A cold and icy Stockholm
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When in Stockholm… A guide to living like a local in Sweden

The Scandinavian country of Sweden is a popular holiday destination for both it’s picturesque landscapes and it’s vibrant cities. From furniture to pop music, the world has embraced Sweden’s lifestyle, culture and cuisines. When on holiday in the Nordic territory there’s plenty of tourist attractions, especially in the major cities. But to really get the best out of any trip, it’s important to immerse yourself in a few authentic experiences. Here are a few local tips to feel like a local i Sverige (in Sweden).

Getting around

Northern Europe and Scandinavia are famous for cycling. Safe, efficient and with good infrastructure, it’s more than often the most popular form of travel. Malmö, Sweden’s fourth largest city is located in Skåne, the country’s most bicycle-friendly region. The city is proud of its huge investment in cycling campaigns, helmets and gigantic bicycle parks. It is definitely the easiest form of transport within the cities, but also an excellent way to get outdoors to the country’s breathtaking natural landscapes.

If you’re not a fan of bikes, Swedish law and culture actively promotes hiking. With an abundance of National Parks and the Allemansrätten (Right of Public Access), anyone is entitled to hike through forests and fields. You may pick berries and mushrooms, all without the landowner’s permission. Locals and travellers alike may forage as much as they feel.

Dinner

Swedish people really love their cheese. And for any cheese lover, the country will not disappoint. It’s not just the cheese, but the grater – however, that makes Swedish lives a little bit easier. The Swedish hand grater is simple in design and slices cheese to the right size for sandwiches or crackers. The tool is often served with a smorgasbord instead of a knife. And is used at breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, when travelling in Sweden it’s worth trying out this world-renowned design feat to really feel like a local.

After dinner, in Sweden, there is the option for coffee, tea and maybe something sweet. The kanelbulle or cinnamon bun is often referred to as the nation’s dish. Snus is also considered an after dinner, evening tradition. The smokeless tobacco, extremely popular in Scandinavia, hasn’t always been available outside the European region. With online services such as taxfreesnus.com though there are more options to try this Swedish staple from around the world.

Socialising

Abba always seemed rather happy-go-lucky. Swedish people are stereotypically a nation of smiley, friendly and generally quite cheerful folk. This may or may not be one-hundred percent true. However, the Swedes do promote equality and modesty. In fact, the word ‘Jantelagen’ describes a cultural disdain for standing out. The phrase and mentality hopes to discourage vanity and keep everyone happy in their place. So when making friends or greeting others in Sweden, you may want to avoid boasting or seeming arrogant. Perhaps we could all learn to be a bit more Swedish in our attitudes and not just our interior design.

There is a lot more to experience in Sweden than just the major tourist attractions. Feeling at home and immersing yourself in the culture will give you a whole new perspective on this beautiful country. And so, do as the locals do and see what you discover.

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