Photo: Henrik Trygg/mediabank.visitstockholm.com

Amazing Country

Välkommen to the Kingdom of Sweden, or Konungariket Sverige!

Maybe you don’t know much about this Scandinavian nation, or maybe you’ve heard of Swedish smörgåsbord, Vikings or the red-haired Swedish child hero, Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking).

Sweden is Europe’s fourth largest nation by area, but only has a population of about ten million. For a “small” country, it has a “big” reputation. The Nobel Prizes, Swedish meatballs, IKEA, H&M, hockey players, Volvo and ABBA are just a few ways people know Sweden.

Its northern remoteness, natural beauty and distinct Scandinavian culture draw visitors to this unique country. There’s so much to experience within Sweden’s rich heritage, cuisine and culture.

Living History

Sweden’s long and colorful history is accessible like few places in the world. Its ancient ruins, churches, castles and fortresses have been preserved within modern communities. You can shop in a 15th century wood-constructed marketplace, eat a gourmet meal in an ancient cellar in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) or cycle to a nearby Viking era gravesite.

Sweden’s historical and cultural heritage dates back to the Iron Age and the Viking era, and there are numerous ruins, archeological sites and museums representing these periods. A strong Christian heritage is reflected in the numerous old churches and meeting halls. In the 17th century, Sweden was one of the world’s superpowers, and today Swedes still live under a constitutional monarchy, represented by King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria.

Photo: Jeppe Wikström/mediabank.visitstockholm.co

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Nature for All

Over 1,572 kilometers in length, Sweden spans eight climate zones. Warmed by the northernmost currents of the Gulf Stream, Sweden has a relatively temperate climate. Swedes are known for their love of nature and the outdoors, and it’s no surprise – the country has an incredibly diverse landscape that can be accessed by all.

Allemansrätten, or the right of public access, is a privilege that allows everyone access to private and public lands, on condition that people show proper respect for nature and private residences. Overnight camping is available without fee or special permission. It is a distinctly Swedish way of opening the outdoors for all to enjoy. The adventuresome can visit the Arctic Circle, the northern mountains, tundra, moors and marshland. Others enjoy fishing, canoeing and kayaking Sweden’s rivers and 100,000 lakes. Others hike the thousands of kilometers of marked trails, relax on white sand beaches or explore ancient forests or Stockholm’s archipelago.

Distinct Culture

And what about the winter months? Swedes enjoy ice fishing, cross-country skiing, or popular winter sports like hockey, bandy and innebandy. If sports aren’t your thing, try the many outstanding museums and historical sites, or enjoy Sweden’s coffee and dessert culture (fika). Fika plays an important role in Swedish social culture as people gather in homes, workplaces, churches and cafés over steaming hot coffee and mouthwatering baked goods.

Visitors find travel within Sweden quite easy, and Swedes are friendly, helpful and kind. Most Swedes can communicate freely in English and all necessary travel information is readily available in English. Sweden has a well-planned network of trains and buses, although it is important to plan in advance. Larger cities have good public transit systems.

A nation with a distinct arts, design and music culture, Sweden is known for its many famous athletes, actors, writers and musicians – Greta Garbo, ABBA, Astrid Lindgren, Peter Forsberg and Björn Borg – to name a few.