in snowy slopes.

Pests

Mosquitoes (myggor) are a major annoyance, especially during rainy summers in the north. While Swedish mosquitos can not transmit malaria or other diseases, they do produce a unique (and very annoying) whining sound, and their bites are quite itchy. They are, as usual, most active at dawn and sunset — which, in the Land of the Midnight Sun, may mean much of the night in summer. Mosquito repellents are widely available at supermarkets.

Other summer annoyances include gadflies (bromsar), whose painful but non-venomous bites may leave a mark that lasts for days, and wasps (getingar), whose stings can be fatal in rare instances for allergic people. Use insect repellent, make sure your tent has enough mosquito netting, and carry appropriate medicine if you are sensitive to wasp stings.

Ticks (fästingar) emerge in the summer, particularly in tall grass. Through a bite, they may spread Lyme disease (borreliosis) and the more severe TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). The eastern regions of Sweden and the Stockholm archipelago are particularly vulnerable to TBE. Wear bright clothing and examine your body (as well as your pets) after outdoor activities. Tick tweezers (fästingplockare) are available at pharmacies.

In Sweden, there is just one poisonous snake: the European adder (huggorm), which has an unique zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not abundant, although it may be found across Sweden, with the exception of the northern highlands. Its bite is seldom fatal (especially in young children and those who are allergic to it), but those who have been bitten should seek medical attention. In Sweden, all reptiles, including adders, are legally protected and must not be destroyed.

In Sweden, there are no really hazardous aquatic creatures, however while bathing in the water, keep an eye out for Greater weevers (Fjärsing), a tiny fish hidden in sand with many poisonous spines on its back. The venom is approximately as deadly as that of the European adder, and it is more likely to inflict discomfort (which may be severe) than harm. In the water, there are also poisonous jellyfish that are brilliant blue or red. The poison is not fatal, but it is painful.

Stinging nettles thrive in damp, nitrogen-rich environments (particularly where people pee outside), although being stung is usually not hazardous, merely causing local pain for a few hours.

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