Currency: Swedish Krona
Time Zone: CET/GMT+1
Tipping: In Sweden, leaving a tip isn't mandatory, however the norm is around 10%.
With only 750,000 inhabitants occupying the country's largest city, it's easy to see why visitors on Sweden tours feel an immense sense of open space. In fact, it's possible to travel for miles and miles around Sweden and come across nothing apart from enormous blue lakes, Falu Red cottages and barns, dense pine forests and amazing blue skies above.
The pillaging days of The Vikings are long gone, but evidence of Sweden's brush with these mead-swilling folk can be found at the Foteviken Viking Reserve in Skåne, set up by re-enactment enthusiasts. As you stroll through the spectacular Swedish countryside, don't be surprised to find that your perfect picnic spot turns out to be an ancient King's burial mound as there are plenty of them scattered about the country.
Sweden's capital, Stockholm should feature high on your touring itinerary especially if you're an architectural buff. The city's mix of saffron and terracotta painted buildings combined together against a backdrop of clear blue waters and even clearer skies will fascinate just about everyone who travels here. Visit the Old Town, Gamla Stan, and lose yourself in the city's vibrant history whilst negotiating a maze of cobblestone alleyways that appear to have been built for only thin people to pass through! You'll find the main city centre to one side of Gamla Stan where a variety of boutiques and quirky restaurants can hold their own against any other capital in the world. Surrounding Stockholm is Skärgard, an archipelago of 24,000 rocky islands which are the pride and joy of Sweden. Whilst in Stockholm, take a boat tour along one of its many waterways and see whether the city really adds up to its slogan of 'Beauty on Water'.
No tour of Sweden is complete without visiting Skansen, one of the world's oldest open-air museums where you can explore over 100 traditional buildings, visit the Sami Camp and its reindeer, watch artisans blow glass and sample some Scandi treats from the local bakery. You'll find a variety of Nordic animals wandering freely in the in-house zoo and make sure you visit the Aquarium where you may catch a glimpse of pygmy marmosets – the world's smallest monkeys!
Other must-see's on your tour of Sweden include: the Royal residence of Drottningholm Slott which rather resembles impressive Versailles in France. Relax on the beautiful beaches or jump on a bicycle and follow countryside trails through Gotland. Admire castles such as Kalmar Slott with its fairy-tale turrets. Explore the Bohuslän Coast with its mighty glaciers and World Heritage rock-carving site at Tanumshede. Welcome spring with the Valborg Festival where celebrations start in the morning down by River Fyris and conclude with students downing champagne – don't ask! Complete your Sweden holiday by visiting Kiruna where they construct a hotel completely out of ice and where you can experience the power of the Midnight Sun – don't be surprised if you wake during the early hours of the morning and find the sun still shining!
Sweden tours typically include; return flights, transportation whilst in the resort, accommodation in good standard hotels, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so experience the very best of this destination where at some points during the year, the sun really never sets!
The beauty of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Sweden, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
As with most destinations it is wise to check with your GP before you travel to see if you will need any vaccinations or medical treatment for when you visit Sweden.
Prior to leaving for Sweden you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card is not a substitute for health insurance, however it will allow you to access state provided medical treatment if it becomes necessary. This will be given on the same terms as Swedish nationals. The EHIC does not cover the cost of repatriation back to the UK, on-going medical treatment or non-urgent treatments and so travellers should ensure they have travel insurance and access to additional funds. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
In Sweden, pharmacies tend to be closed on Sundays and are only open for a limited time on Saturdays. However, you can get emergency prescriptions from hospitals.
If you need to dial an ambulance whilst in Sweden, call 112 and contact your travel insurance company if you are transferred somewhere for medical treatment.
Levels of crime in Sweden are low, however there is still some petty crime. Pickpockets can target tourist areas during the summer months so do keep an eye on your belongings and leave valuables somewhere safe.
Local Laws and Customs
Importing illegal drugs (including Khat/qat) can incur heavy punishments.
Your passport should be valid for the entirety of your stay and no additional period of validity is required beyond this.
Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entrance and exit from Sweden as well as for airside transit.
British citizens do not require visas to enter Sweden. British passport holders can stay for up to three months.
Any other nationality looking to visit Sweden must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
There is lots of useful information available about travelling to Sweden at visitsweden.com.
Sweden is a fascinating country to visit and at times it could appear overwhelming when deciding what to see first, maybe this will help:
There are some magnificent sights to be seen in Sweden but if you're looking for a fairy-tale castle, Kalmar Slott has it all including fascinating secret passageways and a dungeon. The most striking feature of the castle is its fairy-tale turrets that looks just a though it has popped out of a famous children's tale. The chapel should be visited as it is the most sought after location for a wedding in Sweden.
When you attend the museums, you will see a range of fascinating glassworks on display. There are more than 10 glass factories located among the dense forest and the professional glass-blowers will be more than happy to show you how it's done. There could even be the opportunity for you to have a go yourself.
This is the Old Town of Stockholm and is where you'll find cultural heritage. See the stunning Royal Palace which is the official residence of the King of Sweden, although the Royal Family tends to reside at Drottningholm. Visit the Storkyrkan which is the oldest church to be found in Gamla Stan or perhaps take a peek inside the Tyska Kyrkan a church that was home to the first German-speaking parish outside of Germany.
A beautiful stretch of coastline located between Gothenburg and the border of Norway filled with picturesque towns and quaint fishing villages. The area is pretty, sparkling clean and above all, tidy. Escape the bustling sea resort, jump on a boat and visit one of the many islands found in the Skaggerak Sea. The actress, Ingrid Bergman loved the islands so much, particularly Danholmen that she had her ashes scattered there when she passed away.