– The scenery: the landscapes are magnificent. You are never far from a lake or the sea and there are lots of forests.
– The cities: Stockholm and Göteborg are two large cities with plenty to offer. There are numerous interesting museums and art galleries, synagogues with regular services, canals, lots of shops and restaurants. With under one million inhabitants for Stockholm and half a million for Göteborg, they have a reasonable size that makes them very pleasant to visit.
– The food: the Swedes eat a lot of fish and are very careful to serve both fresh and tasty food. The breads and desserts are quite nice too.
– Languages: 99% of the population speak English. If you are more adventurous, mastering a few basic Swedish words and expressions is not too hard. In addition, Swedish grammar is not very different from English grammar.
– Swedish literature: I am a fan of Swedish crime fiction and enjoy crime stories when I need to escape. I recently discovered Johan Theorin‘s novel Echoes from the Dead and strongly recommend it for its atmosphere.
– Cuture: Music: Swedish pop music has not acquired international fame but some groups and individuals are quite pleasant to listen to. If you have a little time try Kent, Jonathan Johansson or Håkan Hellström.
Movies: you all know about Ingrid Bergman but the Swedish film industry is still strong and alive. The Millenieum movies are worth watching, so are the Kurt Wallender series or the films by Lukas Moodysson.
– The welfare system: low unemployment, no beggars in the streets, free lunches at school for all, 480 days of paid parental leave for each child, daycare, etc. This is better explained by Gabriel Stein in The 10 best reasons to move to Sweden or My truth about tax in Sweden.
– Health and the environment: much before it was fashionable, and necessary, the Swedes have cared for their health and their environment. Recycling, walking, cycling or public transport (rather than driving), affordable organic produce, waste management, homemade food, nature protection are part and parcel of their every day life.
– LGBT rights: according to ILGA-Europe, Sweden is the second most gay-friendly county in Europe.
– Last but not least, the Swedes: the Swedes are usually welcoming, unassuming and kind. They are very proud when you take an interest in their small country and are more than happy to share the things they enjoy.
This is quite the excellent travel article. I enjoyed learning about Sweden throughnyour eyes.
Thanks Jewaicious. I hope you can make it there once in your life too.
I would love to visit that part of the world, along with Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. I really wuld like to experience the long days and short nights phenomenon – and perhaps see the Northern Lights too!
Apart from Sweden, the only other Scandinavian country I know is Denmark. It is also a fascinating country with lovely food and interesting politics.