Welcome to Sweden
Offering everything from deep-blue archipelagos and Northern Lights, to killer fashion, food and design, Sweden is a Nordic dream date.
Few countries are as design literate as Sweden. Impeccable taste and attention to detail make much of the country look like a shoot for Wallpaper or Architectural Digest. Almost everyone in Stockholm got the memo to 'look sharp', while the prevalence of irresistible furnishings, textiles and lighting in cafes, restaurants and homes across the nation are nothing short of enviable. Yet, Swedish style is rarely ostentatious; form and function are tightly linked in a society that reveres moderation, simplicity and practicality. Prepare to celebrate all things beautiful and democratic.
Truth be told, the best thing about Sweden is its natural assets. Indeed, to really appreciate this country’s magnetism, take time to leave the city behind. Whether you're sailing across an archipelago to a lonely island or trekking along a kingly trail flanked by snowcapped mountains, the sense of space, solitude and freedom is matched by few corners of Western Europe. It makes perfect sense: Sweden claims one of the lowest population densities on the continent. So, go pitch a tent by a Baltic beach or ride a sleigh under the Northern Lights. You can thank Mother Nature later.
The northern end of Sweden is home to the Sami people. One of Europe's few indigenous people, their rich and ancient traditions offer a very different take on the Swedish experience. To the Sami, northern Sweden is known as Sápmi and its wild, bracing wilderness is the best place to sample Sami culture. Spend a night or two in a Sami reindeer camp, take a dogsledding tour, or simply dig into local flavours at a Sami restaurant. All offer memorable, thought-provoking insight into an oft-overlooked side of the country's cultural tapestry.
History is written large in Sverige. Ancient rune stones poke up out of grassy parks, while huge stone-ship settings and burial mounds recall long-gone kings and chiefs. Across the country, walled medieval cities, seaside fortresses, turreted palaces and revealing museums attest to Sweden's long and complex backstory. Each historical artefact, building and ruin is a piece of a jigsaw. Put them together and you'll come closer to understanding how each historical high and low has helped shape the modern nation and its widely admired denizens.