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Sweden  is the largest of the Nordic countries in Northern Europe, with a population of about 9 million. It borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark via the bridge of Öresund (Öresundsbron).
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Although having been a military power and spanning about three times its current size during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. Having long remained outside military alliances (including both World Wars), the country has a high peace profile, with internationally renowned names such as Raoul Wallenberg, Dag Hammarskjöld, Olof Palme and Hans Blix. Sweden is a monarchy by constitution, but king Carl XVI Gustaf has no executive power. The country has a long tradition of Lutheran-Protestant Christianity, but today's Sweden is a secular state with few church-goers.
Sweden has a capitalist system and is a developed post-industrial society with an advanced welfare state. The standard of living and life expectancy rank among the highest in the world. Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, but decided by a referendum in 2003 not to commit to the EMU and the euro currency. Leadership of Sweden has for the larger part of the 20th century been dominated by the Social Democratic Party, which started out at the end of the 19th century as a labor movement, but today pursues a mix of socialism and social-liberalism. Since the most recent election, a coalition of center-right liberal/conservative parties has come into power.
Sweden has a strong tradition of being an open, yet discreet country. Citizens sometimes appear to be quite reserved at first, but once they get to know who they are dealing with, they'll be as warm and friendly as you'd wish. Privacy is regarded as a key item and many visitors, for example mega-stars in various lines of trade, have many times realized that they mostly can walk the streets of the cities virtually undisturbed.
Sweden houses the Nobel Prize  committee for all the prizes except the peace prize which is hosted in Oslo, a memento of the Swedish-Norwegian union that was dissolved just over 100 years ago.
 Get in
Sweden is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement.
 By plane
For arrival and departure times, as well as lots of other information about flights and airports in Sweden, visit Luftfartsverket - Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Services
 By train
You can reach Sweden by train from three countries at present:
 By bus
 By boat
 Get around
 By plane
Although Sweden is a fairly large country, most of the action takes place in the southern parts where the distances are not huge. Domestic flights are mainly for travellers with little time or much money, however if you are heading for the far north you may want to consider it.
The most important domestic airlines:
 By train
Sweden has an extensive railway network. Most major lines are controlled by the government-owned company SJ. To buy a railway ticket, or to obtain information, phone +46 771 75 75 75 or check their website . Tickets are cheaper the earlier you buy them, so if your itinerary is set, buy your tickets ASAP! SJ recently started auctioning last minute tickets on the swedish eBay site Tradera (site only in swedish), available from 48 until 6 hours before departure. Swedish Rail passes are also available for International guests to Sweden.
Regional public transport is usually operated by companies contracted by the counties. For instance, when travelling regionally in the province of Scania (Skåne in Swedish), one should refer to Skånetrafiken. Connex provides affordable railroad transportation up north. If you're on a tight schedule, be aware that trains, especially those operated by Connex, sometimes have quite significant delays (up to 1-2 hours).
 By bus
Swebus Express runs a number of bus lines in the southern third of the country, Götaland and Svealand. They tend to be a little cheaper than going by train if you can't take advantage of SJ's youth discounts. Y-buss and Härjedalingen operate between Stockholm and Norrland. Swebus Express also operates from Stockholm and Göteborg to Oslo.
 By car
In Svealand and Götaland driving takes you quickly from one place to the other. In Norrland the distances tend to be bigger between the different sites so the time spent driving may be long. Unless you really like driving, it is often more convenient to take the train or fly to the sites, particularly in Northern Norrland. Traveling by night can be dangerous due to unexpected animals on the roads and the cold nights during the winter. Collisions with moose, roe deer, or other animals are a not uncommon cause of car accidents. See also Driving in Sweden and Winter driving.
 By thumb
Sweden has a reputation for being a pretty difficult country to hitch in, though it's still quite possible to hitchhike (but not assured to be risk-free). Ordinary people are often reluctant to pick up strangers.. Truck drivers are probably most likely to pick up hitchhikers, so target them. Asking at gas stations works pretty well. Bus stops are common places to attract attention, position yourself before the actual bus stop so the vehicle can stop at the stop. This works best if the road is widened at the bus stop, allowing cars to pull off easily.
 By bike
Most Swedish cities have excellent bike paths, and renting a bike can be a quick and healthy method of getting around locally.
 By foot
Cars are by law required to stop at any unattended crosswalks (zebra stripes in the road without red-lights) to let pedestrians cross the road. By keep in mind that you are required make eyecontact with the driver so he knows that you are about to cross the street.
 Don't bring
Swedish is the national language of Sweden, but you will find that people, especially those below the age of 70, also speak English very well - an estimated 89% of Swedes can speak English, according to the Eurobarometer. Older people born well before the Second World War usually learned German as their first foreign language, and generally speak that better than English. Today students learn a third language in school, usually Spanish, but German or French are also widely popular. Finnish is the biggest minority language. Regardless of what your native tongue is, Swedes greatly appreciate any attempt to speak Swedish and beginning conversations in Swedish, no matter how quickly your understanding peters out, will do much to ingratiate yourself to the locals.
Hej (hay) is the massively dominant greeting in Sweden, useful on kings and bums alike. You can even say it when you leave. The Swedes most often do not say "please" (snälla), instead they are generous with the word tack (tuck), meaning "thanks".
Many Swedish people are over-confident with their English skills. One problem can be excessive swearing (accepted in colloquial Swedish, and augmented by Hollywood movies), but also some false cognates can be shocking for a native English-speaker; some examples are fack ("trade union" or "compartment"), fart ("speed"), prick ("spot") kock ("chef") and slut ("end" or "sold out"). Be sure to forgive such misunderstanding.
Some things get English names that do not correspond to the original English word. Some examples are light which is used for diet products, and freestyle which means "walkman". In the context of distance, the Swedish colloquial expression mil, "mile", is 10 kilometers, not an English statute mile.
Swedish people learn British English at school, affecting their vocabulary, but also watch films and TV programs in American English. Nevertheless, they will commonly use the British spelling and vocabulary rather than the American one.
Sweden is great for outdoor life - skiing, skating, hiking, canoeing, cycling and berry-picking depending of season. Stockholm and Gothenburg have great nightlife and shopping opportunities. Most cities have well-preserved pre-industrial architecture.
 The year in Sweden
Swedish weather is best during the summer (late May to early September). If you like snow, go to Norrland or Dalarna in November to April.
Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Stockholm, the sun sets at 3 PM in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and Arctic night. However, even at Stockholm's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July.
The major holidays are Easter, Midsummer (celebrated from the eve of the Friday between June 19 - 25), Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays), and the "industrial vacation" throughout July. Expect closed establishments, heavy traffic (for the holidays) and crowded tourist resorts (for July).
Note that most Swedish holidays are celebrated on the day before (Midsummer's Eve, Christmas Eve etc), while Swedish people do hardly anything on the holiday proper.
The village has a population of just under 600 and the hotels can be a bit pricey for the average traveller, but Tärnaby Bed & Breakfast & Apartments is a family business which caters for all price ranges offering anything from single beds in dorm rooms to luxurious apartments with amazing views of the lake - one of which even has the sauna in the living room! In the winter it is possible to ski in and out of some of the apartments. </buy> The national currency is the Swedish krona (SEK, plural kronor). 1 USD is about 5.91 SEK, 1 EUR is about 9.43 SEK and 1 GBP is about 12.28 SEK as of March 2008. Current exchange rates can be found at XE.com. Automatic teller machines take major credit cards. Most stores, restaurants and bars accept all major credit cards, although in some cases there is a SEK 5 fee or a lowest purchase limit (between 50 - 100 SEK). You usually need an ID card or a passport when shopping with a credit card, regardless of the amount involved, though ususally not in supermarkets and such where PIN code is king.
It is not common to bargain in shops but it might work in some instances, especially when buying more expensive products. Bargaining is also okay at flea markets and in antique shops. When dining out, a service charge is often included in the bill, and there is generally no reason to tip, unless you're very satisfied with the service.
Most shops, at least downtown, are open all week, even on Sundays. Closing times are rigid, most often on the minute.
Sweden is considered a relatively expensive country to live in, though you can find cheap alternatives if you look around. Recently opened discount stores such as "Lidl", "Netto" and "Willy's" offer a wide range of items, why not buy a sewing machine while doing the weekend grocery shopping? Accommodation and dining out is cheaper in Stockholm than in most other West European capitals.
Template:Infobox Swedish cuisine is mostly hearty meat or fish with potatoes, derived from the days when men needed to chop wood all day long. Besides the ubiquitous potatoes, modern Swedish cuisine is to a great extent based on bread. Traditional everyday dishes are called husmanskost (pronounced whos-mans-cost). They include:
Other Swedish favorites:
Typical Swedish "gourmet" restaurants serve steaks or other grilled dishes garnished with fragrant herbs such as dill, and vegetables such as pumpkin and bell peppers.
As in most of Europe, inexpensive pizza and kebab restaurants are ubiquitous in Swedish cities, and are also to be found in almost every smaller village. Sushi and Thai food are also quite popular. The local hamburger chain Max is recommended before McDonald's and Burger King, for tasteful Scandinavian furnishing, clean restrooms and free coffee with meals. In parts of Norrland it is customary to eat hamburgers with fork and knife - available at Max. Another type of fastfood establishment is the gatukök ("street kitchen"), serving hamburgers, hot dogs and tunnbrödrulle (se above).
Highway diners, vägkrogar, have generous meals, but might be of poor quality and overpriced. If you have time, a downtown restaurant is preferable. Gas stations offer decent packed salads and sandwiches.
You can get a "cheap" lunch if you look for the signs with "Dagens rätt" (meal of the day). This normally costs about 50-70 SEK and almost everywhere includes a bottle of water; soft drink; or light beer, bread & butter, some salad and coffee afterwards. Dagens rätt is served Monday to Friday.
The world famous furniture retailer IKEA has stores at the outskirts of most Swedish cities. These have great diners, which offer well-cooked Swedish meals for as little as 40 SEK, and towards the exit of the store there is usually a hot dog cafe which offers hot dogs for as little as 5 SEK. (They hope that you spend some money on shopping too.) Great if you happen to pass by. Expect crowds at rainy weather.
If you're on a tight budget, self-catering is the safest way to save your money.
Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are accepted in cities, less common in the countryside.
Swedish people drink plenty of coffee, kaffe. Drinking coffee at home or in a café, an act called fika (meaning "kaffe" in fikonspråket, an archaic language game), is a common Swedish social ritual, used for planning activities, dating, exchanging gossip or simply spending time and money. Swedish coffee is slightly stronger than American one. Italian varieties (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte) are available at most city cafés.
 Alcoholic beverages
The most famous Swedish alcoholic beverage is Absolut Vodka, which is considered one of the world's best vodkas. There are several brands of distilled, and usually seasoned, liquor, called brännvin or akvavit. When served in a shot glass with a meal it is called snaps (not to confuse with the German "Schnapps").
Sweden does produce some outstanding beers, öl, like the dark Carnegie Porter, but most beers are rather nondescript lagers. The beer you get in normal food shops is called folköl and has 2.8 or 3.5% alcohol. Wine is popular, but the Swedish production is very modest.
Access to alcoholic beverages is, as in Norway, Finland and Iceland, quite restricted and expensive. The only place to buy strong alcohol including starköl (beer which contains more than 3.5% alcohol ABV) over the counter is in one of the state owned shops called Systembolaget. They have limited hours of operation, usually 10-6 Mon-Wed, 10-7 Thurs-Fri, and 10-3 on Saturdays, with long queues on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. Most shops are of supermarket style. The assortment is very good, and the staff usually has great knowledge. Please note that Systembolaget does not serve customers under the age of 20. You will most likely be asked for identification. This also applies to your companion, regardless of them buying anything.
Liquor is very expensive at Systembolaget (vodka is 300 SEK a liter), but the monopoly has brought some perks - Systembolaget is one of the world's largest bulk-buyers of wine, and as such gets some fantastic deals which it passes on to the consumers. Mid-to-high-quality wines are quite often cheaper in Sweden than even in the country of origin; sometimes even cheaper than if you were to buy the wine directly from the vineyard. This does NOT apply to low-quality wines, however, due to the volume-based tax on alcohol.
All brands are treated equally and there is no large-pack discount. If you want beer, choose a variety of microbrews.
 Bars and nightclubs
The age limit is 18 to bars and beers in shops (to prevent teenage drunkenness, some shops have decided to have a 20 age limit for 3.5% beer as well), but 20 in Systembolaget. Many bars have an age limit of 20, but some (especially downtown in weekendes) have age limits as high as 23 or 25. Bring passport or identity card.
Some clubs announce dress code, vårdad klädsel, though this is mostly used as a pretext to reject unwanted guests. For male guests, proper shoes (not sneakers or sandals), long-legged trousers (not blue jeans) and a dress shirt is usually enough.
Sweden has enforced non-smoking in all bars, pubs and restaurants, save outdoor areas such as terraces, and designated smoking rooms.
The prices at clubs/bars are often expensive compared to other countries, a large beer (half a liter) costs usually as much as 45-55 SEK (~US$7), but many low-profile bars advertise stor stark (0.4 L of draft lager) for as little as 25 SEK. A long drink costs around 60-90 SEK. For that reason many Swedes have a small pre-party ("förfest") before they go out, to get started on their buzz before they hit the town and go to nightclubs.
Large clubs can require an entrance fee of about 100 SEK (or more at special performances). They usually offer a rubber stamp on your hand so you can re-enter as you like.
Be aware that you often have to stand in line to get into a bar or a club. Many places deliberately make their customers wait in line for a while, since a long queue indicates a popular club. At the very fanciest places in the major cities the queue is replaced by a disorganized crowd, and the doorman simply points to indicate who gets in and who does not (to be sure to get in either be famous, very good-looking or a friend of the doorman. Or simply a regular).
In the cold season it is often mandatory to hand in your jacket at the club's wardrobe for a fee, usually around 20 SEK.
Authorized security guards carry a badge saying Ordningsvakt, see #Stay safe.
Moonshine (hembränt) is popular in the countryside, though illegal. Though some shipments can be as good as legal vodka, most are disgusting and some even lethally dangerous, so it might be a good idea to stick to the real thing.
If you bring your own tent, accommodation in Sweden can be very cheap, even free! This is due to the Right to access (Every Man's Right) principle, allowing anyone to camp in uncultivated areas (including private property) free of charge. There are certain limitations, for instance you are only allowed to stay at a certain spot for one night before you have to move on. If you are travelling to Sweden in the summer, check out the local conditions when it comes to camp fires. Forests in Sweden can get extremely dry and temporary bans on lighting fires are not unusual.
If you prefer camping a bit more organized, most towns have campsites with showers and electricity. Expect to pay around SEK 100-150 for a tentsite. More info on the official site for Swedish campsites: camping.se . The leading chain is called First Camp .
Travel trailers and recreational vehicles are useful and cost-efficient means for experiencing Sweden.
Svenska Turistföreningen or STF  is the by far most important operator of hostels in Sweden, with a network of more than 300 hostels around the country. Membership for foreigners is SEK 175, and if you plan to stay four nights or more at hostels in Sweden you should join, since non-members pay an additional SEK 45 per night. STF is affiliated with Hostelling International , and if you are a member of any HI organisation you are considered a member of STF.
The price per night in a hostel is SEK 80-280 depending on where the hostel is located and how classy or tacky it is. Sheets are required (just a sleeping bag is not enough) and if you don't bring any you have to purchase at the hostel for around SEK 50. You are expected to clean out your room when leaving. Cooking equipment is normally available at all hostels for those who want to self-cater.
Apartments and B&B:s are not the same thing, but Swedish online booking agencies tend to think so. Renting an apartment may be an interesting option if you plan to stay for a few nights in one of the major cities and want more privacy than a hostel offers.
While on the road you may want to keep an eye open for road signs with the word Rum. They don't show the way to the nearest drinking den for pirates - rum in Swedish means room and that sign points to a B&B.
Normal Swedish hotels tend to be clean, not-so-interesting and fairly expensive. A single room can easily set you back SEK 1000. Most towns, even smaller ones, still have a traditional "stadshotell" (town hotel) somewhere in the city center, which usually contains the town's largest restaurant and/or nightclub. On a more positive note, breakfast buffets at Swedish hotels are often impressive with plenty to choose from - try not to be in too much of a hurry in the morning! Major hotel chains include Scandic  and First .
It doesn't matter how many circumflexes Stockholm's Grand Hôtel uses, or how many celebrities stay there, the coolest hotel in Sweden is the Icehotel . Located in the village of Jukkasjärvi in the far north, it is a hotel built from snow and ice. It melts in spring and is rebuilt every winter. Ice hotels are built in several other countries, but the one in Jukkasjärvi is the original. One night in a single room is SEK 2850, book in advance.
All education in Sweden is free for residents, except for a mandatory Students' Union membership (usually a fee of less than 500 SEK) at universities and other tertiary education institutions. Although the government has subsidized schools and classes, there also exist many private alternatives where a tuitition fee is required.
As a foreigner wishing to study at a Swedish university or school of higher education, you do not have to pay tuition fees. However, the current center-right government is currently considering introducing tuition fees for non EU-/EES- citizens.
Some important university cities:
If you are a student there is something known as an "academic quarter" where classes and school related events will start 15 minutes past the hour. At some schools after 18:00 this becomes a "double quarter" where events commence 30 minutes past the hour. Students are expected to be punctual and show up at the appropriate time.
You can find more useful information about studying in Sweden on the Study in Sweden website. 
EU and EEA citizens are allowed to work in Sweden without a permit. Citizens of other countries need a work permit, and getting one is quite a hassle, however, Working Holiday Visas are available for Australian and New Zealand citizens aged between 18-30. Swedes, foreign citizens already living in Sweden, and EU/EEA citizens have preference over others in obtaining work in Sweden. Also, if the offer of work is for more than three months you will also require a Swedish residence permit. More information about the paperwork is found on the government website swedenabroad.com .
As for finding a job you could try the public "Arbetsförmedlingen" ('The Job Agency') and give it a try, it might work! However, you can also buy a lottery ticket, you will have roughly the same chance to get an income that way. Usually jobs are better provided by certain knowledges and luck.
 Stay safe
Sweden enjoys a comparatively low crime rate and is, generally, a safe place to travel. Use common sense at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday when the youth of Sweden hit the streets to drink, get drunk and in some unfortunate cases look for trouble. Be careful with young people who are drunk, they tend to be very aggressive when arguing with them. Mind that it is likely that your home country is less safe than Sweden, so heed whatever warnings you would do in your own country and you will have no worries.
Pickpockets are rare, but not unheard of. They usually work in tourist-frequented areas, like airports, large rail stations, shopping areas and festivals. Most Swedes carry their wallets in their pockets or purses and feel quite safe while doing it. Almost all stores and restaurants accept most major credit cards, so there is no need to carry a lot of cash around. If you have a bike, do lock it or you may lose it.
The E6 between Helsingborg and Gothenburg is haunted by "road pirates", robbers. If parking your vehicle during nighttime, prefer a guarded camping area.
Counterfeit Swedish banknotes or other documents are very unusual. Newer 100 and 500 SEK notes have holograms.
The swedes celebrate their national day 6th june every year. Unfortunalety extreme right groups organizes political demonstrations in the mayor cities like Gothenburg and the capital Stockholm. Extreme left groups gather togheter to confontrate them and violent fights can and had occur. For your own safety, avoid any political demonstrations during 6th june! If you want to be on the safe side contact the local police who can give you information about areas where people are going to meet for demonstrations.
Driving in Sweden is among the safest countries in Europe. It doesn't mean that there are no dangers in the motorways, wild animals like moose can run over the motorways. The moose is a big and heavy animal so a collision can be violent and becomre a risk for your life even if you wear a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt is a law in Sweden and it's obligatory for everyone who is in the car. Some motorways have traffic signs that warns about wild animals and it's mostly seen in the northern areas of Sweden, even tough it can be spotted in the south as well.
 In Case of Emergency
112 is the phone number to dial in case of fire, medical or criminal emergency. It does not require an area code, regardless of what kind of phone you're using. The number works on any mobile phone, with or without a SIM card, even if it's keylocked.
Police officers are rarely on patrol, and might be too busy to head out for minor crimes.
Nightclubs and shopping centers usually have security officers with a chest badge saying ordningsvakt, authorized to use force, and infamous to do so. These should be respected. Officers with other labels ("Security" or "Entrévärd") have no special privileges.
 Stay healthy
Pharmacies are controlled by state monopoly and carry a sign spelled Apoteket. For small medical problems the pharmacy is sufficent, they carry almost all household medical supplies like band aid, antiseptics and painkillers. Major cities carry one pharmacy open at night.
Swedish health care is usually of a very high quality, but can be quite challenging to receive. Virtually all medical facilities are state-owned, and have problems with funding. Therefore, getting a time within a week at a medical center is very rare. In case of a medical emergency, most provinces (and of course, the major cities) have a regional hospital with an around-the-clock emergency ward. However, if you are unlucky you can expect a long wait before getting medical attention.
Tap water is drinkable and of high quality. There is no real reason for buying Evian or other bottled non-carbonated water in Sweden, apart from vanity, and in fact some brands of mineral-water sold around the world IS swedish tap-water. Also, there is bottled water that doesn't meet the requirements to be used as tap water in Sweden.
There are few serious health risks in Sweden. Your primary concern especially in wintertime will be the cold, particularly if trekking or skiing in the northern parts. Northern Sweden is sparsely populated and, if heading out into the wilderness, it is imperative that you register your travel plans with a friend or the authorities so they can come looking for you if you fail to show up. Dress warmly in layers and bring along a good pair of sunglasses to prevent snow blindness, especially in the spring. In snowy mountains, avalanches might be a problem.
 Dangerous animals
A serious nuisance in summer are mosquitoes (mygg), hordes of which inhabit Sweden (particularly the north) in summer, especially after rains. While they carry no malaria or other diseases, Swedish mosquitoes make a distinctive (and highly irritating) whining sound, and their bites are very itchy. As usual, mosquitoes are most active around dawn and sunset — which, in the land of the Midnight Sun, may mean most of the night in summer. There are many types of mosquito repellants available which can be bought from almost any shop. Other summer nuisances are gadflies (bromsar), whose painful but non-poisonous bites can leave a mark lasting for days, and wasps (getingar) whose stings can be deadly if you're allergic. To minimize trouble from insects, use mosquito repellent, ensure your tent has good mosquito netting and bring proper medication if you know that you're allergic to wasp stings.
In southern Sweden and in northern coastal regions there are ticks (fästingar) which appear in summertime. They can transmit Lyme's disease (borreliosis) and more serious TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) through a bite. The risk areas for TBE are mainly the eastern parts of lake Mälaren and the Stockholm archipelago. Although incidents are relatively rare and all ticks don't carry diseases, it's advisable to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense and/or tall grass areas (the usual habitat for ticks). You can buy special tick tweezers (fästingplockare) from the pharmacy that can be used to remove a tick safely if you happen to get bitten. You should remove the tick from your skin as quickly as possible and preferably with the tick tweezers to reduce the risks of getting an infection. If the tick bite starts to form red rings on the skin around it or if you experience other symptoms relating to the bite, you should go visit a doctor as soon as possible. Since ticks are black, they are more easily found if you wear bright clothes.
There's only one type of venomous snake in Sweden: the European adder (huggorm), which has a distinct zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not very common, but lives all over Sweden except for the mountains in the north and farmlands in the south. Although its bite hardly ever is life-threatening (except to small children and allergic people), one should be careful in the summertime especially when walking in the forests or on open fields. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance. All reptiles in Sweden, including adders, are protected by law and must not be harmed.
There aren't any really dangerous marine animals in Sweden, although when bathing in the sea one should watch out for Greater weevers (Fjärsing); this is a small fish that hides in the sand near beaches, its back has several spikes that are poisonous and will hurt a lot if stepped on. The poison of the Greater Weever is to be considered about as dangerous as that of the European adder and will likely cause more pain (this can be quite severe) than damage. There are also types of poisonous jellyfish that can be quite common near beaches. These are distinguished from normal non-poisonous types by their red color. These types of jellyfish aren't really dangerous but their venom will hurt. There are no large predatory fish that pose a lethal threat to humans in Sweden, but in extreme cases the Pike (gädda), a common fish in Sweden's many lakes has been known to bite people when threatened. You probably run a higher risk of being struck by lightning than a Pike bite though!
As for other dangerous wildlife, there's not much more than a few extremely rare encounters with brown bear (brunbjörn) and wolf (varg) in the wilderness. Both of these animals are listed as protected species. Contrary to popular belief abroad, there are no polar bears in Sweden, let alone polar bears walking city streets. If you encounter a brown bear in the woods, walk slowly away from it while talking loudly - the bear is most likely to feel threatened if you surprise it. In the unlikely event of a brown bear attacking you should play dead, protect your head and make yourself as small as possible. Or the opposite, there have been people surviving a brown bear encounter by screaming as loud as possible, jumping, and making oneself as big as possible. In general, one shouldn't worry about dangerous encounters with wild beasts in Sweden.
Many Swedes think that they live in "the world's most modern country". Most Swedes have liberal, cosmopolitan, secular, egalitarian and environmentalist values by Anglo-Saxon standards. This spares Western tourists from cultural clashes which might be imminent in other countries. However, some strict rules of etiquette are almost unique to Swedish people.
But in recent years discussions about immigration politics have become sensitive. In general the Swedes are not against immigration but that is because any criticism is regarded as racism by some, unless you have some arguments. That doesn't mean that the majority of the swedes are racists, they are still very friendly to foreigners. But be careful when raising that issue, the discussions are probably not going to end friendly. Unlike many other countries, the Swedes are not so patriotic against their own country, in fear of being accused of racism, but in sport events you won't see that problem. But comparing medical care and welfare to other countries is accepted.
Sweden's international calling code number is +46. Payphones are available, with older models only accepting cards (special smartchip phone cards as well as credit cards), and newer models that accept coins (Swedish as well as Euros). Collect calls are possible by dialling 2# on a pay phone.
Sweden has excellent wireless GSM and 3G/UMTS coverage, even in rural areas except in the central and northern interior parts of the country. The major networks are Telia, Tele2/Comviq, Telenor and 3 (Tre). Swedish GSM operates on the European 900/1800 MHz frequencies (Americans will need a triband phone), with 3G/UMTS on 2100 MHz (currently with 7.2-14.4 Mbit HSDPA speeds). Only the Telia network supports EDGE. Some operators may ask for a Swedish personnummer (or samordningsnummer) to get a number, although at least Telenor appear to be selling prepaid SIMs without requiring one.
Sweden is the world's second most Internet connected country (second to Iceland). The Swedish postal system ("Posten AB") is often considered efficient and reliable, with locations placed inside of supermarkets and convenience stores (look for the yellow horn logo). Inter-European stamps for ordinary letters are 11 SEK and the letter usually needs 2 days within EU. Stamps can be purchased in most supermarkets, ask the cashier.
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