"Sweden - Sverige" Top 5 Page for this destination Sweden by Maline

Sweden Travel Guide: 12,759 reviews and 39,843 photos

Welcome to Sweden or as we Swedes know it – Sverige.


Did you know that Sweden is the fourth largest country in Europe in terms of area size? But there are only 9 million Swedes.
Did you know that Sweden is a part of EU since ten years, but that the population voted against the change of currency, so that we still have the Krona instead of the Euro?
Did you know that in Swedish, maternal grandmother is not called the same as paternal grandmother? (Mormor and farmor respectively.) Same goes for grandfather, uncle and aunt.

Sweden is my country. This is where I live and where I grew up. I love it and I dislike it for various and sometimes the same reasons.
My advice is to visit Sweden in summer, unless you come for the snow of course. The climate is great in summer, not too hot or cold, daytime around 20 degrees celsius and up, nights down to 10 or so. And in summer people are actually in a more open and welcoming mood. It is easier to meet people in summer, in winter everyone just hurries home all the time. Many foreign visitors talk about this difference, for a native it isn't that visible, but I guess there is truth in it.

What characterizes Sweden? Well, I as a native, can only give you my inside opinion. When I come home to Sweden from a trip to another country, I am often struck by how square things are here. The society is pretty structured, both socially and architecturally. The streets are paved, there are separatee lines for bikes and pedestrians, the houses are square, not too brighly painted. The green areas are well kept, not too fancy, not too worn down. Most of the towns have been restructured in the 50’s-70’s, they’re very practical, somewhat grey and boring.

So, this doesn’t sound like too much fun, does it? It doesn’t. But this is what always strikes me about Sweden. Another thing about Sweden is the ever presence of nature. Swedes, as a people, are very nature-loving, and it is an important part of our self-image. Many Swedes dream of a little hut in the forest where we can live the basic rustic life for a month or two in summer.

The Allemansrätt (everybody´s right or Right of Public Access) is something we are very proud of. It means that the forests, lakes and waters are open to everyone as long as you don’t destroy the surroundings (being reckless with fire, picking flowers that are spared, entering certain restricted areas etc). This law enables anyone visiting Sweden to experience nature close up. Do take advantage of this!

Sweden is run by the social democratic party, and in a it is a socialist country, but not in the sense that many people think of the word socialism. It is a market economy like most countries, and the socialism has mostly to do with the fact that health care is publicly financed, the social welfare transfer system is broad and that education is free of charge all the way through university. But there are both private schools and hospitals for example. There is no real poverty in Sweden, the welfare systems are too extensive. Howefver there is homelessness and begging esp in the larger cities. And there is much alienation of immigrants and lots of unemployment. Also, Sweden is in the demographicly challenging position of having an ageing population.

In my tip section I will give advice on what to see in Sweden. I only write about places that I myself have visited and can recommend. I also give tips on transportation, such as trains which is a very good way to see Sweden, or things you should know before taking your car here. Also, a look into the Swedish language …

If there is something you don’t find here feel free to ask me in a mail. I will help you as best I can with any travel questions regarding Sweden.



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Now for some fun facts about Sweden:

Thing you should know about Sweden:
* Usually Sweden is not a very cold country, only in the northern parts. In the south, there isnt even always snow in winter.
* Swedish people generally speak english fluently.
* You can drink the tap water anywhere.
* A huge favourite of the Swedes is "snus", kind of like snuff tobacco, you put it under your upper lip. If you try it, please let me know what you think...
* Sweden has around 9 million inhabitants, and is the 4th largest country in Europe, in area size.
* Sweden and Switzerland is not the same country, hence
* Sweden is NOT famous for its watches, chocolate or cheese.
* Sweden IS famous for glass and crystal works.
* Most people in Sweden are NOT blonds.
* A popular souvenir is the road sign with moose-warning. Every year a huge number is stolen from Swedish roads.
* Every year in february Swedish people run to the bookstores for the nationwide "booksale". This starts the same day all over rthe country, usually at midnight.
* Sweden has been run by the social democratic party for the better part of 60 years.
* Sweden is a monarchy, and has a king.
* Roughly every 7th person in Sweden is what in the statistics is known as an "immigrant", either immigrated or with at least one parent immigrated. So it is a multicultural society.
* Sweden is the country with the highest daily newspaper reading frequency in the world.
* Many Swedes drink milk to their meals, even when grown up. Mellanmjölk (middle-milk, means somewhat fat reduced) is very popular, in accordance with the term "lagom".
* Which is a untranslatable (we are always told and keep telling ourselves) Swedish word meaning "just the right amount" of anything from fat in milk to temperature or height.

For more facts and figures on Sweden, visit http://www.sna.se/webatlas a site with lots of (more serious) statistics on the country and its county divisions. Both in English and Swedish.

Miscellanenous:
The annual nationwide Booksale occurs in February. This sale is quite a happening in Sweden. Every bookstore (ok I havent checked ALL of them, but this is still quite a safe bet) offers discount on part of its stock. Catalogues are sent out in advance and there is usually quite a crowd coming to the stores during the sale.
For all foreign visitors in late february and early march, this is a good opportunity to find cheap books, many are in English.
And, as I said, no matter where you are, you are never far from a bookstore...!

On April 30 bonfires are lit all over the country to celebrate the arrival of spring. In Uppsala the celebrations include a race down the river, a traditional ceremony of wawing the graduation caps outside the university library. It also includes heavy drinking and partying until early morning.

In Sweden we have the law called "Allemansrätt" (litt. Right of everyone) which enables anyone to move about in nature and gather such things that can grow back again, like mushrooms, berries and flowers (some are protected though if they are rare). Take advantage of this. In the pic is my grandmother, 90 years this year, gathering mushrooms in fall.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Changing seasons, beautiful nature, spacey, clean and friendly
  • Cons:Off the beaten path for many, just a bit too cold sometimes
  • In a nutshell:It is MY country!!
  • Intro Updated Jul 4, 2005
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Comments (240)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    It's great to read your pages, Maline! Thanks a lot!

  • Malopolanin2006's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    With a huge pleasure I return to Sweden, even virtual. I saw the country from Malmo to Stokholm and Borlange. Great, fine country . greetings from krakow in Poland

  • DaveyJones's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Welcome back! Fantastic pages, Thank you.

  • kimozz's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2006 at 10:57 AM

    Thanks maline, this tip helped me alot~!

  • talmid's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2006 at 9:22 AM

    Something's missing in your list: Sweden, together with Norway, Finland and Alaska, is a heaven for fishermen! ;-)

  • Propermark's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2006 at 3:30 AM

    Hi Maline! Hope everything's fine. I wish I could visit your country again! Stockholm is a unique city! I liked it a lot! See ya

  • spanishguy's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2006 at 2:51 AM

    Hi Maline! Your Sweden page is very beautiful and informative. You have done a perfect job showing us your country customs. Happy new year and happy birthday! (even it's a little bit late)

  • balfor's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2005 at 6:20 AM

    Hi Maline, have a very excellent birthday today! I hope your New Years is excellent as well. :-)

  • adventerrtravel22's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2005 at 10:03 AM

    Very interesting that a Fyrvägskorsning is a rarety in your parts. It's just about on every other corner where I'm from. Want to switch homes for a year or two? Nice pages here.

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2005 at 1:32 PM

    Very good! Today I went to IKEA and there were ladies in Swedish dress. Unfortunately I do know SWE said "nej till euro". I hope for a JA in 2012-3. I think I will learn Swedish as my next tongue after Polish.

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