Sweden


A Visitor’s Guide To Sweden

Occupying a large part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe, Sweden is another country which used to have quite a large empire across northern and central Europe, but during the eighteenth and nineteenth century saw much of this empire dwindle in size. Today Sweden is a country that is known for being particularly wealthy and successful, and has a constitutional monarchy providing the figurehead for the state. Another interesting aspect of the country is that around fifteen per cent of its territory lies within the Arctic Circle, with the long cold winter nights perhaps contributing to the time available to write pop songs, with a series of successful artists leaving Sweden to find worldwide fame.

While Sweden does have a low crime rate, the US State Department advises visitors to the country to remain vigilant as it is a nation that has previously been targeted by terrorists.

Top Sights To Visit In Sweden

Stockholm – The city of Stockholm is one that is based on a series of islands with bridges and canals linking the different areas of the city. There are attractive buildings like the Storkyrkan Cathedral and excellent views from the Skyview, while taking a boat tour is a great way to see the city.

Karlskrona – This attractive town has a series of beautiful Baroque buildings in the center, while visitors can also explore the large Maritime Museum, and take a short boat trip to see the stunning churches on Trosso Island.

Are – As the largest and most popular skiing area in the country, Are has a wealth of hotels and bars aimed at visitors to the area, while there is also a natural half pipe popular among snowboarders, while the town is also home to the world’s largest zip line park.

Jukkasjarvi Ice Hotel – This interesting attraction is one that is rebuilt every year, and is built of ice blocks near the village of Jukkasjarvi in northern Sweden, with the ice bars offering an interesting and fun place to enjoy a drink.

Drottningholm Palace – Although this is the private residence of the Swedish Royal Family, visitors can explore the lovely gardens of the palace, and see attractive sights such as the Palace Theater and the Chinese Pavilion.

The Old Town Of Visby -This historic town is to be found on the island of Gotland off the east coast of Sweden, and is a popular destination thanks to its historic city walls and the series of medieval church ruins that can be seen in the town.

Salen – Following Are, this is Sweden’s second most popular skiing destination having been welcoming visitors for over ninety years, with several routes for downhill, cross country and traditional slopes spread over seven different skiing areas.

The High Coast – This area overlooks the Gulf of Bothnia that separates Sweden and Finland, and has some stunning landscapes with high cliffs formed by the retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age, and is also home to a lovely 128 kilometer hiking trail called the Hoga Kustenleden.

The Tanum Rock Carvings – Located on the west coast of Sweden this historic site is located near the town of Tanumshede, and offers a series of rock carvings depicting humans, ships, and agricultural work on a series of rock faces.

Orebro Castle – Lying on a river island in the city of Orebro, this castle was gradually developed from a single tower in the thirteenth century through to the larger castle which was built in the sixteenth century, and while a small area is a private residence most of the castle can be explored.

Where To Stay In Sweden

Stockholm

New World Hotel – Offering visitors clean and comfortable rooms that are airy and spacious, this hotel offers guests nice bathrooms and wireless internet, while also being just a short journey from the main sights of the city.

Stockholm Hostel – Offering brightly colored accommodation with comfortable and affordable rooms, guests can also enjoy nice bathrooms, flat screen televisions and wi-fi access, while the location is just a short walk from the city center.

Gothenburg

Hotel Lorensberg – Located in the Nya Ullevi district within walking distance of the main sights of the city, this hotel provides comfortable and tastefully designed accommodation with rooms enjoying televisions and a desk, along with access to a pleasant outdoor terrace.

Hotel & Vandrarhem 10 – A short distance outside the city center this hotel offers simple and affordable rooms that are pleasantly decorated, with good transport links on offer into the city center.

Are

Hotell Karolinen Are – This lovely welcoming hotel offers a great base from which to enjoy the ski slopes in the area, providing a roaring fire in the communal area of the hotel along with access to a hot tub and sauna, with comfortable and stylish rooms.

Strandgarden Bed & Breakfast – Just a quick drive from Are, this bed and breakfast offers competitively priced accommodation that is ideal for the nearby ski slopes, with an indoor swimming pool and attractive rustic rooms.

Malmo

First Hotel Jorgen Kock – The stylish and modern rooms in this hotel offer a comfortable and welcoming refuge in the city, while the bathrooms are pleasant with luxury toiletries, along with access to the attractive communal areas.

Villa Rooms Guest House – For those who are looking for good affordable accommodation in Malmo, this hotel is a great choice with simple and attractive rooms and bathrooms with a shower, while also having good transport links to the city center.

Swedish Cuisine

Because Sweden is quite a large country stretching up into the Arctic Circle, there are quite significant regional variations in the cuisine, with the south of the country tending to take more influence from Northern European food. Among the most popular dishes to be exported from Sweden are meatballs, which are usually served with a creamy sauce and a tart lingonberry jam to provide a contrast to the flavor. A Smorgastarta is a popular dish for larger gatherings, as it is a large savory sandwich cake, while Lutfisk is another distinctly Scandinavian dish where chunks of white fish are prepared with lye to give a pungent yet popular dish.

Currency And Visa

Unlike many European countries, Sweden has chosen to stick with its existing currency, the Swedish Krona, and for those who are exchanging US Dollars they will usually receive around 6.60 Kronor per Dollar. It is worth noting that Sweden can be quite an expensive country to visit, much like its neighbors Denmark and Norway. Sweden has joined the Schengen Agreement, meaning that visitors from the United States staying in these European countries party to the agreement will not need a visa unless they plan to stay for over three months.

Further Reading

One of the biggest shocks for many people who visit Sweden, and any country in Scandinavia is that it can be a very expensive place to visit, and this article gives visitors an idea of the costs they may have bear. However, transport systems in Sweden are very good, and this post looks at one of the modern buses in the country where it is possible to surf the internet while traveling.