• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Macedonia!

    Macedonia: Traditional architecture. Go Now!

    Macedonia
    Macedonia is a country still finding its unique identity, but its architecture is already one of a kind. Explore Macedonia!

  • Netherlands!

    Netherlands: Wooden shoes. Go Now!

    Netherlands
    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

  • Austria!

    Austria: Belvedere Palace. Go Now!

    Austria
    Belvedere Palace (pictured) is just one of many palaces found in Vienna. The capital is a good start to Austria, which also features the Alps, the Lakes District, and incredible history & food. Go Now!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Sweden!

    Sweden: Swedish Village. Go Now!

    Sweden
    This Scandinavian country boasts big city excitement in Stockholm to small town charm. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Sweden

Behavior

The Swedes are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively, whether that be in your attitude, talking about finances, making others wait for you at a meeting, polluting their environment, or even in personal relationships. Putting others down gets the same reaction; Swedes view men, women, minorities, and people of all sexual orientations as equals and not doing the same can be very offensive.

As a visitor to Sweden, try to follow the lead of the locals by being modest, dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Sweden Dining & Food Page), and avoiding sensitive conversation topics such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.

Dress

The traditional dress in Sweden was similar to modern European dress and fashion as the Swedish men tended to wear pants and shirts, while women often wore dresses. Despite the commonalities in style, the designs of these traditional outfits were quite varied as each region had its own design, colors, or pattern. These outfits, with distinct historic traditions, are called folkdrakt. Because of the vast diversity, there was no true singular dress among the people, although the styles were similar from region to region.

As the country united the dress became more uniform and today the national dress consists of the colors of the flag, yellow and blue, but remains in the style of more historic outfits as the men wear knickers, loose-fitting shirts, and a short vest while women wear loose-fitting dresses. Today this dress is only worn on special occasions; most people wear western-styled clothing that is similar to that found in much of the world, although the Swedes tend to enjoy particular shoes, which can distinguish one from a crowd to a trained eye.

As a visitor to Sweden, you are welcomed to wear just about anything. Most people, and many situations, call for a more modest form of dress, but shorts and short-sleeved shirts and tight-fitting clothing are fine so long as they are not too revealing. Just dress for the occasion as some settings require more formality than others. Also be aware that sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is only permitted in certain places so always be sure to know where this is allowed before doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013