Sweden is a fascinating nation in northern Europe, full with peculiarities and customs about which we know little. Here are several you’ll want to share at the water cooler or at your next family dinner.
Ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi
This ice hotel is located in the Arctic area of Lapland, in the hamlet of Jukkasjärvi. It typically opens from December through April before melting in the spring. As a result, it is rebuilt each year from chunks of ice and snow. The temperature inside is set at -4°C enough to frighten even the most careful travellers. It’s also worth noting that this is the world’s largest ice hotel.
Sörmland's county is filled with castles and villas
Sörmland, located southwest of Stockholm, has a rich cultural and historical heritage. It does, in fact, have approximately 400 castles and houses! A small paradise for individuals who enjoy exploring ancient sites.
The practice of fika
The “Fika” or coffee break, popularised by the Swedes, is a frequent occurrence and practically required in that nation. This practise, which is a true social phenomenon, entails sipping coffee and ‘Kanelbullar’, cinnamon buns, slowly (15–45 minutes is typical). According to studies, taking “Fika” breaks at work increases productivity and lowers stress levels.
The Swedes are excellent innovators
Did you realise that many innovations date back to the Swedes? And some of them have significantly altered the globe! For instance, the three-point seat belt has prevented millions of fatalities. Other well-known Swedish innovations include the pacemaker, Bluetooth, the zipper, dynamite (Alfred Nobel), kit furniture, and even the adjustable wrench.
The population density is quite low
Sweden is one of Europe’s biggest nations, with an area of 450,295 square kilometres, trailing only France and Spain. However, with 21.8 residents per square kilometre, it is one of the areas with the lowest population density.
One of Europe's highest VAT rates
Sweden now has a normal VAT rate of 25%, making it one of the highest in Europe, along with Denmark and Norway (25%). Only Croatia (27% VAT) has a higher VAT than these three Nordic countries. Swedes, on the other hand, appear content to pay hefty taxes.
Sweden is home to around 90,000 lakes
Sweden has roughly 92,500 lakes greater than one hectare. Its largest lake is named Vänern and is located in the country’s southwest. It is Europe’s third largest.
Forests cover two-thirds of its land area
Sweden is one of the world’s most wooded countries. Its woods cover 63.8% of its land area. This places it second in Europe only to Finland in terms of greenness.