Everyone may think of something different when asked to consider what Sweden is famous for, whether it is their famous food or affinity for pop music. Sweden is located in Northern Europe (the fifth largest country in Europe) and is responsible for many famous exports. But What is Sweden famous for? Here’s everything you need to know
What is Sweden Famous for? – Famous Swedish Food
When considering what to buy in Sweden, food is a given, but below, you will find several suggestions on the best dishes in the country. Many of the suggestions are famous in the World and not just in Sweden, so they are worth a try even if you aren’t sure about them at first.
#1 Swedish Meatballs
This is a famous Swedish food you will have come across if you have ever tried the meatballs at Ikea. It has become a firm favourite across the World, but did you know that this meal isn’t just an everyday option, it has its place at special meals, such as Christmas dinner?
#2 Falu Sausage
Falu or Falukorv Sausage is another popular Swedish food, especially for children. There is a bit of history to it, as the Falu Sausage was created in the 16th century by workers in the copper mines out of the Ox, whose hide was used to make ropes (Don’t worry, it isn’t made from Ox anymore!).
Unlike Swedish Meatballs, it isn’t something that you are likely to find in restaurants as it is a food that is eaten in more informal settings.
#3 Swedish Sandwich Cake
Don’t let this name fool you. The Swedish Sandwich Cake is not the type of cake you would find in a bakery; it is a lot more of a savoury dish than what you are expecting.
It is more commonly known in Sweden as Smörgåstårta, and the most common variations of this dish are either salmon and seafood or roast beef, ham and cheese.
This food item is commonly served at meals where there will be many people, mainly celebrations or festivals.
#4 Herring (Pickled and Fried)
Two very popular dishes in Sweden are made with Herring at the centre. There is fried Herring, a healthy meal that tastes lighter than pickled Herring and is usually served with mashed potatoes, green peas and lingonberry sauce. Then there is pickled Herring, considered a food tradition in Sweden and served at big celebrations, such as Christmas and Easter, so it is definitely a meal you will want to try. Pickled Herring originated when it was necessary to preserve food so that it would last through the winter.
#5 Pea soup and Pancakes
Pea soup and pancakes are a classic Swedish food that is very popular and has an interesting history of its own, as well as being a favourite of the armed forces. The soup is made of yellow peas and pork, flavoured with thyme (and sometimes with mustard, depending on the person) and joined with pancakes (sometimes with jam).
But what makes the history of pea soup and pancakes interesting is that it killed a king when his brother poisoned the meal with arsenic!
Qhat is Sweden Famous for? – Other Famous Things About Sweden
There are many famous Swedish things, the list below is not exhaustive, but it may include the answers to some Europe quiz questions if you ever need them. For example, Gothenburg, Sweden, is known for being the second biggest city in Sweden, while Stockholm is home to the royal palace, one of the most famous landmarks in Europe.
#6 Swedish House Mafia
The Swedish House Mafia is a music group formed in Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm, in 2008. They are one of the most famous music groups in Sweden. Their most famous single to be produced before they split up in 2012 was “Don’t You Worry Child” (their second number one single); however, they have recently reformed and released a new album in 2022.
#7 Swedish National Day
If you are in Sweden on the 6th of June, you will witness the festivities of Swedish National Day or Swedish Flag Day. This holiday celebrates the Swedish constitution’s creation in 1809 and the ability to create a more democratic society. You will enjoy the fireworks and parades and learn more about the country’s culture and Swedish history.
If there is one group that you think about when thinking of famous Swedish music, then it is ABBA. In fact, without realising it, you could probably list several popular Swedish pop artists. Still, this group (formed in the 1970s) is now a household name that has only increased in popularity in recent years due to the Mamma Mia films. If you are a big fan, there is the opportunity to visit the ABBA Museum on your holiday in Stockholm.
#9 Swedish Fika Culture
You probably know what a coffee break is, but in Sweden, it is more than the chance to grab a couple of minutes between meetings or work; it is a part of their culture.
Fika simply refers to the Swedish coffee break, actually coming from the reorganising of the letters in the word “kaffi”, meaning coffee in old Swedish.
It is great for taking a break from the stress of your workday and relaxing with a cup of coffee and some co-workers.
#10 Outdoor Spaces
According to the Swedish constitution, everybody has access to nature, which might explain why the Swedish people are famous for enjoying the outdoors.
Their outdoorsy reputation could also be linked to the stunning scenery they are blessed with; in fact, two-thirds of the country is actually forest! There are plenty of areas where children can run off their excess energy if they visit Sweden with kids; an example is the Abisko National Park.
#11 Swedish Monarchy
The Royal House of Bernadotte is home to one of the oldest monarchies in the World! They were also one of the first to change the rules of succession in 1980, so the crown didn’t pass to the oldest male first, bypassing any female successors. In 2010, the country celebrated the marriage of Princess Victoria, the daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf and first in line to the throne, to Daniel, a personal trainer. There are many castles that you are able to visit on your trip that is linked to the Swedish monarchy.
#12 The Ice Hotel
Located in Jukkasjärvi, North Sweden is The Ice Hotel. This building was first opened in 1990 (needing to be rebuilt every year), with its rooms built from ice and snow that was carried from the Torne River.
Due to the building materials, this hotel is unique and needs to be kept at -4°C (so no central heating!). If your family is brave enough to stay overnight, you are provided with plenty of layers to stay warm! Fear not, though.
#13 The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, can be found in this Scandinavian country during the winter when there are long periods of darkness. It is a beautiful, famous natural phenomenon that can be seen in areas that are not very populated or polluted with light, so if you can visit the mountains and see this spectacle, take it.
#14 Swedish Design
It is easy to see how Swedish design has become famous around the World just by looking at well-known brands, such as Ikea and H&M (the World’s second-largest clothing retailer). Swedish design is not only known for being minimalistic but also sustainable; the focus is on making practical items that don’t significantly impact the environment.
Another great thing about Swedish design is the beautiful artwork displayed in the Stockholm metro stations. Even if you don’t want to use this travel method when visiting Sweden, it is worth a trip to the stations to take in these masterpieces.
You have probably heard the name Greta Thunberg, but did you realise the country of Sweden as a whole is conscious of its waste footprint? They have several systems to reduce waste and prevent littering, such as the Swedish Pant system (returning recyclable bottles, etc., for money) and Plogging (picking litter up while jogging). As a result, less than 1% of their waste ends up in landfill sites.
Kids will love their affinity for candy when they visit Sweden. Swedes consume the highest amount of candy eaten in the country out of the World! However, your kids probably won’t like the rule of “lördagsgodis”, which means “Saturday sweets” this is because there is a self-imposed rule that has been in place since the 1950s, which means that you can only eat candy on Saturdays.
Sweden is famous for producing many popular brands which are used every day, such as Skype and Spotify, as well as being responsible for the invention of items with medical benefits like the Pacemaker and Oat milk.
A famous product from Sweden is the three-point seatbelt, which is now a standard requirement in all cars. It was created by Nils Bohlin in 1959 for Volvo (a Swedish company) to help spread out the force during an accident.
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