The fifth-largest country in Europe, and one of the few remaining successful monarchies of the world, Sweden has gained quite a reputation throughout the years, whether by producing legendary musical groups like ABBA or asking for its neighbor's trash because it has a shortage.
You might find, however, that some of the lesser-known facts about Sweden are quite curious and surprising - to say the least.
1.Most of Sweden's Population Would Fit Inside London
Even though Sweden is almost twice the size of Great Britain, it's known to be a far less populous country. What most people don't know is that Sweden just recently got over the 10 million inhabitants mark, while the city of London alone is only one million inhabitants short of that accomplishment at 8.9 million.
2.The World's Best Passports
If you want a good enough reason to move to Sweden, this is probably the best - especially if you really like to travel. A Swedish passport will give you access to 124 countries worldwide without the need for a visa. Additionally, the process of obtaining a visa for another 33 nations is quite straightforward. Because of these facts, Sweden is actually ranked 6th when it comes to evaluating the best passports in the world. Time to brush off that bucket list!
3.Smoking in Sweden
Sweden is one of the few European countries that don't use too much tobacco. Out of 185 countries, Sweden is in 74th place, with far less than the average cigarette consumption rate per day associated with most European nations. This is primarily because in Sweden people adopt many healthier alternatives to regular smoking such as snus, which is a traditional smokeless tobacco product used since the 18th century, as well as products such as Zyn nicotine pouches, which are known as one of the best tobacco-free options in Sweden for those in need of a nicotine hit.
You might not be aware of the fact that there is actually a law requiring Swedish parents to submit the names of their newborn babies to the government tax agency known as Skatteverket. What's even more curious is that, under that particular law, there are certain banned baby names, including Elvis and Metallica.
5.North Korea Owes Sweden Almost $300 Million
As part of a deal made in the 1970s between Sweden and North Korea, the Swedes agreed to send over 1,000 Volvos. There was only one small problem: North Korea never paid a single Kronor for the vehicles. Today, counting inflation, the total amount that the Koreans owe is about 2.7 billion SEK, which is just over $300 million.
6.Swedes Care for Their Children
Since 1979, smacking and flogging children in Sweden have been forbidden, and the law has since become quite popular, with 35 other countries following in Sweden's footsteps. The Swedes are, however, known as the initial pioneers when it comes to protecting the rights and well-being of their youngest citizens.
7.Sweden Has a Giant Hotel Made Out of Ice
We have to stress that this isn't made up. Sweden is really home to a famous hotel made entirely out of ice located in the village of Jukkasjärvi. The hotel has to be re-crafted every year using large blocks of ice taken from the Tome River. Despite its uncommon building material, the owners of the hotel are still very strict when it comes to health and safety regulations, including the surprising use of fire alarms.
About the author
Alma calls Stockholm home, and when she's not working in her job in IT, she's hiking in Sweden's beautiful mountains and forests. An avid environmentalist, Alma focuses on reducing her carbon footprint and eliminating all use of single-use plastic.