If there is one thing you need to do in life before anything else, it’s take a trip to Sweden. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country with the most amazing views, people and food. You won’t regret whatever time you spend there. However, there are some things you should know before you get there. Here is a list of things to keep in mind:
It’s not a big deal if you cannot say every name you come across. You can try your best to speak the native Swedish language but without practice, it can be hard to destroy some of the pronunciation. Luckily, Sweden also has one of the biggest pool of languages to choose from and many English speakers throughout the country. It’ll be easy to get around if you speak even a little bit of English, as it’s incorporated pretty early on in language learning.
Go Around the Island
There is a lot to see on the island and you should go and see as much of it as you possibly can. For many people, taking the ferry around or driving is the best way to get to and from them. This way you can enjoy as much of the beautiful scenery as you can and even see some local things.
Alcohol is Under Monopoly
One of the unique things to Sweden is the monopoly that is held over alcohol. Usually, you buy alcohol in bars or restaurants. However, if you want something outside of that, you have to go to a government owned chain store in order to get your fix. Selling it any other place is illegal, a law that has been in place since 1905 when they wanted to reduce the price inflation and amount of drinking in the country.
Be careful though, these stores tend to close early. The best things you can do are plan ahead and bring alcohol with you from wherever you’re coming. You’ll definitely spend a lot less money and you won’t out in the middle of Sweden trying to look for booze.
Try a Floating Sauna
It can be hard to decide between a spa or going for a swim. Luckily, Sweden gives you the option of both. These floating spas are a Swedish innovation and one of the best for relaxing. When you are out on the lake or ocean (or even river), you will find a sauna room not too far so that you can have a day that is good for your skin and for your body. The Swedes take caring for their bodies very seriously. This also makes island hopping all the more fun.
Drink the Tap Water
Unlike many other countries, the common advice here is to do the opposite. Bottled water is okay, but you are taking about some of the freshest tap water in the world. Being that far north, it’s worth it to try some of the well cleaned and filtered tap water. It saves money and it also tastes delicious. What is more, you even have the option to help the environment by bringing along a canteen and filling it up wherever you go. The Swedes are very environmentally conscious so the best thing to do is to avoid plastic. This is the same for bags at grocery stores. Like many other European countries, you have to pay extra to get a bag at the store.
Changing Speed Limits
If you are choosing to drive through Sweden, take note of the fact that the speed limits have a tendency to change constantly and can vary from anywhere between 30 to even 110 km an area (or more in some specific areas). They tend to change in intervals so that you can change your speed accordingly, so just be on the lookout for changing signs.
Eat All the Seafood
While you are that far north, you have to take advantage of the amazing seafood. It’s what makes Sweden famous and you cannot get tired of all the choices you have.
Pack for Winter
Even in summer it can still be kind of cold, especially if you are going mountain hiking. Make sure to dress in layers. Though it may not seem intuitive, also bring sunscreen, even if it’s winter. The more time you spend outside, the more necessary it can be regardless of how cold it is.
Visiting Sweden is definitely a life changing experience, and one that should be done once in a lifetime. These small tips will help you keep a lookout as you navigate your way through the beautiful country.