Swedes like straight forward
meals, mainly prepared from the freshest ingredients. As
a seafaring country with many freshwater lakes, fish dishes are
popular on hotel or restaurant menus.
which is a Scandinavian cold table, is traditional. 1st pickled
herring with boiled potatoes, then perhaps a couple more fish courses,
anchovies or smoked salmon, followed by sliced beef, cold meat,
pâté, stuffed veal or smoked reindeer. The hot dishes
come after this, for instance, small meatballs (köttbullar),
another herring dish, or an omelette. A fruit salad and cheese with
crisp breads generally round off the meal.
dishes popular with travellers are smoked reindeer from
Lapland, gravlax, salmon that has been specially prepared and marinated,
wild strawberries, and cloudberries, which are unique to Scandinavia.
Once on the open road the traveller is well catered for
with picnic sites on the way, often with wooden seats and tables.
High class restaurants in Sweden are
usually fairly expensive, but even the smallest towns have reasonably
priced grill bars and self service restaurants.
Numerous restaurants all over Sweden offer a special dish
of the day at a reduced price, which includes a main course, salad,
a soft drink and a coffee. Waiter service is ordinary, however there
are many self service snack bars.
is the collective name for aquavit or brännvin, and is a Swedish
liqueur which is customarily drunk chilled with smörgåsbord.
It is made under a variety of brand names with flavors varying from
virtually tasteless to sweetly spiced.
beers are lager and pilsner type brews and come in 4 strengths.
Wine, beer and spirits are sold through the state owned monopoly,
Systembolaget, with are open during normal shopping hours.
Alcohol cannot be bought in bars, cafes or
restaurants before 1.00 pm on Sundays. After midnight alcohol can
only be bought in nightclubs that stay open until between 2.00 am
and 5.00 am.
In restaurants and nightclubs the minimum age for buying alcoholic
beverages is 18 and stiff penalties are enforced for drinking and
The minimum age for buying
alcohol is 20, however alcohol can be consumed in bars
from restaurants from 18 onwards.
Stockholm has restaurants,
cafes, pubs, discos, cinemas and theatres. In the more rural areas
evenings tend to be fairly tranquil.
Music productions take place in many cities during the
summer at open air venues. The Royal Ballet performs in Stockholm
from August to June.
Outside Stockholm, in the 18th century Court Theatre of the Palace
of Drottningholm there are performances of 18th century opera.
(Moms) is refundable to visitors who are occupant
in non EU countries on goods bought at shops participating in the
Tax Free Shopping scheme. The refund is payable to the customer
when departing from Sweden at either customs offices at ports or
Special purchases available
in Sweden include glassware and crystal, stainless steel and silver,
ceramics, hemslöjd (cottage industry artefacts), and woodcarvings.
Women’s and children’s clothes are great buys, especially
hand knitted Nordic sweaters.
The Shopping hours are Monday to Friday from 9.00
am to 6.00 pm, Saturdays from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. In larger towns,
some shops have longer opening hours and are also open on Sundays.
In rural areas shops and petrol stations close by 5.00 am / 6.00
General courtesies should be observed. It
is traditional for the guest to refrain from drinking until the
host makes a toast. The guest should also thank the host for the
meal with Tack för maten.
A casual dress
code is adequate for everyday occasions, smarter wear for
social occasions, exclusive restaurants and clubs.
Evening wear / black tie will usually be specified when required.
Smoking is prohibited in most public buildings
and on public transport.
Hotel prices will include a service charge.
Service in restaurants is not usually included in the bill, about
10 % should be added.
Later at night the service charge is higher.
Taxi drivers should also be tipped around 10 %.