6 Fun Facts about Sweden

Sweden, known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich historical tapestry, holds secrets and stories that will surprise and delight. From unique cultural traditions to royal tales that seem sprung from fairy tales, each fact will take you closer to understanding the enchanting allure of Sweden.

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) architecture in Stockholm, Sweden
Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) architecture in Stockholm, Sweden
Photo by depositphotos.com
  1. Sweden champions the right to nature, embodied in the constitutional principle of ‘allemansrätten.’ This right allows everyone to roam freely in nature, hike, camp, and cycle virtually anywhere in the countryside, provided they respect the privacy of people’s homes and the sanctity of nature.
  2. In a curious case of international relations, North Korea finds itself indebted to Sweden to the tune of €300 million for a fleet of 1,000 Volvos acquired in the 1970s. Despite the passing decades, Sweden diligently reminds North Korea of this debt every six months.
  3. Stockholm, the country’s capital, is an architectural marvel, gracefully spread across 14 islands. This positioning lends the city a unique charm, with water being a central aspect of its landscape. Moreover, Sweden boasts the world’s highest number of islands, with an astonishing count of 267,570.
  4. The narrative of Sweden’s royal family reads like a novel, with its roots tracing back to a French commoner named Jean Bernadotte. His journey from a soldier under Napoleon to the Swedish throne, thanks to an act of kindness and an unexpected selection, marks the beginning of the Bernadotte dynasty that reigns to this day. In a historic shift, Sweden became the first monarchy to establish absolute primogeniture in 1980, favoring the monarch’s eldest child, regardless of gender, as the heir to the throne.
  5. At Sweden’s southernmost tip stands a statue not of a historic figure or mythical creature, but rather a tribute to Uma Thurman’s grandmother in her unadorned glory, showcasing Sweden’s open-mindedness and appreciation for the arts in unexpected forms.
  6. Sweden’s influence stretched across the Atlantic in the 17th century, with colonies in present-day New Jersey and Delaware. One enduring legacy of this period is the log cabin, a now quintessential element of American architectural tradition, introduced by the Swedish settlers.