Sweden is a country in Northern Europe located on the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is bounded to the west and north by Norway, to the east by Finland, and to the south-west by Denmark via a tunnel bridge across the Eresund River. Sweden is the largest Nordic country, the third largest in the EU, and the fifth largest in Europe, with 447 425 square kilometers (172 752 square miles). Stockholm is the capital and largest city. Sweden has a population of 10.5 million and a low population density of 25.5 inhabitants per square kilometer (66 sq mi), with approximately 87% of Swedes living in cities in the central and southern parts of the country, which cover 1.5% of the country’s total area.
Some interesting facts about Sweden
Sweden is a stunning Northern European country known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and modern culture. Here are some fun facts about Sweden:
- Sweden, with a land area of 450,295 square kilometers, is the third-largest country in the European Union.
- Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city, is made up of 14 islands connected by 57 bridges.
- Sweden has over 100,000 lakes and one of the lowest population densities in Europe.
- Sweden’s official language is Swedish, but English is widely spoken and understood throughout the country.
- Sweden is well-known for its strong welfare system, which includes universal healthcare and free education through university.
- Swedish cuisine is known for its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and includes dishes such as meatballs, herring, and lingonberry jam.
- Sweden is home to several well-known corporations, including Ikea, H&M, and Spotify.
- During the winter months, parts of Sweden can see the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.
- Several UNESCO World Heritage sites can be found in Sweden, including the Drottningholm Palace, the Birka Viking Village, and the Laponia Area.
- Midsummer, the longest day of the year, is celebrated in Sweden with traditional festivities such as dancing around a maypole and eating pickled herring and new potatoes.
There is much more to learn about Sweden, from its history and culture to its stunning natural scenery and modern innovations.
When is the best time to visit Sweden?
What you want to do and see in Sweden determines the best time to visit. Sweden has four distinct seasons, and the weather varies greatly depending on the season and region. Here’s a rundown of the seasons and what they have to offer:
Summer (June-August): Due to the warm weather and long days, this is the most popular time to visit Sweden. It’s a great time to visit cities, go hiking, and engage in outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, and camping.
Autumn (September-November): Autumn is a beautiful time in Sweden because the leaves change color and the air becomes crisp. It’s an excellent time for a hike or a scenic drive through the countryside.
Winter (December-February): Sweden is famous for its snowy winters, which are ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. During this time, the famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi is also open.
Spring (March-May): As the snow melts and the flowers bloom, spring in Sweden is a time of renewal. It’s a great time to get out and explore cities before the summer crowds arrive.
Overall, the best time to visit Sweden is determined by your interests and activities. Winter sports enthusiasts should visit during the winter months, while those interested in outdoor activities and city exploration should visit during the summer.
Things to Know before visiting Sweden?
Here are some things you should know before visiting Sweden:
- The Swedish krona is the country’s official currency (SEK).
- Language: Although Swedish is the official language of Sweden, the majority of Swedes also speak English fluently. In fact, many Swedes are well-known for their command of the English language.
- Tipping is not expected in Sweden because service charges are typically included in the bill. However, as a token of appreciation, it is customary to round up the bill or leave a small amount.
- Alcohol is heavily taxed and sold in government-run stores called Systembolaget. The legal drinking age is 18 years old.
- Sweden has an excellent public transportation system that includes buses, trains, and trams. The Stockholm Metro is especially efficient and user-friendly.
- Personal space and privacy are important to Swedes, who are generally reserved in public. They also place a high value on being punctual and on time.
- Nature and outdoor activities: Sweden is well-known for its stunning natural scenery, and popular outdoor activities include hiking, camping, and skiing. The country has a “right to roam” law, which allows citizens to access and explore most public lands.
- Swedish cuisine is known for its use of fresh, local ingredients, and popular dishes include meatballs, herring, and lingonberry jam. There is also a strong coffee culture in the country, with fika (a coffee break with pastries) being a popular tradition.
- Seasons: There are four distinct seasons in Sweden, with weather varying greatly depending on the time of year and region. It’s critical to pack seasonally appropriate clothing, whether that’s warm layers for winter or light clothing for summer.
- Environmentalism: Swedes place a high value on sustainability and environmental protection. When visiting Sweden, be mindful of your environmental impact and follow local waste disposal and recycling rules and regulations.
What is the best gift from Sweden?
Sweden is known for its beautiful design and high-quality craftsmanship, and there are many wonderful gifts available. Here are some popular Swedish gifts:
- Swedish crystal: Sweden is well-known for producing high-quality crystal, with brands such as Orrefors and Kosta Boda. Crystal vases, bowls, and figurines make excellent presents.
- The Dala horse is a traditional wooden horse that has become a Swedish symbol. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and make an excellent gift for both children and adults.
- Swedish candy is well-known for its distinctive flavors and packaging. Ahlgrens Bilar, Marabou chocolate, and salty liquorice are all popular brands.
- Swedish textiles: Sweden is well-known for its lovely textiles, which include blankets, throws, and table linens. Klippan and Ekelund are well-known for producing high-quality goods.
- Swedish cheese: Sweden has a rich cheesemaking tradition, with many unique and delicious varieties to choose from. Västerbotten, Prästost, and Herrgrd are popular cheeses.
- Swedish skincare: Sweden is well-known for its clean and natural skincare products, with companies such as L:A Bruket and Maria Kerberg offering a wide range of high-quality products.
- Viking-inspired gifts: Sweden has a strong connection to its Viking heritage, which has inspired many gifts. Viking-themed jewelry, clothing, and accessories make excellent historical gifts.
Overall, whether you’re looking for traditional souvenirs or modern design items, there are many great gifts to choose from in Sweden.
Things to Do in Sweden
- Go to Stockholm: The capital city of Sweden is known for its beautiful architecture, museums, and vibrant cultural scene. The historic Gamla Stan (Old Town), the Vasa Museum, and the Skansen open-air museum are all must-sees.
- Explore the countryside: From the rugged coastline to the forests and mountains, Sweden is known for its beautiful natural scenery. The Swedish Lapland region, the archipelago islands, and national parks are popular tourist destinations.
- Go skiing: Sweden has several ski resorts, including the largest in the country, re. Winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding are popular, and many resorts also offer summer activities such as hiking and mountain biking..
- Swedish cuisine is famous for its use of fresh, local ingredients and simple yet flavorful dishes. Traditional dishes such as meatballs, herring, and gravlax are available, as is the fika coffee break tradition.
- Visit the Icehotel: Jukkasjärvi’s Icehotel is a one-of-a-kind hotel made entirely of ice and snow. It is open from December to April and provides a variety of activities such as dog sledding and ice sculpture.
- Go on a Viking adventure: Sweden has a rich Viking heritage, and there are numerous opportunities to learn about it and take part in Viking-themed activities. The Viking Village in Foteviken and the Birka Viking city are popular tourist destinations.
- Attend a music festival: Sweden has a thriving music scene, and there are numerous festivals throughout the year, such as the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg and the Brvalla festival in Norrköping.
- The ABBA Museum in Stockholm is a must-see for fans of the iconic pop group, and it features exhibits and interactive displays about the band’s history and music.