Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains. Its principal cities, eastern capital Stockholm and southwestern Gothenburg and Malmö, are all coastal. Stockholm is built on 14 islands. It has more than 50 bridges, as well as the medieval old town, Gamla Stan, royal palaces and museums such as open-air Skansen.Population: 10.23 million (2019) Eurostat, TrendingCapital: StockholmCurrency: Swedish krona
FROM NORTH TO SOUTH SWEDEN
OF SWEDEN IS FOREST
COLD IN THE FAR NORTH IN JANUARY
DAYS OF DAYLIGHT IN SUMMER
SWEDISH NATIONAL PARKS
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN SWEDEN
– LIFE EXPECTANCY FOR WOMEN
DAYS OF PAID PARENTAL LEAVE
NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS SINCE 1901
Sweden imports waste – from Norway!
The Swedish people love to recycle. Only 1% of waste ends up in landfill with 50% being recycled or composted and 49% being incinerated for energy. This may sound like great news but it has caused one big problem: there’s not enough waste left to keep the incinerators running. So, Sweden has come up with a novel solution. They import waste from Norway and the UK to keep the lights on. And as a double bonus, the countries actually pay Sweden to take their waste away!
There’s a hotel made of ice – Sweden is home to the famous Ice Hotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi.
The hotel is crafted each year from two-tonne blocks of ice from the nearby Torne River. Starting from scratch, the hotel starts to take place as soon as the cold season arrives in the Arctic. Builders and artists alike work to create a hotel that’s unique every time.
And if you ever think health and safety regulations go too far sometimes, spare a thought for the owners of the Ice Hotel. Despite being made entirely of frozen water, the gigantic igloo is still required to have fire alarms fitted!
Yes, fika is really a thing
Everyone loves to take a break from work when they can but in Sweden, the idea is baked into the culture. The practice is called Fika and it’s a recognised break twice daily where workers enjoy coffee, cake and chat. All workers take breaks though, right? Well…ignoring the fact that in the Western world many work breaks are only theoretical, Fika is a communal and pretty much compulsory thing. So much so that in most companies anyone not taking part is considered rude. Maybe that’s why Swedish employees are the fourth happiest in the world!
Making light of dark days
It can be tough living in the North of Sweden in winter when there’s less than 5 hours of daylight for months on end. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that arises in response to a lack of daylight and affect many people in the far North of Europe. To help combat this, one city in Sweden installed lightboxes in bus stops to allow people waiting for their transport to experience a little extra daylight during the dark days of winter.
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