Sweden is a country known for its lakes and forests, awe-inspiring vistas, and winter wonderlands. It boasts in excess of 95000 lakes in which swimming is allowed, ranging in size from mall forest ponds to huge lakes. It is also synonymous with music icons and recycling.
Sweden has made the list of the top ten Happiest Countries for a decade now. Of course the Swedes are happy! They enjoy all of this and then some, including a six-hour workday and vacations lasting as long as five weeks.
Sweden is among the greenest countries on our globe, and the 6th oldest country in Europe. In fact, it is the eighth-oldest kingdom worldwide, founded in 970 AD. This longstanding sovereign nation boasts a one-thousand-year history. It is also one of the largest countries on the continent but has a relatively tiny population, a large percentage of whom call the urban areas home.
When considering what to do in Sweden, among those items at topping the list should be joining in the national tradition that is known as Fika, which the Swedes take quite seriously.
Fika means taking a break to chill, drink coffee, eat cake, and snack – always in good company and never alone. Coffee is very much a way of life here and fika gets its name from the Swedish word for coffee going back to the 19th century.
You’d better believe it since the Swedes are the third-largest coffee consumer per capita in the world. Fika is so much more than just what they do, though. It is a state of mind, an attitude, and a concept that is integral to the culture of the country.
All these lifestyle characteristics of the country and its people contribute positively toward national productivity which is unusually high.
Swedish Chocolate. There’s another great inspiration for happiness. And pastries are another: Arak balls, the Swedish tart known as mazariner, and cardamom buns play to the national sweet tooth and are a must-try when in Sweden.
The classic Swedish sweet roll, semlor is a national dessert consumed in the millions by its locals every year, especially on Shrove Tuesday over Lent.
“So I say thank you for the music For giving it to me”
It probably comes as news to many that the Swedes are great at singing and almost every child attends music school or is a member of a choir. The Swedish government supports the arts and a non-profit organization exists to promote and encourage budding national musicians.
The country is the third-largest music exporter in the world, and who among us doesn’t know or has not heard of ABBA, Avicii, and Ace of Base, all talented exports out of Sweden?
Sweden has a milder climate than might be implied by the general notion of their winters, and this is thanks largely to the Gulf Stream. Naturally, some regions will be more or less extreme, weather-wise.
What is a sure thing across all regions is the picturesque landscapes and fantastic views. This goes beyond the enviable northern lights that light up the night sky under optimal conditions.
But not to be discounted are the country’s biosphere reserve and its scientifically significant ecosystem, as well as its lakes, national parks, and rivers. Talking of night skies, the North of Sweden experiences less than five hours of daylight extended over the months of the winter season.
As far as eco-friendly awareness goes, this particular Scandinavian country is very good at recycling. Waste recycling is of a particularly high standard here, with 99% of the locally produced waste being recycled. They also take in garbage from countries like Norway.
What to do in Sweden extends way past recycling, and it is interesting to consider attractions in Sweden as well as, while in Sweden, what to visit.
Vasa Museum in Stockholm
While visiting the capital city of Stockholm, pop into the Vasa Museum to see the warship Vasa that was lifted from the seabed after lying submerged for 333 years. It was brought to the surface in 1961 having spent three hundred years hiding below the water’s surface.
Vasa has the distinct honor of being the only preserved 17th Century ship in existence.
Carrying all of 64 cannons, the powerful warship took to the seas for the first time in 1629. Its maiden voyage, unfortunately, proved also to be its final voyage because design faults saw to it that the ship’s career was cut remarkably short.
It capsized less than a nautical mile into its voyage as a result of the ship being too top-heavy, and the doomed Vasa sunk in view of the shipyard in which it was built.
Thanks to the dedication of key role-players over decades, the restoration of the Vasa saw the ship take its place as a stalwart in what is among the top ten museums in the world. A definite among the attractions in Sweden to include whether or not you are a maritime enthusiast.
Dog Sledding in Lapland
Having pointed out that the north tends to have harsher winters, it lends itself so well to this ultimate encounter that is a must when considering what to do in Sweden.
Experience Siberian husky dog sledding across frozen lakes and through forests iced in snow. This is the perfect opportunity to spot the natural forest animals and woodland creatures such as reindeer, moose, and red fox. Overnight in private log cabins, the wintery Ice Hotel, or any of the unique accommodation options available at the Treehotel.
West Sweden Seafood Safari
Leave the shore of Lyckorna, a harbor town on the west coast, on board a local fishing boat on a mussel safari.
West Sweden is the ideal destination for seafood lovers who want to take to the sheltered waters in search of the freshest shellfish imaginable. After you have hauled up your own catch, the fishermen on board will either cook the mussels for you then and there or a little later on a local beach.
Sami Reindeer Experience in Lapland
Spend some time with a local family to experience the Sami culture and their traditional way of life firsthand.
These indigenous people were nomadic reindeer herders who remain involved in reindeer husbandry to this day. During your stay, the head of the family will introduce visitors to his reindeer.
Not to worry, there is no need to master any of the many dialects of the Sami language. With over 300 ways to say snow, this would prove to be some kind of a mean feat.
Anyone facing this opportunity should take it among the many attractions in Sweden.
Top of the list on anyone’s Sweden what to visit bucket list is indubitably the Northern Lights!
There are few places in the world better than Swedish Lapland to experience this wonder of nature since light pollution is not an obstruction in this remote region.
During winter, the surreal natural phenomenon plays out when particles meet the Earth’s atmosphere, forming bands of shimmering color that dance across the night sky.
Although prime times are presupposed, there is definitely never a guarantee that the northern lights will come out to play.
Attractions in Sweden are yours to see and experience. Citizens of certain countries will need to be in possession of the ETIAS visa to enter the country. To make sure, check out the ETIAS requirements.
The ETIAS application is easily completed online in just a few minutes, with the electronic visa issued digitally. See you soon in Sweden.
What is the currency in Sweden?
Sweden opts to use its own currency called the Swedish krona instead of the Euro, despite being a member of the European Union.
What is the language spoken in Sweden?
In Sweden, the locals speak Swedish but most Swedes can and do speak English.
Where and when is the best place and time to view the Northern Lights in Sweden?
For the best viewing, above the Arctic Circle is definitely it, which means Swedish Lapland.
Between September and March is the best time to see this phenomenon. At the beginning of September, the lights may be seen in and around Kiruna in the far north of the country.
On a clear evening, the best times for viewing will be between 6 at night and 2 in the morning with the most spectacular displays between 10 and 11 at night. But the Northern Lights play by their own rules and seeing them can never be promised.
Are there annual events that are worth attending while in Sweden?
Yes. The Gothenburg Aero Show in Gothenburg takes place in May. This is the largest air show in not only the country but the whole of Scandinavia.
Stockholm Pride is an annual gay pride festival held in August in the country’s capital city that enjoys the support of tens of thousands every year.
The Malmo Festival, Malmöfestivalen, is an exciting street festival held over one week every August. Features include Swedish cultural experiences, art, and music that draw well over a million visitors every year.
In November, the Stockholm International Film Festival is a favorite of the attractions in Sweden. It has established itself as a leading film festival in Europe and has earned its place as a major annual cultural event in Sweden.