Currency: Swedish krona
Official language: Swedish with Sámi (Lapp) being spoken by the Sámi population in the north. Finnish, Romani and Yiddish are also widely spoken with English being spoken by nearly every local as it is taught as the first second language.
Welcome to a land of snow-capped peaks, deep green forests and the midnight sun!
As the largest of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden has a population barely 9 million people, which means there’s more than enough space to totally get lost in here. It might be small, but Sweden is stunning in every way imaginable. From the frozen lands up north to the breathtaking countryside and the islands in Stockholm, you might develop a love affair with Sweden that you’ll never be able to shake off.
Just imagine: the beautiful countryside with its pine, spruce and birch forests as far as the eye can see and the crystal clear lakes (not forgetting the exquisite beaches on the south and west coast) in an environment that boasts some of the world’s purest air.Sweden lends an atmosphere of life a little more carefree, and the journey would not be complete without the Swedes and their openness to just about anything. This is one of the only remaining countries on earth that you can experience true honesty and straight talking, essentially this is what makes a Swedish adventure so refreshing. Sure it’s not a budget destination, but there’s really no better time to discover the hidden Swedish gems than now!
Must see places in Sweden
Also called the Venice of the North, Stockholm is Sweden’s capital city. With the integration of land and water (since Stockholm lies on a number of islands and peninsulas) is what creates the unique charm of this city. Boasting 3 unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Birka, Drottningholm and the Woodland Cemetery), world class museums, theatres and galleries, Stockholm requires an extended stay to explore all it has on offer.
Sweden’s summer holiday island, Gotland, is often referred to as the Long Island of the Baltic. It’s here that the holiday makers flock to annually to soak up the unspoilt landscape with its pristine beaches and its renowned festivals.
Listen up foodies. Gothenburg and the West Coast of Sweden is where you want and need to be for its amazing seafood, superb restaurants and a coastline that’s bound to steal your heart. Göteborg, is Sweden’s no.2 city, yet it’s a world apart from the normal Swedish scene you’ll experience in Stockholm.
With temperatures ranging from -40°C in winter to +30°C in summer, Europe’s last piece of pure wilderness and the European indigenous Sami people, Swedish Lapland is the land of 8 seasons, home of the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. From stunning saunas to invigorating dog-sled rides, Swedish Lapland has a lot on offer.
The main reason for visiting Lovö Island would undeniably be for its fairytale-like Drottningholm Palace. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 17th century. It’s the official residence of the Swedish Royal Family. Make sure you see the Chinese Pavilion, the Palace Theatre and the Theatre Museum among the many beautiful sites.
The multicultural European port of Sweden, Malmö is a true example of inspiringly diverse population groups that seamlessly coexist. As Sweden’s third largest city, there’s a lot of history that can be experienced around the city streets. Some of the top attractions include the Oresund Bridge, the 190 meters high Turning Torso residential, office and conference building, the historic Malmöhus Castle, Malmö Art Gallery (Malmö Konsthall), Folkets Park, Kallbadhuset (Riderborg's Bathing House) and the Katrinetorp Country House.
Dating back to the year 1085, the town of Helsingborg is a busy Swedish port and a big commercial and industrial town that serves as Sweden’s main channel of communication with Denmark and mainland Europe. In the shadow of the colossal Oresund Bridge, lies the port that is among the town’s many great historical attractions to explore. Make sure you get to see the Kärnan (The Kernel) fortress which can be found in Slottshagen Sculpture Park. Also worth exploring are the Town Hall, the Harbor Square, Jakob Hansen’s Hus, St. Mary’s Church, the Helsingborg Concert Hall, the Dunkers Kulturhus and the Frederiksdal Open-Air Museum among the old town’s many great sights.
Established in 980 AD, Sigtuna was Sweden’s first ever town. Nestled alongside Lake Mälaren in Uppland just north of Stockholm, Sigtuna is a history rich quaint little town. The beautiful medieval churches, ruins, rune stones and old buildings take you back to an era long gone, yet it all perfectly blends in with the little boutique shops. It’s well worth a visit.
The Göta Canal
One of Sweden’s most masterful engineering pieces is this canal that dates back to the early 19th century. Stretching 190km in length, this is one of the country’s hottest touristic attractions. It connects with lakes Vänern and Vättern and the Trollhätte Canal, essentially forming a water link from Stockholm up to Gothenburg in the southwest. The canal stretches all the way from Sjötorp at Lake Vänern to Söderköping on the Baltic Sea, boasting 47 bridges and 58 locks in the canal.
The smallish university town of Uppsala lies just 70km northwest of Stockholm, but it’s magical in its own right with the medieval buildings and breathtaking surroundings found here. With plenty of quaint shops, cafes, and eateries scattered throughout the town, it’s easy to get lost here and fall in love with this altogether different city of Sweden.
Pick the time right!
Tourists travel to Sweden in Summer
Like Norway, Sweden has extremely cold winters (even more so in the arctic regions) and mild summers with high temperatures of around 30°C in the south of the country. Winter months are freezing and don’t sport a lot of sunlight, which makes traveling difficult, unless you’re planning a ski trip off course. The cities are cheerful during the winter months with their glögg (mulled wine) while the Arctic North provides an excellent opportunity to see the Northern Lights.
Summer months offer visitors and opportunity to enjoy the wonderful beaches and the famous midnight sun. The most ideal time to visit Sweden is during the summer months between June and August.
Did you know?
- Smörgåsbord - this spread includes a starter of pickled herring with boiled potatoes followed by more fish courses like smoked salmon or anchovies. The fish courses are followed by cold meats, pâtés, sliced beef, stuffed veal or smoked reindeer
- Köttbullar - small Swedish meatballs
- Lapland Smoked Reindeer
- Gravlax - a specially prepared and marinated salmon dish
- Wild strawberries and cloudberries
- It’s customary for guests to refrain from drinking until the host makes a toast, and if you’re dining with a local, say tack för maten (thank you for the food).
- Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in most public buildings, so make sure you adhere to the laws
- To save on the cost of foods, try ordering dagens rätt at local restaurant, which is the dish of the day and includes a main meal, salad, soft drinks and coffee.