IKEA, Abba, Spotify and northern lights are usually things that come to mind when you’re thinking about Sweden. But it is so much more than that and traveling to this beautiful country should be on your bucket list by now! Sweden has a population of about 10 million inhabitants and is a very long, skinny country, this is very important to remember for later. Sweden offers beautiful nature, interesting history and a variety of foods but there are some things you should know before visiting this interesting Scandinavian country.
Getting around in Sweden
Whilst visiting getting around is easy. Sweden has a great railway-system that connects almost every major city in the country. The down side of traveling by train can be that it’s very expensive if you don’t book beforehand and it also takes quite a long time. SJ is the biggest railway company and where you can find tickets from all stations in Sweden. Taking the train from Malmö in the south to Kiruna in the north takes about 20hrs and you have to change trains a couple of time. But if you’re going from Gothenburg to Stockholm the train is definitely the way to go!
As I said earlier, Sweden is tall and skinny. Traveling from west to east is not a big deal, but north to south takes several hours. Another way to get around is by plane, this is what I recommend if you’re traveling from the south to the north or the other way around. BRA is the domestic flight operator in Sweden and is where you should look if you’re interested in flying domestic. Other ways of getting around are FlixBus or Nettbuss.
Sweden offers a wide variety of hotels, hostels, AirBnB’s and campgrounds. For finding hotels I recommend Sweden Hotels or Hotels.com. Hotels start from about 600 SEK a night for one adult. For finding hostels the best way is to look at the Swedish Tourist Association they own the majority of the hostels, mountain cabins and mountain stations in Sweden. Also SVIF offers a good amount of hostels. Hostelworld and hostels.com also work in Sweden. Hostels costs from about 200 SEK a night.
If you’re looking to camp in; you’re in luck! Sweden has a law called Allemansrätten, which basically means that you are allowed to camp almost everywhere in the forests. With exception of where there is a sign that says otherwise. But this should be taken with a grain of salt. Don’t camp next to someones house or ruin someones ground. Be respectful. If you want to camp in a camping with your RV or van the easiest way to find campsites are via Camping.
Eating & drinking
I’m going to be 100% honest with you here. It’s an expensive place to visit. If you’re staying for a longer period of time I recommend buying groceries and doing some cooking yourself if you can! Meats and cheese are especially expensive so eating a more plant based diet will benefit you. Different studies show that about 10% of the population are either vegetarian or vegan and a contributing factor can definitely be the expensive food. Eating out can be fun and the big cities offer a big variety of cuisine. What ever you what, Sweden probably has it!
Tipping in Sweden is not as common as it is abroad and most Swedes only tip once in a while and never when they’re eating lunch. But if you do want to tip between 5-10% is a good amount. If you are looking for a fun night out you should come prepared. Sweden adds a 25% tax to all alcoholic drinks so don’t be surprised if you end up paying 150-200 SEK for a long drink or 60-100 SEK for a glass of wine. Getting in to clubs also usually costs between 120-250 SEK per person. Beer is the cheapest drink to drink and if you like beer there are many exciting ones to try! On TripAdvisor you can find many good restaurants in Sweden.
Things to do
Sweden has many things to do no matter what season you visit. It is an amazing summer destination as well as a winter destination. In the summer there are several events that take place such as Medeltidsveckan (The Medieval Week) in Visby, the music festival Sweden Rock (amongst many other) and Midsummer! Other things to do in the summer are biking the Kattegatt-trail or learning more about the Swedish history by visiting a museum (many museums has free entry!). Another beautiful place worth visiting is the island of Öland. It’s an idyllic summer paradise, perfect for celebrating midsummer!
If you are brave enough you should visit in the winter time! Yes, it will be cold but you will have the time of your life. This country is literally a winter paradise. You can spot northern lights, ride a dog sled and hang out with reindeers. Remember earlier when I told you about Sweden being tall and skinny? If you want to experience these things you need to get up far north! Swedish Lapland offers all of the things mentioned above so if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience you should visit Lapland. If you’re feeling really brave you can even stay at the Ice Hotel while you’re at it. The north also offers som great skiing if you like an active vacation!
Hopefully this post helped you with your plans to visit this wonderful destination! If you have any other questions about Sweden I’m happy to answer them, just post them in the comments below. If you want more Sweden-related content head over to my Instagram where I regularly post pictures of things to do, places to visit and other Sweden content!