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Country Facts

100,000 lakes, forests that cover half the country, snow-capped mountains, wide, grassy plains, a 7000-kilometre long coastline, flat woodlands, countless islands and ultra-urban spaces are contrasts that make Sweden one of the loveliest countries in Europe. Well-known for ABBA, Björn Borg, Ericsson, Saab, Volvo and IKEA, Swedes are a friendly and welcoming tribe.

To get under Swedish skin read Charlotte Rosen Svensson's 'Culture Shock! Sweden: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette', watch works by Ingmar Bergman and listen to the Cardigans.

  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Official Languages: Swedish
  • Government: Constitutional monarchy
  • Currency: Krona
  • Time Zone: +1:00 GMT (4 ½ hrs behind India)
  • Telephone Calling Code: 0046

When To Go

Best time to visit: Late May to July (summer) and December to March for skiing. The coldest month is February at 0°C and the warmest is July at 17°C. Snow is rare, but it rains all year round.

What To Do

If there's one thing Swedish cuisine has contributed to culinary vocabulary, it's the word 'smörgåsbord', a buffet-style meal that offers up a variety of dishes, a service offered in Swedish restaurants. Fish, game, potatoes and milk make up staple Swedish fare, mostly in the form of open-faced sandwiches and pastries. Snaps (pronounced schnapps) is a traditional shot of strong alcohol, usually vodka or akvavit.

What to eat and drink
  • Ärtsoppa: Traditional yellow pea soup
  • Pytt i panna: Fried potatoes, sausages and onions with beet and a fried egg
  • Janssons frestelse: Potato casserole made with onion, cream and anchovies
  • Kåldolmar: Cabbage rolls
  • Surströmming: Pickled herring with a strong odour. Definitely an acquired taste
  • Meatballs with lingonberry
  • Punschrulle: A cylindrical pastry covered with green marzipan and chocolate-covered ends, stuffed with crushed cookies, butter, and coco, flavoured with Punsch liqueur
  • Local beer: Pripps Blå and Norrlands Guld brands
  • Vodka: Absolut and Explorer brands

Anything portable from IKEA, a phone from Ericsson, tennis memorabilia and schnapps.



Travel Tips

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