🇸🇪 The Country of Mother Svea I

Mother WHO? Mother Svea, also known as Sweden. You know, that 1640 km² large country in between Norway and Finland. The country of which stories are never told and which still remains pretty undiscovered. The country which is full of unexpected beauty. The country where moose cross the road as you are driving through the fascinating landscape. The country which has nature and then a few cities and people, not the other way round. A country I often think of. A country worthwhile.

Northern lights in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (Source: privatetour.com)

Firstly, Scandinavia is expensive. Sure, there are always cheap alternatives in every country, yet these cheaper versions are also expensive compared to other countries in Europe. Be sure to bring a little pocket money with you before traveling to Sweden.

Okay, let us start discovering. Sweden is a small but lovely country with 10 million inhabitants. It has so much to offer, starting from the rugged coast in the west to the many fjords along the coast and the enchanting islands near Stockholm. The cities have a very innovative and modern architecture. You will also be able to participate in many outdoor activities, such as cycling, hiking, skiing, kayaking – anything your heart desires! And even I, more a city and ocean than a village and mountain person –  saw that Sweden is inviting you to discover its endless nature. It made me realize what tiny place one occupies in the world full of phenomena.

Accomodation is quite expensive. Hostels start around 250 SEK per night for a dorm room. A private double room in a hostel will cost you around 700 – 800 SEK. The more people in a room, the cheaper it gets for you. Hotels start at around 700 SEK for a double room per night. AirBnB are always my go-to, you can find great places for as little as 400 – 550 SEK. Yet keep in mind that we are in Sweden, so we are surrounded by nature. That is why a camping trip would definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. ‘Mother Svea’ allows us to do wild camping both legally and for free. If this might not be your thing, campgrounds are common as well. Check with your campground if they have modern facilities such as showers etc. and if fees are due.

Camping in the arctic along the Kungsleden, Lapland, Sweden (Source: robertdowniephotography.com

Food will set you back quite a bit in Sweden. Restaurants serve great dishes, yet you can also eat  food at outdoor street vendors. For hotdogs, sandwiches etc. these are ideal because they start at about 50 SEK. You will probably have to pay around 150 SEK for a main dish at a nice restaurant, a wine costs 55 – 75 on average. If you want to lower your costs when e.g. grocery shopping, exclude two of the most expensive males in Sweden: meat and cheese. And avoid ordering cocktails unless your planning to spend an extra 100 SEK for these as well.

Transportation varies in its costs. In general, buses are the cheapest form of transportation. They will cost you around 230 – 400 SEK, but if you book them one or two months in advance, you can even find buses for as little as 90 SEK. Trains are more expensive. The 3 hour trip from Stockholm to Gothenburg (where I have been) costs 735 – 1000 SEK. But be sure to book the train tickets at least two days in advance because they are very often already sold out and then you will not be able to travel as planned. When arriving at the airport (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö) there is a bus shuttle called ‘Flygbussarna’ which will take you to the city for 100 SEK.

Gothenburg, Sweden (Source: vogue.com)

I think I have talked enough about the costs of Sweden now. Let me just finish this destination with saying that my entire heart lays at the ocean with the city lights lightning up the evening sky, but Sweden did not fail to amaze me. It is not only the unique nature which makes the country so attractive, but also the people. They are some of the funniest, most open-minded and somehow also spontaneous people out there. Cheers to you and ‘Ses snart!’ (Sw.: See you soon!) ❤

Tipping:

  • Restaurants: 5 %
  • Taxi: Round up
  • Guides/Staff: None (or at least not expected)

Do’s:

  • Be on time. Punctuality is highly valued in all of Scandinavia.
  • Proper table manners are expected.
  • Smile and start interacting. The Swedish people are the last to frown at you or even ignore your attempts to establishing contact. They are just a little bit more timid, so make the first move 🙂

Don’ts:

  • The Swedish are more reserved than other countries. Avoid affectionate touching and emotional gestures in public.
  • As in all the countries in Northern Europe, you should behave properly. Do not keep your hands in your pockets when talking to someone.

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