About Sweden

Approximately nine million people live in Sweden. The biggest cities are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Sweden can be reached by airplane, train, boat or car.

It is a narrow and long country measuring 2000 km from the south to the north. There is a lot to see and do. Sweden is a country with an extensive coastline, woods, countryside, mountains and alpine scenery.

Sweden is a country in northern Europe, situated east of England and north of Germany and Poland. Sweden is part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, along with Norway and Denmark. Together with Iceland and Finland they are called the Nordic countries.

There is a great deal to see and do in Sweden. On the east coast of Sweden lies the capital city of Stockholm, well-known as one of the most beautiful capitals of the world. Other unique places to visit are the coastal areas to the east and west, both of which have fantastic archipelagos with hundreds of islands where summer guests can bask and bathe in the sun.

Nature

In Sweden you are never far from nature. The coast line, lakes, forests and mountains are never far away and outdoor life is part of the Swedish lifestyle, in summer as well as in winter. Accompanying this big interest for outdoor activities is a wide recognition in the Swedish society about climate change and environmental problems.

You will find that the Swedish landscape offers unlimited possibilities for natural adventures. Forests, mountains and lakes are magnificent and, besides this, they are easily accessible thanks to the unique Right of Public Access. This right is a part of a very old set of laws giving everyone the right to move about freely in woods and fields.

The far northern parts of Sweden are situated above the Arctic Circle, so in the summer the sun shines all day and all night. In the winter on the other hand, it is dark all day and all night. In the southern parts of Sweden, the climate is more temperate, varying a lot between different parts of the country as it is so large. The summer temperature is generally between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius.

Governance

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy so there is a government elected by the people, and a hereditary monarch. The current King of Sweden is King Carl XVI Gustaf. The heir to the throne is his daughter, Princess Victoria. The Parliament in Sweden is elected every four years, the next election taking place in September 2014.

Since 1995 Sweden is part of the European Union, but not a full participant in the economic collaboration and therefore do not use the Euro. The currency used in Sweden is the Swedish krona (one krona, two kronor). One krona is divided into 100 öre.

Language and church

The language used is Swedish and most swedes are more or less fluent in English. At the age of 12 all students choose between taking up Spanish, French or German. Due to immigration patterns Finish, Arabic, Serbo-Croatian, Persian and Kurdish are big languages in Sweden today.

The traditional Swedish Church is Lutheran. A 100 years ago most Swedes were Christian, today people from all religions live here. Swedes in general tend to describe themselves as ”the most secular people in the world”, that naturally varies depending on who you ask.

Useful links

You may find more information about Sweden in the attached documents produced by the Swedish Institute.