Updated: Sep 12, 2019
First of all, Sweden has a special place in our hearts...
One of my favorite cities in Europe, where we lived for almost 6 years, or just outside in the beautiful suburb of Saltsjö-Duvnäs, we had our youngest son there and lived in our first house as a family, in other words, Stockholm has a very special place in our hearts. It’s hard not to love this city - Stockholm has something to offer everyone in the family.
1: Fika… Did You Say Fika?
When you are in Sweden there are certain things that you simply must know about: “Fika” being one of them. Fika is basically a coffee break but as much as it’s about coffee, it’s the social aspect of the coffee break that’s important, and it’s even a verb, “to fika”. It’s used in the family and at workplaces. Among family, it’s simply a coffee or juice (for kids) break but you can also fika with friends and then it’s usually a longer but informal event of 1-2 hours. When it’s in a professional setting, it’s the opportunity to have a quick talk about family life with your colleagues and it’s an opportunity for the boss to have an informal chat with the team. My favorite part about fika, though, are the incredible cakes, fika bread etc. to go with the coffee. Swedes are in particular good with all types of crumbles (typically with local berries) and the Swedish classic: Kladdkaka, a chocolate cake nice and very moist and completely irresistible – and I’m usually not excited about chocolate... yes, I know I’m a minority on this one! If you are visiting in the first months of the year, you must also try the Semla, a cream filled cardamom flavored bun. It’s a bun traditionally eaten at Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday but nowadays you can find it even into late spring.
2: Children...Welcome to Sweden
This country seems to be based around children and families – in a very positive way. You can bring you child anywhere, and they are always welcomed with a smile. They’ll have arrangements for your children in restaurants, museums, busses, stores, malls, you name it, Sweden is simply meant for families to travel and live. Something else you might notice is that the Swedes are early birds and the busiest time at any museum/event is from 9-12 in the morning when the kids are at their highest. This is the time where all families are up, out and about. Lunch is usually served between 11-14 and dinner is anywhere from 17.30-19. Going out for dinner will usually be around 18-19ish.
3: Love of Nature
Swedes love the nature and a visit here will for sure give you plenty of opportunity to experience nature, all year round. Yes, come winter, despite being very cold, the winters are the time of year where the nature-lover really comes out in the Swedes. As in other countries Sweden has gotten on the health wave and many people keep in shape by running for exercise. Come winter, people simply get out their cross country skis and long ice-skates and continue exercising, now only in the beautiful winter setting. This phenomenon opened our eyes to these activities as well, the kids absolutely loved it and now its one of the things we miss most about Sweden.