Sweden: Through Local Eyes



Where are you originally from?​
From a small village outside of Gothenburg in Sweden.


In one word or sentence, how do you describe your people?
“Lagom”- Not too much and not too little.

On a scale of 1-10, how well does your country speak English?
9. We are very good when it comes to English and easily switch to English when we notice that someone doesn’t speak Swedish. We don’t have any dubbed movies/tv here so we learn the language early when small.

Can you give a key phrase/word/expression that people in your country usually say?
“Fika”- a special time in between meals where we take a “fika” which consist of coffee and usually some kind of cookie/cake.

How do I say “hello/thank you/please/sorry” in your language?
Hello- Hej
Bye- Hejdå
Thank you- Tack så mycket
Please- Snälla
Sorry (as an excuse)- Ursäkta
Sorry (as an apology)- Förlåt

Are you more like laid back or party people?
I would say we are mostly laid back but when we party we party for real. Especially on our holidays like Midsommar and Valborgsmässoafton. Alcohol is really expensive here in Sweden so you will probably notice when going out in clubs that people already is a bit drunk before going out. Usually we pre-party quite hard to not need to buy too much stuff out. So there’s parties on weekends but unless there’s a special occasion there won’t be much partying on weeknights. It’s not very normal to enjoy a glass wine/beer to dinner at an ordinary weeknight. We usually save it to the weekend.


Best food? Weirdest food? Local food to try?
We do have some wierd but really nice food. One of my favorite is “Flygande Jacob” that basically consist of shredded chicken, a chili cream sauce, bananas and peanuts. It is usually served with rice. Might sound wierd but it is very tasty. We also have blodpudding which is fried pudding made out of blood, the spices make it almost taste like christmas. That is usually served with potatoe cakes, fried bacon and our favorite Swedish condiment: lingonberry jam. Kaviar- smoked cod roe that is apperently a very Swedish taste. It’s great to spread it on a sliced egg sandwich. Leverpastej- I guess it’s easiest to explain it as liver paté, you spread it on bread and usually have sweet pickled cucumber on them. A very local cheese to try is “Västernbottenost”, a great flavourful cheese that is also amazing in pies. And lastly, if you do like pizza you need to try the Swedish favourite: Kebabpizza. It’s pizza with kebab on it and usually iceberg salad, feferoni and a kebabsauce as well.

Best drink? Local drink to try?
We do have some nice ciders to try; Briska, Herrljunga and Rekorderling. One thing that you should try is “must”, it’s usually sold during Easter (Påskmust) and Christmas (Julmust). It’s usually alcohol free but in the Systembolaget (The Swedish Liquor Store) you can find “must” aged on oaktree barrels. The drink has a unique taste that is very popular here in Sweden, not even Coca-Cola can outsell “must” during Christmas and Easter.

How is breakfast served in your country?
I would say “Smörgåsbord” is a very typical Swedish way to eat breakfast. We fill the table with different bread or knäckebröd (crispbread), butter, sliced cucumber/ bell pepper, cheeses and ham. Sometimes we also have yoghurt or filmjölk (Swedish sour milk). And then everyone takes what their heart desires. We can of course not forget about the obligatory coffee, we Swedes do love our coffee, black or with milk/sugar.


The best festival to attend?
Way Out West is a fun music festival to attend. It plays out during a 3 day period in the town of Gothenburg. The music is mixed, ranging from rock to pop. There is also a lot of tasty foods that are being sold during the festival and other fun culture activities except from music.

Which sport are you guys crazy about?
The most popular sports in Sweden is football (soccer) and ice hockey. We find it very fun when it goes good for the Swedish teams and there is usually more people that watch when there’s large competitions.

What is the craziest thing to do in your country?
That you can live in an ice hotel (that has to be rebuilt every year) in the northen part of Sweden, located in Jukkasjärvi.

What excursions and/or activities do you extremely suggest that visitors MUST do?
In the winter time you must go skiing in Sälen or Branäs. In the summers you need to explore the islands outside of Gothenburg and Stockholm.

Are there any local customs a visitor should be sensitive to?
Sorry but it’s weird to sit next to a stranger on public transports when there is other free places otherwise you are fine.


What is/are the most surreal places/landmarks to visit?
I’m not really sure, since I havn’t explored the northern part of my country as much but I imagine seeing northern lights would be amazing.

Can you name a place that most people have not heard of? A secret spot perhaps!
The lake Delsjön near Gothenburg is a very nice place for a long walk that will clear your mind. And if you can find the café located in the forest they also serve tasty waffles.

Where can visitors find the best beach?
Check out Tylösand in Halmstad, it’s a very popular beach. The islands of Gothenburgh and Stockholm also have very nice places to take a swim even though it’s most likely rock and not sand.

If I’m staying for less than a week, which city should I choose?
I would say travel to our capital Stockholm. It’s charming, easy to walk around in and has some really fun spots to visit during a short visit.


In one word or sentence, how do you describe your country?
A wonderful place for exploring wildlife and nordic nature.

How many days at least should a visitor spend in your country?
Sweden is a big country and I would say at least spend 10 days in order to explore some of the larger cities and what they have to offer.

When is the best time to visit?
Well that really depends what you are looking for. Are you looking for northern light then travel up to northen Sweden in the winter time to get snow, skiing. The other parts of Sweden is best explored during the summer, especially during August and September.
Can you give an interesting trivia about your country? (Could be about anything!)
In Sweden we have a tree in Fulufjället in Dalarna that is said to be the oldest tree in the world. It’s called Old Tjikko and it’s roots is around 9550 years old.

What is your country’s most popular stereotype/cliché? 
That everyone is complaining over the weather no matter what kind of weather it is.


Are you a traveler? Which place is your favorite so far?
Yes, I am. I’m actually on a roadtrip western Europe right now which is very fun. My favorite country I have visited is New Zeeland and well there’s this little town named Oamaru on the south island that is called the “Penguintown”. It’s very small but I felt very peaceful there. They had a own brewery (Scotts Brewing Co.) where you could buy tasty beers and there’s a small café (Harbour Street Collective Café) that has amazing food and flavourful flat whites. In the nights you could take a walk down in the harbour and see small penguins walking the streets and hanging on the rocks.

What’s your best travel story?
There is many but there is one story that I will never forget. By the waterfalls near Luang Prabang in Laos my boyfriend and I got challenged by a man by the stream; if we could walk across a small stick over the stream without falling we could win a free beer on the other side. Needless to say, neither of us made it but it provided us with many laughs and we began to swing from vines nearby into the stream with no trouble on our minds. What my boyfriend didn’t think about before it was to late was that he had forgotten to take of his glasses. The next moment that he emerged from the water the glasses was gone. The stream had taken them and there was no way we could find them. At first we thought this must be the end of our trip, surely we can’t continue with out his glasses? But after a little googling we decided to try our luck in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Hanoi we went to a glasses store and a old man who couldn’t understand any English helped us. He did an fast eye exam and held up 3 fingers, we thought he must mean 3 days but no. The lady next to him said that we could come back in 3 hours and the glasses would be done. Shocked over the fast pace we walked away, sat down and drank a ice coffee while we waited. When we returned the glasses was in great condition and the price was nowhere near the prices in Sweden. It became a happy story in the end that we now still laugh over.

Why do you love traveling? 
I love travelling because I feel that I learn something new everytime I travel. I get to see difference nature, explore different cultures, eat different food and learn new things about new places and people. It gives me a happiness that is hard to explain. What I can say is that when I don’t travel I feel that I am missing out on something, like I’m missing an adventure that is waiting for me.


Instagram: @theessanceoflife
Website/Blog: theadventuresofjosefine.wordpress.com is a blog where I share travel tips, trips, and recipes.
E-mail: josuse97@gmail.com