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Sweden is a country located in the Scandinavian Nordic region of Northern Europe and shares borders with Norway, Finland, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. As of March 2018, the total resident population of Sweden was 10, 142, 686. Its capital city is Stockholm is the most populated city in the Nordic region. Stockholm is the only capital in the world with a national urban park and is also the cultural, political, economic and media hub of Sweden.
The official language of Sweden is Swedish - a language similar to Danish and Norwegian. Post- World War II, the English language became widely spoken by the Swedes to facilitate trade and networking. Before Christianisation in the 11th century, the Swedes predominantly practised paganism, however, in the Norse mythology, the Vikings believed in several Norse gods like Odin and Thor. With the advent of migration in the 1960s, there was the presence of Islam in Sweden; precipitated by migrants from the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East and Northern Africa. The predominant religion practised in Sweden is Christianity.
In terms of culture, the Swedes are notable for their sexual revolution, exhibiting their tolerant and accepting nature with the promotion of this lifestyle becoming apparent within their media and cinemas. Musically, Sweden produces the most chart hits per capita in the world with the UK and USA trailing behind. Sweden has a significant folk-music scene and also a choral music tradition, resonating from their spiritual and religious background.
Swedish cuisines are traditionally simple just like other Scandinavian countries with fish, meat, potatoes and dairy products playing vital roles in Swedish meals preparation. The famous meals in Sweden include Swedish meatballs, which are traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam. Other famous Swedish meals include pancakes; crisp bread; lutfisk and lavish buffet. The famous cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden and Denmark. Akvavit is a popular alcoholic distilled beverage. The drinking of snaps is of tremendous cultural importance. Sweden is also a major fashion hub in the world with big brands like H&M, Gant, Flippa K and Odd Molly being Swedish companies.
According to Business Insider, Sweden is the 14th safest country in the world, suffice to say that Sweden is a very safe place for its citizens and tourists. The climate in Sweden can be divided into three types due to the climate of different regions in the country:
- Oceanic climate: Also known as Marine climate, is known for having cool summers and chilly winters.
- Humid continental climate: This type of climate is categorised by large differences in seasonal temperatures, with warm to hot summers and cold winters.
- Subarctic climate: This is characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers.
Ultimately, the best time to travel to Sweden is in the summer to enjoy their festivals, as the weather is conducive enough to be outdoors. Outfits differ pending on the season and weather. Typically, light clothing is ideal for the summer while more layering and thick clothes are ideal for winter. Getting around major cities in Sweden can be a bit of a hassle because of the language barrier but most major cities have directions in both Swedish and English so it might not be too much trouble for English speakers. Also, as a developed country, Sweden has an efficient transportation system so getting around its cities is convenient. Sweden has effective transportation on land, air and ports/harbours.
Sweden has a number of magnificent attractions and impeccable architecture that are soothing to the eyes. Notable attractions to visit include:
- The Kalmar Fortress
- Stockholm Palace
- The Gripsholm Castle
- The Oresund Bridge
With a country so cultured, colourful and arty as Sweden, there are festivals and festivities all through the year such as:
- Kraftskiva: A traditional feast known as crayfish party and holds in August where Swedes eat large amounts of crayfish boiled with dill.
- Walpurgis Night: This festival is also called May Fire, which is celebrated on May 1 to celebrate workers’ rights.
- Peace and Love Festival: This was designed to celebrate diversity, community, peace and love. It is the equivalent to Sweden’s Woodstock.
- Gothenburg Culture Festival: This festival celebrates arts and culture in the city of Gothenburg and is packed with a myriad of arts and performances ranging from art exhibitions, poetry, music, dance, ballads and street theatre.
Gothenburg, Stockholm, Malmo and Uppsala are some of the major and urban cities to visit while in Sweden except if one desires the countryside then Skane and Sigtuna are places to visit.
Forests cover 50% of Sweden, there are also around 100,000 lakes and over 24,000 islands throughout the country. There are 260,000 reindeers in Sweden and they eat mushrooms, lichen, grass, and herbs. The Swedish Vikings of the 8th-10th centuries were a fearsome group, highly skilled at warfare they invaded and settled throughout Northern and Eastern Europe. Sweden has run out of trash so it’s importing garbage from Norway.
Facts about Sweden
How do I travel out of Sweden?Get Visa from Sweden
For Swedishes looking to travel out of the country. You can check out the list of destinations, how to Get Sweden visa to those countries, Embassies in Sweden and Visa Free Countries for Swedish passport holders
Common Questions Travellers Ask About Sweden
What is Sweden famous for?
Most notably Ikea, Vikings, Meatballs and Abba, to name a few.
Is Airbnb legal in Sweden?
Can I drink the tap water in Sweden?
Is medical care in Sweden any good?
Is Sweden expensive?
Do I need a visa to travel to Sweden?
For most tourists, the rules surrounding Swedish visas are fairly simple. If you’re an EU citizen, then you do not need a visa to visit Sweden. You’re free to stay in the country for up to three months without needing to report to the authorities