Sweden borders Finland and Norway and is also the largest country in Scandinavia. Characterized by beautiful landscapes, Sweden is a perfect country to switch off, relax and find yourself. But thousands of islands, exciting cities and of course the Northern Lights also fascinate travelers again and again.
|Official Language||Swedish, regional: Finnish, Meänkieli, Sami|
|Telephone Area Code||+46|
Source: Destination Explorer
Fast facts to know
- Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government.
- Home of Pippi Longstocking, Inspector Wallander and ABBA.
- Largest country in Scandinavia.
- Two thirds of Sweden is covered by forests, fields or wilderness.
- The Swedish territory includes 221,800 islands.
- 85% of Swedes live in the south of the country, mainly in the three big cities.
- The moose is the country’s most famous animal.
- The right of public access (allemansrätten) regulates how to deal with nature, but is not a written law, but a list of rules of conduct.
- Sweden’s capital Stockholm is spread over 14 islands with a network of bridges.
- The sale of alcohol is expensive and only allowed to the state.
Exciting cities in Sweden
History of Sweden
- First settled by humans 11,000 years ago.
- Viking Age from 800 to 1050.
- Christianization from the 11th century.
- 1397-1523 Kalmar Union between Norway, Sweden, Denmark.
- 1544 Sweden is declared a Protestant kingdom.
- In the 17th century attempts by the royal family to attain a position of hegemony in Europe.
- 1611 to 1613 The Kalmar War between Denmark and Sweden ends with the surrender of the Finnmark to Norway, which is under Danish rule.
- Conquest of large parts of northern Germany, including Western Pomerania, the Archdiocese of Bremen and the Diocese of Verden in the Thirty Years’ War.
- Efforts to colonize outside of Europe are only successful in the short term.
- 1809 Finland ceded to the Russian Tsarist Empire after the Napoleonic Wars.
- Beginning policy of neutrality, also in World War II Sweden tries to prevent participation in the war.
Climate & travel weather in Sweden
- South: cool-temperate oceanic climate (summer quite humid and cool, winter cool but still quite mild).
- East: continental climate with greater temperature differences between summer and winter.
- North: Polar climate with very cold winters, sometimes below 40° C (short winter days, summers are also short and changeable).
- Recommended travel time:
- Ski season: December to April (snow guaranteed).
- Outdoor Activities: May to July.
- Beach holiday: June & July (precipitation is always to be expected).
Ideas for trips in Sweden
- King’s Path Kungsleden.
- Stora Nyckelviken Manor.
- Gripsholm Castle.
- Wanås Sculpture Park.
- Mårbacka Manor.
- Varberg’s cold bath house.
- Rosendal Castle.
- Vasa Museum in Stockholm.
- Watch the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the arctic winter (October to March).
- do dog sled rides.
- Sigtuna’s old wooden houses.
- Hiking on the Kullaberg.
- ABBA Museum in Stockholm.
- Gota Canal.
- Ice Hotel Jukkasjärvi.
Eating & drinking in Sweden
- Swedish cuisine is based on solid, traditional home cooking.
- Very popular: reindeer meat, elk meat, salmon caviar, fish, seafood.
- Favorite pastime of all Swedes: drinking coffee and telling stories.
- Beer and wine are popular with meals.
- Classic Swedish ingredients: potatoes, fish, meat, mushrooms.
- In many restaurants, you put your meals together like in a canteen.
- Tap water is free in many restaurants and can be drunk without hesitation.
- Breakfast: continental style with bread, jam, cheese.
- Lunch: quite early from 11.30 am.
- Dinner (midday): served around six o’clock.
- Popular side dish: bread, usually flavored with cinnamon or sweetened with syrup.
- Swedes like to snack, popular with tea and coffee: cinnamon rolls, Viennese bread.
- The traditional Christmas buffet is called Julbord.
- Typical dishes:
- saffron pastries.
- Smoked reindeer hearts.
- Engraved Salmon.
- Surstromming (fermented herring).
- Älg (moose, as a goulash-like stew or steak).
- Filmjölk (thick sour milk).
- Fiskbullar (fish cakes).
- Kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls made from yeast dough).
- Knäckebröd (classic Swedish dry bread).
- Köttbullar (meatballs).
- Sill (herring).
- Rockets from Digerhuvud.
- Stone coast in the north of the island of Gotland.
- Österlen in southeast Skåne.
- Bohuslan coast.
- Lake Vättern.
- National Parks:
- Abisko National Park.
- Sarek National Park.
- Fulufjallet National Park.
- Tiveden National Park.
- Store Mosse National Park.
- Hamra National Park.
- Muddus National Park.
- Padjelanta National Park.