This is Sweden – Quick Answers to Your Questions About Sweden

Frequently asked questions about Sweden

I made a collection of questions about Sweden that are repeatedly asked on the web as well as in my personal conversations with Sweden visitors. Some questions are a bit weird (hence my answers aren't always too serious) and some questions require answers that are simply factual, stuff that you could also find if you spent an hour reading a travel book or a long, boring Wikipedia page about, say, Swedish history. So, enjoy having a look at my best of-questions and answers about Sweden:

What is the legal drinking age in Sweden?

18 years. But you're not allowed to buy alcohol in the state owned alcohol stores Systembolaget until the age of 20. More about alcohol law and drinking culture in Sweden, here.

What is the legal alcohol limit in Sweden?

Better not drink at all before you want to go for a ride in your new Volvo in Sweden. You commit a crime when you drive with a blood alcohol content of minimum 0.02 per cent or more. In which case the police officers will take you to the closest police station, in another Volvo.

What is Sweden?

If you seriously googled this question, first of all let me tell you what Sweden is not! Sweden is not Switzerland. Which means it's not typically known for its mountains, Swedish watches or Swedish chocolate (although it exists and is rather delicious). Sweden is also not a communist country. But more about that a little later.

Which countries border Sweden?

Sweden shares borders with Norway and Finland. If you take the Öresundbridge into account, also with Denmark.

Where is Sweden? On the map (World, Europe)

Where Sweden is located in the World/Europe - Map
Where Sweden is located in the World/Europe

By the way, Sweden and Switzerland are two different countries. This also means that the Swiss are not the same people as the Swedes. Both nations are pretty skilled producers of popular chocolate though. (Marabou vs Toblerone.)

Just check out this Google map and you will understand.

What is Sweden known for?
  1. Its social welfare system
  2. Moose
  3. Blonde, good looking people
  4. Abba (music band)
  5. IKEA
  6. Dala häst, the Dalarian Horse (Dala Horse)
  7. Köttbullar, meatballs, Swedish meatballs recipe
  8. Surströmming (fermented herring)
  9. Volvo
  10. Political neutrality, free from political alliances (alliansfrihet)
  11. Cottage houses in red and white colours (dala-red)
  12. Astrid Lindgren (Author)

How many people live in Sweden?

About 10 Million people live in Sweden (2020)
Approximately 85% live in cities.
About 20% of Swedens' population have their family roots in other countries.

What are people from Sweden called?

Swedish people are called Swedes.

What language do people in Sweden speak?

Swedish, which is a North Germanic language. Swedish is actually not that difficult to learn. Want to give it a try? Here are my top tips how you can learn Swedish fast.

Can Swedes speak English?

Yes, a very high percentage speaks English rather fluently. According to The English Proficiency Index Sweden is ranked number 2, after the Netherlands (2019).

What is Sweden in Swedish?

Sverige

What are popular sports in Sweden?

Most popular sports in Sweden, ranked by the amount of active people within each sport (2008)

  • Football – 500 000
  • Innebandy (floor ball) – 309 000
  • Golf – 273 000

What is Sweden's capital?

Stockholm

What is Sweden's area code?

+46

Sweden area code: +46

How to say “Go Sweden!” in Swedish?

If you are at a sports event and want to support the Swedish team in Swedish: Heja Sverige! (Go Sweden!)

When did Sweden become a country?

1523, Gustav Vasa is considered the founding father of modern Sweden.

What are popular newspapers in Sweden?

Online versions of the most popular newspapers in Sweden:

What are popular swear words in Sweden?

What is Swedish money called?

Swedish krona (SEK). Svenska kronor, in Swedish.

Is Sweden member of the NATO?

No, Sweden isn't member of the NATO.
Swedes like neutrality. But they discuss it pretty much every time a submarine is spottet close to Stockholm's archipelagos.

Is Sweden member of the EU?

Yes, Sweden is member of the EU. And they love it. Except, they are still suspicious when it comes to replacing their currency “Swedish Crown”, Svenska Kronor (SEK) to the widely established Euro (EUR). Oops, I already answered the next question …

Which currency do you pay with in Sweden?

Swedish Crown, (Svenska Kronor, SEK). It's a great currency, because you can find the popular author Astrid Lindgren on the 100 Crown bank notes.

Why is Sweden a good place to live?

Beautiful nature. High living standards. Great education and infrastructure. Delicious cinnamon buns everywhere.

What is fika?

Fika is the Swedish way of having a coffee break.

How do Swedes celebrate Christmas?

They watch Donald Duck (called Kalle Anka in Sweden) and eat a special version of the popular smörgåsbord called julbord.

What is Sweden's national animal?

Sweden doesn't have an official national animal. But I suggest we pick the moose, because they are widespread in Sweden and German tourists love them.

When did Sweden switch from driving on the left-hand side of the road to driving on the right?

3 September 1967. Called dagen H, H Day, for högertrafikomläggningen, the right-hand traffic diversion.

What is Sweden's national dish/food?

Officially Sweden doesn't have any. Again, shall we just say it's köttbullar? And for dessert we can have a “national pastry” kanelbulle (cinnamon bun).

What is Sweden's tax rate?

The tax revenue as percentage of Sweden's GDP: about 42%. So, bit higher than in your country (probably).

What is the average hight of Swedish people?

  • Men: 181.5 cm (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)
  • Women: 166.8 cm (5 ft 5 1⁄2 in)

What is the age of consent in Sweden?

  • 15 – “Limited by relationship: younger partner is deemed able to consent to having sex with an older one as long as the latter is not in a position of trust or authority, or is not recognised to be abusing the inexperience of the younger one.” (Wikipedia)
  • 18 – “Unlimited: age from which one is deemed able to consent to having sex with anyone else …” (Wikipedia)

What are the biggest cities in Sweden?

RankCityPopulation, municipalityPopulation, urban area
1Stockholm970,0001.6 million
2Gothenburg (Göteborg)

580,000 1 million
3Malmö340,000700,000
Biggest cities in Sweden
List with 20 biggest cities in Sweden
Top 20 biggest cities in Sweden

What is the typical date format in Sweden?

For example, for April the 2nd 2020, Swedes would write:

2/4/2020 or 02/04/2020 (DD/MM/YYYY) for example in mails etc in written context.
Many formal documents: 2020-02-04, (YYYY-MM-DD) or even without hyphens in e.f. the Swedish identification number (personnummer) 20200402. In some cases the year is written without the first digits: YYMMDD: 200402

What are popular dating sites/apps in Sweden?

  • Tinder
  • Badoo
  • Match.com

What are popular travel destinations and places to visit in Sweden?

City and weekend trips: Stockholm and Gothenburg
Nature and relaxation: East coast (e.g. Smögen), the islands Gotland and Öland in the Baltic Sea, and Småland which is considered the “typical Sweden” with plenty of idyllic lakes and vast forrest.

What does the Swedish flag look like?

Swedish flag
Swedish flag

A yellow cross on blue background. Have a look here, including the history of the flag of Sweden, color codes and more.

Which are famous Swedish people?
  • Björn Borg (tennis player)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (football player)
  • Zara Larsson (singer)
  • Alicia Vikander (actress)
  • Stellan Skarsgård (actor)
  • Alexander Skarsgård (actor)
  • Joel Kinnaman (actor)
  • Astrid Lindgren (children's books)
  • Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel price)

Fictional:

  • Pippi Longstocking
  • The Swedish chef
  • Wallander

How many days of paternity/maternity leave do Swedish parents have?

480 days per child.

What's the weather/climate in Sweden?

Dark and cold in winter. Bright and less cold in summer. More about why Swedes are obsessed with summer and sunshine, here

Where can I get Sweden news in English, from Sweden?

What is snus?

Snus a tobacco product originating from a variant of dry snuff. Many Swedes use it instead of cigarettes. More about snus, read here…

Can Swedes understand Norwegians?

Yes, actually, Swedes can have an almost fluent conversations with Norwegians while both speak their own language. From an outsider's perspective Norwegian can sound like a very strong, melodic Swedish dialect. Most words are very similar, some are completely different though. Still, it wouldn't be a problem for a Swede who never partook in a Norwegian language course to work in a restaurant in Norway and vice versa.

What are Swedish inventions?

  • Dynamite (Alfred Nobel)
  • Ball bearing – Sven Wingquist
  • Boat propeller – Jonas Wenström
  • Refrigerator – Carl Munter and Baltazar von Platen

More interesting Swedish Innovations

What is typical Swedish interior design look like?

Minimalistic, simplistic, functional, soft natural colors and materials. Thoughtfully placed decoration items. Here a picture of a home with a style you can find very often in Sweden:

Following soon …

  • What is the living cost in Sweden?
  • When are holidays in Sweden?
  • What is a Swedish massage?
  • What is Swedish fish?

More about Sweden and the Swedes