Capital | Stockholm
Population | 9, 074,055 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 449,964 SQ KM
Official Language | Swedish
Holidays | Swedish Flag Day, 6 June (1916); National Day, 6 June (1983)
Currency | Swedish kronor (SEK)
Time Zone | UTC+1
Best Time to Visit | Late May to late July for sunshine and December to March if you want to ski.
Connecting with the Culture | Skiing Dalarna’s slopes of watching Vasaloppt, the world’s biggest crosss-country skiing race. Walking around the historic town of Lund. Taking advantage of the allemansrsten and hiking Sweden’s beautiful forest. Touring the glassworks of glasriket in Kalmar.
Read | Charlotte Rosen Svensson’s Culture shock! Sweden: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette.
Listen | to ABBA
Watch | anything by Ingmar Bergman
Eat | a lot of fish and potato
Drink | kaffe (coffee), which the Swedes love or aquavit and beer
In a Word | Jate bra! (Fantastic!)
Characteristics | Beautiful blonds of both genders; Saabs and Volvos; ABBA; Vikings; meatballs and schnapps; sexually liberated socialists; skiing
Surprises | Not all Swedes are blond; Sweden is not covered in snow in winter; alcohol can only be bought through state-run alcohol retailing monopoly.