Here are some simple facts and useful bits of information for your holiday in Sweden with Simply Sweden.
The best time to travel to Sweden for the midnight sun is at the end of May to the beginning of August as this is when the sun never sets. Head for the Arctic Circle between May and August and leave your body clock behind, it simply won’t work here as day and night become one!
Climate & Clothing
Sweden is a long, narrow country, stretching around 1600km north to south. The climate varies considerably over this distance. In July you will find beautiful long summer days lounging by a lake or coastal retreat while temperatures average +20C in the south and +13C in the far north.
To be comfortable in these extreme environments it is important you dress correctly. During the summer have clothing for all occasions! Shorts, t-shirts, long trousers, long sleeves and a rain jacket are advisable. If in doubt please ask one of our experienced sales representatives. More about Swedish weather and climate can be found by visiting SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute).
Dressing correctly in this environment is extremely important for you to be able to fully enjoy your holiday. Warm outer clothing maybe included in your holiday so please check. Sunglasses are advisable from mid-February.
It should be designed to take moisture away from the body and be made of synthetic material or wool (not cotton). There are some excellent products on the market. Woollen socks provide great protection for the feet.
A single layer or several thin layers. Each layer should fit over the next one without restricting movement. Fleeces, wool and other insulating material work well. If you get too warm you can always take a layer off.
Often provided during your holiday. This should be wind and waterproof. This will be the thickest layer. Jacket with hood, snow trousers and mittens / gloves, hat and scarf. During overnight tours you will be provided with hat, snowmobile suit, mittens and boots.
Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Roads are wide and empty (compared to the UK!). Accidents with wildlife, such as moose, are rare but warning signs should be taken seriously. Drink driving rules are extremely strict and you may be subject to random tests. More information, along with rules and regulations concerning driving in Sweden, including child seats and congestion charging, can be found at Vägverket, the Swedish Roads Administration. Many petrol stations are automated and you will need an international credit / debit card with a PIN number to use them.
Efficient, comfortable and reliable. Bus, train and ferry timetables have been cleverly designed to integrate with each other. When you are travelling to more remote areas where connections are necessary, in the unfortunate event your transport is delayed, you are likely to find your connecting transport will still be waiting for you when you arrive at your intermediate station.
We are regularly asked about mosquitoes in Sweden. Yes they exist in the summer (not during the winter) but we do not see them as a deterrent and you are only likely to notice them in the evening, or in the north, where it is slightly cooler. We always recommend you have long trousers and jumpers available. We also suggest you have some good mosquito repellent to hand, especially when travelling with young children and in the far north.
Sweden is not part of the eurozone and uses Swedish Kronor. International credit and debit cards are widely accepted so only a small amount of currency is required. You will be asked either for a PIN or some form of identification when paying by card.
Food and restaurants in Sweden are of an extremely high standard and Sweden has a rapidly growing reputation for excellent cuisine. There are many good cafes and restaurants in town and city centres. If you are in the countryside, hotels, castles and manor houses usually have a well-renowned restaurant. Lunch generally offers excellent value for money with many places serving a 'dagens' (meal of the day).
Alcohol can only be purchased at the state-run off-licence 'System Bolaget' by those who are 20 and over. It is common to be asked for identification - so be prepared. You will find the staff are knowledgeable and will be able to offer their expert advice.
Whether you are out in the country or in the city, the ritual of 'fika' is a must. It is quite simply coffee with cakes and pastries or other snacks.
Sweden is 1hr ahead of the UK.
Rights of access - a part of Swedish life!
You may walk, cycle, horse ride, ski, and stay temporarily in country areas providing you do not damage crops, forestation areas or other sensitive areas of land. You must respect the privacy of the home by not passing through or staying on private plots of land. Do not disturb and do not destroy, is the main principle of the Swedish Right of Public Access. You are allowed to camp for one night on land not used for agriculture that is located away from the dwelling-house. Ask the landowner for permission if you want to camp as a group. You may light a fire providing it is safe to do so, however, never on bare rocks as this might cause permanent damage due to cracking. When the lighting of fires is prohibited, this applies to all open fires, and is often the case in national parks and conservation areas. You may pick flowers, berries and mushrooms in the countryside, but certain plants, such as all orchids, are protected species and special regulations prescribed by law may apply to what you are allowed to pick in the countryside. Be sure not to leave any litter. Leave no trace.