|Area: 449,964 sq km (173,732
Population: 8,909,128 (official
Population Density: 19.8 per
Ethnicity / Race:
Independence: 6 June 1523 (Gustav
VASA elected king)
Language: Swedish. Lapp is spoken
by the Sámi population in the north; there
are also Finnish-speaking minorities. English
is taught as the first foreign language from the
age of 9.
Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)
= 100 öre. Notes are in denominations of
SEK10,000, 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are
in denominations of SEK10, 5 and 1, and 50 öre.
Religion: Around 86 per cent
of the population belong to the Church of Sweden
(Evangelical Lutheran), separated from the state
in January 2000; other Protestant minorities constitute
the majority of the remainder.
Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from
last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday
Electricity: 230 volts, three-phase
AC, 50Hz. Two-pin continental plugs are used.
Travelers' Diarrhea - Travelers'
Diarrhea, the number one illness in travelers,
can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites,
which can contaminate food or water. Infections
may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella,
cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever
and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis).
Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
- A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may
be required for entry into certain of these countries
if you are coming from countries in tropical South
America or sub-Saharan Africa. (There is no risk
for yellow fever in Western Europe.) For detailed
information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination
Requirements[on the CDC website].
Tickborne encephalitis - Tickborne
encephalitis, a viral infection of the central
nervous system, occurs chiefly in Central and
Western Europe. Travelers are at risk who visit
or work in forested areas during the summer months
and who consume unpasteurized dairy products.
The vaccine for this disease is not available
in the United States at this time. To prevent
tickborne encephalitis, as well as Lyme disease,
travelers should take precautions to prevent tick
Customs: Sweden is a land of
cultural contrast, from the Danish influence of
the southwest to the nomadic Laplanders in the
wild Arctic north. And while urban Sweden is stylish,
modern and sophisticated, the countryside offers
many simpler pleasures for those in search of
Sweden’s scenery has a gentler charm than
that of neighbouring Norway’s rugged coast.
Much of Sweden is swathed in forest, and there
are thousands of lakes, notably large stretches
of water between Gothenburg and the capital, Stockholm.
The lakeside resort of Östersund, in the
centre of Sweden, is popular with Scandinavians,
but most visitors opt first for the cities and
the Baltic islands: the largest island, Gotland,
with its array of ruined medieval churches, is
a particular highlight. Another major attraction
is the so-called ‘Kingdom of Crystal’,
a forested area between Malmö and Stockholm
boasting many fine glassworks.
The land, as well as its people, has an air of
reserved calm, and while best known for its automotive
and musical exports – Volvo and Abba are
pretty much household names – a strong historical
undertone bubbles close beneath the surface. Nowhere
is this more apparent than in Stockholm, where
dozens of museums deal with all imaginable aspects
of the past, and medieval and Baroque edifices
housing boutiques and cafes overlook the attractive
Communications: Telephone system: general
assessment: excellent domestic and international
facilities; automatic system
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry
most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave
radio relay systems carry some additional telephone
international: 5 submarine coaxial cables; satellite
earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean),
1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian
Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat
earth station with the other Nordic countries
(Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)