Travel guide to Sweden

» Sweden
En tur til vores nordiske naboland er en rejse gennem flot natur fra nord til syd. Afbrudt af hyggelige småbyer og storbyer med alsidig kultur.

Facts

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Local name
Sverige
Capital
Stockholm
Size
450.000 square kilometres
Principal Languages
Swedish. A minority in Lapland speaks samisk.
Principal Religion
The Swedish Church (Evangelic Lutheran). The national church was separated from the state in January 2000.
Inhabitants
8.9 millions
Government
Constitutional monarchy, Kong Carl XVI since 1973.
Geography
Sweden borders on Norway towards the west and on Finland towards the northeast with a long coastline facing the Baltic Sea in the south and east. About half of Sweden is covered by forest and most of the around thousand lakes are to be found in the southern and central part of Sweden. The largest lake is Vänern, which covers over 5,400 square kilometres. Lapland in the northern part of the country has many mountains and stretches beyond the Arctic Circle.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

You can go to Sweden all year. Cold winters (not too cold though) create the perfect weather for skiing and winter holidays. In summers it is beautiful everywhere with all the lakes and coasts. Stockholm is always interesting and has a cultural life all year.

Literature

Lonely Planet Sweden (2000 edition) Rough Guide Sweden; Rough Guides

Local conditions

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Currency

Swedish krona (SEK)

In case of emergency

Emergencies: Dial 112.

Tipping

They do not normally give tips in Sweden. Most places, for example restaurants and cafés, have already put an extra service fee on top of the price when you get the bill. The wardrobe personnel expects a couple of kronar in tipping for their service though.

Timezone

When it is 12.00 in Britain, it is 13.00 in Sweden.

Weight and Measures

The metric system.

Photography

There are no problems in general photographing anything you want to - be respectful to locals though and ask their permission first.

Drinking water

Tapwater is safe everywhere. In the country and in the mountains it is normal to drink water from the streams, which is actually melt water from the mountains.

Electricity

As in Denmark

Behaviour

the Scandinavian countries are very similar on this point and there are no particular rules of behaviour.

Business Hours

Banks are open from 9.30 to 15.00 (Monday - Friday). Banks in large cities are open to 18.00, but all banks are closed during the weekend. Shop are generally open from 9.00 to 17.00 (Monday - Friday), and from 10.00 to 16.00 on Saturdays. Some are open Saturdays and Sundays, though.

Food and drink

A Swedish speciality is mashed potatoes (mos) with a sausage (korv) or - for example - shrimp salad. It is sold at hot-dog stands and the Swedish often eat it as a snack between meals or as lunch. Otherwise the Swedish have regional meals such as Jansons fristelser and the famous smorgås. And then there is the national food, Krebs (crayfish), which they eat at festive crayfish-parties in August. Wine and beer (ordinary and strong) are only sold in System Bolaget - controlled by the Swedish State. It is therefore expensive and the opening hours are few. Normally you bring your own wine and beer in Sweden.

Disabled travellers

Sweden is one of the best countries in the world for disabled travellers. The facilities are excellent and at many camping grounds such facilities are a standard part of the service.

Holidays

New Year's Day, Epiphany (6 January), Easter Friday /Good Friday and Easter Monday, 1 May, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, midsummer holiday (late in June, the date varies), All Saints, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Saint Stefan's Day) are all public holidays, where banks and most shops close.

Accommodation / Hotel

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Camping

Family camping and family holidays are very popular in Sweden, and there is therefore a large variety of camping areas and sites, both organised and unorganised, on offer . Most camping grounds are situated in very beautiful landscapes, often around a lake or by the sea, and they have cheap or free bathing facilities close by.

Hotels

Swedish hotels have a very high standard; most have a restaurant or cafeteria and a television room. There is no formal categorisation of hotels, but the best hotels are marked with an SHR-sign, which indicates that the hotel is a member of the Swedish Hotel and Restaurant Association.

Bed og breakfast or guesthouse

There are over 310 youth hostels in Sweden. They can be everything from old, rebuilt luxury flats to renovated sailing ships. They are closed during the daytime, but open from 8 to 9.30 and from 17 to 22.

Hostels

Sweden has plenty of good hostels, inns or small mountain hotels. The facilities are usually well maintained and they offer good service.

Local transport

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Planes

SAS and Linjeflyg (LF) operate in over 30 local airports. Flights are relatively cheap and both companies have reduced prices on quite a few departures.

Bus

There are good bus connections between all cities in Sweden, and they are surprisingly efficient. Buses also have reduced prices, especially Friday/Saturday. Information can be obtained at the local tourist offices.

Taxi

In large cities there is no longer a state-monopoly on taxi driving, which has been very good for any small and cheap companies. They can be recognised by their very small cars! You can pretty much get a taxi anywhere.

Car rental

It is of course always possible to rent a car.

Find your travel arrangement to Sweden here

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