Things to know about Sweden
Time zone: CET (UTC +1), summertime, CEST (UTC +2).
The capital of Sweden is Stockholm
Sweden is the fifth biggest country in Europe at 447,435 km2.
You can stand in three countries at once in Sweden at a point called Treriksrӧset, where the borders of Sweden, Norway, and Finland meet.
The name “Siri” is very popular in Sweden but it has nothing to do with Apple. It is short for “Sigrid” and more than 10,000 females in Sweden are named “Siri.”
You can go anywhere you want in Sweden as it is one of the few countries where you don’t have to pay to pitch a tent in nature or get fined for walking across private land.
Currency and Language
The official language is Swedish but there are other languages spoken including English, Finnish, Jiddisch, Meänkieli, Romani and Sami. English has more than 8.2 million speakers in Sweden with 90% of the population speaking it fluently as a second language.
The official currency is the Swedish Krona, or “crowns,” (SEK). Sweden does not accept the Euro and there are no talks of it replacing the Swedish Krona.
Big aspects of Swedish culture
Coffee and Food
Coffee breaks are no small thing in Sweden, in fact, this break has its own word; “fika.” Fika translates to “a coffee and cake break,” and it is part of the fabric of the culture. For most Swedes, making time for Fika is a non-negotiable part of the day; here friends and coworkers share a coffee and a little sweet treat. Swedes drink more coffee per capita than any other nation in the world; there is a cafe around every corner of Sweden. Swedish food is also very simple and flavourful with a high value placed on local ingredients.
Forest covers more than half of Sweden
Sweden is one of the world’s greenest countries. More than 60% of Sweden’s land area is forest. This translates to approximately 23 million hectares of forest which is roughly the size of the United Kingdom! So, when in Sweden, everywhere you look you will see green fields and hills, mountains, lakes, and groundwater streams.
Moose are the national pride
The moose is the most popular animal in Sweden simply because there are more than 300,000 moose running in the Swedish forests. The locals refer to the moose as the king of the Swedish forest. Each year approximately 100,000 moose are hunted in autumn, but that same amount is born in spring and so the amount of moose is always balanced.
Unique location and weather
Sweden moves from one end of the daylight spectrum to the other in a year because it is so far to the north of the globe. A special aspect of this is the natural wonder of the midnight sun when it doesn’t set completely below the horizon resulting in 24-hour sunlight. This can be seen during the summer months in the most northern part of Sweden from May to July.
Sweden is the world’s third-largest music exporter after the United States and the UK. They are well-known for producing sensational pop music and musicians like ABBA, Swedish House Mafia and Icona Pop. Swedish musicians and producers have also written hits for the likes of Britney Spears and Taylor Swift.
The best time to visit Sweden
Amazing experiences to have in Sweden
Island-hopping in the Stockholm Archipelago
The Stockholm Archipelago is made up of 30,000 islands, skerries and rocks scattered over 1,680 km2. You can take a guided archipelago cruise or one of the many passenger ferries that will take you to the best destinations throughout the region.
Take a scenic train ride
You can see the beautiful Swedish countryside on the Inlandsbanan, (the “Inland Line”). This luxury train travels north to Gällivare which is about 100km north of the Arctic Circle. During this ride, there are numerous stops at popular tourist destinations like the Jamtli museum, and the Ájtte Mountain and Sámi Museum in Jokkmokk. This is a wonderful shortcut to see a lot of interior Sweden
Visit a castle or a palace
Sweden is another one of those European countries with numerous castles, palaces and historical homes. You can take a tour of the Swedish Royal Palace or take a scenic walk through the gardens of Drottningholm Palace which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are just two of many historical castles and palaces in Sweden.
Get a feel of ancient Stockholm
Stockholm began as the Old Town, or “Gamla Stan,” which dates back to the 13th century. This mediaeval enclave is in typical Scandinavian style architecture and is regularly brushed and repainted. The architecture is truly charming with its narrow stone-paved sidewalks, cobblestone streets and all the little squares, mainly Stortorget which is surrounded by merchant’s houses. There are also many restaurants and shops along this area making it a lovely option for a day trip.
Experience the original Ice Hotel
The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Lapland, was the first ice hotel in the world when it was built in 1989. Each room and all the furnishings are recreated from ice in a new design every year in the winter months. In summer, the hotel becomes a centre for river rafting, paddleboarding, canoeing and fishing which means you can visit this destination at any time of the year.
Travelling to Sweden from the UAE
Citizens of the UAE do not need a tourist visa to get into Sweden, provided the intended stay is less than 90 days. You just need to ensure the validity of your current passport, that your passport has blank Visa pages and that you don’t need a transit visa for any connections.
Sweden is part of the Schengen cooperation agreement therefore if you live in the UAE you may need to apply for a schengen visa depending on your nationality.
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