Snowbound winters, meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos, IKEA, ABBA and the Hives - whatever your pre-existing notions about Sweden, a visit to this multifaceted country is bound to both confirm and confound them.

Small Group Tours

Scandinavian Discovery

A stunning journey through Scandinavia, including Finland and northernmost Norway.

Airfares included

Days 21
From (Per person / Twin share) $13,595

Sweden Facts & Tips

Capital
Capital — Stockholm
Population
Population — 10 million
Language
Language — Swedish
Religion
Religion — Christianity & Lutheran (Church of Sweden)
Time Zone
Time Zone — 8 hours behind AEST
Currency
Currency — Krona
  • 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.

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.

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)

Sweden Highlights

Europe Destinations

Armenia

Walk along Sharambeyan street in Dilijan, marvel at some of the oldest Greek, Persian and Arabic manuscripts in Yerevan, and witness the historic cave monastery of Geghard.

Austria

From the spectacular snow-covered Alps and picture-perfect panoramas, to the quintessential elegance of its larger cities, Austria is a fascinating country to explore

Azerbaijan

A relatively untouched country, there is so much to see in Azerbaijan including the Baku Fire Temple, Burning Mountain and the Palace of Shirvanshahs.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Discover intriguing history at the old city centre of Sarajevo, Baščaršija and the Museum of Sarajevo and experience the world-famous Stari Most bridge.

Croatia

With its magnificent coastline, 1,185 islands, islets and reefs, Roman ruins and picturesque medieval villages, Croatia is alluring for lovers of fun, sun and fascinating history.

Denmark

From its picturesque capital, Copenhagen, to its windswept coastline and everything in between, Denmark will lure you in with its warmth and welcoming hospitality.

Finland

Watch the northern lights dance across the sky, relax and unwind in a Finnish sauna, cruise Lake Inari and visit Suomenlinna, an 18th-century sea fortress steeped in history.

France

A popular destination with all travellers, you can soak up the glamour of the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles or sip on a coffee and watch the world go by.

Georgia

Positioned between Europe and Asia, the country of Georgia has one of the most unique cultures in the world.

Germany

Infused with a rich history, Germany offers a fascinating mix of picture-perfect towns, lively festivals, modern, urban cities and beautiful rolling countryside.

Greece

Discover ancient sites like the Acropolis and the Agora in Athens, Delphi on the Greek mainland and delicious Greek cuisine in the glamorous Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.

Hungary

Hungary’s location in the centre of Europe, along with its hospitable attitude, makes it an inviting destination, proudly upholding its Magyar traditions, culture and arts whilst incorporating a fascinating mix of history and the present-day.

Italy

Land of la dolce vita, it is little wonder that Italy is one of the world’s most-loved destinations with two-thirds of the world’s historical, artistic heritage coming from Italy.

Malta

Otherwise known as the jewel of the Mediterranean, Malta is an island located off the Italian coast packed with stunning scenery and a rich culture.

Monaco

Experience jaw-dropping coastal views of the Mediterranean Sea, try your luck at the Casino Monte-Carlo or explore the botanical world of Jardin Exotique.

Montenegro

Discover surreal views and charming villages across the Bay of Kotor, explore the old town of Kotor surrounded with ancient medieval architecture and enjoy some local Montenegrin cuisine.

Morocco

Morocco’s dazzling mosaic of Arab and Berber cultures, with a dash of African and European influence, is at once strange and romantic, alluring and surprising.

Netherlands

From fields of colourful tulips and beautiful canal-lined cities to historic architecture and iconic windmills, the Netherlands is a wonderland for any kind of traveller.

Norway

Known as ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’ Norway is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy stunning scenery, while history buffs can immerse themselves in Norway's rich cultural heritage.

Portugal

Portugal has it all; the sun-drenched beaches of the Algarve, exclusive golf resorts, medieval hilltop towns, colourful fishing villages, a cosmopolitan capital, the vine-filled valley of the Douro and wild remote mountains.

Slovenia

Slovenia is packed with unusual and often unique experiences, from primeval forests, Karst limestone caves and thermal springs to the lively and architecturally beautiful city of Ljubljana.

Spain

Fall in love with Spain’s intriguing history, marvel at the architectural wonders of Barcelona, enjoy a traditional Spanish tapas dinner and people-watch at a terrace café in Madrid.

Switzerland

With its snow-capped Alps, emerald green forests, fairy-tale castles and shimmering lakes, it’s easy to see why Switzerland has been one of the world’s top tourist destinations for the past two centuries.

Turkey

With its covered bazaars, whirling dervishes, sultans’ treasures and Byzantine mosaics, Turkey is both a cosmopolitan and exotic destination.

Vatican City

Vatican City is the world’s smallest, fully independent city-state and country in the world, surrounded entirely by Rome.

Bunnik Reviews