You sometimes hear that Stockholm is like Hollywood for music. Music is one of the most important export products in Sweden. Of course we immediately think of ABBA as world famous Swedish pop music. But also Roxette, Europe, Neneh Cherry, Emilia, The Cardigans, Ace of Base, Alcazar, Robyn and Avici … all come from Sweden. More recently we can add Zara Larsson, Lykke Li, First Aid Kit and Mohombi. Moreover, there are some top producers in Sweden such as Max Martin who are also responsible for the sound of many international stars. And Spotify was a startup in Stockholm.
Eurovision Song Contest
Sweden has already won the Eurovision Song Contest 6 times. The first time with ABBA in 1974, the (for the time being) last time with Måns Zelmerlöw in 2015. Even when they didn’t win, they have consistently been in the top 10 in recent years.
The national preselections, Melodifestivalen, are even more popular in Sweden than the Eurovision itself. Popular participants were, for example, Eric Saade, Sanna Nielsen, Lena Philipsson, etc.
Why is it that Swedish pop music is so popular?
In the 1940s people were encouraged to attend music education by facilitating this for free. In the first instance this was intended as a counter-movement against all “modern music”. Stimulating music remained important for the Swedish government.
I also believe that the long, cold and dark winters have something to do with it. Playing music is an excellent remedy to prevent boredom or to make it cozy. In the summer there is midsummer where singing and music are indispensable. Also the fact that the Swedes speak English very well and soon started singing in English, made them successful worldwide.
What do you think? Why is it that Swedish pop music is so popular? Who is your favorite Swedish artist?
It is deafeningly silent when I wake up. My tent is in the middle of nowhere. No water, no electricity. Back to basics. I left with my backpack and tent to go wild camping in Sweden. Go as I want and every night picking a nice place to spend the night. You can’t get much closer to nature (and yourself).
In Sweden, wild camping is allowed thanks to allemansrätten, provided that you follow some rules. You have to respect nature and the environment to the maximum and you have to stay away from fenced grounds and stay out of sight of houses.
Wild camping in Sweden: what’s allowed?
You can place your tent for 24 hours in a place that is on a non-enclosed site, out of sight of houses and where there is no prohibition sign for wild camping. In certain national parks it is not allowed. This is indicated by a sign at the entrance.
Respect nature: you must not destroy, disturb or leave waste behind.
Picking berries and mushrooms is permitted. Make sure you know which fruits are edible!
Tips for wild camping
Wild camping for the first time?
Build up slowly. Start with 1 or 2 nights of wild camping and combine with a stay at a campsite or even a few nights at a hotel or in an airbnb. And if the weather suddenly changes completely, you can still continue your holiday with more comfortable hotel stays. Die hards will of course continue to wild camp. Sweden is a good place to go if you’re wild camping for the first time!
Pick the right spot
Look on the map where you can find a nice place. This can be near a lake, along the water, … It is advisable to install your tent when it is still light. In Sweden during the summer months this is not a problem as it does not really gets dark.
Wild camping next to a waterfall may seem idyllic but the water keeps flowing at night too so good ear plugs will be a must. A place close to the water also seems like a dream, but in the summer season that will mean more mosquitoes, especially if you go a little later in the summer season. It’s better to place your tent a few hundred meters away from the water.
Electricity and water
Wild camping is really back to basics. Make sure you are provided with everything. A good backup for essential things is not a bad idea. Do not only rely on Google Maps or a GPS for navigation, but bring a compass and a detailed map. You wouldn’t be the first to suddenly fall out of battery or have no range. Of course it is best to also take an extra external battery with you!
If you go wild camping in Sweden, you normally don’t have running water. The toilet can be found behind a tree. You can wash in a lake. Biodegradable, ecological soap is a must if you don’t want to do without soap for a few days. You will find special products in the specialized store that you can use both as a shampoo and for washing dishes. Do not use more than necessary. It is even better not to use any soap at all since even ecological soap still has an impact on the environment!
Take enough water with you. The lakes in Sweden are generally pure enough to drink from. With a water filter like the life straw you’re safe.
Light your fire
Do you want to light a fire to warm up, cook food, …? Make sure you know whether there is a ‘eldningsförbud’ or prohibition of open fires or not. Don’t make a fire on bare rocks anyway, they could burst. Choose a substrate of sand or gravel. Make sure the place is refractory and extinguish the fire completely before you move on.
Bears and other animals
The chances are rather small to see and meet bears or wolverines but it is possible. In general, making a lot of noise is sufficient to keep them at a distance. Also make sure that you always put away the food properly. You can also come across snakes in Sweden.
Wild camping by car?
Keep in mind that the distances in Sweden to help, a gas station, supermarkets, … can be greater than expected. Make sure you always fill up well on time, stock up on a sufficiently large supply of food and drinks, …
It is less easy to reach unique places by car. It may be more comfortable to be able to take your things with you in the car, but vehicles may not just go everywhere or park anywhere. Allemansrätten doesn’t apply to cars, campers and caravans.
A new year, a new empty agenda! My agenda is never empty for very long and I begin to mark all the long weekends and vacations. Knowing when the holidays and vacations fall is so handy when planning a trip. That’s why I set up a list for you with the dates of the holidays in Sweden. This way you can not only avoid finding out many things closed during your stay, but you can also choose your travel dates in function of certain festivities.
The official Swedish holidays are röda dagen (red days) in Sweden. These are the days when most of Sweden do not have to work. I put them bold in the list below. Midsummer Eve and Christmas Eve are in bold and italic. Although no official holidays in Sweden, most of the Swedish take the day off or stop working earlier.
Tjugondedag Jul (Knutsdagen)
Alla Hjärtans dag
Kristi Himmelfärds dag
Alla Helgons dag
Swedish school holidays 2020
The Swedish school holidays are sometimes spread, depending on the region.
The Christmas holidays in Sweden run for everyone from December 22, 2019, till January 6, 2020. Next year the Christmas holiday in Sweden will start on 21 December 2020, till January 3, 2021.
In Sweden, the winter holiday is called ‘sportlov’ or sports holidays. This holiday is spread between weeks 7 and 10, depending on the region. In the north it is from the 2nd till the 8th of March 2020. In the south it is from the 10th till the 16th or the 17th till the 23rd of February. In Göteborg it is week 7, in Malmö week 8 and Stockholm had week 9. You can find a detailed overview here. If you would like to book a skiing holiday in Sweden, it may be useful to take these dates into account. Outside these periods, certain slopes can be closed or more (and cheaper) accommodation can be available.
Only Stockholm and Central Sweden have a full week of Easter Holidays. The other regions only have an extended Easter weekend.
The Summer Holidays in Sweden commence on June 10th (or 15th for Malmö), and last until August 17, 2020.
The autumn vacation also depend on the region: from 26 or 29 October to 30 October 2020.