Sweden is the fifth largest country in Europe. It occupies most of the Scandinavian Peninsula, and part of the territory lies above the Arctic Circle. Tens of thousands of lakes dominate here, which is one of the typical features of the Swedish landscape. There are endless islands in the sea: about 267 thousand.
Features of the country Sweden
Sweden is one of the most modern, most cultural and, above all, most civilized countries in the world. More than 80% of the population lives in the southern half of the country, and the vast majority live in cities.
The country borders on Norway, Finland, and in the south it is connected to Denmark by a unique bridge-tunnel over the Øresund. This is a large, long country in which the territory of the south is very different from the north. The Swedish landscape is one of the most picturesque in the world. In the far north, the mountains are mostly overgrown only with bushes. The lower northern regions are home to coniferous trees and hardy birch trees. The further south you go, the more deciduous trees there are, the more differences in plant species. The richest vegetation is in the south, where almost all Central European species are found. Sweden has 29 national parks and countless nature reserves.
In addition to dense forests and lakes, the country is distinguished by its typical wooden houses, painted in a deep red color. They can be seen almost everywhere – in the center of Stockholm, on the southern tip of the country by the sea and in northern Lapland.
There are more than 3,000 churches in the country, the oldest of which are a thousand years old, and they represent Swedish architecture in its development.
Stockholm – capital
The most visited city is the capital, which is located on 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges. There are almost 30,000 more islets in the Stockholm area. A typical feature of the city is a lot of greenery, water and clean air. The city offers a rich history, cultural life, museums, monuments. It boasts beautiful medieval buildings and modern architecture.
The Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) is located in the center of Stockholm, on the main island of Riddarholmen. The palace is the official residence of the Swedish monarchy. Important government events take place here. It has 608 rooms and is the largest functional palace in Europe.
The Swedish national history museum, Historiska Museet, traces the nation’s history from prehistory to the present day. The museum exhibits Viking culture. The Gold Room displays Viking gold.
Djurgarde Island is a former royal hunting ground. Skansen is an open-air museum and zoological park located on the island of Djurgården. It was founded in 1891. Its purpose is to preserve Swedish rural culture. The collection contains 160 wooden farmhouses from all over Sweden. The museum has a children’s circus, and it is especially attractive for people with families.
The Vasa ship is the most visited museum in Stockholm. It sank in Stockholm Bay. This is the only surviving 17th century ship in the world.
Stadshuse Town Hall began to be built in 1911, on the island of Kungsholmen. Its tower offers panoramic views of Stockholm. The Golden Hall is decorated with glass and golden mosaics.
Note! The Blue Hall (currently red) is used to present the Nobel Prizes.
Sweden is divided into three geographical regions: Southern, Central and Northern. There are ten provinces in southern Sweden.
Additional Information! Southern Sweden is fertile, with agricultural fields and wide plains. In the south, most of the country is used for agriculture, but Sweden’s area is 75% forested.
In addition to endless forests, the landscape is also shaped by countless lakes. Southern Sweden is dotted with lakes, many bays and islands large and small. The coastline, surrounded by rocky islands, forms a natural recreation area with numerous beaches that are in demand among tourists. All of southern Sweden is suitable for cycling, trekking, water sports and fishing. The two largest islands, Gotland and Öland, are located in the southeast of the Baltic Sea.
Gotland is the largest island in Sweden. The Viking Age settlement of Visby was built on the shores of an island with a natural harbor protected by sheer rock formations.
The large island of Öland is a favorite among holidaymakers for its beautiful white, flat beaches. Öland is also famous for its windmills and Borgholm Castle.
Gothenburg, the second largest city, is located on the seashore, on the Kattegat Strait, making it a strategic port, the largest in Scandinavia. Shipping has always been very important for Sweden. Almost all international trade in goods is carried out by sea. An important city with many theatres, a university and a beautiful cathedral.
Linköping is a city with many museums. The cathedral in the city is the second largest in the country.
Norrköping has Bronze Age monuments (rock paintings) and an interesting zoo with safari.
The central part of Sweden is a landscape of forests and lakes. The Svealand region, in Central Sweden, consists of 6 provinces. Svealand has hilly glacial ranges and more than 100,000 lakes. The wooded area, with many lakes and dozens of islands, includes several nature reserves and national parks with excellent hiking conditions in winter for skiing.
- The city of Uppsala is home to the oldest university in the country. Gamla Uppsala is the former residence of kings. Mounds of the Kings, near Skoklosters Castle, with an important museum.
- The oldest cities in Sweden are Södertälje, Eskilstuna, Aborga and Nora. The famous Gripsholm Castle is located by Lake Mälaren, and Gustav Vasa Castle is in Örebro. Gävle has interesting old wooden houses.
- The Viking city of Birka on the island of Björkö is located in the Stockholm archipelago. Houses from the Viking Age and fragments of ships have been preserved here. The Viking Museum houses items found during archaeological excavations on the island. The province of Dalarna is an open-air museum.
Kurbits, one of the most famous patterns in Sweden, originated in the province of Dalarna and is now actively used in many design products.
- The old town of Örebrum is a small town with a castle.
Northern Sweden, although only a seventh of its population lives here, occupies half of the entire territory of the country. It consists of nine provinces: six coastal and three bordering Norway, the most famous of which is Lapland.
The local nature is home to wild fauna that has already disappeared from Western Europe. The proximity of the Arctic Circle determines the type of climate, vegetation and wildlife.
The territory of the country in the north of Norrland is a mountainous landscape with huge forests and large reserves of ores.
The Norrland region is known for its varied contrasts: warm summers and snowy winters with temperatures down to -40 degrees are not uncommon here. Beautiful winter scenery and ideal skiing conditions.
Interesting! The phenomena that occur due to the proximity of northern Sweden to the North Pole are unusual for us. Weeks of darkness in the winter, and a few weeks in the summer when it just doesn’t get dark.
The Northern Lights also occur in Swedish Lapland from September to the end of March. Lapland is pristine Arctic nature, snowy landscapes and the most protected corners of nature. To preserve natural resources, many territories were declared national parks. Lapland is the wild desert of Europe, with the untouched nature of Sarek. Sarek is the oldest national park in Europe and is considered the last European desert. Due to its inaccessibility, remoteness and the nature of the landscape, it is unique.
A sparsely populated area, with beautiful mountains reaching a height of about 1300 m. A large number of bears live in the local national park.
The capital of Swedish Lapland, the city of Luleo, is located on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia, 160 km south of the Arctic Circle. This cozy city has theaters and museums. The city is home to the northernmost university.
The ICEHOTEL is the first and largest hotel built from snow and ice, located in Jukkasjärvi, a small village in northern Sweden.
Gästrikland is the southernmost province in northern Sweden, located on the coast of the Bay of Bothnice. The blue mountains and countless lakes of Halsingland attract many tourists.
At Tririksroset, the northernmost point of Sweden, the borders of Finland, Sweden and Norway intersect. Northern Sweden will amaze you with its pristine nature, as well as its ski resorts.
Despite its northern location, Sweden has a generally mild climate, mainly due to the warm Gulf Stream. The mighty mountain ranges in the west of the country on the border with Norway, as well as the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia in the east also have a major influence on the climate. The mild maritime climate, on the one hand, and the arctic cold, on the other hand, provide huge temperature differences. In the north the climate is subarctic.
How to get to Sweden
International airports are located in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. The largest of them, Arlanda, 40 km north of Stockholm. The Arlanda Express train runs to the center of Stockholm every quarter of an hour.
Sweden is rich in natural beauty. Here you can diversify your holiday by exploring the beautiful nature, unique architecture and historical monuments, or visit one of the many museums.