Sweden is located in Northern Europe, more precisely in the part of Europe which is commonly referred to as Scandinavia.
Sweden is a fairly large country, larger than both Germany and the UK, but with a population of only 9,6 million so it is not crowded. Despite a small population, Sweden is one of Europe’s strongest industrial nations. Many global companies have their headquarters here including Volvo, IKEA, H&M and Ericsson.
Sweden is known around the world for being democratic, safe, clean, and not least for having beautiful nature and a rich wildlife. If you travel from north to south, you will see deep forests and mountainous terrain as well as farmland and white sandy beaches. In Sweden, the general public have the right to access both public and privately owned land due to a law called Allemansrätten, which roughly translates to “the right to roam”. Being able to stroll around freely is fantastic and gives you a unique opportunity to really experience the wilderness. But don’t worry, contrary to popular belief there are no polar bears in Sweden.
Another common misconception is that all Swedes are tall and blond. The modern Swedish society is in fact multicultural and nearly fifteen percent of the population was born in another country. In the last fifty years, the number of immigrants has steadily increased. These days large communities of people from all parts of the world are living in Sweden.
The official language in Sweden is Swedish, but English is taught as a second language in School and most Swedes speak and understand English well.
Weather, Climate and Geography
Winter and summer temperature differences in Sweden are extreme, but generally the country enjoys a temperate climate, thanks to the Gulf Stream.
Above the Arctic Circle, winter is severe with temperatures going below -22°F, while summer temperatures here, and in the rest of the country, regularly hit +68°F. In the south, winter is generally mild with an average temperature above 0°C/32°F degrees. Sweden's northerly position has a definite summer advantage in that temperatures are rarely extreme and humidity levels are not high.
Sweden’s regions and their differences in climate
You can divide the country into three regions; central and southern Sweden, the northeast, and the northwest, or far north to describe the weather in Sweden.
In central and southern Sweden, the winters are short and quite cold, and summer temperatures are like those in southern England, but with a lot more hours of sunshine and daylight.
In the northeast meanwhile the winters are severe, the more so as you travel further north, while the summers can be surprisingly warm.
In the far north the winters are also severe, with snow lying the year-round on elevated areas, and the summers are short and changeable. And because Sweden lies at a high latitude much of the country has very long hours of daylight in summer and very long nights in winter.
So, no Polar bears we’re afraid, just the wonderful Swedish weather and all the fantastic things you can do in it.
For winter, thick layers are needed, with wind chill proving particularly problematic. During the summer, lighter clothing is all you need. Shorts or jeans and a t-shirt is standard attire, with a light jacket or sweater for the evenings. Waterproof clothing is recommended year-round.
Passport and Visas
There are no visa requirements for US, UK, EU, Australian and Canadian citizens. All visitors must have a valid passport.