When people think about Sweden, they generally think that it’s dark, it’s cold, and ABBA obsessed. And all of them are true… well partly. It is true that during the winter months it gets a bit chilly, the sun rises late and sets early, but Sweden has an amazing winter landscape to offer in the vast wilderness and if you’re lucky, and far enough north, you’ll be able to witness the breathtaking northern lights. Due to the relative harsh winters however, the entire population truly comes to life at the first signs of spring and summer. Sweden is a beautiful country everyone should visit and listed below is a bucket list of things you really don’t want to miss while being there.
If you ask a Swede what the biggest and the most fun day of the year is, most likely they are going to say Midsummer. But what is midsummer you ask? Shortly put, Midsummer is a holiday that falls between 20th-26th of June when the Swedes celebrate the longest day of the year and it has something to do about fertility. The most iconic things about Midsummer is the May pole that is dressed in greenery and flowers and that people dance around it like frogs. The Swedes doesn’t really know why they do it, just that it is something they should do. It is a tradition most commonly celebrated with friends and the Swedes’ food of choice is herring, potatoes, sour cream, schnapps, and beer. Also, worth knowing beforehand is that there will be singing during the course of the meal, usually with 5 minutes interval. However, don’t worry if you don’t know the songs, you will probably be handed a song book. If you want to mentally prepare yourself for what you’ll be in store for, check out the famous Swedish actress Alicia Vikander explaining Midsummer.
This is a tradition that is deeply rooted in the Swedish culture and it is said that during the night of Midsummer, magical things happen. Back in the day, people believed that on this particular night, nature gains supernatural powers and there are many tales of amazing things that have occurred. So, naturally the way to celebrate this is to dance and have fun until sunrise. However, if you are celebrating Midsummer in the northern parts of Sweden, you are going to have to party a long time since the sun barely sets on this day.
Stockholm is naturally one of the most visited places in Sweden as it is the capital city. However, what a lot of people miss is seeing the city from its best side, which is from the water. The city is built upon a bunch of different islands that are all surrounded by the beautiful lake Mälaren and the ocean, which is why it’s called The Venice of The North. Fun fact, the water surrounding the city is a mixture of fresh and salt water, which is why people say that Stockholm is a mixture of sweet and salt. Our suggestion is that you either become friends with some locals who own a boat and are willing to take you for a day tour or you can also rent a boat for the day. However, the cheaper and probably more thrilling alternative is to rent a paddle board or a pedalo and soak up the city’s grand splendor. Before you head out there, why not bring some Swedish strawberries and have a nice picnic.
The Swedes are crazy about their crayfish. Every year from the beginning of August to the end of September the Swedes host big parties with their friends where they eat tons of crayfish and drink schnapps. Since winter can be pretty brutal in Sweden, during summer time they prefer to spend as much time outside as possible. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the crayfish parties traditionally are held outdoors. However, a word of advice is to bring some mosquito spray because during this time of year these creatures are thirsty. Like the Midsummer party, singing schnapps songs also takes place and the parties usually go on long into the morning hours. Note, eating a crayfish is not as easy at it sounds so make sure to brush up on your crayfish-eating-skills beforehand; or just glance over on your neighbor and copy their technique.
Stockholm has a lot of cool museums to offer, one being the museum of photography. Not only does this museum offer photo exhibitions but you can also go there and improve your photo skills by taking a photography course. It’s nicely located just by the water in the southern part of the city and we strongly recommend a visit. However, the coolest museum of them all is of course the ABBA museum. It’s situated on the Island Djurgården and being right next to the amusement park Gröna Lund, it’s very easy to find. This is definitely a place for all the dancing queens to visit, and soak up the amazing history and music of ABBA.
You can’t visit Sweden and miss the greatest photo opportunities. Therefore, here’s a list of the top 3 most Instagrammable places in Sweden:
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