Winter is coming! Don't let the coldness or darkness get in between you and your good times in Sweden. Here are some of the best tips and facts about Swedish winter.
Swedish winter – the word itself might sound cold and dark to anyone with an idea about Sweden’s geographical location. It is quite true that it can be cold here but if you wear the right clothing and know what fun things you can do during winter, you surely get to enjoy the days just as much as you enjoy the warm and sunny days.
There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing
The quote is very famous in Sweden - as well as it is in many countries that experience a cold winter - but for anyone who are not used to a cold weather, the advice for right clothing is 'Dress to keep you warm'! Dress in layers – undershirts and pants, your regular clothes and warm outer jackets, keep your body warm and comfy.
Make sure to wear the right hats, scarves and gloves too. If you think you need more layers, do not hesitate to add another layer of clothing because not everyone feels the coldness the same way and only you know it when you’re comfortably warm.
Be visible on the streets
Make sure to wear high visibility clothes or add a few reflective stripes, especially when walking and cycling on the streets during the winter. The days can be dark and it is very important to be visible when on the streets to avoid accidents and to make it easy for drivers to see you.
Winter is beautiful – enjoy it!
During winter, Sweden is a magical place. Your everyday view from your little window facing the street will change into a beautiful landscape within a couple of hours of snowing.
Enjoy these landscapes despite the coldness to create picturesque memories. Try skiing, sledding, snowball fights, learning to skateboard, building a snowman or snow fort, making snow angels and many other winter activities.
The best thing about winter is the snow and you have plenty of it everywhere to do whatever snow activities you think is fun. Make sure to wear the right shoes to avoid slipping and getting injured.
Winter walks among the beautiful landscapes will definitely help you fill yourself up with happy thoughts and positive energy. Some winter days are sunny and these days are the best! Make sure to get as much as sunlight possible and enjoy the best of winter.
Fika - coffee/tea and something small to eat - is always a good way of keeping yourself social. A simple Fika with some baked goodies and a cup of coffee could works wonders for putting you in a good mood.
Talking to someone, laughing and spending time with company will help you avoid being stressed by the weather. It is very necessary to be social especially during cold days to avoid depression and keep up your mental health.
Lights, lights, lights!
The short day time can be quite hard as there is not enough light so use many ways of adding light to your daily routine. If the light in your house is not bright enough, candles are a solution. Candles give you light as well as a bit of warmth. And who doesn’t love it when you have candles lit up around you? Candles create happiness so make sure to try your favourite candles during this winter!
If you are a cycling, make sure you have lights in your bike as the streets can be quite darker even with the street lights on.
Be happy and smile a lot
Some days you just have to create your own sunshine
There can be times when the coldness and darkes really gets to you. Try not to let it happen!
Make sure you stay happy and social despite how cold and dark it is. Keep yourself active and occupied that you don’t have to think about the weather. Take your vitamins, eat healthy and exercise to keep up a positive mind.
Gather up your friends and celebrate everyday as it is a special day to keep yourself in good company. Always remember that, if you are happy, the day is happy as well.
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Where can you sleep on a bed of ice (and do you really want too??!) or meet some wolves? Sweden has some amazing winter activities that include:
1. When it snows – it pours
Winter weather is discussed often in Sweden. The fact is, snow is pretty well dealt here. There are systems in place for getting it off the road to temporary storage points and then moving it from the temporary storage points to permanent storage points. When this system works, which it does almost all the time, all is well.
However, when a larger-than-expected amount of snow decides to show up, things do break down. Please bear in mind that this is not the same as the few flakes of snow that fall in the UK and everything grinds to a halt. We are talking extra, unexpected meters of snow here!
Plows and tractors will be in much demand and roads are cleared in priority order, which means that residential side-streets can get clogged up with snow. You should be prepared for situations like these though they should be few and far between.
2. It's not the temperature that decides how cold it is – it's the moisture in the air
This is something you will learn intuitively, we certainly have. At -16 degrees Celsius, you will often feel warmer than at -1 degrees Celsius. Strange but true, in our option! Lower temperatures drive the moisture out of the air and keep the snow frozen. Warmer temperatures thaw the snow, releasing moisture into the air and this is when you might start to feel chilly. When it is around freezing, you’## find gloves and scarves help.
3. Make sure that the name on your ID matches the name on post your receive
Anything bigger than your post box flap will sent directly to your local pick up point, which is often in the local supermarket, with convenient and long opening hours. In most cases, you will have to provide ID in order for the clerk to give the mail to you. Here there can be a problem. Let's say you have a nickname that's not on your ID. If the mail happens to be addressed to your nickname, the clerk may not give you the mail. It unfortunately depends on how picky the clerk is but many of us have had problems with it, so it's something you should keep in mind.
4. The Swede is informal – even in a formal setting
You will notice this quickly, especially if you compare it to the American style of customer service. You can expect all manner of emotive responses from store clerks and administrative personnel if you complain about something, although they will almost always speak quietly. The customer is not always right here.
5. There is a right answer, just like there is a right way to do everything
Swedish culture dictates that there is a right way to do most things and therefore most people will do things that way. If you push Swedes to answer awkward questions, you may see them try to find that 'right' answer too.
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About the blog
Interesting bits and pieces about life in Sweden, including all-important song words.