Snowbound winters, meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos, IKEA, ABBA and the Hives - whatever your pre-existing notions about Sweden, a tour to this multifaceted country is bound to both confirm and confound them. Explore Stockholm, Sweden’s charming capital city that’s spread across 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges. As the birthplace of new trends in design, music, fashion and technology, Stockholm is sure to delight and awe you. Ready to experience the very best that Sweden has to offer? Book a Sweden tour online at Bunnik Tours today or get in touch with our travel specialists.
Sweden Facts & Tips
Did you know?
- The world-famous discount furniture chain IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.
- Every year, Swedes celebrate Midsummer (Midsommar) on the 23rd of June. On this longest day, in many parts of Sweden the sun never sets.
- In the 9th and 10th centuries, Swedish Vikings invaded and settled in parts of Eastern Europe as far as Constantinople and the Caspian Sea. They founded the first kingdom of Russia. All the Tsars of Russia until the last one, Nicholas II, were of Swedish Viking descent.
- Sweden has given the world some of the greatest pop bands and singers, including Abba, The Cardigans, Roxette, Ace of Base, Carola Häggkvist, Army of Lovers, Robyn, A*Teens, Europe and Alcazar.
- With Ericsson, Sweden is a global leader in mobile telecommunication technology. The country also has the highest percentage of mobile phones per capita in Europe. There are now more mobile phones than people in Sweden. It is also the maker of Volvo and Saab cars and Scania trucks.
Visas & Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Sweden do not need a visa at this time.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
The Australian Embassy in Sweden:
Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm
Ph. +46 0 8 613 2900
Fax. +46 0 8 613 2982
The official currency of Sweden is the Krona. Notes are in denominations of kr1,000 (rarely used), 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. The recommended currency to take to Sweden is the Swedish Krona or the Euro. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Swedish Kronor or Euros with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Stockholm is approximately €3.50
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately €12
- The price of dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately €35
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately €6.50
Swedish food is usually simple and satisfying, and nowadays also healthy. The word smörgås means something like ‘open sandwich’, and bord is the Swedish word for ‘table’, but still, the Swedish term smörgåsbord is not a table full of sandwiches. This specialty instead consists of a number of small dishes, from which you can take your pick. An average smörgåsbord may for instance, contain a number of herring dishes (sweet-pickled herring, pickled herring with onions, mustard, dill, etc.), Swedish meatballs, salmon, pies, salads, 'Jansson´s temptation' (sliced herring, potatoes and onions baked in cream), eggs, bread, boiled and fried potatoes and so on. A smörgåsbord was served as early as the 18th century but at that time it was used as an appetiser before the main course. Gradually, however, it has become a meal in itself. Today few people ask for more after having tried everything on a smorgasbord!
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
Sweden is temperate in the south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers, while the north faces sub-arctic conditions. The north of Sweden lies within the Arctic Circle, and continental influences also contribute to the cold climate. In northern areas, winters are usually long and cold. The south of Sweden benefits from maritime influences and the climate is milder.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
Stockholm is a relatively easy city to explore on foot. You may wish to purchase the SL Tourist Card in order to travel on trams, trains and ferries. These can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hours and will give you free entry to a few attractions. The historic No 7 tram runs between Norrmalmstorg and Skansen, passing most attractions on Djurgården. Travelling by ferry will give you excellent views of the city, which is built on an archipelago.
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Sweden…
Absolut vodka is one of Sweden's most successful exports. Every bottle is produced in Åhus, in southern Sweden, and the winter wheat from the nearby fields is the secret of Absolut's impeccable quality. Linen is another good buy and many Swedish textile producers have achieved international stature. Wool jumpers and other winter clothes are of excellent quality, although strictly speaking many of the distinctive designs are likely to come from Norway, Finland or Iceland. Wooden Dala horses are also popular souvenirs usually for children or the young at heart.
- Swedes rarely take hospitality or kindness for granted and as such, they will often give and say thanks. Failing to say thank you for something is perceived negatively in Sweden.
- Behaviours in Sweden are strongly balanced towards ‘lagom’ or, ‘everything in moderation’. Excess, flashiness and boasting are abhorred in Sweden and individuals strive towards the middle way.
- Personal space is important in Sweden and as such it is recommended that you maintain an awareness of someone’s personal space and that you do not invade it. Avoid any unnecessary touching.
Celebrations & Public Holidays
Though not actually a public holiday, many take the day of work to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve, arguably one of the most important days in Sweden. Celebrating the longest day in Sweden, this ‘life and love’ festival involves flowers in the hair, singing and dancing round maypoles, while sipping unsweetened schnapps and eating pickled herrings with a side of new potatoes, chives and sour cream. The winter brings many festivities to Sweden including the Christmas Markets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s ‘old town’ and original city centre. The main square of the small island of Gamla Stan comes to life with stalls full of Christmas goodies. Set amongst one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres of Europe, it is sure to charm you as you stroll the alleyways and cobblestone streets.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- Republic Day
- Epiphany (January 6th)
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Labor Day (May 1st)
- End of World War II (May 8th)
- St. Cyril & St. Methodius Day (July 5th)
- National Uprising Day (August 29th)
- Constitution Day (September 1st)
- Day of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15th)
- All Saints' Day (November 1st)
- Fight for Freedom and Democracy Day (November 17th)
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- St. Stephen's Day (December 26th)
Spread across 24,000 islets and laced with numerous waterways on the southeastern coast of Sweden, Stockholm enjoys one of the most stunning locales of any capital city in the world. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces, giving Stockholm perhaps the freshest air and widest lungs of any European capital. This natural oasis is complemented by the stunning Old Town, which has been very well preserved over the centuries. This Old Town (or Gamla Stan) is the epicentre of the city, with countless hotels, bars, restaurants and shops all prospering - as people in these historical streets have done for centuries.
What is the best month to visit Sweden?
You can book a Sweden tour all year round! But if you prefer warmer weather, it’s best to go between May and September. If you’re the opposite and want to see snow, then aim for November to March – just make sure you bring your warm clothing!
How many days do you need to see Sweden?
If you’re only travelling to Sweden on a small group tour, we recommend staying there for 7 to 10 days. However, if you’re combining it with 1 or 2 other countries, like on a Sweden tour package, 3 days is perfect. For example, our Scandinavian Discovery tour starts with 3 days in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. During your stay, you'll get to tour the Royal Palace, the green island of Djurgården, City Hall, the Vasa Museum, taste Swedish cuisine, browse the Hötorget (Haymarket), and do a walking tour of Gamla Stan. You'll also have plenty of free time to do your own exploring, which could include a visit to the ABBA museum.
How much does a Sweden trip cost?
This depends on whether you’re going by yourself or on a Sweden group tour, and if you’re just visiting Sweden or other Scandinavian countries as well. At Bunnik Tours, our Scandinavian Discovery is a 21 day tour package that starts from $13,595. It travels to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Airfares, some meals, local guides, accommodation, transport and tipping are all included.
Is Sweden friendly to tourists?
The Swedish locals are incredibly warm and welcoming! The crime rate is also very low, so you can feel extremely safe booking a Sweden holiday package.
How can I tour Sweden as a responsible traveller?
At Bunnik Tours, we believe in responsible travel and sustainable tourism. For more information, visit our Sustainable Tourism hub.
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