Sweden is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture. If you’re planning on visiting Sweden, it’s important to learn a little bit about the country first! In this article, we will share some interesting facts about Sweden that will help you better understand this unique country. From its position at the top of Europe to its love of meatballs, Sweden is sure to surprise and delight you!
Geographical Facts About Sweden
Sweden is one of the largest countries in Europe
With a total area of over 450,000 square kilometers, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by landmass, and also the largest in the Nordic region. If you consider the whole of Europe, it’s also ranked in the top 5.
There are over 200,000 islands in Sweden
That’s right – Sweden has an incredible archipelago made up of over 24,000 islands. And that’s not counting the thousands of islets and skerries (small, rocky islands). Sweden has more coastline than any other country in Europe.
Over 70% of Sweden is forest
Did you know that Sweden is one of the most forested countries in Europe? Over 70% of the country is covered in forests! This means that there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing.
It is the perfect place to go and immerse yourself in nature. Just be sure to pack your mosquito repellent as Sweden is also home to more mosquitos than many European countries.
Sweden has 2 impressive natural light phenomenon
Sweden is a land of extremes when it comes to light. During the winter months, parts of the country is plunged into darkness with only around six hours of daylight per day.
But in summer, Northern Sweden experiences the Midnight sun where the sun never sets and you can enjoy 24 hours of sunlight! And if that wasn’t enough, during winter you can also see the stunning Northern Lights in Sweden.
Cultural Fun Facts About Sweden
Sweden has its own Christmas figures
Not only does Sweden have its own version of Santa Claus, but he also lives in his very own village in the far north of the country! His name is Jultomten and he comes from Lapland where – according to Swedish tradition. Jul means “Christmas,” and Tomten represents “Elf.”
Similarly, he makes a list of all the children in Sweden who have been good during the year. He then delivers presents to all the good children on Christmas Eve, either in person or by post.
Sweden is known to be a progressive nation for LGBT+ rights
Sweden has been at the forefront of LGBT+ rights for many years and was one of the first countries in the world to allow same-sex couples to register their partnerships.
In 2009, Sweden became the seventh country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and today, it is widely considered to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world.
Sweden has a long history of being a neutral country
Sweden has a long history of neutrality and has not been involved in a war for over 200 years. In fact, Sweden is one of the founding members of the United Nations and has always been an active promoter of peace and diplomacy.
Swedish musicians have a huge impact on Pop Music
Sweden is a small country but it has had a big impact on the world of pop music. It is one of the things that Sweden is famous for.
In fact, some of the biggest names in pop music hail from Sweden, including ABBA, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, and Robyn. These artists and bands have been both successful and influential to the pop music industry in their respective eras.
Sweden is home to some of the best designs in the world
Sweden has a long history of producing excellent design and today, the country is home to some of the best designers in the world. Swedish design is often characterized by its simplicity and functionality and many famous brands, such as Ikea and H&M, are from Sweden.
Sweden imports waste from other countries
Sweden is so efficient at recycling that it actually imports waste from other countries! This is because the country has a well-developed infrastructure for recycling and recovering energy from waste. In fact, Sweden’s goal is to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2045.
Fun Facts About Swedish food
Swedes love their Fika
Fika is a very important part of Swedish culture and can be best described as a ‘coffee break’. Fika can be enjoyed alone or with friends. It usually involves some coffee and tasty Swedish desserts and cakes.
But it’s not just about the coffee and cake, Fika is also an important opportunity to take a break from work and socialize. There are even special Fika rooms in some workplaces where employees can take a break and chat with their colleagues.
Swedish meatballs are not Swedish!
One of the most famous Swedish dishes – Swedish meatballs – actually originated in Turkey! The dish was brought to Sweden by King Charles XII, who had spent five years in exile in Turkey. He liked the meatballs so much that he introduced them to the Swedish court on his return home.
Swedes love their coffee
Coffee is a big deal in Sweden and Swedes are some of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, consuming an average of four cups per day! In fact, Sweden has some of the highest coffee shops per capita around the world.
Be sure to grab some aromatic coffee to go with a fulfilling Swedish breakfast before you begin your day!
Sweden is the home of Absolut vodka
Absolut vodka was first produced in Sweden in 1879 and today it is one of the most popular spirits in the world. The company that produces Absolut is based in Stockholm and the vodka is made from winter wheat grown in southern Sweden.
Historical Fun Facts About Sweden
A land of Viking warriors
The Vikings were a group of people who lived in Scandinavia from around the 8th to the 11th century. They were known for their skill in shipbuilding and sailing. The Vikings were also skilled warriors and infamous for their raids on other countries, which they carried out in their longships.
Sweden was once an empire and great military power
In the 17th century, Sweden was one of the most powerful military forces in Europe. Known as the ‘Warrior Nation’, Sweden had a strong army and navy which helped them to control a large part of northern Europe.
At its height, the Swedish Empire included parts of Finland, Demark, and Russia, as well as large swathes of what is now Norway, Estonia, and Latvia. However, by the early 18th century, the empire was in decline and had lost most of its territory.
Sweden was neutral during World War II
During World War II, Sweden remained neutral and was not involved in the fighting. However, the country did provide some assistance to the Allies, such as allowing German and British troops to cross Swedish territory in order to reach Norway.
One of the first countries in Europe to give women the vote
In 1921, Swedish women became one of the first countries in Europe to be given the right to vote and stand in parliamentary elections. And, about 90 years later, Sweden also introduce a gender-neutral marriage law, giving same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Sweden was the first country to ban corporal punishment of children
In 1979, Sweden became the first country in the world to ban corporal punishment of children. This means that it is illegal to hit or otherwise physically punish a child in Sweden.
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Other Fun Facts About Sweden
The world’s first ice hotel was built in Sweden
In 1989, the world’s first ice hotel was built in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden from blocks of ice cut from the nearby Torne River. Each year, the ICEHOTEL is rebuilt using around 1,300 blocks or 5,000 tons of ice and snow. It has become a famous Swedish landmark and one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions!
Swedish Passport is one of the strongest passports
If you’re a Swedish citizen, then you’re in luck as your passport is one of the most powerful in the world! According to the 2022 Henley Passport Index, citizens of Sweden can travel visa-free or with a visa on arrival to 188 countries around the world.
There are many free-roaming moose in Sweden
While you’re unlikely to see a moose walking down the street, they do roam freely in the woods and it is estimated that there are over 300,000 moose living in Sweden. If you’re lucky enough to spot one, be sure to admire it from a distance as they can be rather aggressive creatures!
Sweden is the 6th oldest country in Europe
Sweden is one of the oldest countries in Europe, with its first recorded history dating back to the Viking age. The city of Stockholm was established in the year 1252 and Sweden has been ruled independently since 1523.
Sweden is home to the world’s first IKEA store
IKEA is one of the most popular furniture stores in the world and it all started in a small town in Sweden called Almhult. The first IKEA store opened its doors in 1958 in Älmhult, Småland. Today there are over 400 stores in more than 50 countries around the world.
Discover More Fun Facts About Sweden
Today, Sweden is a peaceful and welcoming country, but it has a fascinating past! These are just some of the fun and interesting facts about Sweden and there’s lots more to uncover.
If you’re looking for an interesting and fun-filled destination to travel to this year, why not consider this Nordic beauty? With its rich history, beautiful landscape, and friendly people, Sweden has plenty to offer visitors.