Sweden

Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains.

Capital City:

Stockholm

Currency:

Swedish Krona

Total population:

10.35 million (2020)

Language(s) spoken:

Swedish

Cultural dos:

Do come financially prepared for your trip. Prices in Sweden for accommodation, food and drinks are quite high

Cultural don’ts

Don’t pronounce the name of the furniture store the way it’s written. IKEA is pronounced ee-kay-uh, not eye-kee-yah

Continent:

Europe

Top three foods the country is known for:

  • Kottbullar (meatballs)
  • Pickled Herring
  • Kalops (beef stew)

Bonus

  • Semla (sweet roll)
  • Smulpaj (fruit and berry crumble)
  • Liquorice

What the country is known for :

  • Landscapes of mountains, waterbodies and forests
  • Ice Hotel
  • Vasa Museum
  • The Royal Palace
  • IKEA furniture stores
  • Spotify
  • H&M
  • Music superstars (Abba, Avicci,  Swedish House Mafia)

More About Sweden

I first visited Sweden in 2016 with some friends. This trip was one for the books, as we all stayed in a hostel and enjoyed exploring Stockholm. I subsequently visited the country about six years later, for work and soaking in the Scandanavian sun. In spite of the high cost of living, many people still choose to visit Sweden as it is the largest Nordic country and seems to have something for different types of travellers. 

To my fellow nature lovers, Sweden is on steroids, with is geographical diversity and wildlife. There are several national parks and thousands of lakes dotted across the country. People are allowed to roam freely in the countryside, swim and forage in the forests, making it an ideal place for hiking and camping. The landscape is diverse and thus can be enjoyed in both winter and summer. In the summer, one can view the midnight sun in Swedish Lapland, enjoy relaxing on the sandy beaches or swimming and fishing on the lakes. While in the winter one can visit the mountains for winter sports or enjoy the unique experience of seeing the Northern Lights. 

Music is an important part of Swedish culture. Music festivals have grown over the years with a combination of Pop, Electronic and Rock festivals across the country. One of the most iconic bands to come out of Sweden was ABBA who rose to fame after winning Eurovision in 1973. Other top musicians that have come out of Sweden include Avicii, Roxette and the songwriter Max Martin who has written/produced hit songs that were sang by Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and The Weekend. The music app Spotify was also developed in Sweden and has its headquarters in the capital – Stockholm. 

The country also celebrates and commemorates its Viking history and its cultural heritage. It’s worth making a visit to UNESCO world heritage site, Birka, to better understand the Viking History, as an archaeological site and former viking village. There are various museums, galleries and monuments galore to reflect their rich history, and a lot of them are interactive and in different formats for a more immersive experience. The Vasa Museum and Skansen are definitely worth a visit, if in Stockholm.

Swedish design has brought a new meaning to minimalism and comfort, which can be viewed across the galleries featuring Swedish artists, scattered across the country. They have interesting designs that combine functionality with natural elements and light textures which I personally find fun. Swedes have simple and minimalist designs that have been exported to the rest of the world, partly through one of their flagship companies, IKEA. Another reflection of Swedish creativity and unique designs is seen through one of the largest and most preserved medieval centres in Europe, the world’s first and largest hotel made out of snow and ice, Ice Hotel, as well as the world’s first twisting tower and the tallest tower in Scandanavia. 

Swedish cuisine is made up of a variety of fresh natural ingredients that are available from its forests, mountains and lakes. The secret behind one of its most famous dishes, the Swedish Meatballs is that it contains the perfect combination of pork and beef mince along with a range of flavourful herbs and spices. 

Swedes are generally very friends, and relaxed people. They are very helpful and when they cannot find a solution – will always direct you to someone they believe might be able to. Sweden has been reported to be one of the happiest countries in the world. A visit to the country kind of makes one understand why the government implemented policies and the natural environment has aided to yield this result.

English Swedish
Hello Halla
Goodbye Adjo
Please Snalla du
Thank you Tack
How much? Hur mycket?
Do you speak English? Pratar du Engelska?
Where is the toilet? Vart finns toaletten?
May I please have some water? Kan jag snalla fa lite vatten?
I would like some food please Jag skulle vilja ha lite mat tack
Where can I get a taxi? Var kan jag fa en taxi?

Places visited

Destination Gallery

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