In many ways, Sweden is a model country: society is liberal, people are prosperous and the social and economic position of women is one of the most advanced in the world. As a result, most visitors find Sweden an easy country to visit.

Swedes, in general, are an efficient nation – planning meticulously and booking ahead to ensure they get what they want, when they want. Accordingly, spontaneity and flexibility are not high on the agenda in Sweden, which can sometimes create a mistaken impression of rudeness to the outsider. Honesty and straight-talking are two highly cherished sides of the Swedish character; a promise in Sweden is just that. Haggling over prices is not the done thing. On meeting, friends of both sexes usually hug, rather than kiss, each other. In more formal situations, people shake hands whilst saying their name.

In line with the liberal reputation Sweden gained during the 1970s as a result of countless soft porn films, nudity is widely accepted. In changing rooms, people are uninhibited about their bodies and don’t feel the need to cover up with a towel. Nude lake swimming and sunbathing are common practice across the country. If other people are around, show them consideration, but you’re unlikely to meet opposition.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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Sweden features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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
You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

The ICEHOTEL, constructed from snow and ice each year, has long been Swedish Lapland’s blockbuster attraction. It features in our list of the top 21 things to…

19 Apr 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
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