Sweden is an immensely beautiful country, filled with beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, and a whole arrangement of animals and plants. With over 25 national parks sprinkled around the country, Sweden brings tourists from all over the world, who wish to see some of the country’s natural beauty. Moreover, the Swedish landscape is very diverse, with lush patches of green forests in the south and glacial mountains in the north. Many locals are also nature enthusiasts, so you can be sure to find some useful tips and advice if you just ask. But there is so much more to Sweden than pretty landscapes. In fact, Sweden is one of the most prosperous countries in the entire world, with fascinating culture and history. After all, Sweden past part of the great Viking nation, which ruled the seas of Europe and struck fear among the people they conquered and pillaged. Since there is just so much to Sweden, we have created this list of Top 10 Things about Sweden Culture and Traditions, to help you get a better grip on what this stunning country has to offer.
Swedish bands from all kinds of genres are famous all over the world, but the history of Swedish music began much earlier. One of the most characteristic things about Sweden culture and traditions when it comes to music is the fiddle, which first started appearing in Sweden in the 17th century, and became one of the most popular instruments in the country by the 19th century. Sweden also bore many famous composers of classical music, such as Joseph Martin Kraus, who is often named as the Swedish Mozart. When it comes to more contemporary music, perhaps the most recognized band coming from Sweden is ABBA, which is one of the most famous bands worldwide in the history of music.
Sweden is filled with gorgeous wonders of architecture, as well as plenty of official UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For example, in Malmo you can find a unique, twisting skyscraper, named the Turning Torso, which was designed by Santiago Calatrava and is the tallest tower of all of Scandinavia with almost 200 meters of height. Sweden also features some more unconventional landmarks, such as the most precise electron microscope in the world, standing on the site of Linkoping University. If you happen to be visiting Gothenburg, you might get the chance to visit the Sauna, which is a small building situated by the bay, built only out of recycled materials gathered from the neighborhood, and you can visit it any time free of charge!
When it comes to Sweden culture and traditions, there is no better place to experience them for yourself than a proper Swedish museum, which are plentiful in the country. Ranging from music museums that show the long history of Swedish musicians (there is even a separate ABBA museum fully dedicated to the famous pop band), to historic museums that hold artifacts from the Viking Age and even earlier. If you happen to be visiting Stockholm on your next trip to Sweden, make sure to stop by the Vasa Museum, which holds a massive, almost fully intact 17th-century warship, which sank on its maiden voyage. The ship has been recovered from the bottom of the sea and is now open to visitors from all around the globe.
According to statistics and research from recent years, Sweden is among the happiest countries in the world when it comes to the quality of life, economy, waste management, and many more factors. Social benefits in Sweden allow people to pick themselves up from the ground if something happens, and every worker is entitled to as much as five weeks of paid vacation each year. The people of Sweden thrive and immigrants often choose Sweden as the place to start their new lives. Moreover, Sweden has one of the smallest amounts of waste produced out of all the countries in Europe, as over 99% of all trash is recycled. In fact, Sweden has almost no landfills which could ruin the beautiful landscape of the country.
If you want to witness the true beauty of Sweden, make sure to visit this country during winter, when its regarded by many to be in its most stunning form. However, be sure to bring some warm clothes, as temperatures can get quite low in Sweden, especially during the winter months. Swedes themselves have taken advantage of winter and instead of sitting at home with heaters set to the maximum, they go outside. Some of the favorite pastimes of Swedish people are skiing, ice-skating, snowboarding, and even ice-fishing in the northern parts. Swedes are also fans of all-night-long parties, which are a tradition in winter.
Sweden actually has more various Pride festivals than any other country in the world, and the Stockholm Pride Festival is the biggest one of them all. If you visit Stockholm in late July or early August, prepare to see the whole city decorated with rainbow flags even on public buildings and public transportation. Even some crossings get painted with rainbow paint! The festival is filled with many different seminars and lectures by renowned figures, and there are plenty of exhibitions and art displays all over. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see a concert or two. Make sure to visit Pride Park, which is the center of the festival and most attractions take place there, including performances and debates.
Apart from the ever-present happiness in Sweden, it is also one of the safest countries not only in Europe but also in the entire world. Most tourists feel safe when visiting caution, and you don’t have to worry about any unfortunate events if you take some basic precautions, such as not going out alone at night and behaving with common sense. Crime rates in Sweden are among the lowest in Europe and the world, but Sweden is also one of the leaders when it comes to overall health. And to further improve the feeling of safety among tourists, the vast majority of Swedes speak good English, so you do not have to worry about getting lost in the city without being able to find help – friendly locals will surely point you in the right direction!
The best places to see the true natural beauty of Sweden are the national parks, the aim of which is to keep the most beautiful parts of the country intact. One of the most popular national parks in Sweden is the Abisko National Park, located in Lapland, which, according to the legend, is the homeland of Santa Claus. The park is filled with fjords and majestic waterfalls among lush forests, all surrounded by snowy mountain ranges. Abisko is also the most visited park in Sweden, bringing tourists from all over the world to see its beauty. During summer, you can hike through the whole day, as the Sun keeps shining for almost 24 hours each day!
While parks such as Disneyland focus more on the scenery and feeling of immersion, the amusement parks in Sweden provide crazy rollercoasters to thrill their visitors. There are plenty of amusement parks in Sweden to choose from, all of which offer different experiences. Grona Lund in Stockholm, for example, features more than thirty rides for kids and adults alike, along with a huge drop tower which provides a magnificent view of the cityscape from 80 meters high! Junibacken, also located in Stockholm, is an experience targeted specifically to the kids, themed around the works of Astrid Lindgren, author of “Pippi Longstocking”.
Even though Sweden is a beautiful and prosperous country, it does not invite as many tourists as some of the other European countries due to its rather cold climate. While most regular tourists prefer to lie on a warm beach and do nothing, we recommend getting active and giving Sweden a chance – fewer tourists means shorter lines and cheaper prices! With all of its landmarks and natural wonders, there are plenty of attractions and hidden gems to discover. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may even try participating in the famous winter sports, which are a huge part of Sweden culture and traditions!