SWEDEN

SWEDEN

SWEDEN

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Name: Gamla stan
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Gamla stan is the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Gamla stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. Officially Gamla stan includes the surrounding islets Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town's construction.

Stortorget is the name of the scenic large square in the centre of Gamla Stan, which is surrounded by old merchants' houses including the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building. The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. The following revolt and civil war led to the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and the subsequent election of King Gustav I.

As well as being home to the Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, and the Riddarholm church, Gamla stan also boasts Kungliga slottet, Sweden's baroque Royal Palace, built in the 18th century after the previous palace Tre Kronor burned down. The House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) is on the north-western corner of Gamla stan.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamla_stan
Name: Icehotel
Location: Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
The Icehotel is a hotel rebuilt each year with snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, about 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Kiruna. It is the world's first ice hotel.

After its first opening in 1990, the hotel has been rebuilt each year from December to April. The hotel, including the chairs and beds, is constructed from snow and ice blocks taken from the nearby Torne River. Artists are invited to create different rooms and decorations made by ice. Besides bedrooms, there is a bar, with glasses made of ice and an ice chapel that is popular with marrying couples. The structure remains below freezing, around −5 °C (23 °F).

Each spring, around March, Icehotel harvests tons of ice from the frozen Torne River and stores it in a nearby production hall with room for over 900 t (990 short tons) of ice and 27,000 t (30,000 short tons) of snow. The ice is used for creating Icebar designs and ice glasses, which are used for ice sculpting classes, events and product launches all over the world while the snow is used for building a strong structure for the building.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icehotel_(Jukkasjärvi)
Name: Skansen
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Skansen is the first open-air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. It was opened on 11 October 1891 by Artur Hazelius (1833–1901) to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era.

Skansen attracts more than 1.3 million visitors each year. The many exhibits over the 75 acre (300,000 m²) site include a full replica of an average 19th-century town, in which craftsmen in traditional dress such as tanners, shoemakers, silversmiths, bakers and glass-blowers demonstrate their skills in period surroundings. There is even a small patch growing tobacco used for the making of cigarettes. There is also an open-air zoo containing a wide range of Scandinavian animals including the bison, brown bear, moose, grey seal, lynx, otter, red fox, reindeer, wolf, and wolverine (as well as some non-Scandinavian animals because of their popularity). There are also farmsteads where rare breeds of farm animals can be seen.

In early December the site's central Bollnäs square is host to a popular Christmas market that has been held since 1903, attracting around 25,000 visitors each weekend.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skansen
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SWEDEN.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Swedish
Currency: Sweden Krona (SEK)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) / CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +46
Local / up-to-date weather in Stockholm (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Sweden travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Sweden, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SWEDEN.

The national currency is the Swedish krona (plural,: kronor), denoted by the abbreviation “kr” (ISO code: SEK). Swedes may call the currency “crowns” when speaking English. Don’t confuse it with the Norwegian or Danish krone. There is a preference for electronic payment systems (debit cards also known as kontokort or bankkort, credit cards etc) over cash as carrying cash is viewed as a safety issue (it discourages theft if the general population is aware that most people don’t carry cash). In remote areas of the country this preference could be even stronger than in metropolitan areas like Stockholm.

Automatic teller machines take major credit cards; as always, check with your card issuer for any charges. Most stores, restaurants and bars accept all major credit cards. There are a lot of automated vending machines that only accept payment cards; even some museums and hotels are cashless or cash free (kontantfri), which means that only payment cards can be used. Having said that, you can buy a Paygoo Mastercard gift card at any Pressbyrån outlet from 200 kr (+35 kr activation fee), which you can use for outlets that do not accept cash later in your trip. You might need an ID card or a passport when shopping with a credit card, though not in supermarkets and such where the PIN code is king. If you plan to use automated point-of-sale machines to checkout, you may need to know your card’s PIN number (check with your bank on how to get a PIN for your card if this isn’t the norm in your country) or ensure that it is contactless-ready (most but not all terminals offer this).

One krona equals 100 öre, but 1 krona is today the smallest coin. Ören remain in use only in electronic transactions; when payment is done in cash, prices are rounded to the nearest full krona.

As of June 30, 2017, all banknotes and coins, except the 10 kr coin, have been through a changeover. All older banknotes and coins are no longer valid. Invalid banknotes can be redeemed by private individuals only via the Swedish National Bank. Counterfeit Swedish money is very rare.

Cash currency exchange is best done at companies that have specialized in this, since many commercial banks are cashless on foreign currency. Forex has branches all over most of Sweden. X-change has branches in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Tavex has branches in and around Stockholm.

The domestic payment smartphone app Swish is commonly used. It requires an account in a Swedish bank. If you travel through the countryside, many small vendors (like cafés, gift shops, farm shops (gårdsbutik), and antiques shops) have opening hours in a certain season or a few days a week only. Some of them only offer Swish or cash as payment options. To be prepared, you might want to withdraw a smaller amount of cash at an ATM with a credit card in advance, perhaps 200 kr.

Cash machines:

The most used Swedish word for automated teller machine is Bankomat, although this is a trademark of the Trade Bank Consortium, much like the term cash point in the United Kingdom, and therefore not used by several banks. A more generic word would be Uttagsautomat; Uttag, Minuten and Kontanten may also occur. Nearly all machines regardless of operator will accept the MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron and American Express. You can withdraw up to 10 000 kr per use. During a seven-day period you can withdraw a maximum of 20 000 kr.

You have three attempts to enter the correct PIN code. If you fail a third time, the machine retains the card and closing it. In order to facilitate the visually impaired have the keys on the machines equipped with Braille. You may have spoken guidance, press the TALK button. In some ATMs you can withdraw euros if you have a card issued by a Swedish bank. You may take up the maximum per use. You can make multiple withdrawals after the other but a maximum 20 000 kr per week.

BY PLANE:

Domestic flights are mainly for travellers with more money than time, and for the vast distances of Norrland. There are low-price tickets, but they must be bought well in advance.

The most important domestic airlines:

  • SAS – the international airline, and flag carrier, has many domestic routes as well.
  • Norwegian – several domestic and international destinations.
  • BRA – several regional flights to most domestic airports.
  • Direktflyg – several domestic routes and also flights to Norway.

BY TRAIN:

Sweden has an extensive railway network. Most long-range lines are operated by the government-owned company SJ. To buy a railway ticket, or to obtain information, call +46 771 75 75 75, check their website, or download their mobile app. MTR Express also operates several trains between Gothenburg and Stockholm. Because point-to-point tickets are quite expensive, for more train journeys, a Sweden InterRail (for European citizens) or Eurail (for non-European citizens) pass might be useful. Purchasing single journey tickets online in advance can also help save money, although the cheapest tickets often come with more restrictions.

The national public transport carriers operate an alliance service called Resplus for multiple-leg travel. See Resrobot for an interactive journey planner.

Regional public transport typically has a carrier per county. For instance, when travelling regionally in the province of Scania (Skåne in Swedish), one should refer to Skånetrafiken. For travelling in the region of [Mälardalen] (the “Lake Mälaren Valley”), you can check all train and bus operators at Trafik i Mälardalen. This regional traffic cooperation includes many of Sweden’s major cities, such as Stockholm, Uppsala, Västerås, Linköping, Norrköping, Örebro and Eskilstuna.

BY BUS:

Flixbus and Nettbuss runs a number of bus lines in the southern third of the country, Götaland and Svealand. They tend to cost less than going by train, if you can’t take advantage of SJ’s youth discounts. Y-buss, tapanis, and Härjedalingen operate between Stockholm and Norrland.

Flixbus also operates from Stockholm and Göteborg to Oslo. At the county or län level, buses are a good method for travelling short distances from town to town, as they are more frequent and cheaper than trains. It is best to check with the local transportation authority for routes and schedules.

  • Bus4You is a high-comfort carrier.

City buses:

City buses are operated by the counties’ public-transport companies.

If you plan to use city buses, check out the local arrangements for how to obtain tickets. In many Swedish cities it is not possible to buy tickets for the city buses at the bus. In this case neither cash nor bank or credit cards are accepted. Instead you need an electronic bus card, a special card for each region, that sometimes also has to be filled with a minimum amount of money, typically 100 kr. This bus card can sometimes be obtained only at dedicated ticket offices, not at the bus, but can often be filled with money for travel at local shops or refill machines that are found at public places.

On long distance buses, passengers can normally buy tickets from the driver.

BY CAR:

Svealand and Götaland can be crossed by car within a day, but distances in Norrland tend to be larger, and settlements can be tens of kilometres apart. When available, air or rail travel are often faster. Travelling by night can be dangerous due to wild animals on the roads, and the cold nights during the winter. See E4 through Sweden and E6 through Sweden and Norway for two of the main highways. While traffic is less aggressive than in Denmark or Central Europe, traffic jams are common around Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Car crash rates in Sweden are among the lowest in Europe. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for everyone in the car. Driving tired is illegal and is treated the same way as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Animal collisions with moose, deer and boar are a major danger; these animals are commonly on the road, especially around dawn and dusk. The moose is a big and heavy animal (up to 700 kg and 2.1 m shoulder height) so a collision can be lethal.

Drunk driving is a serious crime, the laws are strictly enforced, and the punishments are harsh by international standards. The legal limit of 0.02% is lower than in most other western countries and as little as one beer may put you over the limit. Violations carry a hefty fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 6 months, while serious violations of 0.1% and higher carry a guaranteed prison sentence of up to 2 years. Be sure to either bring a designated driver, take a taxi or make use of public transport if you plan on drinking. The Stockholm port at Frihamnen has alcogates: an automated breathalyzer which reports drunk drivers to police.

BY FERRY:

Road ferries (ferries that constitute part of public roads) are yellow, run by Färjerederiet. An online map service showing all available road ferries and their daily schedule can be found on Trafikverket’s website.

The Swedish archipelagoes have boat services provided by the local county transport authority, in Swedish called skärgårdstrafik.

  • Destination Gotland runs domestic ferry lines from Nynäshamn and Oskarshamn to Visby, Gotland.
  • Ölandsfärjan runs a domestic ferry line in the summer season (mid-June to mid-August) between Oskarshamn and Byxelkrok on Öland.
  • Ventrafiken runs a domestic ferry line between Landskrona and Ven in Scania.

BY TAXI:

Taxi rip-off alert: never step into a Swedish taxi without checking the yellow price sign on the rear window first! Taxi drivers are legally allowed to charge rip-off prices as long as they are stated clearly on the sign. The taxi to the left is twice as expensive as the one to the right, and there are cases where tourists have been charged around 30,000 kr for a trip to the airport! The price tag should say around 300 kr for a Stockholm cab.

Taxis are generally easy to get and comfortable, but after the liberalisation, you should not call or step into a taxi without checking the price. Rip-off prices are legal. If you might want to use taxis, you should probably note the contact information of one or a few companies with decent pricing and enough presence in the city you are visiting.

BY BIKE:

Most Swedish cities have excellent bicycle paths, and renting a bike can be a quick and healthy method of getting around locally. Some cities have bikes for borrowing. Inter-city cycling is a good option for the experienced cyclist. While cycling is not allowed on motorways, most of them have a parallel old road without the heavy traffic.

EAT:

Swedish food is typical to the Nordic cuisine, based on meat (notably pork and game), fish, dairy products, potatoes and bread, together with berries and wild mushrooms. Fresh fruit and vegetables are rather recent additions to the menu.

Traditional everyday dishes are called husmanskost (pronounced whos-mans-cost). Some of them are:

  • Pickled herring (sill) is eaten with bread or potatoes for summer lunch or as a starter on the smörgåsbord, at traditional holidays.
  • Many forms of salmon (lax), especially cured salmon (gravlax).
  • Meatballs (köttbullar), the internationally most famous Swedish dish. Served with potatoes, brown sauce and lingonberry jam.
  • Hash (pytt i panna) consisting of meat, onions and potatoes, all diced and fried. Sliced beetroots and a fried or boiled whole eggs are mandatory accessories.
  • Pea soup (ärtsoppa) with diced pork, followed by thin pancakes, is traditionally eaten on Thursdays.
  • Blodpudding, a black sausage made by pig’s blood and flour, eaten with lingonberry jam.
  • Falukorv, a big baloney from Falun.
  • Sweden has many varieties of bread (bröd). Many of them are whole-grain or mixed grain, containing wheat, barley, oats, compact and rich in fiber. Some notable examples are tunnbröd (thin wrap bread), knäckebröd (hard bread – might has a bland taste, but is nearly always available), and different kinds of seasoned loaves. Bread is mostly eaten as simple sandwiches, with thin slices of cheese or cold cuts. Some spreads typical to Sweden are messmör (whey butter) and leverpastej (liver pâté).
  • Reindeer, ren, traditionally herded by the Sami people. Renskav is sliced, sautéed reindeer meat, preferably eaten with wild mushrooms, lingonberries and potatoes.
  • Tunnbrödrulle, a fast food dish, consisting of a bread wrap with mashed potatoes, a hot dog and some vegetables.
  • Kroppkakor Potato dumpling stuffed with diced pork, reminiscent of the German Klöße. Originally from Småland, there is also a variant from Piteå up north, known as pitepalt.
  • Hard cheese (ost): In an ordinary food market you can often find 10 to 20 different types of cheese. The most famous Swedish hard cheese would be Västerbotten, named after a region in Sweden.
  • Milk (mjölk) is commonly drunk during meals. Filmjölk is a Nordic yoghurt, eaten with breakfast cereal.
  • Rose hip soup (nyponsoppa) and bilberry soup (blåbärssoppa), for recovery of heat and energy during winter sports.

Other Swedish favorites:

  • Raggmunk, wheat flour, milk, egg, and shredded potatoes fried like thin pancakes served with fried pork (bacon) and lingonberries.
  • Soft whey butter (messmör), breadspread with a sweetish, hard-to-describe taste.
  • Caviar, not the expensive Russian or Iranian kind but a cheaper version made from cod roe, sold in tubes and used on sandwiches. The most famous brand is Kalles Kaviar.
  • Julmust, stout-like Christmas soft drink. Available during Easter as well, by then known as Påskmust.
  • Crayfish (kräftor), hugely popular around August, when Swedes feast on them at big crayfish parties (kräftskivor). Silly paper hats and lots of alcohol included.
  • Surströmming; the world’s stinkiest dish. See Nordic cuisine#Ingredients for details for how to eat it without disgusting oneself or the surroundings.
  • Semla, a cream-filled pastry traditionally eaten on Tuesdays in February and March, with start on Fat Tuesday.
  • Rabarberkräm/Rabarberpaj rhubarb cream or rhubarb pie with vanilla sauce (other cakes or pies on fresh blueberries, apples, or just strawberries with cream or ice cream are also very popular in the summer)
  • Spettekaka A local cake from Scania in south Sweden, made of eggs, sugar, and potato starch.
  • Smörgåstårta A cold Sandwich layer cake, often with salmon, eggs, and shrimps. (Also often with tuna or roast beef) Swedish people often eat it at New Year’s Eve, or birthdays and parties.
  • Lösgodis candy from boxes that you mix on your own, sold by weight, is one of the most popular candy among this candy-loving nation. A choice of chocolate, sours, sweet and salt liqorice are always offered.
  • Swedish cookies and pastries like bondkakor, hallongrottor, bullar or cakes like prinsesstårta are widely popular. It used to be tradition to offer guest 7 different cookies when invited over for coffee. If you have a sweet tooth you should try chokladbollar, mazariner, biskvier, rulltårta or lussebullar.

As Sweden is stretched out between central Europe and the Arctic, there are many regional specialties. Among the more exotic are:

  • Surströmming, a stinky canned fish popular along the Norrland coast.
  • Spettekaka, a meringue-like cake from Scania.

As in most of Europe, inexpensive pizza and kebab restaurants are ubiquitous in Swedish cities, and are also to be found in almost every small village. Swedish pizza is significantly different from Italian or American pizzas. Sushi and Thai food are also quite popular. The local hamburger chain Max is recommended before McDonald’s and Burger King, for tasteful Scandinavian furnishing, clean restrooms, no trans fats and free coffee with meals. In parts of Norrland it is customary to eat hamburgers with fork and knife – available at Max. Another Swedish chain Frasses offers apart from all kinds of meaty burgers a tasty vegetarian alternative – a quornburger. Another type of fast food establishment is the gatukök (“street kitchen”), serving hamburgers, hot dogs, kebab and tunnbrödrulle (se above).

Highway diners, vägkrogar, have generous meals, but might be of poor quality, greasy and overpriced. If you have time, a downtown restaurant is preferable. Gas stations sell decent packed salads and sandwiches.

You can get a relatively inexpensive lunch if you look for the signs with “Dagens rätt” or just “Dagens” (Today’s special or literally meal of the day). This normally costs about 50-120 kr, and almost everywhere includes a bottle of water; soft drink; or light beer, bread & butter, salad bar and coffee afterwards. Dagens rätt is served Monday to Friday.

If you’re on a tight budget, self-catering is the safest way to save your money.

Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are accepted in cities, less common in the countryside, where fishing and hunting are a national pastime. You should be able to find a falafel in any medium-sized town; or you may negotiate a price to only access the salad bar, as all well assorted eateries have one.

DRINK:

Coffee:

Swedish consumption of coffee (kaffe) is among the highest in the world. Drinking coffee at home or in a café, an act called fika, is a common Swedish social ritual, used for planning activities, dating, exchanging gossip or simply spending time and money. Swedish coffee is filtered and usually stronger than American coffee – but still not the espresso of France or Italy. Italian varieties (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte) are available at larger city cafés. Sweden has several domestic café franchises (Espresso House, Wayne’s Coffee, Coffeehouse by George) with an international atmosphere, and a broad selection of coffees, sandwiches, and cakes.

One cup is around 25 kr, usually including a refill, påtår. Retailers like IKEA, Biltema, and City Gross sell coffee with refill at their cafés for 5 kr a cup.

The traditional Swedish café is called konditori, and every city and town has at least one. They offer warm beverages as coffee, tea and cocoa, and an assortment of cookies, pastry and perhaps also smörgås, the Swedish open sandwich, and fralla, the Swedish closed sandwich. The sandwiches offered can vary a lot depending on where you are in Sweden.

Alcoholic beverages:

The most famous Swedish alcoholic beverage is Absolut Vodka, one of the world’s most famous vodkas. There are several brands of distilled, and usually seasoned, liquor, called brännvin. Brännvin does not have as high requirements on distilling as for Vodka and it is distilled from potatoes or grain. Liquor seasoned with dill and caraway is called akvavit. When brännvin is served in a shot glass with a meal it is called snaps (not to confuse with the German “Schnapps”). It is part of custom to drink snaps at occasions such as midsummers eve, Crayfish party, Christmas, student parties, etc. Often it is done together with a snapsvisa to every drink (a typical snapsvisa is a short, vigorous song; its lyrics usually tell of the delicacy and glory of the drink, or of the singer’s craving for snaps, or about anything in a cheeky way).

Punsch (not to be confused with punch) is a traditional sweet liqueur made from a combination of water, lemon, sugar, spirits and arrack, unique for Sweden and Finland. It can be served both warm and cold, usually has 25% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 30% sugar, and is by tradition often served at Thursdays together with pea & pork soup and pancakes. It grew very popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, generating a strong punsch-culture with numerous special punsch drinking songs, and maintains a strong precence in Swedish student culture.

If visiting Sweden in December or January a typical hot drink is glögg (similar to mulled wine or Glühwein). It is often served together with ginger bread and lussebullar or at the julbord (Christmas buffet). The main classic ingredients (of alcoholic glögg) are red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy. There is also non alcoholic versions of glögg.

Sweden does produce some outstanding beers, and there has been a rise in the numbers of microbreweries. If you are looking for great local beer keep an eye out for breweries like Slottskällans, Nils Oscar, Närke kulturbryggeri, Jämtlands ångbryggeri and Dugges Ale- & Porterbryggeri. You may have some trouble finding them, unless you go to a bar specialized in providing uncommon beer, or one of the well stocked Systembolaget, but you will find a few of them in every major city. Despite this the most common beer is the rather plain “international lager”. The beer you get in normal food shops is called folköl and has 2.8 or 3.5% alcohol. You are able to find a variety of different brands of beers in food stores, Swedish, English and even Czech beer. Sweden has a seasonal beer for Christmas, julöl. It is sweeter than normal beer and usually seasoned with Christmas spices, mostly it is of the beer type ale. All Swedish breweries make at least one type of julöl. Wine is popular, but the Swedish production is very modest.

Drinking alcohol in parks and public areas is generally allowed, with some obvious exceptions (playgrounds, schoolyards, etc.) or if notifications don’t state the opposite. Drinking at public transport stations is prohibited, with the exception of in restaurants or on trains or boats, and then only alcohol bought on location.

Establishments with permission to sell alcohol are violating their permission when selling alcohol “to go” (to be consumed outside the establishment). Establishments with permission to serve all sorts of alcohol will announce this as having fullständiga rättigheter (full rights).

Systembolaget:

Beer and lager up to 3.5% ABV is readily available in supermarkets at 10-15 kr a piece, but strong alcoholic beverages are, as in Norway, Finland and Iceland available over the counter only from the state-owned retailer, Systembolaget (also sometimes referred to as Systemet or Bolaget). They are usually open M-W 10:00-18:00, Th F 10:00-19:00, and Sa 10:00-15:00 , with long queues on Fridays and Saturdays, closing at the minute no matter how long the queue outside the store is, something the Swedes themselves joke about. They are always closed on Sundays. Most shops are of supermarket style. The assortment is very good, and the staff usually has great knowledge. Systembolaget does not serve customers already intoxicated or under the age of 20, and will most likely ask for identification from customers looking younger than 25. This also applies to any companions, regardless of who is making the actual purchase.

Beverages are heavily taxed by content of alcohol, some liquor is very expensive (vodka is around 300 kr a litre at Systembolaget), but the monopoly has brought some perks – Systembolaget is one of the world’s largest bulk-buyers of wine, and as such gets some fantastic deals which it passes on to consumers. Mid-to-high-quality wines often cost less in Sweden than in the country of origin; sometimes even less than if you were to buy the wine directly from the vineyard. This does not apply to low-quality wines or hard liquor, due to the volume-based tax on alcohol.

All brands are treated equally and there is no large-pack discount. Therefore, microbrews cost largely the same as major brands, and might be a more interesting choice. Beverages are not refrigerated. Drinking alcohol in public is usually allowed, with a few restrictions, such as shopping centres, playgrounds and public transport areas.

CAMPING:

The Right to access (Allemansrätten) allows anyone to camp in uncultivated areas (including private property, but not near houses) without asking. There are certain limitations, for instance you are only allowed to stay at a certain spot for one night, before you have to move on. If you are travelling to Sweden in the summer, check out the local conditions when it comes to camp fires. Forests in Sweden can get very dry and temporary bans on lighting fires are not unusual.

Check with SMHI, the meteorological agency, for up-to-date weather forecasts, including fire risks and other weather-related warnings, such as storms, floods and blizzards.

If you prefer camping a bit more organized, most towns have campsites with showers and electricity. Expect to pay around 100–150 kr for a tentsite. More info on the official site for Swedish campsites: camping.se. The leading chain is called First Camp.

HOSTELS:

Svenska Turistföreningen, STF, is by far the most important operator of hostels, vandrarhem, in Sweden, with a network of more than 300 hostels around the country. Membership for foreigners is 175 kr, and if you plan to stay four nights or more at hostels in Sweden you should join, since non-members pay an additional 45 kr per night. STF is affiliated with Hostelling International or HI, and if you are a member of any HI organisation you are considered a member of STF.

STF offers beds for the night in dorms or single and double rooms. The concept is standardized throughout Sweden, and only includes the price of the bed or room, with access to common kitchen facilities, common bath rooms and showers. Some hostels have double rooms with bath room and shower en suite.

Sveriges vandrarhem i förening, SVIF is another nation-wide hostel confederation.

The price per night per person in a hostel is 80-280 kr depending on where the hostel is located and how classy or tacky it is. Sheets are required (just a sleeping bag is not enough) and if you don’t bring any you have to purchase at the hostel for around 50 kr. You are expected to clean out your room when leaving. Cooking equipment is normally available at all hostels for those who want to self-cater.

Some hostels are more spectacular than others; for instance Jumbostay at Arlanda Airport, located inside a decommissioned Boeing 747, and Långholmen Hostel in Stockholm, that used to be a prison.

Apartments and B&B:s are not the same thing, but Swedish online booking agencies tend to think so. Renting an apartment may be an interesting option if you plan to stay for a few nights in one of the major cities and want more privacy than a hostel offers.

Road signs with the word Rum don’t show the way to the nearest drinking den for pirates – rum in Swedish means “room”, and that sign points to a B&B.

HOTELS:

Normal Swedish hotels tend to be clean, not-so-interesting and fairly expensive. A single room can easily set you back 1000 kr. Most towns, even smaller ones, still have a traditional stadshotell, Statt, (town hotel) somewhere in the city center, which usually contains the town’s largest restaurant and/or nightclub. On a more positive note, breakfast buffets at Swedish hotels are often impressive with plenty to choose from – try not to be in too much of a hurry in the morning! Major hotel chains include Scandic and First.

It doesn’t matter how many circumflexes Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel uses, or how many celebrities stay there, the coolest hotel in Sweden is the Icehotel. Located in the village of Jukkasjärvi in the far north, it is a hotel built from snow and ice. It melts in spring and is rebuilt every winter. Ice hotels are built in several other countries, but the one in Jukkasjärvi is the original. One night in a single room is 2850 kr, book in advance.

There are an increasing number of hotels in Sweden that are “cashless” which means cash may no longer be used to settle payments. Thus, make sure you have a debit/credit card or try to settle your accommodation payment before you start your trip.

VACATION HOMES:

Sweden has 680,000 vacation homes. Many of those are old farmhouses, or simple cabins from the early 20th century. While dwellings in holiday hotspots such as the Stockholm archipelago, Åre or Visby can cost as much as an urban home, woodland farmhouses in Småland or far-off parts of Norrland can be bought for a token sum of money. As Sweden is a high-income country, carpentry and other home improvement services are costly; do it yourself is usually the most economic option. Most vacation homes (except the most isolated ones) have electricity. Countryside or island houses usually have no public water supply, and rely on a local water pump, and an outhouse.

  • An unofficial national symbol, the Dala Horse (Swedish: dalahäst) is the souvenir of souvenirs to bring from Sweden. Named after their origin, the province of Dalarna, these small wooden horses have been around since the 17th century. They are normally painted orange or blue with symmetrical decorations. They are fairly expensive: expect to pay around 100 kr for a very small one or several hundred kronor for bigger versions. The horses can be bought in souvenir shops all over Sweden. If you want to know more about how the horses are made, visit Dalarna and the municipality of Mora where the horses are carved and painted in workshops open for tourists. And if driving towards Mora from Stockholm, keep your eyes open when you pass the town of Avesta where the world’s largest (13 meters high) Dala Horse overlooks the highway.
  • Swedish glass is world famous for its beauty. Several skilled glass artists have contributed to this reputation through innovative, complex (and expensive) art creations, but mass-produced Swedish table glass has also been an international success. Part of the province of Småland, between the towns of Växjö and Kalmar, is known as the Kingdom of Crystal. 15 glassworks are packed into this small area, the most famous being Orrefors, Kosta and Boda. Tourists are welcome to watch the glass blowers turn the glowing melt into glittering glass, and you can even give it a try yourself.
  • High-end wines from Systembolaget.
  • Swedish design, spanning from furniture to jewelry, is known for function, efficiency and minimalism. Designtorget is a chain of stores with a wide range of everyday products; Lagerhaus is another. Svenskt Tenn is another store with beautiful items by designers such as Josef Frank.
  • There are some items for the home that are invented by Swedes that might be fun to bring home such as safety matches, adjustable spanners or adjustable wrenches, paraffin cooking stove (Primuskök) or a good old Celsius thermometer.
  • Flea markets are literally translated as loppmarknad or loppis, and one of few places where haggling is accepted.
**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Sweden
TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Gamla stan
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Gamla stan is the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Gamla stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. Officially Gamla stan includes the surrounding islets Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town's construction.

Stortorget is the name of the scenic large square in the centre of Gamla Stan, which is surrounded by old merchants' houses including the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building. The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. The following revolt and civil war led to the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and the subsequent election of King Gustav I.

As well as being home to the Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, and the Riddarholm church, Gamla stan also boasts Kungliga slottet, Sweden's baroque Royal Palace, built in the 18th century after the previous palace Tre Kronor burned down. The House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) is on the north-western corner of Gamla stan.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamla_stan
Name: Icehotel
Location: Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
The Icehotel is a hotel rebuilt each year with snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, about 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Kiruna. It is the world's first ice hotel.

After its first opening in 1990, the hotel has been rebuilt each year from December to April. The hotel, including the chairs and beds, is constructed from snow and ice blocks taken from the nearby Torne River. Artists are invited to create different rooms and decorations made by ice. Besides bedrooms, there is a bar, with glasses made of ice and an ice chapel that is popular with marrying couples. The structure remains below freezing, around −5 °C (23 °F).

Each spring, around March, Icehotel harvests tons of ice from the frozen Torne River and stores it in a nearby production hall with room for over 900 t (990 short tons) of ice and 27,000 t (30,000 short tons) of snow. The ice is used for creating Icebar designs and ice glasses, which are used for ice sculpting classes, events and product launches all over the world while the snow is used for building a strong structure for the building.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icehotel_(Jukkasjärvi)
Name: Skansen
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Skansen is the first open-air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. It was opened on 11 October 1891 by Artur Hazelius (1833–1901) to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era.

Skansen attracts more than 1.3 million visitors each year. The many exhibits over the 75 acre (300,000 m²) site include a full replica of an average 19th-century town, in which craftsmen in traditional dress such as tanners, shoemakers, silversmiths, bakers and glass-blowers demonstrate their skills in period surroundings. There is even a small patch growing tobacco used for the making of cigarettes. There is also an open-air zoo containing a wide range of Scandinavian animals including the bison, brown bear, moose, grey seal, lynx, otter, red fox, reindeer, wolf, and wolverine (as well as some non-Scandinavian animals because of their popularity). There are also farmsteads where rare breeds of farm animals can be seen.

In early December the site's central Bollnäs square is host to a popular Christmas market that has been held since 1903, attracting around 25,000 visitors each weekend.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skansen
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