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Sweden Travel Guide

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Full country name: Kingdom of Sweden
Area: 449,964 sq km
Population: 9,354,462
Capital City: Stockholm
Language: Swedish
Religion: 71% Lutheran, 5% Muslim, 24% other and non-believers
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1); Summer CEST (UTC+2)
Dialing Code: 46
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)

Money & Costs:
Average yearly salary: USD 36,600

Budget: $10
Mid-range: $20
High: $45;
Budget: $80
Mid-range: $200
High: $360+

Geography: Sweden is located in northern Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The country borders with Norway and Finland by land, and Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia by water. The country is relatively flat, except for the mountainous regions in north and west. Half of the country is covered with forests, and just under one tenth of Sweden is farmed. Sweden's nature is exceptionally beautiful, since it has nearly 100,000 lakes, and a rocky coastline on the Baltic Sea.

Climate: Sweden has a continental climate, with temperate weather, due to the Gulf Stream waters. Variations between summer and winter temperatures are medium to large. Since Sweden is a Nordic country, winters are generally very cold, with low temperatures lasting for about 7 months, whereas summers are mild and pleasant with warm temperatures lasting only for 3 months. The southern region of Skane, on the contrary, has a short, but cold winter lasting for about 2 months, and a 4 month long summer.

Food: Swedish cuisine is centered around dairy products, such as: bread, berries, various meats (beef, pork, chicken), seafood, fish and vegetables (with potatoes being the most popular). Potatoes are the main side dish, served, usually, boiled and with a sauce. Swedish people can be proud of their baking traditions. They have a variety of breads of different sizes, shapes, color and ingredients. Meat dishes are usually served with the lingonberry jam, which is very popular among the locals. Fruit and berry soups (blueberry soup, rose hip soup) are typical dishes of the Swedish cuisine. Swedish cuisine is also popular for its pastry traditions. Coffee breaks with a pastry (fika) are enormously popular among the locals.

Drink: Although tea and milk are popular drinks, nothing can conquer with coffee (Kaffe). Tap water is of a good quality and is safe to drink. Alcohol can only be bought in the state monopoly, Systembolaget, and licensed restaurants may sell alcohol after noon only. Schnapps is a superb Swedish spirit drink. Alcohol prices are sky-high throughout the country.

Health: No special immunizations are required to enter Sweden. Precautions against tick are advised in rural and forested areas.

Recommended clothing: Casual summer clothes should be worn during summer. Since evenings get cooler, pack a sweater or jacket, as well as a raincoat. An overcoat is recommended for autumn and spring, and warm winter clothes for the winter season. Comfortable walking shoes are essential even for excursions in the old-town, since cobblestone is almost everywhere.

Tipping: A service charge is automatically included in most Swedish hotel and restaurant bills. Tipping hotel staff is fine, but is not expected, therefore it is for you to decide.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
5 Jan Epiphany Eve
6 Jan Epiphany Day
2 Apr Good Friday
4 Apr Easter Sunday
5 Apr Easter Monday
1 May May Day
13 May Ascension Day
23 May Whit Sunday
6 Jun Sweden's National Day
26 Jun Midsummer´s Day
6 Nov All Saints´day
24 Dec Christmas Eve
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day
31 Dec New Year´s Eve

Note: The majority of establishments in Sweden are closed on Midsummer's Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. This applies to shops, banks, museums and restaurants. For the rest of the year Sunday hours apply to public holidays. A few restaurants are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Museums have their busiest days on public holidays the with the above exceptions.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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