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SWEDEN
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Walk down the roads leading to beautiful lakes bordered by the tall trees and enjoy the mesmerizing spectacle of the Nordic beauty in the form of Sweden. Never ever you will find a country which is so close to nature and yet so cosmopolitan by all means. The vibrant cultural mixtures of Sweden will make you feel all welcomed as you will encounter people from different countries in the stores and the pickled herring restaurants. Savor your "fikas" (Coffee breaks in Swedish) and witness the liberal and open attitude of the people around there. Get overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the colossal Lake Vättern and walk past the enchanting Göta Canal and go on a mind-blowing cruise ride.

Attractions in Sweden

Pitted with wee islands and lakes in the south, and snow-clad mountains in the north, Sweden is all set to offer you some marvelous treats. Check out these amazing 8 attractions which will be a sin to miss for you as a tourist. From the palaces to the skiing resorts every destination is tempting here in Sweden.

Gamla stan

Consisting of the island of Stadsholmen this old town of Stockholm is filled with memories of old Sweden and a fascinating view of the lakes. This is also the place where you can view the historic Stockholm Cathedral. This old town will allow you to embrace the grandeur of the Royal Palace of Sweden. Though the monarchy is no longer there but you can certainly savor the rich heritage of the place. The medieval set up will allow you to enter a different world, altogether. You can see the famous Nobel Museum and also the medieval shops and churches, carefully restored with time. There is also the Post Museum along with Swedish Royal Coin Cabinet.

Vasa Museum

Take a trip down the island of Djurgården in Stockholm to see the museum which has in its display all the salvaged ships from the 17th Century. The place is certain to give some shiver in your spine as you can witness the perfectly preserved ships from the times of the vikings and pirates and see the kind of ammunition they used to carry. Most famous among all the exhibits is certainly the mid-century Swedish battleship, the Vasa, which sank during its first trip. As luck would have it, the ship was undiscovered for two centuries, till the Swedes finally found it in the year 1961.

Stockholm Palace

Also known as the Royal Palace this Baroque-style palace is certainly worth a visit. The guided tour includes the visit to the various royal museums and the massive library. The tour is an absolute classic for the history lovers and the tourists who have a thing for books. Located in Stadsholmen in Gamla Stan, this palace has some exotic appeal and a marvelous history. The castle was built in the 18th century on the exact same spot where the “Tre Kronor” castle was once burnt down back in 1697.

Skansen

If you are already there in the island of Djurgården in Stockholm then it would be unwise on your part to miss out on this marvelous open air museum along with the zoo. The zoo has large exhibits containing all sorts of Nordic animals including the likes of arctic fox, moose, wolves, bear, and many more which you will never find in the zoos of India, mostly for climatic reasons. This open-air museum is perfect for the Indian families to rejoice.
This place is like a small medieval town where you can find the old churches and mills, the shops and other factories which will make you feel like that you are in a movie theater. The charm of a medieval town will spellbound your senses.

When To Reach

For Indians the ideal time to visit Sweden would be during the summer months from May to September. The weather remains ideal for long trips and boat tours and you are guaranteed a lovely time. However, if you are looking for a good old Nordic snowfall then you should definitely plan your visit between November and March. Also if you are looking for a glimpse of the famous Midnight Sun in Sweden then you must definitely visit during June and July. The summers are actually ideal for Indian travelers because the winters are pretty harsh for the Indians.

Seasonality

High Season: Summer is most definitely the peak season for tourists as the temperature remains around the 20 degree Celsius and the sunny weather allows you to enjoy the boat rides and the beaches. Spring is also considered to be the peak season in Sweden.


Shoulder Season: Autumn is most definitely the shoulder season when it comes to Sweden. The temperature drops below 10 degree Celsius and if you can manage a little bit of chill then it could just be the perfect season for you to go there and avoid the crowd.


Low Season: Winter is certainly the low season for travellers in Sweden. Most of the places, especially in the north, are closed for tourism during this season and in fact the sun is practically missing during this season.

How To Reach

Unfortunately no direct flights connect India to Sweden as of now. However, you can definitely book some connecting flights with the airlines like Lufthansa, Swiss, Finnair, Air France, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, and many other international airlines. The flights are available on a regular basis and you can book the entire trip online. Due to the high altitudes the sky is not always clear. There could be heavy snowfall which might delay the connecting flights by some extent. However, the wait for the flights is completely worthy because once you reach Sweden it is an absolute heaven.

Why should you go?

Sweden is one of the most attractive and tourist-friendly Nordic nations. With marvelous lakes and island clusters this Nordic country offers an experience to rejoice. The dense forests and the outlandish natural phenomena will create a trance on you. The extraordinary city life and the charming appeal of the medieval towns will transport you to another dimension, altogether.
10 Reasons to visit Sweden -
  • You can explore the old towns of Stockholm and savor how well-preserved the history is.
  • Sweden is by far the most liberal country in the world and you will enjoy a truly cosmopolitan and inclusive society.
  • Sweden is the land of Mid Night sun and the Northern Lights. Visit this marvelous Nordic country to enjoy these spectacles of nature.
  • Sweden is a perfect place for outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, and trekking. You can visit during the winter months to enjoy such fun.
  • You will also get a chance to see the Nordic wilds in the form of Moose, lynx, and artic foxes-animals which you will never encounter anywhere else in the world.
  • Try your hand at mushroom picking with the locals and it is something which you will definitely savor.
  • Enjoy a massive crayfish party, only in Sweden, where you can connect with the locals and have a fabulous time.
  • If you have grown-up reading stories about castles and princesses, then Sweden will make your dream come true as the towns are filled with castles and palaces.
  • Witness the Viking Heritage of Birka and relive how the ancient Nordic people used to live in these sea-shore villages.
  • Enjoy a fabulous Sauna which is an integral part of the Nordic lifestyle.

Getting Around

Public transport in Sweden is scarce when compared to the other European city. But there are connecting vehicles available within the cities and the towns. Trains are the most affordable way of commute when it comes to the Nordic countries, whilst there are ferries and boats available for you to travel from one island to another.

Trains

Sweden boasts a huge network of trains and the easiest way of commute is definitely via the trains. The trains are frequent and you can actually manage a same day booking unlike many other European countries.

Bus

Intra-city travelling can be done with the help of buses. The bus service along with other public transports in Sweden are quite well-operational.

Taxi or Rented Car

If you want to enjoy a charming ride down the countryside of Sweden then a taxi or a rented car would be perfect. There are many private and government agencies running these taxis.

Boat

Boats are the only way of conducting a proper island hopping in the coastal areas of Stockholm. Once known to be the home of the Vikings, boats are till now one of the easiest ways of commute around the country.

Weather

Despite the fact that Sweden is located pretty high-up in the North the temperature of the country remains relatively mild throughout the year. However, the winters are quite harsh. The minimum temperature recorded in Sweden is minus 52 degrees. That is why it is important that you avoid the months like December and January for your travels. The gulf of Bothinia and the several lakes of Sweden makes the climate pretty pleasant during the summer and the spring but at the same time it makes the weather extremely cold during the winters.

What to take in your suitace?

  • The weather is a bit nippy and unpredictable in Scandinavia and for that reason you need to carry certain layers of clothing. Even if you are reaching Sweden during the summer time it is advisable that you take at least 3 jackets, 2 fleece or sweaters.
  • Whislt you venture up to the north it might get cloudy and start raining at any point of the day. That is why you need to carry raincoats and umbrellas.
  • Carry a lot of socks if you are planning on hiking down the Swedish trails as the melted snow will certainly make your socks wet.
  • Carry at least 4 pairs of trousers and 4-5 scarfs for the trip, as the temparature can dip all of a sudden without any warning.
  • Knit caps also prove to be handy as they will protect your scalp from the snow-flakes and the rain in Sweden.
In the Spotlight

Sweden has plenty of Michelin Star restaurants and fine eateries for the tourists to come and enjoy. The traditional Swedish restaurants offer you a charming ambiance and decor whilst you can enjoy the various innovative recipes in those outlets. There is fine collection of exotic red meats and seafood in this Nordic paradise and then there is of course the fascinating wine collection.

Ekstedt : Visiting a restaurant is not just about going and ordering food, but it is also about witnessing the magic happening. This particular restaurant in Stockholm has practically started the trend of open-air cooking in entire Europe
and you are bound to have a fabulous time witnessing your food being cooked. The restaurant is known for its experimental cuisines matched with typical Scandinavian interior designing. The place is famous for its outdoor cooking and the collection of red meat dishes. One of the most famous dishes here is of course the roe deer heart recipe with herb butter, onions, and mushrooms. The wine collection of this place is also mind-blowing and the ambiance is perfect for a couple to enjoy.
Wedholms Fisk : Have a soft-corner for seafood? Then restaurant will definitely quench your hunger. Known for its superb collection of traditional Swedish and new seafood menus this place will leave you spellbound.
You must try-out the pumpernickel bread along with the fresh oysters once you visit the place. Lobsters galore in this lake-side eatery as you will find various forms of preparation. The place is ideal for fine dinning as the wine selection is extraordinary and the sea-food platters will simply win you over. If you are on a romantic trip to Europe, then it is most definitely the place to dine.
Frantzen: One of Stockhom's classic fine dinning destinations has been moved from Gamla stan to the main city of Stockholm back in 2017.
You can find a blend of traditional Swedish food along with Japanese in this eatery and spanning for three-floors it is definitely one of the most visited restaurants in the country. The kitchen is really innovative as they introduce various menus from all the Nordic countries. The food served in this restaurant is a blend of both Swedish and Japanese cuisines and the seafood collection is truly enviable. Alongside the non-veg menus the restaurant is also known for its vegetarian items like red pepper dishes, roasted oats, macrons with pumpkins and many more.
Operakallaren : Visiting Europe and yet not entering an oak-panel restaurant is really a shame. This particular restaurant is a classic Swedish dining destination with a cozy ambiance and awesome services.
The food served here are mostly traditional Swedish along with other continental options. You can enjoy the view of the water whilst having your dinner in this place. This is a Michelin Star eatery and it has everything that you can imagine. There is also a private dinning room where you can have a romantic dinner and also have a party arranged at that place.
Le Rouge: If you are up in the Nordic and yet feel like having some authentic West European cuisine, then you must definitely come to Le Rouge. The traditional Italian and French flavors of this place will surely overwhelm your senses.
The decor reflects an authentic French appeal as the food items are equivalently scrumptious. The menu offers a wide variety of items including whole fish cooked in olive and other delicacies like for instance veal and foi gras. Along with the food the decor of this place is also simply mind-blowing. The turn-of-the-century French themed decor makes a subtle appeal as the velet cutrains and the table-cloths will make you feel like that you are in Paris during the 1920's.

Starting from pickled herring to marinated salmon along with dill potatoes, Sweden offers its tourists to explore many flavors. Then there is of course the famous Jansson’s temptation a famous Swedish Christmas cuisine made from creamy potato and anchovy. Raggmunk is also another dish made from potatoes which is often served with fried pork. Now if you have planned to visit Sweden in August then you should definitely take part in the awesome crayfish festival. This late-summer delicacy is often served with lobster during this seafood celebration.

Smorgastarta: This Swedish sandwich cake is actually not a cake but a sandwich. Designed in ornamental fashion this sandwich dish is multilayered and it is often stuffed with meat, salmon, and shrimps along with vegetables.

Pickled Herring: Herring is very popular throughout Sweden and the other Nordic countries and pickled herrings are one of the popular national dishes in Sweden.

Prinsesstarta: This dessert cuisine is basically a sponge cake with layers of jams wedged in-between.

Crayfish:Sweden is known for its seafood and crayfish dishes are very popular all across the country.

Elk:When you go up in the Nordics it is not uncommon to encounter some fabulous deer meat, venison as they are normally called, and elk preparation in Sweden is simply awesome.

Sweden is full of its charm and some funky markets. Whilst some farmer's markets sell some exotic food items like elk and wild boar meat, along with Nordic pickles and spices, there are also some fascinating flea market where you can get beautiful Swedish furniture at a bargain. Shopping in Sweden is truly a marvelous adventure as you will encounter things on display which you have never seen before.

Hornstull Marknad : This trendy outdoor market at Stockhom is known for its vibrant color and collections of various items. The local designers set-up their own stalls to sell some of their own creations and you can definitely strike a good bargain in this place.
Want to buy something cool and savvy from the open doors of a caravan then this marketplace is the ideal place for you to be. Starting from a vintage Swedish clothing to some fascinating Super 8 movie projector, you will get all kinds of antique stuff here in this weekend market. The vibe of the place is simply awesome and even if you do not want to make a purchase you can simply enjoy the food and the music and the entertaining calls that the local hawkers make in order to sell their products.
Hotorget : This multilayered marketplace is so Swedish and so charming that you will be tempted to post at least a 100 pictures of this market alone.
The downstairs market is full of exotic food items and this is one of the few places where you will get authentic Swedish delicacies like wild boars and exotic herbs and vegetables produced by the local farmers. Then on the upstairs the marketplace transforms itself into a giant flea market where you can find traditional Swedish vinyl and clothes and many other antique stuff for which you can strike a bargain with the shoppers.
Ostermalm Saluhall : If not for buying anything but for sight-seeing also you must visit this wonderful food market which is adored by famous British chef Jamie Oliver.
The seafood display is fresh and amazing and the age-old family establishments here flaunt their products with pride. Starting from coffee to cheese, from spices to fruits everything is displayed so beautifully in this indoor market that you will instantly fall in love. What is more tempting is that the market has a large collection of nice eateries adjoining the area and after browsing through the stalls you can just grab a sit and enjoy.
Soderloppis: This Sunday summer market is located in the island of Kvarnholmen and it is the perfect flea market for the visitors to take some souvenir back home.
The market takes a cover charge of 10 Swedish Krona but it is a worth expense considering the variety of items you get to choose from. There is also a local pub where you can sit and relax after a long day of shopping, before sailing back to the main city of Stockholm.
Vaksala Torg : This Sunday market in Sweden offers the perfect weekend escape for tourists and residents alike. This vintage market will allow you to browse and compare and eventually strike a bargain for many exotic Swedish clothing,
vinyls, shoes, accessories and even some beautiful furniture, which you can carry back home. The prices are reasonable and you need to bargain carefully in order to get the best price. Even if you do not buy anything the market itself is pretty ornamental in its design and it will help you have a fabulous time on a Sunday afternoon, browsing through the exotic European items in display.

The currency of Sweden is Swedish Krona. As per the current market situation one Swedish Krona is equivalent to 8 Indian rupees. However, you might not need to carry a lot of cash because most of the restaurants and hotels accept credit card as a method of payment. The good news is that Sweden is practically cashless and only an international credit card will suffice. Even public transportation can be paid by your ATM card and even online. The fabulous part is that you can also tip the waiters in the Swedish restaurants online. However, if you are planning on going for shopping in some of the exotic markets then carry some Krones, but a little bit of cash is sufficient.

Special Tips

  • Since Sweden is completely cashless it is important that you carry the minimum cash with you.
  • Along with your international debit card you should also keep your international credit card handy.
  • Gain prior knowledge about the Western Union money transfer centers around your hotel.
  • Even if you are willing to pay anyone with Swedish Krones make sure that they return you the correct change.
  • Since Sweden is almost a cashless economy many people might not have changes to bigger denomination of the currency. That is why carry some small changes and notes with you, in case you need to pay someone by cash.

As Sweden is a part of the Schengen Agreement, in order to visit Sweden you need to get a Schengen Visa for visiting Sweden. Applications for the Visa are needed to be submitted to the VFS Application Centers or to the Swedish Embassy. You can find out more details about the proceedings in the website of the VFS Global. The good news is that it takes only a week for you to obtain a travel visa to Sweden. If you follow the proper steps Schengen Visa is not difficult to get.

Special Tips

In order to obtain in your Visa quickly you need to fill the Schengen Visa application form online with correct details. You need to have a complete flight itinerary (along with the return flight) ready before you plan to apply. Passports and two copy of your photographs are mandatory along with a proper travel insurance. If you are employed or self-employed, you need to show proper records along with licenses and registrations. A No-Objection or leave permission from the employer is also needed. You also need to submit your hotel booking proof.

Even though Sweden is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world, it has its own drawbacks. The police is not very active especially in the remote areas of the city. That is why it is important that you avoid any confrontation when there is a street fight or mob violence. Keep your belongings close to you though the chances of theft are negligible. It is advisable that you travel in groups and avoid unnecessary confrontations.

  • Emergencies: 112
  • Medical Advice: 117
  • Non-medical emergencies: 11 414
  • Non-acute accident reporting: 113 13

Entertainment & Event

The sea-food loving Swedes have a very liberal culture and great taste of festivals. The Nordic forests casts their own charm on the tourists.

  • Flora and Fauna

    Sweden has a wide variety of Nordic animals and perhaps a treasure-chest for animal lovers around the globe. Some of the animals including the white-tailed deer, certain variety of moose, along with the arctic foxes and wolves are only found in the country of Sweden. Apart from that, there are certain lynx and bear which have their safe habitat in the dense Nordic forests.

    Apart from these, Sweden is full of good old deer collection. Never short of a good old game, the Swedes have plenty to choose from the different varieties of deer like the fallow deer, elk, red deer, reindeer, moose, antelopes, white-tailed deer and many other varieties of deer. Whilst some of the species of deer are protected by the government the Swedes are free to hunt and eat many other forms especially the ones which are available in abundance like the elk and the moose.

  • Festivals

    Visit Sweden from June to August to see the hight of Swedish festivals. Midsummer Night is definitely a summer festival which is worth mentioning as both children and the adults get themselves covered in floral wreaths and indulge in a scrumptious dinner with herring, salmon, and newly bred sweet potatoes. The crayfish festival is also right after it in the month of August and the celebrations are similar in nature.

    The crayfish festival or also known as the crayfish party is a mid-summer festival which gathers a huge crowd and plenty of open-air eating and drinking involved. Introduced back in the 1900's this festival is till date one of the most celebrated authentic Swedish festivals of all time. This is the only time the Swedes are allowed to catch the crayfish thereby making it once-in-a-year event for them.

  • Culture

    Sweden is known for its inclusive and tolerant culture. It is in fact the Viking culture of maintaining communal harmony which has played a very essential role in shaping the current Swedish culture. The Swedes like to gather round within their community and they are not hesitant to welcome foreigners in their mix. They are well known for the little coffee breaks called the Fikas and there they get to know each other and exchange their thoughts. All the Swedish festivals are centered on the community and you, despite being a foreigner, can be a part of it.

    The practices of the Viking culture are still prevalent in some parts of Sweden and it is something which makes them proud. However, you will hardly find a Swed boasting about anything because they are normally humble by nature. Swedes are very hospitable by nature and if you fail to thank them then they feel really offended.