Swedish are really cool. They are so cool that they have a principle protected by law, which gives you the right to roam freely. What does this mean? To put it simply: Allemansrätten or the freedom to roam gives you the right to access, walk, cycle, ride or camp on any land – except for private gardens and some natural reserves, of course. This opens an endless opportunities for unique adventures in breathtaking natural environment. Put on your hiking shoes and discover all the hidden corners of the country.
In the world of music, Sweden holds a special place. On a per capita basis, it is one of the world's most successful exporters of popular music. The first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the Swedish music is most probably Abba, one of the best-selling bands of all time, which sold over 500 million records. But there are many more: the Cardigans, Ace of Base, Roxette and the ones more familiar to younger generations, like Avicii, Zara Larsson and the Knife. Apart from the pop music, another interesting feature of the Swedish music is the so called Dansband, a Swedish term for a band that plays dance music. Such band often travels by bus and performs several times per week year-round. They perform live at venues where the main interest of the audience is dancing, rather than watching the performance on stage. So, if you’re planning to go to Sweden, do not forget your dancing shoes, it might happen you’ll dance the night away.
Who doesn’t know the red-haired and freckled girl named Pippy Longstocking, who happens to be the strongest girl in the world? She lives by herself in a colourful house in the forest, and has a pet monkey and a horse. The woman that created this popular fiction character, Astrid Lindgren, comes from Sweden. Her books were translated into over 70 different languages, making her one of the most popular children books authors in the world. It thus comes of no surprise that Sweden is an excellent place to travel with children, from infants up to teens. Tourism infrastructure is largely organised around children’s interests. Numerous public parks for kids, theme parks, water parks and so on, which mostly offer free admission for young children, make Sweden the country to visit with your family.
The country’s landscape almost calls for island-hopping tourism. There are over 220,000 of islands, but not that many inhabited. You will find them off the north, south, east and west coasts. The whole coastline is dotted with them, so it’s really up to you to decide in which direction you’ll go. No matter the direction, you’ll soon end up hitting into one of them. The archipelagos of Stockholm, which includes about 24,000 islands, and Gothenburg are probably the most well-known, but there are many other interesting ones as well, including Gotland and Öland, Sweden's largest islands, situated off the east coast. The fact that most of the bigger ones can be reached by ferry, makes the hopping even easier. Stunning nature and beaches attract nature lovers and you soon understand why so many Swedish own a summer house in the wild green nature. When you combine the majestic number of islands with Allemansrätten, the freedom to roam, the whole thing gets even more exciting, don’t you think?
Nature and wildlife are amazing in Sweden and can easily be compared to the worldwide famous destinations such as New Zealand or Canada. Apart from the fact that only 3 % of the area is populated, the country is one of the most sustainable ones in the world. A smashing 99% of household waste is being recycled, which proves that the Swedish really work hard on preserving the natural environment for the future generations. So don’t be surprised if you bump into moose, deer, rabbits or various other birds when exploring the diverse nature dotted with flourishing forests, wild flower fields, lakes, mountains and hills. What is more, Sweden also has several predators like bears, wolves and lynx, but luckily, they tend to stay far away from people.
Stockholm, the largest city in Scandinavia and the capital of Sweden, is often called Venice of the North. Located on 14 islands, it boasts 57 bridges that gracefully raise out of the crystal-clear water, which is so clean that you can go swimming or fishing in the very heart of the city. This waterfront city is rich with history, exciting architecture, museums, castles and the old town called Gamla Stan, where also the Royal Palace is located. The area, which dates from the 13th century is considered one of the best preserved medieval city centres in the world. At the same time, it is also the best place to discover the history of Stockholm. The most popular museum is Vasa Museum, displaying ship that spent 330 years at the bottom of the city’s harbour.
If you want to experience mother nature at its rawest, Swedish Lapland is the place to go. This vast and sparsely populated region is Europe’s last wilderness, the home of the indigenous Sámi people, Sweden’s nomadic reindeer herders. Endless pine and spruce forests, majestic rivers and tranquil lakeside villages dotted high among the hills make the area a rather mystical place. No wonder, the area is far away from the populated areas in Sweden. In terms of distance, Gothenburg, for example, is closer to Munich than it is to Kiruna, the northernmost town of Sweden. The best way to discover the area is to go on a round-trip drive along the Wilderness Road (Vildmarksvägen), the 360 kilometres (220 mi) route, which goes through three different provinces of Sweden and shows you the exciting wilderness of the northern Sweden.
The cobblestone streets of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, will inspire you with picturesque architecture, art galleries and museums, sophisticated bars, Michelin-star restaurants and designer shops. Located on the west coast of Sweden, it’s just a short drive away from the stunning archipelago, which is a must-visit spot. The charming blue and white trams add on the atmosphere and one quickly sees why Gothenburg has been in the spotlight in the recent years. It seems more relaxed and cosier than it’s big brother Stockholm – no wonder that it has been recently voted the most sociable place in the world. The birthplace of Volvo is at the same time also home to Liseberg amusement park, country’s No.1 tourist attraction. When there, make sure to visit the Gothenburg Museum of Art, stunning contemporary art at Röda Sten Art Centre, and the incredible Way Out West music festival, if you happen to be there in August.
Malmö is Sweden's third largest city, located in the South of Sweden, close to the iconic Oresund Bridge that links Sweden to Denmark. The former port and industrial city has developed into an eco-friendly hub, meaning that the city is tailored to bikes; it has proper cycling roads and few cars. Cycling is thus the easiest and the most pleasant way to go sightseeing. The city boasts a number fancy boutiques and stylish eateries, which reflect highly diverse population. Must visit spots are Modern Art Gallery and Västra hamnen, an impressive modern area by the old harbour that is completely self-sustainable and the first one in Europe that claims to be carbon neutral. For this very reason, it is also known as "the City of Tomorrow”.
If you want to experience the phenomenon of the Northern Lights, take a bath at the Blue Lagoon, see the most mesmerizing natural phenomena, including volcanoes, glaciers, fjords and bubbling hot springs, or ride Icelandic horses, Iceland should be your next destination to visit.
The homeland of Santa Claus awaits you in all its glory. Remarkable natural features, such as Aurora Borealis or the midnight sun, over 188,000 lakes, the trendy capital Helsinki and atop of all this Finnish design, which has become a synonym for minimalism and functionality worldwide.