These Sweden travel tips will help you save money and avoid missing out on the best attractions in Sweden.
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Sweden attracts over five million tourists annually. We just returned from our first trip in West Sweden. Since we didn’t do any research before leaving, there were many surprises for us both.
These Sweden travel tips will help you plan your trip to the Scandinavian country. These are seven things to remember when you visit Sweden.
It’s possible to not pronounce the names of certain places.
Even though we thought we knew the correct pronunciation of a word, we were still able to mispronounce it when speaking to locals. Even if your tongue isn’t able to wrap around the Swedish language, it is still possible to travel in Sweden.
Sweden has one of the most fluent English-speaking populations outside of its native anglophone country. Communication is much easier in Sweden than it might seem when you travel to a foreign country due to the availability of English-speaking movies and television programs and early-education English courses.
It is a must to island-hop.
The coast of Sweden is home to thousands upon thousands of islands, which can be reached either by ferry or car. Many tourists love to hop through islands to see the stunning scenery and to feel the peace and tranquility of the small villages.
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There is an alcohol monopoly.
You can’t buy alcohol above 3 percent in a bar or restaurant. Instead, you will need to go to the Systembolaget. This is a government-owned and managed retail chain. It’s the only legal way to purchase take-home booze. The prohibition movement in 1905 saw the establishment of this system for alcohol sales to cut down on price gouging as well as overconsumption.
We were unable to see the closing hours at these stores several times on our trip. Some close at 6pm, others at 6pm. There can also be long lines depending on when you visit. Our advice: Bring alcohol from home so you can plan ahead. You won’t need to look for these stores while you are on vacation.
These floating saunas are amazing!
Are you unsure whether to take a dip or go to the spa? You could try both! Sweden’s floating saunas, which are steam rooms that are built on pontoon-like barsges, allow you to relax on the river, lake or ocean in style. These steam rooms are a hit in Sweden and add a new dimension to your island-hopping experience.
Tap water is superior to bottled water.
Drinking water directly from the tap is a social, ecological and financial norm. Sweden’s water supply is well filtered and incredibly clean, so the majority of the environmentally-conscious country’s citizens choose to pass on drinking water from plastic bottles. You can use both paper and plastic bags at the grocery. If you don’t want to have to pay, bring your own bag.
Speed limits are constantly changing!
Sweden added speed signs to its roads and highways in 2008. The standard speed limits were 30, 50, 70 and 110 km/h before 2008, but the speed signs in the zones between these speeds had even-interval half-km/h signs to encourage a gradual increase in speed. These signs change frequently so keep your eyes peeled.
There is no shortage of seafood.
Swedes love their fish, being a country that is both coastal and islands-heavy. Sweden is a paradise for seafood lovers, with a wide variety of delicious fish specialties like surstromming, caviar, lutfisk and herring. You don’t have to be adventurous to enjoy the wide variety of dishes available. You’ll be able to leave the restaurant with a full belly and an open mind.
We love to travel and try new foods. Sweden allowed us to experiment with the cuisine. Although I don’t normally like fish, it was a strange experience to have fish every day. However, all the fish dishes were delicious.
The best meal was baked cod with a carrot puree, light shellfish sauce and a potato puree. Even if fish is not your favorite food, you should definitely try it in Sweden.
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Sweden Packing Essentials
Winter gear: It’s a good idea to pack the most appropriate cold-weather gear if you are planning on visiting during winter months. A plush down jacket, heavy-duty gloves or mittens and a thick, warm beanie are all recommended.
Layers are essential, no matter the season. If you’re traveling to Northern Sweden in winter, you should pack layers such as thermal underwear and fleece-lined leggings. In the summer, pack camisoles or cardigans. And no matter the weather, a pashmina is always a smart thing to bring!
Waterproof gear: There is nothing worse than being cold, but being cold and wet. You should invest in quality water-resistant boots or shoes, a raincoat during the summer, waterproof pants for your backpack, and a windproof umbrella for travel.
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Sun Protection: I don’t leave my house without sunscreen or sunglasses.
Swimwear: No matter if you are heading to the lake during the summer, or if you want to relax in the sauna, you should bring a swimsuit. This is my favorite one-piece! A towel that is quick drying.