23 Jun A Guide to Sweden: Things You Should Know Before You Visit
Javier R. shares his memorable visit to Stockholm.
If Ikea is the only thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Sweden, well… going to Stockholm is a must to enjoy one of the most beautiful, calm and vibrant cities in Europe.
Don’t be deceived by its weather, which is cold and windy most of the year, except in summer, when it is much warmer and enjoyable. Although the climate isn’t always ideal, Swedish people are warm, smiling, kind and will welcome you with arms wide open.
The city is extremely well organized; its public transportation system is flawless, connecting each and every part of the city, and all the stations and bus stops are perfectly sign posted. If ever you get lost, don’t hesitate to ask people around you, they will always be happy to help. A majority of Swedes can speak fluent English, especially in the big cities, so the language barrier should not be a problem. Remember to smile, they will always smile back!
Stockholm is a modern and diverse city, yet boasting a rich cultural heritage. One of the highlights of my trip is when I visited Gamla-Stan, also known as the “Old city”. This area is one of Europe’s biggest and most well preserved medieval district, where Stockholm was founded in the 13th century. The architecture is simply overwhelming, with colorful buildings and narrow cobbled streets, this charming location is not one to miss. Museums, churches and the famous Stockholm Cathedral, populate this historic area. You will also get a chance to admire the Royal Palace and several unique iconic buildings, which will no doubt amaze you.
Take a long stroll, eat an ice-cream (if it is not too cold) and buy a Viking jar carved in bone! This district has it all!
Visiting Stockholm is an unforgettable experience, and if you want to discover a unique culture and beautiful surroundings, I truly encourage you to go. I am already planning my next visit, and aiming to see the Northern lights.
TOP 5 FACT FILE:
- The capital City of Sweden is Stockholm
- Language(s) – Swedishis the official language of Sweden. In Stockholm standard Swedish is spoken while out in the country may experience different dialects. The largest, after Swedish, are Finnish, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Kurdish, Spanish, German and Farsi
- Local Cuisine –
Swedish Meatballs– also called köttbullar, are a combination of ground meat and bread or
rusks soaked in milk rolled into delicious spheres which can be served with different kinds of gravies.
Traditional Potato Pancakes– also called as Raggamunk pancakes, are a traditional winter
delicacy made specifically by potatoes harvested late into the summer which tastes best when
prepared crisp and buttery around the edges.
Swedish Potato Dumplings– also called as kroppkakor is a dish which can be prepared with a
variety of ingredients varying from barley wheat or wheat flour to lingonberries or mustard.
The only common factor being they are all prepared the same way; boiled in water.
Dill-cured salmon– also called Gravad lax is a marinated salmon dish along with marinated
herring preferably served with a mustard sauce.
Egg- anchovy salad– Swedish name GubbÖra which translates into old man’s mix is a starter
best served with a thin slice of round dark bread. The dish can even double as a midnight snack
due to its salty taste.
- Currency – The monetary unit inSweden is the krona (plural “kronor”) and equals 100 öre. Bank notes are printed in values of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000kronor, coins 1, 5 and 10
- Fun Facts about Stockholm or Sweden in general
– There are 9.7 million people in Sweden, of whom about 2 million are under the age of 18.
– Stockholm is often known as the ‘World’s Smallest Big City’ or the ‘World’s Biggest Small
- The city’s subway is also known as the world’s longest art gallery, with the majority of its stations being adorned with paintings, sculptures and mosaics.
– Swedes have the longest life expectancy in Europe.
– Sweden is the 3rd largest EU country in land area, after France and Spain.