This definitely tops the list. “Fika” is the first word you will hear in Sweden, and you’d better know what it is: A coffee break, usually with pastries. A large amount of coffee is consumed in Sweden, and they sure love to eat anything sweet. Even the ketchup is sweet!
I suppose that the combination of drinking coffee, eating pastries, and socializing was just so wonderful it became an everyday activity. Swedes live by Fika, and may have it multiple times a day. Cafés are around every corner in Sweden, so find a café and, if you can, a Swede. Have a Fika and feel like a local, and don’t end your travel experience in this country without checking this activity off your list!
- Ice Cream
Okay, stay with me, this is NOT the same as Fika. Again with the sweets, yes, but still different. Swedes eat ice cream all the time, it’s ridiculous (but I love it). Many towns’ people say “it’s a MUST to get ice cream here!” when speaking to their visitors, and they’re completely right. I’ll make this short – buy an ice cream in Sweden, you will not regret it. As you may notice, there is no picture. I was too busy savoring my ice cream to take one.
- Take a Bike, Bus, or Train
Almost anywhere you might want to go is accessible by bikes, and you will see them on the streets quite often. It’s a wonderful feeling to ride anywhere you want, over the cobblestone roads and into town, then stop for lunch, shopping, or fika. For a bit more movement around the area or country, buses and trains are always running and used by most. This is especially helpful for student travelers that do not know the area or have no way of getting around.
When moving about the country, go to the little towns, walk around the smaller streets, and look into the local shops. You will get a more realistic feel for being in a culture that you are new to.
- Keep going
Bikes are everywhere here in Sweden, and so are forests. It’s a very good mix. The Right of Public Access in Sweden allows everyone to roam where they please. Take advantage of this, because the paths will show you incredible sights. The trees rise quite tall and the forests go on forever, through hills of moss and grass, berries and mushrooms. Lakes litter this country from top to bottom. Nature is everywhere, and if you’re in the right place at the right time, you may even catch a glimpse of the Auroras Borealis, or the Northern Lights. Wherever you go, whatever you see – just stop for a minute and breathe. The beauty in Sweden is endless, and very hard to miss.
- Get in the water
No matter the temperature, Swedes will always jump into the water to prove their bravery. Often times they don’t even continue to swim. They simply jump in and quickly get out, but afterward are able to say they were “Viking” enough to do it. With all of the lakes in Sweden, and all of the docks around them, you will definitely want to work up the courage to jump into the water on your travels.
- Try new things!
This is of course true for anywhere you go – always try something new. Different places around the globe all have something that makes their cultures unique. Small things, like herring in Sweden, or red and green chili in New Mexico. Try do as many new things in Sweden as you can, and your experience will be a much more interesting story to tell.