Beer in Sweden

Through out history Sweden has been a land where only lager of the brightest kind is served. This has changed though and Sweden is now actually a beer country to merit a place on the map.

The last years the Swedes have found an interest in high quality beer and with same intensity that Swedes embrace all news they have made high quality beer a lifestyle. If they’re not making their own chese or bakign bread they’re starting breweries like this, such is the mind of the obsessed Swede. Luckily these character flaws also lead to very good beer, both imported and locally produced. Read more at the Guide to Swedish beer.

A small tutorial to the Swedish cuisine

As with any country Sweden has its own kinds of food and ways of preparing it. But do you for instance know what is typically Swedish food and at which times the different meals are eaten?

Basics
Usually the first thing that comes up when people think about Swedish cuisine is meatballs. For anyone who doesn’t know, it is basically mincemeat made into small balls – thereby its name. Another typically kind of food is the Falukorv who is a bit more unique for Sweden, as well as Filmjölk and Crisp bread.

The most common complimenting ingredient to the meals are the potatoes. Other ones commonly used components are the rice, macaroni and spaghetti.  The most common meats in Sweden are most likely chicken and pork. Annually the average swede consumes 15 kilogram of bird meat, 14 kilogram of pork and 10 kilogram of beef. Another typically occurance, especially in the northern part is meat from the moose.

Do swedes also have a sweet-tooth you may ask? – Indeed they do! The most common sweet thing must be the cinnamon buns (Kanelbullar). Anywhere you go you can find these little delicaties – even at petrol stations. If there is a birthday coming up I can guarantee that you will also find something with such a fancy name as the princess cake (prinsesstårta). These are not seldom eaten during Fika. Fika could be described as a Swedish social institution. It can take place at home, at a café or any place else possible. Be sure there will be at least fika break per day. Basically it means to see someone for a cup of coffee and a snack/something sweet.

Times
Culturally it’s most common with three to four meals daily. And the normal way is to start with a breakfast early in the morning, followed by lunch around mid-day. Dinner which usually is a heavier meal is being eaten in the late afternoon. That is something that might be different for people from other parts of the world as dinner often are eating in the evening there. It is also common to eat something inbetween the lunch and dinner. Except that you can also have in count the manditory coffee breaks.

Unexpexted swedish food culture
Sweden is commonly associated with food as such mentioned above, but what probably is less known is that a number of foods that origins from other cultures has become part of the Swedish food culture due to its huge popularity. Foods such as kebab, pizza and tacos. As an example you do not rarely hear of something that has almost become like a weekly tradition – taco friday!

 

Selling your flat in Stockholm

The real estate market in Sweden is strange and in particular in Stockholm. It’s like no where else and you’ll be surprised, I can promise that. 

The real estate agents have managed to create a backwards competition for clients. Rather than trying to find buyers the primary job for a real estate agent in Sweden is finding sellers. The reason for this is that you get tied to one agent when you are trying to sell, they’ll force you into signing a contract making them the exclusive agent for the property. There is no way around this and you’ll have to do that.

This is not as bad as it sounds, in any other part of the world it would be but not in Sweden. You see, all flats are sold and there will be buyers, there is no lack of them as they all search themselves in the local listings on Booli and Hemnet. The problem though is that you need to find out beforehand which realtor you want.

There are online real estate offer services

The solution here is to find an offer service and there are a few. Our recommendation is going to Stockholm Real Estate Service and just fill out the form if you have trouble reading the Swedish (they are asking for Name, Email, Phone and the Adress of the apartement/house). What they will do is they will contact all the realtors and ask for a quote for you. They wont charge you anything and you’re not commited to anything (until you actually find and sign with a realtor). Another thing that is important, Swedish law is rather tough on real estate agents and you want to select only from the authorized ones, this service does that.

Systembolaget – the only store for Alcohol in Sweden

Living in Sweden is sometimes complicated. The Swedish relationship with alcohol is extra strange and it takes its shape as Systembolaget, the only store selling alcohol in Sweden.

Every town has one, every city a few and every Swede visits Systembolaget at least a few times per month. This is completely reasonable as that’s the only place to buy a bottle of wine or a Swedish schnapps. To understand why this is the case we need to know the Swedish background and history.

Sweden is situated in the “Vodka Belt” together with Russia and a few more countries. The stronger alcoholic drinks have always been favored by the Swedes that were early with making purified potato and barley spirits. You have to know that there are hardly any Swedes going for a beer after work, on weekdays the stay all stay sober. What they do however is get absolutely pissed on Friday and Saturday.

The reason for this is the strict alcohol policy in Sweden. Back in the 19th century they used to get absolutely pissed every day, saw mills for example would give employees up to 3 dl of Vodka every morning before work and there was always the choice of getting paid in Alcohol instead of cash. It’s easy to say that Sweden tightened up on the drinking after that.

Systembolaget is the last that remains of a Swedish probation time during which all Swedes had a Motbok (refered to as the Bratt System in English). The Motbok was a booklet with room for stamps allowing you to buy a bottle or two per week depending on gender and social status.

Systembolaget is closed on Sundays and the always close rather early on all other days. You have to be 20 years old to purchase alcohol in Sweden and be preperad to show ID card if you are below 30. More information can be found on Systembolaget.se.

First of all Stockholm

To most visitors Stockholm is what you think about when you think Sweden. There is good reason for that and even if the country has a lot to offer even outside Stockholm it’s hard to get the capitol out of the mind.

The beauty of Stockholm, a city so clearly built on top of water has made many call it the Venice of Scandinavia. We who have visited both though usuallly prefer Stockholm as it has everything Venice has (might be missing some gondolas) but without the constant smell and dirt. Stockholm might be the most beautiful city in the world.