The Vikings are probably the most famous Swedes of all and their expeditions and raids were feared for about 200 years from the year 800. Today, there are exhibitions, museums, and interactive experiences about the Viking people all over the country. The extent of the country from north to south is remarkable. There are 1,500 kilometres from north to south, which also explains the climatic differences between the country's regions. For aurora lovers, September and March are ideal months to take a trip to Sweden, and beach lovers can look forward to the summer weeks between mid-June and mid-August.
Other interesting facts worth knowing about Sweden
- Large parts of Sweden are flat or only slightly hilly, but towards the Norwegian border there are mountain ranges rising to more than 2,000 metres.
- Although you hear about the Kingdom of Sweden, the monarchy in Sweden is only representative, and democratic decisions are made in parliament.
- The kingdom includes more than 200,000 islands and almost 100,000 lakes.
- The country borders the Baltic Sea, Norway, Finland, and its west coast forms the Kattegat, a sea area considered difficult to navigate.
- In terms of pure land area, Sweden is the fourth largest country in the EU, but only about 10 million people live on its 440,000 square kilometres.
- Europe's largest shopping centre is located in Gothenburg, in the west of the country, and there are more of the best-known US fast-food chain outlets here than in other European countries. The Lindvalen ski area even has a drive-in for skiers.
- Car accidents involving moose are common in Sweden. About a fifth of all accidents are related to moose and the warning signs showing moose crossing roads are popular souvenirs – and not always obtained legally.
- Traffic offenders can expect draconian punishments in Sweden. People who do not keep the legal safe distance while driving can be fined and banned from driving for several years.
Economic development and the Swedish language
Sweden's population is growing, thanks mainly to immigrants. Since the 1960s, it has increasingly been considered a country of immigration, and in addition to migrant workers, many refugees from the Near East and Middle East and from the former Yugoslavia have come to the country.
The economic development of the country only really took off at the beginning of the 20th century and the country is ranked in the top 12 countries in the world for its gross domestic product (GDP). One of the most famous and well-known car manufacturers, a famous furniture chain and several electronics manufacturers are Swedish.
Learning the Swedish language is especially easy for immigrants from German-speaking areas, because the two languages have a lot in common.
FAQ about Sweden and the Swedish language
In Sweden, only the royals are formally addressed and Swedes prefer not to use academic titles in everyday life.
Outside of Sweden, where the Swedish language has been required by law to be used and developed by all government agencies since 2009, Swedish is also recognised as an official language in Finland. Conversely, however, Swedish is the sole official language in Sweden.
One interesting fact about the Swedish language concerns the term "Svorsk". The Norwegian colloquial language is so interspersed with words and idioms taken from Swedish that Swedes and Norwegians can converse with each other without any problems.
Stockholmers like to call their metro "the world's longest art gallery", because many metro stations have been designed in great detail by artists. Visitors can even book art tours of the metro network.
Rainy days can be spent in one of about 100 museums, as Stockholm is one of the cities with the most museums per inhabitant.
Stockholmers love football and all three of the city's clubs are often in the top league.
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