People and Country
- Almost everyone in Sweden speaks English and is quite friendly towards non-Swedish speaking people; so don’t hesitate to ask for directions.
- Most Swedes are heavy coffee consumers, eat all kinds of seafood (mainly hering, crayfish and fish eggs also known as caviar). Some compensate for the long winter by paying a visit to the tanning salon.
- When you are invited to a Swedish home, please take off the shoes at the entrance.
- Swedes eat rather early; 11:30-12:30 for lunch and dinner from 18:30. This goes in pair with smaller stores closing around 17:00. Most supermarkets have long opening hours though, even on Sundays!
- Sweden is a nation that promotes equality on a high level. Maternity leaves can typically be equally shared between both parents. Fathers spending time with their kids on the playground or pushing a pram are common scenes here.
- Swedish administrations are rather slow, the pharmacist will not let himself get stressed and Swedes “love” to queue (many stores will have a ticketing system, so watch out for number machines if you do not want to wait for hours). If there were a quality you might learn in Sweden, it would certainly be patience.
Weather and Environment
- The Swedish winter is quite long (November until March), cold and really dark. Adapt your list of trips and outdoor activities accordingly. Do not worry – after the mid of December, days become longer!
Good to Know
- Most clubs in Stockholm close rather early as well, at 3 am you have to re-locate to one of the fewer locations that are open until 5 am. So make sure not to stay too long at your pre-party. After 5 am, the option remaining is organising or being invited to private after parties (efterfest!).
- The Swedish government imposes high taxes on alcohol and tobacco products. You might want to consider making good use of duty free shopping!
- The selling of alcohol is organised through a state-owned monopoly. Look for Systembolaget stores. Grocery stores are allowed to sell light beer under 3.5 alcoholic percentage.