As you travel around Sweden, you can’t help but notice that virtually every timber structure is painted deep red. Many outsiders mistakenly see this lack of individuality and expression as stifling social democractic conformity. It is actually more a question of practicality combined with age-old tradition. In a climate as severe as Sweden’s, wood needs special protection from the elements: the red paint used for generations on structures across the country, produced in Falun, contains a natural copper preservative. Known as Falu rödfärg, this paint is Sweden’s aesthetically more pleasing answer to pebbledash.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Sweden features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why Gothenburg should be your next European city break

Why Gothenburg should be your next European city break

So gloomy they named it goth? Not in the slightest. This town can certainly do black-eyeliner bleak with the best of them – anywhere with docklands can, and G…

12 Oct 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

On the face of it, Scandinavia isn’t a very sensible place for a holiday. For one thing, it’s almost always going to be colder than the place you’re leavi…

31 Mar 2017 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right