Sweden is known for sweeping mountain landscapes, high per capita income and generous social welfare programs. Learn what else you can expect in this exciting Nordic nation, which welcomes visitors to enjoy its many charms.
Now let’s see what is Sweden known for?
1. The Capital Spans 14 Islands
The capital of Stockholm and its suburbs has 1.6 million inhabitants and crosses 14 islands on Lake Mälaren, which empties into the Baltic Sea. The city boasts 57 bridges and 96 beaches that fill up when the weather turns warm.
2. Ice Hotel
Since it first opened in 1990, The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, has welcomed cold-loving tourists from around the world. Made of ice and snow, the hotel was carved out of the Torne River block by block. You’ll find bedrooms, an ice bar and a chapel. (Anyone want to get married in subzero temperatures?) Managers maintain the hotel at a cool -5 °C and rebuild it every year.
If you know nothing else about Sweden, you probably know that IKEA started here. Founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA has become a multinational company. Customers order ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and accessories. In 2015, Ingvar was named one of Forbes richest people in the world.
4. Pop Music
Sweden has produced both songwriters and artists that have dominated the pop charts. The most famous pop starts to come out of Sweden, ABBA, won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and went on to become chart-toppers in many nations, including the United States. Other Swedish artists include Robyn, Roxette, Lykke Li, and Avicii.
5. Swedish Art in Metro Stations
Sweden has a comprehensive, well-maintained public transit system, one of the world’s best. When you walk into metro stations in Stockholm, you encounter 68 miles worth of local art.
6. Sweden Imports Garbage
OK, maybe this one requires an explanation. Sweden may have the world’s best waste handling system. Just 1% of household waste ends up in landfills. The system is so sophisticated that the country imports garbage from neighboring nations to keep its recycling plants in operation. Renewable resources fuel nearly half of the country’s electricity.
7. Swedes Love Chocolate
Swedes eat chocolate by the pound, and Sweden is the world’s fifth-largest consumer of chocolate. Just how much chocolate do Swedes eat in a year? The average Swede chomps down 14.6 pounds of chocolate annually. Additionally, Swedes enjoy about 23 pounds of candy per year.
8. Northern Lights
Also known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights create a magical display that people come from around the world to witness. Simply pay a visit to Abisko National Park where low pollution creates clear skies that let you truly enjoy this magnificent natural wonder. So, bundle up and look upward for streaks of unearthly green and other celestial hues.
9. Coffee Culture
Although many countries have a culture centered around caffeinated beverages, Swedes have turned it into a way of life. The Swedish call coffee breaks fika and practically consider them a birthright. If you come to Sweden, experience the coffee culture by sitting down with your favorite bean brew and a warm pastry. Fresh ground beans, delectable pastries and 10 minutes chatting up a friend. What’s not to love?
10. Oldest National Park System in Europe
In 1909, Sweden created the first National Park system in Europe. The Riksdag, or Swedish legislature, established nine national parks and added seven more through 1962. Today, the country has 29 national parks resulting in 731,589 hectares of land protected by law.
As you can see, Sweden is known for its beautiful scenery and natural wonders, as well as inventive people who have left their mark on the world. Swedish ingenuity includes state-of-the-art recycling facilities and contributions to everything from pop music to easy-assemble furniture. So, the next time you enjoy a cup of coffee, a piece of chocolate or your IKEA furniture, think of this delightful country — or plan a visit!
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