INTRODUCTION TO SWEDEN
Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains. Its principal cities, eastern capital Stockholm and southwestern Gothenburg and Malmö, are all coastal. Stockholm is built on 14 islands. It has more than 50 bridges, as well as the medieval old town, Gamla Stan, royal palaces and museums such as open-air Skansen.
Long shunned by travellers on a shoestring budget, Sweden is now somewhat more affordable- although not yet exactly cheap. But paying the odd kronor or two extra, just to be able to feast your eyes on the beautiful countryside, swig some of the excellent aquavit and party all night in Stockholm’s nightclubs.
SWEDEN COVID-19 TRAVEL STATUS
Sweden has restricted the entry of foreign travellers arriving from outside the EEA and the UK. Entry restrictions: Sweden has restricted the entry of most foreign travellers arriving from outside of the wider European Area until at least December 22. Swedish nationals and residents may still return to Sweden from countries outside the EEA. On July 2, the Swedish Government announced that citizens and long-term residents of EEA countries, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, the UK, or Vatican City, people with Swedish residence permits, and their family members may now enter Sweden, regardless of the purpose of travel. Visa holders of Sweden and people with a visa over 3 months for another EEA country may also enter, as may people with an 'essential purpose' such as healthcare workers, health researchers and students attending a Swedish institution. More information may be found here. In addition to this, residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay may also enter Sweden. Diplomats, border workers, healthcare professionals, transport personnel, relief workers, and travellers visiting for urgent family reasons may also enter Sweden. There are currently 236,448 active cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Sweden and 6,681 deaths as of Nov 29 2020 https://www. krisinformation. se/https://www. folkhalsomyndigheten. se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/reserekommendationer-fran-ud/https://se. usembassy. gov/covid-19-coronavirus-information/
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SWEDEN QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Stockholm
- Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
- Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)
- Area: 450,295 km2
- Population: 10,23 million (2019)
- Language: Swedish, large Finnish speaking minority (470 000, RUAB 2005), most people speak apprehensible English
- Religion: 23% theist (mainly Lutheran with Muslim and Catholic minorities), 76% non theist (including 23% atheist)
- Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
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SWEDEN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 5 January, Eve of Epiphany
- 6 January, Epiphany
- 30 April, Feast of Valborg (Valborg’s Eve)
- 1 May, May Day
- 6 June, National Day
- 23 June, Midsummer’s Eve
- 24 June, Midsummer’s Day
- 1st Friday in November, All Saints Eve (All Hallow’s Eve)
- 1st Saturday in November, All Saints Day
SWEDEN WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Sweden’s proximity to the North Atlantic and prevailing south-westerly to westerly winds result in a climate that is mild in the winter months. The northernmost part of the country, however, has a subarctic climate with long, cold and snowy winters.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN SWEDEN
The snow sports season in Sweden can start as early as November and lasts until April. The busiest period is from mid December through to February, with the lesser crowded times in November, March & April.
HIKING & CYCLING IN SWEDEN
The best time for outdoor activities in Sweden is from May to August, as September and October can be cold and wet.
BEACH OPTIONS IN SWEDEN
While Sweden may have some beautiful beaches, even the summer months have very moderate temperatures and don't really get hot.
SURFING IN SWEDEN
While it may be possible to surf at a few secret spots in Sweden, opportune weather conditions are rare and it can be really cold!
KITESURF IN SWEDEN
Sweden can have good winds for both windsurfing and kitesurfing from June to October, with schools for both activities. It's just not going to be very warm!
LGBTQ IN SWEDEN
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Sweden are regarded as some of the most progressive in Europe and in the world. Same-sex sexual activity was already legalised in 1944 and same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May 2009, making Sweden the seventh country in the world to open marriage to same-sex couples nationwide.
In 2019, Sweden was the most predominantly LGBTQ accepting country in the EU and proudly hosts the annual Stockholm Pride Festival.