Famous for the beauty of both its landscape and its citizens, Sweden's Scandinavian charms will delight you. It's not only home-décor that Sweden excels in, with smart cities exuding a cosmopolitan chic and a high quality of life that is the envy of even its Nordic neighbours. Just like the world-renowned functionality of IKEA, Sweden exudes a cool aesthetic in which the national architecture is defined by sleek curves, clever designs, and an un-showy modernity.
In contrast to the trendy vibes of Stockholm, Sweden's vast wild terrain is notable for its thick pine forests stretching far up into the outer reaches of the Arctic Circle - where the ghostly luminescence of the Northern Lights streak across the chilly night sky.
Flights to Sweden from London take you into all the major and regional centres, with Arlanda Airport only a short distance from the capital city of Stockholm. Effortlessly good-looking, with a keen fashion-sense, Stockholm is a stylish European capital. Built over 14 islands connected by a multitude of elegant bridges, Stockholm's unique identity is reflected in its edgy architecture and grand historical landmarks. Peruse the quirky worldwide phenomenon that was Abba at the Abba Museum, complete with an iconic soundtrack to accompany the fascinating exhibits.
While walking around the pristine waterfront, you'll be captivated by Stockholm's picturesque beauty, as colourful gabled-houses and slender Gothic churches overlook a scenic harbour. Even below ground, the subway continues the beautiful appeal of Stockholm and is considered the 'longest art gallery in the world' with many stations featuring sculpture and art installations.
History and nature
Situated on the ancient flatlands to the north of Stockholm, Uppsala was once the centre of the pagan world for pre-Christian Scandinavians. Just outside the modern city, in Gamla Uppsala, huge burial mounds highlight the religious significance of the area, while excavations under the church have revealed the outline of the fabled heathen temple where ritual sacrifice once took place. Elsewhere, the splendid Uppsala Cathedral is Scandinavia's largest church and is well worth exploring.
Lying deep in the heart of Northern Sweden, the Lapland Province abounds in natural wonders. The vast mountainous area includes glistening, snaking wetlands that are cultivated by the indigenous Sami people. Here you can marvel at the herding of reindeer, while the Stora Sjöfallet National Park is ideal for mountain climbing and hiking amid the rugged peaks.
Food and drink
Rooted in the simple pleasures of fish, bread and dairy, Sweden's cuisine has developed into an exciting gastronomic experience. Swedish meatballs and boiled potatoes are popular dishes, all washed down with some Akvavit. Nordic favourites abound at the Grands Verandan in Stockholm, where you can enjoy the famous smorgasbord in a lavish setting. Meanwhile, Rosendals Trädgårdskafe offers delightful pastries, coffees, cakes and wines in a dreamy riverside setting.
|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£6.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£1.00|
|One way tube ticket||£2.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£4.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£30.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£77.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£1,830.00|